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Real People. Real Life.

A Bride & Groom’s Handbook

From the Heart Treat your guests to personalized vows

Looking Good

Wedding day dress codes

The Guests

Tips to trim the wedding guest list


Weddings • North County Outlook

March 15, 2017

A Bride & Groom’s Handbook


3 Wedding day dress codes 4 Tips to trim the wedding guest list 5 Jewelry care guidelines 6 Wedding transportation tips

7 Treat guests to personalized vows 8 Tips for a special mother/son dance 10 The importance of save-the-date cards

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Wedding day dress codes Wedding invitations do more than merely announce that a celebration is on the horizon. Invitations provide key information about the ceremony and festivities to follow. Many details, including the location, time and date of the wedding are spelled out on the wedding invitations. However, invitations can sometimes leave guests confused about the appropriate style of attire for the occasion. Even though wedding invitations rarely offer specific information regarding attire, chances are the wording will provide clues that can help

Black tie weddings require men to wear tuxedos.

guests interpret the desired dress code. Marysville wedding planner Bobbi Pohl, who owns Classique Designs, said not to be overly concerned with the dress codes of your guests. “My best advice is to not worry about what the guests are going to wear that much,” she said. “The most important part of the wedding is that you’re getting married,” and what the dress code is will not be that crucial, she said. Pohl said that most people will be able to infer what is appropriate to wear to a wedding. “Most guests will See DRESS on page 12

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Tips to trim the wedding guest list Weddings are a time to celebrate, and many couples hope to invite as many people as possible to share their excitement. While guests make weddings more enjoyable, and may increase the propensity to enjoy a more successful marriage, couples must be practical and consider their wedding budgets when creating their guest lists. Emily Wagster, a Marysville wedding planner and owner of Prudence & Sage, said that inviting too many people is a common problem for many couples.

“If you don’t have time to talk to every person you’ve invited and thank them for coming, then you’ve invited too many people in my opinion,” said Wagster. Guests deserve a little bit of the couple’s time, said Wagster, and it’s not fun to just sit on the sidelines for the whole event. The average American wedding includes 120 guests, according to a 2015 Newlywed Survey released by WeddingWire. Couples who are finding it difficult to create and

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See TRIM on page 9

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Weddings • North County Outlook


Jewelry care guidelines

Protect jewelry by cleaning it regularly and exercising caution when engaging in certain activities.

Bridal gowns and tuxedos may get their fair share of attention at weddings, but the subtle details of brides’ and grooms’ wedding attire also garner guests’ attention. Breathtaking jewelry worn by the bride, groom and members of the bridal party looks great on the day of the wedding and in photos couples will keep for decades to come. Naturally, engagement rings and bridal bands are the shining stars of the celebration. However, other pieces of jewelry also make for cherished accessories for weddings. Bridal jewelry is an investment worth maintaining. According to a 2013 report by the Jewelers of

America, couples spend an average of $4,000 on engagement rings and more money on wedding bands. Considering several thousands of dollars may adorn the necks, fingers, ears, and wrists of bridal party members, individuals should learn how to keep their jewelry investments looking pristine. “As much time and effort as people put taking care of things like their teeth, they need to put time to take care of their jewelry as well,” said Doug Wagner, owner of Marysville’s Wagner Jewelers in Marysville. Without proper care and See JEWELRY on page 13

Weddings • North County Outlook


March 15, 2017

Wedding transportation tips Weddings are momentous events for the couple tying the knot as well as all of the friends and family invited to share in the big day. Before couples can tie the knot and cut a rug at their receptions, everyone, couple and guests included, must arrive at the location (or locations if the ceremony site differs from the reception area). Though arranging wedding day transportation can be difficult, there are ways to make the process go more smoothly for guests and bridal party members. “This is definitely something that a lot of people miss,” said Emily Wagster, a Marysville wedding planner and owner of Prudence & Sage wedding planning. “Sometimes couples will not think about it until the last week,” she said.

Transportation needs can throw a hitch in the entire day though, she said, and should be planned in advance. “It’s important because if you miss it you could end up having a lot of confusion and havoc the day of,” said Wagster. Determine your needs Before a transportation plan can be made, couples must first map out their needs. Everything should be built around the ceremony. Once the ceremony time has been set, the rest of the day can be arranged around that time. Determine how much time is needed to travel from the ceremony to the reception area. Allocate enough time before the cocktail hour to allow for traffic, photos and any other needs that may take up time. Couples do not want anyone, included

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themselves, to feel rushed. Once the timing has been orchestrated, couples can figure out exactly which types of transportation will be required. Book personal transportation first Happy couples must make their own transportation their top priority. Transportation should be planned well in advance of the wedding, said Wagster.

“It’s something you want to start planning for earlier rather than later,” she said. “Usually after you have all the venues and other vendors set, that’s when you want to be thinking about the logistical stuff like the transportation.” It could be preferable to book it even further in advance if a couple is getting married around See TIPS on page 11

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Treat guests to personalized vows Couples who choose to write their own wedding vows recognize how special such personal gestures are. Writing one’s own vows can impart a personalized and special touch to the ceremony. But as anyone who has stared down a blank piece of paper or blinking cursor can attest, a case of writer’s block may encourage couples to abandon the idea of writing their own vows. Writing vows can be nerve-wracking. Many couples are unaccustomed

to speaking in front of crowds, and then there is the challenge of turning life-altering feelings into language that will appeal to the masses. But couples struggling with their vows need not throw in the vow-writing towel. With some practice and guidance, anyone can write cherished vows that will be remembered for all of the right reasons for years to come. Skip the schtick. Jokes may pop up in speeches throughout the evening, but wedding vows can be

Personalized wedding vows can add a memorable touch to the ceremony.

your chance to truly speak from the heart. Humor may come across as insincerity. Rather, list the words that describe your feelings for your future spouse, and build on that.

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Weddings • North County Outlook


March 15, 2017

Tips for a special mother/son dance Weddings celebrate the unions of happy couples ready to pledge their lives to each other. In theory, the wedding day spotlight should be shared equally by brides and grooms. While it is common for brides to get much of the attention on the wedding day, there is one moment when all eyes are on the groom and a special lady in his life. The mother/son dance is a wedding tradition that many grooms embrace as their opportunity to show

their mothers how much they love them. Wedding planner Bobbi Pohl, who owns the Marysville business Classique Designs, said that the mother/son dance helps recognize the bond between mother and son. “Kind of like the father/ daughter dance, it’s good to give the parent this one moment during a wedding,” said Pohl. “I think the mom deserves a slot for the two of them to dance,” she said. Pohl said that it is a good time for the mothers who

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Grooms are the unsung heroes of weddings. They often put others first, including letting their own mothers shine on the dance floor.

often tend to get sentimental about the moment. “It will be the last time that the mom gets to hold her son before passing him on

to his new wife,” she said. The mother/son dance is an ideal time to create a See DANCE on page 16

Did you know?

Longevity in marriage is something to be celebrated. Couples who reach fiftieth and sixtieth wedding anniversaries often commemorate those anniversaries with big parties. But there are some around the world who would consider golden anniversary celebrants to still be newlyweds. In December 2015, Karam Chand, 110, and his wife, Kartari Chand, 103, from Bradford, West Yorkshire (originally from India), celebrated their 90th wedding anniversary, becoming the world’s longest-betrothed couple. In America, John and Ann Betar, ages 104 and 100, respectively, have been married 83 years as of 2016. The couple eloped in 1932. They have been named one of America’s longest-married couples by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

March 15, 2017

TRIM Continued from page 4

pare down their guest lists can employ the following tips. Create initial lists. When jotting down potential guests’ names, write down everyone you want to invite, regardless of budget. Then list the must-have guests for the wedding. This should include the family and friends with whom you interact on a regular basis. Create a separate column for guests who don’t make the must-have list. Wagster said a good measuring stick would be to ask if you would be comfortable having the guest as your only witness. “If you were going to elope and bring one person to be your witness, would you be comfortable with that one person being the only one to see the ceremony or would it be awkward,” she said. “If you’re not, than they don’t necessarily need to be in the crowd of people that are going to be at your wedding.” Know where to draw the line with parents. Wagster said that sometimes parents will pressure for additional invitation spots for people they want to invite. “And couples then tend to feel the need to invite co-workers or other acquaintances,” she said. It can be difficult when

Weddings • North County Outlook parents are helping with financing the wedding, but couples still need to know when to tell their parents that no more spots are available for the wedding. Separate friends from friends’ friends. If you don’t see people outside of events set up by mutual friends, you should not feel obligated to invite those people to the wedding. They are more likely friends of your friends and not your close friends. Know the guest list ceiling. Catering halls or reception rooms often can only accommodate a certain number of people. Know this number before making a final list. The limits of the space may serve as the catalyst for trimming the guest list. Consider coworkers carefully. Think about if you’d still be friends with your coworkers if the company dissolved. If not, you should not feel obligated to invite them. Have we met? If you don’t remember interacting with a person (your parent’s long lost friend from high school) or the person has never met your significant other, then they probably can be cut. If parents insist on inviting someone you barely remember, they should help defray the costs. Cut out the kids. Even though the cost of dinner for a child is lower than the cost for an adult, inviting children can significantly increase the guest list. A no-child



If you don’t have time to talk to every person you’ve invited and thank them for coming, then you’ve invited too many people in my opinion. Emily Wagster Prudence & Sage

_____ policy at the reception can save money. Avoid uncomfortable situations. Unless you have remained particularly close, keep former boyfriends and girlfriends off of the guest list. Ask for an unbiased opinion. Give the editing

pen to someone else if you can’t make a decision. This person may help weed out extraneous guests. Paring down a wedding guest list can be a difficult process, but couples should work together and respect each other’s concerns when creating their final list.

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Weddings • North County Outlook


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The importance of save-the-date cards Many couples’ weddings take more than a year to plan. Couples want all of the special people in their lives to witness their vows, and giving guests advance notice can ensure as many loved ones as possible attend the ceremony. To be certain that guests have ample notice to clear their schedules, many couples now turn to save-thedate cards, which announce weddings well in advance of the actual wedding day. Save-the-date cards once were reserved only for weddings that required travel or special circumstances, such as destination weddings.

But such cards have now become commonplace for all weddings. That’s because many people plan vacations or business trips anywhere from four to six months in advance. Busy

people require plenty of notice to include this important date on their calendars, particularly when wedding See CARDS on page 15

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TIPS Continued from page 6

a holiday or during prom season when limousines and party buses are in high demand. Remember, unless the bride-to-be plans to be seen by her groom, couples will need separate transportation to the ceremony site. Factor multiple vehicles into the wedding transportation budget. Explore your personality Brides and grooms have many transportation options at their disposal. If a limousine doesn’t add the spark of creativity they

Weddings • North County Outlook desire, they can opt for a VW bus or a retro roadster. Outdoor enthusiasts might want to ride off on horseback, while easy riders might prefer to rev up the engine on a HarleyDavidson. Couples should never feel penned in by tradition, especially when something else makes them feel remarkable and the budget allows for it. Have your getaway car ready Couples generally opt to arrive to the wedding and reception in style, but take their own vehicles or cabs home afterward. This requires some advanced planning. Check with the

catering hall to see if a vehicle can be left in their lot overnight. Don’t rely on friends Wagster said planning for friends or family to drive after the wedding is a poor idea if you are serving alcohol. “It’s not a good idea to rely on friends or family members for transportation, because at the end of the day you don’t know if anyone’s going to still be sober,” she said. She recalls one wedding where she took up emergency transportation duty because no one at her clients’ wedding was capable of driving at the

11 time. “You don’t want to be scrambling to figure out how you and your guests are going to be getting back to the hotel at the end of the ceremony,” she said. Consider others’ needs Have the names and phone numbers of taxi or ridesharing services available for those who may not be able to drive after the party. Elderly or disabled guests might appreciate prearranged transportation as well. Although couples can arrange for transportation as a courtesy to others, they don’t need to make arrangements for everyone.

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Weddings • North County Outlook


DRESS Continued from page 3

dress based on the venue that they’re invited to,” she said, adding that “people know how to dress up” and will if they are invited to a wedding. Casual If the invitation mentions casual attire, it’s important to realize that everyday casual is different from wedding casual. Jeans, shorts and tank tops are unacceptable unless otherwise noted. Err on the side of caution and go with business casual, which includes chinos, slacks, a polo shirt or button-down

shirt for men. Women can wear a sundress or slacks or a skirt and an attractive blouse. If the invitation mentions beach casual, shorts and even sandals are likely acceptable. Semiformal Semiformal dresswear, sometimes referred to as “dressy casual,” is a step up from casual clothing. Cocktail dresses or a more elegant skirt and top are the norms. Gentlemen generally wear a suit and tie. Coordinate the colors of clothing to the time of day. Fabrics should represent the season. For example, a linen suit will not pass at a winter wedding.


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Formal Formal attire is the default dress code for the majority of weddings. When the invitation does not specify a dress code, it is safe to assume formal attire is expected. Men can choose among a dark suit and tie or a tuxedo. Women can opt for a formal cocktail-length dress, a classic suit or a long dress. Select among tones that are gray, black or brown. Black Tie Black tie events also require formal attire. Black tie typically goes handin-hand with an evening wedding. Black tie is more rigid for male guests, who should wear a tuxedo, black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. Women have a little more leeway with their attire at such gatherings. A long

Many couples are opting for casual dress for their wedding.

March 15, 2017 evening gown might be preferable. However, a chic cocktail dress also can be acceptable, and darker, neutral colors are most appropriate. Some invitations may reference “Black Tie Preferred.” While men may opt for a tuxedo, a black suit also can be worn. White Tie The most formal of occasions will request white tie attire. Ball gowns and tuxedoes with tails are the norm, as are dramatic jewelry and hairstyles. White tie attire is akin to what one might see worn to awards shows. When attending a wedding, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Guests can consult with fellow guests or the bride and groom if they are unsure of the dress code.

Weddings • North County Outlook

March 15, 2017

JEWELRY Continued from page 5

maintenance, jewelry can wear or be lost. “Gold is soft, sterling is soft, metals are soft and they wear against the skin,” said Wagner. “You can lose a valuable gem, especially if it’s a diamond,” he said. Remove jewelry during hard work Exercise caution when wearing jewelry during strenuous activities or when jewelry can be damaged. Also, watch when handling slippery substances such as soaps and oils, as jewelry may fall off and become lost. Instead, remove precious jewelry and store it in a safe location, such as in a jewelry chest or a drawer. Exercise caution with beauty products Apply lotion, cosmetics, perfume, cologne, and hairspray before putting on jewelry. These substances can discolor certain metals or even damage stones. Prolonged contact with

perspiration and bodily oils also can cause discoloration over time. Gently wipe down jewelry with a soft cloth after wearing it to remove oils and sweat. Routinely inspect jewelry to test for any structural issues that can result in breakage or lost stones. Jewelry needs to be checked about every six months for problems, according to Wagner. “When you get your teeth cleaned, that’s about the time you should go to get your jewelry cleaned as well,” he said. Make sure any suspected problems are repaired promptly. Preventative maintenance is also important to get regularly, he said. “I understand it’s so easy to just not come in or put it off,” said Wagner, “but sooner or later you’re going to need someone to look at them.” Wagner’s store and many others offer free quotes on maintenance

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checks. Proper maintenance also helps make the jewelry look better as well. “Once you’re done you’re left with jewelry that is more beautiful,” said Wagner. Be careful around swimming pools, spas and the ocean Couples should remove jewelry before partaking in water-based activities on their honeymoons. According to jewelry retailer Zales, chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry, causing color changes and even structural changes. Don’t risk jewelry falling off in the ocean. Store it in a secure location before diving in. Beware the sun, too The Gemological Institute of America, Inc. states


that sunlight can affect the durability and color of colored gemstones. Over time and in excess, the sun and heat can fade or damage some stones, such as amethyst, topaz and pearls. Other stones can darken with exposure to the sun. Clean jewelry with care Rely on mild detergents and a light touch when cleaning jewelry. Use products specifically designed for jewelry care, and read labels to ensure safety. Seriously soiled jewelry should be professionally cleaned. Inspect and know your jewelry Ensure jewelry will last for years to come. Exercise caution when wearing pieces and clean and care for them properly.

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Weddings • North County Outlook

VOWS Continued from page 7

to “take it from the perspective of writing a love letter” to begin your vows. If you need inspiration, look to a moment in your relationship when you really knew this was the person with whom you wanted to share your life. Relay the story, but keep it brief. Try to be as specific as possible, and recognize that it’s acceptable to be playful with your words. When it’s really coming from the heart and not the head, you’ll know it. Borrow from traditional words. Take traditional vows and tweak them to make them your own. This works especially well for those who have trouble getting started or are unsure of which format to follow. Incorporate key words, such as “partners,” “love,”

“friends,” “joy,” and “forever.” Be sure the officiant is on board. Depending on the type of ceremony, the officiant may have final say over what can or cannot be included in your vows. Religious ceremonies, for example, may be limited to certain scripture readings and traditional vows. Before you devote any time to writing vows, ensure that it’s alright to include them. Otherwise, save personalized sentiments for a special toast at the wedding reception. Dig deeper. Look into the future and project how you hope your life to be in 10 or 20 years. Explain all of the reasons you want to be together for the duration. Be comfortable reading it out loud. Mondares-Riggs said that couples should remember that vows are something that are going to be read in front of friends and family.

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March 15, 2017 “I’ve seen some that would make me blush,” she said. “So it’s important to remind couples that you have to be okay with reading it aloud.” Read the vows several times. Read over your work and make sure the language is clear and there are no glaring errors. It may take a few versions to get the final version right where you want it. Get a second opinion. Ask someone you trust to listen to the vows and offer feedback. This needs to be a person who will be honest and not just tell you what you want to hear. Personalized vows can add an extra special touch to wedding ceremonies. Save the vows. Mondares-Riggs recommends saving the vows for later. “They make a good keepsake,” she said and some couples even get them framed.

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Weddings • North County Outlook

March 15, 2017

CARDS Continued from page 10

dates fall during popular travel seasons or around the holidays. Save-the-date cards require couples to assemble their guest lists well in advance of the wedding. The leading bridal resource The Knot notes that everyone who will get a wedding invitation should also receive a savethe-date card. There’s no turning back once cards are sent, so couples will need to be certain everyone they want to attend is getting advanced notice. It’s acceptable to mail

save-the-date cards even if some wedding day details are still up in the air. The most important things to have on the card are when and where the wedding is happening. “One of the things that I recommend is that couples have a website on the save-the-date card,” said Judie Bloom, a Stanwood wedding planner and owner of Quackers Weddings. Sites like The Knot or Wedding Wire can provide website services that provide a place to give all the information about the wedding, registration and updates, she said. RSVP information does not need to be included on the save-the-date card.

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One of the things that I recommend is that couples have a website on the save-the-date card. Judie Bloom Quackers Weddings

_____ Save-the-date cards are much less formal than invitations, so couples can have fun with them. They can showcase couples’ clever personalities or funny quirks. Bloom said that there a “million different styles” that save-the-date cards can go in. They can be “as elaborate as the couple

wants or just a simple photo,” she said. They also don’t have to match the theme of the wedding like many other items. Bloom also prefers a postcard format for savethe-date cards. “Envelopes cost more so sending a postcard is a way to save some money,” she said.

Weddings • North County Outlook


DANCE Continued from page 8

special moment, and the following are some tips to personalize the dance. Precede the bride and her father. Make your own tradition and switch up the timing of the dances. Be the first to take a spin on the dance floor and set the tone for the other traditional songs to come. Create a photo montage. Work with an entertainment company or photographer to create a slideshow of images showing you and your mother together and separately. If possible, include some photos that were shot during the wedding ceremony, asking the photographer to capture the look on your mother’s face during pivotal moments of the ceremony. Show off your dance skills. One

March 15, 2017

increasingly popular wedding trend is for fathers and brides to choreograph the father/daughter dances. Grooms and their mothers can follow suit, particularly if you both have some stellar dance moves. Let mom choose the song. Give your mother the opportunity to express her sentiments to you, as mothers of the groom do not typically toast their sons during weddings or even rehearsal dinners. “In my personal opinion, you should let the mom choose the song that plays for the dance,” said Phol. Invite other son/mother duos up. If the idea of dancing alone with your mother is a bit intimidating, give other mothers in attendance an opportunity to share the spotlight. Celebrate all mothers, encouraging any mothers and sons who are present to dance together.


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