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| 2011

Bridal Planner The Best Local Wedding Resources Time-Saving Tips Expert Planning Advice Simple Ideas for a Stylish Event

Your Timeline for a

Stress-Free Wedding


Planning Made Easy Congratulations! You and the person of your dreams are embarking on a new life together, and we couldn’t be happier for you. It’s time to create a day that you and your loved ones will never forget. And one that’s completely stress-free! Sound impossible? Hardly! Just let our 2011 Bridal Planner be your guide. We’ll guide you through all the moments of the big day, from the fashion frenzy in the morning, all the details of the ceremony, through the drinks and entertainment to keep you and your guests partying into the night. Our experts’ tips for keeping it stress-free will show you how to make the most of your time, energy and budget, all while keeping your sanity in check. Dive in. Follow our tips. Plan a wedding that your guests won’t soon forget. It’s never been easier to do.

In This issue 3 4 16 18 5 15 7 12 8 10 13 14


Budget Invites Fashion & Beauty Venue Flowers Photo & Video Rings Drinks Music Food Cake Honeymoon

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 • The Press and Standard


Managing the


After A couple of years of keeping

the wedding clutch clutched tight, wedding spending actually climbed more than 20 percent in 2010, with the average cost right around $24,000, up from just below $20K the year before, according to the Wedding r report, the t tucson, Ariz.-based wedding market research company. A closer look at the numbers shows it’s not just frivolous spending, though. for example, grooms increased their spending on suits by nearly half over the previous year – but that’s a suit they’ll own and wear again, not a tux they’ll return to the store. Spending on reception décor took a hit, while spending on reception food and bar service increased. the key to these examples: Being smart about how you deploy your budget, so you – and your guests – get the most out of what you spend.

Budget Basics t establish your magic number, look at to your designated savings, contributions from parents or other relatives, and what of your regular income you can devote toward the wedding, without sabotaging your day-to-day budget. When you’ve come up with your number, plug it in a budget formula to see how much you have to spend in each area of your wedding. follow these estimates to

get started. r remember, the figures are just estimates, so adjust as necessary to fit your wedding’s needs: • Reception – 50% • Music – 10% • Flowers – 10% • Wedding Attire – 10% • Photo/Video – 10% • Stationery – 5% • Miscellaneous – 5%

Saving Made Simple one of the simplest tricks to cut costs, of course, is to cut guests. According to the the’s 2010 r real Wedding Survey, trimming the guest list was one of the successful cost-cutting tactics employed by brides last year, as the average number of guests fell to 141 in 2010, down from 149 in 2009. With an average guest cost of $194, according to the same survey, that’s saving more than $1,500. of course, you’re not going to pinch your way to the wedding of your dreams. the trick is to be judicious with where you do spend. choose what’s important to you and focus there. the rest will balance itself out.

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 • The Press and Standard

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date and invitation give your guests the first impressions of your big day. Here’s how to set the write tone and carry it all the way through to your wedding-day stationery.

Save-the-Dates Contrary to belief, the design of the savethe-dates does not need to mesh perfectly with invitations to come later, says Candice Dowling Coppola, owner and creative director of Jubilee Events in Cheshire, Conn. “Have fun with the save-the-dates, and then really develop the invitation over several months,” she says. Coppola suggests who couples be sure to use a fun picture of themselves and not be afraid take some risks with them. Since these can be sent out about a year in advance of the wedding, there’s room for design change. “People shouldn’t feel like their stuck with the same design,” she adds.

Invites Invitations typically go out around two months before the wedding. Let your wedding’s location and theme dictate the design, and carry it through to all your stationery. “You want your paper to ultimately be similar from invitation to wedding day,” says Coppola. This means have a similar design for invites, programs, menus and even table place cards – and the post-wedding thank-you cards, too. But don’t fall into the trap of making it predictable by using the exact same design for everything. Add minor but noticeable changes. “Be inspired by the paper of the invitation,” she says. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box with your invitations, too. Invitations can burst in color, be three-dimensional, have ribbon or fabric wraps, or even be hand sewn. “People can really let their imaginations go wild,” Coppola says.


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Time-Saving Tip Unfortunately there is no quick and easy way to send out save the dates and invitations, Coppola says. But there are a few things that can be done to make the feat easier.

1. “Remember to have your parcel weighed and measured. These pieces tend to run higher than the standard 44-cent stamp,” Coppola says.

2. Don’t send save-the-dates to everyone if your guest list is not finalized. Cutting the guest list is the

easiest way to save money, but once something is sent out to a person that invitation cannot be taken back, says Coppola.


Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 • The Press and Standard


FLOWERS ARE EVERYWHERE at a wedding – lining the aisle, in hands, on lapels. But deciding which colors to mix-and-match and where to place the flowers might not be your area of expertise. However, choosing flowers for your wedding that suit your style and personality doesn’t have to be difficult. First Steps The earlier a bride begins thinking of her wedding flowers, the better the result on the wedding day, says Christina Bilby, owner of the Sweet Pickins floral design studio in Oakhrust, Calif. “Those who get what they want plan six months to a year in advance,” she says. Find a florist that you can trust and understands your style. “Trust is really important,” Bilby says, stressing its significance in the relationship between the florist and the bride. “Depend on your florist to be really honest.” When you find your ideal florist, Bilby recommends that brides inform them of their needs and desires. But if you’re a bride who can’t connect with her creative or artistic side, then Bilby recommends you take a look at pictures in maga-

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F LOW E R S zines or catalogs to get a floral design idea for your wedding. 1. Consider the season

What You Need

Time-SAviNg TipS 3. Have your flowers delivered boxed with cellophane

5. Be sure your bouquet isn’t too fragrant

Choosing floral designs for your wedding is just like any other wedding 6. Nix elaborate strucchoice. “It’s the same with tures wedding dresses,” Bilby 4. Avoid buying flowers says. “Think about your 2. When picking a palduring or near holidays favoriteette, color!” How flowers fit in with your wedding’s color theme is the first step to take when planning your flowers. Bilby advises brides to avoid combing too many colors in their bouquets, centerpieces, corsages or other floral designs. “I’d try to keep to three colors, not so busy,” she says. If the wedding is traflower petals down the aisle, flower girls can ditional, family members, close relatives or wear headbands decorated with flowers and silk friends should carry flowers with colors matchribbons. ing the bride’s bouquet. The groom’s boutonFor the reception, florals are used to encircle niere should match the bride’s bouquet. The the wedding cake and star as the table centerbridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s flowers should pieces. complement each other too. Mothers of the A bride should expect to spend about bride and groom should carry small bouquets $1,200 or more on floral arrangement for or wear corsages also in step with the colors of her wedding. “Most of the money is spent on the wedding. centerpieces,” Bilby says. Centerpieces or other Whether the wedding is at church or other arrangements may be included with the wedvenue, Bilby recommends many creative spots ding package at your venue, so be sure to ask. for flower placements. At a house of worship, Brides who’re looking for easy-to-use, go-to altars, windows and the railing to the track can flowers, Bilby recommends the Cymbidium be decorated with flowers to give the venue an Orchids, her favorite, and a popular wedding eye-catching look. Flowers can also rest on the choice. They’re “handy, elegant and beautiful ends of aisle chairs. In addition to throwing when you mix with roses,” Bilby says.

Time-SAviNg TipS 1. Consider the season

3. Have your flowers delivered boxed with cellophane and well

of the flowers you want in your arrangements. Flowers such as sunflow- misted.Your flowerws will ers, zinnias, dahlias, look fresh through your lilies, and hydrangeas ceremony and reception. won’t wilt in the summer.

4. Avoid buying flowers during or near holidays

2. When picking a palette, choose flowers suit- like Valentine’s Day

ing your wedding style and colors. 6

because prices increase significantly.

5. Be sure your bouquet isn’t too fragrant or you’ll be sneezing down the aisle.

6. Nix elaborate structures on gateways, win-

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All About the

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picking out your engagement bling (or maybe you were, as 36 percent of brides admitted to in a 2009 survey by, but when you exchange rings during the ceremony, you and your new husband should both know the wedding rings you’ve chosen will look fabulous. But with so many options out there, choosing a wedding ring is a like battle of the bands. Spouses should keep a few things in mind so shopping for a wedding ring runs smoothly.

Simple or Extravagent While men tend to lean towards a simple design, women typically decide

to go another route.“We care about the visual, and they care about the comfort,” says Helena Krodel, director of media and special events at Jewelers of America. “Some men today are opt opting to add diamonds or black diamonds, but they tend to be pretty straightforward,”she says. Women tend to want special details like an eternity band – a row of diamonds around the ring – or even colored gem gemstones, Krodel says. If you have colored gemstones in your engagement ring, don’t be shy about also employing them in your wedding band.

Platinum and Gold “Platimun tends to be the metal of choice for women’s engagement rings and wedding bands,” Krodel says. It’s not only a beautiful metal, it’s also hypoal hypoallergenic.

For men, the metal of choice is typically gold. But be sure to look for the quality mark and the purity before purchasing a gold ring, she adds.“18 carat gold is what people are opting for most often nowa nowadays,”she says.

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THE MUSIC – AND the DJ you have running the show – gets the guests excited and ready to party all night. Couples should make sure to do their due musical diligence before deciding on a DJ. Consider the following: One of the first things to look into when scouting potential DJs is to check how long they’ve been in the business. “You will want to judge their experience with weddings by asking how long they have been in the industry, and how many weddings they have done,” says Mike Dodson of MDM Entertainment in Schaumburg, Ill. “If they have not been in the industry long, were they trained to perform at weddings and by whom?” Note the following: Does the DJ take the time to get to know you as a

couple? How are requests made to the DJ? Is there an online song-management system or forms to fill out? If the songs you desire are not available, will the DJ obtain them? What grade of speakers/subwoofers they have? Do they have backups? See how their system works. “If you like what they have to say you should set up a meeting with a company representative or the actual DJ to find out more information and to get to know them as people.” Remember, they won’t just be spinning tunes all night, they’ll also be the emcee for the evening – doing introductions, announcing the toasts and cake cutting and setting the overall pace of the evening. Be sure the pro you pick is handled to lead your evening as a whole, not just the dance.

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T H E W E D D I N G R E C E P T I O N din-

ner – not only can it help set the mood and serve as a hearty “thank you” to guests who’ve gathered to celebrate your union, it furnishes the kindling to keep your festivities going all night long. The centerpiece of your soirée, it typically starts off slow after the cocktail hour, and can last an hour or two, itself, depending on the style of service. Speaking of service style, asking which ones (plated dinner, family style, buffet, stations or heavy hors d’oeuvres) might be the best fit for the style of your fête (formal, casual, big, small, indoors, outside, etc.) is a good way to get started when interviewing potential caterers, says Anne Chertoff, a New York-based wedding expert and author of “The Wedding Organizer” (russell+hazel, 2008). You’ll also want to discuss your personal food preferences and budget, and decide if the caterer’s strengths reflect your needs, advises Kurt Beadell, creative director and coowner of Vibrant Table Catering & Events in Portland, Ore. “For example, are you looking for a creative personality to help build your vision from the ground up, or do you need a more methodical, organized personality to manage the details you’ve already got worked out?” Scope out candidates by reading your local bridal magazine, scanning online reviews or attending area bridal conventions, and then request a tasting. It’s best to start this process early on, says Chertoff, as good caterers will book up fast. As for the pricing, it can vary drastically depending on where you live, the size of your event and your food selections; however, most couples are looking at $20$40 per person, excluding beverages. A


Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your catering contract includes:

Wedding date, time and location Menu and any fees, such as the price of the meal per person, staffing, beverages, cake and/or cakecutting, taxes and gratuity Date when payment is due, and the date by

which you must give the caterer a final head count.

Details about any special

requests, such as kosher, vegetarian or gluten, dairy, or nut-free meals.

Plan a fantastic meal that shows guests your style – and gives them something to smile about



key component of keeping costs in check is picking the right venue, adds Beadell. “If, for instance, your wedding is at a park with no kitchen, your caterers will have to build one,” he says. “That can limit menu options and will increase the total bill.”

Mind the Menu An experienced caterer will be able to advise you on how to work with your venue, as well as get creative with a tight budget – which means you should also

spend some time dreaming up ways to have fun with your food. Recently, Beadell has seen a resurgence of traditional dishes with an elevated twist along the lines of cherries jubilee made with fresh, local Bing cherries, kirsch, roasted pistachios and crème fraiche ice cream, as well as a continuing focus on regional dishes featuring local, organic and artisan ingredients. He also suggests personalizing your menu with dishes that reflect a special family recipe (e.g. serv-

ing mini portions of Grandma’s famous mac and cheese as appetizers) or incorporating foods that are indicative of your travels together. “We had one couple that had traveled through Asia and every course represented one of their destinations,” he says. For a fabulous finish, Chertoff recommends offering a dessert buffet with sweet treats like gourmet candies, cookies, pastries or pies. Or you can really make a memorable impression by hiring a dessert cart or truck that specializes in cupcakes, donuts or good old-fashioned ice cream cones and sundaes.

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 • The Press and Standard

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Cocktail Time

Help guests raise a glass (or two) with a wide range of libations

F R O M T H E C O C K TA I L hour to the Champagne toast, drinks are a key element

of most modern weddings. Some couples even pop corks and bottle caps for guests pre-ceremony, and most keep the beverages going all night long. If a bountiful bar matters to you, you’ll want to quiz potential caterers on the type and brands of wine, beer and spirits they feature in their various packages, including whether or not Champagne or sparkling wine is included, says Karen Bussen, a New York-based wedding expert and author of the “Simple Stunning Wedding” books. “You might be able to negotiate for your favorite bourbon or higher-end wine,” she says. Or, if they can’t get it, they may allow you to bring in your own for little or no additional cost. The price for caterer-provided alcohol varies greatly across the country and different types of venues, but, in general, you can expect to pay $7 to $20 per person for a four-hour full bar. Budget-minded couples may want to consider serving only beer, wine and a signature cocktail rather than the whole kit-and-caboodle, suggests Anja Winikka, senior editor of the, or they could substitute more-affordable Spanish cava, Italian prosecco or even sparkling cider for Champagne during the toasts. If you’re allowed to handle the alcohol on your own (plan for one drink per person per hour of the reception), costs will drop significantly; however, you’ll likely be charged a corkage fee if you need someone with a liquor license (i.e. your caterer) to serve the drinks, and keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for glassware, mixers, ice and garnishes.


Drink Up


Logistics aside, alcohol is also one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to add character to your event. “The recent renaissance of the mixologist – a fancy word for a creative, skillful bartender – has introduced a slew of interesting cocktails to the market,” says Winikka. For example, you might set up a tasting bar of cocktail shooters that showcase unique vodkas with flavors ranging from pomegranate and blood orange, to black truffle and kaffir lime. Or, if you have the kind of crowd where overly sweet cocktails won’t cut it, you might offer herbal infusions. A zesty cilantro martini is the perfect match for a Latin-themed menu, says Winikka, while different varieties of mint (spearmint, peppermint, etc.) complement a wider variety of foods. Bussen is a fan of build-your-own beverage bars (think mojitos or spiked coffee drinks) and stations that pair hors d’oeuvres with small sips, such as sushi and sake, ceviche and pisco sours, and tapas and sangria. She’s even seen creative caterers make super-sophisticated Jell-O shots in chic flavors like margarita and gimlet, or serve adult slushies made with delicious syrups and a splash of vodka or Baileys. “Many local wineries are also providing personalized labels for some of their bottles,” says Bussen, “which means you can serve If you’ll be buying your alcohol yourself, be sure to inquire about case disyour own special ‘cuvee’ on the big day.” counts, says Bussen. Many stores offer discounts of 10 to 20 percent off when you buy in bulk. Bussen also suggests checking out the free Party Planner iPhone app – it will tell you how much of each type of alcohol you need, as well as mixers, ice, glasses and garnishes. But keep in mind that many retailers will allow you to return unopened bottles, so don’t fret too much about over-ordering.

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 • The Press and Standard


Showstopping Sweet Here’s how to get a fabulous confection that’s as delightful on the eyes as it is the tastebuds W H I L E S O M E C O U P L E S slice into their

themselves. “A lot of people use photos of cakes that other people have done,” she warns. Found a baker whose work you adore? Cover your bases by making sure he or she is licensed and insured. Then it’s time to consider cost.

Va.-based A Cake to Remember, recwedding cake immediately following dinommends asking if the cakes in their ner and serve it as dessert, if your towering portfolio are ones they’ve actually done tiers are a work of art, you may prefer to leave it on display for a while and TIME-SAVING TIP savor it following the toasts. Either way, the first step in selectThe planning process will go a lot more smoothly if you bring ing a pretty – and tasty! – pastry is finding a baker. To determine which pictures of the style (size, shape, patterns, sugar art, floral is the best fit for your needs, look decorations, etc.) that you like to your tasting appointment, closely at examples of their work. says Buntin. But keep in mind that you may have to adjust “If a baker’s website shows a your dream cake based on the season. “If you’re having an bunch of sloppy cakes, don’t expect outdoor reception during the summer, you’ll want to go with them to knock it out of the park for fondant,” says Buntin. “Buttercream will melt and your cake the first time at your wedding,” says Kevin Kossman, co-owner of Piece will look saggy and sad when it comes time to cut it.” of Cake Desserts in Mesa, Ariz. Kara Buntin, owner of Richmond,

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 •  The Press and Standard

In general, you should order a cake that would serve about 80 percent of your guests, advises Buntin, as some folks don’t eat cake, and others will leave before it’s served. Prices vary from city to city, so shop around to find out what’s standard for your area. By way of example, Kossman typically sees the cake running 4-to-8 percent of a couple’s total budget, around $500, on average. As for finalizing your design, Kossman says today’s couples are forgoing recent fads like topsy-turvy styles and bold color-combos like black and pink, in favor of elegant cakes with organic-looking elements like branches, birds and butterflies, and sophisticated hues like dark purple and greens.



Time to Get Away THE VOWS ARE taken, at WeddingAndHoneyTIME-SAVING TIP the rings are on, and the, an guests are gone. It’s time online travel agency. to get packing and go First things first, get Aim to travel during off to your romantic getyour budget set, says shoulder seasons away. It’s just the two of Guse. You don’t want (May to November) you in a luxurious suite to start planning on for better deals and with breakfast in bed, a trip that you might avoid traveling over or hot tubs and spa relaxnot be bale to afford. near holidays because ations, candlelight din“There are destinations ners and wallet worries. and options for most the price substantially But if you plan right, budgets,” says Guse. increases. And if posyour wallet worries “We can find many sible, go with all-inclumight not follow you on nice options for about sive deals to know the your getaway. $2,000 … that include entire amount you’ll be Newlyweds should food and beverage,” she spending before you begin planning for their says. honeymoon about nine For couples feeling the depart. months before the big wedding pinch, or those day “as airfare prices with enough household and package options will be available,” items already, Guse recommends a honsays Kim Guse, a honeymoon specialist eymoon registry, where guests can gift

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THE I DO’S. The kiss. The walk down the aisle. Maybe a fun post-ceremony photoshoot before heading onto the reception. These are some of the biggest moments of the biggest day of your life, and you will want to cherish the memories and look back at it one day to show your children. It’s important to have a good professional photographer you trust, documenting your day because pictures stay with you forever.

Photo If you’ve recently had family or friends get married, start by asking them for referrals when you begin your research. Meeting with potential photographers is very important. You’ll want to feel comfortable with them and want your personalities to mesh – remember, you are spending the whole day with this person! A photographer should show you the type of pictures he/she takes so you can get an idea of the style of the wedding photos you could expect. A good photographer also will take the time to sense a couple’s person-

Video also captures the important moments of your wedding, and like photography comes in many shapes and sizes, so the same rules for choosing the right photographer apply to video, from looking at prior work to establishing a good connection. Some videographers take a photojournalistic approach to filming, while other are more hands-on. Some will even interview weddings guests to add a documentary feel to the video. “If you’re able to tell the audience a story about two people without knowing them, you’re on the right track,” said Tonje Nordgaard, a videographer with Best Video Production, Culver City, Calif. Videography can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand for high-end artistic videos, like vintage-style Super 8 films. Ask how much footage the videographer is going to take and if your package includes all the footage or just a highlight video of the day. As for the finished products, ask how many DVDs are included with the package. With high-def cameras and media more mainstream, expect to see some shops offering Blu-ray videos, as well.

ality, which will help him get a sense of what questions about photography in general, ask kind of pictures a couple is expecting. your photographer to explain some of it to you, such as what format they shoot in and “Look for someone who has shot many why. Do you get a DVD with all the photo weddings and can show you images from many different weddings, not just one or files and the rights to them after the wedtwo,” said Marc Pagani, principal of Marc ding? Will they be available to proof online? Pagani Photography in New Orleans. Choose Your Style “I sometimes will ask the couple if there are any specific images that There are three main styles of photos couples will come across they want to see beyond the types of images that they’ve seen in my Traditional Photojournalistic Artistic portfolio,” he adds. “And if so, and lThe least expensive phoFocused on emotion Artistic photographers aim tographers will likely take rather than poses, photo create visually stimulatthey are images I’m comfortable this traditional approach. tographers who shoot this ing, highly edited, magacreating, I can oblige.” Most shots are posed. style will roam an event zine-worthy photographs. To ensure your photographer Think straight-on shots unobtrusively, capturing However, artistic photograhas what it takes, don’t be afraid to and big smiles – not much candid images. phers’ styles vary greatly, so ask detailed questions regarding more, not much less. choose carefully. prior experience. Take a good look at past work. That way, you’ll have a As wedding photographers cost an averclear idea of how many photos you’ll get and age of $1,500 – and up to $5,000 in large how much of your day will be captured. Also, when hiring a photographer urban markets – couples may find that the photographer of their dreams is well outside through a studio, be sure to ask precisely of the budget. Peruse creative wedding blogs who will photograph your day. If you have

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 •  The Press and Standard



How toGet a

Glamorous Look


stressful right at the start. There’s makeup to apply, hair to get done, and, most importantly, a dress to put on. But it’s easy to keep the panic to a minimum by following a few guidelines.

Adrienne Pitkin, an Austin, Texas-based makeup artist, encourages her clients to arrive for their make-up appointments well hydrated, with clean skin and a good night’s rest. So drink plenty of water in the days before the milestone event. To minimize stress, brides-to-be should complete most beauty rituals prior to the wedding day. That means scheduling facials, manicures, pedicures and eyebrow appointments within a week of the event. For nails, pick a polish that is subtle, like pale pink or beige, so in case you do nick your nails it won’t be noticeable. Wash your hair the day prior, suggests Tara Fontana, owner of Fairytale Hair and Makeup in Southern Calif., because dirtier hair holds styles better. Another tool in your beauty arsenal is the wedding emergency kit, which should include the following: • a small bottle of hairspray, • a lipstick • blotting powder to control any shine. Stash the above into your wedding clutch or purse. The wedding morning also is the time to nosh a bit to fuel you up for the big day when nerves may take over and sabotage your appetite.

Dress To-Do’s When it comes to looking beyond good – and staying calm, cool and collected – on your wedding day, two words should sum up your smart and savvy approach to assembling your flawless look: Plan ahead. Most retailers suggest that brides begin their wedding dress shopping nine months before the big day. That may seem a lifetime away, but the extra cushion helps you navigate issues like dealing with ordering from overseas and managing altera16

tions and potential fit issues. “It’s like ordering furniture,” says Michele Martin, owner of M Bride in La Jolla, Calif. “It’s better to have some time than no time at all.” Those extra days can help you fit in dress research, such as scouring the web and bridal magazines, to hone in on the best style for your personality, along with scheduling appointments at bridal boutiques. And, when time is on your side, you can save money by waiting for those coveted sample sales (typically geared to those size 8 and under) both offline and on, which can save more than 50 percent off retail prices, especially at luxury flashsale sites, such as The Aisle New York.

Adding Accessories Once the all-important dress is found, planning the rest of the wedding may seem easier because the gown can set the tone for everything from flowers

Bridal Planner • July 29, 2011 •  The Press and Standard

FASHION & BEAUTY to the reception. Focus on accessories about four to five months before the wedding. Borrowing jewelry from family is one way to save money, check off the important “something borrowed” portion of the wedding and incorporate something meaningful into your special day, says Michelle Hanson, owner of Flutter Boutique, a Minneapolis bridal store. If your dress is ornate, stick to simple ornamentation, such as dainty drop earrings or an elegant bracelet.

help you perfect your wedding day makeup, advising you on false eye lashes and whether a A newer makeup option that brides are embracing is bronzer or self-tan is a good airbrushed makeup, a lightweight approach with coveridea. The goal, says Fontana, age that lasts longer and looks natural. It’s a spray-on is to fashion a look that’s foundation using an airbrush gun that dots the face. pretty and feminine and that Makeup professionals will blend it in for a smooth finish, is you. Perhaps you’ll focus set it with a dusting of powder, then apply the makeup. “It on light and airy shades like translates beautifully into photography,” says Pitkin, who peach, or borrow ideas from charges an extra fee for the service. Chelsea Clinton’s wedding For acne-prone skin and clients with rosacea, she highly look, which included gray recommends it, even using it on the décolletage, back eye makeup to make her light and shoulders, especially for those with tattoos. blue eyes pop. Brides also can save on “If they’re wearing a strapless dress, brides usually don’t the expense and rely on want their tattoos to show,” Pitkin says. “Brides still want to themselves and complimenlook traditional on their wedding day.” Book It! tary help from department Around this time, you can start store professionals. Kate planning for hair and makeup Middleton did her own makeand book your hair professional. Will appointment may cost $100 or so, but up for her engagement photos, darkly you wear an updo? Or cascading curls? it’s worth the money. You’ll have the time lining her eyes and opting for muted And, how will you set it off? With a veil, and peace of mind to discuss options colors for her blush and lipstick. Minheadband or tiara? Make sure to schedwith your hairdresser. eral makeup may be all the rage as ule a trial appointment with a hairdressThe same goes for a make-up artist consumers seek less chemical-laden er, and bring in a picture of your desired – if you decide to splurge on help. Set up eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks, but look along with your hair accessory. The a time to meet with an expert who can most artists prefer to use traditional


makeup for the wedding day. It usually has more staying power and photographs better, makeup experts say. “It’s great for everyday makeup, but it usually has titanium dioxide that acts like a sunscreen which can give a halo effect in pictures, so we tend to stay away from it,” says Pitkin.



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The Place to Be

down the aisle. This. Is. A. Big. Decision. In the hometown church? A museum? Or maybe at the botanical gardens? So many questions come up when searching for a venue. What’s the best time to start looking for a venue? What features should it have? And let’s not forget, just how vital is the perfect location to a memorable wedding. When searching, make sure the location and your wedding’s theme go handin-hand. “Venues can compliment the theme by décor, by the view, by the cuisine, and service,” says Susan Cordogan, founder and owner of Big City Bride, a Chicago wedding planning company. Cordogan stresses the venue sets the tone for the entire wedding and reception so make sure they are in unison. “It would be odd to have a Marie Antoinette gown in a space with exposed brick,” she adds. 18

If you’re getting married and having the reception at the same spot, the venue also can help you figure out the specific type of reception. “Everything from the design to the dress to the capacity of the space will dictate whether you’re having a seated dinner or a cocktail,” Cordogan says.

Places with Panache

side catering, so be sure to ask for specific details on cuisine. Also consider the distance between the wedding and reception. “It should be close and think about parking and be close to the hotel that people are using,” she suggests. And let’s not forget about the rehearsal dinner. The couple needs a venue for that too. Just like the reception location, the rehearsal restaurant needs to be close in proximity to the wedding venue. “You want to make sure

that it should accommodate the party size and it has the flavor that the bride and groom are going for,” she says. The restaurant for the rehearsal dinner plays a major role in the mood, so choose location wisely for a fun, serious, or fancy feel.

A lot of venues offer perks, but there may also be some regulations. She says it’s vital to know a venues strong points and shortcomings. “Some venues come with many When looking at venues, find out if it’s cheaper to have both the wedding and reception of the rental items you at the same location or different. Depending on the venue, getting the most bang for need and some you your buck could come from staying at the same location for both events. “It can save you must bring in every money because everything’s at the same location, but it can also cost money because last piece,” Cordogan says. “It’s important to you’re adding on an extra hour or two,” Cordogan says. Fridays or Sundays are great for understand the venue discounts, says Cordogan says, and usually easier to get and come with discounts. Just and all of the costs.” make sure guests know the date in advance so they can make travel and work arrangeBeware that many ments to attend the wedding. venues don’t allow out-


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Bridal Planner  

This special section includes everything thebride, groom or family needs to know as thewedding approaches, from the new trendy themes for br...