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PRSRT STD U.S. Postage


Permit No. 440 Sterling, IL 61081 P.O. Box 498 Sterling, IL 61081



W dd g Weddings

Sauk Valley


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

• Wedding Flowers • Rentals • Wedding Planning • Invitations


223/225 1st Ave., Rock Falls, IL

Katy Selmi-Downs

Auto Home LIFE FINANCIAL SERVICES 815-625-4878

From insurance to financial services, your COUNTRY Financial representative can help you develop a tangible plan for your financial security. No matter where you’re starting from, we want to help you balance your need to protect what you have with your desire to build for the future. Let us put our experience and financial strength to work for you!

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

ON OUR COVER: Samantha and Noah Evans of Dubuque, Iowa, taken by Erica Pospeshil. Go to


Skin Deep Spa & Salon

Plan a peaceful wedding on the prairie .............................................. 6 Gil’s in Clinton is a full-service wedding venue ................................. 12 Rustic yet elegant garden spot opens in Princeton .......................... 14 Kilbuck Creek a year-round retreat .................................................. 16 Choosing a destination takes some thought .................................... 20 Savy’s Chic is the area’s newest bridal boutique ............................. 28 Two-piece dresses do double duty .................................................. 32 Tuxes: Go casual, but still stay classy .............................................. 36

Wedding Services

Head to Toe

Hair • Make-Up • Nails & Pedicures Facials • Body Treatments Massage Therapy & More

Rings: The symbol of your devotion ................................................. 38 Pick the right wedding planner......................................................... 42 Themed weddings offer personality plus .......................................... 44 Fun and trendy ways to satisfy your hungry guests .......................... 46 Pick your own flower buffet.............................................................. 48 Don’t make a snap decision choosing your photographer ............... 50 Honeymooners find happiness with an online registry ...................... 54 Dear Abby offers her wedding do’s and don’ts ................................ 56 How to keep your wedding from breaking the bank ......................... 59 The big day approaches: A countdown list to keep you on track ..... 62

Bachelorette Parties

Grooms have a role, too: Here’s your first honey-do list ................... 65

We can host parties for any event

Checklists to keep you organized – and sane .................................. 66

SAUK VALLEY WEDDINGS STAFF Publisher: Sam R Fisher Advertising Director: Jennifer Heintzelman Sales: Jill Reyna and Melissa Vlakancic Editor: Kathleen A. Schultz Page Design: Breanne Hunter Sauk Valley Media P.O. Box 498, 3200 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, IL 61081, 815-625-3600 Articles and advertising are the property of Sauk Valley Media of Dixon/Sterling. No portion of Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Ad content is not the responsibility of Sauk Valley Media. Sauk Valley Media cannot, and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed in any portion of this publication.

850 N. GaleNa ave., DixoN 815-284-4424 Visit for our services


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Looking for love (and the businesses that help it along)


o you have a business that caters to the business of love?   If so, please send us your information for inclusion in listings in our future wedding magazines. We’re trying to build a comprehensive list of everything from to bridal gowns to venues, to make our magazines as complete a planning tool as possible. If we missed you this time around, our apologies. Please email the name of your business, its address, hours, phone number, email, website and whether you have a Facebook page, along with a brief description of the services you offer, to, attention weddings, and we promise we’ll do better the next time around. Sincerely, The staff at SV Weddings

Top Tier

edding Cakes Designer Wedding Cakes That Taste As Divine As They Look! Schedule Your Complimentry Consultation Today! 517 Locust St., Sterling, IL • 815-626-2253(CAKE)

Aurelio’s Bake Shop

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Lincoln Way Inn promises peaceful prairie experience Historic home transformed into rustic, elegant B&B BY JERMAINE PIGEE Special to SV WEDDINGS


ooking for a peaceful prairie setting for your wedding or reception? How about a cozy honeymoon retreat? Consider the new Lincoln Way Inn Bed & Breakfast. Lisa and John Ayres opened their new venture at 409 N. State St. in June. They are the fourth owners of the home, which was built in 1912 by Columbus D. Hussey, son of one of Franklin Grove’s founding families who came to the village from Pennsylvania in 1838 via covered wagon. C.D., as he was known, later founded C.D. Hussey Lumber & Coal Co. Their goal is to become a destination that “engages guests in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the prairie countryside.” The Ayreses work also work with local wedding and event planner Jordan Williams, and Ann Newman, owner of Shuttered Moments photography in Sterling. The Ayers offer five themed guest rooms, an outdoor hot tub and fireplace, a four-season dining porch, and a library with a computer and printer available for guest use. Each room also has cable and wireless Internet. It took about a year to get the three-story, 7,200-square-foot B&B renovated to their specifications. It’s peaceful and elegant, filled with antiques, many locally gathered, and hand-crafted appointments. INN continued on 84 Alex T. Paschal/

The Blackhawk Suite shares space with the Sauk Suite on the inn's third floor. The common area has a fireplace, a sitting area and a double vanity bathroom, and each room also has its own vanity and sink, with a private balcony on the Blackhawk side.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Filling a need for the community INN


Lisa Ayers is no stranger to the hospitality industry. The Monroe, Wisconsin, native spent 11 years working for the United Service Organizations – commonly known as the USO – as a concierge, and she and her husband saw a need for such a retreat. “We are at the doorstep of Franklin Creek State Park and the doorstep of the Nachusa Grasslands,” she said. “Students, researchers, photographers and artists come out to experience this area, but there is no place to stay. This is filling a need for the community.

“People like bed and breakfast for conversation and home life in a unique environment,” she said. “Being smaller than a hotel, you can give personal attention, or you can give people their space.” On historic Lincoln Highway and near the Lincoln Highway Association headquarters, which doubles as an antique shop and visitors center, the bed and breakfast also offers spa services, and a sauna and a workout area. A licensed massage therapist is available to provide hot rock, Swedish and deep tissue massage. INN continued on 104

Ann Newman/Shuttered Moments

The Lincoln Way Inn Bed & Breakfast opened in June at 409 N. State St. in Franklin Grove.

Alex T. Paschal/

Lisa Ayers chose the B&B’s furnishings, a harmonious blend of rustic and elegant, antique and modern.

Congratulations newlyweds! We wish you all the best as you begin your new life together. And remember, we’ll be here for you through all the milestones of marriage, from your first house to retirement and every step in between.

451 N. Main Ave. Milledgeville, IL Ph: 815-225-7171 Member FDIC

Lasting Relationships Church Weddings

Home Weddings d Outdoor or On-Site Wedding Ceremonies

Rev. Scott Porter Senior Pastor 806 E. Lynn Blvd., Sterling (GPS 2598 6th Ave., Sterling) • 815-626-1827 •


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Ann Newman/Shuttered Moments

RIGHT: The Lorado Taft Suite, named for the Illinois sculptor who created the iconic Black Hawk statue overlooking the Rock River in Oregon, has a hand-carved hickory bed. Alex T. Paschal/

BELOW: The living room is a common area that can be used for sitting and relaxing.

Themed rooms INN


There are five locally themed rooms, three on the second floor and two on the third that share space and are rented together, the perfect size for a family. Each room has king- or queen-sized beds, and a unique design and decor, selected by Ayres: • The Nachusa Suite is named for the Indian title given to Dixon’s founder, John Dixon – nachusa means head of white hair. It’s also the name of the 3,500-acre Nature Conservancy prairie preserve 3 miles from the B&B. The room has a prairie theme, with a hand-tiled marble bathroom and a shower with a river rock floor. • The Lorado Taft Suite is named for the famous Illinois sculptor and writer who created the iconic Black Hawk statue overlooking the Rock River in Oregon. It has a hand-carved hickory bed, and a hand-tiled marble bathroom and shower. • The Sandburg Suite is named for Carl Sandburg, the Illinois winner of three Pulitzer Prizes in writing and poetry about Abraham Lincoln. It has a fireplace and a spa bathroom with a claw-footed tub and a rain shower. INN continued on 114

• 4-Season Building • Seats up to 350 • Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Site • Bride’s & Groom’s Rooms • Covered Patio

Botanical Gardens Arboretum Garden Center

Princeton, Illinois • 815-659-3282 •

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

‘You’re kind of transported, but not far from home’ INN


• The third-floor Blackhawk Suite, named for the Sauk Indian warrior, and the Sauk Suite, named for the Indian tribe that gives the Sauk Valley its name, share a common area with a fireplace, a sitting area and a double vanity bathroom with a huge hand-tiled shower. Each room also has its own vanity and sink, with a private balcony and a couch with a pullout bed on the Blackhawk side, and a daybed on the Sauk side, in addition to the two main beds. It’s the inn’s roomiest space. Soon to be completed is the carriage house, which will have event space below, for receptions, parties, business meetings, and the like, and another suite above. The carriage house also will have its own private entrance, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a hot tub, along with an enclosed garage for the inn’s guests. Included with the rooms are a variety of amenities such as fresh flowers, organic robes, slippers, linens, towels, and toiletries. Each room also has a small refrigerator stocked with beverages, and coffee and tea service. Guests are treated to a homecooked breakfast made from locally grown and produced products. “My husband and I have a small farm 3 miles from here,” Ayres said. “Eggs are from our chickens, and I am a beekeeper. The honey I cook with is from our bees.” In fact, a visit to the Ayerses’ Nomia Meadows Farm apiary can be part of the Lincoln Way Inn experience. From June through September, guests can sign up to help harvest,

extract and bottle honey, with bee suits and gloves provided, and a bottle to take home. For those who plan to hike, bike, go birding, or just get out to enjoy the prairie, inn staff can provide a picnic lunch that includes use of picnic basket, blanket, portable table and chairs, food, beverage, hiking sticks, binoculars, and bird, butterfly and flower field guides. A horse and carriage ride through the countryside and Franklin Creek State Park is offered year-round, weather permitting, with blankets, beverages and a snack basket included. Cargill Carriage Rides of Franklin Grove provides the ride. The Cargills also do weddings. Folks have come from far and near in the short time the inn has been open. Some from more near than far, in fact. A couple who lives 2 blocks away just walked on over and spent the weekend, his birthday present for her, Ayres said. “You can stay here, you can have an event here, you’re kind of transported, but not far from home.”

The Lincoln Way Inn Bed & Breakfast


Wedding needs

Banquet Tables Round Tables Cocktail Tables Chairs Jump Stations Popcorn Machine Cotton Candy Machine Sno Cone Machine 5’ Charcoal Grill

Call today for reservations! Over 35 Years of Excellent Customer Service!

409 N. State St., Franklin Grove Go to to tour the rooms and get more information on prices, services, and other area attractions. You also can search for Lincoln Way Inn B&B on Facebook. Contact owner Lisa Ayers at or 815-456-7700.

900 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-288-RENT Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-5pm



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Rib-ticklin’ wedding hot spot

SVM File Photo

The outdoor patio at Gil’s has room for more than 100 guests. When the weather warms up, more tables and chairs are added to accommodate the busy restaurant and bar.

Gil’s Ballroom a full-service wedding, reception venue BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF Special to SV WEDDINGS


amily-owned and -operated Gil’s Ballroom, famous for its rib-ticklin’ ribs, also is a hot spot for planning weddings and holding receptions. Since owners D.J. and Melinda James started the Clinton business 5 years ago, they’ve also perfected the art of southern-style smoked ribs, which D.J. makes in house and tops with a secret sweet sauce. “We have the best ribs in Clinton!” DJ said. “They’re so good!” added Melinda, whose Chicken George runs a close second among the favorite dishes at Gil’s. Gil’s is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, and the daily menu features burgers, BLTs, pork tenderloin and steak sandwiches, along with fish, chicken, steaks, salads, tacos, chicken wings and a lot of appetizers.

The restaurant may be their daily mainstay, but planning and holding events is the frosting on their cake. Buffet-style catering is available at Gil’s or other venues, and the menu is vast and customizable. The front of Gil’s is a restaurant and bar that seats about 140. It opens to a large patio, where 100 more guests can be seated comfortably. The ballroom can accommodate about 400 guests, and has its own bar. Those who rent it can bring in bands or deejays for dancing. As an added plus, the Jameses have a 40-foot, super-super-stretch Excursion limousine available for rent, for rehearsal dinners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, guest shuttles or airport transportation for the honeymooners. To make it easier for guests to visit neighboring businesses, Wild Rose Casino, and the Hampton Inn, they installed a walking bridge over the deep culvert

that separates them. Before, those who patronized each business had to drive to the buildings that are only a few feet away. “We like to have a little of everything for customers,” D.J. said.

Go to Gil’s 2750 27th Ave. S., Clinton, Iowa Gil’s offers a team of event planners and producers and caterers, a large banquet hall for parties and receptions, and a stretch limo rental service. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. Call owners David and Melinda James at 563-241-9800, go to or find it on Facebook.


112 E. Fellows St. Dixon, IL 815.284.4247 instagram: @studio404salon

Best Day Ever


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Bridal Suite available upon request.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

The Barn in Princeton offers a gracious garden setting Photo submitted by Hornbaker Gardens

Seasoned business has added a new wedding and events space BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF Special to SV WEDDINGS


o you have your heart set on a garden wedding? The Barn, a new wedding and events space, opened in June at Hornbaker Gardens, a family-owned garden center, botanic gardens and arboretum that has been in operation for nearly 30 years just outside of Princeton. The new facility can accommodate groups up to 350 in heated or air-conditioned comfort, and can serve bride

and grooms seeking an indoor and outdoor wedding. The exterior stained cedar siding gives The Barn a rustic feel, while wood ceilings, chandeliers and plenty of windows with gorgeous outdoor views provide an elegant interior space. There are bride’s and groom’s rooms, modern bathrooms and a large catering kitchen, along with a large covered patio. Facility rental includes tables, chairs, projection and audio systems, and there’s ample onsite parking.

In addition, the event staff can help you choose everything from cakes and DJs to photographers and hotels, as well as help you tailor a beverage package to fit your budget. You can choose your caterer from a list of approved vendors, and Hornbaker Gardens also can take care of the flower arrangements. And thanks to the garden and grounds, unique and breathtaking photo opportunities abound, especially on the manicured meadow, overlooking the pond.

Sweetwood Interiors

107 Main St., Forreston, IL 815.938.3681 Toll Free: 877.938.3681 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat 9am-2pm or by app.

The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens 22937 County Road 1140 N. Ave., Princeton Contact event coordinator Lindsay Esme’ Funderberg at 815-659-3282 or 815303-8015, or email events@ to schedule a visit. You also can check out or The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens on Facebook.

Window Treatments Flooring Accessories Lighting Furniture Upholstery


You have


We’ll help you get there.

Sterling • Rock Falls • Dixon • Morrison • Mt. Morris • Byron • Clinton, IA


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Siblings turn love for family into a venue for love Kilbuck Creek serves as a year-round wedding retreat BY AVALYNDA CASEY Special to SV WEDDINGS


ucked away on 200 acres, 15 miles south of Rockford, is a charming year-round venue for weddings, receptions, honeymoons and other events. The three siblings who own Kilbuck Creek raised their children in the former family home, which opened as a destination resort in 2009. Chris Ames of Davis Junction found her dream property while family camping in the late ‘80s. She envisioned a log home, and researched plans and companies to source the logs. By the time building started, her first child was a toddler. The build took 3 years. Her brother, David Ames of Monroe Center, built the homestead like Lincoln logs. Once the whole logs arrived from Tennessee, he pulled them onto the property by hay wagon. “We added on as Chris had more children. We just built it as we went,” he said. Chris’ six children were raised on the property, and 3 decades later, family life remains the focus, but when the kids all left home, her “monster vision” was born: to bring God’s peace to earth. At first, Kilbuck hosted programs for foster kids, church staff and youth groups. Then

Chris’ daughter celebrated her wedding there, and word spread. The 8,000-square-foot log frame masterpiece has two buildings a stone’s throw apart. The house, indoor pool with den, and workshop-turned-conference room make up the public areas for exclusive use for a day, or longer. Carin Demus of Loves Park, Chris and David’s sister, has been the bookkeeper since the beginning, and helps with cleaning, laundry, and décor. Mona Ames, David’s wife, is head of guest relations. She books tours for guests, schedules and hosts events. Local wedding vendors, such as photographers, florists and caterers, partner with Kilbuck, and among the wedding amenities it offers are an onsite hair stylist and makeup artist, country chic

decor, a photo booth, a computer/video projector, and a private group yoga class. In addition, the property features a pergola for ceremonies, pew seating for 150 on the lawn, porch swings, spacious decks, a top-notch playground and miles of trails. The timber home sleeps 40 in six spacious bedrooms with queen-sized and bunk beds, and six-and-a-half modern baths. The fully-stocked granite kitchen, common living areas on the main floor and chic basement space allow for entertaining in

comfort. The master-suite Jacuzzi and huge indoor bird aviary add to its distinction, and the indoor pool and cozy den provide organized class time and play time. Future plans include a chapel, equestrian activities and tree houses. The Gathering Hall, a former woodworking shop and hay mow, is light and airy for dining, dancing, or conferences. “The heart of Kilbuck is peace,” Chris said, “a place for people to come and rest and connect. The possibilities are endless, and we have plenty of room to do it all.”

Kilbuck Creek 6752 N. Kilbuck Road, Monroe Center Call 815-393-3247, email, go to or find it on Facebook for more information. A drone tour is available on the website.

Sara Anne Johnson Photography

Kilbuck Creek serves as a year-round wedding, reception and honeymoon retreat. The above photos are from an early fall wedding.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


R River Rock R Weddings W

“Everything was so easy - I didn’t feel lilike k g just another client. Everyone has really high o standards for how things should go and you could tell.” - Elisabeth Aslan

“We received so many compliments on the t beauty of the banquet room and the fantastic n quality of the food, it was truly an amazzing n day! We would absolutely recommend RRGAP to anyone that is looking to ha have a their wedding day as perfect as they dreeam it should be.” - Rose & Ben Sondgeroth o “Very warm and friendly staff. Every questtion e was answered. All of our guests were very o pleased. We will highly recommend yyoour business!” - Sarah & Chase Cartwright

From start to finish, Rock River will w a help take the worry out of your big ddaay! Our on-site coordinator will provide yyoou c with helpful and organized assistannce in the planning process!

• On-site Event Coordinator • Outdoor Ceremony Site • Indoor Ceremonies • Reception Hall • Full Wedding Menu • Locker Rooms • Beautiful Photo Locations • Custom Linens & Lighting

~Couples One Year Golf Passes Are Available For Qualifying Weddings ~ *Some exclusions do apply.

Rock River Golf & Pool 3901 Dixon Avenue Rock Falls, IL 61071 815.625.2387


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

SAUK VALLEY WEDDING SPOTS The Pavilion at Emerald Hill Golf Course 168 Prairieville Road, Sterling • 815-622-6204

White Pines LaBranche & White Pines Inn Polo/Mount Morris • 815-946-3817

Brandywine 441 state Route 2, Dixon • 815-284-8484

Features: Outdoors, tents overlook the fourth tee, covered walkway to the clubhouse, portable dance floor, bar. Capacity: Up to 230

Features: Indoor and outdoor settings, cabins, complimentary bridal consultant, nondenominational pastor, horse-drawn carriage, wedding cakes, photographers, bridal bouquets, centerpieces, invitations, boudoir photos, DJ services and more. Handicapped-accessible. Capacity: Up to 340 at LaBranche; up to 200 at the inn. and on Facebook

Features: Warm wood beams, stone fireplace, cozy lighting, elegant surroundings. Event consultant, buffet-style or sit-down meals, full bar in the Celebration Lounge, table linens, custom menus, staff, live music, floral arrangements. Capacity: 400 and on Facebook

The Polo Room Banquet Hall 712 N. Division St., Polo • 815-946-2886

Features: Warm pine interior, casual and cool. Food, full bar, banquet or table service. Capacity: 200 and on Facebook

The Barn at Allen Acres 2206 Prophet Road, Rock Falls • 847-687-3348 Features: Historic, rustic dairy barn and/or country-themed farmhouse available for rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the wedding night, vintage carriage for photos, plenty of acreage for tents, tables, dancing. Capacity: 150 upstairs in the barn, where the ceremony is held. (Note: The second floor is not handicapped-accessible). and on Facebook

Kapp’s Banquet Facility 201 W. First St., Rock Falls • 815-625-1963

Features: Built underground in the early 1950s, to take advantage of natural cooling. Famous for its down-home, local atmosphere. Restaurant, full-service bar, free jukebox, video games, pool table, Foosball, air hockey, bags, darts, big-screen TVs. Capacity: 225 •

Features: Indoor banquet hall near the Rock River.

Barnacopia 2570 N. Westbranch Road, Polo • 815-946-2500

Willy’s Mexican Restaurant 3210 W. Lincolnway, Sterling • 815-626-0401

Features: Three levels that include a bed and breakfast with bedrooms in a silo; ‘50s and ‘60s diner with a jukebox and an ice cream parlor; a quaint chapel that seats at least 75; a museum of local history; antique tractors and cars; handicapped-accessible and all in a rural farm setting. One-night stay in a whirlpool suite for the bride and groom, tables (no linens), chairs for up to 200; free Wi-Fi. Capacity: Up to 350 • and on Facebook

Features: Food and beverages, alcohol. Capacity: 70-80

Arnie’s Happy Spot 1667 Hoover Road, Deer Grove • 815-438-5282 Features: Banquet room, ballroom, full-service restaurant and bar; hot or cold buffets; servers; setup, decorating and clean-up included. Famous for their fried chicken since 1941. Capacity: Up to 400 and on Facebook

Deer Valley Banquets & Deer Valley Golf Club 3298 Hoover Road, Deer Grove 815-438-4653, ext. 13 Features: Five warm, elegant, spacious rooms, all with a view of the golf course, large ballroom with cathedral ceilings, outdoor gazebo, food, beverages, and white-gloved staff to serve them. The Angus Room seats up to 80, has a center room fireplace. Capacity: 450 plus

Latin American Social Club 2708 West Lincolnway, Sterling • 815-625-8290 Features: Dance floor, bar, food. On Facebook.

Ma Maison Estate & Gardens 1009 W. Third St.,  Sterling • 815-441-0344 Features: Elegant, 130-year-old mansion (not handicapped accessible), china, flatware, linens, crystal, tables and chairs. Capacity: 30 (think bridal showers!)

Rock River Supper Club at Rock River Golf and Pool 3901 Dixon Road, Rock Falls • 815-625-2322 Features: Three rooms, outdoor gazebo, three outdoor sites, full-service wedding and events coordinator on site; wedding packages; club memberships; bar, food, servers. Capacity: Rooms seat 250, 100 or 55, or can be combined., or Rock River Golf and Pool on Facebook

Amboy Community Center 280 W. Wasson Road, Amboy • 815-857-2324 Features: Full-service bar, full kitchen, tables and chairs. Capacity: 225-250

Dixon Elks Lodge 779 1279 Franklin Grove Road, Dixon • 815-288-3557 Features: Full-service food and bar, linens, tables, chairs, dishes, servers. Suitable for everything from casual bingo to elegant receptions. Capacity: 480-500 •

Mama Cimino’s 116 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon • 815-288-4448

Railside Bar & Grill 207 S. Butler St., Nelson • 815-251-4633

Timber Creek Golf Club 729 Timber Creek Road, Dixon • 815-285-2251 Features: Century-old venue with indoor and outdoor settings, wedding and banquet coordinators available, custom menus, linens, etc.; a sundae ice cream bar, and Sunday brunch for wedding guests. Capacity: 200-plus. timbercreekdixon.comand on Facebook

Livengood’s Barn 21647 Thomson Road, Chadwick 815-499-5934 Features: Mid-century dairy barn, rustic loft, decks, dressing rooms, spacious outdoors with a scenic pond. The building is handicapped-accessible with a chair lift to the loft. There is lots of space outdoors for tents or other activities. List of vendors available. Capacity: 160 • and on Facebook

Oak Lane of Oregon 3261 Daysville Road, Oregon • 815-871-0948 Features: 1800s-era rustic dairy barn with housing for the bridal couple, dressing rooms, bathrooms, an air-conditioned banquet room, two bars, reception hall, caterer’s kitchen. Bartenders, tables and chairs, vintage mismatched dishes and flatware, provided as well as a list of preferred vendors, such as photographers and caterers. Capacity: Up to 300 and on Facebook

Features: Banquet room, beers, linens, buffet-style catering, some gluten-free food. Capacity: 150 and on Facebook

Post House Ballroom 100 W. Second St., Dixon • 815-288-0892 Features: Stately, elegant, historic, turn-of-thecentury former post office, constructed of Bedford stone, marble, granite, steel and terrazzo. Full bar and bartenders, dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, arch, PA system, projector screen, full bar. Kitchen available. Handicapped-accessible. Capacity: Up to 250. and on Facebook

Salamandra 105 W. First St., Dixon • 815-285-0874 Features: Full-service Mexican restaurant and bar, banquet room, brick walls, guests can decorate. Capacity: 100 • 1salamandradixon on Facebook

Oak Lane of Oregon

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Weddings away! How to pick the perfect destination


f you are thinking about a destination wedding, don’t just assume it will be an easy task. While it can be the most memorable event in your life – and your guests’ – there are many things a destination wedding requires. 1. Pick the perfect spot: The location of your wedding determines not only the mood (rustic, sophisticated, beachy), but also the travel, time and budget required to pull it off. You want your guests to walk away from your wedding weekend saying, “That was so them!” Your wedding elements – not just location, but also activities and overall vibe – should say something about your personal style and your passions. Did he propose on vacation in Paris? Then why not host a swank wedding in the City of Lights?

Are you foodies? Think about gathering your crew in a place like Tuscany or California wine country. Or if you love outdoor adventures, consider Costa Rica, where guests can zipline through the treetops before the rehearsal dinner. 2. Time it right: Unfortunately, the best weather in popular vacation destinations tends to correlate with tourist season, when there are typically more crowds, fewer hotel and venue availabilities, and higher rates all around. If you choose to marry during high season, you’ll want to reserve hotel blocks and venues immediately and send out save-the-dates 10 to 12 months in advance so guests can book their flights and accommodations before prices skyrocket. DESTINATION continued on 224

Golf and Banquet

729 Timber Creek Rd. • Dixon • 815-288-5110 • Stunning Landscapes • Indoor & Outdoor Event Locations • Premier Venue & Service • Unique Culinary Creations

Call our EvEnt Coordinators for a PErsonal tour of our faCility! all tours inCludE a ComPlimEntary food tasting for two PEoPlE!

Selmi’s Weddings and Events has moved to a new location in downtown Rock Falls! The new store front is at 223 1st Avenue. The bridal shop has many things to offer including invitations, fresh and silk flowers, wedding ceremony and reception decorations, wedding accessories, centerpiece rentals, wedding planning and coordination, and much, much more. Katy Selmi-Downs and her staff are very diversified and are able to tend to your every need on your special day. Relax and let the staff at Selmi’s take care of the details. Katy has been doing weddings and events since 2002. In 2015 she was inducted into The American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD). She is a member of the Illinois State Florist Association, a Certified Floral Designer (CFD), and an Illinois Certified Professional Florist (ICPF). Katy Selmi-Downs AIFD, CFD, ICPF Call or text Selmi’s Weddings and Events at 815-622-8040 to set up your appointment today! Visit the website at email:


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Entrust at least part of the planning to someone else DESTINATION


If you choose the shoulder season (right after high season), you might be able to save yourself and your guests some money and still enjoy great weather. While the off-season will mean fewer crowds, the weather can be iffy, and you might find that many stores, venues and vendors close up shop. 3. Take a trip: We seriously can’t recommend this enough: Take at least one planning trip, and if you can swing it, two or three is ideal. On the first trip, you’ll need to scout and secure your key venues – ceremony and reception spaces, hotels for guests, a rehearsal dinner venue – and local suppliers such as caterers, florists and photographers. Next (or during a second trip), you’ll need to schedule “tastings” with your caterer, see sample bouquets from the florist, plan a hair and makeup session with a local salon and organize activities (golf, tennis, walking tours, museums) for your guests. 4. Factor in the extra expenses: If done right, a destination wedding can cost no more – and maybe even less – than hosting the same party at home (depending on where you live, of course). For exam-

ple, if you live in a U.S. metropolitan city where event facilities are in high demand, like New York City, then holding your wedding in Mexico will likely be less expensive than doing it at home, even when you factor in airfare, hotel expenses and planning trips. Still, there are extra expenses you’ll need to factor in for any destination wedding, including importing key vendors and décor, welcome bags for guests, additional activities for guests and travel costs for you and your immediate families (including the planning trips, not just the big day). 5. Research local marriage requirements: The legal side of tying the knot in a different country can be complicated. Many countries have a “residency requirement” (for example, 24 hours in Turks and Caicos and 7 days in England), which means you must live in the country for a certain length of time before your ceremony. Although this is usually just a few days, it can be longer. France requires you to arrive at least 40 days before you marry! 6. Get help: Control freaks, beware: If you’re hosting a wedding in a distant locale, you will need to entrust at least part of the planning to someone else’s capable hands. DESTINATION continued on 244

Who pays for what? So you’re having a destination wedding. Now come the questions: Do the bride and groom pay for everything? What about hotel rooms and airfare for the guests? Here’s an easy checklist to help you decide who pays for what. The bride and groom (and/or their parents) are expected to pay for: • The wedding reception (whether it’s a five-course meal or a beerand-burgers bash). • A rehearsal dinner. • A welcome party. • A morning-after brunch (a friend or family member may volunteer to host this for you as a gift). It’s highly recommend the hosts also cover: • Selected activities (a group sailing trip, a tour around town). • Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception sites. • A shuttle to pick up your guests at the airport when they arrive. • Attendant hotel rooms. According to tradition, the bride and her family should cover lodging for the bridesmaids; the groom or his family should do the same for the groomsmen. If these expenses will burst your budget, tell your attendants their presence is a gift to you. (Keep in mind: If hotel room rates are $400 a night, that might be more of a present than they intended to give!) • Travel expenses for VIPs with no other means to make it to the wedding (think: elderly relatives or the starving-artist bridesmaid). Guests should expect to pay for: • Their plane tickets to and from the destination. • Their hotel rooms. • Any meals or beverages that are not part of the wedding festivities. • Any nonwedding activities in which they choose to participate. Attendants should expect to pay for: • Travel to and from the destination. • Formalwear and accessories. • Hair and makeup or spa appointments. • Food and drinks that aren’t part of a wedding event. Source: The Knot

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Meet with potential vendors DESTINATION


A wedding planner can shoulder the burden of researching and securing local vendors (especially valuable if said vendors speak English only as a second language), dealing with logistics like tent rentals and lighting, and handling any last-minute fires that might start in the weeks leading up to the wedding. She is also the behind-the-scenes queen, creating gift bags for guests, greeting everyone at the airport, keeping people busy with fun activities once there, vetting special requests (babysitters, dry cleaners, and so on), and getting everyone where they need to be on-time. Many resorts include a coordinator in their wedding packages. Otherwise, set aside about 10 to 15 percent of your total budget for a local planner. Generally speaking, a local planner is your best bet, as he can be your man-on-the-ground when you can’t be there. But if you prefer to go with a planner from back home, make sure they have experience planning weddings in your chosen destination and

expect to cover his transportation costs for planning visits and the actual wedding. 7. Remember, you’re on island time: Don’t keep a constant eye on the clock. Remember that many tropical islands run on “island time” – things happen when they happen – so don’t mistake a vendor’s laid-back attitude for incompetence. Avoid the temptation to micromanage from afar. Schedule regular check-ins and then trust your vendors to work their magic. 8. Vet vendors carefully: While you can view vendors’ portfolios online and check references from afar, it’s especially important that you’re comfortable with all your vendors. You’ll be leaving a lot in their hands, so it’s important you trust those hands are capable. That’s why we strongly suggest making at least one planning trip to meet with potential vendors. If you must hire your vendors unseen, schedule a video chat so you can get a sense for a potential vendor’s demeanor and personality before you sign a contract. Your wedding planner can meet with potential vendors on your behalf and brief you on your options, as well.

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Expensive Taste Based on average cost of a wedding in 2014, five of the six most expensive areas to get married are in the New York/ Tri-State area, but Chicago is right up there at No. 5. 1. Manhattan: $76,328 2. Long Island: $55,327 3. Northcentral New Jersey: $53,986 4. Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York: $52,954 5. Chicago: $50,934 6. New York’s Outer Boroughs: $49,781 7. Philadelphia: $44,090 8. Rhode Island: $41,914 9. San Francisco/Greater Bay Area: $39,690 10. South New Jersey: $39,191 Source: The Knot

DESTINATION continued on 264

The Difference Between A Special Occasion And An Unforgettable Occasion.

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Be twice as organized DESTINATION


Another option: Bring pros you trust from home to handle critical aspects such as the wedding photography, hair and makeup, and design (lighting, flowers), and even work with local vendors in a supervisory capacity to avoid any communication mishaps. 9. Forewarn your friends: Tell your bridal party about the destination before you ask them to stand by your side so they can decline gracefully if finances are tight. Don’t be upset if some of your closest friends or relatives don’t attend. While you are, in a sense, footing some of the food bills, their fees for travel, hotel,

and car rental can really add up. 10. Mind Mother Nature: Don’t just assume that the weather in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico is gorgeous year-round. Hurricane season lasts from July through October in the Caribbean and can put a major damper on your nuptials, while rainy season makes marrying in Hawaii dicey from November to March, and Italy can be uncomfortably hot in July and August. 11. Take care of guests: In addition to arranging group rates for flights and rooms, list information for getting to and from the nearest airport to your wedding locale, invite everyone to the rehearsal or welcome dinner and next-day brunch, and deliver welcome bags to their rooms, full of essentials for the trip.

12. Dress the part: Don’t forget to consider the climate when choosing your wedding dress – and deciding on everyone else’s attire. You’ll be swimming in sweat if you pair your fairy-tale satin ball gown with tropical humidity, and asking your groomsmen to wear tuxes in the sun and heat is just cruel. 13. Get a move on it already! Not to stress you out, but you’re basically competing in the Olympics of wedding planning – the long-distance affair. You need to be twice as organized as a local couple and pre-think everything, because you won’t have much time to make up your mind, especially if you can only do one or two planning trips. The good news: If you give yourselves one weekend to find a reception site, you’ll find one. The distance will make you decisive, which will make the whole planning process a lot less stressful. Source: The Knot

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She’s Savy about service Dixon boutique owner makes bridal fairy tales come true BY AVALYNDA CASEY Special to SV WEDDINGS


Photo by AvaLynda Casey

Eagan displays one of the many wedding dresses available at her boutique.

avanna Egan wants to make every little girl’s wedding dress dream come true. Her new Savy’s Chic Bridal Boutique showcases quality dresses from designers such as Alfred Angelo, Justin Alexander, Stella York, Enzoani, Allure, and more. “The bridal dress is like a fairy tale. I offer something special. It should be about them and their day.” Her new downtown shop at 111 S. Galena Ave., the former home of the Lee County Genealogical Society, has rows of elegant dresses in sizes 8 to 26 in stock, and she can order any size at all. There are two roomy dressing areas, and in addition to bridal and bridesmaid dresses, Egan plans to offer prom dresses by spring 2017. Veils can be made to order, and MEG Jewelry (, shoes and other wedding apparel will be sold. Alterations are

also available. She also can provide discounts for brides who use other local businesses, such as photographers, caterers, florists and hair salons. Egan is accepting appointments now, and planning a grand opening in the spring. “I offer one-on-one service that big city stores cannot deliver,” said Egan, who not only manages the store, but also meets with every bride herself. Egan, 28, of Sterling, graduated from Morrison High School and earned an engineering degree from the Morrison Institute of Technology. She worked as an engineer in Florida before moving back to Sterling, where she managed the Depot Bar for 5 years. It was her own experience of poor service while shopping for a wedding dress that made her want to offer brides an exceptional hometown experience. BOUTIQUE continued on 304

STAY & SAY, “I DO!” We will create a rustically elegant wedding experience together, for you and your party. 409 N. State St., Franklin Grove, IL 61031 815-456-7700 | A STONE HERITAGE PROPERTY

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‘Finding a dress is the ultimate experience for a bride. I want her to find her dress here.’ Savy’s Chic Bridal Boutique 111 S. Hennepin Ave., Dixon Savy’s Chic’s is open 7 days a week, by appointment only. Reach owner Savanna Egan at or 815- 213-2799. Her website is or find Savy’s Chic Bridal Boutique on Facebook. Egan also plans to showcase her business at the 2016 Sauk Valley Bridal Fair, the area’s largest bridal fair and a one-stop shop for all things wedding-related, which will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at Sauk Valley Community College, 172 state Route 2. Admission is $5.


Savanna’s Top 3 list


Egan’s nuptials are is in February. Her fiancé, Matthew Porter, 33, owns Porter Brothers Asphalt and Sealing in Sterling, a long-time family company. “We both come from family businesses; it’s in our blood,” said Porter, who’s helping Egan renovate the shop. (Egan’s mother, Theresa Koch, has owned Vanaseys Boutique in Oregon, where she sells candles, aroma therapy, and specialty items, nearly 20 years.) Along with friends and family members, the couple has removed layers of Sheetrock and studs to reveal original brick walls, repaired and painted the original tin ceilings, and refinished the hardwood floors. As part of her research, Egan’s been watching “Say Yes to the Dress,” and even met one of the show’s stars, Randy Fenoli, at a convention. He gave her good advice that she is making her mantra: “Finding a dress is the ultimate experience for a bride. I want her to find her dress here.”

Savanna Egan’s Top 3 reasons brides should make Savy’s Chic their first place to shop for a dress: • We care about what the bride wants, what she feels like when wearing her perfect dress. We offer a relaxing experience with fashionable choices. • We support local businesses such as caterers and hair salons that will make your day memorable. We believe in keeping the business local. • Payment plans are available. Brides can put 50 percent down and make their last payment when they pick up the dress.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Keep a little something extra up your sleeve Two-piece dresses offer brides flexibility, variety BY ELIZABETH WELLINGTON | TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE


o your wedding ceremony is at a cathedral, but your reception is a hoedown at a farm. Or your nuptials will be performed by a justice of the peace, and the celebration is an intimate dinner for friends and family at a swank restaurant. Maybe you have plans to have your commitment ceremony blessed on the beach followed by cocktails and dancing on the hot, white sand. Can just one gown suffice? It doesn’t have to. TWO-PIECE continued on 344

Gabrielle Revere/The Knot

Two-piece dresses also appeal to unconventional brides who want to push the envelope.

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There’s a separate to fit each bride’s personal style TWO-PIECE


Thanks to matrimonial separates, there are as many dress combos for during and after the ceremony as there are traditional and nontraditional venues. This is why the two-piece ensemble is the wedding look du jour. Think classic, corset-and-frothyskirt combo for the traditional bride, or lacy, cap-sleeve crop top with matching bottom for her retro sister. “Whatever the bride’s personal style, there is a separate – or faux separate – look that fits it,” said Lori Conley, divisional merchandise manager for David’s Bridal, the Conshohocken bridal gown company. “It lets her create an individual look and really put her personality into it,” said Lindsey Robers, merchandise manager at BHLDN, the bridal subsidiary of Urban Outfitters in South Philadelphia. The two-piece trend – along with low backs, deep Vs, high slits, and white-and-ivory lace over nude and champagne satins – comes from recent award seasons’ red carpets, the genesis of many modern bridal trends. Remember the envelope-pushing, midriff-baring Miu Miu Kerry Washington wore to the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards when she was pregnant with her daughter, Isabelle? The following May, Rihanna stunned in a two-piece Stella McCartney at the Met Gala. Eventually, those evening-wear looks migrated to bridal runways in October, when the industry’s powerhouses Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, and Carolina Herrera became among the first designers to send two-piece confections down their fall 2015 runways. And during the April bridal presentations, a host of other designers, including Peggy Nestor for Oleg Cassini, Vera Wang, Elizabeth Fillmore, and Nicole Miller sprin-

kled two-piece gowns – or ones that simply looked that way – into their collections. Now, even J.Crew’s website has a section dedicated to bridal separates. Ann Taylor offers wedding separates, too, and there are pages of zooty listings on Pinterest and Etsy with tons of tulle. Despite the red-carpet allure of many of today’s bridal looks, these individualistic wedding gowns have demure roots.   At her royal wedding 4 years ago, Kate Middleton wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen long-sleeve lace gown, a look that reflected the duchess’ chic sense of style – and from that moment on, the once-standard strapless princess gown would be stamped oh-so-cookie-cutter. Since then, the retro bride – with her 1920s lace, ‘30s A-lines, and ‘60s minis – and her boho counterpart would rival the princess look. However, just because there are all these two-piece gowns on the market doesn’t mean all women are itching to expose their midriffs like Kim Kardashian did in the sleeved Givenchy she wore the day she married Kanye West. Most of the gowns in store now, Kaplin says, are more about giving the illusion of skin rather than showing the actual belly button. Some gowns, like many designed by Costa, feature a bodysuit tucked into a billowing skirt. Others, like Lhuillier’s separates, feature overlapping tops and bottoms so not even a hint of flesh is revealed. And David’s Bridal and BHLDN offer sheer vests – called popovers – that can be worn modestly with camisoles, and a choice of A-line, mini, or trumpet skirts. A sliver of well-toned abs, though, undeniably makes for a much-talked about wedding. “After all,” Conley asked playfully, “what’s more different than wearing a cropped top to your wedding? That’s something your mom would have never done.”

OTHER SOURCES FOR DRESSES I Do 815-777-2507 995 Galena Square Drive, Galena Kathryn’s Bridal 815-385-7330 3807 W. Elm St., McHenry • On Facebook Marien Mae Bridals 815-220-0844 749 First Ave., LaSalle • On Facebook Déjà Vu 563-242-3356 101 Fifth Ave. S., Clinton, Iowa • On Facebook Alexis Kay Designs 815-762-6558 128 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb • On Facebook Hopes Bridal 563-324-5219 1019 Mound St., Suite 202, Davenport, Iowa • On Facebook David’s Bridal Davenport 563-344-7902 5252 Elmore Ave., Davenport, Iowa • On Facebook David’s Bridal Rockford 815-227-5950 713 S. Perryville Road, Rockford • On Facebook Something Borrowed Something Blue 815-543-8105 1121 N. Seventh St., Rochelle • On Facebook The Fitting Room/Velvet Room 815-537-0535 406 E. Third St., Sterling Petals To Parties 815-288-7496 123 W. First St., Dixon • On Facebook A Storybook Ending 563-659-3983 704 Sixth Ave., DeWitt, Iowa Storybook Ending Bridal and Prom on Facebook

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Small Weddings of 120 or less • Jacuzzi Suites • Large Indoor Pool • Group Accommodations Available at Discounted Rates • Hot Complimentary Buffet Breakfast Each Day 136 Plaza Dr. | Dixon, IL • 815.284.0500 |



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Here comes the groom ... And he’s sporting less formal and more casual wedding attire BY LONNIE MILLER Special to SV WEDDINGS


hile it’s true that brides have a huge say in what their husbands-to-be will wear for the wedding, grooms are weighing in with their own preferences, and the fashion statement they’re making is “less formal and more casual.” Seno Formal Wear in Sterling is offering tuxes in new “modern-fit” and a sleeker “sports” style. Ariela Olalde-Herrera, a sales associate at Seno, says that wearing the tux sans jacket, with just suspenders, and no vest is a very comfortable but semi-formal option. Bow ties and pocket squares can be coordinated to match the choice of colors for the wedding, and can be a way to personalize the tux. GROOM continued on 374

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Black is still a tux classic GROOM


Sauk Valley Cleaners & Tuxedos in Dixon offers selections reflecting the latest style trends. Their vendors update the selection every 2 months. Customers can make an appointment with Tracey Linboom at Sauk Valley Cleaners. She is the specialist in Dixon who can help select the perfect combination of comfort and style to meet grooms’ taste. With budget concerns, couples are finding that renting just shirts, ties and pants, but no jacket, can save money as well. This option is especially suitable for outdoor or destination weddings, and less formal weddings. If formal is what you want, then you’ve still got plenty of choices – it’s not all just a black-tie affair. According to MyTuxedoCatalog. com, a nationwide tuxedo wholesaler, trends include the colorful and the classic. While brides wear something bor-

rowed and something blue, tuxedo trends are borrowing from their fashion sense. Blue is big this year, but not the 1970’s-era powder blue that makes fashionistas cringe. Midnight, navy, or slate blues are marching down the aisle. Grays remain a popular choice for weddings. It’s a way to pull back just a bit on the formality, but still stay classy. If picking the blues and the grays could cause a civil war with your bride-to-be, there’s always the classic: Black. Long the “backbone of the formal wear industry,” black is a timeless option for formal occasions. Though tradition says that black tuxes are suited for evening weddings, the fashion rules are lax, and black tuxes are popular for daytime weddings too. One benefit of black: Your wedding pictures won’t look dated. Whatever you choose to don for the I do’s, take some time to explore all the options with a local tuxedo shop and check out what’s available and try on the tuxes. The professionals


WHERE TO GET A TUX Seno’s Tuxedos 815-625-8247 4015 E. Lincolnway, Suite A, Sterling On Facebook Sauk Valley Cleaners and Tuxedos 815-288-1322 120 W. River St., Dixon On Facebook Flowers Etc. 815-288-3335 1103 Palmyra Avenue, Dixon Petals To Parties 815-288-7496 123 W. First St., Dixon On Facebook

can help grooms decide what will look best and feel most comfortable for the big day.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Rings are the symbol of love that never ends BY TERRI SIMON | Special to SV WEDDINGS

Symbol of love T

he rings ... they are as important to the engagement and wedding as the guest list, the ceremony and the honeymoon. Perhaps more so, since they are the enduring, ever-present symbol of love and commitment, and just a glance at your finger brings memories of that special day flooding back. RINGS continued on 394


Celebration Starts Here

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Rings convey love and devotion RINGS


Gary Bruce, owner of Bruce Jewelers in Princeton, has seen his share of rings throughout his 42 years in the business. When it comes to engagement rings, many women prefer the simplicity and elegance of a diamond solitaire. It’s often the choice of

the man who is attempting to pick out the perfect ring to surprise his soon-to-be fiance. “Sometimes, the gentleman is in the store. If the offerings are complicated, he begins to ponder and make a decision. Sometimes, the solitaire fits the gentleman who is trying to surprise the lady without her input,” Bruce said. RINGS continued on 404

Dave Cook/ Shaw Media Service photo

Brides since ancient times have enjoyed seeing their ring finger surrounded by sparkling diamonds and precious metals, a sign of love and devotion, and according to Bruce Jewelers, there’s no sign of that tradition slowing down.

Here Comes the Bouquet


your wedding day!

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

‘We are still in the white metal era’ RINGS


Dave Cook/Shaw Media Service photo

Newlywed Zita Henneberry displays the ring that was recently placed on her finger during her wedding.

These days, Bruce is seeing customers lean toward larger diamonds and a greater selection of cuts. Although the round, or brilliant cut, has been the most popular, he also sees much interest in the square princess cut, ovals, cushioned cuts (which are squared with rounded sides), and the marquise cuts, which are pointed on each end.

He also is seeing a rise in the popularity of colored diamonds, primarily blue, which often are used as side stones. Like many jewelers, Bruce Jewelers stocks a large variety of engagement rings in various prices and designs, all ready to go. Some include semi-mounts or rings without the center stones, so the couple can choose the ring and then customize the center stone, choice of design or price. RINGS continued on 414

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A FEW LOCAL JEWELERS First Avenue Jewelry 323 First Ave., Sterling 815-626-8811

Alternative metals are less expensive RINGS


When it comes to precious metals, Bruce said white gold and platinum are the colors of choice right now. “We are still in that white metal era; it probably makes up 90 percent of the sales,” he said. “It used to be gold, but then the designers started pushing the white metals. The younger generation seems to like the white gold.” Because wedding bands need

to match the engagement rings, Bruce said he gets many calls from people asking him to design a wedding ring to go with an engagement ring they already have. Much of this design work, like bead-setting, shared prongs and mill graining, which adds sparkle around the diamonds, is quite popular, he said. When it comes to men’s wedding bands, while he sells a lot of white or gold precious metals, there also are alternative metals that are less expensive, such as stainless steel, cobalt,

Planning a Bridal or Baby Shower?

Venier’s Jewelry Store 815-284-3034 117 W. First St., Dixon On Facebook Trein’s Jewelry, Inc 815-284-6626 201 W. First St., Dixon tungsten and titanium. “They are tarnish-resistant, and they offer something for less money than the gold rings,” he said. One of the drawbacks, though, is they cannot be resized. If a finger size changes and the ring doesn’t fit anymore, it becomes a keepsake. Bruce Jewelers also offers

Kay Jewelers 815-535-0437 4204 E. Lincolnway, Sterling -or- 851-332-5711 7200 Harrison Ave., Rockford Quinn’s Jewelers 815-772-4118 104 W. Main St., Morrison On Facebook Bruce Jewelers 815-875-2289 631 S Main St, Princeton On Facebook a CAD design service, in which the couple can work with him to design their own jewelry, a design that Bruce can adapt so they can see a three-dimensional rendering of the actual rings. “People are always more comfortable when they can see what the design actually looks like,” he said.

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109 1st Avenue Rock Falls, IL (815) 535-0540


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

What kind of wedding planner do you need? Planners help you prepare for the big day BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF | Special to SV WEDDINGS


Call your Sterling-Rock Falls or Dixon area travel agent for airfares and packages. Visit

Full-service planner

A full-service planner handles it all, both design and coordination, from start to finish (from designing the overall vision and hiring and meeting with vendors to arranging weekend activities for your guests). This type of planner is great for couples who are having a complex event or simply want a professional to guide them every step of the way and to handle all the details of executing their vision. PLANNER continued on 434

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your options – and which one might be right for you. Be forewarned: These terms are not used consistently across the industry; nonetheless, this will give you an idea of the type of service you want.

Christopher Barr Photography 2012 © 2012 Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc. Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios have been independently owned and operated since 1931.


hen it comes to planners, your choices are many, so you’ll want to start by thinking about what you’re looking for and reading about your different options before meeting with any candidates. Then, be sure to clarify what each planner does. There are a range of professionals who fall under the wedding planner title, who have different skill sets. Not all planners offer design services, and not all event designers handle logistics. Some are more vision-orientated, while some are more schedule, and production orientated. Be sure you’re clear on the extent of the services potential planners are willing to provide when you interview them to make sure you’re going to receive all the support you’re expecting. Here is a more detailed breakdown of

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Plan for a perfect wedding PLANNER


Event designer

An event designer focuses on pulling together the overall look of the day rather than organizing all the myriad details (like the timeline or budget). He or she is like an interior designer for your event, so she may work with other vendors – from invitation designers to florists and bakers – to bring your vision to life based on the style, taste, and vision you’ve dreamed up. But don’t expect her to handle the organization or logistics. A wedding designer is not necessary if you would like to work with your venue manager, wedding planner, and/or florist (some florists, called “floral designers,” are also design experts who will help you with the décor and design concept, as well as the centerpieces and bouquets) to create your wedding décor concept. Busy brides often turn to event designers to take some of the planning pressure off or to achieve a unique theme idea or concept, or just to make sure their recep-

tion looks amazing. This type of planner is best for someone who can handle organizing and coordinating all the vendors and events, but who needs someone for vision.

Day-of coordinator

A day-of pro helps to make sure everything runs smoothly on the actual wedding day but isn’t really involved much beforehand. Most prefer to begin their involvement at least a month before the wedding to make sure all things are in order, and they


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Behrens Blumen Stuff 815-625-5116 1512 Prophetstown Road, Rock Falls and Facebook Selmi’s Weddings and Events 815-625-4878 223 First Ave., Rock Falls


Ever After Planning 815-994-3018 113 E. First St., Suite 60, Dixon and Facebook charge a flat fee. They’ll handle all your vendors and setup on the day of your wedding, as well as any type of cleanup or post wedding duties needed so that you and your family members can just relax and enjoy the day. A day-of coordinator is perfect for couples who plan to be very hands-on during the planning process and can handle the contracts and organization but want someone to take care of all the details the week before and want someone to be there the day-of.

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A la carte planner

This part-time pro helps you shape the event by giving you décor suggestions, vendor recommendations, or assistance with specific projects – you contact the planner when you need help and they charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee for each service. An a la carte planner is great for couples who need someone to design a blueprint that they will execute themselves. Basically, if you want to steal their secrets, but don’t want everyone to say it was clearly a [insert popular planner’s name]’s wedding, an a la crate planner is for you.

Julie Scribner Michelle Neubauer

ing r e t a C



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Weddings with a theme T

Today’s couples are opting for some unusual themes to celebrate their wedding day

he goal of every couple who decides to tie the proverbial knot is to have a wedding that reflects their personalities and preferences. All weddings have a theme. It might be refined and elegant, or as simple and casual as a barnyard hoedown. It might be dictated by a color, a particular era in time or even a couple’s hobbies or passions. According to, the top five thematic trends are: Quintessentially English, in which guests might enjoy tea in vintage porcelain teacups, a splash of Hendricks and cucumber, Victorian lace detailing, wild-flower garland table runners, William Morris prints, and elaborate topiary. It’s a trend that’s back in the limelight, especially with the popularity of “Downton Abbey.”


Photo Submitted

Nick and Goldie Rapp of Princeton celebrated with a 1920s-themed wedding on June 20.


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THEME continued on 454

Client Testimonial:

Last year, my wife and I were married at the Dreams Palm Beach resort in Punta Cana. We had the pleasure of working with Avril who is the owner of Destinations. Her resort suggestion was perfect, as we traveled with a group of family and close friends who all had different wants and needs. The resort was awesome and the staff was top notch. Avril went above and beyond with everything and exceeded what we expected out of an agent, making us very comfortable; we could not have done it without her. We highly recommend her to others and deservingly so! She helped make our special day beautiful and stress-

Shawn & Josi February 2015

free; starting our new life together was blissfully romantic thanks to Avril’s help.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


Reflect personality and preference THEME


Hip to sip, in which couples take a cue from the ever-popular pop-up stores and late-night speakeasies. This year, couples are opting for new and contemporary tastes, rather than the traditional wedding fare. Some brides and grooms are even going out on a limb and allowing their guests to be served from an artisan food truck or creating a variety of tasting stations, where guests can conjure up their own menu. DIY Bohemia, in which you can kick elegance to the curb and concentrate on a much less ostentatious event, where the focus is on the couple and their loved ones pulling together to make a memorable event. Some couples have sent invitations hand-drawn by their flower girls, wildflower centerpieces picked by the mothers-in-law, anecdotal messages

from family and friends on napkins, and anything abstract to allow the couple’s personalities to shine. With a do-it-yourself Bohemian-style wedding, it’s more of a dinner party for family and friends than a fussy, formal event. Gone are the individual tables with name placards – they’ve been replaced with long, rustic tables where everyone sits together and eats family style, passing the bowls for everyone to enjoy. Highlight the event with twinkling lights like the ones you find on your Christmas tree, and you’re all set for a memorable event that people will be talking about for days to come. Go green. The royal wedding has inspired couples to bring the outdoors inside. Herbs are in – for instance, rosemary and mint strung together with ivy, magnolia leaves and ferns, and placed as table runners. The key: Use a lot of foliage – bringing the outdoors inside. Industrial chic, in which the theme of

the day is texture, maturity and modern. Couples can transform an industrial space into a sleek and chic venue by using personalized touches mixed with casual details for a big city wedding look without much fuss. Candlelight is the key to softening the harder industrial look. Try mixing it all with roses and peonies for the elegant meets casual experience. Drape material in particular places that seem cold, and the room will be much toastier. Any room can be transformed into a spot that fits the couple’s personality, even if it’s in a highly industrial venue. Other themes to consider: Many couples are opting for a 1920s or a 1950s vibe, birds and butterflies in a country garden, florals and/or lace, or a rustic or seaside theme. Consider a Christmas theme around the holidays, a do-it-yourself festival, a Hollywood extravaganza, a military event, something quirky and/or sparkly or an outof-the-country – or out-of-this world – wedding.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Food for thought Trendy ways to keep your guests satisfied TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE



Offering a late-night breakfast is one trendy way to appease guests.

ith the help of their caterer – or sometimes all on their own – couples are finding creative ways to personalize their wedding feasts, at the reception and beyond. Here are a few wedding-food trends worth sampling: Treats to go. More couples are sending guests off with snacks to sustain them on the way home. For some, that simply means packing up slices of wedding cake in customized to-go boxes complete with little wooden forks. Susan Norcross, wedding director at the Philadelphia wedding planning and styling firm Style Bride, said that at a recent wedding she organized, guests could grab milk cartons and bags of cookies for the road. She also suggests having the caterer arrange a cart outside the wedding to hand out light

snacks to go. Some guests might be making a long trip home and the snacks will be a welcome treat. Late-night junk food. Consider local favorites, like food trucks that serve tacos, pizza, grilled cheese or cheese curds. Bonus breakfast. Some couples are opting to treat guests to a latenight breakfast. That can range from a full breakfast station with omelets, pancakes, and French toast to a food truck. Norcross also had one cereal-obsessed client offer guests a cereal bar where they could mix their favorites and take them home along with bottles of milk. S’mores. If you have an outdoor venue, especially one with an outdoor fire pit, make the most of it. Or consider bringing your own firepit or tabletop burners. FOOD continued on 474


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Integrate your favorite foods FOOD


Personalize the menu. Caterers’ menus may be fixed, but couples with specific tastes are negotiating ways to integrate their favorite foods into the meal and dessert. Some opt for an array of cakes and pies from their favorite bakeries. Say cheese. If you’ve been saving your milk money, you may want to splurge on a selection of cheeses, particularly those from local dairies. BYO beer garden. For fans of the growing local beer scene (and

the corresponding boom in beer gardens), bringing in favorite brews is worth the effort. Coffee cravers. Ditto above, but with your favorite beans, or consider bringing in a local mobile coffee vendor. Spirits tastings. For those going beyond the signature cocktail, consider a bar where guests can sample tastings of your favorite spirit – think a curated array of tequilas or whiskeys. Norcross recently did a bourbon bar at a wedding, offering honey-infused bourbon, rye, and other variations.


CATERING TO YOUR NEEDS Coty’s Unique Cooking & Catering 815-973-5117 216 W. First St., Dixon Facebook Sow Belly’s 815-288-1234 92 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon and Facebook River’s Edge 815-288-7396 2303 W. First St., Dixon and Facebook

Creative Cuisine 815-626-7546 1741 Industrial Drive, Sterling and Facebook HyVee   563-243-6162 901 S. Fourth St., Clinton, Iowa and Facebook Platters, buffets and plated meals Hillbilly Jack’s BBQ 563-242-5225 1516 Camanche Ave., Clinton, Iowa and Facebook

Beelendorf Deli and Catering 815-625-0673 200 W. 10th St., Rock Falls, Facebook

Homer’s Deli 563-242-3959 241 Main Ave., Clinton, Iowa and Facebook

Brenda’s Chicken Coop 815-622-4999 208 W. 10th St., Rock Falls Facebook

Manny’s Too 815-589-4800 305 11the Ave., Fulton and Facebook

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

How about a buffet option for your flowers? BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF | Special to SV WEDDINGS


hose brides who might want to save some money on florals might want to consider a pick-your-own option. After all, what are bridesmaids for? Maybe you and the wedding party just need a peaceful place to de-stress, and do a sweet picnic lunch. How about a combo bridal shower and picnic? Brill’s Penrose Flower Field has been providing such a spot for a couple of years now. Ed and Sue Brill and their teen-aged daughters, Hannah and Beth, moved into their quaint country home at 26488 Penrose Road in 2008. The house, full of

Pick your own, and save, at Brill’s flower farm

family history, sits on about 2 acres of land between Sterling and Milledgeville. “This has been in my family since 1868,” said Ed, an engineer at Wahl Clipper, about 5 miles north. “We got it from my grandmother, Violet Fisch. They actually had the farm down the road, and this is where the hired hand lived.” After getting settled into their picturesque surroundings, the Brills began to wonder how to best make use of their property. “We had about an acre to use for some purpose, so we made a list of ideas,” Ed said. “We all liked to grow flowers, and we were looking to raise some money for

the kids’ educations.” Sue said they thought about growing flowers for farmers markets, but what doesn’t sell there is lost. So they decided to cut out the middle man, and let customers come to them to pick their own flowers. A plastic pitcher is given to patrons, who can then fill it up with whatever they want for $10. The family lightheartedly agreed that the dynamic is similar to the food buffet concept. “Some people try to put a lot of flowers in their pitchers, and others don’t put many in at all,” Beth said with a smile. FLOWERS continued on 494

Alex T. Paschal/

Need a burst of color? A variety of wildflowers are ready for the picking at Brill’s Penrose Flower Field.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


Brill’s caters to budget-conscious brides FLOWERS


The nicely landscaped flower field has been open for business nearly 2 years. With roosters crowing and sunflowers standing at attention, customers can wend their way through the rows of flowers, with a seemingly endless view of the countryside on the horizon. The fragrant scent of oriental lilies, peonies, and rosa rugosa, often used in potpourri, provide some aromatherapy for those who appreciate respite from the city. The Brills have tried to mix up the offerings to accommodate specific needs. For example, many of their flowers work well for budget-conscious brides planning a country wedding motif. “We have several flowers that will appeal to crafters,” Sue said. “Some, like status,

dry nicely, and others such as lavender and chamomile are common ingredients for making soaps and lotions.” Herbs, which brides like to mix with their bouquets, are sprinkled among the floral offerings. Included are rosemary, parsley, lemon, thyme, oregano and dill. Sue spends much of her days mowing and taking care of the beds. Because she is home quite a bit, she encourages calls for appointments if the flower field’s hours – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday – don’t work for someone. The Brills also are amenable to simply sharing the tranquility. Their farm, for example, is the perfect spot to take a fragrant wedding-planning breather, or maybe a de-stressful walk with your intended through a field of flowers, before that big walk down the aisle.

Make Your Wedding

PICK A FLORIST Brill’s Penrose Flower Field (seasonal) 26488 Penrose Road, Sterling 815-336-2053 On Facebook Behren’s Blumen Stuff 815-625-5116 1512 Prophetstown Road, Rock Falls On Facebook

Flowers Etc. 815-288-3335 1103 Palmyra Ave. Dixon and on Facebook JJ’s Keepsake Gardens 563-386-6050 Call for an appointment 6424 N. Howell St., Davenport, Iowa

Lundstrom Florist & Greenhouse 815-625-0080 1709 E. Third St., Sterling

Selmi’s Weddings and Events 815-622-8040 223 First Ave., Rock Falls and on Facebook

Weeds Floral Design 866-466-1430 732 N. Galena Ave., Dixon and on Facebook

Flowers by Book 815-252-6891 507 Karen Court, Dixon and on Facebook

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Heritage Canyon offers a beautiful location and unique experience for guests. Church seats 25 people. Great outdoor venue. To book a wedding or more information call 815-589-4600 or


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

How to pick the perfect photographer Determine if their style is right for you BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF | Special to SV WEDDINGS


ome moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life, and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are 10 questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding. 1. Does the photographer have a gallery of wedding images you can review? Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses – don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of


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their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you. 2. What is the photographer’s working style? Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. PHOTOGRAPHER continued on 524

Traditional Wellness Center “Helping your body do its job”

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

“For our wedding, we had Tim Sivesind from Prism Light DJs handle the music for our reception. I could go on and on, and gush about the amazing experience we had, but I would prefer to list all the positive things about Tim and his service excellence. Here are all the reasons that we made the right decision having Tim take care of the DJ services for our wedding. Tim is: ŸFriendly, personable and respectful

Stress-free Planning Free Consultation

ŸExperienced – he’s done a LOT of

Over 20 Years’ Experience

ŸEasy to work with and organized;

No Travel Fees


he kept everything right on schedule.

ŸReliable and punctual; it’s easy to

make appointments with him

ŸTakes into account all the music

that we like as well as those songs we want to avoid (asks for our feedback)

ŸPassionate about music; he truly

loves working as a DJ and is not just doing it for the money


ŸReady with honest professional

opinions while stressing the importance of it being our wedding

Complete backup system

ŸUsing high quality equipment and

State of the art equipment

some of the most updated lighting effects available. Incredible!

Unlimited Music Library

ŸReasonably priced – we definitely

got a lot more than we paid for!

Our guests said they had an awesome time; Tim threw one heck of a party and really rocked our reception! Tim and Prism Light DJs are a “Diamond in the Rough.” Be sure to check him out because he will do everything to make sure your evening is special and one-of-a-kind. He takes great pride in exceeding the expectations of his clients and we had an incredible experience with Tim. We are happy to refer him to anyone who needs a professional DJ that offers a personal touch!”

Let Us Be Your Something Blue…

Tim Sivesind, DJ/Owner Matthew and Susana Perry



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Second shooter insures no shot will be missed PHOTOGRAPHER CONTINUED FROM 50 t

3. Is the photographer available for an engagement session? An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. 4. Will the photographer create a detailed shot list? This list will ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. You should be able to create that list together, add to the list leading up to the day and have a copy of that list the day of. 5. What kind of lighting will be used? Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves. 6. Does the photographer have backup equipment?

You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. He or she will always bring one or two backup cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards and batteries. 7. Does the photographer have liability insurance? Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue might even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time. 8. Will there be one photographer or two? A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day. 9. What will happen to the images after your wedding? Will your images be backed up to a

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hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important. 10. When will you get your photos? No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the time line ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time! You won’t be able to see everything that happens during your wedding day. The right photographer will capture moments you never knew existed. Source: Professional Photographers of America (

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


AREA PHOTOGRAPHERS Grot Imaging Studio Jim Grot 815-284-3211 1119 Palmyra St., Dixon On Facebook Bailey Lynn Photography 815-871-3553 Oregon On Facebook Photography by Jami Jami L. Bonnewell 815-618-8196 1008 Woodlawn Ave., Dixon On Facebook MDR Photography Brooke Slusser 815-501-8846 Dixon On Facebook Mb.PROPtography Misty Buskohl 815-440-7574 1428 Phyllis Drive, Dixon On Facebook

Shuttered Moments Ann Newman 815-499-6522 1105 Sixth Ave., Sterling On Facebook Pattie Hummel Photography 815-440-4800 106 W. River St., Dixon Hummel Photography on Facebook Onsite Photography 815-716-3282 3917 E. Lincolnway, Suite B, Sterling On Facebook Timestilling Photography 815-441-5699 • Rock Falls Dan Royer Photography 815-284-9832 518 E. Second St., Dixon On Facebook

Call to book your personal consultation today!!



815-589-9119 115 E. MAIN ST. MORRISON, IL 61270

Patrica Puckett Photography 815-876-7514 8356 2425 North Ave., Walnut On Facebook Brett Paul Photography 815-762-2390 1720 Park Ave., Sycamore On Facebook

Jodi Flynn Photography 815-266-9955 101 Snow Street, Chadwick www.[ ] On Facebook Jon Larson Photography 815-757-2113 521 S. College Ave., Dixon On Facebook

First Blush Photos 815-440-3963 Galena Avenue, Dixon On Facebook Heather Lanell Photography & Design 815-499-1307 416 Locust St., Sterling Studio2B by Photography by Heather Lanell on Facebook Setchell Studio Photography 815-538-4444 723 Washington, Mendota On Facebook

Erica Pospeshil Photography 224-343-1122 • Dixon On Facebook Rachael Osborn Photography 1702 Westwood Dr., Sterling On Facebook Steveo Studios 815-622-8177 • Rock Falls On Facebook

Cherish Your Memories “Freeze In Time”

The Beauty of Your Most Precious Flowers.

JJ’s Keepsake Gardens Specialist in Floral Keepsake & Wedding Gown Preservation Call for Appointment


(563) 386-6050

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Help for those hard-to-pay-for honeymoons Traveler’s Joy online registry helps couples celebrate in style BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF Special to SV WEDDINGS


ot every couple dreams of receiving toasters and china sets on their wedding day. Angel and Christina Sierra, of Sterling, certainly didn’t. They were not sure whether they should register for gifts as they planned for their July 25, 2009, wedding. “We already had all the housewares stuff we needed, like a toaster and all that, so we didn’t want to register for another one – I mean, who needs three toasters?” Angel said. So rather than register for pots, pans and place settings that would go unused, they decided to come up with something meaningful and unique to them. Their solution came one day when Angel was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. She was talking about the website www. Traveler’s Joy is an online honeymoon registry, in business since 2004, where couples set up an account and are provided with a registry page where they can share their honeymoon travel plans with their wedding guests. Friends and family visit the page and can use their credit cards, or pay with cash or a check, to give a gift toward part or all of the trip. “It’s the best of both worlds: Your guests can easily give you a special wedding gift, and you receive what you really want – the honeymoon of your dreams,” the website says. Honeymooners can post their favorite photos from the trip on the site. Angel was fascinated but still skeptical.  “As soon as I told Christina about it, she thought it was a fantastic idea, and she’s the one who talked me into checking it out,” he said. HONEYMOON continued on 554

Where Dream Weddings Come to Life

ONLINE GIVING For the sixth year in a row, Traveler’s Joy was named a 2016 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award that represents the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families, and wedding guests on The Knot. In addition to its honeymoon gift registry, the Traveler’s Joy website offers destination guides, travel tips, blogs from honeymooners and the opportunity for its customers to post photos from their trip, so gift-givers can share in their joy. Find it on Facebook, go to or call 888-878-5569 for more information.

The Barn On The Hill 7 E. Rt 72 | Leaf River, Illinois

Contact us today at 815-703-0628 for details or to book a private tour of our beautiful banquet facility. Photos courtesy of Peer Canvas Fine Art Photography

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

‘It let people be a part of the gift process’ HONEYMOON


They began researching the website, and found it easy to use – and very tempting. The fact that it is endorsed by top wedding planning sites like Brides. com, The Knot and the Wedding Channel boosted its credibility for the Sierras, so they decided to try it for themselves.  Before long, they had created their online registry and were planning a honeymoon in Rincon, Puerto Rico.  “It was really, really simple to use, and it let people be a part of the gift process,” Angel said. They let family and friends know about the registry when they mailed their invitations. They weren’t sure how they would respond.



“We set it up well in advance of the wedding, and at first we weren’t getting much of a response,” Angel said. “As it got closer to the wedding, though, we saw where more and more people were making donations. In fact, we even received a bunch of donations up until the day of our wedding.” As a result of their family and friends’ gifts, the Sierras were able to do everything they wanted to on their honeymoon. They stayed in a quiet cabana near the ocean, enjoyed the local nightlife, visited the spa and created memories to last a lifetime. “It was really wonderful,” Angel said. In fact, they received more money than they needed for their honeymoon, and so were able to apply their extra gifts as a deposit on a future trip.

Make It a Night To Remember.

This list is just a snapshot of 10 of the world’s hottest honeymoon destinations — from sunny beaches to snowcapped mountains and even fairy tale theme parks. 1. Camino Real Acapulco Diamante, Acapulco 2. The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas 3. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Canada 4. Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 5. Amankila, Bali, Indonesia 6. Grand Hotel Florence, Florence, Italy 7. Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, Virgin Islands 8. Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa, Bora Bora 9. Hyatt Regency Aruba Beach Resort and Casino, Noord, Aruba 10. Four Season Resort Hualalai, Kailua Kona, Hawaii Source: The Travel Channel

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Wedding do’s and don’ts from Dear Abby Dear Abby: I am annoyed by how sexist the conversation is in regard to weddings. It is always her day, her wedding, all about her. It’s like the groom is just a check in the box. Nearly everyone forgets that this is one of the most important events in the groom’s life, too, and he has an equal investment in the event. As for our own wedding, there were no brides involved – just us two grooms, our minister friend who officiated, plus all our friends and family who celebrated with


us. Both of us were involved in the planning and execution of our wedding from beginning to end, and the entire process was so meaningful to us. Now I feel bad for our straight male friends whose involvement in their own weddings

gets completely discounted. Please stay vigilant, Abby. Remind people that it is their day, their wedding, and all about them. – Equal Opportunity in Rhode Island Dear Equal Opportunity: Your point is well taken. However, in generations past, traditionally the bride’s parents paid for the wedding. The groom had little to do with the planning – and few, if any, of them objected to it or wanted more responsibility. Today, because

couples marry later and brides often have incomes of their own, it is far more common for couples to pay for their weddings and plan them together. Dear Abby, I recently received an invitation to a small wedding that specified the attire to be “dressy casual.” I’m thinking of wearing a pair of nice black slacks, a white sweater and a black leather jacket. Is it appropriate to wear black at a wedding ceremony? And who is the dress code

guru who decides these matters? – Dan on the West Coast Dear Dan: My “dress code guru” for weddings is Emily Post. According to Emily, “dressy casual attire” for men is a seasonal sport coat or blazer and slacks; a dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt; optional tie and loafers or loafer-style shoes with socks. The rule about not wearing black to a wedding was discarded years ago, and it applied to women – not men. ABBY continued on 574

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The bride’s wishes should prevail ABBY


Dear Abby: My daughter is being married soon, and I need some guidance about inviting my aunt and uncle to the wedding. They live about 30 miles from us. We moved to this area 4 years ago, and we’ve had them over for dinner once and invited them another time. They declined because they were going to be out of town. Abby, they didn’t reciprocate, and in fact, didn’t even invite us to their daughter’s wedding, which hurt us very much. I had always considered myself close to these relatives before we moved

here, so their treatment of my family and me has been painful. My mother is telling me to turn the other cheek despite everything and invite them to my daughter’s wedding. My daughter doesn’t want them to attend and neither does my husband, but Mom is emphatic about inviting them, “because they’re family.” I would appreciate your opinion on this, Abby, because I’m between a rock and a hard place, and my emotions are pulling me apart. – Betwixt & Between Dear Betwixt: The bride’s wishes should prevail. Her happiness on her wedding day is more important than

the feelings of relatives who don’t bother with you, her and your family. Dear Abby: My boyfriend, “Chad,” proposed 2 months ago, but he didn’t ask my parents for my hand in marriage. My parents are upset about it. When I realized that Chad hadn’t gone to them, I asked him why. He said he was following what his father had done – proposing first and then speaking to the parents. But Chad still hasn’t done it. In fact, he has yet to be around them at all. How do I get my boyfriend to speak to my parents? They are no longer as angry as they were, but they still would like to talk

to him. I spend lots of time with Chad’s family, but I can’t get him to even go to lunch with mine. Dad said that if Chad doesn’t clear the air with him, he may not bother showing up at our wedding! What do I do, Abby? – Fiancée In A Fix Dear Fiancée: You appear to be quite young. If I were you, I would take a step back and see this from your parents’ point of view. It appears that Chad wasn’t entirely honest with you when he gave his reason for not talking to them. Could he be intimidated? When a daughter marries, most parents want to know some-

thing about the young man – not only where he has been, but also what are his plans for the future, including where the two of you will be living and whether he has a job. That Chad is hiding from them isn’t a good sign. When most couples become engaged, the parents of the bride and groom usually get together and start to form a relationship. If your father hasn’t met your fiance, it makes it harder for your parents to reach out to his. As it stands, it appears Chad is not interested in having any relationship with your family. I can’t blame your father for being upset about it. ABBY continued on 584

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Couples on their ‘second bounce’ ABBY


Dear Abby: I’m a 50ish, never-married bachelor with a question about engagement rings. Do you recommend that the man go out and purchase an engagement ring and then present it to the woman when he proposes, or do you think he should propose without a ring and then let her choose the ring she wants? – Old Bachelor in Ohio Dear Bachelor: When a man is ready to propose, it would be prudent for him to visit a jeweler and ask that some rings – or stones – in his price range be set aside. Then he can pop the question, and IF the woman says yes, take her to the jeweler to select something she would enjoy wearing. This will prevent an unpleasant and expensive surprise should the lady should say no. Dear Abby: About a year ago I became engaged to a very special man. We have decided to be married during a weeklong cruise we have taken the past 2 years. We knew some family members might not be able to attend for financial reasons, so we chose to invite only two close friends as witnesses and not have our families

there. My family is OK with our decision, but his family is not pleased. They have been calling him constantly and telling him to change our plans and accommodate them, and frankly, we are sick of it. We know why they’re upset, but at the same time this is our day and they should respect our decision. How can we get them to be more understanding and less disrespectful about how we want our wedding? Please help, because we don’t know what else to say to them. – Soon To Be Newlyweds Dear Soon To Be Newlyweds: It appears your fiance’s family considers weddings to be more about the joining of families and less about the wishes of the individuals involved. They expected to be included, and are hurt because they weren’t. A way to explain your decision would be to make it less about yourselves and more about the fact that you knew some family members could not afford to make this trip, so you plan to have a reception when you return and include everybody. Dear Abby: I am thinking about planning a “surprise” wedding for me and my fiance. We have been together for 8 years and have lived together for 7. We put

off the wedding for many reasons, chiefly the cost because those things are expensive. We do not want to just elope. The idea of having a theme party and inviting all our friends and family occurred to me the other day. Then, in the middle of it, we could bring in a priest and tie the knot! I have figured out the cost, and it shouldn’t be more than a grand. We could swing that. But my question is, do we tell anyone about it beforehand? I told one of my girlfriends and my fiance, and they think it’s a great idea. It would take a lot of stress off. Should I tell my parents? They sometimes blab (Dad is worse than Mom) when they’re excited about something. – Stealth Bride-To-Be Dear Stealth BrideTo-Be: One person you should definitely discuss this with would be the priest. Ask if he would be willing to marry a couple who has been living together because some aren’t, and also if he’d prefer the solemn vows be taken in a house of worship rather than a theme-party atmosphere. If that’s the case, you might have to settle for an officiant of another faith or a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony. Also, I suggest you rethink your idea of keeping this happy

news from your folks, who may have been praying for this for 7 years. They might feel very hurt to find they were kept in the dark. Dear Abby: I recently attended a beautiful fairy-tale wedding. When it came time for the bride and groom to cut the cake, the groom fed his bride a bite and then smashed the rest all over her face. It went all over her dress and destroyed her makeup. I’m sure she was angry and humiliated. I have been to lots of weddings over the years and have seen this happen over and over. I’m not old, Abby, I’m only 35 – so no one can say I’m a crotchety old woman. My point is, this man had just promised to love, cherish, honor and endow his bride with all his worldly goods. Then he negated his vow with a blatant disregard for her self-respect in front of family and friends. I’m all for food and fun, in its place. However, I don’t feel a day that has been planned and prepared for months – and sometimes years, wads of money spent for a dress, veil, makeup, etc. – deserves to be defiled. I have also seen grooms treated this way by brides. It is just wrong! – Offended in Grand Prairie, Texas Dear Offended: I agree. Not only is it wrong, but it is also

an indication of the perpetrator’s level of immaturity. Dear Abby: I am a 46-year-old female getting married for the second time. My first marriage took place 28 years ago and didn’t cost my parents a penny because there was no wedding. I would like to ask them to contribute financially this time to help with the cost of a small, intimate ceremony and dinner for fewer than 20 people. Am I asking too much? – Second Time Around in Orlando, Florida Dear Second Time Around: Yes. Couples on their “second bounce” pay for their own weddings. And by the way, there is no obligation on the part of the bride’s parents to pay for her wedding even the first time around. A wedding is a gift, and to solicit a gift is inappropriate. If your parents volunteer to chip in for your wedding, then it’s fine to accept. But don’t ask them to do it. That you didn’t have a wedding the first time around does not obligate them to pay for one now. Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


18 tips for an affordable wedding 1. Avoid guest list bloat. For some people, it can be very tempting to invite hundreds of people to the ceremony. With each addition to your guest list, though, you’re adding a person that’s of lesser importance to you, compared to the people you’ve already invited. Instead of just adding more and more people, consider inviting fewer people and making the event more intimate. Try cutting your list in half, and see if you’re happy with it.

2. Ask for wedding help instead of wedding gifts. Do you have friends or family blessed with musical talent? Ask them to provide the musical accompaniment for your ceremony. How about a pal who’s a good amateur photographer, or videographer? Let them give the gift of their talent, offer to pay for their supplies, or work out a nominal fee or a trade of talents (they shoot your wedding, you sing at theirs...) services.

3. Have the ceremony at home, or outdoors. You might find that the cost of renting a building for your ceremony and reception is expensive. Instead, consider using your own home (or the home of a parent) for your ceremony, or perhaps a public park with a beautiful view. In each case, you can also have your reception outdoors, often eliminating the cost of renting a place as well as creating a memorable ceremony.

4. Do catering yourself, or hire a family-owned restaurant. If you have a flair for cooking, you can handle your own food preparation with the help of family and friends. This drastically reduces the food costs for the ceremony. If this isn’t your forte, look around your community for a family-owned restaurant and ask the owners directly to cater your wedding. Family-owned restaurants are always the first place to check – they will almost always go the extra mile to make your wedding special and will also charge a reasonable rate. AFFORDABLE continued on 604


Forgo the cost of renting a venue and have your wedding outdoors, especially in a place that holds special memories.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Books, if personal, make great gifts AFFORDABLE


5. Go minimal with flowers. Instead of having huge piles of flowers everywhere (something that will really last for only an afternoon), instead simply go with a single rose for each bridesmaid and a very small bouquet for the bride. If you know someone with a rose bush, you can actually easily make your own bouquets the day before the ceremony by cutting the roses yourself and trimming away the thorns.

6. Choose very personal books for groomsmen/bridesmaid gifts. It’s often customary to give gifts to one’s bridesmaids or groomsmen. One very effective (and frugal) gift is to give personally important books to each person. Choose one that expresses something personal that you feel is appropriate for each member of the wedding party and hand-write an inscription on the inside, noting that the gift is for the wedding and why it’s an appropriate book.

7. Make your own invitations. With a quality home printer and some time, you can make very classy invitations on your own. You can also pick up a simple blank invitation kit at an office supply store and make your own invitations. No pictures or anything – just a very classic font and simple text. It looks stylish and doesn’t cost much at all.

8. Use a good home stereo system for the reception music. Rather than hiring a DJ, just use your own home stereo (or the stereo of a close friend). Put speakers around the dance floor area – there’s no need to spread them around the reception room. Then just create a few mix CDs from your own collection, or set up a playlist in a program on your computer – there’s all the music you need.

9. Have “vendor cards” in exchange for reduced rates. If you’re hiring people to provide services for your reception (musicians, a DJ, florists, caterers, photographers,

Tribune News Service

Melinda Moritz shows how to make a boutonniere, a wrist corsage and small bouquet at her home in Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Rather than springing for extravagant piles of flowers, a single rose for each bridesmaid and a very small bouquet for the bride can do the trick. If you know someone with a rose bush, you can easily make your own bouquets. etc.), offer to advertise for them in exchange for reduced rates. At the reception, put a small card in each person’s place that lists the businesses responsible for each service at the wedding, along with their contact information. Since this tends to be very effective advertising, many businesses will happily provide services at reduced rates in exchange for this opportunity.

10. Contact the local university for musical accompaniment needs. If you’d like live musical accompaniment for the ceremony (and perhaps for the reception), one place to look for low-cost musicians is at the local

university’s music department. Contact them and ask if there are any students who are studying a particular instrument or vocal work and see if they’re available to provide music for your wedding. It can help them with their resume and save you on this part of your wedding.

11. Patiently shop for any decoration needs. Many area merchants have sales somewhat regularly throughout the year – and they all sell supplies that can be helpful with your wedding. Know what you’re looking for as far in advance as possible and let the sales come to you. AFFORDABLE continued on 614

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


Consider alternatives to hiring a DJ AFFORDABLE


12. If you’re getting married in your church, ask the ladies’ auxiliary for help. Most churches have a women’s organization that is very happy to help with wedding preparation in exchange for a reasonable small donation. Get them involved – they can take a lot of worry off your shoulders for a relatively low price. At our wedding, the “church ladies” were a great help with church decoration and other helpful things on the day of the ceremony.

13. Buy dresses together when a sale is on. Similar to the tip for shopping for decorations, you can often save a significant amount of money by shopping patiently for dresses as well. Many dress stores have sales on holidays such as Memorial Day – keep an eye out for such sales. You may also want to shop together so that you can all save during the sale.

14. Rent tuxedos as a group. Unless you have a specific reason for owning a tuxedo (and few people do), you should rent one. It’s often useful to rent the tuxedos as a group through the same business, as you’ll often get a group rate. It’s often useful to rent through a place that’s fairly close to the site of the wedding so last-minute adjustments can easily be made.

15. Make a simple honeymoon, not an ostentatious one. A huge, over-the-top honeymoon might sound fun, but it’s far, far cheaper (and often more enjoyable) to have a much more laid-back honeymoon. Instead of planning a big trip, just hop in the car and spend a week or two together just driving around and enjoying being married. The fewer plans, the better – and the cheaper.

16. Involve your close friends and family in the preparation. As you’re developing plans, you should get your closest friends and family involved with the details. Quite often,

they’ll have surprisingly good ideas that can save you money and effort – perhaps they’ll know someone that can cut you a deal on a certain part, or maybe they’ll just volunteer to help out with that piece. Good friends and family are always there to help, so you might as well use it.

17. Plan, plan, plan. List everything you can think of and walk through these items step by step. The earlier you get started – and the more things you think about early on – the less “last-minute stress” you’ll have and the more time you’ll have to find sales and discounts and other good ideas.

18. Don’t stress. Something will probably go wrong at the last minute – a little detail of some sort won’t work out. Don’t worry about it – just assume something little is going to go wrong and don’t respond by throwing cash at it. Most likely, no one will even notice the little issue, and quite often someone in your wedding party (or someone helping out) will come up with a pretty good solution to fix things. Source:

To save money on the honeymoon, plan something simple and laid-back. The fewer the plans, the better.



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

The countdown to the big day CTW Features

Congratulations! You’re in love, you’ve set a wedding date and soon you’ll be married. Between the romance and the ritual, however, you must survive a potentially harrowing experience: planning your big day. Pulling together a wedding celebration can be a hectic, intimidating task. But it doesn’t have to be. Planning for the perfect wedding starts with the bride and groom agreeing on a unified vision before they begin booking caterers, bands and photographers. This will deter stressful disagreements while planning the minutia of the ceremony and reception. When you’ve decided on the overall tone for your special day, it’s time to get down to business. Think of yourself as a project manager. Establish an overall framework for completing the work and set specific deadlines, schedules and goals. Taken one small job at a time, the detail-laden task becomes less overwhelming. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help keep the stars in your eyes, your feet on the ground and your wedding plans on track.

Remember to get a written contract. ❐ Choose your musician(s). ❐ Book your photographer and videographer. ❐ Select your baker and order the cake. ❐ Choose your florist. ❐ Decide on your color scheme. ❐ Shop for wedding rings with your fiancé. ❐ Decide on your honeymoon destination. Work with a travel agent to book your travel and accommodations. ❐ Select your wedding invitations. Don’t forget to purchase personal stationery for the thank-you notes you’ll need to write.

4 months before your wedding

❐ Register for gifts at one or more bridal gift registries. ❐ Help both mothers to coordinate and shop for their wedding-day attire. ❐ Select music for the ceremony and reception. ❐ Choose readings for your wedding and write your wedding vows. ❐ Plan a rehearsal dinner for members of your wedding party, your family and out-oftown guests. Reserve the location. ❐ Arrange hotel accommodaMetro tions for members of the wed9 months before Six months before your wedding is a good time to shop for ding party who live out of town. your wedding wedding rings with your fiancé. Reserve a block of rooms for ❐ Choose your wedding date. other out-of-town guests, and If you plan to be married in a let them know the rooms are tasks – selecting a dress, inter- mood you’d like to establish church or temple, clear the date viewing caterers, etc. – espeavailable. Remember to ask for with the food, table settings, and time with the clergy. any group discounts or special cially in areas where you feel flowers and entertainment at packages. ❐ Announce your engageyou need support. your reception. ment in local newspapers. ❐ Reserve your wedding-day ❐ Compose your guest list. ❐ Interview caterers, musitransportation and any other ❐ Set your budget. Take time Let out-of-town guests know cians, florists, photographers, wedding-day rental needs. for a heart-to-heart talk with your wedding is in the works so videographers and cake makyour fiancé about the budget ❐ Make appointments for they can make travel plans. ers. Get written estimates of and style of your wedding, gown fittings. their costs. Keep track of your ❐ Reserve your reception site. reception and wedding-related discussions and their bids ❐ Check the requirements for ❐ Choose your wedding parties, and who pays for what. in a notebook or with weda marriage license. attendants. Enlist help. Consider hiring a ding-planning software. ❐ Make sure contracts and ❐ Select your wedding gown, bridal consultant. If your budget arrangements are complete shoes and accessories. won’t stretch that far, don’t with all of your service provid6 months before ❐ Decide on bridesmaids’ despair. ers. your wedding dresses. Enlist relatives and close COUNTDOWN continued on 634 ❐ Determine the theme or ❐ Choose your caterer. friends to assist you in specific

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Provide the caterer or other food suppliers with a close estimate of the number of guests you expect.



Start making those appointments COUNTDOWN


3 months before your wedding ❐ Carefully prepare directions, including simply drawn maps, if necessary, to help guide guests to the wedding and reception, and to hotels. For guests who will travel a long distance to your wedding, consider assembling an information package on fun things to do and see in your area. ❐ Begin addressing invitations and announcements. Select a special stamp at the post office.

Invitations should go in the mail 6 to 8 weeks before your big day. ❐ Give the caterer or other food suppliers a close idea of the number of guests you expect. ❐ Make sure all reservations are in place for honeymoon travel. ❐ Check with bridesmaids to make sure they have their gowns and are getting them adjusted. ❐ Shop for gifts for your bridesmaids. Offer to help your fiancé select gifts for his attendants. ❐ Select your “going away”

outfit and special items for your trousseau. ❐ Make a date with your photographer for any formal portraits you desire. ❐ Make an appointment to have your hair done just before your portrait session and again the day or so before your wedding. Consider including your bridesmaids in a “day of beauty” before your wedding, with manicures, hair styling, massages and makeup sessions.

❐ Send your bridal portrait and wedding announcement to newspapers for publication. ❐ Finalize the music that will be played during your wedding ceremony. ❐ Meet with musicians who will provide entertainment during your reception and orchestrate precisely what you want and when you want it played. ❐ Don’t be shy to voice your 2 months before preferences, down to the volume, favorite songs you’d like your wedding ❐ Mail out your wedding invi- to hear, or even songs you don’t want played. tations and announcements. ❐ Have wedding portraits taken. COUNTDOWN continued on 644


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Don’t forget to relax the day before COUNTDOWN

other transportation provider, caterers and baker. ❐ Ask a friend or family member to arrange for wedding gifts that may be brought to your reception to be delivered to your home or another safe spot. ❐ Wrap gifts for bridal attendants and have them ready for the rehearsal dinner. ❐ Purchase traveler’s checks and reconfirm honeymoon travel and hotel plans. ❐ See that checks are written and ready to be given to vendors at the agreed-upon time. ❐ Inform your caterer of the final number of guests. Confirm that out-of-town guests are set with hotel accommodations, transportation and wedding-day directions.


❐ Plan your rehearsal dinner and a brunch or fun activity for out-of-town guests to enjoy on the day after your wedding. ❐ Buy special accessories for your wedding-day attire. ❐ Plan a luncheon for your bridesmaids. ❐ Make appointments for a hairdresser, makeup artist and manicurist. ❐ Finalize honeymoon plans. If you’re traveling overseas, check again that your passports are current and that you have any necessary visas. ❐ Gather necessary birth or baptismal certificates you may need for your wedding license.

1 month before your wedding ❐ Get your wedding license. ❐ Have a final fitting of your gown and make sure your attendants have theirs. ❐ Check that your menu selections and service plans are locked in place with the caterer. ❐ Purchase a special book to keep track of wedding gifts as they arrive. ❐ Keep writing those thankyou notes on a daily basis! ❐ If you plan a formal dinner for your reception, it’s time to draw up a seating plan and make up place cards. ❐ Check with your florist to confirm dates and times of flower deliveries. ❐ Review your wedding day transportation plans and make sure drivers are clear about addresses, times and number of passengers. ❐ Make name or address changes official on documents, including driver’s license, Social Security forms and financial accounts. Fill out change-of-address forms at the post office. ❐ Meet with your photographer to specify the formal

The day before your wedding ❐ Take time to relax and enjoy a massage, manicure and pedicure. ❐ Traditionally, this is the day for your rehearsal ceremony and rehearsal dinner. Have fun! ❐ Turn in early for a good night’s sleep.

On your wedding day Metro

Check with your florist one month before your wedding to confirm dates and times of flower deliveries.

shots you want taken of the bridal party, as well as specific, candid shots you’d like taken during the reception. ❐ Review the video plans with your videographer.

2 weeks before your wedding ❐ Keep writing those thankyou notes for wedding gifts! ❐ Pick up your wedding rings.

Make sure any special engraving appears precisely as you wished. ❐ Begin packing for your honeymoon.

1 week before your wedding ❐ Make final checks with all your vendors: officiant, musicians, florist, photographer, videographer, limousine or

❐ Allow plenty of time for dressing, makeup and hair styling. ❐ If you plan on photography before the ceremony, allow ample time so you’re not rushed. ❐ Relax, and remember: This is your special day, the result of all your careful planning. Now it’s time to enjoy. Take a deep breath. Refuse to let any glitch get to you. Savor every moment of this sacred day. Let your joy and happiness shine through. Best wishes!

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Groom’s Checklist BY ROBERT MORTIZ The Knot

So, you finally got up the nerve to pop the big one. Now it’s time to start doing some heavy wedding lifting. Here’s a list of your most essential to-dos.

12 months before

3 months before

n Figure out where you’re going to have your ceremony and reception. The best spots fill up fast, especially for summer and fall, so decide your wedding size and start looking. n Organize your guys. After you ask your best man to do the honors, make up your groomsman list. For crowd control, you’ll want at least one usher per 50 guests. n Get what you want. Crazy as it seems, people start buying you gifts immediately, and registering may be the only way to keep your friends’ and relatives’ questionable tastes in check.

n Get ready for the freeloaders. Your out-of-town guests need a place to stay, so unless you’ve got a couple dozen spare bedrooms, decide on a hotel and reserve a block of rooms. Let them know this in your invitations. n By this time, the guest list should be finalized – i.e., it has the bride, groom and parents’ approval. Time to send out the invitations. n Get dressed. So what will it be? Tails and top hat or traditional Scottish kilt? Decide and buy (or rent), then pick out your groomsmen’s getups. n Give a jeweler your finger to be measured. Let your fiancée do the same, and then order your wedding rings. Decide on inscriptions. n If you’re going to tie the knot, you may have to get your blood tested. It’s the law in some states.

9 months before n Meet and greet suitable officiants. Priest, rabbi, justice of the peace, officially sanctioned Elvis impersonator – the choice is yours. n Book the talent. It’ll probably fall to you to choose the band or disc jockey. Be sure to get references and hear music beforehand – and run it by your bride before you sign on the dotted line. n Start drawing up your guest list. This is something you’ll probably want to get your parents in on, too.

6 to 8 weeks before

n Have a good time, but don’t do something stupid. It’s your bachelor party and last chance to go crazy without the ball and chain legally attached.

1 week before

n Get ready to relax. Double-check n Get a sparkling smile. Cut down on the honeymoon reservations, start packing your bags, and pick up travelcoffee and try a whitening toothpaste. Want to really shine? Consider a profes- er’s checks. sional bleaching with a dentist or use an n Pay your officiant. Put his or her fee over-the-counter whitening system. in an envelope and give it to your best man for post-vow delivery. n Don’t be cheap. This is one of the most important moments in your life, so n You are expected to speak to the put some real thought into the matter crowd at your wedding reception. and then buy your bride a wedding gift. Sound sensitive and intelligent, start 6 months before coming up with that impromptu toast n Don’t be cheap, part 2. Search n Plan your honeymoon. If you’re to her family now. high and low for the perfect groomsleaving the country, now would be a men gifts. These guys are going to put n Rally the troops. Give your groomsgood time to check or find your passout come D-Day to make sure you look men the rehearsal dinner low-down port – or get them if you and your girl your best. Make sure you get them and make sure everybody’s got his don’t have ’em – and see what kind of something decent to show for it. monkey suit pressed and ready. By the shots or visas you might need. n Don’t lose it. Pick up your wedding way, get a haircut already. n Who’s driving? Arrange for transrings and put them in a safe place. portation to the ceremony and recepWhile you’re at it, check the engraving The day before tion. Think limousine or horse and carefully for typos. n Make her cry. Write a sweet little “I buggy. love you” note (or other touching trick) While you’re at it, figure out where 2 weeks before and leave it somewhere she’ll find it you’re going after the reception – airon wedding morning, particularly if you n Do something really romantic with port? hotel? – and make plans for won’t be seeing her before the ceregetting there. FYI, tradition dictates that your wife-to-be. But before you do, mony. pick up your marriage license. your best man drives you.



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

THE BRIDE’S TROUSSEAU Bridal Gown Store: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email:___________________________________________ Address: __________________ Consultant: __________________ Gown Description: __________________________________________ Date Ordered: _______________Date Promised: __________________ Price: ______________________________________________________ Fitting Appointments: (Bring proper undergarments and shoes) Date/Time: ______________________________________________ Date/Time: ____________________________________________ Date/Time: __________________________________________ Date/Time: __________________________________________

Bridal Accessories ❐ Headpiece and Veil – Price: ________________________ ❐ Bra/Bustier – Price: _______________________________ ❐ Teddy/Body Stockings – Price: ____________________ ❐ Stockings/Pantyhose – Price: ______________________ ❐ Garter – Price: ___________________________________ ❐ Petticoat/Slip – Price: _____________________________ ❐ Shoes – Price: ___________________________________ ❐ Jewelry – Price: ___________________________________ ❐ Wrap/Cape – Price: _________________________________ ❐ Other – Price: _______________________________________ ❐ Something Old – Price:


❐ Something New – Price: _______________________________ ❐ Something Borrowed – Price: __________________________ ❐ Something Blue – Price: ______________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

BRIDE’S ATTENDANTS Bridesmaids Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________ Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________ Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________ Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________ Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________

Flower girl Name: _______________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________

Gowns Store: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: ___________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________________ Consultant: _____________________________________ Gown Description: _____________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Date Ordered: _________________________________________________ Date Promised: _________________________________ Fitting Appointments: (Bring proper undergarments and shoes) Date/Time: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Accessories ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Shoes:________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Jewelry: ______________________________________________________ Price: _________________________________________ Undergarments:

______________________________________________ Price: _________________________________________

Handbags: ___________________________________________________ Price: _________________________________________ Wrap: _______________________________________________________ Price: _________________________________________ Other: _______________________________________________________ Price: _________________________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

The Groom’s Attendants Tuxedos Store:____________________________________________________ Phone/Email:______________________________________ Consultant: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Description:________________________________________________________Price_____________________________________ Date Measurements Needed By: ________________Pick-Up Date: _________________ Return Date: ______________________

Groomsmen Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________

Ring Bearer Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________

Ushers Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________ Phone/Email: _________________________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017



Asked to be part of a friend’s wedding? Here is a list of traditional responsibilities for members of the wedding party. Of course, it is up to the bride and groom to determine exactly what each attendant will do. Maid of honor Helps the bride select bridesmaids’ attire and wedding dress. ■ Helps address invitations and place cards. ■ Attends as many prenuptial events as possible. ■ May host a shower, but not mandatory. ■ Organizes bridesmaids’ gift to the bride and usually gives an individual gift to the couple. ■ Pays for own wedding attire and transportation to wedding. ■ Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. ■ Walks in processional and recessional. ■ Holds the groom’s wedding ring. ■ Helps with the bride’s gown. ■

■ Arranges the bride’s veil and train before the processional and recessional. ■ Makes sure the bride’s gown is picture perfect throughout the day. ■ Holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony. ■ Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate. ■ Stands in receiving line. ■ Helps the bride change into her going-away clothes. ■ Takes care of the bride’s gown and accessories after the reception.

and recessional. ■ May participate in receiving line. ■ Helps gather guests for the first dance, cake-cutting and bouquet toss. ■ Pays for own dress and transportation to the wedding.

Best man Organizes any pre-wedding party for the groom. ■ Coordinates the ushers’ gift to the groom and usually gives individual gift to the couple. Bridesmaid ■ Attends the rehearsal and ■ Helps the bride and maid rehearsal dinner. ■ Makes sure the groom of honor in many ways. has the marriage license with ■ Takes care of own dress him at the ceremony. and accessories fittings. ■ May help with a shower ■ Delivers any payment to for the bride, optional. officiant, sexton and cere■ Assists the bride with mony musicians, as prearerrands. ranged. ■ Contributes to brides■ Holds the bride’s wedmaids’ gift to the bride and ding ring during the ceremousually gives an individual gift ny until the vows are spoken. ■ Walks in recessional. to the couple. ■ Attends the rehearsal and ■ Witnesses the signing of rehearsal dinner. the marriage certificate. ■ Walks in processional ■ Offers first toast to bride ■

and groom at the reception. ■ Gathers and takes care of the groom’s wedding clothes after the reception. ■ Has a car ready for the bride and groom to leave the reception. ■ Pays for own wedding attire and transportation to the wedding. Usher Participates in the party for the groom if there is one. ■ Contributes to the ushers’ gift for the groom and usually gives an individual gift to the couple. ■ Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. ■ Makes sure people receive their special flowers or corsages. ■ Greets guests. ■ Seats guests. ■ Hands out programs. ■ Puts the aisle runner in place after guests are seated, before the processional. ■ Pays for own wedding attire and transportation to the wedding. ■


While we hope you don’t have emergencies on the big day, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Here’s a list of all those just-in-case items that will ensure your dream wedding goes off without a hitch.

The essentials

❐ Aspirin (or pain reliever of

choice) ❐ Band-Aids ❐ Bottle of water ❐ Chalk (to cover up any last-minute smudges or smears on your dress)

❐ Clear nail polish (for stocking runs) ❐ Corsage pins ❐ Dental floss/toothpicks ❐ Eyedrops ❐ Extra earring backs ❐ Extra panty hose ❐ Hairpins/ponytail holder ❐ Hand towelettes ❐ Hem tape ❐ Matches ❐ Mini sewing kit ❐ Safety pins ❐ Scotch tape ❐ Sedatives (don’t ask!) ❐ Small folding scissors ❐ Smelling salts (for fainters) ❐ Spot remover ❐ Static-cling spray ❐ Straws (so the bride can stay hydrated without messing up her lipstick) ❐ Tissues ❐ Tweezers

In the MOH bag The maid or matron of honor should keep the following items on hand for the bride: ❐ Breath mints/spray ❐ Cellphone ❐ Comb/brush ❐ Cash ❐ Hair spray ❐ Linen handkerchief ❐ Makeup (for touch-ups) ❐ Mirror ❐ Nail file ❐ Perfume ❐ Tampons/sanitary napkins Optional items ❐ Granola bars or other easy-to-carry snacks ❐ Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, etc.) ❐ Sunblock


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Service Providers Beauty Care Salon: ____________________________________________________ Phone/Email:_________________________________________ Stylist:__________________________________________________________________________Price: _________________________ Appointment Date/Time: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Cake Bakery: __________________________________________________ Phone/Email:_________________________________________ Salesperson: ______________________________________________ Price: _______________________________________________ Appointment Date/Time:________________________________________________________________________________________

Invitations and Stationery Name of Store: ____________________________________________ Salesperson:_________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________________________Price: _________________________ Quantity Ordered:____________________________Date Ordered: _______________________Date Promised: _________________ Manufacturer:______________________________________________ Style Number:________________________________________

Jeweler Name of Store: ____________________________________________ Salesperson:_________________________________________ Phone/Email: ____________________________________________________________________Price: _________________________

Transportation Company Name: ________________________________________________________________Salesperson:___________________ Phone/Email: ____________________________________________________________________Price: _________________________ Type of Vehicle: _________________________________________________________________Capacity:______________________ Pickup Date: ____________________________________________________________________Time:__________________________ Length of Rental Time: _________________________________________________________________________________________

Travel Agency Agency Name: ____________________________________________ Salesperson:_________________________________________ Phone/Email: ____________________________________________________________________Price:__________________________ Destination: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Departure Date: ___________________________________________ Return Date: _________________________________________ Airline:____________________________________________________ Flight Number: _______________________________________ Travel Notes: __________________________________________________________________________________________________

Videography Studio Name: _____________________________________________ Videographer’s Name_________________________________ Phone/Email: ____________________________________________________________________Price: _________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


PHOTOGRAPHY CHECKLIST Of the Bride ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Bride Alone Bride with her Mother Bride with her Father Bride with Both Parents Bride with Maid of Honor Bride with Bridesmaids Bride Fixing her Make-up and Hair Attendants Receiving Flowers Parents Receiving Flowers

Of the Groom ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Groom Alone Groom with his Mother Groom with his Father Groom with Both Parents Groom with Best Man Groom with Groomsmen Groomsmen Getting Boutonnières Parents Receiving Flowers

At the Ceremony Guests Outside of Church Ushers Escorting Guests Bride’s Mother Being Seated Groom’s Family Being Seated Bride and her Father Entering the Church ❐ Groom and Groomsmen at Altar ❐ Attendants Coming Down Aisle ❐ Bride and her Father Coming Down Aisle ❐ Giving-Away Ceremony ❐ Altar During Ceremony ❐ Bride and Groom Saying Vows ❐ Ring Ceremony ❐ Flower Girl and Ring Bearer ❐ The Kiss ❐ Bride and Groom Coming Up Aisle ❐ Bride and Groom Leaving Church ❐ Bride and Groom Getting Into Car ❐ Bride and Groom in Decorated Car ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Of the Couple ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Bride and Groom Bride’s and Groom’s Hands Bride and Groom Looking at Each Other Couple with Honor Attendants Couple with Wedding Party Couple with All Parents Couple with Bride’s Parents Couple with Bride’s Family Couple with Groom’s Parents Couple with Groom’s Family

At the Reception ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Couple Arriving Couple Entering Reception Receiving Line Couple in Receiving Line Parents in Receiving Line Buffet Table Cake Friends Serving Punch Couple Seated at Table

❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐ ❐

Bride Dancing with her Father Groom Dancing with his Mother Couple Talking with Guests Couple Cutting the Cake Couple Feeding Each Other Cake Couple Toasting Bride Throwing Bouquet Groom Removing Bride’s Garter Groom Throwing Garter Couple Dancing

Other ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Wedding Blooms Florist___________________________________________________Address:______________________________________________ Contact Person:__________________________________________Phone/Email:__________________________________________





Bridal Bouquet





Maid of Honor Bouquet





Bridesmaids’ Bouquets





Flower Girl’s Bouquet





Floral Headpieces





Mothers’/Grandmothers’ Corsages





Hostesses’ Flowers





Groom’s Boutonniere





Fathers’/Grandfathers’ Boutonnière





Groomsmen’s /Ushers’ Boutonnière





Ring Bearer’s Pillow





Altar/Chuppah Flowers





Aisle or Pew Decorations





Reception Room Flowers





Head Table Centerpiece





Guests’ Table Centerpieces





Cake/Buffet Table Decorations










Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

GETTING A GOOD RECEPTION Where it’s at Reception site __________________________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________ Price: ________________________________________ Contact person: ___________________________________________ Phone/Email: __________________________________

The caterer Name: __________________________________________________ Phone/Email: __________________________________ Cost _________ Deposit: ______Balance Due: ________________ Per-person rate _______________Flat rate: ________

Reception style: ❐

Formal ______________________________________________________________________________________________

❐ Hors

d’oeuvres _______________________________________________________________________________________

❐ Buffet


Cake and Punch ________________________________________________________________________________________ Estimated Number of Guests: _______________

Catering services Numbers of wait-staff __________How long will they serve at the reception? ______________________________________ Services they’ll perform __________________________________________________________________________________ What type of equipment does the caterer supply? ____________________________________________________________ What beverages will be supplied? __________________________________________________________________________ Will table service and linens be provided? ______ Who will provide cleanup? _____________________________________

What’s on the Menu? Hors d’oeuvres _________________________________________________________________________________________ Soup/Salad ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Main course ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Side dishes _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Breads/rolls ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Beverages _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Extras _________________________________________________________________________________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

DECORATING DETAILS Balloons Decorator: __________________________

Phone: ___________________

Address: _____________________________________

Salesperson: ________________________

Delivery Date/Time/Place: __________________________________________________

Description: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rentals Store 1: _______________________________________________

Store 3: _______________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________

Salesperson: __________________________________________

Salesperson: __________________________________________

Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: _________________ ______________________________________________________

Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: _________________ ______________________________________________________

Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _____________

Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _____________

Return Date: ___________________ Time: _________________

Return Date: ___________________ Time: _________________

Deposit: _____________________ Cost: ___________________

Deposit: _____________________ Cost: ___________________

Store 2: _______________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ Salesperson: __________________________________________ Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: _________________ ______________________________________________________ Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _____________ Return Date: ___________________ Time: _________________ Deposit: _____________________ Cost: ___________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017


MUSIC Ceremony DJ/Musician(s) 1: _____________________________________________ Phone: _____________________ Price: _______________ DJ/Musician(s) 2: _____________________________________________ Phone: _____________________ Price: _______________

Musical Selections Processional: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ceremony: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Recessional: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Reception Entertainer(s) 1: ______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: ______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________ Entertainer(s) 2: _______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: _______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________ Entertainer(s) 3: ______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: ______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________ Entertainer(s) 4: _______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: _______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________ Entertainer(s) 5: ______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: ______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________ Entertainer(s) 6: ______________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Contact Person: ______________________________________________________________________ Price: ____________________

Musical Selections Couple’s First Dance: ________________________________________________________________________ Wedding Party Dance: _____________________________________________________________ Couple/Parent’s Dance: _________________________________________________ Other Requests: _____________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ __________________________________________ _________________________________ _________________


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

GIFTS Stores where gifts are registered

Bedroom Color Scheme: ____________________________________ Bed Size: _________________________________________ ❐ ____________________

Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

❐ Bedspread ❐ Blanket ❐ Breakfast Tray ❐ Comforter/Duvet ❐ Electric Blanket ❐ Flat/Fitted Sheets ❐ Mattress Pad ❐ Pillows ❐ Pillowcases/Shams ❐ Throw Blanket Other ❐ ____________________

❐ ____________________

Store: __________________________________________ Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

❐ ____________________

❐ ____________________

Store: __________________________________________ Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________ Store: __________________________________________ Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________ Store: __________________________________________


❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________

Around the House

Color Scheme: __________________________________ ❐ Bath Mats/Rugs ❐ Bath Towels ❐ Facecloths ❐ Curtain Rings ❐ Hair Dryer ❐ Hand Soap Dispenser ❐ Hand Towels ❐ Laundry Hamper ❐ Soap Dish ❐ Scale ❐ Shower Curtain ❐ Showerhead Massage ❐ Toothbrush Holder ❐ Towel Rack ❐ Wastebasket

❐ ____________________

Other ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________ ❐ ___________________

Color Scheme: Table Size: ❐ Broom ❐ Camera ❐ Camera Equipment ❐ CD Player ❐ Clock ❐ Dustpan ❐ Fire Extinguisher ❐ Home Computer ❐ Iron ❐ Ironing Board ❐ Lamps ❐ Luggage ❐ Photo Frames ❐ Planters ❐ Sewing Machine ❐ Telephone

❐ Television ❐ Toolbox ❐ Vacuum/Sweeper ❐ Vases ❐ VCR/DVD Player ❐ Video Camera Other ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________ ❐ ____________________

Fun stuff ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________ ❐ _____________________________________________________________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017



Dining and Serving Formal Color Scheme: _________________________________ Formal Dinnerware Manufacturer/Pattern: _____________________________________________________

Kitchen Color Scheme: ___________________________________ Table Size: ______________________________________

❐ Baking Dish ❐ Bakeware ❐ Blender ❐ Bread Machine ❐ Can Opener ❐ Coffee Grinder ❐ Coffee Maker ❐ Cookbook ❐ Cutlery Set ❐ Deep Fryer ❐ Dish Towels ❐ Dutch Oven ❐ Electric Skillet ❐ Food Processor ❐ Hand Mixer ❐ Ice Cream Maker ❐ Juicer ❐ Measuring Cup ❐ Measuring Spoons ❐ Microwave Oven ❐ Mixing Bowls ❐ Oven Mitts ❐ Placemats ❐ Roasting Pan ❐ Saucepan ❐ Skillet ❐ Slow Cooker ❐ Stand Mixer ❐ Steamer ❐ Stockpot ❐ Tablecloth ❐ Tea Kettle ❐ Toaster ❐ Toaster Oven ❐ Utensil Set

❐ Wire Racks ❐ Wok ❐ Wok Utensils


❐ ______________________

Formal Glassware Manufacturer/Pattern: _____________________________________________________ Casual Color Scheme: _____________________________________________________ Casual Dinnerware Manufacturer/Pattern: _____________________________________________________ Casual Glassware Manufacturer/Pattern: _____________________________________________________

❐ ______________________

Table Size: _________________________________________

❐ ______________________

❐ Tableclothes

❐ Placemats

❐ Cloth Napkins

❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________

❐ Bread Tray ❐ Cake Plate ❐ Candlesticks ❐ Chafing Dish ❐ Cheese Board ❐ Coasters ❐ Coffee/Tea Service ❐ Corkscrew/Opener ❐ Covered Casserole ❐ Cream/Sugar Bowls ❐ Decanter ❐ Dessert Dish Set ❐ Gravy/Sauce Boat ❐ Ice Bucket ❐ Napkin Rings ❐ Nut Dish ❐ Pitcher ❐ Punch Bowl Set ❐ Salad Bowl ❐ Salt/Pepper Shakers ❐ Serving Bowl ❐ Serving Platter ❐ Serving Tray ❐ Soup Tureen ❐ Trivet ❐ Wine Rack


❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________


Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Balancing The Budget


Announcements Invitations Thank-you cards/notes Stamps Other


Bridal gown Headpiece and veil Shoes Jewelry, gloves Other accessories Groom’s tux Bridal dresses Trousseau Other


Engagement Wedding/reception Wedding album Parents’ album Additional prints Videography Other


Groom’s gift Bride’s gift Groomsmen gifts Bridesmaids’ gifts Parents’ gifts (optional) Other

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________


Engagement party Bridesmaids’ lunch Bachelor party Rehearsal dinner


Church, synagogue Officiant fees Organist, soloist fees Janitorial fees


Ceremony arrangements Bride’s bouquet Groom’s boutonnière Wedding party Family Reception flowers Host and hostess Reception arrangements Other Reception Facility rental Catering/food Beverages Table decorations Rentals (tents, chairs) Rentals (tableware, linens) Band, DJ, pianist Coat check, valet Tips and fees Janitorial Guestbook/pen Cake knife Unity candle Monogrammed napkins Mementos for guests Birdseed or confetti Other


Travel clothes Airfare, tickets Hotel reservations Car rental Meals Souvenirs Other

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2016 - 2017

Index Of AdvertIsers

Here’s where to find the wedding planning professionals, shops and services needed to plan your wedding day


Comfort Inn ................ 35 Days Inn ................ 25,55 Lincoln Way Inn B&B.. 28

Beauty Salons & Day Spas

Joanne’s Total Image. 56 Karma Salon & Spa .... 23 Polished Hair & Nail Salon ................................... 57 Skin Deep Spa Treatments ..................................... 3 Studio 404 .................. 13

Bridal Gowns

The Dressing Room at Deja Vu ................... 55

Bridal Showers

The Rusty Fox ............ 41

Cakes & Treats

Aurelio’s Bake Shop..... 4 Folsoms Bakery.......... 27 Twin City Popcorn...... 41

Catering Services

Coty’s Unique Cooking & Catering...................... 50 Creative Cuisine ......... 43 Mama Cimino’s .......... 26

Ceremony Sites

Barn On The Hill ......... 54 Days Inn ................ 25,55 K’s Korner Trading Post ................................... 37 The Dillon Home......... 80 Heritage Canyon Church ................................... 49 Hornbaker Gardens.... 10 Lincoln Way Inn B&B.. 28 Livengood’s Barn ....... 46 Oak Lane of Oregon... 24

Ceremony Sites Cont.

Rock River Golf & Pool ................................... 17


Pastor Scott Porter ...... 9

Clothing & Lingerie

Lavendar ’n’ Lace....... 47

Cosmetics & Beauty Supplies

Merle Norman............. 42

Cosmetic Surgery

Exceptional Dentistry . 40


Petals to Parties ......... 29


Fine Line Engraving...... 5

Event Planner

Selmi’s Weddings & Events...................2 & 21

Financial Institutions

First National Bank in Amboy ........................ 33 Milledgeville State Bank ..................................... 8 Sterling Federal Bank. 15

Floral Preservation

JJ’s Keepsake Gardens ................................... 53


Flowers by Book ........ 57 Lundstrom Florist Inc. 30 Petals to Parties ......... 29 Selmi’s Weddings & Events...................2 & 21 Wilson’s Greenhouse . 39

Gifts & Gift Registry

Oregon Soap Shoppe 32 Petals to Parties ......... 29 Fine Line Engraving...... 5

Home Furnishings

Petals to Parties ......... 29 Sweetwood Interiors .. 14

Insurance Agents

Country Financial ......... 2 Schuneman Insurance ................................... 45


SBM Business Equipment Center......................... 47 Fine Line Engraving...... 5


Prism Light DJs .......... 51


Erica Pospeshil Photography ................................ 1,19 Jon Larson Photography ................................... 52 Onsite Photography ..... 7

Reception Sites

Amboy Community Center ................................... 49 Arnie’s Happy Spot .... 45 Hornbaker Gardens.... 10

Mendota Civic Center 38 Oak Lane of Oregon... 24 Timber Creek Golf & Banquet...................... 20 The Pavillion at Emerald Hill .............................. 80 Post House Ballroom . 31 Rock River Golf & Pool ................................... 17

Rentals Ace Hardware & Outdoor Center......................... 11 Big John Portable Toilet Rental ......................... 47 Grummerts Hardware. 46 Kreative Rentals ......... 53 Midwest Tents And Events......................... 43 Petals to Parties ......... 29 Selmi’s Weddings & Events..................... 2, 21

Transportation Quad City International Airport......................... 42

Travel Agents Destinations Travel Services...................... 44 Rennert Travel ............ 39

Tuxedo Rental Petals to Parties ......... 29 Seno Formal Wear...... 38

Weight Loss Curves ........................ 56


Dillon Home The Classic Classi Elegance of the th

The Dillon Home is the perfect location to host your wedding!

The beautiful, spacious grounds and backdrop will complete your special day!

Salute to Veterans

1005 East Third Street Sterling, IL 61081 For more information, contact Linda Heckler, Curator, at or (815) 622-6202.



at Emerald hill Golf Course


16802 Prairieville Road, Sterling, IL (815) 622-6204 •

SaukValleyWeddings 2016-2017  
SaukValleyWeddings 2016-2017