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A special publication of the Ludington Daily News


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Throw a casual wedding to remember (MS) — Elegant, storybook ceremonies and receptions remain popular, casual affairs are gaining popularity. The main advantage to having a “luxe with less” wedding is the price tag. The average wedding costs $31,213. In some urban areas, average costs are three times that amount. Some couples might want to transform the festivities into a casual affair. This can help keep the overall budget low while still allowing for an exciting and enjoyable event. To put casual plans into motion, consider these ideas.

VENUE Catering halls and other reception sites do a wonderful job of meeting the needs of their clientele. However, food and beverage costs are often the most expensive wedding ex-

wildflowers in crystal vases. These are just some methods to give a rich feel without removing the fun element.

PERSONAL TOUCHES

pense. To reduce the per-guest cost and also incorporate some variety into their wedding days, couples can consider a venue change. Look for public locations that allow couples to hire their own caterer, which may be a favorite restaurant or specialty food shop. The cost per person may decrease dramatically from the venue costs. Changing the venue also enables couples to pick unique spots that may hold special

meaning to them. For example, couples can choose the site of their first date or the location where their proposal took place.

CONTRAST Enjoy a casual wedding that incorporates formality in an offbeat way. Think about serving fast food, such as fried chicken or pizza, on fine china. Those wearing tuxedos and gowns can opt for casual footwear. Place

Menus or wedding programs printed at home in a fun font can set the casual tone couples are looking for. Hand-painted signs can display itineraries or seating arrangements. A homebaked dessert can be delicious and budget-friendly.

WARDROBE Sundresses can replace taffeta bridesmaids’ gowns. Guys can opt for tailored sports coats with jeans. Guests may feel comfortable in less formal attire that facilitates dancing and mingling. Casual weddings are becoming more popular as many couples are playing down the party for various reasons.

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4 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUE BROWN

Dana and Carter Twitty pose after their wedding at Epworth Heights in Ludington.


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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUE BROWN

Lindy Papes and Brent Gillett are photographed in the winter, spring, summer and fall before their upcoming 2017 wedding.


6 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

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Trimming the guest list Elegant Tents

(MS) — Weddings are a time to celebrate, and many couples hope to invite as many people as possible to share their excitement. A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Denver found that couples who invite at least 150 guests to the wedding may have happier marriages. The study examined 418 people who were single at the beginning of the study and married five years later. It found that 47 percent of those people who had gotten married in front of at least 150 guests had “high-quality marriages,” while those with 50 or fewer guests fell short. While guests make weddings more enjoyable, and may increase the propensity to enjoy a more successful marriage, couples must be practical and consider their wedding budgets when creating their guest lists. The average American wedding includes 120 guests, according to a 2015 Newlywed Survey released by WeddingWire. Couples who are finding it difficult to create and pare down their guest lists can employ the following tips. • Create initial lists. When jotting down potential guests’ names, write down everyone you want to invite, regardless of budget. Then list the must-have guests for the wedding. This should include the family and friends with whom you interact on a regular basis. Create a separate column for guests who don’t make the must-have list. • Separate friends from friends’ friends. If you don’t see people outside of events set up by mutual friends, you should not feel obligated to invite those people to the wedding. They are more likely friends of your friends and not your close friends. • Know the guest list ceiling. Catering halls or reception rooms often can only accommodate a certain number of people. Know this number before making a final list. The

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Free Wedding Consultation limits of the space may serve as the catalyst for trimming the guest list. • Consider coworkers carefully. Think about whether you’d still be friends with your coworkers if the company dissolved tomorrow. If not, you should not feel obligated to invite them. • Have we met? If you don’t remember interacting with a person (your parent’s long lost friend from high school) or the person has never met your significant other, then they probably can be cut. If parents insist on inviting someone you barely remember, they should help defray the costs. • Cut out the kids. Even though children’s dinner costs may be lower than adults’, inviting children can significantly increase the guest list. A no-child policy at the reception can save money. • Avoid uncomfortable situations. Unless you have remained particularly close, keep former boyfriends and girlfriends off of the guest list. • Ask for an unbiased opinion. Give the editing pen to someone else if you cannot make a decision. This person may help weed out extraneous guests. Paring down a wedding guest list can be a difficult process, but couples should work together and respect each other’s concerns when creating their final list.

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8 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

Finding harmony in Ludington

BY RILEY KELLEY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

O

n the surface, Alison Timinski and Colton Mokofsky of Ludington don’t seem to have much in common. Alison, a teacher at Spitler Elementary in Hart, is organized, disciplined and pragmatic — an educator through and through. Colton, on the other hand is spontaneous and irreverent, with the bearing of a stand-up comedian. Before landing his current job as a staff writer and videographer for the Ludington Daily News, Colton studied broadcasting and cinema at Central Michigan University, and he has all the hallmarks of a creative personality. To hear Alison tell it, the two are as different as a straight line and a wavy line. This may sound like an obstacle, but straight and wavy lines are no strangers to collaboration. For instance, when placed atop one another on a flat surface, straight and wavy lines create a graphic representation of a little thing called frequency, the sonic property responsible for creating pitch. Without frequency, there would be no melody, no harmony, no music of any kind. Perhaps song itself is a more fitting metaphor for the relationship. Alison is the melody, holding steady and keeping things on track. Colton, is the harmony, exploratory and oblique, stretching parameters and complimenting the more straight-forward melody. The point is that just beneath the surface, there is one very important thing that Alison and Colton do have in common: they love each other.

RILEY KELLEY | DAILY NEWS

Colton Mokofsky and Alison Timinski of Hamlin Twp. will be married July 8 at United Methodist Church.

‘Our whole relationship was long-distance … we had to make it work if we wanted to stay together.’ Colton Mokofsky Colton and Alison met on the campus of Central Michigan University on Alison’s 21st birthday in 2014. At the time, Colton was making his way through CMU’s broadcasting and film courses, living in an apartment with a friend of Alison’s. “She came to visit for her birthday and that’s where we met for the first time,” Colton said. Alison was nearing the end of

her baccalaureate coursework, student teaching in Belmont. “I went to visit one of my friends in Mount Pleasant who was living with Colton but I didn’t know Colton at the time,” she said. Colton was immediately taken with Alison. So much so that he made sure he was around the next time she visited. “She came back again and visited and I told her friend that my plans had gotten cancelled for the evening and asked if I could tag along with them. “My plans hadn’t really gotten cancelled, I just wanted to get to know this girl better,” Colton admits now. In the months that followed, a friendship — and eventually more — began to form. Colton and Alison got to know each other, communicat-

ing daily via FaceTime and social media to compensate for the distance between them. That distance was no small thing, especially for a new couple. “We were very much apart for most of our relationship,” Colton said. “Our whole relationship was long-distance. All the hours of FaceTime and texting and calling… we had to make it work if we wanted to stay together.” “We put a lot of miles on the car,” Alison said. They visited each other as much as their hectic schedules would allow, but it was rare that they had more than a day or two together at a time. For most couples, the distance would surely take its toll. For Alison and Colton, however, it taught them patience, per-


Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017 9

NEXT STEPS: Summer wedding ahead! severance and commitment. Above all, it taught them to value and cherish their time together. “For the longest time, we weren’t able to spend time together — it was just like FaceTime or something like that,” Alison said. “So when we were together it was nice to be able to just go somewhere and just not have to pay attention to anything else. I think we valued the time together a lot more than other people.” Alison said that when they were together, they didn’t spend time on their smartphones or even watching movies. They were too busy talking and catching up ­— making up for long stretches of time spent apart, and getting in as much quality time as they could before saying goodbye. Colton says that to this day, he has never taken Alison to see a movie for a date, despite his lifelong passion for film. “We didn’t want to just spend those couple of days we had … just sitting in silence looking at something else,” he said. The long-distance courtship continued until last year, when Colton and Alison finally found themselves in the same town — Ludington. Alison is a Ludington native, with family and friends in the area. “I went to elementary school here and middle school and high school. I did all my schooling in Ludington,” she said. After earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from CMU, Alison came back home to Mason County, where she substitute taught for Ludington schools before starting in her current position in Hart in 2014.

COURTESY PHOTO

The happy couple enjoys ice cream at House of Flavors in Ludington. Colton proposed to Alison Sept. 8, 2016 at Stearns Park Beach in Ludington. PATTI KLEVORN | DAILY NEWS

Colton made it his mission to join her. After graduating from CMU in 2015, he started seeking employment in Ludington. “We knew that we wanted to try to kind of merge our careers so we could live in the same place. I was looking especially in the Ludington area for jobs,” Colton said. “I looked for a media related job that I could take so we could move (in) together and move forward with a relationship.” Alison learned that the Ludington Daily News was hiring. She encouraged Colton to apply, and in May of last year he was on the staff. “It just worked out,” Colton said, “and here we are today.” Over the past nine months, Colton and Alison took some major steps. They bought a house in Hamlin Township and on Sept. 8, 2016, Colton popped the big question in a way befit-

ting a photographer. “I thought it would be happening some time soon but I didn’t know when,” Alison said of the proposal. They were going for a walk on Stearns Park Beach on one of the last nice days of the summer, Alison said. Colton contrived a plan to surprise Alison, telling her that he had a photo to take for work while they were out. Alison strolled the beach to give Colton space to do his job. “When I turned back around he was getting his camera out of his bag. I didn’t really think anything of it until he didn’t pull out his camera, and pulled out the ring box,” she said. He dropped to one knee in the sand and asked her to marry him, and she said yes. Colton and Alison will be married on Saturday, July 8 at the United Methodist Church of

Ludington. A reception will follow at the Holiday Inn. Though the wedding will be no small undertaking for the couple, Colton and Alison are not stressing about it. “We have a lot of things planned (for the wedding), but I’m not really worried about anything,” Alison said. “It will happen the way it happens.” For now, they’re far too happy just being together, starting a new life and learning from each other, to worry about much else. This state of mind is another thing Colton and Alison have in common. It’s a kind of harmony that would not exist without the frequency that these two very different people create when they are together. riley@ludingtondailynews.com (231) 843-1122 x 309


10 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

Selecting a comfortable wedding gown (MS) — Much consideration is given to wedding gowns. The cost and silhouette of the dress may garner the bulk of that consideration, but brides might want to spend more time considering comfort. To make sure brides look flawless and elegant but are still comfortable in their wedding gowns, consider the following tips. • Know what to highlight. Try on gowns that play up your best features. If you have shapely legs, consider a dramatic gown with a slit to show them off. Certain gowns can enhance the decollete or show off an hourglass shape. Remember, many gowns can be modified so that you feel secure and confident. Sleeves can be added or fabric placed to cover up any perceived flaws. Confidence and pride are important parts of the comfort factor.

Wedding gowns can be both beautiful and comfortable for those who know how to shop.

• Get sized correctly. Bridal gown sizes are different from street sizes. Depending on the manufacturer, brides may have to select gowns that are several sizes larger than they would normally wear. This should not be a cause for alarm. Brides

should go by their measurements. Attempting to squeeze into a dress that is too small will only lead to discomfort on the wedding day. • Move around in the gown. Don’t just stand in front of the mirror and smile when trying

on gowns. Put them through their paces. Try sitting, bending and even a little dancing. Make sure the dress is comfortable to move around in. • Try different options. Explore different styles and materials. Choose cooler, breezier fabrics and lightweight gowns, like crêpe, georgette or organza, for summer weddings. Heavier fabrics, such as brocade, may be more comfortable in the winter. Wedding gowns can be both beautiful and comfortable for those who know how to shop.

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Guide to a second marriage Colored tuxedos and vintage suits

(MS) — Couples are returning to the altar in increasing numbers, as second and third weddings are becoming ever more popular. Pew Research Center indicates that, as of 2014, 64 percent of divorced or widowed men have remarried, compared with 52 percent of previously married women. Lavish second weddings were once uncommon, but that trend is also shifting. Couples who are taking another crack at marriage are tying the knot with renewed vigor and with weddings that may rival some first-timers’. Men and women who are remarrying after divorce or being widowed may not know how to approach planning their upcoming nuptials. The following are some guidelines to making the wedding sequel a success.

are acceptable, even though such attire might have raised a few eyebrows the first time around. can help head off feelings of illwill. Some couples choosing to tie the knot again scale back the size of the wedding this time around, feeling something smaller and more intimate — with only the closest of friends and family — is more suitable.

REGISTRIES AND WEDDING GIFTS Considering couples who have been married previously likely have many of the housewares and items for daily living that first-timers may not, registering for these gifts is not necessary. What’s more, some of the same guests may have been present at first marriages and gifted then. In lieu of gifts, couples may ask guests to donate to a specific charity or forgo gifts altogether.

WARDROBE Couples who have been married before often find that they have more leeway with regard to their wedding wardrobes than they did when tying the knot for the first time. Brides may choose something less traditional than a long, white dress. In fact, this can be a time to let loose and select something that is festive or even funky. This also may provide a great opportunity to choose clothing styles from different cultures or ties into one’s heritage. This freedom also allows brides to broaden their horizons with regard to where to buy their wedding wardrobes. Grooms may opt for something more casual than a tuxedo or coordinate with their brides-to-be so they are on the same creative page. Colored tuxedos and vintage suits are acceptable, even

VOWS

though such attire might have raised a few eyebrows the first time around.

GUEST LIST The guest list doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. Others will understand that there may be a melange of people at a

second wedding. Children from previous marriages as well as divorced spouses or former parents-in-law are not out of the question. Even if exes will not be included, make sure they know about the nuptials in advance of others. It’s common courtesy, and it

Couples can use experience to draft vows that have personal meaning to their unique situations and make the wedding ceremony even more special. People getting married again can impart their own personalities into the ceremony and party to follow. There are no hard rules governing second weddings, so couples can plan their weddings with good times in mind.


12 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

Make proposals special and successful (MS) — A marriage proposals is a couple’s first official step toward the altar. Tradition dictates that men pop the question, with their surprised — and hopefully soon-to-be-fiancées — ultimately deciding if wedding bells will be on the horizon. Proposing marriage can be nervewracking. However, if the time seems right and love is in the air, popping the question can be exciting. Regardless of who is proposing marriage, the following strategies can help make proposals memorable and successful.

TURN THE TIDES An old Irish tradition known as “The Lady’s Privilege” was established in the fifth century by a nun named St. Brigid. She decided to create an opportunity for women to propose marriage. This day fell on every leap year, February 29. Centuries later, women can still use this tradition as the impetus to take the marriage reigns into their own hands. But women need not wait for the next leap year to propose. Many women view proposing as an empowering action that is tied to the evolving view of independent women. Couples are negotiating more in the marriage process, and the dissolution of commonly held practices is occurring more often.

CHOOSE A SENTIMENTAL LOCATION Couples will remember the proposal for the rest of their lives. So choose a proposal location that has sentimental connections. Think about where the first “I love you” was uttered or where a first date occurred. These can be prime lo-

COURTESY PHOTO

A wedding proposal is a special moment in couples’ lives together. It can be made even more special by following some guidelines. cations to pop the question.

NOTE HER STYLE Engagement rings play a big role in many couples’ proposals. One person’s style is not necessarily what his partner will like. Bigger isn’t always better. Rather, choose a ring that reflects your partner’s preferences and personality. Take your partner jewelry shopping and see which types of jewelry he or she is

most drawn to. Certain preferences can serve as a jumping off point for ring designs.

ASK FOR THE FAMILY’S BLESSING Men no longer need to ask their girlfriends’ fathers for “permission” to wed their daughters. However, asking your partner’s family for their blessing is a sign of respect and can add a romantic and heartfelt touch to the proposal.

CAPTURE THE MOMENT Though we live in an age when every moment of people’s lives is documented with videos and photographs posted to social media, proposals still stand out as extra special moments. Hire a professional photographer to discreetly capture the proposal and your partner’s reaction so it can be cherished for years to come.


Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017 13

Weddings and non-traditional families (MS) — Families come in all shapes and sizes. When planning their weddings, couples must give consideration to the needs of their families. Even though a wedding is about the union of two people, oftentimes couples engaged to be married must contend with the politics of divorce or other familial issues. This includes if and how to incorporate stepparents and stepsiblings into the ceremony and celebration. There are no traditional rules regarding how to handle blended families, so brides- and grooms-to-be can customize their decisions based on their own unique situations. Even when families have been happy through the years, the unique circumstances and traditions surrounding the nuptials can dredge up former insecurities, and certain aspects may require

extra patience and tact. Here’s how to navigate the process. • Some families break the mold. Recently, a father made waves on the Internet when a video of him pulling the bride’s stepfather up to assist in walking her down the aisle went viral. This was a wonderful im-

age of families making it work despite their differences or the awkwardness that can result when brides or grooms have parents and stepparents in attendance. Although this scenario might not play out for all, find ways to impart a special touch, especially if you’re close

to both your biological parents and your stepparents. For example, your biological father may walk you down the aisle, while your stepfather may enjoy the first dance. •Order flowers and gifts for all. Purchase flowers and wedding party gifts for all of the special people in your lives, including your stepfamily. •Put others first. Remember to give parents and stepparents priority seating, and they each should be seated next to someone they love and someone with whom they can converse comfortably. You may think everyone can play nice, but it’s best not to push the issue just to make a point at the wedding. Weddings can be complicated affairs when factoring in blended families. With patience and compassion, such families can enjoy a beautiful and happy day.

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14 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

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Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017 15

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16 Ludington Daily News/Spring/Summer Bridal 2017

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Bridal World Spring/Summer 2017  

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