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



Weddings Weddings

Sauk Valley


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Chocolate Wedding


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

ON OUR COVER: Nicole and Michael Nelson of Waterman, taken by Brett Paul Photography. You can visit his website at Websites offer brides ideas for the fairy-tale wedding ........................ 6 Lace remains a popular trend for gowns ............................................ 8 Softer hairstyles becoming popular .................................................. 14

Skin Deep Spa & Salon

850 N. Galena Avenue, Dixon (the big house next to Ace Hardware)


On-site beauty specialists ................................................................ 18 Step-by-step makeup...................................................................... 20 The perfect manicure ....................................................................... 24 Relieve stress with massages for the entire wedding party ............... 28 Stylish tuxedos ................................................................................ 35 Gifts registries save the guess work ................................................. 39 Ceremony sites ............................................................................... 43 Floral arrangements ......................................................................... 47 Custom cakes ................................................................................. 51 Satisfying, affordable food for your reception ................................... 53 Reception facilies............................................................................. 57 Wedding favors ............................................................................... 59 Photographers................................................................................. 63 DJ services ...................................................................................... 66 Planning your honeymoon ............................................................... 67

SAUK VALLEY WEDDINGS STAFF Publisher: Trevis Mayfield Advertising director: Jennifer Baratta Marketing: Ed Bushman Major Accounts Manager: Jill Reyna Editor: Marla Seidell Page Design: Marla Seidell 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 2013 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.

Wedding Services

Head to Toe




Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Photos submitted

White Pines Weddings


njoy an outdoor wedding in the exceptional White Pines Wedding Canyon and there’s no need to worry about a rainy day! White Pines has it all covered. There are six acres of groomed and manicured lawns, ponds, waterfalls, rustic trellis, gazebos and arches all surrounded by limestone bluffs. Experience the comforts of air conditioned dressing rooms and a magnificent 275 seat white European designed tent to keep guests dry, just in case. The services

offered include a fairytale horse drawn carriage ride, a non denominational pastor, professional sound systems and floral decorating in the bride’s color palette at the altar. There are never two weddings at the same time and couples have nine different and unique sites in which to choose from. Complete the day with a reception at the larger LaBranche venue with seating up to 340 or a little more intimate setting in the forest at the White Pines

Inn. White Pines Weddings has a reputation far and wide for delicious meals and impeccable service. Professional Bridal Consultants and a website filled with photos, virtual tours and pricing takes all the work out of planning your big day. See our ad for phone and website information.

This article was submitted by White Pines Weddings.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014



Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The Pinterest bride might have a board for wedding dresses, another for bridesmaid dresses, a board for flowers, another for decorations and centerpieces (Style points if they are do-it-yourself!), and still another for hairstyles. She has her big day visually mapped out and doesn’t have to flip a page or click through a list of bookmarked links.

Wedding inspiration Websites offer brides ideas for the perfect fairy-tale wedding BY KAYLA HEIMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


ove over, The Knot. There’s a new queen atop the weddingplanning throne. Meet Pinterest, the wildly popular, photo-driven bulletin board that allows brides to plan their fairy-tale weddings with just the push of a button. Pinterest and brides go together like love and marriage. Brides who once might have perused bridal magazines and torn out pictures of dresses, bouquets and cakes, then stuck them in a three-ring binder, now click through hundreds of inspiration photos and “pin” their favorites to their own boards. The Pinterest bride might have a board for wedding dresses, another for bridesmaid dresses, a board for flowers, another for decorations and centerpieces

Websites to visit For more wedding inspiration, check out these websites and blogs: The Knot, WeddingChannel, from the creators of The Knot, MyWedding, Project Wedding,

WeddingWire, 100 Layer Cake, www.100layercake. com Style Me Pretty, www.stylemepretty. com Four Seasons Weddings, from the publishers of Four Seasons magazine, http://

Brides, from the publishers of Brides magazine,

Jet Fete, a destination wedding-planning blog from The Bridal Bar boutique,

(Style points if they are do-it-yourself!), and still another for hairstyles. She has her big day visually mapped out and doesn’t have to flip a page or click through a list of bookmarked links.

Pinterest, which launched in 2010, estimates that tens of thousands of wedding-related boards fill the site, according to an April 2012 article in USA Today.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014



Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Gorgeous gowns H

Lace a popular trend for wedding dresses

BY CASSANDRA ZIMMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

idden away in LaSalle is a bride’s dream dress boutique. Trendy, comfortable, and private, Marien Mae Bridal Boutique offers everything for a bride and her bridal party. Owner Amanda Andreoni, 30, knows that all brides want to not only look, but also feel perfect on their wedding day. She understands that this begins with the dress search. Catering to any bride, the boutique’s sample gowns range from size 12 to 18, while purchased gowns can be ordered up to size 36, providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience for any bride regardless of her shape. The most important aspect of gown shopping is for the bride to keep an open mind, Andreoni said. She suggests that “while a particular style may be trendy or most desirable to a bride, it may not be the best choice for her body. We suggest they try every style and find the one that complements them the most, and from there they can find the perfect gown.� GOWNS CONTINUED ON 10

Alex T. Paschal/

This gown at Marian Mae Bridal Boutique in LaSalle is a drop waisted tulle gown with a sweetheart neckline and an added sash.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014





Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Lace easily modernized with accessories GOWNS


The boutique has seen that many brides are looking for lace gowns, the most popular trend in bridal. While perfect for that classic, romantic look, lace also can be easily modernized with a colored sash or accessories. Another huge trend, color, is obvious to those who watch popular bridal shows on television. Many of the gowns available at Marien and Mae, which start at $700, can be bought in colors, such as blush, to reflect this increasing popularity. Brides who love one designer also can visit trunk shows. According to Andreoni, these shows provide an opportunity for brides to, “see a designer’s entire collection, whether it be bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, or accessories in a setting that allows them to create an image of their perfect look.” She suggests that brides order their gowns 8 months before the wedding. This allows designers enough time to create the gown, make custom adjustments, and complete all required fittings. Andreoni advises that brides should not worry if they do not find “the One” on the first visit to a bridal boutique. “Some brides fall in love with the very first dress they try, others may need to explore their options. Our goal at Marien Mae is to find the perfect gown. It is the most important outfit they will ever wear and our personal touch creates an atmosphere that allows that to happen.” One of the most important aspects of achieving the perfect feel on the special day is a great seamstress. “Almost any girl can wear any gown; the key is a great seamstress who understands the bride’s needs,” Andreoni said. “Many girls feel the need to shy away from strapless gowns because of the fear of constant readjusting. A great seamstress will create the proper fit so any issues are resolved before the big day, allowing the bride to be her most comfortable.” There are options for brides who want to involve the groom but do not want them to see the dress before the big day. Asking for their opinion about how they would like the bride’s hair on the wedding day is a way for grooms to influence the big day without revealing the bride’s special wedding day look. GOWNS CONTINUED ON 12

Alex T. Paschal/

This lace gown is a mermaid style dress with an illusion neckline and a sterling colored sash.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014



Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Photos by Alex T. Paschal/

ABOVE: The birdcage veil is a popular trend for brides.

LEFT: Marian Mae can help you dress the entire wedding party, from groom to flower girl. BELOW: This is a ball gown style dress, champagne in color with an illusion neckline.

The gown reflects the bride’s taste, style GOWNS


But most importantly, Andreoni reflects, “the bride’s gown should reflect her taste and style. Her unique personality should be reflected through not only the gown, but in her look as a whole. By choosing the perfect gown, she can create a vision that reflects who she is and the new chapter in her life.”

Dress shops The Dressing Room at Deja Vu 101 Fifth Ave. S., Clinton, Iowa 563-242-3356 AccessoriesTheDressingRoom I Do 995 Galena Square Dr., Galena 815-777-2507

Marien Mae Bridal Boutique 749 First St., LaSalle 815-220-0844 Satin ’N Lace 418 N. Main Ave., Milledgeville 815-225-5188

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014





Curt Repass

Katy Downs

Rock Falls




Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Wedding day hairstyles Partial updos create a more romantic look BY CASSANDRA ZIMMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

At Witt’s End

It also allows the “use of the special accessories many brides use in their hair or brides one of the most imporand make adjustments without the stress tant parts of their special event is and problems that could arise on the day “the wedding day look.” This look of the wedding. I also suggest they take symbolizes the transition to a new chappictures for reference so that when the ter in their lives and the beginning of the style is recreated there are no surprises,” couple’s future together. Traci said. A white wedding dress is commonly It is important that brides and memthought of as the most significant part of bers of the bridal party schedule enough a bride’s ensemble, but wedding day hair time for their hair, at least 1 or 1.5 hours styles are equally important, helping to for each individual. complete a bride’s desired look. It is easier for those getting their hair Traci McQuistion, owner, stylist, and done to wear a shirt that does not require “This creates a more romantic look.” nail technician at Witt’s End Styling being pulled over the head, such as a As with many other aspects of the big Salon in Fulton, helps brides create their button down, as this could ruin the hairday, proper preparation can help to look through hairstyles for the big day. style. She also warns that brides should McQuistion, 44, has more than 25 years avoid common issues that can arise. avoid coloring or highlighting their hair For brides, McQuistion suggests they of experience and explains that trends less than a week before the wedding. take the time for a trial run a few weeks have changed in recent years. Brides are able to bring food or anything before the wedding. “In the past year we have seen softer else that will make them feel comfortable This relaxed experience allows brides to looks more popular with brides. In previon their wedding day to the salon. ous years, brides wanted updos, but this create a mental picture of their look and HAIRSTYLES CONTINUED ON 16 make changes if needed. has shifted to partial updos,” she said.


Witt’s End Styling Salon 1215 Fourth St., Fulton 815-589-3167 Wedding day hairstyles begin at $35 and can be done by any of the stylists at Witt’s End Styling Salon. Stylists include Traci McQuistion, Andrea VanOosten, Audrey VanLoo, Christina Bingham and Kendra Williams.

418 N Main Milledgeville


Shop our exquisite selection of gorgeous gowns and unique accessories for a once-in-a-lifetime look. Bridal Gowns Bridesmaids’ & Mothers’ Dresses Prom Gowns, Tux Rentals, Accessories Dresses for Special Occasions

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Photos by Philip Marruffo/

ABOVE AND RIGHT: Stylist Kendra Williams brushes out Andrea VanOosten’s hair at Witt’s End Styling Salon in Fulton.

ABOVE: Wedding day hairstyles are almost as important as the dress, helping to complete a bride’s desired look. Updos are popular with many brides. TOP LEFT: Williams begins to add bobby pins to hold the hair in place. BOTTOM LEFT: As a final touch, Williams adds hair spray for extra hold.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Personality plays a part in hairstyle HAIRSTYLES


As a stylist, McQuistion feels that regardless of trends, brides must choose wedding-day looks that complement their own personalities. “It is our job to make the bride happy and create a look that personifies her personality and own interests. We want her to look her best on her wedding day.”

Philip Marruffo/

As a stylist, Traci McQuistion, owner of Witt’s End Styling Salon, feels that regardless of trends, brides must choose wedding-day looks that complement their own personalities.

Other area salons These are a few local salons that help brides create the perfect hairstyle for their wedding day: Bittersweet Salon 1302 Third St., Suite B, Fulton 815-589-3056 Bittersweet-Salon

Joanne’s Total Image 600 Gale St., Oregon 815-732-2477 Statik Hair Studio & Day Spa 501 E. Third St., Rock Falls 815-535-0775

Studio 404 112 E. Fellows, Dixon 815-284-4247 Salon/Home.html

Happily Ever After 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.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Salons that travel T

Make your day less stressful with on-site beauty specialists

BY CASSANDRA ZIMMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

They come to you

he wedding day is one of the happiest days of the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, but also is the most stressful. However, there is one way to lessen this stress, using an on-site beauty specialist or team. Two area salons that offer this service, Bittersweet Salon in Fulton and Karma Salon and Spa in Rock Falls, help brides prepare on the big day. Ashley Leu, 29, a stylist, co-owns Bittersweet Salon in Fulton with her mother, Deb Wiersema, and provides on-site hairstyling for brides and the bridal party. There also are several trends that on-site beauty consultants are having requested by brides and her party. Leu has seen a demand for braids and natural soft updos. On-site consultants Mary Davis, 33, Brooke Ordean, 26, and Jeni Ramsdell, 38, of Karma Salon & Spa also are seeing braids and buns rise in popularity. For bridal makeup, Davis explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many brides are requesting natural looks but with enhanced features. Big, extravagant eyelashes are becoming more common, as well as focusing on the lips. By enhancing those features, brides can really bring out their natural beauty to complete their look.â&#x20AC;? Consultants suggest that brides come in about a month before the wedding to practice that wedding day look. This includes any services that the bride will want on her special day, whether it may be hair, makeup, eyelashes, or spray tanning. Ramsdellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 20 years of experience have taught her that â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is important for the consultant and the bride to understand what each expects, and that, most

Bittersweet Salon 1302 Third St., Suite B, Fulton 815-589-3056 Bittersweet Salon offers on-site hairstyling beginning at $45 a person. Ashley Leu will travel up to 1 hour to a wedding site. There is a $50 travel fee. Karma Salon & Spa 1512 Fifth Ave., Rock Falls 815-622-7500 Karma Salon and Spa on-site beauty packages begin at $300 and can be customized to include any service the bride or the bridal party wishes. It offers Alex T. Paschal/ on-site hairstyling, makeup, and spray Ashley Leu, 29, a stylist, co-owns Bit- tanning (2-3 days prior to the wedding). tersweet Salon in Fulton with her moth- Please contact the salon for ala carte er, Deb Wiersema, and provides on-site options. The consultants can travel up hairstyling for weddings. to 30 miles. importantly, to create a look the bride will be happy with. We also suggest that the bride take pictures during the consultation, so that there are no surprises.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of problems can be solved during that consultation rather than the day of. This creates a more calming atmosphere on the wedding day,â&#x20AC;? Leu said. It also is suggested that everyone has their hair washed and dried before the on-site beauty specialists arrive. Because of the importance of time management, the bridal party needs to consider what services they would like done and book on-site beauty 3 to 6 months in advance of the wedding. The bride also should consider space when planning for on-site beauty. Each person will need 45 minutes to an hour to complete their look, depending on what they have done.

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In case of questions or emergencies, always have the consultantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phone number. In Leuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience, â&#x20AC;&#x153;even with the best planning, people can change their minds or issues can arise. Having their number can create an avenue of contact between consultant and bride, allowing for changes before the big day.â&#x20AC;? However, the most significant impact that on-site beauty can have is the ability to prepare in a private, relaxing atmosphere. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By having on-site beauty, they can receive a more personal experience,â&#x20AC;? Ramsdell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are also able to help grooms, the mother of the bride, flower girls or any other party members that may need haircuts, facial trims or other services. It is the job of on-site beauty consultants to make the bride feel like a princess.â&#x20AC;?


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Picture perfect Create the look you want with step-by-step makeup application

Photos by Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Skin Deep in Dixon offers full makeup application for brides. It offers many colors for all skin types.


Makeup artist Courtney Edwards prepares model Jazzie Pinzonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hair, setting it back off of her face.


Edwards prepares Pinzonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skin with a soft primer. Options offered by Skin Deep include a facial in advance for an additional charge. Makeup artists cleanse the skin, exfoliate with derma peel, and add a toner. Owner Vikki Wadsworth suggests at least an hour and a half for both, and additional time for eyelash extensions.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

21 3


Using a darker color of plum in the crease of her lids will make Pinzon’s brown eyes stand out.


Edwards adds a lighter shade of shadow along the line of Pinzon’s eyelids.


Edwards applies temporary lashes on Pinzon’s lashes, creating a more dramatic look.


Mascara needs to be applied before temporary lashes can be added.


Using a lip pencil, Edwards applies a shade that makes Pinzon’s lips stand out.

Pinzon loves her new look.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

How to apply the perfect manicure



Buffing the nail to smooth it and help remove additional residue, Griffith carefully goes over each fingernail.


Photos by Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Nail technician Bobbie Griffith prepares model Tori Mills for a manicure by beginning with the removal of her old polish. A remover is added to a pad inside of each foil wrap. They are placed on each nail for about 10 minutes to soften the paint.

A base coat is applied to Millsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fingernails before a French manicure can begin. The base coat prepares the nail, allowing the design to last as long as a few weeks, depending on how quickly the nails grow.

5 2

Griffith pushes back each of Millsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cuticles. She then cleans the nails and uses a dehydrator to help draw out additional moisture.

Griffith cleans the edges, making sure there is a smooth line of white only at the tip of each nail.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

25 6


Cosmetologist Courtney Edwards steps in to create a design for Mills.


Mills watches as Griffith finishes the shellac application to her left hand.

7 As a final touch, Edwards adds a little of glitter to Millsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; nails.


Griffith applies a white shellac to each tip.

The finished nails have a decoration on the ring finger with a touch of glitter.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Lessen the stress Massages for the bride, groom and wedding party


BY CASSANDRA ZIMMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

or many brides, grooms and members of the bridal party, the stress of planning the big day can take a toll on the body. This stress can cause many muscles of the body to become tense, making those who are suffering uncomfortable, something not needed on the happiest day of their lives. Carol Wright, 52, owner of The Wright Massage in Karma Salon & Spa, has been providing massage services for the past 7 years. A licensed massage therapist, Wright uses techniques such as deep tissue, lymphatic, hot rock, and reflexology to relieve pain and promote relaxation. MASSAGES CONTINUED ON 30

Alex T. Paschal/

Carol Wright provides massage therapy at Wright Massage in Karma Salon & Spa in Rock Falls.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

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Helping brides get their beauty rest MASSAGES


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many brides have issues sleeping in the months preceding their wedding day,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I am through, they sleep like babies because tension and stress can be relieved through massage, creating a better sleep.â&#x20AC;? If the bride has a few months before her big day, a deep tissue massage can relieve stress, Wright said. However, she warned against massages in the days immediately before the wedding because of potential dehydration and soreness. She also promotes the purchase of massage as a gift idea to help relieve stress after the wedding. Bride and bridal party days also are growing in popularity. Those attending bachelorette parties at Wright Massage and Karma Salon and Spa â&#x20AC;&#x153;spend the day getting massages, spray tans, manicures, and practicing hair trials,â&#x20AC;? Wright said. Statik Hair Studio and Day Spa in Sterling also provides brides with the services essential to relaxation and achieving


Many brides have issues sleeping in the months preceding their wedding day. When I am through, they sleep like babies because tension and stress can be relieved through massage, creating a better sleep. Carol Wright, licensed massage therapist

that coveted wedding day glow. Owner and stylist Kayla Webber, 39, and Dana Dietz, 29, a clinical massage therapist for the past 8 years, agree that brides should trend more toward pampering massages in the weeks before their wedding day. They recommend hot stones, Swedish massage, a hydrating wrap, and the body glow exfoliation for brides and grooms. Dietz suggests that brides begin a routine in the months before the wedding to avoid potential soreness. This also is suggested for those brides and grooms interested in facials. To help assist with the bridal glow, Dietz and Webber advocate the 30-min-

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make all your dreams come true!


ute revitalizing facial mask and the 1-hour balancing facial. For grooms, the licensed esthetician can provide a groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facial. The most common problem areas in brides and grooms are built up stress in the upper body. To relieve this, Dietz provides custom massages to address specific issues that vary from bride to bride. One possible solution is the 60or 90-minute reflexology massage with stress relief. Wright also suggests a coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s massage to alleviate stress and promote calming and relaxation in the problem areas of the neck, shoulders, and back.


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Creating a relaxing environment for the bridal party to bond MASSAGES


Philip Marruffo/

Before the kiss,

MAKEUP The perfect guy. The perfect gown. Now the perfect makeup. Book your personalized consultation today.


Dana Deets of Statik Hair Studio and Day Spa in Sterling is happy to help brides looking for a fun, relaxing day with the girls. The spa is able to provide all services a bridal party would need.

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

For brides looking for a fun, relaxing day with the girls, Statik Hair Studio and Day Spa has 17 stylists and is able to provide all services a bridal party would need. “The layout of our top floor promotes a comfortable environment for bridal parties to bond,” said Kayla Webber of Statik. “We are also able to cater to the bride, creating a day planned around the services that she and her bridal party need. Our goal is to make her feel special and provide her with an enjoyable stress-free experience while she is here” This goal is fundamental for the purpose of providing a relaxing and calming massage experience, something that The Wright Massage and Statik Hair Studio and Day Spa achieve for brides looking for this special service.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Schedule some down time For brides interested in massages, these are a few local businesses that provide these services: The Wright Massage by Carol Wright 1512 Fifth Ave., Rock Falls 815-441-2675 Current massage rates $35 for 30 minutes $50 for 60 minutes $70 for 90 minutes Special treatments available Statik Hair Studio & Day Spa 501 E. Third St., Sterling 815-535-0775 Current massage rates $35 for 30 minutes $50 for 60 minutes $75 for 90 minutes Special treatments available Skin Deep Salon and Spa 850 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-284-4424 Extreme Hair and Day Spa 1411 E. Fourth St., Sterling 815-625-7114 Extreme-Hair/109874895703318

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


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Alex T. Paschal/

Tuxedos with patterned vests and ties add a little flash to the usual ensemble.

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Seno Formal Wear 4015 E. Lincolnway, Suite A, Sterling Hours 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday Sauk Valley Tuxedos 120 W. River St., Dixon 815-288-1322 Hours 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday And by appointment MORE TUX SHOPS ON


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Stylish tuxedos

New modern fit looks good on every body type

BY JOHN KERMOTT Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


hile formal wear for women has varied greatly over the generations, the tuxedo has been the formal staple for men for more than 125 years. An adaptation from the longtime standard, jacket with long tails, the tuxedo made its splash in the United States at an exclusive sporting club, in Tuxedo Park, N.Y., in the 1880s. Since that time, there have been only minor variations each year, reflecting the current tastes and styles. Sauk Valley Weddings has checked in on our local tuxedo shops to find out, for you, what the current styles will mean for 2014. Amanda Harrison, manager at Seno Formal Wear in Sterling, says her store will be featuring a new cut. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a new modern fit, which is real popular. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more of a slimming cut that kind of hugs the waist,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a new line from Allure, by Jean Yves, that Alex T. Paschal/ looks good on every body type.â&#x20AC;? Dozens of colors and patterns are available for ties, vests, cumberbuns and pocket TUXEDOS CONTINUED ON 37 squares.


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Gray and lighter colored jackets and pants are a popular choice this year.


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Tux shops Flowers Etc. 1103 Palmyra Ave., Dixon Hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-noon Saturday Satin â&#x20AC;&#x2122;N Lace 418 N. Main Ave., Milledgeville Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday Call 815-225-5188 for an appointment if these hours arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good for you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9 a.m. or after hours may be available.

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Colored vests becoming more popular TUXEDOS

who order their tuxes, together with, their flowers. CONTINUED FROM 35 Couples also have the option of choosing Satin ’N Lace, in Seno also will offer new colors. Milledgeville for their tuxes. “We have a new slate-gray coat Lindsey Renkes, the manager, that’s a fresh look, with a little said the shop also offers just the blue tint to it,” she said. “We also vest and tie option. have 11 new additional colors “Couples like that we have a of vests. We’re trying to keep wide variety of tuxedos availup with the colors at David’s able, in white, chocolate, grey Bridal,” Harrison said, referring and khaki,” she said. “We order to the nation’s largest wedding our tuxedos through Jim’s Forretailer. mal Wear, so one benefit we Flowers Etc. in Dixon provides offer is that couples can go on tuxedos from the Dubois Tuxedo their website and build their tux Co. online before they order.” “We’ve seen an increase in A manager at Sauk Valley Tux[couples wanting] tan and gray edos in Dixon, Tracey Linboom tuxedos. We’re also bringing in said that the shop has a whole new suits, as well, for those who new line of tuxes. These include want a more relaxed setting,” new grays and different whites. said Kathy Barnes, Flowers Etc.’s “We have every color of vest, wedding consultant. “We’re see- and we guarantee a match with ing many going even more infor- the bridesmaid’s dresses.” mal, without a jacket and just Sauk Valley Tuxedo also offers the vest and shirt.” a $50 coupon and pledges to Flowers Etc. is able to offer a match or beat any price in special for bridal party members town.

Alex T. Paschal/

Classic dark tuxedos and colored ties remain popular.

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Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Accents owner Margaret Zumdahl stocks a few of her newest wine cork cages, a popular gift among those who collect wine corks.

Bridal registries


Accents, inside of Northland Mall, 2900 E. Lincolnway, Sterling. Call 815-625-1999 for more information. Oregon Soap Shoppe, 91c Daysville Road, Oregon. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Call 866411-6614 for more information. Selmi’s has an array of unique gift ideas. Visit www.selmi. com, call 815-626-3830, or stop by at 1206 Dixon Ave. Rock Falls. The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe, offering custom gift baskets, is at 219 W. First St., Dixon. For more information, call 815-285-3496. MORE BRIDAL REGISTRIES ON


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Gift registries save the guess work Accents’ staff ‘shops’ alongside couple, jotting down wish list BY KIMBERLY WATLEY Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


ift giving has changed dramatically over the years, said Margaret Zumdahl, owner of Accents in Sterling. Many couples have already lived on their own and no longer require or want the basic necessities. Bridal registry saves gift givers the guess work, she said. Accents offers couples a chance to shop the store, choosing items that they want. “It’s nice to get what they want and cuts down on exchanges,” Zumdahl said. Her staff “shops” alongside the couple, jotting down their wish lists. Linda Frank has been working for Accents for 6 of its 15 years. She said she enjoys working with couples to find special items. REGISTRIES CONTINUED ON 41

Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Bookends, picture frames and incense – Accents in Sterling is stocked to the hilt with a variety of home décor gifts for brides and grooms.

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Accents has a large selection of household items, specifically kitchen gadgets. Couples often add these items to their gift registry wish lists.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is so enjoyable. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think the people who register realize how fun it is for us,â&#x20AC;? Zumdahl said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It seems lots of times, before they get married, they have a lot of the necessities. I think they are looking for more decorative things, gourmet things, in the kitchen line and entertaining type things.â&#x20AC;? Inside of the store, there are countless home dĂŠcor items. Picture frames, clocks, prints, lamps and small statues are among the top sellers. Many collect wine corks, making wine cork cages another popular item. There are many cages in a variety of shapes made in a bronzed color metal. Accents also carries the basics, including pastry bowls, cheese board cutters, knives and spreaders. Its stock also includes stainless steel measuring cups, spoons and bowls, a variety of glasses, cutting boards, tea services, cooking torches, lettuce spinners, appetizer trays, juicers, pizza cutters and strawberry hullers.


It is so enjoyable. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think the people who register realize how fun it is for us. It seems lots of times, before they get married, they have a lot of the necessities. I think they are looking for more decorative things, gourmet things, in the kitchen line and entertaining type things.


Margaret Zumdahl, owner of Accents

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think young people really get into the cooking together,â&#x20AC;? Zumdahl said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have just about everything when it comes to kitchen and home dĂŠcor.â&#x20AC;? It offers free gift wrapping in the store and has a gift registry for all occasions, including anniversaries and housewarming. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fun to be part of those happy things with our customers,â&#x20AC;? Zumdahl said.

Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Linda Frank, cashier at Accents, wraps a gift for one of her customers. The store offers free gift wrapping with every purchase.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014 Bridal registries

Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Made in Zimbabwe, these handmade stone animal statues are one of few imports offered at Accents. Owner Margaret Zumdahl said she keeps these stocked because, although workers are overseas, they are given a fair working wage for their creations.

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J.C. Penney inside of Northland Mall in Sterling offers a computerized gift registry, which connects all over the world. Go online to and click on “Registry” for more information. Bergner’s wedding gift registry is available nationwide at Locally, is inside of Northland Mall at 2900 E. Lincolnway in Sterling. A Cooks Corner, offering many unique items and countless kitchen gadgets, is located at 2501 Avenue E. Sterling. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 815-625-7040. Shopko, 1350 N. Galena Ave., Dixon, has an online gift registry option as well. For more information, click on the “Gift Registry” tab at Walmart, with locations in Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling, has an online gift registry that makes gift giving easy, with pickup at any store the bride and groom request. More information is available at

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One-of-a-kind settings Theater, barn are unique sites for a ceremony BY KAYLA HEIMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


ut with the botanical garden, in with the barn. Couples seeking one-ofa-kind settings for their weddings should consider venues not usually marked for marriage ceremonies. One such place is the Historic Dixon Theatre, opened in 1922 on the site of the former Dixon Opera House, which was destroyed by fire in 1920. The magnificent theater features a proscenium stage, an orchestra pit and dressing rooms. It seats 700 people on the main floor and 500 in the balcony, including the box seats; and it features stunning Italian marble, crown moldings and rich burgundy and gold throughout the building. The crowning feature of the theater is a two-tiered, lighted, domed ceiling, which not only is beautiful, but also offers superb acoustics. The Historic Dixon Theatre has

For more information Historic Dixon Theatre, 114 S. Galena Ave., Dixon. Call 815-285-1917 or 815-994-1787 or go to dixontheatre. com. Barnacopia, 2570 N. Westbranch Road, Polo. Call 815-946-2500 or 815238-1474 or go to served as the venue for several weddings since volunteer operators Tom and Jodi Elmendorf opened it for their son’s nuptials in June 2011. It already has a few booked for next year and even one for 2015, but several dates still are available. The theater offers a dramatic backdrop for weddings, most of which take place on the stage, Jodi Elmendorf said. Couples are free to configure and transform the stage and the main floor, including the lobby, as they see fit, she said.

“Every wedding has been different, …” Elmendorf said. “From very small with just a few plants on the stage all the way to more extravagant … with the lobby and stage all decorated. “The way we look at it is it’s really an empty canvas. It’s beautiful by itself, but the sky’s the limit.” The theater also offers an indoor setting free of the formalities of a church or municipal facility, she added. And it’s filled with unique photo opportunities, she said. The rental fee for a ceremony starts at $650 and includes access to the dressing rooms. The theater, which also is available for receptions, also offers several decorative items for rent. Barnacopia, opened in late September on the Bocker farm between Polo and Mount Morris, is another unique site. CEREMONY SITES CONTINUED ON 44


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The Historic Dixon Theatre features a proscenium stage, an orchestra pit and dressing rooms. It seats 700 people on the main floor and 500 in the balcony, including the box seats; and it features stunning Italian marble, crown moldings and rich burgundy and gold throughout the building.

Barnacopia offers flexibility CEREMONY SITES CONTINUED FROM 43

The three-story barn is bursting with treasures from days gone by, most notably an impressive collection of antique tractors and vintage cars. It features a quaint chapel that seats at least 75 people on the second floor and a charming two-room bed and breakfast on the second and third floors of the adjoining silo. Barnacopia has played host to dozens of weddings since it opened and already

is booked for all but one weekend next year. The barn offers couples flexibility, said owner Judy Bocker. A couple could be married outside, under the willow trees, or anywhere in the barn – among the eight tractors on the first floor or in the chapel on the second floor. The site caters to couples who want that vintage feel to their ceremonies and receptions, Bocker said. “They all want vintage. They all want their receptions in a barn,” she said. “It can be decorated in so many ways. Every

event is so much fun because it is so different from the others.” The barn is prime real estate for photos, too, Bocker said. Couples have many photo opportunities, depending on their tastes; a couple could pose with an antique tractor, share milkshakes in the 1950s diner or steal kisses in the dark of the movie theater. The rental fee for a ceremony and reception for 150 to 200 people is $4,000 and includes tables and chairs (no linens), as well as a one-night stay in a whirlpool suite for the bride and groom.

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The Barnacopia outside of Polo features a wedding chapel.

Other area ceremony sites Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford. Call Sara, wedding manager, at 815-316-3307 or go to Briggs Mansion, 1244 E. State St., Rockford. Call 815-9682744 or go to Chapel in the Pines, 15165 Quigley Road, Sycamore. Call 815-895-4797 or go to The Dillon Home, 1005 E. Third St., Sterling. Call 815-6226202 or go to Distinctive Gardens, 2020 Lowell Park Rd, Dixon. Call 815285-0014. Heritage Canyon Church, 515 N. Fourth St., Fulton. Call the caretaker at 815-589-4600. Polo Historic Wedding Chapel, 211 N. Division St., Polo. Call 815-440-6877 or go to Timber Creek Golf Club, 29 Timber Creek Road, Dixon. Call 815-288-5110 or go to White Pines Inn, 6712 W. Pines Road, Mount Morris. Call Beth, bridal consultant, at 815-946-2400 or go to

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From Petals to Parties Creating a personalized look, unique and memorable


BY LUCINDA HALL Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s every brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream to create a personalized look, unique and memorable for her special day. The details, however, may seem daunting and just the thought can send some brides into a panic. Relax. Petals to Parties in Dixon can make those visions a reality without the trepidation. Owners Wendy Faley and Jamie Moore are dream-makers when it comes to making wedding ceremonies and receptions reflect the special personalities of the bridal couple. The pair opened Petals to Parties in 2013 with a mission to ensure that clients were provided with creative solutions at affordable prices for their events. What sets them apart is the vast number of wedding services they provide. Flowers, invitations, event decorating, tuxedos and personalized gifts are among the most requested services. They also provide wedding and reception decorating set-up and clean-up. FLOWERS CONTINUED ON 49

Alex T. Paschal/

Petals to Parties owners Wendy Faley (left) and Jamie Moore have what you need for your wedding.

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Places to order wedding flowers Petals to Parties 113 S. Hennepin Ave., Dixon 815-288-7490 Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Flowers, Etc. 1103 Palmyra St., Dixon 815-288-3335 Hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-noon Saturday Lundstrom Florist 1709 E. Third St., Sterling 815-625-0080 Hours 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Selmiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bridal Services 1206 Dixon Ave., Rock Falls 815-441-4575 Consultations by appointment Walmart Supercenter 1640 S. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-288-7770 Hours 24/7 Wilson Greenhouse & Florist 103 N. Heaton St., Morrison 815-772-2126 Hours 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m.-noon Thursday and Saturday Hy -Vee Grocery Store 901 S. Fourth St., Clinton, Iowa 563-243-6162


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Pictures are always helpful

it into a reality. They can create lavish or laidback wedding ceremony arches or incorporate decorated columns to enhance any venue, whether in or outdoors, from their inventory of decorating accessories. With the help of Petals to Paritiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; designer services, reception settings can be transFLOWERS formed with chair covers and sashes availCONTINUED FROM 47 able in satin or organza in an array of colors and patterns. Stunning head tables can be created with lighting, tulle and ribbons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When it comes to weddings, we can proCeiling treatments become magical when vide just about everything except the dress,â&#x20AC;? enhanced with lights, hanging lanterns and Faley said. fabric. Tall, unique clear vases and candles They collaborate with each bride to disadd elegance and ambiance to table centercover what her special vision is, beginning pieces. with a detailed checklist covering everyNo detail is left to chance. Even gift tables, thing from the bridal bouquet to chair covwhen adorned with a whimsical birdcage ers and even ceiling treatments. or a rustic wooden church for gift cards, Topping the list are flowers, and making a become a special focal point for guests. statement with flowers is Petals to Partiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The best tip the pair can share with brides specialty. Both Moore and Faley are pursuAlex T. Paschal/ is to reserve their date well in advance. ing their certification in floral horticulture. Real and artificial flowers can be found Petals to Parties already is scheduling wedâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Most brides have an idea of what they at Petals to Parties. dings into the fall and brides are encourwant as far as colors and the types of flowaged to contact them 6 months prior to ers they like. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always helpful if they bring their wedding date. a picture of what they like, so we can create als to Parties designs ceremony and reception arrangements for altars, cake and gift Moore and Faley pride themselves on the vision they want to portray,â&#x20AC;? Moore tables, cake toppers, centerpieces and head always bringing their best talents and netsaid. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will visit the church or any other working with only the best, guaranteeing facility, when we feel it is necessary, to help tables. Ceremony and reception decorating and clients access to the finest decorations, the bride plan her flower arrangements and design can truly set a wedding apart. If a flowers and details for events at reasonable bouquets.â&#x20AC;? Beyond bouquets and boutonnières, Pet- bride has an idea, Moore and Faley can turn prices.

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Aurelioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bake Shop in Sterling, owned by Aurelio Gallardo, is a local bakery that provides beautiful custom cakes and baked goods for that special day. This year, Aurelio expects the classic tiered wedding cake to remain popular.

Bake shops Aurelioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bake Shop 406 Avenue G, Sterling 815-626-2253 Jackieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Delish Desserts 815-593-0783 www.jackiesdelishdesserts Jackies-Delish-Desserts

Folsomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bakery 319 First Ave., Rock Falls 815-622-7870

Sweet Dreams 1969B DeKalb Ave., Sycamore 815-756-8150

Walmart Supercenter 1640 S Galena Ave., Dixon 815 288-7770 4115 E. Lincolnway, Sterling 815-626-7200

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Custom cakes

Classic tiered weddings cakes remain popular

BY CASSANDRA ZIMMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


edding receptions require a great deal of planning, and as a significant focal point, designing a wedding cake for the special day is no exception. Aurelio’s Bake Shop in Sterling, owned by Aurelio Gallardo, 40, is one local bakery that provides beautiful custom cakes and baked goods for that special day. In his 25 years of experience, Aurelio has seen trends continue to change from year to year. This year, he expects the continued popularity of diamonds, sparkles and colors among brides. However, he also expects the classic tiered wedding cake to remain as popular as ever. Gallardo suggests that brides and grooms begin planning with a baker at least 3 months or more before the wedding. This provides ample time for a cake tasting and designing of the wedding cake or alternative options, such as the trending cupcake cake. CAKES CONTINUED ON 52

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Philip Marruffo/

Aurelio Gallardo, owner Aurelio’s Bake Shop in Sterling, expects diamonds to continue to be popular among brides.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Couples receive a fresh, 1-year anniversary cake CAKES

“Communication between bride and groom is just as important as between bride and baker,” Gallardo said. “Many of the cake tastings here As the popularity of sweet tables and include not only the bride and groom alternatives to large bridal cakes con- but also some family members. The tinues to grow, Aurelio’s has continexperience is an easy way to incorued to expand options for brides and porate everyone in a decision for the grooms. wedding while making planning progFor the bride planning special ediress.” bles for the guests, the bakery can creBuying a wedding cake from Aureate a fruit or sweets table, and custom lio’s Bake Shop also helps to create iced cookies. His bakery makes mini future memories. tarts and pies that can be filled with Aurelio’s provides a complementary any fruit filling. 1-year anniversary cake for the bride For these treats, Aurelio’s Bake Shop and groom. “has done many different flavors using “This provides the opportunity for fresh fruit fillings, including peach, the whole cake to be served at the apple, and pumpkin. But a bride can reception rather than freezing part of give me almost any flavor and I can the cake, which is what the couple tracreate it for their special event.” ditionally does. Instead I send them a Gallardo advises that the couple buy fresh couple’s cake in the same flavor a small cake for cake-cutting pictures. as their original design.” One of the most important parts of By doing this, Gallardo provides designing and ordering a wedding a connection to the past through cake is communication. recreating a special moment for the The cake tasting is a relaxing, yet fun, couple, a role that the bakery strives part of the planning process that can be to achieve throughout the entire overlooked as a bonding experience. process. CONTINUED FROM 51

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Gallardo also expects colors to continue to be in demand for cakes.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


The Chicken Coop delivers Satisfying and affordable food


BY LUCINDA HALL Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

udget conscious brides need not sacrifice delicious, guest-pleasing fare on their special day. “With today’s economy, many people are forgoing lavish wedding receptions, and that’s our niche,” said Brenda Plock, owner of The Chicken Coop in Rock Falls. “Everyone is looking to get satisfying, affordable food, and that’s what we’re all about.” Depending on the complexity of the menu, full buffet dinners range from $7.95 to $12.95 per person. There also are a’ la carte options that can further reduce the cost. Plock once worked with a $1,000 budget to serve 225 guests. “That was the couple’s budget and we worked with them to create a menu to fit it,” Plock said.


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Brenda Plock, owner of The Chicken Coop in Rock Falls, which offers dine in, carry out, delivery, and catering services.



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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Using fresh ingredients makes a difference CATERERS


Her motto is “You choose the menu and I make it happen.” She is dedicated to helping create reasonably priced, people pleasing foods. Plock can accommodate groups from 50 to 250 at just about any venue from churches, rental halls and homes to outdoor venues. The most unusual venue she catered was in a barn. “A very nice barn, there is no doubt about it!” she said. “It was all set up and beautifully decorated. It was awesome!” She prefers to cater within 20 miles of Rock Falls to maintain the quality and sustainability of the food, but has done receptions as far away as Rochelle. She remembers a Prophetstown reception where she couriered fresh fried chicken three times back and forth from her Rock Falls location just to make certain the food was fresh and inviting. When approached to cater a wedding, Plock has just two questions: How many people, and what is the budget? She encourages people to contact her at least 60 days before the wedding, but based on

options. Jalapeno cornbread is a favorite, and the mashed potatoes come with gravy (Contact for appointments) made from Plock’s homemade stock. Sandwiches, or “samitches” as Plock calls them, The Chicken Coop also are popular. The “Bodacious Ribs” are 208 W. 10th St., Rock Falls a crowd pleaser. The St. Louis-style ribs are 815-622-4999 slow cooked, grilled and topped with a sigEmail: nature sauce. All of The Chicken Coop’s dishes are made Creative Cuisine from scratch from Plock’s recipes and she 1741 Industrial Drive, No. 24, Sterling will not compromise on quality, using the 815-626-7546 freshest ingredients available. She describes her food as “Simple, traditional style – the kind of food you’d have Hy-Vee Grocery Store 901 S. Fourth St.,, Clinton, Iowa at a family gathering. Unpretentious. No 563-243-6162 muss. No fuss. Just friendly, affordable food.” Plock defines her niche as generally “do-ityourselfers,” budget conscious couples. She her schedule has organized catering with as usually provides just the food, but can also little as 30 days’ notice. accommodate soft drinks, disposable tableCouples select from a menu of all homemade foods. Topping the list is The Chicken ware, set-up and clean-up, if requested. “I like to think my food helps to make it Coop’s chicken strips served with Coop a special occasion. I just want everyone to sauce – a special dipping sauce to complibe happy when all is said and done. Back ment the strips. The strips are made from to the simple – that’s what The Chicken fresh chicken that Plock guarantees results in the moistest chicken. Ham and roast beef Coop is all about. Keeping it good. Keeping also rank high as entrees. The side dishes it simple. I let the taste of the food speak for include a variety of salad, biscuit and potato itself.”

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Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Many brides make their grand entrance down the staircase of the lobby at Days Inn, where below there is a quaint backdrop with a vaulted ceiling and chandelier.

Area reception sites Days Inn is at 2501 First Ave., Rock Falls. For more information, call 815-626-5500. Other reception locations include the elegant Post House Ballroom at 100 W. Second St., Dixon, 815-288-0892; the scenic Park Lodge inside of Eagle Point Park at 3923 N. Third St., Clinton, Iowa,

563-243-1260; for a rustic farm-like setting, Oak Lane of Oregon Wedding & Event Venue is at 3261 S. Daysville Road, Oregon, 815-871-0948. Additional reception facilities include Amboy Community Building at 280 W. Wasson Road, Amboy, call 815-857-2324;

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Rock River Golf & Pool at 3901 Dixon Road, Rock Falls, call 815-625-2322; The Brandywine at 441 state Route 2, Dixon, call 815284-8484; Kapp’s Banquet Facility at 201 W. First St., Rock Falls, call 815-625-1963; and Timber Creek at 729 Timber Creek Road, Dixon, call 815-288-5110.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Making a grand entrance Days Inn offers picturesque backdrop for receptions


BY KIMBERLY WATLEY Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

oxanne Billings loves her brides. The banquet manager of Days Inn in Rock Falls strives to make their day as special as they could ever imagine and feeds off of their excitement. Making a grand entrance or having a picturesque backdrop is easy, as a wooden staircase leads to the lobby, where there is a vaulted ceiling and elaborate chandelier. Billings said that is one of many places people like to take photographs with their bridal parties. The facility itself offers home cooked meals by chef Marcia Peugh, who uses only the freshest ingredients, she said. Peugh also is in charge of the onsite restaurant, All American Bar and Grill. An initial big seller for couples is the hotel itself, Billings said. RECEPTIONS CONTINUED ON 58

Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Roxanne Billings, banquet manager of Days Inn in Rock Falls, puts the final touches on centerpieces for an upcoming party.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Couple receives a comped room RECEPTIONS


“It brings them in from out of town. Knowing they can stay right here makes it much more convenient.” Based on the number of guests, there is a 10 to 15 percent discount for multiple overnight wedding block guests. Accommodations include a pool area, where some have taken the plunge. The round pool is surrounded by suites with large patio windows with an outside area. The upper level has balconies looking down into the pool area. The Ball Room, where most parties take place, comfortably seats 300, with a cost of $1,000 for the day. Portable walls can be added, breaking the ballroom down to a smaller setting, for fewer than 100 guests with a price of $500. “We have the tables, chairs, linens, riser, lights around the main tables, cake cutting service, bartenders, skirting, dance floor, and the bride and groom get a comped room to stay the night,” Billings said. When renting space, guests are given the

Kimberly Watley/Special to SVM

Many couples enjoy poolside parties at the Rock Falls Days Inn. afternoon before the event to decorate and prepare. There is a full menu available no matter the party size. Peugh said some couples request individual meals, other like appetizers only, many choose buffet style or homestyle and she is willing to accommodate. She makes everything homemade with fresh ingredients and said the most commonly requested meals include chicken


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cordon bleu, fried chicken, sliced roast beef, chicken parmesan and the pasta buffet. Two bartenders are included in the rental. There is a full bar in the banquet area. They recommend one keg for every 100 people and can have plenty of special liquor requests on-hand. Billings, who has 10 years of experience, said, “I love working with my brides and seeing everyone have a great time here.”

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


A unique wedding favor Oregon Soap Shoppe creates custom, scented gifts


BY KAYLA HEIMERMAN Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

or one special night, the smell of citrus wafts through the air. Then, perhaps a few months or a few years later, that same scent flits on a breeze, and it transports the recipient to the time and place she first smelled it: a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wedding. The Oregon Soap Shoppe, 91C S. Daysville Road in Oregon, helps couples have a signature scent for their special day. The shop creates custom wedding favors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; travel-sized bars of soap â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the color and scent of a coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice. First, the couple picks their favorite scent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love of Life,â&#x20AC;? a white tea with citrus scent, is popular for weddings, said owner and soap maker Lynnel Camling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cleanâ&#x20AC;? also is popular because it is versatile and appeals to most people, she said. FAVORS CONTINUED ON 60

SVM file photo

Oregon Soap Shoppe offers more than 200 varieties of handmade soap, as well as other products.


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

Couple chooses scent and colors FAVORS


Some couples choose a scent for their female guests and another for their male guests, Camling added. Next, the couple selects a color. Most soaps are white or cream and can be dyed with a colored swirl to match the colors of the wedding, usually the bridesmaids’ dresses, Camling said. All colors come from natural pigments, so the colors are not always exact, but often very close, she added. Some couples with two colors, one given to their female guests and the other to their male guests, Camling said. The soaps, which are about an ounce and a half, or larger than a hotel-sized bar of soap, are packed in organza bags and come with a custom label that includes a short message, the couple’s name and the wedding date. The favors are about $2 apiece. Orders for custom soap must be placed a month in advance. “You can’t buy personalized M&Ms or candles that cheap,” Camling said. “And

SVM file photo

Wash cloths, loufas and brushes are some of the items offered to go with Oregon Soap Shoppe’s handmade soaps. you can’t get a much more personalized wedding favor than the soap. It’s the scent the couple has chosen for their wedding. It’s in their colors. “Plus, it’s sort of festive. People associ-

ate good smells with happy memories.” The shop has been offering soaps as favors for weddings, wedding showers and baby showers and as gifts for anniversaries and birthdays for 20 years.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014





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Capturing memories Wedding photographers specialize in preserving those special moments


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Photographer shoots for artistic look PHOTOGRAPHERS CONTINUED FROM 63


Brett Paul


for is our ‘night portrait.’ It’s the last photo we take of the night, when it’s gotten dark, using a backlight. It’s sometimes like a moonlight shot, and some like to say it resembles an angel light,” Paul said. Paul likes the old quote that says, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” “We really have a passion for photography, and especially for weddings, so we hope that comes out in the pictures we take,” he said.

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“When we’re done with a wedding shoot, we’ve got a half of a terabyte of memory full on our computer,” Paul said. “The higher-quality photos are full of richness and color. I like to compare it to listening to music. If you have a low bitrate, it sounds tinny, but at a high bitrate you hear so much more fullness. These photos really capture the variations in shadows and light. The night shots are fantastic.” Paul blends his interest in computer technology with an artistic bent – he enjoys painting and drawing – to develop a unique artistic effect in his photography. “When I photograph, both for the couple and for myself, too, I’m looking for that artistic look, an interesting lighting,” he said. “As I reach for that and shoot for that, like shooting for the stars, all of the shots come out looking good.” “One thing we’ve kind of gotten known

When I photograph, both for the couple and for myself, too, I’m looking for that artistic look, an interesting lighting. As I reach for that and shoot for that, like shooting for the stars, all of the shots come out good.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


Photo courtesy of Brett Paul Photography

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Giving couples what they want DJ’s list includes special songs and a ‘do-not-play’ section

‘‘ ’’

raphers, so they don’t miss any special moments. usic is an instrumental part of “I want the bride and groom to show up any wedding reception. Steven and let me take care of everything. And I Lopez, owner of Lasting Impresknow what they want based on what they sions Mobile DJ Services, has worked with a fill out,” he said. “The bride and groom lot of couples since 1998, when he began his might have been to others and seen how Steven Lopez, owner of business. things are done, but I do this most weekLasting Impressions Mobile DJ Services Over the years, he has learned to listen to ends, so I know what to do. I direct them the couples to provide them with the best when they are unsure. They send me the day possible. To pull it off without a hitch, forms 2 weeks in advance, so I can look preparing for the big day well in advance is asked me not to.” it over make sure there are no problems, key, he said. advise them how to speed things up.” More than a DJ, Lopez acts as the MC for Beginning with a survey, he gathers a When Lopez arrives, he brings his own the event, dressed in a tuxedo. He also looks music list of genres the bride and groom light and sound systems. He has LED lights, the part. enjoy. The list includes special songs and a Coordinating with the venue on times for and recently upgraded his sound system. “do not play” section. the toast, throwing of the bouquet and gar- Though the new one is smaller, it is more He said the process helps the party move ter, cake cutting and first dance, he carefully powerful than the big ones he previously along smoothly, and keeps people on the “had to lug around.” prepares a schedule. dance floor. A wedding package for 6 hours costs $650, “I created a 3-page wedding events work“I’d say the Chicken Dance is the one with a $50 deposit required a week before sheet. It outlines the reception, lets me most frequently added to the do-not-play the wedding. know if there is going to be a toast, if they list,” he said with a chuckle. “Even if there is want an introduction of bridal party, and “I try to make sure everything goes well,” a request for something on that list, I won’t keeps the flow of the party going,” he said. Lopez said. “This is their special day. They play anything the bride and groom has get one shot at it, so that is my main focus.” He also works closely with the photogBY KIMBERLY WATLEY Special to Sauk Valley Weddings


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Every honeymoon is different Travel professionals answer questions, find the best deals for clients


BY LUCINDA HALL Special to Sauk Valley Weddings

he cake has been cut, the bouquet thrown to a grateful single girlfriend, and it’s time for the grand finale – the honeymoon! Take time to plan it wisely. By enlisting the expertise of an experienced travel professional, couples will have the guidance they need to make it a memorable occasion. What’s more, they just might be surprised by the cost savings they can realize using a travel adviser rather than going the do-it-yourself Internet route. “A good travel agent works on your behalf as both travel expert and consumer advocate,” said Avril Guinn, owner of Destinations Travel Services in Sterling. “We try to make the honeymoon process as flawless as we can and have compiled a ‘honeymoon checklist,’ which we have couples complete prior to the initial visit with our travel advisers. It’s a big purchase and deserves exploration.” Guinn likes to think of it as a fun discovery game for couples and suggests they take the list, pour themselves a glass of wine, sit at opposite ends of the table, and write down things they envision doing on their honeymoon. The checklist opens up a lot of ideas and becomes the travel adviser’s road map for designing the perfect getaway. “It’s surprising how much couples learn about each other!” Guinn said, laughing. Colleen Brechon, owner of Travel Consultants of Dixon, agrees. Key to her approach is matching interests and budgets. “Honeymoons are different for every couple,” Brechon said. “This is why consulting a travel agent is so important.” Her best tip is to plan a honeymoon that balances the interests of both people. Depending on the destination, couples are encouraged to contact a travel agent as far as a year in advance of their departure – especially if they will be travelling out of the country or during peak seasonal vacation times. Certain dates and destinations can book up very quickly. Some of the most popular destinations for Rock River Valley honeymooners are Jamaica because of the flight options and resorts, as well as all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. All-inclusive locations often offer the best value. Mini Moons have gained some popularity over the past several years, but

Alex T. Paschal/

For honeymoons, travel agent Avril Guinn of Destinations Travel services in Sterling asks newlyweds to write down some of the things they’d like to do on their getaway in order to find the place that best fits their activity wants.

Travel consultants Destinations Travel Services 4015 E. Lincolnway, Sterling 815-625-3500 Travel Consultants of Dixon, Inc. 735 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-284-6681 even with a shorter stay, there are great values that travel agents have access to – another advantage over Internet planning. “If you compare the price of a 3-night getaway in the USA and that of an allinclusive down to Mexico or the Caribbean, you would be amazed at how cost effective international travel really is,” Guinn said. “That’s where working with

a travel consultant can really be budget friendly. We investigate, compare and explain prices and promotions to get the best option for clients. What looks the cheapest may not always be the cheapest and we can help you understand why.” Guinn and Brechon agree that searching the Internet is a useful tool and can provide couples with information and education on destinations they might like to go. The next step should be seeking out a travel professional who can answer questions and find the best deals. One of the most important benefits of using a travel consultant is dealing with a “live” agent, who has made it a career to fine-tune travel details. What’s more, if travel problems arise, travelers can contact their agent directly to help resolve any issues rather than going through an Internet travel help desk. Brechon offers this advice, “Your honeymoon only happens once, so do it up right, but keep your budget in mind!”


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014

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 accommodations for members of the wed9 months before Scripps Howard News Service ding party who live out of town. your wedding It’s never too early to start choosing a theme for your wed- Reserve a block of rooms for Choose your wedding date. ding, or styles of bridesmaid dresses you like. 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. Reserve your reception site. their costs. Keep track of your reception and wedding-related discussions and their bids in Check the requirements for Choose your wedding parties, and who pays for what. a notebook or with weddinga marriage license. attendants. Enlist help. Consider hiring a 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 69 Determine the theme or Choose your caterer. friends to assist you in specific

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Register for gifts at one or more bridal gift registries 4 months in advance. Let people know what you want before they shop for your showers and wedding day.

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.

2 months before your wedding Mail out your wedding invitations and announcements.

Have wedding portraits taken. 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 preferences, down to the volume, favorite songs you’d like to hear, or even songs you don’t want played. COUNTDOWN CONTINUED ON 70


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Don’t forget to relax the day before COUNTDOWN


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-ofaddress forms at the post office. Meet with your photographer to specify the formal shots you want taken of the bridal party, as well as specific, can-

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 weddingday directions.

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 Allow plenty of time for dressing, makeup and hair styling. Metro If you plan on photogTake time to relax and enjoy a massage, manicure and pediraphy before the ceremony, cure the day before your wedding. allow ample time so you’re not rushed. did shots you’d like taken during appears precisely as you Relax, and remember: This ing the reception. wished. Review the video plans with Begin packing for your hon- is your special day, the result of all your careful planning. Now your videographer. eymoon. it’s time to enjoy. Take a deep breath. Refuse to 2 weeks before 1 week before let any glitch get to you. Savor your wedding your wedding every moment of this sacred Keep writing those thankday. Make final checks with all you notes for wedding gifts! Let your joy and happiness your vendors: officiant, musiPick up your wedding rings. cians, florist, photographer, vid- shine through. Make sure any special engraveographer, limousine or other Best wishes!

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The groom’s to-do 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 todos.

12 months before

or horse and buggy. While you’re at it, figure out where you’re going after the reception – airport? hotel? – and make plans for getting there. FYI, tradition dictates that your best man drives you.

3 months before

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. 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. 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. Give a jeweler the finger. After he measures it, let your fiancée do the same, and then 9 months before order your wedding rings. Meet and greet suitable Decide on inscriptions. officiants. Priest, rabbi, justice If you’re going to tie the of the peace, officially sancknot, you may have to get your tioned Elvis impersonators – the blood tested. It’s the law in choice is yours. some states. Book the talent. It’ll probably fall to you to choose the 6 to 8 weeks before band or disc jockey. Be sure to Get a sparkling smile. Cut get references and hear music down on coffee and try a whitbeforehand – and run it by your ening toothpaste. Want to really bride before you sign on the shine? Consider a professional dotted line. bleaching with a dentist or use Start drawing up your guest an over-the-counter whitening list. This is something you’ll system. probably want to get your parDon’t be cheap. This is one ents in on, too. of the most important moments in your life, so put some real 6 months before thought into the matter and then buy your bride a wedding Plan your honeymoon. If you’re leaving the country, now gift. would be a good time to check Don’t be cheap, part 2. or find your passport – or get Search high and low for the them if you and your girl don’t perfect groomsmen gifts. These have ’em – and see what kind guys are going to put out come of shots or visas you might D-Day to make sure you look need. your best. Make sure you get them something decent to Who’s driving? Arrange for transportation to the ceremony show for it. and reception. Think limousine Don’t lose it. Pick up your 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. 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. 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.

wedding rings and put them in a safe place. While you’re at it, check the engraving carefully for typos.

2 weeks before Do something really romantic with your wife-to-be. But before you do, pick up your marriage license. Don’t do something stupid. But have a really good time. It’s your bachelor party and last chance to go crazy without the ball and chain legally attached.

1 week before Get ready to relax. Doublecheck the honeymoon reservations, start packing your bags, and pick up traveler’s checks. Pay your officiant. Put his or her fee in an envelope and give it to your best man for post-vow delivery. You are expected to speak to the crowd at your wedding reception. Sound sensitive and intelligent, start coming up with that impromptu toast to her family now. Rally the troops. Give your groomsmen the rehearsal dinner low-down and make sure everybody’s got his monkey suit pressed and ready. By the way, get a haircut already.

The day before Make her cry. Write a sweet little “I love you” note (or other touching trick) and leave it somewhere she’ll find it on wedding morning, particularly if you won’t be seeing her before the ceremony.



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Such style: The bride’s trousseau Bridal Gown Store: __________________________________________________

Telephone: _________________

Address: _______________________________________________

Consultant: _________________

Gown Description: ______________________________________________________________________ Date Ordered: ____________________________

Date Promised: ____________________________

Price: ___________________________________ Fitting Appointments: (Bring proper undergarments and shoes to fittings.) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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: __________________________________________


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The brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attendants Bridesmaids Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Flower girl Name: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Gowns Store: ______________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Address: ______________________________________

Consultant: _______________________

Gown Description: _______________________________________________________________________________________ Date Ordered: ___________________ Date Promised: ___________________ Price: ___________________ Fitting Appointments: (Bring proper undergarments and shoes to all fittings.) ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Accessories: ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Shoes: _____________________________ Price: _______________________ Jewelry: _____________________________ Price: ______________________ _____________________________________ Price: ______________________ Undergarments: _____________________________ Price: _______________ Handbags: _____________________________ Price: ____________________ Wrap: _____________________________ Price: ________________________ Other: _____________________________ Price: ________________________



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The supporting cast 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. Bridesmaid Helps the bride and maid of honor in many ways. Takes care of own dress and accessories fittings. May help with a shower for the bride, optional. Assists the bride with errands. Contributes to bridesmaids’ gift to the bride and usually gives an individual gift to the couple. Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Walks in processional 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. Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Makes sure the groom has the marriage license with him at the ceremony. Delivers any payment to officiant, sexton and ceremony musicians, as prearranged. Holds the bride’s wedding ring during the ceremony until the vows are spoken. Walks in recessional. Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate. 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.

Always be prepared for emergencies

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 justin-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 lastminute 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 at all times in a small evening bag 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 easyto-carry snacks Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, etc.) Sunblock

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The groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attendants Tuxedos Store: _______________________________________________________ Phone: __________________________

Price: _____________________

Consultant: ___________________________________________________ Description: ___________________________________________________ Pick-Up Date: ____________________ Return Date: ________________ Date Measurements Needed By: _________________________________

Groomsmen Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________

Ring Bearer Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________

Ushers Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________ Name: _____________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________


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Reception perfection Where it’s at Reception Site: __________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________ Price: _______________ Phone: _____________________ Contact: _________________________________________

Catering services

The caterer Name: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ____________________________________________________ Cost: _____________________________________________________ Deposit: __________________________________________________ Balance Due: ______________________________________________ Per Person Rate: ___________________________________________ Flat Rate: __________________________________________________ Reception Style: Formal __________________________________________________ Hors d’oeuvres ___________________________________________ Buffet ___________________________________________________ Cake and Punch ___________________________________________ Estimated Number of Guests: ________________________________

Number of waiters/waitress provided: ________________________________ Services they will perform: ________________________________ ________________________________ How long will they serve at the reception? ________________________________ What type of equipment does the caterer supply? ________________________________ Will table service and linens be provided? ________________________________ What bar/beverages will be supplied? ________________________________ Who will provide cleanup services? ________________________________

What’s on the menu Hors d’oeuvres


Main Course

Side Dishes




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Blooms for brides Florist _____________________________________

Phone ___________________________





Bridal Bouquet





Maid of Honor Bouquet





Bridesmaids’ Bouquets





Flower Girl’s Bouquet





Floral Headpieces





Mothers’/Grandmothers’ Corsages





Hostesses’ Flowers





Groom’s Boutonniere





Fathers’/Grandfathers’ Boutonniere





Groomsmen’s /Ushers’ Boutonniere





Ring Bearer’s Pillow





Altar/Chuppah Flowers





Aisle or Pew Decorations





Reception Room Flowers





Head Table Centerpiece





Guests’ Table Centerpieces





Cake/Buffet Table Decorations











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Get showered with all the right gifts Stores where gifts are registered Store: __________________________________________

Store: __________________________________________

Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

Store: __________________________________________

Store: __________________________________________

Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

Phone: ___________ Website: _____________________

Bathroom 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 ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________

Bedroom Color Scheme: ____________________________________ Bed Size: _________________________________________ Bedspread Blanket Breakfast Tray Comforter/Duvet Electric Blanket Flat/Fitted Sheets Mattress Pad Pillows Pillowcases/Shams Throw Blanket

____________________ ____________________

Around the House 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 ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________

____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________

Other ____________________









Fun stuff _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________

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Get showered with all the right gifts Kitchen

Dining and Serving

Color Scheme: ___________________________________

Formal Color Scheme: _________________________________

Table Size: ______________________________________

Formal Dinnerware Manufacturer/Pattern: _____________________________________________________

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

______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________












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

Cloth Napkins


______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________


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Decorating details Balloons Decorator: _______________________________

Phone: ______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: ____________________________________________________________ Delivery Date/Time/Place: _________________________________________________ Description: _____________________________________________________________

Rentals Store 1: ________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: ____________________________________________________________ Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: ___________________________________ Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Return Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Deposit: __________________ Cost: ________________ Store 2: ________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: ____________________________________________________________ Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: ___________________________________ Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Return Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Deposit: __________________ Cost: ________________ Store 3: ________________________________

Phone: _______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: ____________________________________________________________ Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception: ___________________________________ Pick-up/Delivery Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Return Date: _______________ Time: _______________ Deposit: __________________ Cost: ________________

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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 Coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First Dance: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Wedding Party Dance: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Couple/Parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dance: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Other Requests: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________


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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 Boutonnieres Parents Receiving Flowers

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 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

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 __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________

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Service providers Beauty Care

Salon: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Stylist: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Appointment: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________


Bakery: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: ____________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Appointment: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Invitations and Stationery

Name of Store: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Date Ordered: ____________________________________________ Date Promised: ________________________________________ Manufacturer: ___________________________________________________ Style No.: ______________________________________ Quantity Ordered: _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Name of Store: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________


Company Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Type of Vehicle: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pickup Date: _____________________________________________ Time: _________________________________________________ Length of Rental Time: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Capacity: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Travel Agency

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Salesperson: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________ Destination: _________________________________________________________________________________ Departure Date: ___________________________________________ Return Date: __________________________________________ Airline: ___________________________________________________ Flight Number: ________________________________________ Travel Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________


Studio Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Videographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Name: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _________________________________________________________ Price: __________________________________________


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Balancing the budget Estimated cost


Engagement party Bridesmaids’ lunch Bachelor party Rehearsal dinner

Wedding stationery Announcements Invitations Thank-you cards/notes Stamps Other

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Bridal attire/formalwear 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

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Ceremony fees Church, synagogue Officiant fees Organist, soloist fees Janitorial fees


Ceremony arrangements Bride’s bouquet Groom’s boutonniere 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

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

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

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

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


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

Accommodations Country Inn & Suites .... 86 Comfort Inn ................. 19 Harmony Hills Bed & Breakfast .......... 58 Magnuson Hotel .......... 61 White Pines Inn .......... 4,5

Beauty Salons & Day Spas

Clergy Pastor Scott Porter...... 17

Clothing & Lingerie Lavendar ’n’ Lace........ 46

Cosmetics & Beauty Supplies Merle Norman ............. 32

Bittersweet Salon & Boutique ................................... 37 Joanne’s Total Image .. 34 Karma Salon & Spa ..... 49 Skin Deep Spa Treatments ..................................... 3 Studio 404 .................. 23

Exceptional Dentistry ... 66 Plastic Surgery Associates ................................... 59

Bridal Gowns

Event Specialists ......... 61 123 Picture Me ............ 61

The Dressing Room at Deja Vu.................... 51 Marien Mae Bridal ......... 7 Satin ’N Lace............... 14

Cakes & Sweets Aurelio’s Bake Shop ...... 8 Baker Street ................ 58 CM Cakes and Flowers ................................... 54 Folsom’s Bakery.......... 62 Sweetheart Bakery ...... 63 Walmart Super Center ................................... 39

Catering Services Creative Cuisine .......... 40 Walmart Super Center ................................... 39

Ceremony Sites The Barn at Allen Acres ................................... 30 Barnacopia .................. 29 The Dillon Home .......... 88 Heritage Canyon Church ................................... 40 Historic Dixon Theatre . 55 Japanese Anderson Gardens ................................... 60 Oak Lane of Oregon .... 53 On Holden Pond ......... 87

Cosmetic Surgery

Event Planner

Financial Institutions First National Bank in Amboy ................................... 22 Milledgeville State Bank ................................... 65 Sterling Federal Bank .... 9

Floral Preservation JJ’s Keepsake Gardens ................................... 50

Florists Country Floral .............. 33 CM Cakes and Flowers ................................... 54 Lundstrom Florist Inc. .. 41 Petals to Parties .......... 57 Selmi’s Greenhouse and Farm Market ......... 13 Twigs and Sprigs......... 45 Wilson’s Greenhouse .. 48 Walmart Super Center ................................... 39

Gifts & Gift Registry Accents ....................... 35 Bergner’s .................... 38 Oregon Soap Shoppe . 42 Selmi’s Greenhouse and Farm Market ......... 13

Home Furnishings Sweetwood Interiors.... 44

Insurance Agents Country Insurance ....... 13 Schuneman Insurance ................................... 42

Jewelry Don’s Jewelry Inc ........ 36 Frank Jewelers .............. 2

Liquor Stores Liquor ’N’ Wine Inc. ..... 31 Rock Falls Liquors ....... 16

Music DJV DJ Services .......... 48 Lasting Impressions..... 46

Photographers Brett Paul Photography ................................... 27 Lynne Photography ..... 18 MB Photography ......... 54 Royer Photography ..... 28 Shuttered Moments..... 30

Reception Sites Arnie’s Happy Spot ..... 63 Barnacopia .................. 29 Byron Forest Preserve ................................... 65 Dixon VFW .................. 38 Historic Dixon Theatre . 55 Latin American Social Club ................................... 61 On Holden Pond ......... 88 The Pavillion at Emerald Hill ................................... 88 Post House Ballroom... 26 Rock River Golf & Pool ................................... 11 The Next Picture Show .... ................................... 56 Timber Creek Golf Course ................................... 45

Supplies & Services Ace Hardware & Outdoor Center ......................... 33 Big John Portable Toilet Rental.......................... 47 Kreative Rentals .......... 52 Petals to Parties .......... 57

Tanning Shades Custom Spray Tanning ....................... 18 Vegas Sun Inc. ............ 50

Transportation Party Transit ................ 87 Quad City International Airport ................................... 32 Sterling Motors ............ 48

Travel Agents Destinations Travel Services ................................... 43 Travel Consultants ....... 56

Tuxedo Rental Seno Formal Wear....... 36

Videographers Da Videoguy ................ 64

Weight Loss Curves......................... 34 Now Care .................... 52


Sauk Valley Weddings 2014



Sauk Valley Weddings 2014


The perfect site for an outdoor wedding, reception or honeymoon!

On Holden Pond 5116 West Penn Corner Road | Oregon, IL 61061














Wedding Packages Available Weddings Bachelor & Bachelortette Parties Airport Transportation Concerts & Corporate Events Any Special Event 5116 West Penn Corner Road | Oregon, IL 61061 | 815 -946-9100 Just minutes from White Pines & Castle Rock State Parks

The Classic Elegance of the Dillon Home The Dillon Home is the perfect location to host your wedding The beautiful, spacious grounds and backdrop will complete your special day

1005 East Third Street, Sterling For more information contact Linda Heckler, Curator



The Pavilion at

Overlooking the 4th tee of Emerald Hill Golf Course, you will enjoy an elegant atmosphere as our experienced staff assists you in arranging your special event. The Pavilion seats up to 240 people and offers a portable dance floor, bar and catering services.

16802 Prairieville Rd., Sterling