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What you can learn from a

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SUNDAY, January 23, 2011


Rome News-Tribune

Northwest Bridal Showcase offers variety of wedding vendors in one place By Lydia Senn Staff Writer

Walk down the aisles of the Northwest Georgia Bridal Showcase and you will see a colorful array of flowers, dresses and gifts. With dozens of vendors ready to answer any question, the brides of Rome will be well armed to plan their big day. The Bridal Showcase, hosted at the Forum on Jan. 30, will bring together experienced wedding professionals from around the area, said event organizers Amy and Michael Scott. Vendors from Calhoun, Cartersville, Cedartown, Rome, and Summerville turn out each year to assist engaged couples with their wedding plans. Brides will be able to sample food from caterers and cake

services, select a perfect photographer and videographer and find the perfect venue. The cost is $5 at the door and vendors can set up a booth for $300. The exhibitors will each be assigned a 10-foot by 10-foot space to display their wedding specialty products. “This is really one stop to find it all,� said event organizer Amy Scott. Amy and her husband, Michael, have been organizing the event since 2007, and Amy said it usually draws a crowd of around 200 brides. “They come in with their plans and they can pick out a venue and a cake and a photographer at the same time,� Scott said. “They may discover things they hadn’t thought of.� Amy said brides will find lots of high end products and venues and will have direct contact

with vendors. Vendors will be giving away door prizes, Amy said. “Last year we had 38 vendors ranging from photographers to caterers,� said Amy. The Scotts are not just the organizers of the bridal showcase; they are also wedding dj’s with 14 years experience in the industry. The Scotts offer nonstop continuous for wedding receptions from beginning to end. Scott said the music library will please any musical preference of any age. The couple also offers special dance selections from their large library. The bridal showcase will be on Sunday, Jan. 30 at The Forum beginning at 1 p.m. To contact the Scotts call 706232-1922 or visit online at

Northwest Georgia Bridal Showcase IF YOU GO Date: Jan. 30 Place: The Forum Admission: $5 Time: Doors open and registration begins at 1 p.m. Fashion show begins at 3 p.m. Showcase ends at 5 p.m. Free admission to grooms and children 12 and under.

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%LJGD\4DQG$ Questions and answers about wedding etiquette

Rome News-Tribune

SUNDAY, January 23, 2011


On the cover Rome resident Krystin Fain poses with her wedding dress. On a tight budget, she feared she would never find a beautiful dress. But thanks to some smart shopping and good friends, she found exactly what she was looking for. Photo by Ryan Smith


: My fiancé and I plan to elope to Jamaica. I’ve read that we’re supposed to send out announcements, but I don’t know who’s supposed to get them or what they should say. Also, when do we mail them?


: Your announcements, which are mailed the day of your ceremony (or in your case, upon your return), should be sent to everyone who would have been invited to the wedding had you not eloped. The wording is similar to what you’d print on an invitation, listing who, what, when and where. “Mr. and Mrs. Peter Blake Davis have the honor of announcing the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Anne to Christopher Jason James on Sunday, the Tenth of August Two Thousand and Three Negril, Jamaica” If you and your fiancé want to issue the announcement yourselves, just change the first few lines: “Elizabeth Anne Davis and Christopher Jason James announce their marriage on Sunday, the Tenth of August Two Thousand and Three Negril, Jamaica.”


: I’ve been married before and don’t want a big wedding. We’ll want to tell friends and family not invited to the wedding that we’re married, though. Is it okay to send announcements afterward?


: In fact, that’s exactly what wedding announcements are for. They’re mailed the day of the wedding (prepare them beforehand, then ask your mom or a bridesmaid to drop them in the mail) to anyone with whom you want to share the good news.


: How do we indicate that our wedding will be formal, but not black-tie?


: Traditionally, couples use the wording “semi-formal” on their invitations to let guests know they should wear short dresses and suits. For a more modern message, try “cocktail attire.”


: I’m planning a cake-andchampagne reception following our 6:00 p.m. ceremony. Is it in bad taste for the invitation to inform guests that we’re not having dinner?


: First, let’s tackle the main problem. Serving a person a slice of cake when she’s ready to sit down to dinner is guaranteed to disappoint. To remedy that, move up the ceremony to 4:00 p.m. (or after 9:00 p.m.), when it’s fine to only offer cake and champagne. Include an enclosure with your invitation that reads: “Champagne and cake to follow at Bayside Country Club” so that guests know what to expect. If you have your heart set on a 6:00 p.m. ceremony, serve a simple — but complete — meal.

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SUNDAY, January 23, 2011

Rome News-Tribune

Planning my own wedding: Confessions of a clueless bride

By Krystin Fain

I’m a “practice makes perfect” kind of girl. Needless to say, planning my first and (hopefully) only wedding has been difficult on my own time and my own dime. My wedding planning skills — if you can call them that —are the culmination of friendly tips from marriage vets and a healthy dose of Wedding Sundays on the WE Channel. I also Googled “how to plan a wedding” once, but I wouldn’t recommend that. I’m essentially a bridal Frankenstein; a product of movies, Facebook stalking, family stories and “Say Yes to the Dress.” And the truth is, I don’t understand most of it. Tradition is both frightening and confusing, and frankly the thought of it makes me want to run for the hills. Early on Chris

and I decided that the goal would be to make this important day both special and unique with the least possible amount of chaotic and crazy. So, here’s what we’ve got. The wedding is set for April 16, at a close friend and co-worker’s home in Rydel. We decided early on a relaxed, picnic feel, so we’ll enjoy our ceremony and reception outdoors. We anticipate about 100 guests and we’re hoping for an interesting day that involves everyone. Going solo: After an engagement of almost three years, Chris and I decided that it was now or never and began the early stages of planning last fall.

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Ryan Smith / Rome News-Tribune

Krystin Fain and Chris Gilstrap will tie the knot in April. Krystin was determined to plan her perfect wedding without the help of a pro and without spending a fortune.

Rome News-Tribune

CLUELESS from 4 Unfortunately, the recession hit both sets of parents pretty hard and the brunt of planning and financing fell on our meager shoulders. With a budget of just $3,000, we hoped to make our wedding spectacular without going on the Ramen noodle diet to fund it. Finding the balance has been difficult, but we caught a lucky break on our venue. With the largest potential expense out of the way, our shoestring budget promised something greater than blue jeans vows and a bologna sandwich reception. To keep costs low, I developed a fourpart list which includes things â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to buy,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to borrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to bring.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; A separate â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to callâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; column keeps up with catering and equipment rentals. By borrowing things like dishware, decorations and jewelry, I allow myself to potentially splurge on the things that really matter. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m keeping an eye open for sales on things from the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to buyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; column every week to keep costs manageable. The goal is to eventually have everything moved into â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;to bringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; before April 2. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let you know how that goes. Bridal sticker shock: Do you know the difference between a $10 candle and a $50 candle? One has the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weddingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; involved. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been surprised by the uptick in prices concerning wedding and bridal supplies and have been on the hunt for good deals on things like invitations and favors. And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found some creative ways to simultaneously save while making the wedding one-of-a-kind. 1) Invitations: I purchased clearance wedding envelopes first, and designed an invitation around that size. Take a few scrapbook supplies, snag some quality paper, sprinkle in a little Photoshop magic and add a family member in the printing business to make stamps our biggest invitation expense. 2) Potted plants set a different mood than cut flowers, and they double as potential guest favors. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to mention how much money a smart home and garden shopper can save on in-season flora. 3) Butcher paper tablecloths and Sharpies at each table make for a very different kind of guest book and keep guests entertained and relaxed. The colorful markers will make for an interesting table centerpiece as well.


SUNDAY, January 23, 2011




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4) Cupcakes will perpetuate the relaxed mentality of the event, and will be more affordable (and, we believe, more personal) than a single wedding cake. This will also allow this homebody to have the girls over for a baking party in lieu of the typical bachelorette shindig.

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I suppose Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m making up for my lack of wedding knowledge by getting my hands dirty and owning the eccentricities of our lifestyle, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m alone in my ignorance. I can keep the experience positive and the stress levels low by remembering that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in the same boat with a lot of other bridesâ&#x20AC;Śan ugly, white, lacey boat. Being a girl is hard. Frankly, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been good at it. I bypassed the hairspray and heels for headbands and high-tops back in grade school. I love racquetball and sci-fi movies and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind when it rains on my hair or I find myself wearing two shades of navy. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather spend my time doing just about anything else besides staring at myself in the mirror. To say Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m totally clueless about weddings is an understatement, so the idea of making myself into the proverbial â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;princessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; makes my stomach lurch. And since I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t locate a pair of bridal sweat pants, I settled on a dress.


The Dress: Around Thanksgiving, I ventured to Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bridal in Kennesaw to find a dress. Two very patient and diplomatic girlfriends tagged along, hoping to help their tomboy friend find something she liked. The rules were simple: * Nothing shaped like a cupcake * Nothing resembling a polar bear * Nothing that looked like the pattern on a bare mattress * Nothing that reminded me of Laura Ingles Wilder continued on 6


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SUNDAY, January 23, 2011

CLUELESS from 5 * Nothing that would complement a bridal sailor’s hat * Nothing like my mom’s prom dress * No bows * No togas * Nothing that made me look fat or ugly My friends took the list with poise and thoughtfulness and — after a pep talk — led me into the belly of the wedding beast. The consultant who had the misfortune of being assigned to me listened patiently as I told her my size and budget and mumbled about standards and rewearability. “Oh,” she said, turning away. “Well, your sizes are way down on the other end, and the clearance rack is along the back wall so you might want to check there but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.” A moment later, the clipboard wearing the pencil skirt was gone, leaving me in the middle of a dress mega-mart with lip

Rome News-Tribune quivering and confidence utterly crushed. Immediately, Tricia went one way and Jennifer another, pulling dresses for me to try and laughing at my comments on how anything would be fine and how sorry I was for being broke. In less than an hour, we had found the perfect dress—on sale, actually. My consultant proved very helpful in the end, giving me great tips on bustling, alterations and the perfect accessories. My friends, however, were invaluable in my search and I was so relieved to have them on my side in the end. I would strongly recommend that any bride take dress veterans to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

friends with good taste. Unfortunately, each one of the four options received about a dozen votes, and the task has fallen onto the fiancé’s shoulders to make the final decision. He’s not too thrilled about that, especially since I’ve vetoed his ‘afro’ and ‘just woke up’ suggestions. I suppose having people close does make the process easier, and as the questions about makeup, nails and stylists come into the picture, I’ll be relying on them more and more for advice on how to make an impression on my wedding day. Here’s where we stand as of January 10, 2011:

Hair Constituents Finding the best hairstyle to compliment my perfect dress was the next task, and the truth is that I still don’t have any idea what I’m going to look like walking down the aisle. To make things easier, I pulled four hairstyles that I thought would be acceptable and put them on Facebook, asking friends to provide honest feedback and

Krystin created her own invitations using a few scrapbooking supplies and Photoshop on her home computer.

What’s done: dress shopping venue reservation invitations first meetings with minister

vote for their favorites. The response through posts and messages was overwhelming, and I’m thankful for good

Up next: finding a caterer renting tables and chairs mailing invitations shopping for the groom

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Rome News-Tribune


SUNDAY, January 23, 2011


From FRORU to FXOWXUDOIXVLRQV, our expert discusses this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot wedding trends Souza, and Mark Kingsdorf. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a few of their predictions (and a few of my own) for 2011 weddings.

Holly Lynch Professional Bridal Consultant


fter an exciting national conference for the Association of Bridal Consultants this past November, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thrilled to share the following insights about weddings trends, as presented by the leading wedding planners in the industry. Speakers at the conference included David Tutera, Sasha

Wedding Planning & Technology Most brides are getting ideas for their wedding from the Internet. Half of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population under the age of 30 have a social media account (Facebook, Myspace, etc). Brides and grooms use those tools for their wedding research, along with testimonials from their friends via posts on the sites. There are even iphone apps for wedding planning! Brides are also using technology to communicate their wedding information to their families and friends. Wedding websites are gaining popularity as a source for

information about the couple, including registry information and stories about how they met, but also for wedding-specific information such as directions and accommodations. Although the reply card is still the most popular method of counting heads for the wedding, email and website responses are gaining popularity.

for a few years, but now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing them incorporated into the actual design of the wedding instead of simply placed on a table. Now, the photos are hung around the room and accented with specialty lighting, or they hang from a tree near the guest book table.

Color With the return to traditional Wedding Design wedding styles, the return to warm Because budget is of such great neutrals is very popular. Gold is consideration these days, many gaining popularity again as a brides are returning to a more design element, especially when simple, traditional wedding. complimenting other tones in the Although lighting and draping are wedding reception such as ivory gaining popularity as a design and champagne. element at the reception, the focus Other big colors in 2011 include is more about the traditional navy blue â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great color for elements to the wedding reception bridesmaids, the mothers, and but in a new way. For example, even the men in the wedding showcasing the family heritage party. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a color that works in any with photos from the past has season. been a part of wedding receptions Continued on 8

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Rome News-Tribune

TRENDS from 7

The ‘mini-moon’ or the ‘honey-weekend’ Tight on budget? No time off for a week-long honeymoon? The minimoon weekend getaway is the perfect answer. Many couples are taking a day or two for a short excursion and saving the big honeymoon for later into the first year of marriage.

SUNDAY, January 23, 2011


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Cultural Fusions Many couples represent mixed faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. The blending of those elements is a wonderful way to embrace the differences and make the ceremony and reception even more personal. Fashion Vintage looks are very popular. Lots of lace details on everything from veils to dresses, to the look of the reception linens. The old-fashioned style can also translate to the invitation.

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Many couples represent mixed faiths, cultures and backgrounds. The blending of those elements is a wonderful way to embrace the differences and make the ceremony more personal. DIY Have a handy relative? Time to put them to work designing invitations or menu cards! Brides like to create at least some elements of the wedding themselves. Save the dates are a popular DIY item, along with invitations, programs, and other paper items. Although the handmade look may not always be a money-saving device, it can be a fun way to add a personal element to the wedding.

Fun Food Why settle for a groom’s cake? Try donuts or cookies and milk! Fun food options are big hit at wedding receptions, especially as a midnight snack. Was there a favorite food from the restaurant you and the groom had your first date? Why not incorporate it into the reception menu.

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SUNDAY, January 23, 2011


Rome News-Tribune



Lydia Senn Staff Writer

Weddings can take months or even years to plan, says Pamela Bearden of Meekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Picture House in Rome, and they are over in the blink of an eye. That is why Meekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has become a vendor for FreezeFrame, a flower preserving company that takes fresh flower bouquets and turns them into lasting pieces of art. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous,â&#x20AC;? said Bearden of the dried flowers. The flowers are shipped to the FreezeFrame headquarters in Ohio using a kit available for free at Meekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The flowers are placed in a styrofoam container with several ice packs and then shipped off to become frozen, framed pieces. Once they are shipped the bride can choose from an assortment of designs ranging from $50 to $599. The flowers are arranged in a frame and then airbrushed to look living. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a wonderful way to memorialize the day,â&#x20AC;? Bearden said. The Beardens have been in the framing business for several decades but never have they seen a product quite like FreezeFrame. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It lasts forever. I have seen the flowers years later and they still look gorgeous,â&#x20AC;? she said. The process usually takes about six weeks to complete, but Bearden said every bride she has encountered is pleased with the end result. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most people who are sentimental want to keep the bouquet. These turn out to be beautiful piece of artwork. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a

wonderful way to save something special and have a piece of art,â&#x20AC;? she said. Bearden said while the cost, up to $600, might be high for some- it is a timeless keepsake. She says bridesmaids and friends could host a special shower and give money to the bride to put toward a FreezeFrame display. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It lasts forever; they could call it a forever party,â&#x20AC;? she said. FreezeFrame is not the only framed wedding keepsake option Meekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers. They also offer specialty framing options for photos and wedding invitations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can certainly work within a budget,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can frame an invitation to look really nice or we can make it something elaborate,â&#x20AC;? she said. Bearden said hanging on to the memories of that special day are priceless. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When all is said and done, after all that planning, all you are really left with is the photos. This is a keepsake, something special to have,â&#x20AC;? she said.

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Handy tips for the groom-to-be

Have an Opinion This is your wedding too, so get in on the planning. Pick a few things that interest you (food? the wedding music? photos?). You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to wax poetic on the difference between lilies and daisies for the bridesmaid bouquets, but give your opinion on the major planning points; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let your fiance know sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in this alone. Relish Your Wedding Registry It may seem like a tedious task, but think about it: You get to wander around a store, picking things you want that someone most likely will buy you -- you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t beat that. Give Her a Break If sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing the majority of the planning for your wedding, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably bordering on wedding overload. You need to make sure she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an ulcer (or a grudge!) by the time she walks down the aisle. Give her a night to relax and cook her dinner, do the dishes, rent her favorite movie (yes, even a chick flick), and remind her why wedding planning is worth the stress.

Special Events

Be a Buffer If your mom is calling your fiance every hour to talk about the wedding, you run the risk of major family conflict, with you stuck in the middle. Your mission: Keep the peace. Arrange the Attire Send out detailed emails to all your groomsmen filling them in on the relevant info for the formalwear â&#x20AC;&#x201D; let them know when and where to get fitted for their tuxes, and remind them to return the suits the day after the wedding to avoid annoying late fees. Manage Your Men Know your friend who loses his car keys at least once a week? Probably better not make him responsible for bringing your ring to the ceremony. And your buddy who tends to drink too much? Make sure one of your more sober groomsmen keeps him from flirting with your fianceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom at the rehearsal dinner. Your guys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be saints, but they will have responsibilities. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your job to make sure they know what they are.

Rome News-Tribune


SUNDAY, January 23, 2011

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Bride and Beau  

Special section covering weddings for the Rome News-Tribune

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