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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.1C

Supplement to the Moultrie News ❖ January 25, 2012

Add a sweet touch to the big day ►Check them out •Cupcake 644 Long Point Rd. 856-7080 www.freshcupcakes. com Also located on King Street and in the Vista in Columbia •D’Lish 509-3272 www.dlishdessert. com •yesUmay Cookies 280 W.Coleman Blvd. 647-6217 www.yesumaycookies.com •Loluma 115 Calhoun St. 723-1365 www.loluma.com

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Clockwide from top, an assortment of cupcakes from Cupcake makes a pretty wedding reception presentation. Cake pops from Cupcake are a fun treat at weddings or a great favor to hand out to guests to take home. It’s easy to pick up sweet cookies from yesUmay Cookies in between dances at wedding receptions. Molly Lawson of D’Lish made this cake for a groom who was a doctor and went by the nickname of “Cheese.” He also played football for The Citadel, and the bottom tier of the cake features The Citadel barracks and The Citadel bulldog logo.

BY PENNY PARKER MOULTRIE NEWS

The traditional wedding cake is still the belle of the ball when it comes to wedding receptions, but other dessert treats are starting to get invited to the party. Nothing can beat the traditional wedding cake as a focal point of any wedding reception. Almost every reception features the happy couple slicing the cake together before sharing a kiss and posing for photos. But other sweet treats are starting to be served in addition to the traditional cake or even in its place. And the traditional cake is getting an update as well. “We’re seeing more and more trends with couples trying to step outside of the box,” says Cory Winn, a wedding planner with Loluma. “Lots of people still like wedding

cake. It will always be here, but we’re seeing requests for different flavors,” she adds. Flavors of cake, such as red velvet, bananas foster and true Southern are some popular choices Winn sees brides requesting. “We’re not seeing a lot of fondant anymore. People want fresh these days.” Winn says that some brides want their cake to look beautiful, while others insist that it taste good. Of course, good bakeries can make cakes that accomplish both goals. Molly Lawson of D’Lish says she is getting many bridal requests for wedding cakes that are not made of stacked tiers of cake, but have several tiers displayed individually. She sees it as a trend toward a less traditional, more casual event. Lawson makes a lot of fun groom’s cakes for today’s couples. These are typically

a very specific design, such as a football field with a Gamecock mascot for a University of South Carolina graduate or a cake in the shape of a favorite hunting dog for the groom who lives for duck season. These cakes can also be made in different flavors such as red velvet, carrot cake or strawberry. Many times couples will opt for a small cake to slice and accompany it with cupcakes decorated in their wedding party colors. Mini cupcakes are popular too. The flavor choices are endless, such as

these ideas from Cupcake in the Belle Hall Shopping Center: black and white, chocolate tuxedo, blueberry cobbler, pink lemonade and even watermelon. Jen George, director of operations at Cupcake, says that brides can choose from one of their nine flavors a day that vary with the seasons. The cupcakes come in three sizes, regular, mini and mega. The mega ones are six inches in diameter and can serve six to eight people. Many brides opt to use a mega cupcake at the top of a tier of regular

or mini cupcakes. The couple will then use the mega cupcake as a slicing cake to complement an assortment of cupcakes. Cake pops, which Cupcake just started to carry, are another favorite treat for many brides. These are made of cake rolled into a ball and put on a stick and then dipped in white or dark chocolate and covered with sprinkles to coordinate with the bridal party colors. “A lot of people pick cakepops as wedding favors.” George says. Cookies are another big trend at today’s wedding receptions. “For weddings, cookie bars are becoming very popular in lieu of a cake or in addition to it,” says Kate Smith of yesUmay Cookies in Northcutt Plaza. These displays of cookies usually include at least three different varieties of the sweet treat. Cookies are easy for guests to pick up, and Smith offers both large and mini cookies.

“If a couple has a cake and cookies, they usually order the mini cookies,” Smith adds. “If people don’t want to sit down with a plate, knife and fork, they can easily grab a cookie.” Cookies are also popular as wedding favors for guests to take home. Smith can package them either singly or as two to a package or whatever a bride requests. Some of her most popular flavors for wedding receptions or bridal showers are Universal Decadence (a triple chocolate chunk cookie), Optimistic Chew (oatmeal, butterscotch and apple), Sweet Satisfaction (a sugar cookie with butter cream frosting) and Blissed Out (a chocolate chunk cookie with toffee chips, topped with sea salt). The Sweet Satisfaction can be covered in sprinkles to match the color of the wedding party. A dessert table featuring a choice of these cookies can add a spot of color to the reception as well. Dessert bars or tables featuring a variety of desserts are increasingly popular too, says Winn of Loluma. Small bites or single-serving-size desserts are one of the most popular trends. Mini pies, tartlets, tiramisu cups, mini banana bread pudding cups, ice cream sundae bars, carts full of ice cream sandwiches and popsicles, cappuccino bars and late night milkshake shots are some new ideas as far as wedding dessert options go. Also candy buffets are one of the newest requests many planners are seeing. It’s a fun way for couples to show off their personalities with favorite childhood candy choices, such as sweethearts, laffy taffy, gummy worms, licorice, personalized fortune cookies and monogrammed M&Ms in the wedding colors, to name a few. Whatever dessert route a couple plans to choose, make sure to meet with caterers, bakers and planners with plenty of time in advance to add a sweet touch to one of life’s biggest events.

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2C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thanks to Mom, eloping wasn’t necessary BY JENNIFER SHELTON WILSON MOULTRIE NEWS

In the weeks leading up to my Dec. 3, 2011 wedding, words from a married friend echoed in my head from a conversation we’d had just before she tied the knot a few years ago. “I have one piece of advice for you,” she had said. “When you get married, elope.” I thought she was crazy. At the time, I was a single twentysomething without the slightest prospect of a husband in the picture. But even though I may have been (bitterly) single, I still clung to the idea of my own fantasy wedding. With that being said, I wasn’t one of those little girls who constantly dreamed of what is often called the biggest day of your life. I never obsessed about what kind of flowers would make up my bouquet or what kind of gown I would choose. That’s not to say I never thought about it, or wondered what it would be like (or if it would ever actually happen). But it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at all times. When I did end up getting engaged, I remained calm. For about a week.

Once I realized how many details go into planning a wedding, I went into panic mode. Thankfully, my mom swooped in and saved the day. “Jennifer,” she said calmly, “when I got married, weddings were an occasion. Now, when you get married, it’s an event.” I don’t think she came up with that profound statement on her own; realistically, she probably read it in a wedding magazine. In either case, she offered to help, and that ended up being the best wedding gift of all. While my now-husband and I got to do the fun stuff like cake tastings, my mom was doing the grunt work. From 300 miles away, she took care of flowers, rentals, decorations, lighting, transportation... and the list goes on. One of the non-stressful aspects of planning, and a memory I will forever cherish, was shopping for my wedding dress. Just my mom and I. Now, I should point out that I’m a Libra. Which basically translates to this: I can’t make a decision to save my life. My mom knows this about me. And even though I was addicted to TV shows like,

‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ I knew I wasn’t the type to shop for that all-important dress with an entourage of people. I’d probably pass out. So instead, my mom came to Charleston to help me look. And look. And look some more. I don’t know how many gowns I tried on (20, maybe?) but we both knew the right one as soon as I put it on. We didn’t need to say anything. Our eyes met in the mirror, and we just knew. Fast forward six months to my wedding day. As the photographer snapped away, my mom zipped me into the dress I wore on one of the most special days of my life. I couldn’t have made it to that point (or later, down the aisle) without her. I can’t say that the prospect of eloping wasn’t tempting at times. Planning a wedding isn’t all romance and joy. It’s not easy making decisions when you know you can only have this one day, one time. And for that reason, I’m so PHOTO PROVIDED thankful for my mom, and how much work she put in Reporter Jennifer Shelton Wilson was married just weeks before she came onto give her only daughter the board as a reporter for the Moultrie News. With her mother Debra Wilson’s help, she was able to plan all of the details of her wedding. wedding she wanted. Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.3C

Couples don’t have to be poets to write vows

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Ryan and Judi Asbury wrote their own vows in addition to putting their own humerous touch on the entire reception. From their casual tennis shoes tucked under their formal clothing to fun costumes for guests to wear in the photo booth.

BY SULLY WITTE EDITOR@MOULTRIENEWS.COM

Judi Asbury and her husband Ryan wrote their own vows because they didn’t consider themselves or their relationship as “traditional.” “We did a lot of looking through traditional vows and nothing fit,” she explained. “We wanted to add some humor and for the vows to be a little more personal with

a little more of us in them,” Asbury said. “We talked about it and then settled on vows that were the same for both of us.” In their vows they, of course, promised to always be there for each other and to always try to make the other smile. Asbury said that laughter has always been a big part of their relationship and was essential through thick and thin.

But, being the humorous couple that they are, Asbury vowed to always age gracefully with Ryan. “He is a little older than me so we thought that would be funny and make everyone giggle.” And it did. In addition to writing their own vows, the couple’s favorite touch was to put so much of themselves into the wedding. Not only did they pay for the wedding themselves,

which was held Nov. 29 at Boone Hall Plantation, but the decor included lots of do-it-yourself crafts. It created a more personal touch, she said. Mariana Franco Robertson Hall and her husband Randy chose to do a combination of different vows that they found searching online. “I think Randy would agree that our favorite part was our family sand ceremony with his son, David. We had a separate table with a glass jar surrounded by three jars of sand, each of us poured half of our sand into it. This symbolized our three individual persons. Then we simultaneously poured our remaining sand - combining our lives now being connected forever. I got a little weepy. Then we presented David with an engraved dog tag (symbolizing Randy being in the Army for three tours of combat) that had our names and the date on it. I had to choke back the tears when we put it around

his neck,” said Mariana. “We wanted to have a ceremony that reflected us and our new life as a family - that would be why we chose to write our whole ceremony. Although it was amusing as I tried to put Randy’s wedding ring on his right hand; I actually said ‘Honey, its not going on,’ That’s when he and Jimmy Ward, our officiant, laughed and had me repeat the vows as I put it on his left hand. A classic moment.” According to experts at theknot.com if you want to write your own vows, take it one word at a time. Ready to Write? What exactly do you say? To help you think of sentiments to include, take turns answering this list of questions. When you’re done, look through your answers for the phrases that best capture your intended message and incorporate them into the structure of your vows. 1. What did you think when you first saw him/her? Start from the beginning - you didn’t want to go out and now you’re grateful your friends dragged you out? How to use: When we met at ______, I knew _____. 2. When did you realize you were in love? The more specific you are able to be, the more touching the story. Was it when he helped you bring your sick puppy to the vet? How to use: I knew I was in love when _______. Don’t underestimate the power of humor. (When she recited Don Mattingly’s RBI record...). 3. What do you have now that you didn’t have before you met? Focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Has she taught you to appreciate beauty differently? Has he helped you learn to savor creating a home-cooked meal? How to use: Before I met you, I _____. Now I ____. 4. How has your worldview changed? Life has likely gotten better since the two of you joined forces. How to use: Because of you, I see the world ___. Having trouble? Think about the new things you’ve tried with your mate - what have you experienced together that you never would have on your own? 5. What do you miss most when you’re apart?What about his smile first thing in the morning, or the way she puts out your lucky mug for your morning coffee? How to use: You are such a part of me that when you’re gone, I

______ . 6. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years? Go deeper than happily married in a big house. What are your longterm hopes, dreams and goals? How to use: I look forward to ______, laughing and ______as we ___ _____. 7. Is there a line from a movie, song, or poem that says it all? It’s okay to borrow, as long as it’s not too much of a cliche (we’re sorry, but “you complete me” is suffering from overuse). Instead modify something familiar to personalize. How to use: Subtly. I watch you _____, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world. 8. Do parts of the traditional vows resonate with you? Maybe you’re not so sure about the obey part, but can you really go wrong with love, cherish, and...? How to use: Try I promise to cherish and honor you ______, but add a time frame and funny reference for levity: ...all the days of my life, especially when curled up on the couch with takeout. 9. Can you think of a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light? The way he played with your little cousin or helped your grandmother up the stairs showed you that under his macho exterior is a wittle, bitty bunny wabbit and you love him for it. How to use: When you ____, I saw you for the ___person you are. And that made me want to _____. 10. Is there a harrowing experience that strengthened your bond? This one rides tandem with #9. How to use: See #9. 11. What goals and values do you both have? Stating your common bond may just expose your inner Wordsworth. These ties - whether your shared faith or your mutual love of wine - will also help demonstrate why you’re a perfect pair. How to use: We share _____, so together we can _____. 12. What about him/her inspires you? What is it about your fiance that you’d like to improve in yourself? What do you most respect about your partner? How to use: Your ____ has shown me how to be_____. 13. Many couples pledge their endless love, but how many promise to take the dog out in the morning, even in the snow? How to use: I promise to always ____.

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4C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding events rock on the Carolina Girl

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The Carolina Girl has been the site of wedding ceremonies, receptions and rehearsal dinners for nearly four years.

The Carolina Girl graced Charleston Harbor with her presence nearly four years ago and has been a favorite among brides ever since. She is a 150 passenger, 100 foot special events yacht offering high-end amenities and top notch service. Ceremonies, receptions and rehearsal dinners are held on board this truly unique venue. The historic Battery and Intracoastal Waterway provide scenic backdrops as guests cruise Charleston Harbor. There are two interior levels equipped with air conditioning and heating and a partially covered open deck offering an open air view of the harbor. The Carolina Girl offers clients the ability to customize their event by choosing their own vendors including caterers. The in-house coordination service ensures recommendations of reputable vendors and smooth executions of each event by providing an

event director the day of the event. Equipped with a $50,000 sound system, the yacht has the capability to play music on all three levels. The in-house music coordinator operates a theater sound system on the upper deck providing music for ceremonies and dancing. “You are giving your guests a gift by renting out a 100 foot private yacht and allowing them to see Charleston from the water,” said captain Bob Murray, owner/operator. The Carolina Girl is Charleston’s only exclusive special events yacht of its size. In addition to weddings, Captain Bob gives back to the community by hosting non-profit fundraisers, donating the boat to auctions and inviting the Epworth Children’s Home on board. For a private viewing of the Carolina Girl and to discuss your wedding in more detail, please contact Camille Berge at 843-818-2495.

The times, they are a’ changin’... financially speaking budget at the beginning. Not only that, but you must communicate early about who is going to pay for what. You’ll find yourself in a sticky situation if you assume someone is paying for a specific part of the wedding, especially if

they have no clue of that responsibility. The bottom line is, weddings cost money. A lot of money. Save yourself and your family stress and heartache by being upfront about what it’s going to cost.

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ried.” Ward notes that many conflict for those families couples opt to live together where the parents are pickfor a few years and put money ing up the whole tab,” Ward away into a savings account said. She planned a wedding for their big day. in Augusta, Ga., where the And oftentimes, parents bride’s mother called all the may still foot the bill, but shots, even if it wasn’t what an older, more established her daughter wanted. couple may insist on picking “I had to keep reminding up part of the tab for the big the mother that it was her event. daughter’s wedding,” Ward Also, Ward says, some said, “but then she said, ‘But brides and grooms will pay I’m paying for it.’ It’s a real for tux rentals and brides- fine line, and you have to maids dresses for the bridal tread it lightly and delicateparty, even though that re- ly.” sponsibility is that of the Ward also sees cases where bridal party. brides and grooms butt heads Ward, who has 20 years of during the wedding planning wedding planning experi- process due to money. IMAGE BY METRO CREATIVE ence under her belt, has seen “Counseling is not my You’ll find yourself in a sticky situation if you assume her fair share of conflict re- forte,” Ward said with a someone is paying for a specific part of the wedding, garding how to pay for that laugh. “So I always just sugespecially if they have no clue of that responsibility. dream day. Not only that, but gest they sit down and talk.” when the parents are paying, But whether you’re paysometimes they lose sight of ing for your own wedding BY JENNIFER SHELTON Traditionally, the groom’s whose day it is. or your parents are taking WILSON family is responsible for the “There definitely can be care of it, you must develop a MOULTRIE NEWS rehearsal dinner, while the bride’s family pays for the Getting married isn’t wedding. The groom is also Interior, Exterior, P Wash cheap. Especially in the Low- looked upon to cough up payDecks, Wood Repair country. ments for the bridal bouquet Wallpaper Sabrina Ward, a local wed- and corsages or flower arding planner and owner of rangements for the mothers ARMSTRONG Eventa Bella in Mount Pleas- and grandmothers involved PAINT & RESTORATION ant, estimates that the aver- in the ceremony. 843-388-7591 age Charleston wedding costs But that tradition, Ward close to $30,000. And that, says, is fading. References Available she says, is the low end. “We’re seeing a lot of brides Local & State Licensed 30 Years Free Estimates So with so many decisions and grooms paying for their Best Prices in All Charleston Ask for Brandon to make and so much mon- own weddings now,” Ward ey to spend, who pays for said. “I think couples are what? waiting longer to get mar-

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.5C

How do you keep the music playing? Choosing the right band to make your wedding perfect TREG MONTY SPECIAL TO THE MOULTRIE NEWS

PHOTO PROVIDED

Palmetto Soul is one of Charleston’s premier wedding bnads. bad and the ugly. Trust what they tell you. There are also some great websites - other than google - that you can look at to get ideas: weddingwire.com, bridaltweet.com, theknot. com and gigmasters.com, to name a few. Look and listen… The internet has opened up the world to us all and it is your best tool to finding out more about the bands you like. A band’s website is the first place to stop and spend some time. Go through each page, watch the videos, listen to the sound clips, read the reviews. Check out their song list - does the band play the variety of music you want? Follow the links to their Facebook and Twitter pages and read what the band is saying

and what people are saying about the band. Google them. An updated and fresh website tells you a lot about how a band operates, who they are and what you can expect from their performance. Like what you see? Then… Pick up the phone… Once you have found the band or bands that you are interested in…pick up the phone and call them. The only way to get a full understanding of a band’s knowledge, approach, professionalism and willingness to listen to your every concern is to talk to them personally. Ask questions - a lot of questions. There are so many more important things to find out than - how much do you charge. Ask about their music, ask them to tell

you how they handle a typical wedding, ask if they will play a special song or songs for you, ask how early they arrive prior to an event, ask them how much they charge and what is included, ask if they are willing to meet with you prior to the wedding at your venue, to review the details, ask if they are available for questions and concerns leading up to the wedding, ask for references, ask if the band “advertised” on the website is the actual band that will show up to your wedding. (You think I am kidding don’t you? I’m not.) If you do not feel 100 percent comfortable by the end of the call, then call someone else. Details, details, details…. So far, so good, you like what you see and hear, the

phone call went great - but as they say, the devil is in the details. It is no secret, live bands come with a pretty big price tag, and there is a lot of truth in the old saying - you get what you pay for - so just what exactly are you getting for you money? It is important to dig a little deeper and make sure that some of the finer details, the ones crucial to a smooth flowing reception, are considered. Will the band emcee the evening for you - announcing the wedding party, etc? Will they play special request songs live for your first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances? Do they have a wireless microphone available for toasts and special readings from guests, etc? Would they let a

(On stage Monty is part of the dynamic horn section of Palmetto Soul. Off stage he delights in helping brides, grooms, and their parents navigate the tricky waters of selecting the right band for their wedding. Check out Soul at www.palmettosoul. com or call Monty directly at 843-991-8899.)

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As you sit in sunny bliss, gazing at the sparkling promise of a new life upon your finger, the tentacles of reality begin to weave their way into your glow. You’ve got a wedding to plan! True, there are a million details to attend to in the planning of the perfect wedding. There is a way, however, to arrive at your wedding day in the same blissful place that you started out in when you said “yes.” The secret is in selecting wedding professionals who will not simply “sell” you their services, but who will walk you through the tricky and oftentimes confusing maze of details and decisions. You have selected your date, secured the perfect venue, possibly even teamed up with a crack planner and a divine caterer, but have you given any thought to the entertainment? Research shows that the music sets the tone for an event and makes wedding memories that your guests will remember long after the “I Do’s.” Sadly, though, this is one area that tends to get too little consideration. Like the final cup of coffee at the end of a fine meal, the music you choose at your reception can leave your guests sweetly satisfied and full or with a bitter taste they quickly hope to forget. Let me share with you a few tips to help simplify and guide you through what can be an overwhelming and confusing process - finding and hiring the right live band for your wedding. Beginning the search… A little bit of leg work goes a long way and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Start by asking everyone you know - friends, coworkers, neighbors, people on the street - for their recommendations about bands they have heard about or have actually heard. Your wedding planner, venue coordinator, caterer and photographer are all other great resources - they have nothing to gain monetarily and most will be quite honest about the bands they have worked alongside with in the past. They have seen them all, the good, the

favorite uncle, cousin, friend (with your permission of course) sing a song with them? Can they provide ceremony music as well, if your wedding is held at the same venue? How many breaks do they take, and do they play music for you on breaks. Can they play a live cocktail or dinner set style of music at a comfortable volume while guests are eating? Can they and do they control the sound volume to comfortable levels? There is a huge difference, for example, in the way we approach playing the Creek Club in I’ON with it’s wood floors and high ceilings versus the way we would play outdoors at Lowndes Grove; or how loud and what we play during dinner versus during the dancing. The right volume is of vital importance to an enjoyable evening for all guests. There is nothing worse than not being able to speak to each other at the wedding and not being able to hear for a whole week afterwards. Summing it all up… If you are looking to book one of the best bands in town, book them early. We are booking eight to 2 months out for weddings, and with only so many weekend dates each year….the top bands book fast. Your wedding is as unique as you are and your musical needs will reflect that. This is your special day and hiring the right band will ensure that all your needs are met, all your expectations are exceeded and that all your guests leave knowing this wedding was all about your love.

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6C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top reasons to hire an affordable wedding planner

Details such as table settings and centerpieces come together because of professionals who handle the organizational aspect of a wedding and reception.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY WWW.PATRICKHALLPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

This bride was all smiles knowing every detail of her wedding day would be taken care of by hired professionals who would oversee everything. BY MICHAEL WINSHIP SPECIAL TO THE MOULTRIE NEWS

Let’s face it; we seek out a specialist in our daily life based on education, affordability and quality of service. So why not when hiring your wedding planner? The majority of couples that come to us are paying for the wedding themselves, both have full time careers and very little time to put together the celebration they really desire. Working with a Charleston wedding planner has become more of a necccesity than luxury. So you’re newly engaged and just like anyone else you do a Google search for Charleston wedding planners, and whammo, a barrage of Charleston’s finest appears on the first page.

Not. Lesson, Just because a planner is on the first page doesn’t mean they are the best. A reputable planner surrounds themselves with vendors and colleagues to meet everyone’s needs and budgets whatever it is. Make some calls to locals vendors, venue managers and shop owners who work with a planner you are interested in and ask them, how they really are behind the scenes to work with. Okay, end of lecture... Cut and dry, the right planner will save you time and money. Here are my top 10 reasons to hire a wedding planner. 10. Saves time - Planning wedding takes enormous amount of time. In fact, the average couple spends well over 200 hours planning their special day. A good

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wedding planner will save you time and energy by researching vendors, taking care of the many, many details and coming up with various creative ideas to make your wedding amazing. 9. Saves money - Weddings can be extremely expensive. However, by hiring a wedding planner, couples can save a great deal of money. Because wedding planners provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. Wedding planners are also wellversed at helping couples set budgets and stick to them. 8. Saves relationships - Weddings are very stressful. This stress often results in many arguments for couples as well as with family members and friends. Wedding plan-

ners have been there time and time again and know how to avoid such problems before they begin as well as act as a buffer when there are conflicts. Wedding planners are also able to take on the responsibilities often assigned to loved ones so that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding. Remember, you still want a relationship with your mother well after your wedding. 7. Ensures dreams are made realities - Most have been dreaming of their wedding day their entire life. Wedding planners work for the couple and ensure that all desires are met (and often surpassed). 6. Offers advice - Wedding

planners have planned countless weddings and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. They are also knowledgeable on wedding etiquette. Furthermore, wedding planners are able to recommend competent vendors, based on personal experience. 5. Acts as the “go to person” - The average wedding has at least 22 different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests, and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns. By hiring a wedding planner, couples can simply tell others “talk to the wedding planner.” 4. Creates schedules - There are so many events leading up to the big day. Couple that with the many things that happen during the wedding and who can keep track? The wedding planner can. Wedding planners are wellversed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time. 3. Handles crisis - Whether we like it or not, most big events involve crisis. Who

really wants to deal on their wedding day with the bakery not delivering the cake on time or the flower girl throwing a tantrum? No one. Wedding planners know how to handle all unforeseen circumstances. 2. Orchestrates from the rehearsal through the end of reception - Do you want to be responsible for organizing the rehearsal or making sure the bridal party is properly lined up? How about making sure that the guest who had a little too much to drink departs safely? Wedding planners orchestrate from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch. 1. Minimizes stress and maximizes fun! - Hiring a wedding planner ensures that you will have a worry-free and stressfree day, thus, allowing you to enjoy your day like your guests. Happy Beginnings. (Michael A Winship, wedding coordinator, can be reached at www.Winshipproductions.com. He has owned Winship Productions Wedding Planning for 10 years.)

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Take two: Tips for a second trip down the aisle A second wedding is a chance to focus more on what you want as a couple instead of the wedding your parents may had hoped for you. Today there are no rules in second weddings; the happy couple can customize it as they see fit. Chances are someone you know will make another trip down the aisle at one point in his or her life. Individuals who have lost a spouse or have divorced may eventually choose to remarry. Second weddings are a great way for couples to showcase their personalities and don’t have to be constrained by tradition. Here are some top tips for taking that trip down the aisle the second time around. Put your first wedding out of your mind. Now is not the time to make comparisons. This wedding should be all about you and your new spouse-to-be. Go for something completely different than your prior wedding so there will be no side-by-side comparisons. ►Choose a wedding party you really want. You can have

a lavish wedding again, complete with a big bridal party. However, this time around you can choose the friends and family members you really desire to stand beside you, instead of individuals you may have felt obligated to include the first time around. Go ahead and wear white. Tradition once stated that take-two brides were not supposed to wear white. Toss tradition aside and go ahead and do what you want. ►Just be sure the gown compliments your age and body shape and doesn’t seem too virginal. If your previous wedding was annulled, you also may be able to wear a wedding veil. ►Include your children in the festivities and planning. If you or your future spouse has children from a previous marriage, make them feel a part of this new blended family by including them in the second wedding. They may play a role in the ceremony, such as making a speech or reading a religious passage. Other brides and grooms choose to have their children walk them down the aisle this

time around. ►Also, involve the kids in the planning. ►They may be excited to help you choose wedding vendors or address invitations. ►Personalize your event. Take the time to write your own vows, make handmade favors or single out the special people in your lives. ►Feel free to be extravagant. You may be more established in life with a secure job and bigger paycheck. ►Therefore you can expand the wedding budget a little more. Go for all of the goodies you may have passed on with your previous marriage, such as exotic foods or that extra-long honeymoon. ►Involve the groom as well. Today’s modern men want a say in their wedding just as much as the bride, say wedding experts. Make sure he is apprised of all the details and ensure that he is able to make it to vendor appointments and the like. Just as a second wedding is a second chance for happiness, it is another opportunity to throw the wedding of your dreams.

Make-your-own wedding invitations can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 on invitations depending on style and quantity, according to estimates from many printing company Web sites. Expect to pay around $90 (U.S.) for postage if mailing 100 standard invitations that do not require extra postage and include stamped response cards. In order to avoid overpaying for wedding invitations, or simply to create a personalized invitation, many couples are opting to go the do-it-yourself route. DIY invitations are even more common thanks to the popularity of scrapbooking and papercrafting. Although people may have different standards

in terms of quality for their invitations, it’s important to realize the invitation is the first thing guests often see concerning the wedding, and they will help set the tone of the upcoming nuptials. Today there are many options when it comes to making invitations oneself. Couples can be as hands-on or hands-off as they like. Here are some choices to consider. • Design it yourself, but hire a printer. Couples can visit Web sites that enable them to choose paper type, ink color, a certain template, wording, color scheme, embellishments, dye-cutting, and many other different options. Then the couple

sits back and waits for the invites to come in the mail where they are put together before being sent out. These may be the most expensive of the DIY invites because a printer is still doing much of the work. • Use wedding invitation kits. Many stationery shops, craft stores and office supply retailers offer all-in-one kits that can be purchased. These feature a standard design with the accoutrements of that particular design. Most will come with envelopes and small response cards. The couple simply uses the template provided to create text

on a personal computer and then the invite can be run through a home printer. • Mix and match components. Couples who want to be a little more hands-on can purchase card stock and envelopes separately and design their own invitations according to color scheme. Clip art included with some word processing or design software can embellish invites that are then printed on a home printer. Ribbon can be added by punching holes into the invite and threading the ribbon through. •Do it all yourself. The truly crafty couple can make their

invitations from scratch. This involves drawing out a template, cutting the card stock to fit, selecting envelopes, creating and executing response cards, and decorating the invitations as they see fit. This will require some tools, including scrapbooking or papercrafting supplies. A paper trimmer will help ensure straight cuts, and decorativeedged 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.

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Cost-conscious couples today seek different ways they can reduce expenses on their weddings. Do-it-yourself weddings have grown in popularity, and creating personalized wedding invitations is one way to save money and dream up something special. Wedding invitations can range in prices depending on the service used. Many brick-and-mortar printing companies have gone by the wayside, and online printing sources have replaced them. The reduced overhead means that many online retailers can produce wedding invitations at a lower cost than in years past. That doesn’t mean they are cheap, however. Couples

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8C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to tell family you’re eloping

PHOTO PROVIDED

Some couples simply want to run away and elope instead of undergoing the stress and spectacle of a big, traditional wedding. Just 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. Parents who have their hearts set on seeing their little girl in a white, princess gown or

their boy beginning to start his own family could be disappointed at the prospect of not attending a big wedding. The opinions of well-meaning people could make it difficult for a couple to announce they prefer to elope instead of having a lavish affair.

Modern-day weddings have become costly spectacles, with 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 between two 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. Martha Stewart has even been quoted as saying, “Instead of paying runaway prices, people are running away.” While the prospect of saying their vows atop a picturesque hillside in the middle of the Alps 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, the wedding is meant to be a public event. For other fami-

lies, parents and siblings may almost feel robbed about not getting to share in an event as momentous as a wedding, especially if the couple has already been a part of other family members’ events. Telling people of the elopement decision could require some finesse. Experts advise 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 everyone and saying, “Surprise, we ran off and got hitched!” 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 and feel part of the decision-making process. 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. Some couples may find that

their relatives are supportive of the 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. 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 for just each other. 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.

Even if you elope, you still need to announce it Whether you are celebrating your engagement, wedding day or anniversary, The Moultrie News would like to help you share your good news. There are a variety of options to choose from as far as length of form and using a color or black and white photograph. To make announcing your big day a little easier, we have made the forms available online for customers to down-

photo • Anniversaries: No charge for 50th and over /less than 50th use engagement charges • Add color for an additional $40 Options and pricing • E-mail to news@moultri• Engagements: $25 text enews.com only / $35 text with photo • Deadline to guarantee • Weddings: $50 with Wednesday edition: Monday headshot photo / $100 w/ 3:00 p.m. All forms and payfull length photo ment must be received. • Baby Announcements: No charge for text / $10 with load and e-mail back. Photographs should be e-mailed in as well. Payment can be done by check or credit card.

Forms

Some brides choose the more detailed version for their wedding announcement. This announcement includes attendants full names and hometowns. It also includes details of the dress and reception. Maybe this is a second marriage. You can be discreet by using a short form which includes the simple details of location, date and time. We will gladly use your own

wording. Forms are provided if a couple chooses to send their photo in, remember, for convenience only. all digital photographs must be at least 300 dpi. No excepPhotographs tions. This ensures the bride Brides often hire profes- or couple’s photograph runs sional photographers for the exact size that they have portraits. We deal closely purchased and that the qualwith photographers who ity is exceptional. prefer to send the preferred If you have questions about photo directly to the news- running a wedding, engagepaper. ment or anniversary anPhotographers are famil- nouncement, please call ediiar with our photograph tor Sully Witte at 958-7482 requirements. However, for assistance.

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Wedding Guide 2012