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PRSRT STD U.S. Postage


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






Sauk Valley


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020














Suited to the occasion

Telling love stories

Destination: Romance

Deerly beloved

Making a bigger splash

Making seams come true

With years of experience under their fashionable belts, local menswear stores know a thing or two about dressing men for success.

When Brett Paul takes wedding pictures, he does more than just focus on photos, he helps couples starting a new chapter in their fairy-tale romance.

Travel agents make sure couples who want to go the extra mile to celebrate their new journey through life have smooth sailing, or flying, ahead.

Deer Valley Banquet’s graphic designer has an open invitation to anyone getting married: Let us help you get the word out about your wedding.

The new owners of the Brandywine Banquet and Event Center have been putting a lot of work into their piece of local history in the remaking.

Have a picture of the perfect wedding dress in your mind, but just can’t find it in any store? A Dixon woman can tailor make one just for you.

TIPS, TRICKS & TRENDS Advice and pointers to help you get hitched without a hitch

Groom’s fashion........................10 Men’s formalwear......................12 Suits vs. tuxes...........................12 Wedding albums........................22 Honeymoons..................... 27 & 29 Invitations.................................33

Wedding dresses.......................47 Food.........................................48 Wedding cakes................. 51 & 52 Jewelry......................................53 Wedding tech................... 54 & 55 Bouquets...................................56


Area businesses that can help you with your big day Menswear.............12 Photographers.......20 Travel agents.........26

Venues.............40-42 Dresses.................46 Caterers................50

Wedding Cakes......52 Jewelry..................53 Flowers.................56


CHECKLISTS Groom 57 The bride’s trousseau 58 Bride’s attendants 59 Groom’s attendants 60 Supporting cast 61 In case of emergency 61 Service providers 62 Photography 63 Flowers 64 Reception 65 Decorating 66 Music 67 Gifts 68-69 Budget 70

SAUK VALLEY WEDDINGS Sauk Valley Media P.O. Box 498, 3200 E. Lincolnway Sterling, IL 61081 815-625-3600 Publisher: Don T. Bricker General Manager: Jennifer Heintzelman Sales: Jill Reyna Page design: Rusty Schrader Articles and advertising are the property of Sauk Valley Media of Dixon/Sterling. No portion of Sauk Valley Weddings 2019-2020 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.

ON THE COVER Bride and groom Savannah and Quinn Fagan of Dixon are shown in a photo from Brett Paul Photography. Go to or contact him at or 815-762-2390 for more information. Turn to page 14 to read more about Paul and his storybook approach to taking wedding photos.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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

ACCOMMODATIONS Holiday Inn Express..........................30 Lincoln Way Inn B&B........................11 Quality Inn & Suites.........................13

Creative Cuisine...............................37 Large Marge BBQ.............................32 Triple P BBQ.....................................17 That Place on Palmyra.......................5



Joanne’s Total Image........................37 Polished Hair & Nails.......................33

Amboy Community Center................38 Barn on the Hill...............................31 Brandywine........................................5 Deer Valley Country Club..................72 Dixon Riverfront...............................39 Dixon VFW Post 540.........................18 Hornbaker Gardens..........................29 Lincolnway Inn B&B..........................11 Livengood’s Barn..............................36 Mendota Civic Center.......................42 The Loft at K’s Korner.......................19

BRIDAL GOWNS Alexis Kay Designs & Bridal..............41 Main Moments................................48

BRIDAL SHOWERS Candlelight Inn..................................5 Deer Valley Country Club..................72 That Place on Palmyra.......................5

CAKES & TREATS Aurelio’s Bakery.................................8 Baker Street ...................................38 Woody’s Handmade Popcorn............34

HOSPITALS KSB.................................................23

INSURANCE AGENTS Country Financial...............................7


Exceptional Dentistry.......................14



Brett Paul Photography................1, 21 Onsite photography..........................15 You in Photos by Nanc.....................44

Fine Line Engraving............................2



Fine Line Engraving............................2 I Do Favors......................................45

Baker Street.....................................38 Brenda’s Chicken Coop....................40 Candlelight Inn..................................5

Fine Line Engraving............................2


Lavendar ‘n’ Lace.............................46



Fine Line Engraving............................2 Deer Valley Design & Print................72 Sauk Valley Printing..........................71 SBM................................................32 Seno Formal Wear............................39


Fine Line Engraving............................2

Lundstrom Florist.............................27 Selmi’s Weddings & Events.................7 Wilson Greenhouse..........................36

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS First State Bank of Shannon Polo.....45

FLORISTS Flowers Etc.......................................43

REHEARSAL DINNERS Amboy Community Center................38 Byron Forest Preserve.......................40 Candlelight Inn..................................5 Deer Valley Country Club..................72 That Place on Palymra.......................5 Triple P BBQ.....................................17

RECEPTION SITES Amboy Community Center................38 Barn on the Hill...............................31 Brandywine........................................5 Byron Forest Preserve.......................40 Deer Valley Country Club..................72 Dixon VFW Post 540.........................18 Hornbaker Gardens..........................29 Livengood’s Barn..............................36 Mendota Civic Center.......................42 Quality Inn & Suites.........................13 Rock River Center............................33 The Loft at K’s Korner.......................19

RENTALS Selmi’s Weddings & Events.................7 Midwest Tents & Events....................26 Big John...........................................28 Grummert’s Hardware......................34

SAVE THE DATE MAGNETS Payless Magnets..............................45

TRAVEL SERVICES Destination Travel Services...............25 Quad City International Airport.........35 Travel Consultants............................48

TUXEDO RENTAL Kaleel’s Clothing..............................35 Seno Formal Wear............................39 Flowers Etc......................................43

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Catering for ANY Event


Call today for your consultation!

2907 Locust St., Sterling • 2200 1st Avenue, Rock Falls 511 Riverview Drive, Clinton

(815) 288-6300 628 Palmyra Road Dixon

Your Wedding Day Prepared to Perfection Receptions. Meetings. Banquets. Seating up to 400.


441 IL RT. 2 DIXON | (815) 284-8484 | WWW.BRANDYWINEDIXON.COM



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

You’re invited ... to be a part of Sauk Valley Weddings

Do you have a business that caters to the business of love?

Send us your information for inclusion in the free listings in our future wedding magazines. We’re trying to build a comprehensive list of everything from to bridal gowns to venues, to make our magazines as complete a planning tool as possible. If we missed you this time around, our apologies.

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Please email the name of your business, its address, hours, phone number, email, website and whether you have a Facebook page, along with a brief description of the services you offer, to, attention weddings, and we promise we’ll do better the next time around. Sincerely, The staff at Sauk Valley Weddings

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

We make dream weddings come true 815.622.8040

223 First Ave., Rock Falls

Your Hometown Team Helping you protect what you’ve worked hard for 225 First Ave., Rock Falls Auto, Home, and Commercial policies issued by COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Casualty Insurance Company®, or COUNTRY Preferred Insurance Company®, Bloomington, IL. Life insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Life Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL. Fixed Annuities issued by COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL. 0316-039

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Your Vision. Your Style. Your Design.

We Make it Happen

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation Today! Coming Soon


Cake Factory

517 Locust St., Sterling, IL •

815-626-2253 (CAKE)

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

With years of experience under their fashionable belts, local menswear stores know a thing or two about dressing men for success BY SAUK VALLEY WEDDINGS STAFF

While it’s true that brides have a huge say in what their husbands-to-be will wear for the wedding, grooms are weighing in with their own preferences, and that fashion statement they’re making is “less formal and more casual.” Seno Formal Wear in Sterling offers tuxes in modern-fit sizes and a sleeker sports styles. Ariela Olalde-Herrera says that wearing the tux sans jacket, with just suspenders, and no vest is a very comfortable but semi-formal option. Bow ties and pocket squares can be coordinated to match the choice of colors for the wedding, and can personalize the tux. Sauk Valley Cleaners & Tuxedos in Dixon offers selections reflecting the latest style trends. Their vendors update the selection every 2 months. Customers can make an appointment with Tracey Linboom at Sauk Valley Cleaners. She is the specialist in Dixon who can help select the perfect combination of comfort and style to meet grooms’ taste. With budget concerns, couples are finding that renting just shirts, ties and pants, but no jacket, can save money as well. This option is especially suitable for outdoor or destination weddings, and less formal weddings. SUITED continued on 104



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3SUITED continued from 9

If formal is what you want, then you’ve still got plenty of choices – it’s not all just a black-tie affair. According to, a nationwide tuxedo wholesaler, trends include the colorful and the classic. While brides are usually the ones to wear something borrowed and something blue, tuxedo trends are borrowing from their fashion sense. Blue is big this year, but not the 1970’s-era powder blue that makes fashionistas cringe. Midnight, navy, or Tuxes vs. suits – slate blues are which is better? marching down And where you the aisle. Burcan get both in gunday is also a the Sauk Valley. popular choice Turn to page 12 for men looking to add a little color to their wedding wardrobe. Grays remain a popular choice for weddings. It’s a way to pull back just a bit on the formality, but still stay classy. If picking the blues and the grays could cause a civil war with your brideto-be, there’s always the classic: Black. Long the “backbone of the formal wear industry,” black is a timeless option for formal occasions. Though tradition says that black tuxes are suited for evening weddings, the fashion rules are lax, and black tuxes are popular for daytime wed-

Who says weddings have to be black-tie affairs? Color will make formal fashionwear pop, and a paisley pattern adds a subtle but distinctive look to tuxes. And if you want to personalize things, companies have a few tricks up their sleeves – and on them, like these Superman cufflinks and tie clip.

dings too. One benefit of black: Your wedding pictures won’t look dated. Color isn’t the only consideration when it comes to picking out a tux. There’s also style. Cutaways are a popular option right now, giving the wedding party a little touch of royal class. There are also different lapel styles – the main

ones being notch lapels, peak lapels, and shawl collars. No one lapel type is emerging as the most popular right now, so personal preference will likely be the deciding factor for grooms. And don’t forget the bow ties and cummerbunds. They can add a splash of color or a dash of class to your format attire. Whatever you choose to don for the I do’s, take some time to explore all the options with a local tuxedo shop and check out what’s available and try on the tuxes. The professionals can help grooms decide what will look best and feel most comfortable for the big day.

TIPS, TRICKS & TRENDS | GROOM’S FASHION It’s not just brides who want to make a statement on their wedding day – grooms deserve to stand out too. The good news: Even in a sea of dark suits, there are plenty of ways he can set himself apart from the guests and his groomsmen. That could mean picking a slightly different jacket or pants than the rest of the party, or going with a completely different suit or tux altogether, in color or style – the choice is his. Here’s a few other tips: Try a different tie – Pick out a different color or patterned tie from the rest of the guys, or even choose a bow tie while the groomsmen wear neckties. The choices can seem endless, but thinking about the formality and season of the event can help you settle on a type and fabric that feels right for your day (for example, a silk bow tie is fancier than a wool necktie). Accent your jacket pocket squares – Contrary to what you might think, the pocket square doesn’t need to duplicate the print of the tie. In fact, we’re all for mixing and matching to really put your own spin on the suit. Pair paisley with polka dot or check with a stripe – just keep the color palette the same. Ready to take things to the next sartorial level? Try a different pocket square fold than the rest of your men. Dress up your sleeves – Cuff links are one small detail that shouldn’t be overlooked. In a way, they’re jewelry for men, so why not make them extra meaningful? Take a cue from the metal of your partner’s ring or choose a set with a colorful stone that coordinates with the wedding palette to show that you two are the perfect match. (By the way, a unique pair of cuff links for each guy in your party makes a pretty thoughtful groomsmen gift.) Pull on a cool pair of socks – You might think socks would go unnoticed, but a fun, quirky pair makes for a great photo op – in a close-up along with the bride’s shoes, or in a wider shot that shows off the groom and groomsmen mix-and-match socks. Try an argyle or classic stripe for a preppy take, or go with a modern color block, graphic print or polka dot for a trendier look. Step into unique shoes – The first decision about what goes on your feet? The color. Traditionally, black is considered more formal, with black patent lace-ups the standard pairing for a tux. But who wants to be standard? Depending on the color suit you choose, brown or even gray, oxblood or burgundy might look best. As for style, there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules. Oxfords, wingtips, monkstraps, loafers or a fresh pair of sneakers – we’ve seen grooms rock them all.

Verdant Photography

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Thinking about suiting up for your wedding? A few things to consider when deciding whether wear a tux or suit THE KNOT

As a groom, whether you want to wear a tux or a suit on your wedding day is up to you, but there are a few factors to consider: Time of day – Tuxedos are considered evening wear, and if you’re having a brunch or daytime wedding, a suit will be more appropriate. If your wedding starts during the day but ends in the evening, either a suit or a tuxedo will make a fine choice. Wedding theme – If you’re having a black-tie wedding, you should definitely wear a tuxedo. If your wedding is more casual, you may be more comfortable in a suit. Consider what your bride is wearing – Will she be wearing a gown? Or is her dress less formal? If she’s wearing a tea-length dress for your summer wedding, you should probably opt for a suit. Personal preference – For many weddings, it’s equally appropriate for the groom to wear a tuxedo or a suit. Some grooms want to look especially striking on their wedding day and wear something special, so they choose to wear a tux. The cost – A high-quality three-piece suit can run $300 to $800, cheaper if you can find one on sale. Keep in mind that you’ll still need a shirt, tie, and shoes, and you may need to pay between $30 and $100 for alterations. The benefit to buying a suit vs. a tux is that you’re more likely to wear it again, and it’s It’s even more likely that you’ll wear the shirt, shoes, and tie again,

even if the vest and jacket collect dust. Tuxedos cost about $700 to $1,000 for the jacket and pants, maybe less if you can come across one on sale. You’ll also need a shirt, vest or cummerbund, a tie, and shoes. You may also need to pay for alterations. You can rent a high-quality wool tuxedo for $150 to $250. Many tux packages contain everything you need, including the vest, shirt, shoes, and cufflinks. If you think that you’ll wear your tuxedo at least two more times, it may be worth it to buy instead of rent. Ultimately, all that matters is that you’re wearing something that you like, that fits well, and is consistent with the style of your wedding. The groomsmen – If you’ve decided to wear a tuxedo, you can choose to have your groomsmen also wear tuxedos for continuity. You may also decide that you want to stand out from the pack, and therefore have your groomsmen wear suits. You can also choose to make your look unique with different accessories than your groomsmen. Guests – When it comes to deciding between a suit vs. a tux as a wedding guest, take a look at the invitation. If it says “White Tie,” “Black Tie Invited,” or “Black Tie Preferred,” you should wear a tuxedo. If the invitation says “Black Tie Optional” or “Formal,” you may choose to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit. For all other weddings, your best bet is to wear a suit.

Suit vs. tux: What’s the difference? The definition of a tuxedo has changed over the years, but even the most modern tux has characteristics that set it apart from a suit. Satin – The main physical difference between a tux and a suit is that tuxedos have satin details –satinfaced lapels, satin buttons and a satin side-stripe down the pant leg – suits do not. Modern tuxedos often limit the use of satin to a thin trim on the lapels and a skinny stripe down the pant leg, but this is still considered a tuxedo. On a suit, the jacket, lapel and pants all consist of the same material. Instead of satin buttons, a suit will usually have bone, plastic or fabriccovered buttons. Accessories – Classic tuxedo accessories include a cummerbund, waistcoat, suspenders and a self-tied bowtie. However, these days, many men opt for less formal accessories. Long ties and high-stance vests are now acceptable

to wear with tuxedos, depending on your personal style and how formal you want to look. Suits are more versatile than tuxes and can be dressed up or down, depending on the accessories, and can be worn with or without a vest. They also look great with both bowties and long ties. Shirt style – Tuxedos are worn with white shirts that have either a wing collar or a turndown collar. Suits can be worn with a variety of dress shirts, in a solid color or pattern. Shoes – Black patent shoes are usually worn with tuxedos. Loafers, oxfords or slip-on shoes are acceptable to wear with suits. Events – Tuxedos are reserved for evening events and formal occasions like blacktie weddings, charity galas and nights at the opera. Suits are appropriate for any time of day, and can be worn at less casual events like business meetings and dates.


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Ducky’s Formal Wear

1721 Fifth Ave., Moline 309-797-9889 Email: duckysqc@gmail. com Online: and Facebook

Flowers Etc.

1103 Palmyra Ave., Dixon 815-288-3335 Email: Online: and Facebook

Kaleel’s Clothing & Printing 704 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-284-5033  Email: Online: or Facebook

Sauk Valley Cleaners

83 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon 815-288-1322

Seno Formal Wear

4015 E. Lincolnway, Suite A, Sterling 815-625-8247 Online: senoformalwear. com and Facebook

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Small Weddings of 120 or less Hot tub and indoor heated kid-friendly pool with slide and water shower. • Fitness Center • Complimentary Hot Buffet Breakfast • Free WiFi • Meeting and Event Spaces • 100% Smoke Free • Pet Friendly (fee applies)

Guest Rooms Feature: Premium Bedding | Flat-Screen TV Coffee Maker | Microwave Refrigerator | Sofa Bed (Selected Rooms)

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

ovee Lstories t Telling

When Brett Paul takes wedding pictures, he does more than just focus on photos, he helps couples starting a new chapter in their fairy-tale romance

BY SHELBY KUEPKER For Sauk Valley Weddings

SYCAMORE – Weddings are filled with magical moments, and with all those precious memories at stake, newly engaged couples should be sure that Brett Paul and his family are on the invite list. Brett Paul Photography specializes in wedding photography and videography. Along with his wife, Deborah, and his daughter, Hannah, Paul has been documenting weddings for more than 10 years. He has the ins and outs wedding photography mastered. LOVE STORIES continued on 164

Sparkle for Your Big Day! James O. Hey, D.D.S

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

3917 E. Lincolnway, Ste B - Sterling, IL 61081 815-716-3282



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

The night time is the right time for amazing photos. Evening portraits are a specialty for Brett Paul – during and after sunset are his favorite times to take photos of couples. Photos courtesy of Brett Paul Photography

3LOVE STORIES continued from 14 Paul wants to ensure every couple is able to “relive all of the sights and sounds of their wedding day,” and his process allows Looking for local for exactly that. photographers? Paul captures Turn to Page wedding cer20. Making a emonies and wedding album? receptions in a Check out the tips “documentary” on Page 22 way. “Rather than orchestrating someone’s wedding, we capture their day in a photojournalistic way,” he said, by using images and videos to tell the story.

He makes sure his videography is as unobtrusive as possible. “We don’t sit at the back of the church or on the side of an aisle with one video camera. That was what wedding videographers did in years past. We create an environment much like a staged television production.” The team sets up multiple cameras around a reception venue and puts discrete microphones on key members of the wedding. Then, Paul says, “in final edit, I see the entire room and hear anyone’s audio all at once.” He’s known for his amazing night portraits: During and after sunset are Paul’s favorite times to take photos of couples. In fact, he tries to capture a night por-

trait for every wedding, “whether it’s raining or snowing, if the couple is comfortable.” Ever mindful of a couple’s financial constraints, Paul recommends newly engaged couples take their first step in planning a wedding by asking themselves, “What do I want the most from on my wedding day?” keeping that budget in mind. In fact, Kelci Suchecki of Cary said she chose Paul because “his pricing seemed reasonable, and when I looked through his portfolio, I was extremely impressed.” LOVE STORIES continued on 184

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3LOVE STORIES continued from 16

Those interested in making the Pauls part of their big day first check out his work at They then sit down with the family to discuss preferences and see more videos and photos of things they’ve done in the past. In addition to a short teaser trailer, Paul creates a full, artistically crafted video of the ceremony, and gives couples full print rights More info to their photos. He Brett Paul loves to serve a couple Photography through the entire pro720 Park Ave., cess, from engagement Sycamore photos through the Contact: ceremony and beyond. bdpaul1@comAlthough weddings or 815are his specialty, over 762-2390. the decade he has Online: brettpaulbranched out, ing stars such as Brian or on Facebook. Urlacher from the Chicago Bears and Tony Esposito from the Blackhawks. Suchecki said she appreciated Paul’s process, and his attention to detail. “From the classy, traditional poses to the silly candid moments, I don’t think he missed a thing,” she said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve watched my wedding video about a thousand times since September.”

Winter, spring, summer or fall – no matter what time of year you have your wedding, Brett Paul Photography can capture those magic moments and turn them into treasured keepsakes.

Photos courtesy of Brett Paul Photography

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

WHERE TO SHOP | PHOTOGRAPHERS Timestilling Photography Sterling 815-441-5699 Online: Email: Jon Larson Photography 521 S. College Ave., Dixon 815-757-2113 Online: First Blush Photos – Christopher Padgett Dixon 815-440-3963 Online: Email: Pam Cooley Photos Peoria Online: and Facebook Email: Lifeworks Photography Studio 5411 S. Brookstone Drive, Rochelle 815-561-7131 Online: and Facebook Email:

Zalzalah Studios Inc. 1210 W Soli Drive, Oregon 815-734-8882 Email: Online: Cadenza Photos & Imaging Davenport, Iowa Online: Mirror Image Wedding Photography 320 S Alpine Road, No. 220, Rockford. 815-262-1978 Online: Find Mirror Image Wedding Photography on Facebook Mindy Joy Photography Rockford 815-985-4005 Online: and Facebook Email: Simply Photo Rockford 815-246-2058 Online: Email:

Eye Like Lindsay 543 E. Orange St., Geneseo 309-696-9058 Online: and Facebook

By Mari Photography Dixon 815- 677-2187 Online: and Facebook Email:

Photography by Heather Lanell Sterling 815-499-1307 Email: Online: and Facebook

Grot Imaging Studio - Jim Grot 1119 Palmyra St., Dixon 815- 284-3211 Email: Online: and Facebook

Just Cause Photography – Suzanne Paul Ashton 815-440-7982 Email: Online: and Facebook MDR Photography – Brooke Slusser Dixon 815-501-8846 Online: and Facebook OnOnline Photography 3917 E. Lincolnway, Suite B, Sterling 815-716-3282 Email: Online: and Facebook Photography by Cindy Dixon 815-440-3925 Email: Online: and Facebook Setchell Studio Photography 723 Washington St., Mendota 815-538-4444 Email: Online: and Facebook Steveo Studios Rock Falls 815-622-8177 Email: Online: and Facebook

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

“We capture your day in photography and videography, all of the sights and sounds of your wedding day preserved forever.� 815-762-2390 Find us on Facebook



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Creating your album can be a tedious process, but it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of wedding planning. You’ll have a beautiful album for a lifetime. Your instinct may be to jump right in, tear through your proofs and immediately figure out what should go into your album. But slow down and follow our plan to skip some stressed-out feelings, and we promise you’ll have a pictureperfect book that tells a wonderful story. Don’t go it alone – Your first look at the wedding photos can be overwhelming, so you’d be wise to wait until your new spouse (or friend, sister or mother) is present to take a first glance. But be careful whom you choose. If your mother’s comments tend to stress you out – however well meaning – ask your maid of honor instead, and involve your mom later in the process, if you want. It’s likely that all proofs will be on the photographer’s website, and you’ll be given a password to see them all, but if you do get hard copies, do not lend anyone your proofs. No one will care for them the way you do, and they may get lost or damaged. Sort wisely – Go with your gut on your first look and write down the shots that jump out at you. Don’t overthink it. Just pick 20 to 30 of your favorites. The next step is to weed out the bad pictures (of blinking guests, for example). Now you’re ready to group the proofs into categories: getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, special moments (like cake cutting, speeches, candids, portraits, dancing and the getaway). How many pictures you have in each category (and how many categories you’ll have) depends on a lot of things, but keep in mind that eventually you’ll put only 50 to 100 photos in your finished album. Decide on an album type – There are many options for albums. You can go traditional with a classic matted style album, which is generally bound like a book in which frames hide the edges of the photos. Depending on the quality (traditional albums come in leather, canvas and even faux leather or suede) these albums can be very sturdy and tend to endure age and use better than other styles. Want something more creative? Try a fabric album. Many photographers offer custom-bound Japanese silk albums in which photos are mounted directly onto deckled-edge pages in a hand-

embossed image area. These exquisite (and expensive) albums are delicate – be sure yours comes with a protective sleeve. A modern option: coffee-table books. Like a magazine created just for you, these albums come in a range of colors and materials, and the layout possibilities are endless. And like books, they’re printed on a press, so rather than actual photos, you have pages with your photos printed on them. The set-up fees are expensive, but once you have a layout, you can often order multiple albums for a fraction of the initial cost. Not interested in an actual photo album? Arrange in advance to buy your digital files from the photographer. You can keep them on your hard drive, upload them to a photo site for sharing, make DVD slideshows and order prints whenever you want. Take your time – Choosing photos for a wedding album takes six hours on average, so don’t expect it to be a quick task. You worked hard to plan your wedding – taking time to reflect with your fabulous photos is part of the payoff. But try not to lose momentum after the wedding. Make your initial selections (the 20 to 30 faves) even if you’re all wedding-ed out. Tell your story – Imagine you’re illustrating a book that has no text–keep the “story” of your day in mind. You’ll also want to make sure all of the important characters are represented. You may have picked all the best shots of your gorgeous self, and the wedding party and your parents are usually included in formal shots, but what about your grandparents, siblings, close friends or favorite cousins?

In addition to representing a range of events and individuals, vary images by look and type. Modern couples tend to favor a photojournalistic style, emphasizing lots of candid shots, but make sure you have some formal posed shots too. Mixing black-and-white or sepia with color shots will also give your album a dynamic edge. Many photographers suggest a 1:3 black-and-white to color ratio, but anything goes. And don’t forget the details that give the album depth and flair, such as close-ups of flower arrangements, favors and food, and an overhead shot of the venue. Pro tip: Group the detail shots so as not to overpower the people shots. Lay it out – Now the fun part: putting it in order. Chances are, your photographer will have all of the proofs in order of the day’s events for you to look at them on-screen on their website. Remember: You’re telling a story. And while it might be easiest to arrange your album chronologically, it’s okay to deviate if you wish. Another important concept to consider is flow. Pay attention to how one segment leads into another. One way to make your album smooth yet dynamic is to choose meaningful transition shots. For example: A shot of the couple walking away from the ceremony venue holding hands might be a great transition into the reception portion of the album. You can also experiment with page layouts at this point. Some pages will feature one 8-by-10 portrait, while others will have a 5-by-7 shot staggered with smaller shots. Even a program as basic as Microsoft Word can be used to design layouts.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

A Night with International Motivational Speaker and Author - Dale Smith Thomas Join KSB Hospital for a night of insight and inspiration. Grab your friends and help us celebrate a New Year and a New You with this empowering and informational women’s event. Dale Smith Thomas, president and founder of Winners By Choice, Inc., delivers an enlightening and entertaining message and challenges her audience to connect their head with their heart and embark on a personal journey to make daily winning choices. If you are ready to learn, laugh, lighten up and create a healthier and happier New You in the New Year, don’t miss this special event.


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Romance Des ination:

Travel agents make sure couples who want to go the extra mile to celebrate their new journey through life have smooth sailing, or flying, ahead

BY LUCINDA HALL For Sauk Valley Weddings

The cake has been cut, the bouquet tossed and the last dance has been danced – now it’s time for the honeymoon. But long before you board the plane, hop on a boat or hit the road, make sure you’ve planned carefully – or better yet, leave it to the pros. By enlisting the expertise of an experienced travel professional, couples can get the guidance they need to make it a memorable, and hassle-free, 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 route. “A good travel agent works on your behalf as both travel expert and consumer advocate,” said Avril Winkle, 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.” DESTINATION continued on 254

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


3DESTINATION continued from 24 Winkle 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 Making honeyperfect getaway. moon plans? Don’t “It’s surprising forget to plan for how much couyour minimoon ples learn about while you’re at it, each other” and your babyWinkle said. moon, and besColleen tiemoon, and ... Brechon, owner Turn to page 27 of Travel Consultants of Dixon, agrees. Key to her approach is matching interests and budgets. “Honeymoons are different for every couple. 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 traveling out of the country or during peak vaca-

Alex T. Paschal/

Destinations Travel Services owner Avril Winkle (center) says she and her staff, Lara Birnbaum (left) and Karen Fisher, work on behalf of their customers, as both travel experts and consumer advocates. tion times. Certain dates and destinations can book up very quickly. Some of the most popular destinations for Sauk 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. DESTINATION continued on 264

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WHERE TO SHOP| TRAVEL AGENTS Beach Gal Travel Services 301 First Ave., Rock Falls 815-716-8722 Online: beachgaltravels. com and Facebook Destinations Travel Services 4015 E. Lincolnway, Sterling 815-625-3500 Online: and Facebook Email: Travel Consultants of Dixon Inc. 735 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-284-6681 Online: or find Travel Consultants of Dixon on Facebook

3DESTINATION continued from 25 Minimoons have gained some popularity over the past several years, but even with a shorter stay, there are great values that travel agents have access to – another advantage over do-it-yourself planning. “If you compare the price of a 3-night getaway in the USA and that of an all-inclusive down to Mexico or the Caribbean, you would be amazed at how cost effective International travel really is,� Winkle 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.� Winkle and Brechon said the Internet can be a useful tool for researching honeymoons online, providing couples with information and education on destinations. Once they’ve done their honeymoon homework, couples should seek out a travel pro 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 whose job it is 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.�


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Travel Consultants of Dixon Inc. owner Colleen Brechon knows a thing or two about planning destination weddings and honeymoons – she’s been making travel plans since 1982. Her best tip is to plan a honeymoon that balances the interests of both people. “Honeymoons are different for every couple. This is why consulting a travel agent is so important.�

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Many moons Planning your honeymoon? Don’t forget your minimoon, and babymoon, and bestiemoon, and ... THE KNOT

Talking to your travel agent about your destination wedding? Don’t forget to make honeymoon plans, too. Not having a destination wedding? That’s OK, but you’re still gonna need a travel agent to help you organize your romantic getaway – and all the other post-, and pre-, wedding getaways. Everyone knows a honeymoon as the celebratory first trip you take together as newlyweds. But now that earlymoons, tinymoons and buddymoons are in the mix, it’s hard to tell which honeymoon is which. Here’s a list to help launch your journey to the moons. Adventuremoon: An active honeymoon for thrill-seeking newlyweds who want to pack every physical activity they can into their honeymoon, like scuba diving, surfing, shark diving, cliff jumping, snorkeling, biking, hiking, zip-lining, ATV riding and more.  Babymoon: If you’re engaged or married and pregnant, this getaway is typically when couples have their last vacation together before the baby arrives.  MANY MOONS continued on 284

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3MANY MOONS continued from 27 Bestiemoon: A relaxing prewedding trip (that’s not your bachelorette party) taken with your favorite ladies, whether it’s with your mom, grandma, aunt, sister, friends – whoever.  Buddymoon: A honeymoon attended by one or more of the newlyweds’ friends. Culturemoon: A honeymoon where you primarily focus on ways to take in the culture of a specific destination (like seeing museums in Italy, learning how to dance in Spain or going to the theater in London) instead of lying on the beach and drinking Mai Tais for a week straight – not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Earlymoon: A prewedding honeymoon to relax, unwind and connect about a month or two before the wedding day. Elopementmoon: An elopement and honeymoon rolled into one, if you’re eloping to a certain destination and then taking your honeymoon directly from there, or staying in that area for your honeymoon. Engagementmoon: A romantic trip taken shortly after getting engaged to celebrate and soak in your happy news together. Familymoon: A honeymoon for couples who already have children and want to make the trip into a family vacation, or if the couple is having their

honeymoon where their destination wedding is, their families may make it into a vacation for themselves too (becoming a familymoon by default).   Foodiemoon: A trip that’s primarily focused on— you guessed it—the food and drinks. Whether it’s pasta in Italy, cheese in France or a wine tour in South Africa, planning out your eating and drinking takes priority here. Manymoon: A series of two or more shorter trips taken throughout the first year (or so) of marriage, rather than one long trip taken right after saying “I do.” Minimoon: A small honeymoon (usually a little less than a week) newlyweds go on if they’re not going on their actual honeymoon for a while (usually due to saving up work vacation days again after the wedding or budgeting for their dream getaway).   Solomoon: A prewedding solo trip you take (yes, all by yourself) in order to clear your head of wedding stress and generally unwind and relax before tying the knot. Tinymoon: A honeymoon where you spend a few additional days in the city where you get married after your wedding day.  Unplugged-moon: A honeymoon where the newlyweds completely unplug from technology (that means no phones, email or social media) during their trip.

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What’s your hurry? Don’t rush from the altar to the airport; take a little extra time to make your dream trip come true

Maybe you’ve always pictured immediately jetting off for your honeymoon postwedding, riding off into the sunset hand in hand, but postponing your honeymoon has some perks. Below are a few: You’ll be more relaxed and rested for it – Both preparing to get married and then actually getting married will be downright exhausting in more ways than one. And while a honeymoon is an amazing way to unwind after all that stress, you’ll give yourself even more time to recuperate if you save it for later. You’ll be totally at ease and won’t even be thinking about the things that didn’t go exactly as planned. You have more time to save up – News flash: Weddings are expensive. Although in this day and age, there’s no longer a hardand-fast rule on who finances the wedding, there’s still a chance that you’ll be paying for at least some aspects of it—whether it’s your dress or your venue. So by spacing out your nuptials and your honeymoon, you’ll have more time to save up additional money for your absolute dream trip. You can take more time off work for your wedding – By honeymooning immediately after you say “I do,” you’ll likely be using up a ton of vacation days at once. If you split up the events, you’ll probably get

to accrue more vacation days and use less at once. Thus, you’ll likely be able to take a longer trip once your honeymoon rolls around. And who doesn’t want a longer vacation? Less stress – On top of everything else you need to organize leading up to your wedding, you might feel downright overwhelmed trying to worry about planning a honeymoon too. If you save the trip for later, you’ll have one less (major) thing on your plate during the months and weeks leading up to your nuptials, and you’ll likely feel significantly less stressed while planning them both separately. You can spend more time with visiting friends and family – If you have tons of friends and family members traveling to attend your wedding, you probably won’t want to immediately bid them farewell right after the reception or morning-after brunch. By saving the honeymoon for later, you’ll have a few extra days to spend with them, which will surely mean a lot to them (and you). You get to just enjoy married life – Why the rush? Newlywed life will be amazing—you can take those first few months to simply relish in it, enjoy each other and maybe even get your thank-you notes done sooner rather than later. Plus, having your epic honeymoon on your calendar will just give you one more thing to look forward to and fantasize about with your partner postwedding.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


BY PHILLIP HARTMAN For Sauk Valley Weddings

DEER GROVE – As Deer Valley Banquets’ venue coordinator and graphic designer, Holly Davis is constantly on the go, scheduling weddings, reunions, proms, and other events while working with future brides and grooms to get help make their big day perfect. Davis, 36, a Milledgeville High School graduate, taught herself how to do graphic design, and honed her celebration planning skills by starting out in wedding invitation design at SBM in Sterling, where she worked from 2012 to 2017. “I designed more than 125 invitation sets my first year at SBM, both invitations and envelopes,” Davis said. She also can create custom invitations for wedding parties, and help with decorations for receptions. BELOVED continued on 324

Holly Davis is the venue coordinator and graphic designer at Deer Valley Banquets. Michael Krabbenhoeft/

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3BELOVED continued from 31

Locally, many brides are going with rustic themes, using wood crates, burlap, lace and other materials, she said. Often, couples will bring their own materials or go to decorators, such as Selmi’s or Behrz-Blooms in Sterling. Davis’ work on invitations can be done with a quick turnaround. She has a number of printers and paper cutters in her office, You’ve got your and can create wedding invitaseating charts as tions, but the easily as she can planning’s not make signs. done yet – they “They tell me still need the post what they like office’s stamp of and don’t like, approval. Mailing and I give them tips: Page 33 a sample. It can be done in 1 to 3 business days,” Davis said. She also can do invitations for people who aren’t using Deer Valley. Wedding ceremonies also can be held at Deer Valley, which can seat up to 450 people. About 25 percent of weddings at the club involve ceremonies and receptions. Planning ahead is key for wedding and other reservations, she said. “You want to book at least 6 months out, and get invites in the mail 8 weeks before the wedding.”

More about Deer Valley Banquets The facility offers: Buffet or plated dinner served by whiteglove staff, unique décor, fabulous entrées, trained serving staff, space for more than 450 people, cathedral ceilings, spacious room, floor-toceiling windows overlooking the golf course, facilities for indoor and outdoor weddings Contact: Deer Valley Banquets 3298 Hoover Road Deer Grove DeerValleyBanquets@ 815-438-4653, ext. 13 Online: and on Facebook

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We hate to break it to you, but picking out your invitation design and placing your order is just the first part of the invitation process. Next comes the nitty-gritty of putting each suite together in an envelope, addressing them and figuring out the right postage. Assemble your invitations – Leave yourself enough time to address and stuff all those envelopes. Your planner can handle this task for you, or your stationer may do it for an extra fee. But if you (and maybe your generous wedding party) are doing the job, here are a few guidelines: The invite goes on the bottom, then stack your enclosures on top in order of largest to smallest (the smallest goes on the very top). Tuck the RSVP card into the flap of the reply envelope (so the flap covers part of the text). Place everything in the inner envelope so the text is facing outward – that way guests can read the invitation as they take it out. Put the unsealed inner envelope inside the outer envelope with the guests’ names facing outward. Note: Inner envelopes aren’t required and are reserved for traditional invitations. Stamp the RSVP envelopes – You don’t want your guests to drop their RSVP envelopes in the mail without a stamp or to make them pay for postage to RSVP. Pre-stamp the RSVP envelope. Weigh a complete invitation – Before you mail your wedding invitations, ask the post office to weigh a fully assembled envelope so you know exactly how many stamps you’ll need. This step may sound tedious, but the alternative could mean invites returned for insufficient postage, which will throw your wedding planning timeline for a loop. Enclosures typically increase postage, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding on including maps or reception cards

and the type of paper they’re printed on. Have invitations hand-processed or hand-canceled – Machines at mail centers can only process certain envelope shapes and sizes – generally rectangles that are a minimum of 3.5 by 5 inches to a maximum of 6.125 by 11.5 inches. If your envelope is an odd shape (say, square), even if it falls within those dimensions, you may end up paying a 20 cent non-machinable fee per envelope. With larger invites (more than 3.5 ounces or bigger than 6.125 by 11.5 inches), like a boxed invitation, you won’t have to pay the surcharge to hand-process them. Even if your invitation doesn’t meet the non-machinable criteria, consider paying the extra fee to have them hand-processed – it will guarantee that your mail will be sorted by a person rather than a machine, which can bend or soil envelopes. Another option is hand-canceling (just a stamp that says your mail is processed). In most cases, this option is free, but check with your local post office first to make sure they have a hand stamp. The big caveat: Most post offices try to keep hand-canceled mail separate from regular mail, but there’s no guarantee your invitations won’t also go through the processing machines. Put a stamp on it – After all the work you’ve put into your envelopes and invitations, make them look special. Customizing a stamp for your wedding envelope is a great way to personalize it, and it’s the first opportunity you have to show off your wedding theme. A few custom stamp shops we love are Shutterfly, Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy, Minted or, the classic choice, USPS. There’s also the option of working with a stationer to design custom postage that matches your invitation design or colors. And don’t forget to order enough for your RSVP envelopes too. Mail them – Send out invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding – or 10 to 12 weeks for destination weddings.

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igger Making a


If the walls could talk at the Brandywine Banquet and Event Center they’d have a lot of stories to tell – and they’d also be saying ‘thanks for the makeover!’ Now, the facility’s owners are inviting people to come check out their piece of local history in the remaking.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

BY LUCINDA HALL For Sauk Valley Weddings

DIXON – Imagine the quiet elegance of a Waldorf Astoria chandelier casting a soft glow overhead at your wedding reception. Or, perhaps, a rustic wagon wheel chandelier that once welcomed guests to the legendary Pump Room restaurant in Chicago. Now, imagine both at your wedding reception at the Brandywine Banquet and Events Center. Steeped in history, the venue is undergoing a renaissance with new owners Tim Kendrick and Matt Prescott. BRANDYWINE continued on 364


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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3BRANDYWINE continued from 35

Built by local contractor Arlyn Lawrence and opened in 1976, the Brandywine has been a premier reception setting for thousands of local events. Kendrick and Prescott immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to renovating. “The first thing I said when I walked in was ‘These walls have got to go!’” Kendrick said. “We immediately agreed to open up the space.” In addition to removing Matt walls to open up the main Prescott floor ballroom, windows were added to bring in more light. Fresh paint revived the large room, and the extensive bar was refurbished and integrated into the banquet room. Great care has been taken to retain the original Tim European rustic design Kendrick of the building. Massive wooden beams, salvaged from local mills and an old piano manufacturer, are a focal point throughout the building and retain the familiar rustic character. Another antique accent is the front entrance door, recovered from the

Alex T. Paschal/

Great care has been taken to retain the original European rustic design of the Brandywine Banquet and Event Center. Old Lee County Courthouse. “The Brandywine has a lot of great stories,” said Chuck Miller, who along with his wife, Andrea, have been the operations managers for more than 2 decades.

“The history runs deep,” said Melissa Ryan-Bergstrom, director of marketing. “The Brandywine is built from a lot of landmarks in this area.” BRANDYWINE continued on 37 & 384

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The Brandywine Banquet and Event Center is a shining example of repurposing. The chandeliers in the second floor grand ballroom once graced the Waldorf Astoria and The Pump Room in Chicago, and massive wooden beams, salvaged from local mills and an old piano manufacturer, are a focal point throughout the building. At right, the front doors of the facility came from the old Lee County Courthouse.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3BRANDWYINE continued from 36

The venue holds unexpected treasures from the past in each of four reception rooms that can host everything from an intimate gathering of 20 to larger affairs up to 450. New is the Bride’s Room. Once a smaller meeting room on the main floor, an entire wall of mirrors and abundant windows provide the perfect spot for brides and their attendants to prepare for the big event away from guests and staff. The room can also function as an intimate reception space for 20 to 40 people. The Brick Room, so named for cobblestone pavers reclaimed from streets in Sterling, is a second main floor setting that can seat up to 80 guests. An antique corner fireplace adds charm and character to the space. The room can also function as place for the groom and groomsmen to prepare for the wedding and relax. The first-floor ballroom has enjoyed the most impressive changes since the new owners took over. The spacious room with an impressive bar can host up to 200 people with plenty of room for a dance floor. It is also the main space for Sunday brunches. The second floor grand ballroom, graced with the Waldorf Astoria and

Photos by Alex T. Paschal/

An indoor firepit adds a romantic and rustic touch to the gathering area in the main bar upstairs. As for menu selections, just about Pump House chandeliers, can seat up anything goes. Clients have free range to 450 guests. It also features a separate when it comes to options and won’t find bar service room with a center fireplace just the typical buffet and plated dinner and cocktail seating. Again, the banquet selections. space also accommodates a large dance floor. BRANDWYINE continued on 394

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3BRANDYWINE continued from 38 “Every meal can be completely customized. We say ‘yes’ and then figure out how to get it done,” coordinator Laura Hoyle said. “We basically can do anything they want.” Beyond buffet and sit-down dinners, Hoyle has seen a trend toward food stations that can offer everything from seafood and pasta stations to just about any ethnic cuisine requested. One bride even requested a gluten-free meal for 441 state Route 2, Dixon 300 guests. 815-284-8484 The staff is also adept Online: at assisting with wedand Facebook ding planning and can recommend everything from flowers to DJs through their preferred vendors. Reservations are needed well in advance. “We have already booked one reservation for 2020,” RyanBergstrom said. “A year is good, but based on availability, there are still some dates open.” Miller estimates that he has been involved in more than 1,000 events during his tenure. “To be a part of their life,” he said. “That’s really neat.”

Photos by Alex T. Paschal/

Brandywine Banquet and Event Center features plenty of seating for large events.

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815.625.8247 4015A E. LINCOLNWAY STERLING, IL


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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

from the beams create a comfortable, yet elegant, setting Capacity: Up to 250; patio seating for 300 plus Online: and Facebook

and screens, two full-service bars, plus three on-staff event coordinators, all in a warm, elegant setting. Capacity: 450 Online: and Facebook

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

Barnacopia 2570 N. West Branch Road, Polo 815-238-1474 Features: Three levels that include overnight stays in attached silo; ‘50s and ‘60s diner with a jukebox and an ice cream parlor; a quaint chapel that seats at least 75, up to 120 extending out of chapel; a museum of local history; antique tractors and cars; handicapped-accessible and all in a rural farm setting. Free night stay in the silo for the bride and groom, tables (no linens), chairs for up to 264; free Wi-fi; ceremony indoors or outdoors. Capacity: Up to 400 Online: and Facebook  

Champs Banquet Venue 9 E. Third St., Sterling Email:champs.banquetvenue@yahoo. com Online: Facebook Features: A rustic, yet modern facility with access to the outside patio, which seats 40. The venue caters food to smaller groups at about 20-30 people, but outside food service is available for larger groups. There’s a full-bar service, and people can bring in live entertainment. Capacity: 150

The Barn on the Hill 7 E. state Route 72, Leaf River 815-703-0628 Email: Features: Tall pines, large shade trees, a lush lawn, and well-tended flower beds make an ideal backdrop for outdoor receptions and photo shoots. The barn’s sliding doors open to let in natural light, and thousands of tiny white lights strung

Brandywine Banquet and Event Center 441 state Route 2, Dixon 815-284-8484 Features: Three banquet areas, customizable menus, three large wooden dance floors, buildingwide PA system with wireless microphones, free wi-fi, projectors

The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe 219 W. First St., Dixon 844-843-2675 Features: The wine cellar for private parties includes a private bar, wash room and is handicapped-accessible. Crystal Cork also offers a traveling bar. Email: Online: and Facebook VENUES continued on 414

Perfect Place For The Perfect Wedding

Catering to your taste... on your special day


Wi our beautiful prairie setting, the With Byron Forest Preserve is the ideal location Byro for everything from rehearsal dinners to ceremonies to receptions. › › ›

Catering for 50-250 people All locations and events Tailored to fit your budget

› › › ›

Great facilities for indoor or outdoor celebrations Jarrett Prairie Center accommodates 200 guests All facilities are handicapped accessible Complete bar service available Room for DJ or band and dancing; outdoor stage also available Also perfect for other social and business occasions Deck that seats up to 150 people

Contact Brenda Plock, Owner

208 W. 10th St. Rock Falls, IL


7993 N River Rd, Byron, IL • (815) 234-8535 •

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020



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Keggers Tap House in Sterling has two dining rooms, a patio and a banquet hall that can be rented for weddings and other special occasions.

Deer Valley Banquets 3298 Hoover Road, Deer Grove 815-438-4653, ext. 13 Features: Five warm, elegant, spacious rooms, all with a view of the golf course, large ballroom with cathedral ceilings, outdoor gazebo, food, beverages, and whitegloved staff to serve them. The Angus Room seats up to 80, has a center room fireplace. Capacity: 450 plus. Online: and Facebook Dixon Elks Lodge 779 1279 Franklin Grove Road 815-288-3557 Features: Full-service food and bar, linens, tables, chairs, dishes, servers. Suitable for everything from casual bingo to elegant receptions. Capacity: 480-500 Online: Henry’s Double K 834 S. Jackson St., Mount Carroll 815-244-0180 Features: The large event room has a private bar and lots of table seating. There’s an area for live entertainment, a dance floor, house catering and service available

Alex T. Paschal/

and large parking area in the back. Online: and Facebook Kapp’s Banquet Facility 201 W. First St., Rock Falls 815-625-1963 Features: Indoor banquet hall near the Rock River.   Kegger’s Tap House 13464 Galt Road, Sterling

815-716-8969 Email: Online: and Facebook Latin American Social Club 2708 W. Lincolnway, Sterling 815-625-8290 Features: Dance floor, bar, food. Online: Facebook   VENUES

continued on


"Big City Designers.. SmallTown Charm" 128 E Lincoln Hwy DeKalb, IL 815-762-6558


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

WHERE TO SHOP | VENUES 3VENUES continued from 41 Livengood’s Barn 21647 Thomson Road, Chadwick 815-499-5934 Features: Mid-century dairy barn, rustic loft, decks, dressing rooms, spacious outdoors with a scenic pond. Handicapped accessible with a chair lift to the loft. List of vendors available. Capacity: 160 Online: and Facebook The Loft at K’s Korners 13030 Galt Road, Sterling 815-626-2988 Features: Historic barn renovated for weddings, receptions and special events, 1920s bar and ornate winding staircase. Handicapped accessible and climate controlled. Capacity: Up to 300 Online: Facebook Mama Cimino’s 116 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon 815-288-4448 Features: Banquet room, beers, linens, buffet-style catering, some gluten-free food.  Capacity: 150 Online: and Facebook Oak Lane of Oregon 3261 Daysville Road, Oregon 815-871-0948 Features: 1800s-era rustic dairy barn with housing for the bridal couple, dressing rooms, bathrooms, an air-conditioned banquet room, two bars, reception hall, caterer’s kitchen. Bartenders, tables and chairs, vintage mismatched dishes and flatware provided, as well as a list of preferred vendors. Capacity: Up to 300. Online: and Facebook The Pavilion – Emerald Hill Golf Course 16802 Prairieville Road, Sterling   815-622-6204

Features: Outdoors, tent overlooks the fourth tee, covered walkway to the clubhouse, portable dance floor, bar. Capacity: Up to 150 Online: and Facebook The Polo Room Banquet Hall 712 N. Division Ave., Polo 815-946-2886 Features: Built in the early 1950s, underground, to take advantage of natural cooling. Famous for down-home, local atmosphere. Restaurant, full-service bar, jukebox, video games, video gambling, pool table, Foosball, air hockey, bags, darts, big-screen TVs. Capacity: 225 Online: and Facebook Post House Ballroom 100 W. Second St., Dixon 815-288-0892 Features: Stately, elegant, historic, turnof-the-century former post office. Full bar with bartenders, dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, arch, PA system, projector screen. Kitchen available. Handicapped accessible. Capacity: Seats up to 240 at tables; up to 280 standing or in chairs Online: and Facebook  Railside Bar & Grill 207 S. Butler St., Nelson 815-251-4633 Features: Pine interior, casual and cool. Food, full bar, banquet or table service. Capacity: 150 Online: and Facebook Rock River Center 810 S. 10th St., Oregon 815-732-3252 Features: Round or banquet tables, staff, room set-up and tear-down, linens and china table service, coffee service, beverage dispensers, a grand piano, and a food service tower. 10th St. Catering in the center has a full-service menu and can cater menus

Because you and your guests deserve the Best

Mendota Civic Center

1901 Tom Merwin Drive • 815-539-3411

for all tastes and price range. Capacity: 284 Online: and Facebook   Rock River Supper Club 3901 Dixon Road, Rock Falls 815-625-2322 Features: Three rooms, outdoor gazebo, three outdoor sites, full-service wedding and events coordinator on site; wedding packages; club memberships; bar, food, servers. Capacity: Rooms seat 250, 100 or 55, or can be combined. Online: and Facebook   Salamandra 105 W. First St., Dixon 815-285-0874 Features: Full-service Mexican restaurant and bar, banquet room, brick walls; guests can decorate. Capacity: 100 Smoked on 3rd BBQ Bistro & Catering 14 E. Third St., Sterling 815-632-3773 Email: Online: and Facebook Online: Facebook  White Pines LaBranche nd White Pines Inn 6712 W. Pines Road. 815-946-3817 Features: Indoor and outdoor settings, cabins, complimentary bridal consultant, nondenominational pastor, horse-drawn carriage, wedding cakes, photographers, bridal bouquets, centerpieces, invitations, boudoir photos, DJ services and more. Handicapped accessible. Capacity: Up to 340 at LaBranche; up to 200 at the inn. Online: and Facebook Willy’s Mexican Restaurant 3210 W. Lincolnway, Sterling 815-626-0401 Features: Food and beverages, alcohol Capacity: 70-80 Online: 


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Have a picture of the perfect wedding dress in your mind, but just can’t find it in any store? A Dixon woman can tailor make one just for you BY AVALYNDA CASEY For Sauk Valley Weddings

DIXON – Are you looking for a one-of-a kind dress for your trip down the aisle? Or maybe you need your mom’s wedding dress altered for your big day? There’s a woman in Dixon with decades of experience who can help you, and your dress, look perfect. Cheryl O’Hare started sewing before age 8, making doll clothes on her mother’s sewing machine. Raised in Amboy, she started making all her own clothes at 9 and wore them everywhere. “I remember Ms. Helen Glessner’s sewing class in junior high,” she said. “I made my eighth-grade graduation day outfit. I was very proud.” SEAMS continued on 444

Saying I Do? • Tuxedos by for any occasion • Silk or Fresh flowers to create custom Bouquets, Boutonnieres, & Ceremony/Reception Arrangements

1103 Palmyra St. Dixon 815.288.3335 |

Monday-Friday 8-5 Saturday 9-1



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3SEAMS continued from 43

Even more amazing, she made her first wedding dress the year before that, for a friend of her sister. She went on to make bridesmaid dresses, matching multiples of different sizes for some of her five sisters. She added alteration services and similar projects in high school. “I love to sew. I enjoy the ability to make something I like, with When it comes to better quality than you wedding dresses, can find in the stores,” it’s all about the she said. “It drives material, girl. Do me crazy when plaids you know the difaren’t matched, and ference between hems aren’t hemmed.” your organdy and Along with new organza? And dresses – it takes her what do you do more than a month to when you discovmake a custom bridal er a stain (eek!) on gown – she enjoys reyour dress? Turn making mother’s and to page 47 grandmother’s wedding dresses into heirlooms for children’s baptism, first communion and prom. “Not everyone can sew or make a correct alteration. I have seen dresses sadly gape in the front, or seams not sewn straight,” she said. She also makes custom curtains, pillows, bedspreads, duvets, seat cushions and more. Alex T. Paschal/ SEAMS continued on 464 O’Hare inspects the seam on a newly finished dress.

Where Photos Really Are... All About You Specializing S pecializing iin: n: Weddings, Seniors & Family

815.718.5136 15 718 5136 //// // N Nancey D Dorner

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Helping turn your dreams into reality.

815-864-2125 •

Payless Magnets

Save the Date Magnets!

We offer high quality, custom printed magnets. •

Also available:

personalized glassware & can/bottle coozies •



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3SEAMS continued from 44

Alex T. Paschal/

After some repairs and alterations, O’Hare will steam clean the dress before pickup.

In college, O’Hare focused on fashion design, fashion merchandising, and retail management. She completed almost 2 years at the Minnesota School of Business, learning more creative ways to make her own patterns, sewing her own clothes to rival any style or fad. “Business classes taught me the art of selling, how to display and rotate More merchandise, and information my favorite – the Contact Cheryl history of fashion,” O’Hare at 815she said. O’Hare moved to 289-0970 or mainmoments@ Dixon a few years to set ago so she could up an appointserve more cusment or for more tomers, and her client list has been information. growing ever since. “I really care about the customer – how the clothing fits, that she likes it, that she is comfortable in it, and that she feels like she looks good in it.” she said. “I love to use expensive fabric, intricate detail work, and antique lace. Every piece is unique. “Even if you aren’t a bride, you should still feel beautiful.”

WHERE TO SHOP | WEDDING DRESSES Alexis Kay Bridal 128 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb 815-762-6558 Email: alexiskaydesigns@ Online: and Facebook David’s Bridal 5252 Elmore Ave., Davenport, Iowa, 563-344-7902, or ... 713 S. Perryville Road, Rockford, 815-227-5950 Online: and Facebook The Dressing Room at Déjà Vu 101 Fifth Ave., Clinton, Iowa 563-242-3356 Email: dejavu@iowatelecom. net Online: Facebook I Do Bridal 995 Galena Square Drive, Galena 815-777-2507 Online: and I-Do-Bridal-Galena Facebook

Main Moments Dixon Cheryl O’Hare, 815-289-0970 Email: mainmoments@yahoo. com Marien Mae Bridal Boutique 749 First St., LaSalle 815-220-0844 Email: Online: and Facebook Savy’s Chic Bridal Boutique 111 S. Hennepin Ave., Dixon 815-677-9579 Email: Online: and Facebook Storybook Ending Bridal Shop 704 Sixth Ave., DeWitt, Iowa 563-659-3983 Email: Online: and Facebook


The Newest... and the Best!

Customized Garters Stockings & Garter Belts Corsets & Crinolines Rhinestone & Pearl Jewelry Lingerie Sizes Sm - 3X Breast Enhancers for that Perfect Fit And Much More...

PARTY FAVORS FOR BACHELORETTE, BIRTHDAY AND “SPECIAL” OCCASIONS... • Adult Cards • Massage Oils & Lotions • Shower Gifts • Novelty Items • Adult Games • “Over the Hill” & Gag Gift Items • Toys • Lingerie and MUCH, MUCH MORE! 755 W. Galena, Freeport, IL


At the Corner of West St. & Galena Ave. (Rt. 26 & Bus. 20)

Gift Certificates ~ Shower Gifts

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


It’s all about the material, girl Want a wedding dress that drapes beautifully? Poufs out beneath you? Glides down your curves? It’s all in the fabric THE KNOT

Style, cut, texture, drape, and season are all-important factors in determining the best fabric for a wedding gown. The same style dress can look and feel quite different in a variety of fabrics, since each material is designed to produce a distinct effect. Some fabrics cling to the body, while others stand away. Some are cherished for their crispness, others for being light-as-air. It’s a good idea to know how each fabric performs before picking the one that’s right for you. Batiste – A lightweight, soft, transparent fabric. Brocade – A Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs; traditionally popular for fall and winter, now also worn in warmer weather. Charmeuse – A lightweight, semilustrous soft fabric, that is satin-like to the touch. Chiffon – Delicate, sheer, and transparent – made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish; often layered because of its transparency, making it popular for overskirts, sheer sleeves, and wraps. Crepe – A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crinkled surface. Damask – Similar to brocade with raised designs, but woven in a much lighter weight. Duchesse satin – A lightweight hybrid of silk and rayon (or polyester) woven into a satin finish. Dupioni – A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen. Faille – A structured, ribbed finish like grosgrain ribbon; usually quite substantial. Gabardine – A tightly-woven, firm and durable finish, with single diagonal lines on the face. Georgette – A sheer, lightweight fabric often made of polyester or silk with a crepe surface. Illusion – A fine, sheer net fabric, generally used on sleeves or necklines. Jersey – A very elastic knit fabric; the

face has lengthwise ribs and the underside has crosswise ribs. Moire – A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design. Organdy – A stiff transparent fabric. Organza – Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar in effect to tulle, but more flowing; popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays. Peau de Soie – A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance. Pique – A knit fabric with a waffleweave appearance, pique has distinct sides. The outside resembles a honeycomb or waffle and the underside is flat and smooth. Polyester – An inexpensive manmade fiber that can be woven into just about anything, including duchesse satin Rayon – Similar to silk, but more elastic and affordable. Satin – A heavy, smooth fabric with a high sheen on one side; very common in bridal gowns. Silk – The most sought-after, cherished fiber for wedding dresses (and also the most expensive); there are several types with different textures: raw silk and silk mikado are just two examples. Silk gazar – A four-ply silk organza. Silk mikado – A brand of blended silk, usually heavier than 100-percent silk. Silk-faced satin – A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back. Shantung – Similar to a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its rubbed texture. Taffeta – Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib. Tulle – Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils (think ballerina tutus). Velvet – A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside.

Mishap put you on the spot? The Knot

Agh! A spot on your wedding dress – you don’t want it to happen, but it just might – and it pays to be prepared. But beware: removing stains from your bridal gown can be a pretty tricky business. Water or liquid cleaner could leave a mark, and bleaches can irreparably burn the fabric. A little preparation – and a smartly packed emergency kit – can make a world of difference. Here are a few quick fixes for wedding day disasters. Ink spot – Signing a pre-wedding love note to your groom and your hand slipped? Fast fix: Apply a touch of hair spray to a cotton swab, then rub lightly over the stain. Water mark – Sweat, tears, even good old Evian can leave a water mark on your gown. Immediately blot any wet spots with a clean white towel to soak up excess moisture. Beware: Attacking wet spots with a hair dryer may spread the mark even further. Fast fix: Run a hand steamer over the fabric to lift out the water mark. Be sure to ask your bridal salon about using steamers and irons on your gown when you pick it up after your final fitting. Makeup mess – With all those kisses you’ll be receiving, there’s a strong chance you’ll end up with makeup on your gown. Fast fix: Don’t rub it. Press a little club soda onto the spot, then sprinkle salt on top to soak up the moisture. Let dry. If a hint of a spot remains, touch up with white chalk or talc. Wine – Gently dab the stain with a clean white cloth. Then pour water or club soda onto the cloth, and dab some more. Do not rub! Keep dabbing with clean parts of the cloth until it seems like most of the stain has come out. Use chalk or talcum powder to disguise anything that doesn’t come out Oil stain – A stray drop of salad dressing can quickly ruin a pristine white gown. Fast fix: Dip a Q-tip into cornstarch or talcum powder, then gently but generously apply it to the spot. The cornstarch or powder will absorb the oil. Wait 15 minutes for the moisture to be absorbed, then dust powder off with a clean white towel. Repeat if necessary. Blood – Did you prick your finger with a corsage pin and then touch your gown? Fast fix: Wet a Q-tip with your own saliva, then gently rub it on top of the blood. The acids will break down the stain. Works best when the blood has not yet dried.



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Love at first

Dare to be different with your matrimonial menu. Try the cheesiest cheesecake ever. Or a bar fit for a Homer. There are plenty of ways to get creative with your cuisine


There’s so much more to wedding food than a main course. Use your happy hour as an opportunity to delight your guests with some surprising appetizers or food pairings, supplement your cocktails with a fun signature drink and follow up dinner with a childhood favorite for dessert. Popsicle cocktails – There’s nothing more refreshing than a fruity popsicle. Now imagine the gourmet version, with flavors like lavender or raspberry sorbet. Sound delicious? Ask your caterer to try an adults-only version for the cocktail hour with your favorite champagne (pop included in the glass!)for a fun twist on a frozen treat. FOOD continued on 494

Who said it’s not easy being cheesy? Just stack some cheese wheels on top of one other and voila! You’ve got a cheese cake.

Your Dream Dress Awaits

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Design the dress of your dreams, perfect for your once-in-a-lifetime look. Alteration service also available.

Main Moments Dixon | (815) 289-0970


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

3FOOD continued from 48 Popcorn bar – For a more casual affair, give your guests the option to mix and match what they’re in the mood for. Popcorn is always a hit (the smell alone is irresistible!). Plus, the bags make it easy to grab ‘n go so everyone can get back to the dance floor. Classic carnival food – We’re talking fresh donuts and fried everything—all dressed up with fancy wrappers or patterned plates. Does it get any more mouth watering than that? Complete the theme with different toppings or dipping sauces and a fresh hot funnel cake cart for a late night snack. Coffee desserts – Keep your guests awake and buzzing and out on the dance floor with coffee-infused desserts. Order espresso-spiked brownies or even Starbucks-inspired coffee dessert drinks like frappuccinos piled high with homemade whipped cream. Include a few decaf options too, like chocolate milk shake shots or even flavored frothed milk. Doughnut bars – Not the biggest fan of wedding cakes? You can have an assortment of desserts instead. From toppings to colors, flavors and sizes, doughnuts are a perfect alternative to an elaborate cake cutting. Serve them up in glassware that matches your place settings and include toppings for your guests to have fun with. FOOD continued on 504

Don’t be afraid to get a little corny with your wedding menu. A popcorn bar is a casual and convenient way to satisfy guests’ munchies, and Sterling’s Creative Cuisine is a perfect place to go for a popcorn bar, courtesy of the corn from Woody’s, which offers finger-licking good cheese corn and caramel corn. Check out the caterer listings on page 50 for more information.

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Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020 3FOOD continued from 49

Chef stations – Instead of the expected passed hors d’oeuvres, ask your caterer about a more hands-on option. A few fun ideas: have a raw bar with a chef shucking oysters, rolling sushi, or cooking fresh ingredients in front of everyone. Your guests will have just as much fun watching their meal be prepared as they will eating it. Dressed-up comfort food – Comfort food has been popular at weddings for years, but now it’s all about the presentation. Try mini tacos served up in a lime for a display that will wow everyone. Not to mention it’s totally instagram-worthy. Childhood favorites – Bring back a favorite from your youth and it’s a guaranteed hit. No one will expect individual sized cookies and a shot of milk, so the surprise makes it all the tastier. Whether it’s banana split sundaes or syrupy slushies, a reminder of your favorite childhood sweets while you’re celebrating with those who know you best will make everything more delicious. Cheese wheel cakes – OK, so maybe a

cake made from wheels of cheese aren’t going to replace traditional wedding cake, but they’re perfect for a pre-reception wine and cheese hour. Imagine each layer is a different cheese flavor like creamy goat cheese, smoky gouda, or sharp cheddar with a meats and crispy bread on the side. Whiskey bar – Go for that vintage 1960s vibe when it comes to your specialty bar. Feature several types of whiskeys and bourbons along with a variety of cocktail suggestions. And don’t forget to spice things up – offer a classic Manhattan, but also newer pairings, like a drink made from rye whiskey, Barolo Chinato and bitters. Soup shooters – We’re not talking about the shots you might have done in college – these nonalcoholic drinkable shooters are served during the cocktail hour as hors d’oeuvres. Think: cold gazpacho soup, tomato and basil puree, or even stacks of chopped veggies – all garnished with fresh herbs. DIY dessert stations – S’mores and the outdoors go hand in hand. Set up a s’mores station near an outside fire pit,

or, for a more formal wedding, have a waiter serve ice cream and offer a variety of toppings for guests to choose from. Bubble bars – Kick up your alcohol options by adding a small satellite bar like a bubble bar featuring only sparkling wines and mixers like peach and strawberry juice. You could even add a soda bar with a variety of flavored syrups so guests can make their own coffeevanilla-flavored Coke. Take-home cake boxes – Work with your caterer and offer guests a slice of the wedding cake – or even the groom’s cake – that they can take home. It’s an especially great idea for out-of-towners who may want a midnight snack in their hotel room. Psst: This can also double as your wedding favors. Cereal bar – Fuel your dance party with something not so common – a cereal bar! Pick your favorites (Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, Life – the options are endless) and then put them on display in glass apothecary jars. Skip the oversized cereal bowls and do something smaller or even bags for guests to grab and get back to celebrating.

WHERE TO SHOP | CATERERS Baker Street 111 W. First St., Dixon 815-285-2253 Email: Online: Facebook Brenda’s Chicken Coop 208 W. 10th St., Rock Falls 815-622-4999 Email: Online: Facebook Candlelight Inn • 2907 N. Locust St., Sterling 815-625-2600 • 2200 First Ave., Rock Falls 815-626-1897 • 511 Riverview Drive, Clinton Iowa 563-243-3200 Online: and Facebook Celebrations Catering by Mindy Ditzler 402 E. Mason St., Polo 815-631-1123 Online: and Facebook Coty’s Unique Cooking & Catering 314 W. First St., Dixon 815-973-5117 Email: Online: and Facebook Creative Cuisine 1741 Industrial Drive – Unit 24, Sterling

815-626-7546 Email: Online: and Facebook Custom Catering and BBQ Scott Heeren, BBQ Pitmaster 224 S. Truman Ave., Lanark 815-821-4701 Email: Online: and Facebook HyVee 901 S. Fourth St., Clinton, Iowa 563-243-6162 Online: and Facebook Homer’s Deli and Sweetheart Bakery 241 Main Ave. Clinton, Iowa 563-242-3959 Online: and Facebook Large Marge BBQ Inc. Sterling 815-713-4417 Email: Online: Facebook Manny’s Too 305 11th Ave., Fulton 815-589-4800 Online: and Facebook Salamandra Restaurant 105 W. First St., Dixon 815-285-0874 Email:

Online: Facebook Smoked on 3rd BBQ Bistro & Catering 14 E. Third St., Sterling 815-632-3773 Email: Online: and Facebook Sow Belly’s 92 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon 815-288-1234 Email: Online: and Facebook Sullivan’s Foods • 300 N. Madison St., Morrison 815-772-4696 • 101 E. state Route 64 Mount Morris 815-734-6868 Online: and Facebook Sweet Dreams Desserts and Catering 1969B DeKalb Ave., Sycamore 815-756-8150 Email: Online: and Facebook Triple P’s BBQ 3312 W. Rock Falls Road, Rock Falls 815-625-7138 Email: Online: and Facebook

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Have your cake and eat it too That first slice of married life is important, and not taking time to plan for it just won’t cut it THE KNOT Consider the weather – If you’re having an Don’t choose a cake until you’ve made your outdoor wedding in a hot climate, stay away major wedding style decisions – You’ll want from whipped cream, meringue and buttercream a cake that’s compatible with the look of your (they melt). Ask your baker about summer icing venue, the season, your wedding gown, the options or opt for a fondant-covered cake, which flower arrangements and the menu. Arrive at your holds up much better against the heat. cake consultation prepared – you don’t need to Budget for extra details – When it comes to have a complete sketch in hand, but knowledge decoration, adornment costs run the gamut. The of basic terms will make it easier on everyone. most inexpensive option is fresh fruits or flowers And if you’re looking for a custom design, bring that, in some instances, can be applied by your along inspiration, like a swatch of lace from your florist for a minimal fee. On the high end are delidress or a picture of your wedding china. cate gum-paste or sugar-paste flowers, which Have a budget in mind – Wedding cake is are constructed by hand, one petal at a time. But usually priced by the slice. The cost can vary, but here’s the bottom line: All add-ons – including it generally ranges from $3 to $30 a slice (and marzipan fruits, chocolate-molded flowers and beyond). It’s easy to be wooed by blood orange lace points – will raise the rate. filling and a multi-flavor cake when you’re makDon’t forget to top it off – There are many ing decisions with a sugar buzz, but having a beautiful and unique ways to top your cake. If you handle on your budget – and knowing what will have an heirloom piece – especially a fine porceaffect it – will allow you to prioritize your choices. lain antique – work with your baker to integrate For instance, more flavors equals more money; it into the cake’s design. It can double as your the more complicated the flavor, “something old.” Other alternatives Looking for local the bigger the price tag; handmade include a bouquet of sugar flowbusinesses that sugar flowers will add dollars to ers, a cascade of icing ribbons or can bake your every slice; and fondant icing is even a sugar block carved to reveal cake? How about generally more expensive than butyour new monogram. Look to your some tips for pretercream. locale as well. A cluster of coral can serving a piece of Match the cake height to your look stunning for a beachside celcake for your first space – Generally, three tiers will ebration, or try a fondant snowflake anniversary? serve 50 to 100, and you’ll likely for a winter wedding. Or don’t use Turn to page 52 need five layers for 200 or more one at all–some designs look great guests. Your cake should fit the without a topper. space too – if your reception is in a grand ballHave a detailed delivery plan – Cake delivery room, consider increasing the cake’s stature with takes coordination (and usually a refrigerated columns between the tiers, or opting for a faux van), so give yourself peace of mind and opt to Styrofoam layer to add height. have your cake delivered. Complex cakes may Don’t choose the flavor based on what not necessarily arrive in final form, so allow time everyone else wants – Besides being a showand space for assembly. And make sure that piece, your cake should taste amazing too. When once the masterpiece is delivered, it has a place you meet with prospective bakers, taste lots of at the venue (especially if it requires refrigeration). flavors. Don’t be afraid to stray from vanilla and Bottom line: Discuss all the delivery details with chocolate. And don’t forget to sample fillings too – your baker before signing the contract. many bakers are working with complex flavorings, Give your cake the spotlight – Your cake will like guava and mango or hazelnut and mocha. likely be on display before it’s cut and consumed. Do get the facts on frosting – Buttercream You should have a designated, well-lit table that or fondant? Buttercream is often much more allows the best presentation possible. A round delicious. But if you love the smooth, table is perfect for circular cakes, but a linear almost surreal-like look of fondant, design may call for a rectangular table. Drape the consider frosting the cake in table with sumptuous fabrics and decorate it with buttercream first and then addmotifs, colors and flowers to match the cake and ing a layer of fondant over the your wedding style. entire confection. Whatever Don’t forget to eat your cake – Couples often type of icing you choose, stick don’t get a chance to eat their own wedding to colors your guests will want to cake (besides the bite you feed each other). Ask eat. If your wedding hues are blue your caterer to save some extra for you. Share and green, opt for a white cake with subtle it with your new spouse postwedding for a lategreen-frosted accents. night snack or as postwedding brunch dessert.



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

WHERE TO SHOP| WEDDING CAKES Aurelio’s Bake Shop 517 Locust St., Sterling – 815-626-2253 Email: Online: Facebook Baker Street ​111 W. First St., Dixon – 815-285-2253 Email: Online: Facebook Cakes by Dolores 110 W. First St., Mount Morris – 815-440-5752 Email: Online: Facebook County Market bakery • 201 W. Third St., Sterling – 815-622-0180 • 1380 N. Galena Ave., Dixon – 815-288-2112 Online: Folsom’s Bakery 319 First Ave., Rock Falls – 815-622-7870 Online: and Facebook Homer’s Deli and Sweetheart Bakery 241 Main Ave., Clinton, Iowa – 563-242-3959 Online: and Facebook HyVee Bakery 901 S. Fourth St., Clinton, Iowa – 563-243-6162 Online:​and Facebook Jackie’s Delish Desserts Ashton – 815-593-0783 Online: Facebook Kroger 2301 Locust St., Sterling – 815-625-6405 Online: Pollen and Pastry Serves northern and central Illinois - 815-471-9034 Online: Facebook: Email: Sullivan’s Foods • 300 N. Madison St., Morrison – 815-772-4696 • 101 E. State Route 64, Mount Morris – 815-734-6868 Online: and Facebook Sweet Dream Desserts and Catering 1969B DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, – 815-756-8150 Online: and Facebook Walmart bakery • 1640 S. Galena Ave., Dixon – 815-288-7770 • 4115 E. Lincolnway, Sterling – 815-626-7200 Online:


To shed that tier of joy, or not Year-old cake may be a quaint anniversary custom, but it takes some preparation to preserve it, or you may just want to consider a copycat THE KNOT

Don’t let those yummy wedding cake memories end with the last bite. Savor the flavor of your wedding with this guide to cake preservation. Instruct catering staff to take off the top tier of the wedding cake and box it for transport. Appoint a “cake captain” (one of your family members or friends) to take it home. Once it’s home, that person should do the following: 1. Remove the sugar flowers and set them aside. 2. Chill the cake well before wrapping it up so that the icing hardens. This way it won’t stick to the plastic wrap and make a mess. 3. Wrap the (unadorned) cake in several layers of plastic wrap -not aluminum foil, which can cause freezer burn. 4. Seal the wrapped cake in an air-tight bag and place it in the freezer. 5. Snag a ribbon (from your bouquet, the centerpieces, your hair, a gift) and tie it around the cake package to mark it so that you don’t mistake it for anything else. Know your cake’s shelf life – Some cakes freeze better than others. The more delicate the cake ingredients, the drier your cake will become in the freezer. Cakes with a longer shelf life: Chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and carrot cake. Cakes that may not last as long in the freezer: white cake, cake with fresh fruit, and cakes with whipped cream fillings. Consider ordering a copycat cake – If you have a cake that won’t hold up in the freezer, do as many couples do and order a fresh cake tier in the same flavor as your original wedding cake for your one-year anniversary. Even if you have a heartier cake, some cake bakers recommend storing cakes for no longer than 2 months, and forgoing the firstanniversary tradition. Like anything else, after a year in the freezer, any cake will be a bit stale. If you do decide to save your cake for the full year, focus on the nostalgia, not the flavor.

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Share the big news, all by your selfie The question has been popped the ring is on, now you’re ready to share the big news; here’s how to make sure your announcement is picture perfect THE KNOT

If you just got engaged, chances are you’ll be sharing the great news through an engagement ring selfie on social media. While you may not be into mirror selfies, post-workout selfies or duckface selfies, the ring selfie is something special. Get the photo just right by following a few simple rules of thumb – er, ring finger. Lighting is everything – If you’re not outside, set up your shot near a window for some natural light. If you take an iPhone photo in a dimly lit room, you’re pretty much guaranteed a blurry photo. Fluorescent and yellow bulb lights aren’t much better. Trust us–you want natural sunlight. Whether you’re inside or out, watch out for tricky shadows. Know thy ring – Experiment with the angle of your shot so you capture the most amazing qualities of your ring. Love the unique setting? Take a photo on an angle to highlight it. Can’t get over the shape of your stone? Try an overhead shot (but remember, skip the flash). Get your nails done – Everyone wants to see the ring, but no one wants to see your hangnails. If your fiancé caught you with a surprise proposal and you’re due for a manicure, but just can’t wait to snap a photo, put on a little lotion and get creative with your pose. Hold hands with your fiancé, frame your nails out of the shot or do a fist pump pose at the camera – why not? Scout an exciting background –Unleash your inner photo stylist. Find an Instagram-worthy skyline, latte or patterned pillow to serve as the backdrop of your ring selfie.

Go the distance – Cell phone pics will never be professional quality, but there are a few tricks to make your shots look almost as crisp. Avoid the zoom on your camera— physically moving your phone will make a less pixelated photo. If you’re using an iPhone, set up your shot and then tap the screen to focus the lens. Avoid shaky shots by pushing the buttons on your earbuds to snap a photo instead of tapping your screen. Strike a (flattering) pose – Say good-bye to creepy hands by relaxing your fingers, adding a prop or resting your hands on your new fiancé’s arm. Avoid shots that highlight every pore and strand of hair on your hands by a slight tilt of the camera – or your hand –instead of shooting straight on. Take lots of options, but only upload one. – You want your ring to stand out and look awesome. Skip the collages and pick one great shot to feature. Fix it before you post – Use an editing app like Photoshop Express, VSCO Cam or Afterlight. These apps make it easy to experiment with cropping, contrast, saturation and sharpness to get the very best from your digital photo. If all else fails, use a filter – Instagram’s go-to filters made it easy for anyone to take a share-worthy photo. Add your ring selfie, apply that perfect Valencia filter and done. Share – If ever there were a time to be sentimental, it’s now. Write the caption about marrying your best friend, get creative with the emojis and tag the location of your proposal to share on social media.


WHERE TO SHOP| JEWELRY Albert’s Jewelers 128 Fifth Ave. S, Clinton, Iowa 563-242-8334 Online: and Facebook Bruce Jewelers 631 S. Main St., Princeton 815-875-2289 Email: brucejewelers@ Online: brucejewelers. com and Facebook Don’s Jewelry 200 Main Ave., Clinton, Iowa 563-242-2663 Email: Online: and Facebook   First Avenue Jewelry 323 First Ave., Sterling 815-626-8811 Frank Jewelers 19 E. Stephenson St., Freeport 815-235-3169 Email: contactus@ Online: frankjewelers. com and Facebook Kay Jewelers Sterling Commons, 4204 E. Lincolnway, Suite C, Sterling 815-535-0437 Online: and Facebook   Trein’s Jewelry 201 W. First St., Dixon 815-284-6626 Email: or Online: treinsjewelry. com and Facebook Venier Jewelers 117 W. First St., Dixon 815-284-3034 Email: Online: venierjewelers. com and Facebook


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Trip: The gift fantastic The journey of a lifetime can begin with a single click – just ask couples who’ve opted for honeymoon help online instead of traditional gifts BY SV WEDDINGS STAFF

Not every couple dreams of receiving toasters and china sets on their wedding day. Angel and Christina Sierra certainly didn’t. They were not sure whether they should register for gifts as they planned for their wedding. “We already had all the housewares stuff we needed, like a toaster and all that, so we didn’t want to register for another one – I mean, who needs three toasters?” It can be tempting Angel said. to let technology So rather than register take over some for pots, pans and place of the wedding settings that would go work; just beware unused, they decided of some of the to come up with somepitfalls. Turn to thing meaningful and page 55 unique to them. Their solution came one day when Angel was watching Oprah. She was talking about, an online honeymoon registry. Couples set up an account and are provided with a registry page where they can share their honeymoon travel plans with their wedding guests. Friends and family visit the page and can use their credit cards, or pay with cash or a check, as a gift to help pay for the trip. “It’s the best of both worlds: Your guests can easily give you a special wedding gift, and you receive what you really want – the honeymoon of your dreams,” the website says.

Honeymooners can post their favorite photos from the trip on the site, and it also offers destination guides, travel tips, and blogs from honeymooners. Angel was fascinated but still skeptical. “As soon as I told Christina about it, she thought it was a fantastic idea, and she’s the one who talked me into checking it out,” he said. They began researching the website, and did find it easy to use – and very tempting.  The fact that it is endorsed by top wedding planning sites such as, The Knot and the Wedding Channel boosted its credibility for the Sierras, so they decided to try it for themselves.  Before long, they had created their online registry and were planning a honeymoon in Rincon, Puerto Rico.  “It was really, really simple to use, and it let people be a part of the gift process,” Angel said. They let family and friends know about the registry when they mailed their invitations. They weren’t sure how they would respond. “We set it up well in advance of the wedding, and at first we weren’t getting much of a response,” Angel said. “As it got closer to the wedding, though, we saw where more and more people were making donations. In fact, we even received a bunch of donations up until the day of our wedding.” As a result of their family and friends’ gifts, the Sierras were able to do everything they wanted to on their honeymoon. They stayed in a quiet cabana near the ocean, enjoyed the local nightlife, visited the spa and created memories to last a lifetime. “It was really wonderful,” Angel said. In fact, they received more money than they needed for their honeymoon, and so were able to apply their extra gifts as a deposit on a future trip.

ONLINE | PLANNING Are you more likely to scroll than flip pages when looking for wedding inspiration? Here are a few websites and blogs with ideas galore: • The Knot, www. • WeddingChannel, from the creators of The Knot, • Pineterest, www. • MyWedding, www.mywedding. com • Project Wedding, • Brides, from the publishers of Brides magazine, www. • WeddingWire, www.weddingwire. com • 100 Layer Cake, www.100layercake. com • Style Me Pretty, www.stylemepretty. com • Four Seasons Weddings, from the publishers of Four Seasons magazine, • Jet Fete, a destination wedding-planning blog from The Bridal Bar boutique, • The Dollar Tree blog, blog.dollartree. com/category/weddings/

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020



Tech I do’s and don’ts It can be tempting to let technology take over some of the wedding work; just beware of some of the pitfalls THE KNOT

Times have changed: iPhones, inspiration boards, mobile banking, Facebook groups (to name a few) all make it easier to plan a wedding. Just don’t find yourself guilty of any of these big tech-related mistakes! Pinning is not the same as planning – We know how useful these boards are, but we also know you can spend literally all day on them if you’re not careful. At some point, you have to actually go out there and meet the great wedding pros that will bring your creation to life. Our advice: Go crazy on the boards when you’re in your “dream” phase, but set some limits. It doesn’t have to be perfect before you share it with others; it can evolve over time. And, when you meet with, say, your florist or potential venues, you’ll be able to hone your vision a little

more. Also, drag in lots of images at first and then weed out what you don’t like. Don’t leave photos of your dress on your phone – For something exceptional like a wedding dress, image posting on social media is out of the question. To ensure your fiancé doesn’t discover a shot of you in the dress of your dreams, take those photo off your phone and save them in elsewhere. Better yet, ask your bestie to take them on her phone. Don’t assume your friend’s iPhone counts as a photographer – With all the websites and apps out there, everyone seems to believe they can stand in as photographers, DJs or wedding planners. But while some things can be done well by amateurs, certain things do require professionals. And we don’t want you to end up with fuzzy photos before you comprehend your miscalculation. Be honest with yourself and figure out your budget and priorities. This is one of the most important days of your life. Can you live with overexposed photos being all the world sees of your wedding? Things like curating a high-quality collection of music or photos as well as last-

minute wedding-day troubleshooting are skill sets that most nonpros simply don’t have. So know what you can handle and what you cannot, and hire a professional whenever possible to save yourself from tears later. Don’t buy your dress on a shady website – We all know how expensive planning a wedding can be, which makes the socalled discount websites very appealing. If a $5,000 dress selling for $50 sounds too good to be true, it probably is — even if you see a great looking photo of it on the website. It’s best to go to actual brick-andmortar stores for something like your wedding dress. That way you can see what it looks like on. If ordering online is just a lot more convenient, make sure the site you’re buying from is approved by the designer. One big hint that it’s probably not, is if the site also sells random items like batteries. (Seriously.) Don’t forgo paper wedding invitations for .jpg files – With so many technological advances, there may be more people who are okay with emailing their wedding invitations these days. But is it really a good idea to totally let go of old, time-tested traditions? Especially if great grandma doesn’t even have a computer? Besides, there’s something so romantic about going analog on the invitations. Don’t turn your Facebook feed into a wedding vent – Yes, we know there’s a lot of stress in planning a wedding. Whether it’s struggles with in-laws or guests not being the most generous with their gifts, you just want to blow off some steam. Along comes Facebook, Twitter, group emails and WhatsApp. So what’s a quicker and better way to share your concerns with anyone who will listen, right? Consider this: We’ve seen complaints by brides go viral, leading them to infamy and (sometimes) prolonged, public humiliation. So before you pour your heart out, check the privacy settings on all your social-media accounts and make sure none of your complaints can be seen by the public. Ensure that the names of the groups you’re in contact with through both WhatsApp and email are very clear, so you won’t end up talking about your in-laws to your in-laws. That definitely wouldn’t be good.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Looking for that final ingredient to make your bouquet stand out? Think outside the flower box – inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places. Feathers – Some pretty plumage can change the entire vibe of a bouquet. To achieve a rustic style, try pheasant quills. Their black and brown color pattern is striking, and the spear shape will create an unexpected silhouette. If you’re going for glam, an arrangement of ostrich feathers will have dramatic volume and old-world charm. Want a detail that’s a little more offbeat? Try iridescent peacock plumage for extra depth and style points. Clean white feathers with gold-dipped tips are whimsical and understated – perfect fora boho-chic affair. A big pro to using feathers is that, well, they’re as light as a feather. Fruits and vegetables – If you’re going for hometown charm, the farmers market is a good place to start. Leafy greens such as kale, cabbage and Swiss chard are all beautiful substitutes for lush foliage. When it comes to making a bold statement, half-cut fruits such as pomegranates or figs add a fresh architectural element to the bouquet’s texture. Choosing your produce (and blooms) based on what’s in season guarantees the freshest options at the best quality and price. Keep in mind, fruits and veggies are mostly water, so they’ll add some weight to that pretty bouquet. Succulents and air plants – Besides the affordable price tag, one of the most popular reasons to include succulents in an arrangement is their structural diversity. Some varieties, such as echeverias, grow leaves in tight rosettes and maintain a flowerlike appearance. Others, such as sedum burrito, grow vinelike stems that can add to a cascading bouquet shape. For a more whimsical look, air plants (aka tillandsia) are similar to succulents in that they need very little water and stand up to a range of weather conditions, but they have a more wild structure. Most succulent or air plant varieties can be repotted or propagated after the bouquet is deconstructed, serving as home décor for months to come.

Cotton – A few cotton wisps are perfect for a winter fete. Go for a whitewashed look with peonies for a romantic vibe, or play up the circular shapes with ranunculus, berries and Echinops (aka globe thistle). Consider wrapping the bouquet with raw silk ribbon – it has a rough texture that will juxtapose the fluff. Bonus: Bundles of cotton make for an awesome boutonniere alternative. Herbs – Herbs range in color, texture and size, making them a great foliage option. A lesserknown benefit? They can provide mood-altering aromas or keep pesky bugs at bay, depending on which variety you choose. Mint and lavender, for example, are closely associated with a calming effect, while catnip is known to repel mosquitos. Or choose herbs based on their sentimental meaning: Parsley invites festivity, basil means good wishes and dill wards off evil. Want some color? Consider flowering herbs such as feverfew, which has buds that resemble tiny daisies, or meadowsweet, which has white, frothy-looking blooms. Grains and grasses – From dune grass to organic straws of grain, grasses are perfectly suited to a range of wedding themes. For a seaside affair, look to blue lyme or tufted hair grass for a tall and wispy addition to your bouquet shape. Or ask your florist to get creative and craft a bouquet wrap out of a handful of strands. If your beach wedding is of the destination sort, a big elephant ear will amp up the tropical ambience. On the other hand, if a low-key ranch soiree is in the works, wheat and barley are pure magic when arranged with fresh lavender and finished off with gingham ribbon. Seedpods – Looking for something different to contrast with your blooms? Seedpods add some serious intrigue. And depending on which variety, they can help build the bouquet up (height) or out (volume). For a fuller shape, opt for lotus, scabiosa or poppy pods. To construct a taller arrangement, dried protea, okra or trumpet pods all have taller, slender constructions rather than short and wide.

WHERE TO SHOP | FLOWERS Behrz-Bloomz 2503 N. Locust St., Sterling 815-625-5116 Online: Facebook

Flowers Etc. 1103 Palmyra Ave., Dixon 815-288-3335 Online: and Facebook

County Market 1380 N. Galena Ave, Dixon, 815-288-2112 210 W. Third St., Sterling, 815-622-0180 Online:

HyVee 901 S. Fourth St., Clinton, Iowa 563-243-6162 Online: Facebook

Dixon Floral Co. 112 S. Peoria Ave. 815-288-2246 Online: and Facebook

Lundstrom Florist & Greenhouse 1709 E. Third St., Sterling 815-625-0080 Email: Online: and Facebook

Selmi’s Weddings and Events Address: 223 First Ave., Rock Falls 815-622-8040 Email: Online: and Facebook Sullivan’s Foods 300 N. Madison St., Morrison 815-772-4696 Weeds – Florals, Design, Decor 732 N. Galena Ave., Dixon 815-288-3041 Online: and Facebook

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Groom’s Checklist THE KNOT

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

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

then order your wedding rings. Decide on inscriptions. n If you’re going to tie the knot, you may have to get your blood tested. It’s the law in some states.

6 to 8 weeks before n Get a sparkling smile. Cut down on coffee and try a whitening toothpaste. Want to really shine? Consider a professional bleaching with a dentist or use an over-the-counter whitening system. n Don’t be cheap. This is one of the most important moments in your life, so put some real thought into the matter and then buy your bride a wedding gift. n Don’t be cheap, part 2. Search high and low for the perfect groomsmen gifts. These guys are going to put out come D-Day to make sure you look your best. Make sure you get them something decent to show for it. n Don’t lose it. Pick up your wedding rings and put them in a safe place. While you’re at it, check the engraving carefully for typos.

2 weeks before

n Do something really romantic with 6 months before your wife-to-be. But before you do, n Plan your honeymoon. If you’re leaving pick up your marriage license. the country, now would be a good time to n Have a good time, but don’t do check or find your passport – or get them if something stupid. It’s your bachelor you and your girl don’t have ’em – and see what kind of shots or visas you might need. party and last chance to go crazy before you say “I do.” n Who’s driving? Arrange for transportation 1 week before to the ceremony and reception. Think limoun Get ready to relax. Double-check sine or horse and buggy. the honeymoon reservations, start While you’re at it, figure out where you’re packing your bags, and pick up travgoing after the reception – airport? hotel? – and make plans for getting there. FYI, tradi- eler’s checks. tion dictates that your best man drives you. n Pay your officiant. Put his or her fee in an envelope and give it to your best man 3 months before n Get ready for the freeloaders. Your out-of- for post-vow delivery. n You are expected to speak to the crowd town guests need a place to stay, so unless you’ve got a couple dozen spare bedrooms, at your wedding reception. Sound sensitive and intelligent, start coming up with that decide on a hotel and reserve a block of rooms. Let them know this in your invitations. impromptu toast to her family now. n Rally the troops. Give your groomsmen n By this time, the guest list should be the rehearsal dinner low-down and make finalized – i.e., it has the bride, groom and sure everybody’s got his monkey suit pressed parents’ approval. Time to send out the inviand ready. By the way, get a haircut already. tations. The day before n Get dressed. So what will it be? Tails and top hat or traditional Scottish kilt? n Make her cry. Write a sweet little “I love Decide and buy (or rent), then pick out your you” note (or other touching trick) and leave it groomsmen’s getups. somewhere she’ll find it on wedding morning, particularly if you won’t be seeing her before n Give a jeweler your finger to be meathe ceremony. sured. Let your fiancée do the same, and



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

The Bride’s Trousseau Store________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________Consultant_________________________________________________ Gown description_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Date ordered_______________________________________Date promised______________________________________________ Price________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fitting appointments (Bring proper undergarments and shoes) Date/Time____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time____________________________________________________________________________________________________

❐ Headpiece and veil – Price____________________________

❐ Jewelry – Price_____________________________________

❐ Bra/Bustier – Price__________________________________

❐ Wrap/Cape – Price__________________________________

❐ Teddy/Body stockings – Price_________________________

❐ Other – Price _______________________________________

❐ Stockings/Pantyhose – Price__________________________

❐ Something old – Price _______________________________

❐ Garter – Price_______________________________________

❐ Something new – Price ______________________________

❐ Petticoat/Slip – Price_________________________________

❐ Something borrowed – Price__________________________

❐ Shoes – Price_______________________________________

❐ Something blue – Price______________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Bride’s Attendants

Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________

Flower girl Name _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________

Gowns Store _________________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________ Consultant _____________________________________ Gown description _______________________________________________ Price___________________________________________ Date ordered ___________________________________________________ Date promised __________________________________ Fitting appointments (Bring proper undergarments and shoes) Date/Time_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date/Time_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Accessories Shoes_________________________________________________________ Price___________________________________________ Jewelry________________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Undergarments ________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Handbags ____________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Wrap _________________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Other _________________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Other _________________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________ Other _________________________________________________________ Price __________________________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

The Groom’s Attendants Tuxedos Store_____________________________________________________ Phone/Email_______________________________________ Consultant__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Description_________________________________________________________Price_____________________________________ Date measurements needed by_________________Pick-up date__________________ Return date________________________

Groomsmen Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________

Ring Bearer Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________

Ushers Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________ Name_________________________________________________ Phone/Email__________________________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Supporting Cast into her going-away clothes. ■ Takes care of the bride’s gown and accessories after the reception.

■ Delivers any payment to officiant, sexton and ceremony musicians, as prearranged. ■ Holds the bride’s wedding ring during the cerBridesmaid emony until the vows are ■ Helps the bride and spoken. maid of honor in many ■ Walks in recessional. ways. ■ Witnesses the signing Maid of honor ■ Takes care of own of the marriage certificate. ■ Helps the bride select dress and accessories fit■ Offers first toast to bridesmaids’ attire and tings. bride and groom at the wedding dress. ■ May help with a showreception. ■ Helps address invitaer for the bride, optional. ■ Gathers and takes care tions and place cards. ■ Assists the bride with of the groom’s wedding ■ Attends as many preerrands. clothes after the reception. nuptial events as possible. ■ Contributes to brides■ Has a car ready for the ■ May host a shower, maids’ gift to the bride and bride and groom to leave but not mandatory. usually gives an individual the reception. ■ Organizes bridesgift to the couple. ■ Pays for own wedding maids’ gift to the bride and ■ Attends the rehearsal attire and transportation to usually gives an individual and rehearsal dinner. the wedding. gift to the couple. ■ Walks in processional ■ Pays for own wedding and recessional. Usher attire and transportation to ■ May participate in wedding. ■ Participates in the receiving line. ■ Attends the rehearsal party for the groom. ■ Helps gather guests and rehearsal dinner. ■ Contributes to the ushfor the first dance, cake■ Walks in processional cutting and bouquet toss. ers’ gift for the groom and and recessional. usually gives an individual ■ Pays for own dress ■ Holds the groom’s gift to the couple. and transportation to the wedding ring. ■ Attends the rehearsal wedding. ■ Helps with the bride’s and rehearsal dinner. gown. ■ Makes sure people Best man ■ Arranges the bride’s receive their special flow■ Organizes any preveil and train before the ers or corsages. wedding party for the processional and reces■ Greets guests. groom. sional. ■ Seats guests. ■ Coordinates the ush■ Makes sure the bride’s ■ Hands out programs. ers’ gift to the groom and gown is picture perfect ■ Puts the aisle runner usually gives individual gift throughout the day. in place after guests are to the couple. ■ Holds the bride’s bouseated, before the proces■ Attends the rehearsal quet during the ceremony. sional. and rehearsal dinner. ■ Witnesses the signing ■ Pays for own wedding ■ Makes sure the groom of the marriage certificate. attire and transportation to ■ Stands in receiving line. has the marriage license ■ Helps the bride change with him at the ceremony. the wedding.

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.

In case of emergency THE KNOT

The essentials ❐ Aspirin/pain reliever, sedatives ❐ Band-Aids ❐ Bottle of water ❐ Chalk (to cover up any last-minute smudges or smears on your dress) ❐ Clear nail polish (for stocking runs) ❐ Corsage pins ❐ Dental floss/toothpicks ❐ Eyedrops ❐ Extra earring backs ❐ Extra panty hose ❐ Hairpins/ponytail holder ❐ Hand towelettes ❐ Hem tape and Scotch tape ❐ Matches ❐ Mini sewing kit ❐ Safety pins ❐ 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 maid of honor bag The maid or matron of honor should keep the following items on hand for the bride: ❐ Breath mints/spray ❐ Cellphone ❐ Comb, brush & hair spray ❐ Cash ❐ Linen handkerchief ❐ Makeup (for touch-ups) ❐ Mirror ❐ Nail file ❐ Perfume ❐ Tampons/sanitary napkins Optional items ❐ Granola bars/easy-to-carry snacks ❐ Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, etc.) ❐ Sunblock



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Beauty care

Service Providers

Salon ____________________________________________________ Phone/Email_________________________________________ Stylist__________________________________________________________________________Price __________________________ Appointment date & time _______________________________________________________________________________________


Bakery ___________________________________________________ Phone/Email_________________________________________ Salesperson___________________________ Price_______________ Appointment date & time_______________________________

Invitations and stationery

Name of Store ____________________________________________ Salesperson_________________________________________ Phone _________________________________________________________________________Price __________________________ Quantity ordered_____________________________Date ordered ________________________Date promised _________________ Manufacturer______________________________________________ Style number_________________________________________


Name of store _____________________________________________ Salesperson_________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________________________________Price __________________________


Company name _________________________________________________________________Salesperson____________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________________________________Price __________________________ Type of vehicle __________________________________________________________________Capacity_______________________ Pickup date _________________________________Time__________ Length of rental time __________________________________

Travel agency

Agency Name _____________________________________________ Salesperson_________________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________________________________Price__________________________ Destination ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Departure date ____________________________________________ Return date _________________________________________ Airline____________________________________________________ Flight number ________________________________________ Travel notes __________________________________________________________________________________________________


Studio name ______________________________________________ Videographer’s name__________________________________ Phone/Email ____________________________________________________________________Price __________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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

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

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 ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________ ❐ __________________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Wedding Blooms Florist___________________________________________________Address______________________________________________ Contact person___________________________________________Phone/Email___________________________________________





Bridal bouquet





Maid of Honor bouquet





Bridesmaids’ bouquet





Flower Girl’s bouquet





Floral headpieces





Mothers’/Grandmothers’ corsages





Hostesses’ flowers





Groom’s boutonniere





Fathers’/Grandfathers’ boutonnière





Groomsmen’s /Ushers’ boutonnière





Ring bearer’s pillow





Altar/Chuppah flowers





Aisle or pew pecorations





Reception room flowers





Head table centerpiece





Guests’ table centerpieces





Cake/Buffet table decorations










Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Getting a Good Reception Where it’s at Reception site______________________________________________________________ Address__________________________________Price:____________________________ Contact person:_____________________ Phone/Email:____________________________

The caterer Name: _________________________ Phone/Email:___________________________________ Cost_______ Per-person rate_______ Flat rate_______ Deposit______ Balance due_______

Reception style ❐ Formal

❐ Hors d’oeuvres

❐ Buffet

Cake and punch_______________________________________________________________ Estimated number of guests__________________

Catering services Number of wait-staff____________How long will they serve at the reception?_____________ Services they’ll perform________________________________________________________ What type of equipment does the caterer supply?__________________________________ What beverages will be supplied?________________________________________________ Will table service and linens be provided?_________________________________________ Who will provide cleanup?______________________________________________________

What’s on the menu? Hors d’oeuvres________________________________________________________________ Soup/salad____________________________________________________________________ Main course___________________________________________________________________ Side dishes____________________________________________________________________ Breads/rolls___________________________________________________________________ Beverages____________________________________________________________________ Extras________________________________________________________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Decorating Details Balloons Decorator __________________________

Phone ___________________

Address _____________________________________

Salesperson ________________________

Delivery Date/Time/Place __________________________________________________

Description ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rentals Store 1_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________________________ Phone__________________________________________ Salesperson_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Items to reserve for ceremony/reception _____________________________________________________________________________ Pick-up/delivery date _______________ Time _ ___________________ Return Date _____________

Time ______________________

Deposit_____________________________ Cost _____________________________ Store 2_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________________________ Phone__________________________________________ Salesperson_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Items to Reserve for Ceremony/Reception ___________________________________________________________________________ Pick-up/delivery date _______________ Time ____________________ Return date _____________

Time ______________________

Deposit_____________________________ Cost _____________________________ Store 3_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________________________ Phone__________________________________________ Salesperson_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Items to reserve for ceremony/reception _____________________________________________________________________________ Pick-up/delivery date _______________ Time_____________________ Return date _____________ Deposit_____________________________ Cost _____________________________

Time ______________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020




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 __________________________

Musical Selections Couple’s first dance _________________________________________ Wedding party dance _______________________________________ Couple/Parent’s dance _______________________________________ Other requests _________________________________________________


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Gifts Stores where gifts are registered


Store _______________________________________________

Color Scheme ________________________________________ Bed Size ____________________________________________

Phone ______________ Website ________________________ Store _______________________________________________ Phone ______________ Website ________________________ Store _______________________________________________ Phone ______________ Website ________________________ Store _______________________________________________ Phone ______________ Website ________________________


Other ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________

Around the house

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

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

Other ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________

Color scheme ________________________________________ Table size____________________________________________ ❐ Broom ❐ Camera ❐ Camera Equipment ❐ Clock ❐ Dustpan ❐ Fire Extinguisher ❐ Home Computer ❐ Home Entertainment (stereo, DVD player, etc.) ❐ Iron ❐ Ironing Board ❐ Lamps ❐ Luggage ❐ Photo Frames ❐ Planters ❐ Sewing Machine

❐ Telephone ❐ Television ❐ Toolbox ❐ Vacuum ❐ Vases ❐ Video Camera Other ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________ ❐ _______________________

Fun stuff ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________ ❐ ________________________________________________________________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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

Formal glassware manufacturer/pattern: _____________________________________________________

❐ Wire Racks ❐ Wok ❐ Wok Utensils


❐ ______________________ ❐ ______________________

Casual color scheme: _____________________________________________________ Casual dinnerware manufacturer/pattern: _____________________________________________________

❐ ______________________

Casual glassware manufacturer/pattern: _____________________________________________________

❐ ______________________

Table size_________________________________________

❐ ______________________

❐ Tableclothes

❐ ______________________

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

❐ Placemats

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

❐ Cloth Napkins

❐ Soup Tureen ❐ Trivet ❐ Wine Rack


❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________ ❐ ________________________



Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

Balancing the Budget


Announcements Invitations Thank-you cards/notes Stamps Other


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


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


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

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________


Engagement party Bridesmaids’ lunch Bachelor party Rehearsal dinner


Church, synagogue Officiant fees Organist, soloist fees Janitorial fees


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


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

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Estimated cost

Actual cost

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

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

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

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________

Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020


Call Destinations Travel Services to book your Destination Weddings or Honeymoon.

4015 E. Lincolnway Suite C, Sterling, IL 61081 • 815-625-3500 *Bride and Groom Fly FREE Offer: Valid on new bookings for travel anytime. Limited number of complimentary tickets available. Minimum 10 rooms per group and 4-night stay required or minimum of 40 room nights. Maximum value of complimentary ticket is $700. Taxes and fuel surcharges are not included and must be paid on complimentary tickets. Additional restrictions may apply. FREE Room Nights: Offers vary by hotel or resort. Minimum total room night count may be required. Ask for details. Not responsible for errors or omissions. [Pleasant Holidays acts only as an agent for the various travel providers shown above.) CST# 1007939-10. UB# 601 915 263. TAR# 5308. CopyrightŠ 2015 Pleasant Holidays, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Sauk Valley Weddings 2019 - 2020

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