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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Advantages to a wedding video


a f i n a nc i a l c l i m a t e where most people are pi nch i ng pen n ies, it comes as no surprise that many engaged couples seek ways to cut costs with regard to their weddings. S ome c ouple s a re u nde c ide d whether certain components of their wedding are necessary.

produced wedding v ideo is not the same as Uncle Fred carrying a round his a rcha ic ca mcorder and catching a few embarrassing dance moves during the reception. A professional video will showcase all moments of the wedding from perspectives not easily captured by photography.

The decision to hire a videographer is one such area couples fret over. A f ter a l l, w it h a photog rapher snapping hundreds of pictures, having a video may seem like an u n necessa r y lu x u r y. However, people of ten f i nd t hat hav i ng a wedding video to cherish long after the day has passed is well worth the price.

In addit ion to showcasing t he images of the wedding, the video w ill a lso share the sounds and emotions of the day. Here are some things to think about.

There are several advantages to hiring a professional videographer to capture the day. A professionally

• C hoose a videographer who will work in conjunction w it h t he wedding mood and parameters. You pr ob a bl y don’t w a nt a v ideographer who uses bright lights that can be distracting. Nor do you want a videographer who pushes the camera in guests’ faces

Navigating an interfaith wedding

for a less-than-candid interview. To d a y ’s p r o f e s s i o n a l s a r e inconspicuous and simply record the events as they unfold.

Faith plays an important role in many people’s lives, perhaps even more so when it comes time to celebrate a wedding. However, couples who do not share the same faith may have to make some compromises.

• T he videographer may work in tandem with the photographer. S ome photog r apher s have a videographer on staff. It is fine to bring in your own videographer if you li ke t he qua lit y of t he photographer’s photos but not the videographer’s work. • A videographer will capture the t h i ngs you may have m issed during the busy day. He or she can serve as the eyes and ears for the things you’re not seeing and hearing. • A lthough ours is an increasingly d i g it a l w or ld w he r e p e ople capture photos and v ideos on t hei r sma r t phones a nd ot her

dev ices on a reg u la r basis, a wedding v ideo can ser ve as a fa m i ly memento. W hat ot her time, apart from the holidays, do you have all of your friends and loved ones together in one place? • A lthough no one wants to think of a friend or relative passing away while planning their wedding, the fact remains that after a few years some of the people who attended your wedding may no longer be around. Having a wedding video may be the only last moving image and sound of a special person who is no longer in your life. • S o u n d i s a p o r t i o n o f t h e wedd i ng t hat photos si mply ca nnot capture. To relive t he music and the words of the day, a v ideographer is a necessit y. Professionals who use wireless microphones will produce a video with the best sound quality. • Y ou c a n w or k w it h a go o d videographer so it’s not simply a video with close-up shots of your face or unflattering perspectives. Talk about your preferences and even fears about being filmed (some people just don’t l i ke watch ing t hemselves on T V ), a nd t he v ideog rapher ca n no doubt f ind solutions t hat w ill accommodate your needs.

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• T here a re ma ny t h i ngs t hat you will not see at the wedding but may have liked to, such as the first gasps of wonder upon guests walking into the reception room, or the tears on the face of an aunt who was sitting too far back in the church pews. This is where a wedding v ideo can prove invaluable. • Modern videographers offer highresolution, edited movies. These can be delivered via Blu Ray DVD and ensure the best quality for your package. Although brides and grooms may be cutting costs with regard to their wedding, they may not want to pass on the wedding video.

Depending on the faith, some religions will not honor a wedding that does not conform to their strict guidelines for a wedding within the faith. Oftentimes, this means that both participants need to have been raised according to the faith, including meeting certain religious milestones throughout their lives. For example, Catholics must have been baptised, received communion and been confirmed under the auspices of the Catholic church before being allowed to marry. Those of the Jewish faith may believe in a “bashert,” a belief that everyone has a soul mate. According to the Talmud, 40 days before a male child is conceived a voice from heaven announces whose daughter he is going to marry. In Yiddish, this perfect match is called “bashert,” a word meaning fate or destiny. The bashert is typically one who is also Jewish. To handle the intricacies of an interfaith marriage, it is wise to speak to clergy in your respective religions to see what will be required of you as a couple. There could be workarounds, depending on what the couple decide. Some couples feel it is in their best interest if either one of them converts to the other’s religion so that the ceremony is easier. Others choose to hold two distinct religious ceremonies if the officiants are lenient in their rules to allow it to happen. In other cases, couples feel it is better to have a nondenominational wedding to avoid any obstacles. Even though this ceremony will not be sanctioned by either church, the couple can still choose to include prayers and customs specific to their faiths in the ceremony. Many couples decide that their mutual love and happiness is reason enough for an interfaith wedding, even if t hat mea ns sacrificing acceptance by their clerg y a nd church. Interfa it h couples should begin wedding planning early to discover what will be expected of them to have the wedding they desire.

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Engagement photo tips


e w l y e n g a ge d c ou ple s choose to capture the occasion in photos that they can cherish. Often, one of these photos is used as an announcement to family and friends and might even be published in the newspaper.

photos don’t look stiff or contrived. Here are some other tips that can lead to great photos.

Engagement photos may be part of a package negotiated with the photographer who will be covering the wedding day. Some couples enlist the help of a friend or a budding photographer to capture an engagement shot. The average cost of engagement photos can range from $200 to $500. Some couples opt to use a photographer who mig ht specia li ze in ot her areas (i.e. fashion models) but may want to break into the wedding biz because of how lucrative it can be. Costs may be negotiated as a result.

If you’re reserved and a follow-thebook type of couple, then select a more traditional photographer. Some photog raphers out t here forget that this is your moment and want to impart their idea of what you want. Make sure he or she takes your ideas into consideration.

W hen shoppi ng a rou nd for a photographer, there are certain t hings couples shou ld keep in mind. The first and most important is selecting a photographer you can relate to. If you don’t feel a connection with the photographer, he or she will have trouble coaxing the shots that will produce the best results. He or she should also be a professional and have some experience working with posing couples. This way the


Jewish wedding tradition includes a chuppah Couples of the Jewish faith often spend t heir wedding ceremony underneath a “chuppah.” This is a canopy or covering made from a cloth or sheet stretched over four poles. The chuppah may be freestanding, or it may be held aloft by members of the wedding party.

Find a photographer who fits your style. If you’re a quirky couple, go with a quirky photographer.

Select one who is open to different shoot locations and brainstorming. Some of the best photos occur in natural settings, where things aren’t entirely planned. If a photographer simply works out of a studio, you may want to select

Choose you r locat ion w isely. Certain locations will stand out in your minds because they are visually stunning or are special places w here you have spent moments as a couple. By choosing a place t hat of fers a persona l connection, there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate the photos in the long run. Also, be open to the fact that unplanned stops may offer a great background for the image. Be open to the unexpected. Tr y ra ndom poses a nd some candid shots. Although you might have a vision of the perfect photo in your mind, experimenting with different ideas can sometimes lead to a great photo you really love. Expect to take your share of kissing, nose-touching and portrait shots. Some fun poses, such as running or ju mping (or rol ling a rou nd on a beach f u l l of waves) ca n produce ca ndid shots t hat a re

truly masterpieces. Remember, somet imes photog raphers w i l l pose you in positions that seem a bit awkward, but this is to get t he best lines of t he body and flattering images. Choose clot hing t hat f its t he mood. If time and budget allows, have several different wardrobe changes so that you can see which outfits work and which ones don’t. A formal outfit, comfortable street clot hes, somet h i ng beachy or clothing that fits w ith your interests (such as polo or baseball) can make for interesting engagement photos. Avoid clothing that is too trendy or busy, which may take away from the actual images in the long run. Plus, you don’t want to look back at these photos in the future and say, “What was I thinking?” Avoid matchy-matchy, though. If you are dressed alike, you may appear to be trying too hard. It’s the individual personalities you want to shine through.

Engagement photos don’t have to be posed portraits. Experiment with looks that fit your personalities for memorable photos.

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According to tradition, the chuppah symbolizes the home the couple will build together. Although a chuppah isn’t a required component of the ceremony and couples w i l l be recog n i zed a s married without it, in more cases than not, a chuppah is an integral part of the ceremony.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012



Save money with these do-it-yourself wedding ideas


hose thinking about tying the knot in the months to come may be discouraged by how expensive weddings can be. But with a little ingenuity and a hands-on approach, couples can have a wedding that is inexpensive and memorable at the same time. According to Costof, on average, U.S. couples spend $26,542 for their weddings. This amount does not include the cost for an engagement ring or wedding bands. With such a high price tag, some couples may wonder if they can afford their dream wedding or if there are ways to cut costs. Having a backyard, DIY wedding can be the answer.

A lt hough some may env ision a back ya rd wedding w it h picnic benches and Dad at the grill, it can be a much classier affair than that. Smart couples are realizing that the money they would normally spend on a big wedding at an outside venue can be put to better use, either through buying a new home or fixing up one they may already own. Furthermore, for couples who are picky about details, having a DIY event ensures that they can control the details and have them as personal as they would like.

Getting started Make lists of all the things you will need as soon as possible:

• Location • Tables and chairs • Linens • Food • Silverware and glassware • Invitations • Photography • Music • Officiant • Centerpieces and other decor • Cake or dessert • Lighting • Attire • Flowers

Work in advance Many items necessary for a wedding can be bought in advance. Some couples find that purchas-

ing low-cost items at discount stores turns out to be less expensive than renting. For example, inexpensive glasses and silver ware can be bought at dollar stores or chains like Ikea. Later these items can be kept, sold or even donated to shelters.

who have skills in certain areas, w h ich c a n be t apped for t he wedding. There may be a gourmet chef, a disc jockey, a photographer or even someone who can officiate the vows. Having these people on board means a great reduction in costs.

Tablecloths don’t have to be the traditional kind. It may be less ex pensive to pu rcha se pieces of fabric from a fabric store and dressing them up oneself. Candles can be stockpiled relatively easy a nd prov ide a ver y a f fordable means of ambient light.

Readying the venue

Plan out centerpiece ideas and f ig u re out wh ich component s can be bought and stored. Then items can be assembled at leisure. Wedding stationery is one thing that will have to be bought well in advance so there will be time enough to printout save-the-dates, invitations and response cards, as well as mail them. An informal wedding may mean couples ca n get si mple at t i re. Buy ing of f t he rack may mea n a sma l ler pr ice tag for gow ns. Gentleman may be able to fare with sportcoats and slacks. P u rcha se wa rd robe essent ia ls severa l mont hs i n adva nce to be sure t here w i l l be t ime for alterations, if necessary. Enlist the help of family and friends to get many of the tasks completed. Upon asking, many couples find there are members of the family

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Because couples will be doing the work themselves, it’s best to start severa l days in advance of t he wedding (weather permitting). Be sure the grounds are well groomed and landscaped. Ensure there are no tripping hazards and that there is a sturdy surface for placing tables or creating a dance floor. It may pay to ask an electrician or someone who dabbles in electric work to help string some lights to better illuminate the area, especially for when the sun goes down. Set up the tables and chairs to finalize placement the day before. Figure out where the ceremony will take place. A small arbor can mark the area and make a nice photo backdrop. Dress the tables with linens and settings the morning of the wedding. One splurge couples may want to make is hiring a waitstaff to help set up food service areas, serve as bartenders and clear away dishes and other messes. This way the bride and groom can mingle with guests.

Other tips and tricks Here are some other ways to save money on DIY weddings.

• Fruit is less expensive than flowers for centerpieces. • Many different foods can be cooked in advance and frozen instead of hiring a catering service. • Include postcard response cards in wedding invites. The postage is less, and you don’t have to spend money on an extra envelope. • Be sure to check with your town if you need a permit or variance for having so many cars parked by the house in the event of a backyard wedding. Otherwise you could be facing a fine. • Bouquets can easily be made with store-bought flowers, some floral tape and decorative ribbon. • Restrict the bar to wine and beer, and you’ll save money on expensive liquors.

A DIY wedding can be a fun, memorable event that costs a couple a fraction of what it would be to have it held at an expensive location.

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Keeping a secret? How to tell family you’re eloping J ust as many men and women may have visions of what their wedding will be like, parents, family members and friends also may envision others’ weddings.

Pa rents who have t heir hea r ts set on seeing their little girl in a white, princess gown or their boy beginning to start his ow n family could be disappointed at the prospect of not attending a big wedding. The opinions of wellmeaning people could ma ke it difficult for a couple to announce t hey prefer to elope instead of having a lavish affair. Modern-day weddings have bec ome c ost l y spe c t acle s, w it h couples spending in upwards of $30,000 for the average fete. Oftentimes, the wedding is as much about the fanfare as it is about the ceremony bet ween t wo people pledging their love and fidelity to each other. Also, in some families the wedding can be about impressing others or a “keeping up with the Joneses” type of event. This can make a wedding seem less enticing for a couple who wants to keep it simple. Although statistics on the number of elopements that take place are about as elusive as the perfect gown, a good number of couples choose to ditch

the stress of wedding planning in lieu of a quiet ceremony somewhere beyond the lights, cameras and eager eyes of guests. The cost of weddings is also a large factor in the choice for elopement. Mart ha Stewa rt has even been quoted a s say i ng, “Instead of paying runaway prices, people are running away.” While the prospect of saying their vows atop a picturesque hillside in t he midd le of t he A lps may appeal to some low-key couples, most realize that sharing the news of eloping with their family and friends is not nearly as appealing.

In some cultures, t he wedding is mea nt to be a public event. For other families, parents and siblings may almost feel robbed about not getting to share in an event as momentous as a wedding, e s p e c i a l l y i f t he c ouple h a s already been a part of other family members’ events. Telling people of the elopement decision could require some finesse. Experts adv ise that family and friends should be told of the elopement idea – before it takes place. Although the conversation could be awkward, it will be much less of a blow than sitting down with

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everyone and saying, “Surprise, we ran off and got hitched!”

Ultimately, a marriage is about finding compromises and what works for you as a couple. The choice to elope may set the tone for many other compromises to come as the years go by.

Some couples simply want to run away and elope instead of undergoing the stress and spectacle of a big, traditional wedding.

Discussing the idea with everyone and telling them the reasons why eloping seems appealing will start a dialogue. This enables friends and family to share their opinions a nd feel pa r t of t he decisionmaking process.

Some couples may find that their relat ives a re supportive of t he idea. After all, the money spent on the average wedding can be put to other uses, including using it as a down payment on a home or student loan payments.

If the reasons for elopement are over areas of conflict, such as what to do with blended families after a divorce, this might prove an easy and convincing defense of eloping.

Many will feel comfortable with the idea if there is some way to celebrate, such as a small dinner afterward. Couples know it’s hard to please everyone, and few will

likely be pleased if a couple elopes. There will be some people who feel insulted not to be invited to the wedding. However, one has to hold fast to the hope that if these people really love the couple they will eventually dismiss any ill feelings after a couple elopes. Couples who want to spare feelings may have a small ceremony at the courthouse and then elope and do it all over just for each other.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012 o


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Choosing a hue for the bridesmaid gowns B

ridesmaids are an important part of the wedding party, and most brides opt to have a handful of close friends and family members play a special role in the wedding. Choosing a gown and a color that will f latter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work. A n over whel m i ng major it y of couples choose to have a formal wedding. The average number of bridesmaids for these formal weddings is four.

some, most brides aspire to select gowns that will be flattering for all. And color scheme is integral in the choice of gown. E v er y w e l l-pl a n ne d w e dd i n g carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not ever y color accentuates ever yone’s features. Therefore, some experimentation might be necessary to find a color that is f lattering to all and fits with the color scheme.

Considering around two million wedd i ngs ta ke place i n Nor t h America every year, that’s a lot of bridesmaids for whom gowns and other attire must be planned.

Depend i ng on ha i r color a nd skin shade, there are many f lattering hues available for gowns. When making this decision, consider bridesmaids’ ethnicity and skin tone.

Many bridesmaids worry about the gowns they will wear come the big day. Horrible bridesmaid dresses have been the butt of jokes for years, and many people have their own stories of garish gowns they’ve been asked to don for a wedding.

African-American: Women with dark skin and hair may really shine in jewel-colored gowns, including silver, gold, purple and salmon. Ver y pale colors may be daring and conspicuous.

Some have said that brides intentionally choose ugly gowns for their bridesmaids to ensure they’re not outshined come the wedding day. Although this may be the case for

Asian and olive-skinned women: Those with a slight yellow tone to their skin will look good in many colors, including red, navy, peach, and fuchsia. However, avoid colors in light yellow, aqua, gray, taupe,

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Choosing a gown that flatters bridesmaids is a significant responsibility for prospective brides planning their big day.

or m int, wh ich may ma ke t he bridesmaid look washed out. Fair skin: Ladies with pale skin will benefit from richly colored gowns in jewel tones. Pastels may work, but be careful about those depending on hair color. Pink or red-hued gowns may clash with someone with auburn hair. Yellow and green may not work with a fair brunette. Gray and silver may wash out someone who is pale and blonde. Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of

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place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, russet or brown may work for the autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons. After colors are worked out, the style of the gown deserves consideration. Because not every bridesmaid has the same physical attributes, many brides are now open to selecting a color and length and

allowing the bridesmaid herself to choose the exact style. This way someone who is busty won’t feel uncomfortable in strapless, and someone who is thin won’t be overwhelmed by a lot of ruff les. The intent is to have bridesmaids feel beautiful and comfortable, and different styles can help achieve this. Making the effort to choose a gown color and style that is flattering to all in the bridal party will help the ladies feel they are truly a special part of the wedding.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

What to do when a bridesmaid is pregnant B

r ide s-to -b e t h i n k i ng of asking a pregnant friend or family member to be in the bridal party should know such a request is common. Recent f i nd i ngs i nd icate t hat around half of all weddings now have at least one member of the bridal party showing off a baby bump – sometimes it’s even the bride herself. Barring a medical condition, there is no reason a pregnant woman can’t be in the wedding and fulfill her obligations, so feel f ree to invite that special someone to be in the wedding. There are just a few things to consider to help make it easier on everyone involved. Think over these things. Gowns: One of the things brides and bridesmaids often fret about is the gown they will be wearing. W hile nonpregnant members of the bridal party won’t f luctuate



much in weight from the day of their first fittings to the wedding day, a pregnant woman is growing with new life within her from the moment of conception. This will have to be taken into consideration. Ask the bridal store if alterations can be made to a standard gown, including ordering a much larger si ze, add i ng ela st ic pa nels or another way to ensure the gown will stretch over a growing belly. Also, be considerate and choose a gown in an empire waist style so that it is flattering for the pregnant bridesmaid. Shoes : W h i le preg na nt, some women’s feet swell. Having strict restrictions on footwear can make a pregnant woman uncomfortable. Low heels or ballerina slippers can be comfortable and fashionable. Breaks: Many activities during the wedding are bound to be tiring. But someone who is pregnant may feel

it more than others. Ensure your mama-to-be has ample time to sit and rest. Also, try to have planning meetings near a restroom where she will be comfortable. Nonalcoholic drinks: From bachelorette parties to the wedding itself, be sure there are plenty of nonalcoholic and decaffeinated drinks she can enjoy. Pregnant women need to have a lot of water to meet the physical demand of pregnancy as well. Travel: In the latter months of the pregnancy, many doctors advise against air travel. Spending long hours in a car may be uncomfortable as well. If you were thinking about having the wedding far away, these are things that must be taken into consideration. You may want to revise your plans if your heart is set on having this woman in the bridal party. Ceremony: It can be tiring for a pregnant woman, especially one

Having a pregnant friend or family member as a bridesmaid takes a little extra planning, none of which is difficult. in the last trimester, to stand for a long period of time. If you are having a long, religious ceremony, see if a seat can be arranged so your bridesmaid can sit down when she needs a rest.

Declined invitation: Have a another person in mind in case your bridesmaid invitation is declined, and do not hold it against the person if she feels she won’t be able to commit during her pregnancy.


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Wedding ring workshop A special story behind the rings as couples create their own wedding bands


wedding ring workshop? It’s not necessarily for everyone, but these days more and more adventuresome souls are choosing to make their own wedding bands. These altar-bound couples are choosing to create a special story that can be passed on for generations.

a special bond in creating a future family heirloom, with a wonderful story as well. “The idea started in 2009, and since then it’s been wonderful to share the joy of many engaged couples. T he y work closel y w it h he ad Goldsmith Deane Frank in a private session. He guides them as they craft and customize the rings with their own hands.”

Brown Goldsmiths owner, Steve Brown of Freeport, points out that t hei r Wedd i ng R i ng Work shop i s not j u s t f or lov er s of t he unconventional. Those with artistic flair, as well as couples who want to create a lasting memory, appreciate the workshop.

Making a wedding band involves a ba sic jeweler’s tool k it a nd w or k b e n c h , a n d 18 -k a r a t or 14-ka rat gold w ire. Techniques include bending, sawing, twisting, soldering, and polishing. Brown Goldsmiths offers couples 16 basic desig ns t hat ca n be ma stered in about three hours under the direction of Frank.

For many, sharing the hands-on experience of making their own bands is more meaningful than a traditional jewelry store visit. “Even indiv idua ls who initia lly t hink they might not be able to make the rings are excited when they finish the job,” said Brown. “They forge

To v iew one couple’s jou r ney through the workshop, visit http:// w w w. b r o w n g o l d s m i t h s . c o m / We d d i n g R i n g V i d e o . h t m l /. To s che du le a We dd i ng R i ng Wor k s hop, or f or or mor e information, call 207-865-4126 or 800-753-4465.

Deane Frank guides a workshop participant as she creates her wedding rings.

Wedding ring metal


edding rings come in an a ssor t ment of meta ls. This includes gold, platinum, palladium, tungsten, titanium, and sterling silver. Each metal has its own unique characteristics and pricing. Gold is the most popular metal t hat is used to create wedding rings. It is also considered the most “traditional” metal for a wedding ring. When referring to gold, the quality of the gold is indicated by using the letter “k” which stands for “karat” preceded by a number (e.g. 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k).

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Colored gold is created by t he utilization of alloys, which is the combining of two or more metals to create a blended substance that has different characteristics than the originals. For your information, 24-karat gold is pure, 100 percent gold, so other karat amounts represent the quantity of pure gold that is present in an alloy. For example, the purity of 22k gold is 22 parts gold, and two parts some other metal. The purity of 18k gold is 18 parts gold, and six parts another metal. The purity of 14k gold is 14 parts gold, and ten

parts another metal, and so on down the line. Nickel is often added to pure gold to create white gold alloys, but it is not uncommon for people to be allergic to nickel. Palladium is more expensive than nickel, but it too is used to create white gold, and it is less prone to causing an allergic reaction. Copper is used in traditional gold colored alloys, but pink and rose colored alloys are made by adding additional quantities of copper to pure gold. Green hues of gold are created by adding silver to the original gold.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to find a limousine for your wedding E

very bride and groom will need h is a nd her t ra nsportation from home to the wedding ceremony and reception. Although there are several options to get couples to and fro, many choose a limousine or anot her fancy rental car as the preferred mode of travel. It may seem like little work goes i nto rent i ng a l i mo. T hou g h transportation might be one of the more hands-off components of wedding planning, that does not make it any less important. After all, if something goes awry, you can be left stranded with no manner of getting to the wedding. It is important for you to get the best service and the right vehicle for the occasion, which requires some comparison shopping. The car service also will need some information from you. Here’s how to start. I n it ia l ly, seek word-of-mout h recom mendat ion s, w h ich c a n be the best way to narrow down potential limo companies. Ask others which business they used for their special events – be it weddings, proms, Sweet 16 parties or other important events. If you work at a company that often relies on hired cars for business meetings or transportation to the airport, you may already be familiar with a reliable service – and they might be familiar with you.

Not all limousine services are the same. Price should not be your only method of comparison. Much like a hotel room or a meal at a restaurant, there may be different levels of service among companies. It’s important to compare apples to apples. Figure out a package that will work for you, including size of car, duration of time and any other special features, such as a stocked bar, and then compare this package among the different limo companies you’re considering. The right vehicle also can make all the difference – and may help you narrow dow n your choices among companies. For instance, a business might not have t he model you want or that vehicle isn’t available the day of your wedding. Also, be sure there will be enough room and if there is trunk space for luggage for honeymoon essentials. Check whether there are certain add-ons, such as fuel surcharges or tolls that are not factored into the base price. Also, some companies include a driver tip in the cost, while others will leave that to your discretion.

What types of wedding limos are available? There are many options to choose from at and your selection depends upon your personal tastes and the size of your wedding party. Most stretch limousines will accommodate up to 10 passengers but if you have a group that exceeds this number then you may want to consider a larger vehicle such as an SUV limousine, a Trolley or a limousine bus. An alternative for those seeking a luxury option that is sure to make a splash upon entrance is a Rolls Royce limousine. Whatever your selection, it’s important to consider your own personal style and the accommodations of your wedding party when browsing options.

Here are some other things to keep in mind.

Book early.

Consider a package.

Check registration.

Confirm the details.

Limos, like ser v ices from other vendors, will book fast, especially during pea k wedding t imes or other seasons.

Most companies have put together a package for special events, like weddings. These packages may be the best value.

Limo compa nies need to have a license to operate and proper insurance so ask if they do.

Be sure that the duration of the ser v ice, how many people w ill be t r a n spor ted a nd a l l c ost s are spelled out in a contract for everyone’s protection.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

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Is a wedding loan for you? E

ngaged couples about to take a trip down the aisle are increasingly choosing to pay for the wedding themselves. Where it used to be tradition for the bride’s parents to handle the bill for the occasion, today the responsibi lit y for f unding has largely fallen into the hands of the prospective bride and groom. To meet the financial demands of t he modern wedding, some i nd iv idua ls t u r n to loa n s for financing a portion or all of the w e dd i n g . You m a y q u e s t ion whether this is a good idea. As with any situation, there are pros and cons. The same can be said about a wedding loan.

The following are some factors you will need to consider before taking out a loan. One of the most important things to realize is that a wedding loan, li ke a ny loa n, w i l l need to be paid back and interest fees will be included. What that means is that, by the end of the payback period, you will have spent several thousand dollars more on the loans than the original principal amount when interest is added in. If you’re taking out a loan because you’ve already gone above budget on wedding expenses, a loan may push that budget even further into the red.

That being said, there are some instances where a loan may be an option that works for a couple. For example, couples who anticipate considerable monetary gifts from guests attending the wedding can offset the cost of the loan with those gifts. Some couples might begin their professional careers after their wedd i ng, wh ich w i l l i ncrea se their salary enough to repay the loan quickly. Others may actually have the money for the wedding, but want to use a loan as a way to establish strong joint credit as a new couple. Howe ver, ma ny c ouple s t a ke out loans because t hey simply ca n not a f ford t hei r d rea m wedding. In a world where many people already live beyond their means – financing cars, homes, retail purchases – a wedding loan may just be another shovelful of soil on a financial grave. The consensus among financial experts is that it is better to scale back the wedding or postpone it until you can save money the oldfashioned way instead of taking out a loan.

But if a loan seems the only option, here are some tips. • Shop around on a wedding loan, just as with any other loan. Find the best rates and terms before settling on a lender.

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• Decide how much you can afford to pay back within 2 to 3 years and how much the monthly payment will be. Then take out the loan only in that amount. • Figure out which portions of the wedding can be scaled back to make the finances work. •S  ee if options like refinancing a home or borrowing from family would be better than taking out a loan. • L ook at ba n ks, credit unions and even programs sponsored t h roug h you r employer to compare rates on loans. • Wedding loans may be secured or unsecured. A home or car can serve as a form of security in a secured loan. Unsecured wedding loans do not require a form of security. • P ersona l loa ns, li ke wedd ing loans, generally have low annual percentage rates. It may be worth it to take out the loan rather than using a credit card for financing because the card’s rates could be double. Keep in mind that a wedding loan – even if it comes at a low interest rate – means you’re starting out your new life together with a large amount of debt for an event that lasts one day. Think about whether the wedding of your dreams is worth using that joint checking accou nt to pay of f mont hs of wedding debt.

On average, couples that live in Lewiston, Maine spend between $18,115 and $30,191 total for their weddings. The totals above are based on the average number of guests estimated between 111 and 125. A single guest could add between $184 and $225 to the overall cost of your wedding. You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. Average based on spending of other couples not wedding vendor prices. Spending and prices can vary widely. Investigate all options and choose products and services that best meet your wedding needs. Visit for more information. The following items are included in the total average wedding cost: Attire & Accessories • Dress Accessories • Headpiece and/or Veil • Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories • Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase • Wedding Dress(es) Beauty & Spa • Hair Service / Makeup Service • Manicure & Pedicure Entertainment • DJ / Live Band • Musician(s), Soloist, or Ensemble Flowers & Decorations • Boutonnieres, Corsages • Bridal Bouquet • Bridesmaid Bouquets

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• Ceremony Decorations • Ceremony Flower Arrangements • Flower Girl Flowers • Flower Petals • Reception Decorations Invitations • Ceremony Programs • Engagement Announcements • Guest Book • Invitations & Reply Cards • Postage • Reception Menus • Save the Date Cards • Table Name & Escort/place Cards • Thank You Cards Gifts & Favors • Gifts for Attendants • Gifts for Parents • Tips (for all services) • Wedding Favors Jewelry • Engagement Ring • Wedding Bands Photography & Video • Digital or Photo cd/dvd • Engagement Session • Prints and/or Enlargements • Traditional Leather Bound Album • Wedding Photographer • Wedding Videographer Planner/Consultant • A la carte Services • Day of Coordinator • For Getting Started • Full Service • Month of Direction Transportation • Limo & Other Transportation Venue, Catering & Rentals • Ceremony Accessories • Ceremony Location • Ceremony Officiator • Hotel Room for After Reception • Reception Accessories • Reception Bar & Food Services • Reception Location • Rehearsal Dinner • Wedding Cake/dessert

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Floral terms to know Many couples f ind it helpf ul to brush up on some f loral terminology before visiting f lorists. It can make you appear more knowledgeable and prepared if you understand what will be discussed and are able to choose what you want. It also helps to ensure your money is being spent in the best way possible. Here are some common and some lesser known florist terms that can be advantageous to know.

• Biedermeier: A nosegay arranged tightly with concentric circles of differently colored flowers. The flowers are wired into a holder with only one type of flower in each ring. • Bouquet: A dense bunch of blooms that are kept together in a bouquet holder, wired or tied with ribbon. • Crescent: One full flower and a flowering stem wired together to form a slender handle that is held in one hand.

Tussy Mussy (above): Giving your bouquet a Victorian accent, this loop & pin tussy mussy is 7 inches in length and has a top width of 3 inches. The outside is covered with a slightly antiqued scroll pattern that follows downward to the loop base where ribbons can be tied. Flower stems are secured by a removable pin. Uses include bridal, bridesmaid, mother bouquets and more. From At left is an example of a biedermeier bouquet.

• Garden: A centerpiece featuring wildflowers. • Nosegay: Small, round bouquets composed of densely packed round flowers and fill. • Oasis: Specialized foam that is used in bouquet holders and centerpieces to retain water and keep blooms fresh. • Pomander: A flower-covered ball that is suspended from a ribbon. It is often carried by child attendants. • Posies: Smaller than nosegays but similar in design. • Presentation: A bunch of longstemmed flowers cradled in the bride’s arms. It’s sometimes known as a pageant bouquet. • Topiary: Flowers trimmed into geometric shapes.

Pomanders (above) are round, landscaped floral arrangements that can be seen everywhere in weddings today. From trimming the aisle, to decorating guests’ chairs at the reception, even as a unique variation to the traditional bridesmaid posy, pomanders can be a creative and cost-effective way to incorporate flowers into your wedding day. Basically, a pomander is circular ball or florist foam adorned with short, cut blooms and trimmed with a ribbon tie. Anything from carnations to ranunculus, roses to chrysanthemums are suited to pomanders as their tight-structured petals make for a dramatic arrangement in mass. We don’t often realize that the stem of the flower is in fact a cost decider as to the commercial price we pay. Look at long-stemmed roses for example, often double or more the price of their short-cut friends. Pomanders are an inexpensive way of using lower-grade flowers with little or no stem, which can save you precious dollars and cents. From

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

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Select a distinctly unique, local wedding venue By Dan Marois Feature Writer

All Souls Chapel, Poland Spring There are only a handful of nondenom i nat iona l stone chapels in Maine which can ser ve as a wedding venue. Among the most popular is the All Souls Chapel on the grounds of the Poland Spring Inn off Route 26. According to Jason Libby, executive director for Poland Spring Preservation Park, this year is a special year for the chapel. “It will be celebrating its centennial in 2012,” said Libby. “This makes for a n excit i ng t i me for us as a n orga n i zat ion a nd helps us to g row t he v isibi l it y for t h is beautiful building.” All Souls Chapel offers wedding pa r t ies a cha nce to hold t heir wedding at a historic location with the use of two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Brides have the use of a room in the Maine State Building which was the Maine State Pavilion at the World’s Fair of 1893 in Chicago and moved to Poland Spring to serve as a library and art gallery. “The chapel has a wonderful 1926 Skinner pipe organ which by the beginning of this season will be f u l ly restored,” sa id L ibby. “It also has wonderful handpainted glass windows which add to the grandeur of the chapel.” While some couples only use the All Souls Chapel for their wedding ceremony, ot hers ta ke adva ntage of the services of the Poland Spring Resort to host their wedding reception.

“A recent unique wedding was when the bride and groom left the grounds via helicopter next to the chapel,” said Libby. “We’ve had others in the past where the bride and groom urged their guests to dress in historic attire.” For more information about this location, go to

Franco American Heritage Center, Lewiston The Franco A merican Heritage Center’s website notes that the Center is the former home of St. Ma r y ’s Chu rch located by t he canal and the landmark Simard Payne (Railroad) Park in the area of downtown Lewiston known as Riverfront Island. With its spire counted among the tallest sights in town, you can’t help but notice the elegance and ex t raord i na r y a rch itec t u re of this historic building. W hile no longer used as a place of worship, the center boasts an incredible p e r f or m a n c e s p a c e u p s t a i r s w here c ong regat ion s u se d to gather for Mass. In the lower level, there’s plenty of room for wedding receptions and other functions. “What’s unique about the Center is that it is ‘all-inclusive’ with an ‘all in the same building” feature,” said Richard Martin, program director at the Center. “Couples can have a wedding in our spacious grand hall with comfortable seating and perfect sightlines followed by a reception in the newly renovated Heritage Hall equipped with a commercial kitchen accessible to caterers,” said Martin.

An all-inclusive fee provides an array of services including an “All You Can Eat” buffet service for up to 200 guests, bartender service, lavish dessert table, champagne toast, a professional disc jockey, and a complimentary honeymoon suite, deluxe room or cottage for the entire weekend.

The Center can provide spacious parking, designer menus, a cash bar, a performing stage, state-ofthe-art light and sound systems, new furniture and an entirely remodeled dining hall suitable for large groups of guests. The Franco American Heritage Center currently hosts about 25 wedding events a year and more couples are considering the space due to its central location and renovated facility.

Libby notes that the chapel hosts between 35 and 40 weddings each season from April to October. All weddings at the chapel take place at 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

W hat adv ice does Martin of fer to f ut u re br ide s a nd g room s when they begin their search for a wedding or reception venue? “Be su re to shop a rou nd a nd


consider a ll venue options and what they can offer to ensure all your expectations are met.” For information about this venue, visit

a pond and footbridge surrounded by evergreens. “The Old World Pergola” is a lattice-work walkway on a granite base that offers a touch of elegance to any ceremony.

Pineland Farms, New Gloucester

Pineland has wedding reception locations that range from indoor, air conditioned rooms to the open air, rain or shine comfort of a tent; both locations available for a choice of buffet or sit-down dining.

Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine offers wedding ceremony locations and reception venues to meet any taste and budget. “The unique aspect of Pineland Farms is the ‘farm to table’ appeal of having a reception at a working farm in Maine,” said Chris Weber, owner of The Black Tie Company, the exclusive event planner and caterer for Pineland.

“We feel strongly about the importance of using local vendors.”

A few miles from the main campus at Pineland is Merrill Farmhouse where sma ller, more intimates weddings can take place. While the restored barn can host a rustic wedding for up to 75 guests, the farmhouse offers overnight accommodations for 21 guests with a gourmet kitchen, billiard room, and dining area. For information on rentals and catering at Pineland, visit

– Chris Weber The various meats, cheeses, dairy and produce that are grow n or pr oduc e d at P i nel a nd Fa r m s contributes to that philosophy. Weber noted t hat t he beaut y of the more than 5,000 acres is striking and the central location and beautiful guests houses that a re located on t he fa r m ma ke a c c om m o d a t i on s c on v e n i e nt a nd cha r m i ng. P i nela nd a l so boasts spectacular views of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. If you are looking for an outside location very near the reception area, consider The Commons Patio. After exchanging vows outside, you are only steps away from the Mount Washington room for your reception with a capacity of 250 guests. Other Pineland settings include “T he G a r den” w her e y ou r ceremony takes place in a oneacre garden filled with thousands of annuals, more than a hundred perennial varieties, fruit trees and bushes and ornamental grasses and conifers.

Submitted photos

Photos, above and clockwise: Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston was once used as a church; a tent set up for a wedding reception and a wedding taking place at the gazebo at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester; the stone All Souls Chapel in Poland Spring has a beautiful chapel.

“T he V ic tor ia n-St y le Ga z ebo” offers spacious outdoor seating for large groups with the backdrop of

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012


Creative ideas for memorable reception touches O ver t he cou rse of t hei r l i fet i mes, ma ny people will be wedding guests on several occasions.

Du r ing t he heig ht of wedd i ng season, weddings can run into one another, as the format and the festivities are similar at various ceremonies. Couples interested in setting their nuptials apart may wa nt to en ha nce t he wedd ing reception with a few unique ideas. W ho hasn’t attended a wedding that seems formulaic? The couple enters, t hey do t heir spot lig ht dance, there’s food, a bouquet toss and then the cake cutting. Guests may actually be able to predict what’s coming next. While it is often customary and easy to follow tradition, that doesn’t mean you cannot buck with tradition and offer a few creative ideas to make your event stand out.

Here are several ideas you can introduce into your wedding to add something special to the reception.

spending the cocktail hour in the isolation of t he wedding suite, mingle with your guests from start to finish. So much time is spent posing for pictures or being out of touch with guests, the cocktail hour can be a great time to sit and chat.

Bei ng w it h g uest s du r i ng t he cocktail hour means you don’t have to make that big entrance from behind closed doors. Guests will have all eyes on you when you step on the dance floor for your first dance together.

Dance to an upbeat number. Guests are expecting a slow, sappy tune. What they may not expect is an upbeat song that shows you are willing to have a little fun. If you haven’t mastered the waltz but enjoy a little quick step now and again, feel free to choose a tune that shows your excitement and love for each other.

Encourage couples to dance together.

Skip the big entrance. Those who were kind enough to attend the ceremony have already been i nt roduced to t he newly minted happy couple. Instead of

It ’s of t en c u s tom a r y for t he bridal party to join the bride and groom on the dance floor midway through the first dance. However, that leaves spouses or significant others waiting in the wings while

Poland Spring We offer you the history … the beauty … the memories of Poland Spring The All Soul Chapel For more information for a chapel only ceremony and a tour please call Linda at (207) 998-4589.

Wedding and Reception

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their dates tango with groomsmen or br idesma ids. Instead, don’t have assigned partners. Rather, enc ou r a ge y ou r br id a l pa r t y members to dance with whomever they choose.

Swap the garter/ bouquet toss for something more meaningful. If you’re part of a couple who feels the garter and bouquet toss has become trite, there are other ways to create special moments in your celebration – ones that don’t single out the singletons who haven’t yet found their special someones.

Use this time to present a small gift or token of your affection to someone on the guest list who has served as a mentor or source of inspiration.

Use the bouquets of the bridal party as the centerpieces at the head table. Find unique bouquet holders that match your wedding theme.

Choose one special component as an extra goodie for guests. Some couples feel the more they offer the better guests will view t heir wedding. Spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean guests will have a better time. If you want to go above and beyond the ordinary, find one thing that you absolutely love and offer that at the party. It could be a f lambe presentation, a chocolate or candy bar, a carving station with your

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Hire a live performer. Although it’s hard to beat the performance quality of your wedding song being performed by the original artist, unless you’re cousins with Celine Dion, chances are she won’t be available to sing “My Heart Will Go On” at your reception. However, a live band adds a certain level of excitement that a disk jockey may not be able to provide. Those who are adding a cultural or ethnic component to their wedding may want to hire a dance troupe or another type of performer, like a bagpiper, as an added measure of entertainment for guests.

Let them eat ... cookies? Some people just don’t like cake. Therefore, why should a couple have to cut a seven-tiered white confection? Towers of different types of treats can be created from just about anything and serve as the perfect backdrop for that classic cake-cutting photo. A pyramid of cream puffs, stacks of brownies, a cookie castle, or c er e a l- c a k e c onc o c t ion s c a n work. Some bakeries will decorate a “dummy” styrofoam cake, and then you can serve apple pie a la mode, if you desire.

Stage a costume switch.

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a l l-t ime favor ite food (even if that’s PB&J), or a carnival-inspired automatic photo booth.

Let’s face it, dancing all night in a long gown takes some stamina. As the bride, have a more comfortable cocktail dress available to switch i nto for t he lat ter pa r t of t he reception. It will also add some variety to your wedding photos.

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cleaning your gown

Tips for trying on wedding gowns

1. Make sure the cleaner specializes in gown cleaning and only uses museum qua lit y preser vat ion products that meet specifications used by leading textile conservators or major museums. Archival boxes should never be sealed shut or have a window. This can be an easy way of identifying a legitimate service.

Many brides-to-be look forward to the day when they visit a bridal salon and are able to try on gowns for the first time.

2. A sk if your gown will be cleaned a lone or w it h a not her gow n. Gowns with trim or that are heavily beaded can cause snags to your gown. All trim should be covered before cleaning.

•W  ear a supportive, well constructed strapless bra or corset in your correct size. If you will be wearing a petticoat, also have the right size available.

3. H ow of ten is t he clea ner dist i l ling t heir solvent? Because of ecolog ica l reg u lat ions a nd expenses, many cleaners are not distilling t heir solvents of ten enough. A cleaner solvent means a cleaner gown. 4. Make sure that bust pads made of foam and any tulle underskirt are always removed before archiving or placing the gown in a box. The bust pad foam can disintegrate, c au si ng ga se s a nd g lue-l i ke oils to transfer onto your gown. The tulle can also break down, releasing the plasticizer gases and causing fume fading (like a streaking effect). For more information on quality gown cleaning, visit National Gown Cleaners at

There are certain tips that can ma ke t he day go much more smoothly and potentially reduce the amount of time it may take to find the perfect gown.

•G  o without face makeup when trying on gowns so they remain clean. •T  ry to wear your hair similar to the style you have in mind for your wedding. •N  ote that the size of the wedding gown you will wear is typically one to two sizes larger than your day-to-day clothes. Proper measurements can be matched to designers’ size charts. • I t’s best to limit the number of people with whom you shop to one or two trusted friends or family members. An entourage can be confusing. • I t’s always better to order a slightly larger gown and leave room for alterations if you are between sizes.

Make your groom stand out W ith so much time and attention focused on bridal attire, it’s important not to forget stylish options for your groom and the men in your wedding party. Let Men’s Wearhouse help you find the perfect tuxedo for the perfect wedding.

Ma ke sure your husband-to-be looks and feels his absolute best in stylishly coordinated formalwear for your special day. With so many opt ion s of t u xe do st y le s a nd accessories, it’s easy to create a unique look for your groom and all the men in his entourage.

TUXEDO BASICS If t h is is t he f irst t ime you’ve thought about formalwear options, visit a shop that sells formalwear a nd ta l k w it h a n ex per ienced salesperson. Tuxedo jackets are typically black, gray, or white. You ca n choose from a va riet y of jacket st yles, w it h t he ma in distinctions in length, collar or lapel treatment, and number of buttons. Traditional jackets will likely have a classic shawl or notch collar and two or three buttons. Modern styles include a fashion lapel or Neh r u col la r a nd a ny number of buttons. Classic jackets, such as cutaways, and tailcoats, create a timeless impression.

Rent or buy? As a rule of thumb, purchasing a classic tuxedo is a wise investment if you foresee yourself wearing it on four or more occasions in the next couple of years. On the flip side, if you’re a trendconscious guy, but can’t afford to buy a new tuxedo for every affair or simply don’t plan on wearing a tux more than four times over the next couple of years, then you’re better off renting. FMI, visit .

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS Make your groom stand out from t he rest of t he wedd i ng pa r t y with a slightly different choice of forma lwea r. For example, your groom could wear a black or silver

If it’s a brand name you’re seeking, look for a shop with an extensive selection of designer styles you won’t find anywhere else, including Jones New York, Calvin Klein and Ra lph L au ren.T hese desig ners offer styles with rich fabrics, hand tailoring and a fit that’s not only flattering, but comfortable as well.

A VESTED INTEREST Look for a broad selection of ties and vests t hat coordinate w it h t he br ide sm a id d re s s c olor s. Persona li ze your wedding st yle w ith tu xedo vest patterns that range from classic satin or herringbone to retro paisley to modern geometrics. With options that coordinate with every look you can imagine, the possibilities for a unique look are endless. For more information, visit Men’s Wearhouse, go online to or find a local shop near you.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012


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Use cuisine to create a wedding to remember D

espite t he mont hs of planning and poring over ever y minute detail of a wedding, it has often been said that what people remember most about wedding receptions is the food and if they had fun. Instead of worrying about choosing Jordan almonds over chocolate t r u f f les, or w het her t he ca ke should have an extra tier, couples may want to pay more attention to selecting their reception menus. A lt houg h cer ta i n foods a re wedd i ng staples, it cou ld pay for couples to think w it h t heir stomachs instead of their heads when selecting wedding day fare. Having a selection of foods that taste as good as they look is a wise idea over hav ing certain foods simply because they are trendy. Whether you are cooking yourself, having a family member serve as chef or relying on the menu of the reception hall, think about foods that will please guests and select those items, regardless of them being fancy. Here are some other tips. • You want foods to be filling but not so much so that guests have to waddle to the dance floor. If you’re

planning on several courses, keep portion sizes small to offer a taste of the different items offered. • C lassic foods can work well as wedding fare. Roasts, barbecued meats and favorite pasta dishes can make guests feel like they’re dining at someone’s home and not at a wedding. • C hoose items people have heard of. Instead of tornadoes of beef, select a heart y prime rib. Just because a d ish sou nds fa nc y doesn’t make it taste better. If a guest doesn’t know what he or she is eating, it can be uncomfortable. Now is not the time to experiment w i t h e x o t i c f o o d s , e i t h e r. Otherwise, some picky eaters may be left hungry. • T hink about the foods you love and see if they can be incorporated at the wedding. Although a breakfast bar at an evening event may seem f unny, wa f f les a nd omelets may appeal to a greater number of guests than a gourmet fish creation. • Don’t make vegetarians an afterthought. Too often, vegetarians must eat whatever the kitchen can pull together, which is usually

a compilation of the vegetable garnishes from the meat dishes. Ma ke an effort to have a true vegetarian dish that is intricate and delicious. • M ashed potatoes a re a crowd pleaser. Serve little portions of ma shed potatoes i n cock ta i l glasses and enable guests to top as they see fit with bacon bits, cheese or chives. • No idea is silly, and serving any type of food in a hors d’oeuvre style can make it acceptable at a formal affair, whether that food is pizza or caviar-topped crackers. • I f you have a favorite restaurant that serves delicious food, find out if they will cater your wedding. • Just because it isn’t on the menu do e s n’t m e a n it c a n n ot b e prepared. Talk to the catering manager and let him or her know your preferences. Provided you’re willing to pay a little more, there’s a good cha nce you ca n have items that aren’t on the standard catering menu. • T hink outside the box for your cocktail hour “bars.” A bread bar, a dipping station, milk and cookies service, or vegetable bar are op-

tions that go against the standard cheese and pasta stations.

share your zeal for exotic foods. Now is not the time to introduce guests to the wild and wacky. If you’ve seen an exotic dish on the Food Network or the Travel Channel, give it a try another time.

A lt hou g h it ’s y ou r w e dd i n g , ultimately the goal is to please the guests. By choosing foods they will love and rave about, you’re guaranteed positive remarks on your wedding.

Anything on fire

What not to serve at a wedding

Why risk an accident for a spectacle? Ba ked a laska, cher r ies jubi lee, apples flambe ... these are foods that might provide a show, but the cost of that show may not be worth it in the end.

Couples often fret over what to serve their guests at the reception, and rightfully so. Reception costs can comprise a majority of the weddingday budget.

Clams on the halfshell or sushigrade tuna may seem like good ideas, but keep in mind that it is hard to ensure quality when feeding 200 people at the same time. Foods that require special refrigeration or immediate service for freshness are best left for other occasions. Don’t risk food poisoning on a room full of people unless you want your wedding to be remembered for stomach cramps.

Raw food

When spending $100 or more per guest, you want to ensure you’re getting what you paid for and that guests enjoy what they’re eating. Filet mignon may be a good choice, but steak tartare is probably best avoided. Find out which foods to avoid serving your wedding guests.

Exotic cuisine


You may be a risk taker when it comes to cuisine, but others may not

page 17 ‰

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012


Wedding trends: Mashed potato bars

A long, sit-down meal

Guests fill a martini glass with mashed russet potatoes and then add toppings as they choose.

from page 16

Two or three courses is fine, but if guests have to sit through a neverending parade of courses, that limits their ability to mingle and have a good time.

Anything too elaborate The faster ser vers can get food out to guests the better. If they have to sit there piping mashed potato roses on dishes or assemble intricate canapes, the delay might not be worth the presentation. And remember, the more bells and whistles, the higher the price tag.

Fast food This is your wedding, and you want the food to fit with the scale of the day. A formal wedding generally includes a formal meal. Although it may be alright to include some fast food inspired dishes at the cocktail buffet, steer clear of burgers and fries for the main meal.

Ridiculous food Don’t dye that baked potato purple because you want the wedding to be a plum-colored affair. Also, it’s best to avoid themed food, unless it is part of a cultural wedding or can be pulled off with class. It’s much easier to pass off crepes and croissants for a Parisian wedding than giant turkey legs and tankards of ale for a Renaissance-themed one.

Favorite Toppings: Sour Cream Chopped Scallions Black Caviar Sauteed Wild Mushrooms Olive Tapenade Crumbled Hickory Bacon Finely Shredded Cheese Steamed Broccoli Garlic Sauteed Rock Shrimp Whipped Butter Sauteed Turkey Sausage with Cranberries and Sage Hearty Basil Pesto Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Caramelized Onions Spicy Duck Sausage with Cilantro and spices Artichoke Hearts

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012


Create a wedding theme with Scottish flair Tartan theme

By Dan Marois Feature Writer


hile t he Broadway musical “Brigadoon” portrays a Scottish village that arises from the mist ever y 100 yea rs, A ndy a nd Bet ha ny MacLeod’s wedding was a modern day adventure f illed w it h f un, sent i menta l it y a nd t hei r ow n Scottish heritage.

The couple Bet hany MacLeod is origina lly from Auburn where her parents, C. Allen and Linda Baker Milburn, still reside. Andy MacLeod is from Beverly, Massachusetts and spent his summers on Dra kes Isla nd in Wells, Maine. They now live in Biddeford following their late afternoon wedding in Ber w ick, Maine last October.

Family heritage “My hu sba nd is Scot t i sh a nd we used h is fa m i ly ta r ta n (i n t he ceremony),” sa id Bet ha ny. “The groom, his father, brothers, nephews, and the groomsmen, all wore tartan ties. My father wore a tartan handkerchief in his pocket.”

The inv itat ions, seat ing cha r t, and table numbers included the ta r ta n t heme a nd t here was a ta r ta n table r unner under t he wedding cake. Bethany explained that even her garter was made of the tartan fabric!

Bagpipe music Perhaps it is no su r pr ise t hat t he M a c L e o d’s w e dd i n g h a d a bag piper at t he ceremony, a tradition that dates back to the 13th century according to the website, The site notes that, “Following the ceremony the entire wedding party would be piped (led by bagpipers) to a relative’s home for a lavish wedding reception and party and the pipers would play lively upbeat tunes for hours on end.” “The ceremony was held outside and it sprinkled just as the bagpipe player bega n play i ng a nd a l l t h roug h t he c eremony,” s a id Bet ha ny. “A f ter t he ceremony, t he ent i re wedd i ng pa r t y a nd guests ‘followed the piper’ as they gat hered to a nice location for group photos.”

Submitted photo

Incorporating traditions into your wedding ceremony can be a fun way of honoring your family heritage.

Continuing the nod to heritage, t he MacLeod’s g uest book was a “Thumbprint Tree.” Bet ha ny

said, “A close friend illustrated a tree and guests pressed their t hu mbpr i nt a nd sig ne d t hei r

names or nicknames on it. We had it professionally framed and it hangs in our home.”

Unique table numbers “I forgot what an ear-to-ear grin felt like. Thanks Dr. Rose and your wonderful staff!” — Kevin, Freeport

Even when it came to the simple matter of numbering tables for their guests, the MacLeod’s came up with a creative idea.

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On the tables, photos of the bride and groom at various ages were placed so that the age matched the number of the table.

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“Table one had photos of each of us at one year of age, table two had each of us at two years old and so on,” said Bethany, noting that the guests had lots of fun looking at the old photos.

Slide show Before introducing the wedding party at the reception, guests were treated to a special slide presentation. “The slides went from our grandparents as children through highlights in our lives and our time spent together, leading up to the wedding,” said Bethany, noting that the slides really built the excitement of introducing the wedding party and the married couple.

Scottish flair

page 19 ‰

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scottish flair from page 18

Teaching careers The f lair and creativity for their wedding probably comes a bit from their occupations. Both the bride and groom are teachers. Bethany has been a second grade teacher for 16 years and Andy is a high school science teacher. “Andy also sings and plays guitar in the band “‘The Lower Village People” along with doing many solo gigs in southern Maine,” added Bethany.

So, were the men in kilts at the wedding? “The only kilt was on the piper,” said Bethany. “The other men wore the family tartan ties instead.”

In look ing back at planning for her wedding, Bethany offered this advice to other couples planning their weddings.

to tell them and thank them throughout the entire process.

• Include some lighthearted times during the ceremony and reception. These are the things • Add very personal touches ... that you will most enjoy and that have more at your ceremony guests will remember (songs and reception than just items for introduction, silly dances vs. prepared by and purchased from traditional). professionals. • Be flexible and try to have fun! • Be open to visiting several If things don’t go just as you’ve venues, even if you have your planned, don’t freak out! Be heart set on one. prepared to transition to plan B! •B  e grateful to your family and wedding party and be sure Submitted photos

The tartan theme was used in the decorations and the wedding party’s ties. The “guest book” was a unique thumbprint tree. Photos of the bridal couple from birth to more recent days were used on the tables to denote table numbers. The bride notes that one of the most important things about your wedding is to be flexible and have fun!

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Make your own wedding invitations Wedding invitations are the first impression your guests will have of your wedding and often times they reflect the same look and feel as the big day. Every bride wants to put her best foot forward with an invitation that represents her wedding, but often it can be hard to find the perfect invite and hiring a designer is often too expensive.

The online program is an easyto-use tool t hat prov ides stepby-step instructions through the personalization process. Brides can select from a wide variety of personalization options, including layering papers, pocket and pocket colors, paper colors, text colors, fonts, styles and alignment and verse options.

There’s a new Web-based application that allows brides to create and purchase professional-quality, c u s t om- d e s i g n e d i n v it a t ion s online that fit their own unique wedding theme.

For add it iona l custom i zat ion, brides can choose from a large variety of invitation embellishments available at Michaels stores. Popular paper accessory options include, wrapping the invitation in ribbon, applying a colorful seal, adding bling with sparkle embellishments or adding a touch of color with a custom envelope.

“The new online program guides brides through the design process, wh ich a l lows her t he creat ive control to design an invitation that matches her personal style, said Michaels Chief Marketing Officer Paula Puleo. “By allowing more control of the design, a bride can easily create the invitation of her dream that will set the tone of the wedding, but not break the bank.”

The bride’s personalized wedding style shouldn’t stop with invitations. Brides can continue to incorporate their design in additional wedding elements, including menu cards, place cards, programs, napkins and thank you notes.

Celebrate your wedding style with personalized invitations and paper accessories. Couples can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 on invitations depending on style and quantity, according to estimates from many printing company Web

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A paper trimmer will help ensure straight cuts, and decorative-edged scissors can help hide any small mistakes in the edges. While this may be a cheaper option if couples get good prices on all the paper components, it also entails the most work and the greatest margin of error. Saving money on wedding components has become essential for many couples in this economy. Choosing to take on some aspects of invitation creation can help reduce costs and personalize the event even more.


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The truly crafty couple can make t heir inv itat ions f rom scratch. T h i s i nv ol ve s d r aw i ng out a template, cutting the card stock to fit, selecting envelopes, creating a nd executing response ca rds, and decorating the invitations as they see fit. This will require some tools, including scrapbooking or papercrafting supplies.


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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

First-dance song ideas If Michael Buble or Nat King Cole aren’t on your playlists, chances are you may be looking for a first-dance song that’s a little less traditional for your wedding reception. Couples considering a song that’s a little different and speaks to them but won’t necessarily offend the wedding purists in attendance, might want to consider the following tunes:

“All I Want is You� (U2) “Amazing� (Aerosmith) “Crash� (Dave Matthews Band) “Crazy for You� (Adele) “Faster� (Matt Nathanson) “For You I Will� (Monica) “Here Without You� (3 Doors Down) “Kiss Me� (Sixpence None the Richer) “I’ll Stand by You� (The Pretenders)

Seating your wedding guests One aspect of wedding planning t hat tends to send people into panic is wedding reception seating arrangements.

Just t he t hought of hav ing 200 f r iend s a nd f a m i l y mem b er s toget her u nder one roof a nd t hen at tempt i ng to seat t hem next to an acceptable group of people can cause some couples to hyperventilate. Ensu r i ng t hat a wedd i ng is memorable for all the right reasons is why seating arrangements are so important. Many couples can use a little advice when seating guests, while others would love another per son to ha nd le t he seat i ng arrangements for them. Here are some g uidelines for setting up reception seating arrangements.

Place yourselves, as well as the bridal party, at a separate table that is in a prime location in the room. Be sure to allow the spouses or dates of bridal party members at the same table so couples remain together.

to seat them separately. But don’t stress about this too much because it won’t be possible to accommodate everyone. You’ll have to hope that at your wedding a certain level of decorum will preside.

Some couples choose to seat both sets of parents at one table together. Grandparents may also be seated at this table, depending on the number of people each table can accommodate. Instead of separating the bride and the groom’s family to separate sides, intermingle the tables to promote conversation.

Be m i nd f u l of g uests w it h disabilities or mobility issues. Seat them close to the door, bathrooms or food station.

If children under the age of 7 are invited, they should be seated with their parents. Children between ages 7 and 14 can be seated at a separate kids’ table.

It’s not unheard of to let guests seat themselves. This takes the pressure of finding a seat for everyone off of you as a couple and enables you to think about the other tasks at hand. This can take place at a buffet wedding or a smaller affair.

Ta ke into consideration people who have relationship rifts and try

Consider a r ra ng i ng g uest s by common interests at each table, seat ing business associates or parents’ friends together.

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Plan the perfect honeymoon


fter the thrill of wedding fest iv it ies dies dow n, couples often jet of f to a honeymoon retreat and begin an entirely different adventure. The honeymoon may create mixed feelings, some concer ning t he spending time alone after months of planning and a few feelings of an x iet y over spending the first night together as a married couple. For ma ny couples, t he honeymoon wedding night is the first time they are intimate together or it holds a special meaning of being intimate for the first time after being married. Such significance can put pressure on a happy and natural experience. Wedding jitters are normal, as are honeymoon and wedding night jitters. But just as wedding trends have changed through the years, so, too, have beliefs about t he wedding night. Know ing about shifting trends can alleviate some of the nervousness. According to a recent survey from Brides maga zine, one in t hree brides pla n to get into bed on the wedding night and ... sleep. After all of the hoopla of planning and enjoying the wedding, most people are exhausted. Others say they plan to stay up and relive

moments of the day. Only about half of all couples think they will consummate the marriage on their wedding night. Ta k ing t he pressure of f of t he wedding night means that the rest of the honeymoon may be filled with opportunities to be amorous. But couples may still be f illed with expectations for the perfect romantic retreat. Here are some things to think about. Accept the fact that some wedding nights a nd honey moons a ren’t exact ly what’s pictured in t he movies. Don’t try to live up to a Holly wood-inspired ideal or you may be let down when things don’t go your way. In other words, it may rain on your beachside liaison. A wedding requires a lot of work. Many people find themselves to be physically exhausted afterward. Others find they are so wound up that they cannot relax. When the mind or body is on adrena line overload or completely w iped out, it’s not the ideal situation for romantic endeavors.

Packing for your honeymoon When basking in the afterglow of a momentous wedding, most couples

would rather think about scores of other things than packing for their honeymoons. According to The Wedding Report, a Wedding Statistics and Market Research organization, 81 percent of newly married couples take a honeymoon. The top honeymoon dest inat ion for t hose in Nor t h America is the Caribbean, where t he average couple w i l l spend $ 3, 5 0 0 on t hei r hone y mo on . A lt hough 15 percent choose to cruise to their destinations, the remaining likely drive or fly. In any case, packing becomes a part of the honeymoon planning. Try to make the honeymoon stand apart from other nights by packing nice lingerie or nighttime attire so that the memories will be special. There will be plenty of other times down the road when you’re an old, married couple to hop between the sheets in a ratty college T-shirt. Pack some ca nd les a nd mood music, or ask the resort to handle these details for you. These items can help set the scene. Ma ke s u re y ou r pac k i ng l i st includes special toiletries and birth control methods if you’re not ready to start a family so soon after being married. The brands you prefer may be hard to acquire while at some honeymoon locations. If you don’t already have a suitcase, choose a design with a hard case. This way it won’t expand while

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Roll clothes because it will limit w rink ling. Use a layering technique to fit a multitude of items and protect against displacement during transit.

•N  ext, layer dresses and slacks so they lay lengthwise on top of the first layer of items. It’s okay if the ends extend over the edge of the suitcase.

•F  ill the bottom of the suitcase with the heavier items: shoes,

•S  hirts and sweaters (if applicable) can be rolled and then layered next. Use any overhanging slacks and dresses to fold over the shirts and keep them in place. •L  ightweight items, like lingerie a nd u nderga r ment s, c a n be placed on top. A lso, i nclude toiletries that are sealed in leakproof bags.

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A n y pr e s c r i pt i on s y ou n e e d should be carried as well. Place an emergency outfit in your carry-on in the event your luggage is lost or temporarily detained. Make the most of the honeymoon by packing early. Then, you can simply hop in the car and look forward to the vacation ahead.

Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mystery? Secrets to a long and happy marriage S ome might say a long celebrity marriage is one that endures the duration of the newly betrothed’s trip down the aisle. We’ve seen Britney Spears dissolve a marriage after 55 hours and Kim Kardashian call it quits after 72 days. It seems even money can’t buy matrimonial happiness. But some c ouple s have be en together for 50, 60 years and say they’re still as much in love as they were the day they spoke their “I dos.” What do they know that others do not? According to clinical psychologist a nd relationship g ur u Dr. Phil McGraw, “We all need to be flexible and to compromise in marriage, but you’ve got to be true to your core traits and characteristics, what I call your authentic self.” Some couples enter a relationship projecting a persona they believe the other person wants – one that really isn’t what they’re all about. This could be a woman trying to fill the role of her husband’s nurturing mom or a guy playing the protector to his wife.

In reality, marriage is more of a partnership, and truth and trust are often at the basis of good marriages.

bail on the marriage at every turn could be directing their energ y toward divorce as the only solution instead of discovering ways to remove the cause of strife.

Divorce ca n sometimes be t he easy way out when you think about the work that goes into keeping a marriage working. Experts say that there are a few issues, like adultery, abuse and drug/alcohol addiction, that may be reasonable catalysts for divorce if personal safety and sanity is being compromised. Make time for romance. It’s easily said but not so easily done. Too often married couples forget what it was like to date when all of their attention was spent on each other instead of the house, kids, work, etc.

Couples who have stayed married for decades often put each other first and share a mutual respect. Respect each other. Often couples having troubles realize they treat strangers better than they treat each other. Would use the insults or unf lattering terms t hat you sometimes throw at your spouse with a complete stranger? Probably not. Good marriages are based on a foundation of respect and love. It’s easy to lose feelings of love if the respect is gone.

Today there seems to be even more distractions, from e-mails to texts to pressure and obligations at the office. Happy couples find the time to spend quality time with their spouses – even if that’s only 10 minutes of alone time a day. Put “we” first. Many people operate on a “me” mentality. When you’re part of a couple, give more to your spouse than you take. If he or she is doing the same, you’re working collectively for the benefit of the marriage instead of yourselves.

Couples can realize that there are some thorns that come with the roses of ma rriage, a nd stay ing happy together does take work for it to all be worth it.

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There are many other “secrets” that marriage experts will offer to couples seek i ng t he mag ic formula. Whether you’re pondering marriage or have already tied the knot, consider the following advice to make a marriage endure for the long haul. There’s no such thing as the perfect marriage. Some couples create an image of what they think marriage is supposed to be, and that image that often goes “poof” once reality sets in. Even soulmates are bound to frustrate or irritate one another from time to time. Couples should express their frustrations. Bottling up frustrations can eat at a person and eventually destroy a marriage. Talking about the things that are bothering you with your partner opens up a discussion and can help you work through things. Divorce should not be seen as a viable option. Couples who want to

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012


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Ask About Our Bachelor Paintball Parties THE WEDDING GUIDE 23

Franklin County Bridal Directory 2012 Personalized Service and Attention to Detail is what you’ll find at these Franklin County businesses. Count on them to help make your big day the best it can be.

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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wedding Guide 2012 Spring