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Let’s Get It


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. One thing brides everywhere have learned this past year is how important it is to make every detail count. Despite smaller budgets – the average bride spent about 10 percent less on her wedding in 2009 than she did in 2008, according to The Wedding Report – brides still deserve the wedding of their dreams.The key is to bid adieu to over-the-top opulence and employ simple, smart and stylish techniques. The best part: It’s easy to do. Just let our 2010 Bridal Planner show you how to do it. From planning a budget to arranging flowers to choosing a cake, we’ve outlined how to pull off an awesome wedding with ease. Our experts’ tips on how to “keep it simple” show you how to make the most of your time, energy and budget, while keeping style high and stress low. Dive in. Follow our tips. Plan a wedding that your guests won’t soon forget. It’s never been simpler to do.

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Budget Venue Fashion Food Drinks Flowers Photo & Video Cake Music Transportation Invitations Beauty Fitness Rings Honeymoon


Moneywise Debt is no way to start a life together. Get your wedding started right by budgeting smart T H E F I R S T T H I N G newly engaged

couples probably think about today is how in the heck they are going to pull this thing off! According to market research companyThe Wedding Report,the average cost of a wedding in 2009 fell 10.2 percent compared to 2008 to $19,581 – a hefty sum,recession or not.Whether your budget is nearly that or half that, smart couples who employ simple budgeting techniques from the start won’t be crying all the way to bank after their wedding.

First Things First It’s not the easiest thing, but before couples get planning, they need to establish their magic budget number. That means looking at designated savings, contributions from parents or other relatives, and what of their regular income they can devote toward the wedding, without sabotaging their day-to-day budget. According to the The’s 2009 Real Wedding Survey, the biggest financial contributors to a wedding are the bride’s parents (46 percent) and the bride and groom (40 percent.) Groom’s parents contributed 12 percent of the final tally, according the survey.

detail you can think of. I’ll ask them how much they want to spend or what their budget is.We’ll go through everything and get a total ... then we go through and cut,”she says. One of Zack’s favorite budgeting tricks: overbudgeting.“I don’t like to go back and tell them to spend more.” She also encourages couples to put together a wish list of things they want but aren’t willing to commit to. As last-minute plans come together and more money (from the overbudgeting) becomes available, they start checking off items from the wish list.

KEEP IT SIMPLE Follow these estimates to get a budget started. The figures are estimates; adjust as necessary to fit your wedding’s style • RECEPTION – 50% • MUSIC – 10% • FLOWERS – 10% • WEDDING ATTIRE – 10% • PHOTO/VIDEO – 10% • STATIONERY – 5% • MISCELLANEOUS – 5%

Get Listing Carrie Zack, an event planner who works in Los Angeles and Miami, says that she has seen a huge increase in her “creative consulting packages”for couples who want some help but don’t have the budget for a full-time planner.Together they come up with ideas, and Zack sends them on their way with a binder of ready-to-do-ityourself tasks. “Now it’s something I do all the time,”she says.“I have an Excel spreadsheet that lists every single

Where to Save, Where to Spend With every penny important, couples are being more judicious in their spending. Zack says she sees a lot of couple cutting back on invites but increasing their budget on alcohol and wedding attire. Choose what’s important to you and focus there – the rest will fall into place. —Timothy R. Schulte © CTW Features



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Picking Out



A wedding’s style starts with where you choose to celebrate CLOSE YOUR EYES and imagine your

wedding:What do you see? While other elements of the big day might flash by in a blur,images of your venue and the way it made you feel to be there will remain with you forever. It’s important to take time to envision your entire event’s style and the atmosphere you want to remember – whether it’s funky and hip,elegant and modern,or intimate and sentimental. Think about places you have visited, parties you have enjoyed and other things close to you that bring you joy.

Setting the Stage


TaraWilson,a professional wedding planner and president ofTaraWilson Events in FortWorth,Texas,says there are a few main style cues.A traditional bride might lean toward a church wedding and hotel reception,while someone who is earthy and free-spirited might do best outdoors,in a barn or in custom tents.Eclectic brides might consider environments that are new and modern,such as a boutique or hotel,or even old and historic,like a

library or mansion. Once you have narrowed down the choices – at least a little bit – it’s important to visit multiple venues to get a real idea of what they offer. Many questions will begin to pop up. Marcia Hemphill, professional wedding planner of Chicago-based An Urban Affair, recommends considering overall budget, the city where you are getting married, the number of guests you expect and the overall style and ambiance you desire. Other details to consider may range from the dates and times certain venues are available, the space rental fee and what it includes, what materials are provided (tables, chairs, linens) and whether other parties can be held at the same time. Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions. Every venue is different in its rental inclusions and capabilities.

Location Considerations Some venues offer in-house catering, which can simplify planning by reducing the number of vendors you must juggle. Hotels are making a comeback for this reason; their fees generally cover all venue and catering costs. Consider locations that can host both your ceremony and recep-

Plan strategically and separate your wants from your deal-breakers. The first thing to consider: the number of guests at the reception, which will have the greatest affect on your bottom line. According to wedding planner Tara Wilson, many brides are favoring more intimate environments over lavish extravaganzas as a way to stay simple without sacrificing quality. “Home-style venues, including backyards and homes, are gaining popularity,” she says. “We’re also seeing a rise in unexpected locations, such as boats and bowling alleys.”

tion to make planning and guest coordination more manageable. “Brides are valuing their guests’convenience in not having to travel back and forth for the wedding and reception,”Wilson says. According to Hemphill,art galleries will continue to be a popular venue. They are increasingly open to hosting private events.Another option is a simple,loft-like space. “Raw spaces are popping up more and more,”she says.“In these spaces, the rules are generally much more flexible.You can bring the caterer you want,provide your own liquor,decorate as much or as little as you would like and really make it your own.” For all the venues,don’t forget the significant details. “Always look at the bathrooms,” Hemphill warns.“That could be a dealbreaker.” –Melanie Wanzek © CTW Features

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SHE’S GOT THE LOOK How to put together an ensemble that’s just as ready for the red carpet as it is the aisle

A S B R I D E S take more chances with

their fashion statements, Hollywood Glam is one of the key trends emerging in bridal fashion. Not afraid to experiment with color, shine and other attention-drawing details, brides are borrowing ideas from the red carpet, looking for tips and style direction from celebrities. “Hollywood style offers endless inspiration to brides,”says San Francisco-based wedding designer Amy Kuschel.

Star Power

David Tutera for Faviana


Brides can pour on the glitz with gowns heaped in beading and embroidery in form-fitting shapes for a curvaceous silhouette. Romantic flair is part of the look, with eye-catching floral touches or textured designs.For extra bling,metallic shine is in. Accessories are another way to pull together a Hollywood look.Shoulder-

Brides who favor the simplicity of an understated dress can enhance the drama with Swarovski-crystal belts or lavish chapel or cathedral veils.

duster earrings,long and layered draping necklaces and bangles are ways to set off a variety of dresses,from strapless to those with sweetheart necklines.The rule of thumb:More extravagant dresses call for more

restrained jewelry.Jewelry is not the only accessory,however.For impact and Audrey Hepburn cool,brides can don long beaded gloves.They can play up hair with sparkling combs and birdcage veils.Ornate headbands are another option. Footwear has progressed far beyond the dyed-to-match pump. These days,it’s all about color and bedazzlement,whether it’s a slinky, strappy sandal or a peep-toe pump in a bold shade. “Color is very big,especially as brides look for something blue,”says Sharon Stimpfle,deputy director of Up or down,the ’do for brides on their special day should look soft and sensuous.With wavy hair or finger curls parted on the side any bride can channel a big-screen siren.Hair swept back in a low,loose bun with cascading tendrils also captures a the look. The rest of the wedding party can ride on the coattails of the bride’s Hollywood Glam style.Custom-made suits are an option for grooms/men.Bridesmaids can wear bias-cut gowns in rich jewel tones such as burgundy,amethyst and vintage green.

The Shopping Experience Shopping for a dream wedding dress may at first sound daunting. Keep in mind a few simple tips:

1. Plan Ahead Most wedding designers require at least four to six months production time, so start the shopping process around nine months in advance, especially when you factor in the need for alterations. Even custom-made gowns may need a nip or tuck here and there.

2. Bring and Wear the Bare Minimum. Literally To keep bridal gowns pristine, don’t wear makeup, lipstick or even lotions

that can stain fabric. Stick to undergarments that match your skin tone to get a realistic view of how a gown will look. Bring footwear that’s easy to take on and off, such as flip-flops.

3. Edit with an Open Mind It’s nice to know that customer service does exist in some retail entities, and that’s what the bridal industry touts.When visiting a bridal boutique, a sales rep will work with you. Describe your theme and vision and let her take it from there.Try on a variety of gowns, even cringe-inducing ones the rep may suggest.There’s a chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Fashionista/Frugalista Higher-end gowns can range in price from $3,000 to $6,000 and higher, with matching veils that range from $1,000 to $1,800. For brides who allocate more of their budget outside of the dress realm, a number of gowns – from Alfred Angelo to Faviana to Watters – can be had for less than $1,000. For footwear, glittering peep-toe platforms can set you back about $700 at Jimmy Choo or brides can find strappy sandals from under $100 to $200 at department stores.Another way brides can save a little green, especially if time is on their side, is by buying vintage gowns, accessories and even bridesmaid dresses. Most bridal experts say Hollywood Glam style is here to stay, especially since it can always be updated. For instance, the addition of a shoulderwarming cover-up is another element brides can use to enhance their wedding day wardrobe, especially if the wedding will take place during a chilly month.Feathered capelets, airy tulle mini-boleros or even fur shrugs are ideal with strapless gowns, tying the ensemble together while you tie the knot. –Nola Sarkisian Miller © CTW Features

2010 Bridal Planner


FOOD er, co-owner of Chicago-based FIG Catering.“At the minimum you want heavy hors d’oeuvres with a couple protein options, and it’s a good idea to make sure guests are aware there won’t be a full meal.” If the budget is limited but food is a priority for you, consider opting for a Sunday soirée, an offseason wedding date or an afternoon affair, when you can usually get more bread for your buck.

Good Eats

ners and stations, says Pelster.The next level down is typically limitedcourse plated dinners and familystyle meals, followed by buffets.And the most affordable option is heavy hors d’oeuvres, either passed or served buffet-style.

KEEP IT SIMPLE Play up the component of your wedding dinner that matters most to you, says Barb Dieckmann, of Butler’s Pantry catering. If you’re a foodie, go with basic china and linen and spring for five-star cuisine. If you care more about memorable décor, add personal touches to the buffet, such as grandma’s linens, mom’s platters or custom menus, adds Molly Schemper of FIG Catering.

Plating Prices

It’s simple: People gotta eat. Here’s how to select the right options for the perfect event W H I L E T H E “I do’s”may be a wed-

ding’s main event, the edibles at the reception are a strong second place. Food not only serves as a “thank you” to guests who’ve given you gifts and gathered to celebrate your union, it helps sop up the alcohol and can keep the festivities going all night long.A great party is as simple as finding the right food to match an event’s style.

Service Selections Food service options include plated and family-style dinners, buffets, stations and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Each one helps set the tone of an event, says Bridget Pelster, a sales and catering manager for St. Louis-based Butler’s Pantry. Seated dinners are typically more formal and elegant,

6 2010 Bridal Planner

family-style meals are more intimate, buffets are more relaxed, stations are more interactive and hors d’oeuvres allow a lot of flexibility. First, determine the style of service you want based on the vibe you’d like to create, and then start playing around with menu ideas based on your budget and the timing of the event.“If you’re having an evening wedding and you think the reception will last more than three hours, you should plan on serving something fairly significant,”says Molly Schemp-

Catering costs can vary widely, from as low as $20 per person at a banquet hall up to $200 per person at a luxury hotel, says Schemper.The city, the venue and the menu all play a part. Big towns are often more expensive; standard venues may have minimums; nontraditional locations may require additional rentals; and no matter where the event takes place, the quantity, variety and style of cuisine will drastically affect price. In general, the most expensive options are multi-course plated din-

What’s New? Stations – Brides like this less formal setting because it allows guests to mingle, says Dieckmann, and they can customize stations to reflect a theme. Ethnic Options – Even if you opt for the classic beef-orchicken dinner, you can showcase your heritage with ethnic stations or hors

d’oeuvres, says Schemper. A ‘Couple’Favorites – Newlyweds are serving quirky items that they really enjoy or have a history with, says Sheldon. “One couple served their favorite McDonalds hamburgers as a late-night snack, while another couple who actu-

The caterer can help you determine what style works best for your budget and will often adjust a menu to meet your needs, such as forgoing coffee service in exchange for an additional appetizer or two. –Anna Sachse © CTW Features

ally met at 7-11 served drinks in 7-11’s plastic glasses.” Farm-to-Table – Everyone is interested in fresh, local foods right now, says Pelster. “It’s a great way to give your guests a taste of your hometown.”

Comfort Foods – The downhome trend continues strong: mac-and-cheese in tiny dishes, gourmet

sliders, pigs-in-a-blanket and mashed potato bars, says Brooke Sheldon, owner of Lilybrooke Events in Kennebunkport, Maine.


LOOSE HEAD GOODGARA LIBATIONS W H E N I T C O M E S to concocting the FROM THE COCKTAIL hour to and the Champerfect wedding cake, time plan-

pagneare toast,drinks are a key component ning just as essential ingredients of most modern weddings.They can as butter and eggs.You can get your make good food great,and they warm dream wedding cake if you plan strangers both each other andclosely the ahead and are to willing to work danceafloor. with good baker.

Select a baker Overview The key Peters Colette elements of Colette’s of a wedding Cakes barin New York include wine,beer,bubbly,cocktails City has this gem of advice: – “If you plus soda,“mocktails”and go to a place and other they show nonalyou a portfolio coholic drinks.Determine of all thesewhich fabulous drinks cakes you want butbased the cakes on these in the factors: window are hideous, 1. Budget that’sFancy,formal a good tip-off.”Find affairs may another offer premium baker.versions of all beverages all night long.But couples with limited —Byline funds might prefer serve only careful© CTWto Features

ly selected wines and beer and perhaps a signature cocktail,says Chris Tanghe,a master sommelier candidate and coowner of Elevage,a Seattle beverage consultancy.You also can limit the full open bar to just the cocktail hour,but be aware:many member of the bridal world,from editors to etiquette experts, say a cash bar is the ultimate no-no. 2. Guests: If you’ve invited a gaggle of gourmands,you may want to emphasize fine wine.A ton of college friends? Perhaps (a lot of) cheap beer is fine.“Or maybe spirits are a must because the older generation only drinks gin martinis,”Tanghe says.

Drinks & Dollars Plan for one drink per person per hour of the reception,saysToni Ketrenos,the beer and wine buyer for New Seasons Markets,a chain of Portland-Ore.-based

artisan grocery stores.If serving a special sparkling wine for the toast – perhaps a budget-friendly Spanish Cava or Italian prosecco – allot one additional glass per adult. Traditional venues usually have set prices,but you may be able to trim costs by paying a nominal corkage fee to bring in your own vino. If your venue allows you to provide all alcohol yourself,kegs are the more


Helvetica Drink up!Dek Stock a perfect bar that keeps the party going all night long

affordable beer option at approximately $1 per 12-ounce glass of craft beer or 63 cents per glass of domestic,says Ketrenos.Smaller gatherings are better off with bottles that can be purchased in quantities. When it comes to wine,look for deals on labels from an up-and-coming region like SouthAfrica,or ask about close-out prices on the last few cases of a vintage. As for liquor,a 750ml bottle contains about 17 drinks,making it a good deal, but remember that you will also need ice,mixers and more bartenders. –Anna Sachse © CTW Features

Quirky or mismatched cocktail vessels lend immediate character to an event. Consider using old Ball Mason or POM jars, says Chris Tanghe of Elevage. Check out garage sales and thrift stores for unique glasses, goblets or teacups that guests can take home as party favors.


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Use blooms to add personality and panache to your party

deBryun designs

W E D D I N G F L O W E R S are more than

8 2010 Bridal Planner

just petals to toss or a bouquet to throw – they’re an accessory that can complement your dress,bring life to your venue and offer an important opportunity to express your overall style and personality. This year,the best way to be up-to-date is easy:be yourself. “Individualism is the key trend for 2010,”says Sharon McGukin,a professional florist and author of“Flowers of the Heart”(Floral Trend Publications,2009).

Congratulations to the happy couple! Is a new home your next big step? Arrangements Before going to the florist, first decide on overall budget, venue and color scheme. All these play important roles in determining the florist’s ideas. The budget will determine appropriate suggestions, while the venue will suggest colors and décor needs. Bare, funky spaces may need a large number of decorations while ornate hotel ballrooms might not. Pinpoint your personal style by collecting pictures from magazines and online resources. The photos you choose will reveal qualities that are important to you, such as color, arrangement and complexity.

Bloom Budget Professional florist Maureen deBruyn, owner of deBruyn designs in Maple Grove, Minn., says couples tend to spend about 10 percent of their overall budget on flowers. The price depends on many factors, such as the number of bouquets and arrangements or whether the blooms are in season or out of season, local or non-local. To keep costs down, avoid specifying specific flowers. “If you have a general idea of color, type and how much to spend, [your florist] can come up with something,” deBruyn says.

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Fresh Ideas Many fresh color ideas are emerging this year for brides to experiment with in their flowers, according to McGukin. Greens mixed with buttercreams, delicate pinks and fresh blues are a popular neutral that suggests an eco theme.The retro look will be popular, sweetly complemented with a mix of soft, burnished yellow tones. For home weddings, which are on the rise, McGukin suggests a splash of color: bright orange, hot pink, sunny yellow, electric blue. Larger, looser bouquets also are making a comeback, deBruyn says. Bouquets will be soft and wispy with more greenery and texture. Rather than wiring each flower into place for a symmetrical arrangement, deBruyn says she now aims for a more natural look. Whether you go big, small, bright or neutral, spend time using flowers to show off a piece of who you are. Says DeBruyn: “They should bring out the joy for your whole event.” –Melanie Wanzek


© CTW Features

Limit bouquets and arrangements to three or fewer types of flowers for a simple, clean look,suggests Maureen deBruyn of deBryun designs. Create inexpensive centerpieces by floating flowers in a glass bowl or use a larger flower that takes up more space and requires fewer stems, such as a lily or hydrangea. McGukin recommends choosing a focal point and investing in one large, eye-catching design, or choosing smaller bridesmaid bouquets that incorporate trendy colors and stylish designs.

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10 2010 Bridal Planner

As wedding photographers cost an average of $1,500 – and up to $5,000 in large urban markets – couples may find that the photographer of their dreams is well outside of the budget. O’Quinn recommends perusing creative wedding blogs or asking friends for referrals in order to get lasting memories without leaving a lasting mark on your bank account. Sweet Tea Photography

Once you’ve identified your style, however, your work isn’t done.To ensure your photographer has what it takes, don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions regarding prior experience.Take a good look at past work.“Ask your photographer if you can see an entire wedding that they have photographed,”O’Quinn suggests. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of how many photos you’ll get and how much of your day will be captured on film. Also, when hiring a photographer through a photography studio, be sure to ask precisely who will photograph your day.“Sometimes you think that you will be hiring one shooter, and then they throw in someone else in,” O’Quinn says. If you have questions about digital photography, ask your photographer to explain some of it to you, such as what format they shoot in and why.


Do you get a DVD with all the photo files and the rights to them after the wedding? Will they be available to proof online?

Videography, too, comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and price points. The same rules for choosing the right photographer apply to video, from looking at prior work to establishing a good connection, but there are a few key differences.

While many videographers opt for a photojournalistic approach, inconspicuously shooting the day, others may take on a more hands-on approach, says Leslie Satterfield, owner of Kiss the Bride Films, San Francisco.“Some couples might want their videographer to take a more directorial role – interviewing the wedding party, for example,”she says. Camera choice can also greatly affect your final video.“The latest HD cameras give superb color and stunning image quality,”Satterfield says.“A black-and-white Super 8 camera creates a romantic, old-fashioned look.” The price range for videography can vary greatly.Traditional videography can start as low as $250, says Michelle Walker, owner of Layer Cake Films, which operates in L.A. and New York, with the most artful Super 8 films reaching upwards of $5,000.As Satterfield explains,“As with any service, quality will often cost you.” –Danielle Robinson © CTW Features


Today’s wedding cakes are in good taste WHILE A BRIDE will always be the star


of her big day,there’s no denying that the cake comes in close second.And withTV networks cranking out one cake-centric show after another,cake design has taken center stage. Right along with the rise the of shows like the Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,”couples are becoming more aware of the endless array of wedding cake possibilities.Choosing a design has become a more challenging task.

Sweet Designs “Design,is a compromise sometimes,” says JoAnn Moore,a Vail,Colo.-based wedding planner and owner of Mountains and Meadows.Couples may desire a complex cake but not the price tag that comes with it.Moore says her customers are opting for understated,classic styles.“I believe it has something to do with the economy,”she says.“People are going very simple and elegant.”

Classic wedding cakes still have a big design impact. Baker Carrie Biggers says that high-contrast designs, such as a blackon-white damask pattern, are growing in popularity. Simple embellishments are also in. “A single sugar flower is very popular,” Biggers says.

Confection Costs Even the simplest designs come at a price.Carrie Biggers,owner of Carrie’s Cakes in Sandy,Utah,says individual servings may run anywhere from $2.50 per person in a smaller area up to $15 per person in a larger city.Cake can cost up to $40 per serving for couples who want the best of the best. To get the cake of your dreams without blowing your budget,both experts suggest purchasing a smaller,three- or fourtiered cake and placing it on an elevated display for drama.In the kitchen of your reception hall,keep sheet cakes of the same flavor, which you can purchase for a fraction of the cost.“The cake still looks big and beautiful and elaborate,and none of the guests know,” Moore says. This way,you can have your cake – and pay for it,too. –Danielle Robinson

Carrie’s Cakes

Let Them Eat Cake

© CTW Features

ardener’s Gate The

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LOOSE GARA HEAD ROCKIN’ RECEPTION Helvetica Get yourDek guests grooving with the right reception rhythms

WHEN WITH THE I T KNOT COME officially S to concocting tied and the the reception perfect wedding underway,the cake, time rightand music planis essential ning are just to keep as essential guests’spirits ingredients high and as butter ensure and a fun-filled eggs.Younight. can get your dream Couples wedding visit potential cake if you venues plan before ahead and committing are willing to the to work perfect closely one. Likewise,they with a good baker. should do due musical diligence before deciding on a DJ.Consider the following: DoesPeters the DJof take the time to get Colette Colette’s Cakes into know you as a couple? New York City has thisHow gem are of advice: requests to the and DJ? Is there an “If you gomade to a place they show online song-management system or you a portfolio of all these fabulous forms out? If the you desire cakes to butfillthe cakes insongs the window are are not available,will DJ obtain hideous, that’s a goodthe tip-off.”Find them? What grade of speakers/subanother baker. —Byline woofers they have? Do they have backCTW system Features works. ups? See how©their

Select a baker

Let’s Get It Started For a couple with unconventional music tastes,what may seem like an excellent choice in tunes could have guests calling it an early night. “Some brides have specific songs that they don’t want played.I have to explain to them,it’s a song that all your guests will be guaranteed to dance to,”says Sinclair Ray III,a professional DJ and owner of the Music Maker DJ Services in North Charleston,S.C. To help get guests into the mood, kick off the reception with“special dances”to engage your guests,says Karle Coppenrath,a professional wedding planner and owner of Weddings By Design,Inc.,Port Townsend,Wash. “This helps set the tone and encourages shyer guests to get out on the dance floor,”she says.These special dances could include an anniversary dance,where married couples are invit-

ed onto the dance floor,or a dance just for members of the wedding party. Coppenrath suggests sticking with songs that are proven crowd-pleasers. Google top wedding dance songs and view wedding-themed iMixes in iTunes to help pinpoint selections. “Guests love to be entertained and really enjoy watching other couples on the dance floor,”she says. Afterward,when you open up the dance floor to everyone,your night will be a swinging success.

Music Money Music is one of the areas where couples increased spending in recession-y 2009, according to The Wedding Report.Expect DJ services to range from $500 to $2000,depending on the market. –Danielle Robinson CTW Features

KEEP IT SIMPLE “Jersey Shore” star DJ Pauly D’s picks for a great party “Lucky” – Jason M raz “The Way You Look Tonight” – Frank Sinatra “Faithfully” – Journey “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole/Natalie Cole “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra “You’re Still The One” – Shania Twain “Making Memories of Us” – Keith Urban “Just Dance” – Lady Gaga “My Girl” – Temptations “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” – Meatloaf

“You Dropped A Bomb On Me” – Gap Band

“Make A Memory” – Bon Jovi


LET’S RIDE Get everyone to the wedding in style

T H E L A S T T H I N G any bride or groom wants is to show up late to the altar.Arranging a chauffeur to get you and your closest pals to and from the ceremony won’t just make your day run a lot smoother – it will make it more fun for all.

Start It Up Limousine companies tend to get booked quickly during the summer – peak wedding season – and late spring – prom season. Begin looking for a limo as much as six months before these prime periods. If your wedding takes place in the off-season

12 2010 Bridal Planner

(fall or winter), look to book three or four months out.


Size It Up The biggest factor in limo choice will be the size of the wedding party and any extra people who will be traveling in the limo.A smaller group may get by in, say, a stretched-out Lincoln limousine, while a group of a dozen may Worried about decorating the limo or need a converted-SUV limo. Realthat it will have enough drinks for ly large groups – 20-some people – could even opt for a party bus your ride? Many companies offer a limo. wedding package, which may With the type of ride that include alcohol, soft drinks, and would best accommodate you in décor like a “Just Married” sign. See mind, compare prices among like vehicles at different vendors in what the options are and how you your area. Don’t make your decican tweak them. They’ll take care of sion on price alone. the work, and you can enjoy the ride. Like every driver on the road, the company you go with should be licensed and insured (including and seek references from recent cusliability and medical insurance for tomers. passengers). Look for companies with When getting a quote, be sure to get the whole picture.The bulk of a fleet of recent model-year vehicles,

companies charge by the hour and probably will have a three- or fourhour minimum for a wedding, depending on the day. Prices can range anywhere from $250 to $500 for a stretch limo up to $1,000 for a converted SUV. Don’t forget to ask if the driver’s gratuity – typically 20 percent – is included. Depending on the time of year, it may be possible to negotiate the hourly rate.

Drive Details Be sure to read the rental contract thoroughly before signing.It should denote: • Make,model and year of the vehicle • Date of service • Pick-up times and locations • All costs involved,including deposit and cancellation policies • If you don’t have a physical contract, be sure to keep a copy of the itinerary in your e-mail © CTW Features


Calling All Guests Get revelers ready to go with a stylish invite that sets the tone for your event A W E L L T H O U G H T - O U T invitation will tell guests everything they need to know about what’s in store.

Stationery Solutions With a world of colors, fonts, papers and print styles to choose from, pin-

ning down the right design takes some thought. To get started, hit the streets, says Ara Farnam, founder of Rock Paper Scissors Events, New York.“Pop into a stationery store to see and feel some different styles and get an

understanding for the differences between printing processes.”

KEEP IT SIMPLE “Keep the design simple!” says Ara Farnam

Print Prices

of Rock Paper Scissors Events. Which is Letterpress invites – what today’s couples are doing, as experts produced by pressing a note the resurgence of letterpress invitations. sheet of paper onto movThe trend shows “a move towards a simpler able, raised type – can cost more than twice as much invitation that is beautiful for its font or layout as flat, digitally printed as opposed to intricate folded layers, vellum cards. Get letterpress style or ribbons,” Farnam says. while cutting costs by printing in just one color of ink, suggests Rachelle break your day.“If you end up making Schwartz, co-owner of Irvine, Calif.changes to your décor, don’t sweat based Wiley Valentine. “It’s a great way to still get a fabuit,” Farnam says.“At the end of the day, guests will remember the elements lous letterpress invitation,” she says. of your reception more.” While a great invite can make a –Danielle Robinson wedding design more cohesive, © CTW Features remember that it won’t make or

Magic Moments Weddings: The cost for a standard wedding announcement with a photograph is $40 • $20 without photo For additional information that is not included with the standard wedding announcement: • For a full-length photo an additional $10 • To include showers/parties an additional $10 • To include a description of the wedding parties attire an additional $10

Engagements: $30 with photo • $14 without photo Copies of Sunday’s Magic Moments may be reserved at the time you place your announcement. Copies are $.70 each and must be paid along with your announcement.

Announcements will appear in the Lifestyles section of The Progress-Index. For additional information please contact Alice Coleman, Magic Moments Specialist at 804.722.5110

The Progress-Index • 15 Franklin St. • Petersburg, VA 23875 All notices that run in Magic Moments in the Lifestyles Section must be prepaid. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, 11 days prior to the Sunday publication. Submissions may be brought to our office, 8:30 a.m - 5 p.m., e-mailed to, or mailed to The Progress-Index, Attn: Magic Moments, 15 Franklin St., Petersburg, VA 23803. To have your photo returned by mail, please provide us with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All photos must be picked up within 10 business days after publication. If not picked up within 30 days, it will automatically be destroyed. We can only use original photos or photos on picture CD (at 200 resolution). No Poloroid photos or photo reproductions please. NOTE: Mailed announcements not received in our office by the deadline will be held another week before being published.

2010 Bridal Planner



Bridal Beauty

to be most popular this year so far is more of a dramatic eye and a natural lip,”Lober says.Above all,both artists stress the importance of a radiant face. “Skin is really important.I love glowing, highlighted skin with nice cheek color,” Blaul says.

Beauty Budget

Wedding day beauty should show off the most beautiful, radiant version of you

APPLYING MAKEUP is,for most women,

nothing more than an everyday task. On your wedding day,however,hair and makeup decisions are no less important than the dress and shoes. “The photos that will be taken of you on your most important day will be of your face and how happy you are,” says Kristen Lober,a professional makeup artist in Newark,Del.“You want to be the most beautiful,radiant version of

yourself.” The key to picture-perfect beauty is just that:being yourself.While some may get swept up in the idea of going all-out,the important thing is to look like you –not a face caked in product. “Sometimes less is more,”says Morgan Blaul,a professional hair stylist and

makeup artist in Chicago.“It’s all about looking and feeling your best,and not about trying to be something you are not.” Both artists recommend choosing your best feature – cheeks,eyes or lips – and highlighting it,keeping the rest of the face more natural.“What seems

There’s a stylist for every budget,but Lober warns that the best deals will likely come from nonprofessionals. “Research your artist and see examples of their work,and ask what products they use,”she says. Both experts stress the importance of staying true to your natural beauty. “Assess what you do on a normal basis and just enhance it a little bit more,” Lober says.“Never try something completely new for your wedding day.” Blaul agrees.“With the modern bride there are no rules anymore,”she says. “The best thing you can do is be creative and personalize your look.” –Danielle Robinson © CTW Features




IT’S NO SECRET: Every bride wants to

look stunning.For some that means finding a gown that flatters their figure; for others,it also means a new fitness regimen to get into “wedding shape.”

Ready,Set … According to a 2009 survey by,84 percent of brides say they plan to get in better shape for their weddings.Gunner Peterson,a Beverly Hillsbased personal trainer who has worked with a number of brides over the years, says he sees the most inApril and May before the onslaught of summer wed-

14 2010 Bridal Planner

There’s never been a better time to get going on your fitness goals

dings.“The ones that start in June,that’s a day late and a dollar short,”says Peterson,whose clientele includes celebrities and pro athletes.“Don’t make this the last-minute thing.” However,getting in shape doesn’t have to be a cause for panic.“Let’s not over-analyze and create a new stressor.

Make it fun,”Peterson says.

Go! Some brides-to-be may already have an established workout plan,but that’s not the case for everyone. “Others use this as their jumpoff,” Peterson says.“Some people need a fitness anniversary ...‘I started when I got engaged.’ This can serve that purpose.” Peterson notes a common theme among brides-to-be.A lot of them jump knee-deep into cardio,he says,but tend to avoid weight training because they worry weights will make them muscular.That isn’t the case,Peterson says.His saying:“Don’t Wait on the Weight.” “Weights are going to work the muscle tissue,”he says.“That lean tissue is burning calories and body fat as a calo-

KEEP IT SIMPLE Peterson’s rule: Devote at least 50 percent of the time you spend planning a wedding into prep time for fitness. If the wedding is 12 months out, start working out no less than six months in advance.

rie source.” Stick to big,multi-joint movements, such as the squat press,squat extension, lunges and triceps curls,moves that continues to work and burn beyond the gym,he says.

Food Revolution Diet becomes more important the closer you get to your goal,Peterson notes.By simPeterson ply starting an exercise routine,you’ll begin to see effects;after you begin seeing the results,zero in on the diet,he advises. “Don’t try to do diet,exercise and get better sleep right out of the gate,”he says.“Work it into your lifestyle.Otherwise,you will abandon it over time. “You can’t go the distance with too much resistance,”he adds. –Timothy R.Schulte © CTW Features



The Wedding


How to choose a wedding band that’s as unique as you CHANCES ARE,you’ve already got the

ring – you know,the sparkler that announces to the world that you’re engaged.In fact,you may have helped select the engagement ring yourself. According to a 2009 jewelry survey by,36 percent of brides are involved in the selection of engagement rings.However,the bulk of couples – 69

Sometimes, fashion doesn’t say it all. Romantic couples often choose to personalize their rings by having a professional jeweler engrave the wedding date, their names and short words of endearment on the inside of the wedding bands. These engravings serve as hidden love notes, not meant for the world to see. Small flush-set diamonds or gemstones set on the inside of the band also are gaining in popularity.

percent,according to the same survey – select wedding bands together.Here are some trends to keep in mind as you shop:

Go for the Gold White has been the go-to metal color in recent years,with platinum and white gold maintaining popularity while palla-

dium and titanium are building a following.However,yellow gold is making is return to wedding jewelry,saysAmanda Gizzi,director of communications for Jewelers ofAmerica.Classic yellow gold bands get an update with seemingly custom details like hammering,etching and engraving.

Anything but Basic Black Black diamonds are making their way

into bridal jewelry,Gizzi says.Also, grooms can look to black titanium and tungsten for a unique look.

A Perfect Pair The stacking trend continues in 2010 for women;two wedding bands are worn flanking the engagement ring. Wearing the two bands together creates a balanced look on the finger.

Diamonds Forever Simple,elegant diamond eternity bands remain popular into 2010. © CTW Features

2010 Bridal Planner


A H O N EY M O O N is the once-in-a-lifetime trip that couples dream of, filled with candlelight dinners, long walks on the beach and nights in a luxe suite. But with a 2009 survey conducted by Webbased honeymoon registry site Traveler’s Joy showing that 62 percent of couples plan to cut their honeymoon budgets due to the recession, those dreams may begin to fade. Luckily, with the right planning and a little flexibility, that dream honeymoon can still be a reality.

Getting Started If your honeymoon will take place during a highvolume travel season, plan ahead – between six and nine months in advance, says Howard Green, co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based honeymoon travel agency MoonRings. “If you’re traveling during a shoulder season or an off-season, you may not need to plan as far in advance,” he says. “We would recommend anywhere from five to seven months in advance, as a general rule.” To pick a destination, Brandon Warner, president and co-founder of Traveler’s Joy, advises couples to give serious thought to a few key questions:

16 2010 Bridal Planner

What’s our budget?

Afford your voyage

“The average honeymoon cost $3,657 in 2009, so budgeting $4,000 is a good starting point,” he says.

Any destination has the potential to be costly, so careful financial planning is key. “We’ve had couples honeymoon for a month or a week and spend the same amount,” Warner says. Play your cards right and you may be surprised how far your dollar can stretch. Warner says the simplest first steps a couple can take toward saving dough are booking early and taking advantage of any frequent flier miles or hotel points. “Most airlines start to release seats at about 330 days [in advance],” Green says. If you don’t have your heart set on one location, traveling where the dollar is strong lets couples live large on a shoestring budget, Green says. He recommends Costa Rica and other Central and South American locales. “In terms of activities and food and beverage, you tend to get a lot for your money there,” he says. But don’t book a trip to Argentina just yet. “In general, the farther you fly, the more expensive it is,” Green says. Stick to northerly South American spots; the flight will be cheaper and you’ll still get the warm beaches and affordable eats. For lodging, ditch the pricey resort or hot

What’s most important to us? This means pinpointing your main objective: beach relaxation, cultural exploration or adrenaline-pumping adventure.

How far are we willing to travel? Which also means considering how much time you have, says Green. “If you’ve only got five days and you live in Chicago, it’s probably not enough time to go to Australia or New Zealand,” he says. What destinations will offer the best weather while we’re there? Off-seasons are off-seasons for a reason: Research rainy periods and average temperatures for your dates before you book. Warner says once these questions are answered, couples should be able to narrow the options. “Once the couple has a short list, they should talk to friends who have been to those destinations and do their own research,” by reading newspapers, Web sites and travel magazines, he says.

and consider renting a home, Warner says. You’ll be able save money by cooking instead of dining out at each meal and gain the seclusion of a private residence. To really cut costs, both men suggest staying closer to home. “Airfare can cost almost 40 percent of a honeymoon, so by finding a place within a short flight or a daylong drive, there can be significant savings,” Warner says. If your dream destination is non-negotiable, however, fear not. “Consider delaying two or three months,” Green says. That way, you can get your dream spot at the lowest possible rates. Couples may also want to contemplate shortening their honeymoon by two or three days, to free up their food and lodging budget, Green says. Whatever the final decision, your honeymoon is sure to provide you and your spouse with lifelong memories. Whether in Paris, France or Paris, Texas, this is just the embarkment of a much greater voyage together. –Danielle Robinson © CTW Features


CONGRATULATIONS 3 Budget 4 Venue 5 Fashion 6 Food 7 Drinks 8 Flowers 10 Photo & Video 11 Cake 12 Music 12 Transportation 13 Invitations...