A special publication of the Ludington Daily News January 2018
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Finding a comfortable wedding gown (MS) — Many brides-to-be visit bridal shops with specific goals in mind regarding the style of their wedding gowns. Some women come equipped with magazine tear-outs or pull up ideas on their mobile phones. Others may have an entire scrapbook filled with various ideas they’ve been compiling for years. 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. Depending on the time of day their weddings take place, brides can spend 12 hours or more in their wedding gowns on their wedding day. However, when shopping for their gowns, brides may prioritize beauty over comfort, even though it’s entirely possible to find a gown that’s both stunning and comfortable. When staff and friends or family who have come along to offer advice start to blush over wedding gowns, brides-to-be may feel pressured to downplay any discomfort they feel. To make sure brides look flawless and elegant but are still comfortable in their wedding gowns, consider the following tips. • Know what to highlight and what to cover up. No two body types are the same, and many women feel certain parts of their bodies are their best assets while they want to downplay others. 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. • Get sized correctly. Bridal gown sizes do not coincide with 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. • Purchase the right undergarments. Improperly fitting bras, shapewear and other undergarments can lead to discomfort as well. Some seamstresses can sew in supportive cups to remove the need for separate bras. Brides can explore various options to reduce the visibility of certain accoutrements. • Move around in the gown. Brides should not just stand in front of the mirror and smile when try-
ing 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. The gown brides have in mind may not be the one they ultimately go home with. 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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Wedding costs: what to expect (MS) — Newly engaged couples may experience an array of emotions when they sit down to plan their weddings. Some couples cannot wait to jump into planning and want to catalog every aspect of the process, while others may proceed with caution because they don’t know what to expect — particularly in regard to cost. Many couples find it difficult to create their wedding budgets because they have no previous experience to draw on. By breaking down wedding expenses, couples can get a clearer picture of how much they may need to pay for their weddings and where they may need to cut costs.
Reception site According to The Knot, a premiere wedding planning resource, couples can expect their receptions to eat up the largest chunk of their wedding budgets. Wedding reception venues may cost between $10,000 and $15,000. The average price for catering per person is roughly $70. Bar service may be around $2,000 for a three- to four-hour party. Some reception sites combine the room cost with the food and beverage costs, while others have à la carte fees.
Cake Wedding cakes tend to be multitiered intricate designs, so they will cost more than birthday cakes. According to Statistics Brain, wedding dessert will come in around $390.
Photography by Sue Brown
Chelsey Malkowski and Patrick Froehle married Aug. 12 at St. Mary’s Church Custer.
Music The Knot says wedding bands cost around $3,500, which is more than twice as much as hiring a deejay ($1,200). Soloists or ceremony musicians may cost around $650.
Wedding planner Many couples employ wedding planners to make planning their weddings easier. Wedding planners cost an average of $1,300, says Thumbtack, a company that matches professionals with
people who require their services.
cording to the Association of Bridal Consultants.
Photography and Video
Limousines and other transportation prices vary depending on the vehicle(s) couples choose. The Knot notes that budgeting between $400 and $500 for transportation might be wise.
Preserving wedding day memories costs around $2,800 for video and photography services, based on data from Statistics Brain. The smaller details, such as accessories, gifts, officiant fees, stationery, spa services, and favors can quickly add up as well. Couples should be sure to leave some wiggle room in their budgets for incidental expenses that may pop up.
Wedding gown Brides-to-be should expect their gowns to cost around $1,100 and the veil or headpiece to be roughly $120, ac-
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 5
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Rustic bouquet adds natural flare (MS) — Couples opting to get back to basics, streamline their nuptials and create more intimate and less superficial affairs often gravitate toward rustic celebrations to showcase their ideals. Rustic weddings also may appeal to environmentalists and men and women who want their weddings to be as eco-friendly as possible. Rustic weddings may include those ceremonies and receptions that take place outdoors or in abodes, such as barns, wineries, castles, or converted silos or town factories. In fact, Bridal
Guide says that barn weddings have never been more popular — among both urban and rural couples alike. Coordinating a rustic wedding may mean letting go of perceived notions of how everything from food to favors to flowers should be. In fact, one way to describe rustic weddings — and especially the floral arrangements that adorn them — is “purposely imperfect.” Rustic wedding bouquets may seem like they were plucked right out of the garden or grabbed through a stroll in a meadow. They’re rarely symmetrical or fea-
ture the customary flowers of more formal wedding celebrations. When designing rustic bouquets, florists may keep the stems of wildflowers or other blooms untethered for a relaxed feel. Long stemmed arrangements are quite popular, and trends point toward bouquets that are loosely tied with raffia, twine, vines and other natural materials rather than more refined ribbon. Another way rustic bouquets set themselves apart is with the introduction of other elements into the arrangements. Not mere-
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ly blooms and greenery, rustic pieces may feature twigs, vines, berries, scabiosa pods, ivy, and feathery ferns. The heights of elements in the bouquet are varied, and the bouquets will not have an overly uniform shape. Rustic bouquets are far from pretentious, and brides shouldn’t feel that these bouquets are delicate or will fall apart when handled. When planning a rustic wedding, couples can work with their florists to create bouquets and arrangements that fit with their visions.
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 7
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Aaron and Alyssa Hoekwater pose with their wedding party at the former Change Parts building in Ludington on Sept. 9, 2017.
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Joe and Cathy Santana had a destination wedding in Tampa, Florida, in April 2015.
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John and Nicole Gilyeat pose following their wedding in Ludington on Oct. 28, 2017.
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Nicole Gilyeat poses on her wedding day in Ludington on Oct. 28, 2017.
10 Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018
Photography by Sue Brown
Kaitlyn Priniski and Shawn DeWeerd had a fall wedding in Ludington and stopped for a picture opportunity at the Vogue Theatre in Manistee.
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 11
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Photography by Sue Brown
Lindy Papes and Brent Gillette on top of the world at the beach at Ludington State Park. They were married July 22.
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 13
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Local couple prepares for June wedding By ANDY HAMILTON Daily News Staff Writer
Kara Jensen | Courtesy photos
Justin proposed to Amber on Oct. 20, 2017.
It took a little trickery and some help from his future inlaws for Justin Coolman to pull off his marriage proposal to Amber Carlson. It all took place Oct. 20, 2017, at Amber’s property on South Victory Corner Road. Amber was under the impression that her mother, Mitzi, was taking Amber to her property, which is a short distance from her folks’ farm, so Mitzi could take photos of family friends Chuck and Jenn Mackey and their daughters, Charlee and Rainee. Amber’s father, Patrick, and sister, Chelsea — along with Justin’s mom, Raneen Berg — were also
present. “I thought we were taking family pictures, so everybody was just on my property hanging out,” Amber recalled. “My mom said, ‘Lets get a couple (photos) of just Amber and Justin together.’ Looking back, I don’t’ know how I didn’t put it together.” It wasn’t easy to get Amber to pose for photos, Justin said. She prefers to be the photographer more than the subject. “(Amber) is always the one holding the camera,” Justin said. His plan was after the photos were taken to pretend there was something wrong with his truck and ask Amber to open the hood, where she’d find the engagement
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ring. He quickly changed course once the couple started posing together. “She leaned on me and was leaning right on the ring,” he said. Justin got nervous that Amber would notice the ring in his pocket, so he got down on one knee in front of a pond near where their future home will be built and proposed. They’ll be married June 2 at the same location. “It’ll be fun to have the engagement, wedding and build a house there,” Amber said. Amber, 29, was born and raised in Ludington and graduated from LHS in 2006. She’s a registered nurse at the Spectrum Health OBGYN office in Ludington and is currently taking online classes through the University of Cincinnati master’s program for women’s health. Justin, 25, is from Free Soil and graduated from Mason County Eastern in 2010. He’s lead technician at Pro-Master Carpet Care and Restoration. Amber met Justin while he was hanging out with her brother, Jordan Carlson. She said her first impressions of Justin were how hard of a worker he is, and also his sense of humor. “He’s always been a jokester and can make everybody laugh,” Amber said of her fiance. She and Justin have been together five years. Just after Memorial Day last year, Justin and Jordan drove out of Ludington, driving west to visit national parks in the U.S. and Canada. They would hike more than 300 miles together. “I was without her for like 45 days and we’d never spent that much time apart,” Justin
Kara Jensen | Courtesy photos
Amber and Justin will be married on June 2. The couple will exchange vows near the pond where Justin proposed.
said. Amber joined Jordan and Justin July 1 in Spokane, Washington, and the three of them together visited Glacier National Park, and Canada’s Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Waterton Park and Yoho National Park. “Any girl that can hike with you through the mountains and still look pretty is worth marrying,” Justin said. While Jordan continued traveling solo, Justin and Amber flew back to Michigan from Calgary. Once home, Justin said he started thinking about the proposal. “I went through a couple ideas and thought about waiting until Jordan was
home, but it seemed too long to wait,” Justin said. Doing the proposal at Amber’s property was an easy decision, he said. “(Amber’s dad) Pat had done so much to the property, and the property meant so much to Amber and we’re going to build a home there and start our life there together,” Justin said. He asked Amber’s family to help. “(Justin) had my parents in on it. My sister (Chelsea) helped him pick out the ring,” Amber said. Justin said he’s glad the experience was shared by both their families. “My mom was very happy
to be a part of it,” he said. Amber’s bridal party includes her sister, Chelsea, as maid of honor; Bridgette Hansen; Jessica Charnow; Katie Miller; and Katie Russell. Standing up for Justin will be best man and stepfather, Brian Berg; Justin’s brothers, Brandon Swantek and Josh Berg; Amber’s brother, Jordan; and Steven Dykman. The flower girl will be Isabella Hansen. Pastor Rich Chasse of the CrossRoads is officiating the ceremony. For their honeymoon, Amber and Justin will travel to Iceland for about two weeks and rent a camper van to travel around the island.
16 Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018
‘Plus one’ etiquette (MS) — Couples tying the knot typically want to share their excitement with as many friends and family members as possible. Preliminary wedding guest lists can be quite extensive, but many couples ultimately shorten such lists in adherence to their budgets. One fuzzy area in regard to guest lists is whether or not to include a “plus one” on the invitation for single friends or family members. A “plus one” refers to single guests’ dates. Party planners may extend the courtesy of giving single guests the choice of whether they would like to bring someone along to the event or attend solo. The rules concerning plus ones are flexible, and ultimately, it may be up to the couple to create their own plus-one rules. The following tips can help couples determine which way to go.
Length of relationship One way to set limits on plus ones is to look at invitees on a case-by-case basis. Think about unmarried guests and the type of relationship status they currently claim. For example, a cousin who has been dating someone for several months can be encouraged to invite this serious boyfriend/girlfriend. Recently divorced or widowed guests may not feel comfortable bringing a date along, but because this person was in a committed relationship so long, it may be
well worth the courtesy to allow these types of guests to bring someone along so they can feel more comfortable. Etiquette experts at The Knot say that, whenever possible, all guests should be addressed by name on the invitation. Couples can ask single friends whether they plan to bring a date to the wedding and who their dates might be.
Number of single friends Another consideration is how many single people will be invited to the wedding. If it’s a small number, a blanket plus-one rule can
be established. However, if many guests are single, which tends to happen when young couples are getting married, the cost can be prohibitive. Single friends and family can be seated together so that they can converse and have fun.
For the guests It’s important for people on the receiving end of a wedding invitation to understand some key plus-one rules as well. • If the invitation does not say “plus one” or “and guest,” that means you have been invited alone. It is rude to bring a guest unexpectedly.
• Avoid asking to bring someone to the wedding if you were not originally given the option. • If you were given plus-one status, be sure to respond with your guest’s name. If you can’t confirm who you will be bringing or don’t know if you will have a date for the evening, it is better to come alone. • Don’t use the plus one as a chance to bring a friend only for the free food and drinks. Weddings can be complicated to plan, and negotiating plus ones for single guests is part of that planning.
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 17
Look beyond gender for wedding parties (MS) — Couples are increasingly bucking long-established trends to make weddings uniquely their own. One of today’s more popular tradition-busting trends is not adhering to gender lines when couples select friends and family members for their wedding parties. Until recently, the vast majority of wedding couples selected members of the same sex to fill the roles needed for the ceremony and reception. For example, grooms would choose fellow males to serve as their groomsmen while brides choose other females for their bridal parties. The wedding resource The Knot says the days of having men on one side and women on the other are gone. Coed wedding parties enable brides and grooms to have their favorite people by their side, regardless of gender. According to The Daily Mail, over the past year, weddings across Australia and other areas of the world have seen a rise in “groomswomen” and “bridesmen,” blurring the lines of wedding traditions. Couples have often said that choosing whomever they desire to stand beside them during the wedding is more authentic than separating people simply because of gender. Take for example a groomto-be who is especially close to his sister. Such siblings may serve as bridesmaids,
but grooms may want to have their sisters by their sides on their big day. Foregoing gender roles may make for a unique, customized wedding. However, it does create the question of what wedding party members will wear. Again, there are no firm rules, but coordination can make for better photos. A woman standing on the groom’s side can coordinate with the color of the bridemaids dresses, but wear a different style. Or she can wear a dress that matches the color of the groomsmen’s suits. A man standing with the bride can have accessories, such as tie, vest and pocket square, that match bridesmaid dresses. One of the areas where mixing and matching genders may get a tad sticky is with older, more traditional guests. They may not understand the freedom of choice in the wedding. However, couples can discuss their bridal parties to select people who they think might prefer couples adhere to tradition. Another possible snag is with bachelorette parties and bachelor parties. A solution to this dilemma may be to simply organize a getaway weekend for the entire bridal party, and not separate parties for each side. Couples are increasingly deviating from tradition for their weddings by looking beyond gender when picking wedding party members.
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18 Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018
Liability coverage a must for couples (MS) â€” Wedding insurance can provide couples who are about to tie the knot with some peace of mind on their big days. Many wedding venues require couples carry liability coverage in the case of accidents, injuries or incidents. But wedding insurance policies may even surprise couples with regard to what they cover. Each policy is different, and couples may be able to customize wedding insurance policies to cover a host of items. Many policies cover couples in the wake of cancellations or postponements due to weather, damage to
the facility or even a change of heart on the part of the couple holding the policy. But some policies may provide coverage for couples should their photographers and/or caterers fail to appear. Policies may also cover lost, stolen or damaged items, including equipment rentals, bridal growns, jewelry, and/or gifts. Couples should speak with their wedding venue representative to determine if the venue offers extended coverage and ultimately compare those offerings to policy estimates they receive on their own.
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Aaron and Alyssa Hoekwater pose after their wedding on Sept. 9, 2017.
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Taking a hands-on approach to wedding invitations (MS) — Invitations are a key component of wedding planning. Not only can invitations set the tone for a wedding — giving guests an idea of whether it is formal or casual while offering clues to the theme — but also they are essential for conveying important information about the festivities. While it was once common to work with a specialized printing and engraving company when ordering wedding invinations, couples tying the knot now have more options. Due in large part to computer and internet access, and myriad user-friendly design applications, it’s easier than ever to design high-quality wedding invitations. To maximize efficiency and come away with wedding stationery they will love, couples can employ the following tips and techniques.
Start with the paper The heavier the stock, the more luxurious the invitations will feel. Quality stock also costs more. Wedding invitations should be printed on substantial stock so they don’t bend or feel flimsy. Industry experts say that 100 percent cotton paper is the most costly paper. Couples can choose from linen stock and textured surfaces as well. Expect to pay more for natural or handmade papers. Those concerned about price can choose the highest-quality stock within budget and
Couples have many options to design and produce their own wedding invites. then play with other invitation elements to conserve funds.
Engraving and letterpress Engraving and letterpress techniques are an art form and create unique wedding invitations. Engraving creates raised lettering while letterpress presses the lettering into the paper. Many people do not have the equipment necessary to produce these designs at home, and if they want a truly highend invitation, they’ll need to use a professional printing service. Thermography is an alternative that can deliver raised print using heat and special inks.
Printing companies Options abound in re-
gard to in-store and online printing companies. Many companies offer self-service design templates that enable customers to tweak text and placement of some graphic elements and then have the invitations printed and shipped to their homes. Companies may provide stock samples and examples of lettering so that couples can touch and see the invitations prior to placing an order.
At-home printing One of the more accessible invitation production methods is at-home printing. However, there are some limitations when printing at home. For example, couples who do not have a high-end printer may find
that the text on their invitations is not as crisp and the ink may smudge. Also, paper options may be limited to what the tray feeder can accommodate. Stock that is 80 pounds or 12-point stock is preferable, but anything more may jam around the print head. It may take some trial and error (and wasted paper) to perfect alignment and achieve the desired look. DIYers also need to know about “bleed” designs. According to the advice site A Practical Wedding, bleed is a printing term for design elements or images extending beyond the trim edge so that unwanted white space is eliminated. Again, it may take some practice to get the desired look.
22 Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018
Throw a casual wedding to remember (MS) — Elegant, lavish weddings provide moments couples will remember for years to come. But while such storybook ceremonies and receptions remain popular, casual affairs are gaining popularity. According to the bridal resource The Knot, more and more couples are opting for less pageantry and more laid back panache when planning their weddings. For those who prefer something more intimate and more personalized, casual weddings may be right on target. There are many advantages to having a “luxe with less” wedding, including the ability to break molds and impart more of the couple’s personality into the event. Another advantage is the price tag. The average U.S. wedding, according to The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study, costs $31,213. In some urban areas, particularly New York City, average costs are three times that amount. Golden Girl Finance, a leader in financial digital media, has found that Canadian weddings average $31,000 with honeymoon included. Although wedding costs have gone up, the average number of wedding guests has gone down. As such, certain couples might look to rein in other aspects of their wedding. Transforming the festivities into a casual affair 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 to help the wedding vision come to fruition.
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 expense. 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, free-spirited wedding that incorporates some aspects of formality in an off-beat 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, such as athletic shoes. Place wildflowers in crystal vases. These are just some methods to give a rich feel without removing the fun element.
Personal touches Menus or wedding programs printed at home in a fun font can set the casual tone couples are looking for. Look for eclectic fabrics to use as gift tags or napkin holders. Hand-painted signs or a hodge-podge of picture
frames can display pertinent information, such as itineraries or seating arrangements. Encourage friends or family to contribute a favorite menu item to the food offerings. A home-baked dessert can be delicious and budget-friendly.
Wardrobe Clothing often indicates the formality of an occasion. Everyone from the wedding party to the guests can dress down. 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.
Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018 23
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210 S. James St. Ludington 231.425.3784
24 Ludington Daily News/Spring Bridal 2018
A happy couple. A beautiful East Ballroom ceremony with up to 100 guests. Down the hall to a spacious Grand Ballroom reception with up to 300 guests dancing and celebrating your new union.
Call (231)845-7311 to arrange a tour today!
Picture Your Wedding at 4079 W US-10, Ludington, MI 49431 ~ (231)845-7311 ~ graystoneevents.com
Our hotels live to serve you and your guests. That is why having you feel well-cared for is our first priority. When you reserve a room block it allows us to offer affordable accommodations and personal greetings to your guests. Each hotel is equipped to provide the distribution of your personal sentiments and meeting spaces for you to connect with your guests when they arrive. To have this peace of mind is priceless. Contact your preferred hotel and reserve your room block today!
5005 W US-10 Ludington, MI 49431 (231)843-2140 bestwesternludington.com
5323 W US-10 Ludington, MI 49431 (231)845-7004 stayludington.com
4079W US-10 Ludington, MI 49431 (231)845-7311 ilovehie.com