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Weddings WINTER 2014




Table of


3 4

New times, New Traditions Financial questions to ask

before saying “I do”

6 Wedding invitations tip sheet 8 How to get the best deals 9

Choosing a wedding date wisely

on wedding services

Affordable and memorable


destination weddings

12 Did you know? 14 Tuxedo purchasing pointers 16 How to stay energized throughout your wedding day

17 Explore unique cake combinations

19 Wedding reception favors 20 Makeup tips 22 Brides look for something blue in jewelry and more


Pick the Perfect Ring

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New times, new traditions:

Modern wedding trends that are building new traditions


ctober is the new June. More and more, weddings are taking place in the height of fall foliage, heart of winter and prime holiday season, including the ever-popular New Year’s Eve ceremony to ring in the new year. But it’s not just the wedding season that has drastically evolved over the past decade, it’s everything from roles and responsibilities to gift-giving.

As you gear up to celebrate the union of your beloved family or friends - or even your own know what to expect from the changing tides of weddings. Lizzie Post, co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition” and great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, helps couples navigate the new traditions of weddings. The Post name has been synonymous with proper etiquette and manners for the past 80 years. As decades pass, so will traditions, but proper etiquette is timeless. Be prepared for the next wedding you attend and know what to expect from changes in the wedding landscape with these important pieces of advice: PAY IT FORWARD Finding the right gift for the newlyweds can be difficult. While registries help to point guests in the right direction, many couples are getting married later in life and already have all the household items that are common wedding gifts. To provide the couple with a small nest egg to use however they wish, a check is always a great and safe gift idea. Several financial institutions, like Bank of America, offer mobile check deposit through their banking app, allowing the couple the flexibility to deposit checks on-the-go to help cover outstanding vendor payments or use on their honeymoon. Another new-age trend is contributing to a couple’s honeymoon fund. TEMPER TECH USE Even weddings are going hi-tech. There are numerous websites available that can help the couple to organize the process, communicate with guests and share photos after the ceremony. But a few things - like a handwritten “thank you” note - should steer clear of the hi-tech lure. In a gadget-driven society, everyone is carrying a smartphone. Couples can post a tasteful notice at the entrance of the ceremony location or in the program to remind guests to turn off their cell phone ringers and refrain from use during the ceremony. Some couples may actually encourage guests to take photos and share images via social media, but guests should respect their wishes and use phones only as a camera and upload images after the ceremony. RESPECT PERSONALIZATION Couples want their special day to reflect who they are and what is important to them. While previous generations traditionally wed in places of worship, many modern couples choose to tie

the knot at a sentimental location, like where they had their first date. The decor, music and even the food and drink served at a wedding may have a personal story behind it. No matter how nontraditional the element may be, guests should eagerly partake in the festivities, acknowledging and respecting the couple’s individualization. BE ALL-INCLUSIVE In the past, bridal showers were strictly for the bride and bachelor parties were a men-only affair. Nowadays, these festivities are no longer gender-specific. Showers can be thrown for the couple in unison and include creative themes like “stock the bar” or “time of day.” Bachelor and bachelorette parties can also be conjoined to involve the entire bridal party in a destination event. And while these events are a celebration of joy, expenses can add up quickly. If you use a rewards card, like the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card, you can earn points on purchases to pay for all or part of your trip. This is great for both the bride and groom and guests traveling to the wedding. As trends and expectations shift, so will the way major life milestones are celebrated. It is important to celebrate these moments in life with grace and support for the happy couple - after all, it’s their day - and it should be as unique as they are. For further etiquette advice on navigating 21st century weddings, visit




Recently engaged?

Critical financial questions to ask before you say ‘I do’


ngagement season is officially here, with couples around the country saying “yes” to proposals and starting to plan their weddings. In fact, 39 percent of marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, according to While immediate discussions with your partner might be focused on the ceremony venue or honeymoon location, there’s another important consideration before saying “I do:” having the “finance talk.” Joining your lives through marriage also means joining your lives financially. Having a solid understanding about money, which includes insurance, will help ensure a marriage remains strong long after the honeymoon is over. However, the reality is that many couples are skipping important conversations. While 71 percent of newly married couples acknowledge the importance of sharing beneficiary designations before marrying, almost half never got around to addressing their life insurance needs prior to the wedding, according to a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). And it’s not just young

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Talking about combining finances and future insurance needs can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoid misunderstandings and help ensure your marriage remains strong by having a talk about these matters as soon as possible. Well before the big day, couples should schedule a pre-wedding discussion to directly address auto, home, health and life insurance needs. Here are some questions to get the conversation started: HOME • Do we plan on renovating our current home? • If we both own homes, should we rent or sell the other home once we move in together? Keep in mind, a renovation investment of $5,000 or more could change your home’s replacement value and insurance needs. Additionally, switching a property from being a homestead to a rental will require you to carry different insurance.

• What is the best approach for insuring our children, or stepchildren? Having health insurance isn’t only important for each person in a marriage, but starting in 2014, it is subject to considerable changes in law. When analyzing plans, remember the lowest premium isn’t the only consideration. Review all plan elements, including deductibles and co-pays. Most couples have the opportunity to combine plans, but only after they are legally married and not before. AUTO • How’s your driving history? • Do you have any accidents or violations? Getting married may have a positive effect when you combine your auto insurance plan, but a lower rate is dependent on both you and your spouse’s driving records. If you married a speed demon, it might not make sense to combine policies even after you say “I do.” Have the talk and do your research. LIFE • Do you currently have life insurance?

HEALTH • Which health plan should we keep? • Should we each be on the same plan, or maintain individual plans?

• How much life insurance is enough? Now that “I” means “we,” couples should evaluate life insurance based on future income potential, the cost of raising children and outstanding mortgage payments. Remember, in many states, your new spouse does not automatically become your beneficiary on existing insurance policies. Once you tie the knot, you must proactively contact your HR department or other health and life insurance providers to change beneficiaries. If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted way to approach the sometimes sensitive subjects of money and insurance, sit down with your significant other and review the “Insurance Survival Guide for Newlyweds” available on the NAIC’s website, On the site, you also can play NAIC’s new “I Do Adventures” interactive game, which allows players to drive and earn points while learning valuable insurance facts and lessons. If you have additional insurance questions or concerns, contact your state insurance commissioner for unbiased information.

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couples who are skipping the conversation - newlywed couples age 55 and older are more likely to have discussed their household entertainment budget than their life insurance coverage.




Choose a wedding date wisely


any couples find themselves bombarded with questions the moment they become engaged, and perhaps no questions is more common than, “When is the wedding?” Although a number of couples would prefer to bask in the excitement of their engagement, some couples feel pressured to rush into picking a wedding date. Choosing a wedding date without giving it much consideration may make things more difficult down the road. Rather than jumping head first into any decisions, couples should give thought to any and all dates and decide if there are certain times of the year they want to tie the knot or avoid.

SEASON When thinking about potential wedding dates, it helps to have a place to start. Some couples find it helpful to start with a particular season and then narrow it down from there. Decide if you prefer the lush greenery of summer or the amazing color spectrum of an autumn afternoon. Perhaps you envision arriving at the ceremony with a snowpacked landscape amid twinkling holiday lights? Think about the season when you feel most happy and then determine if that time of year is doable. MONTH Certain months may seem perfect, but not for busy professionals or those with limited vacation time at their disposal. For example, early spring may not be good for accountants tallying year-end numbers. Teachers may feel most comfortable tying the knot in the summer when they already have days off.

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It’s Your Day…


If you run a pool business or a lawn maintenance company, then the summer might not be so good. Keep these factors in mind. HOLIDAYS Some people would like to tie their wedding day to a particular holiday. Valentine’s Day is popular for weddings thanks to the romantic sentiments synonymous with the holiday, while some couples prefer Halloween or Christmas weddings. Holiday weddings can be exciting, but they also produce significant obstacles that couples who choose to get married during other times of year don’t have to worry about. Guests may not want to travel or spend time away from their families to attend a holiday wedding. Having a wedding during a holiday may mean competing for vendors and reception spaces. Prices on everything from food to flowers to airline tickets could be higher as vendors cash in on customer demand. DAY OF THE WEEK It’s less expensive for couples to get married on Fridays and Sundays than Saturday afternoons or evenings. Couples may think that the money saved will be well worth it, but they also should think about how this decision may affect their guests. A Friday wedding requires people to take off from work or school. Sunday weddings may be slightly more conve-

nient, but those who have to get back to work on Monday may be tired from late-night festivities. Couples should anticipate some guests not making it to their weddings when those weddings are not on Saturdays. RELIGIOUS CONSTRAINTS Couples having religious ceremonies should consult with their houses of worship as to which dates are acceptable. Some will not have weddings on days of religious observation. It is wise to consult with a church, synagogue or mosque before booking any other components of the wedding so that you are certain your chosen day is acceptable. ANY AVAILABLE DATES Your wedding date may be dictated by your caterer or wedding hall. If you have a particular venue in mind, you may be limited by their availability. This is a concession you will need to make if your heart is set on this particular location. Planning a wedding can be exciting. But the ball cannot get rolling until couples first choose the day they will tie the knot.





Wedding invitations W

edding invitations often provide guests with a first glimpse of a wedding’s style. Invitations also may serve as the means by which distant friends and relatives find out about a couple’s pending nuptials if a formal announcement was not made. Amid the flourishes of calligraphy and impressive paper stock is information that speaks to the importance of the day when two people will be joining their lives together. Guests will learn not only the time and the place of the wedding from the invitation, but also the formality of the event and the scope of the party that will follow. Couples should keep certain things in mind as they begin to design their wedding invitations. HAVE A GOOD IDEA OF YOUR POTENTIAL GUEST LIST Before shopping for wedding invitations, it is key to have a strong idea of just how big the wedding will be and how many guests will be invited. This way you will know how many invitations you will need. Invitations vary in price, so cost may be a consideration if your guest list is extensive. DECIDE ON THE FORMALITY OF THE WEDDING Will you be hosting a black tie affair, or will it be a casual gathering at the shore? Guests infer many things about the wedding from the invitations, which should match the formality of the event in style and the sentiments expressed. An ornate invitation written with classic wording suggests a more formal affair, while a whimsical invitation with less formal word-

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ing could indicate a more laid-back event. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT BY PLAYING WITH INVITATION SIZES AND SHAPES Rectangular cards are standard for wedding invitations, but you can explore your creativity by choosing more modern, artsy invitations. Circular invites or scalloped edges can add some whimsy to the wedding mood. Invitations that fold out or are embellished with ribbon or other decorations can be appealing. Just keep in mind that cards that are not the standard shape and size could be more costly to send. Always have the entire wedding invitation weighed and priced at the post office so you will know what the postage will cost. CHOOSE A LEGIBLE FONT AND TEXT COLOR Your invitation may look beautiful, but it may prove ineffective if it is difficult to read. Do not risk guests misinterpreting the date or the location because they cannot read the writing on the invitation. Steer clear of pastel or yellow text colors, and remember to have a high contrast between the color of the invitation and the text you are using for easy reading. KEEP THE INVITATION SIMPLE It may be tempting to load the invitation with lots of information, but all you really need are the key pieces of information, such as the “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when.” Crowding the card will take away from its aesthetic appeal. Most stationers will suggest a separate, smaller insert in the wedding invitation for the reception information and response card. Never put information such as where you are registered or “no kids allowed.” This is material better reserved for word of mouth or on a wedding Web site.

DO SOME MATH It is important to know your dates so you can receive the invitations on time, mail them out, and give guests enough time to respond. A good rule of thumb is to mail out the invitations at least two months before the wedding. Have an RSVP date of no more than three to four weeks before the wedding, giving ample time to the caterers and accommodating anyone who procrastinates in sending in a response. You will need the final headcount in order to confirm seating arrangements and plan for centerpieces and favors. HANDWRITE THE ENVELOPES Your invitation will look more impressive if you address them by hand, rather than printing them off of a computer. If your handwriting is not very neat, consider hiring a professional calligrapher to write out your envelopes. MAKE IT EASY FOR GUESTS TO RESPOND Be sure to place a stamp on the response card envelope and have that envelope already addressed with your home address so that guests will have no excuses not to mail a response back promptly. ALWAYS ORDER EXTRA Mistakes happen, and you may need to send out a few extra invitations that you hadn’t originally counted. Always order extra invitations just to be on the safe side. And don’t forget you will probably want to keep one as a keepsake for yourself.

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tip sheet


Negotiation know-how M

How to get the best deals on wedding services

any engaged couples have grandiose visions of their wedding days. While such visions typically come to fruition, they of ten do so only after heavy negotiations with the various vendors necessary to turn a dream wedding into a reality.

Negotiating prices with wedding vendors is something brides- and grooms-to-be may not anticipate, but the process of negotiation is paramount for couples who hope to plan their dream weddings without ruining their budgets. Though vendors vary considerably with regard to their willingness to negotiate, the following are a few tips for couples hoping to get the best deals possible on their wedding services. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE Couples who blindly enter negotiations with wedding venues and vendors are far less likely to get a good deal. When working with any wedding vendor, whether it’s a wedding venue representative, a local florist or a deejay, couples should know what the going rate for the vendor’s services are. Couples who find a venue they like should receive quotes from similar venues before negotiating a rate with the venue they most prefer. Arming oneself with quotes from competitors increases the chances of receiving a more couple-friendly quote from the venue liked best, as that venue won’t want to lose business, especially to one of its chief competitors. In addition to pricing, estimates from other venues can vary based on what they include. Even if a favorite venue does not come down much on its original quote, they may be willing to add extra services, such as an open bar or an extra hour during the reception, free of charge to match a competitor’s offer. But they cannot match such offers if couples don’t first do their homework and solicit estimates from their competitors. AVOID MAKING DEMANDS Coming off as too demanding when negotiating prices with wedding vendors may not produce the results couples are hoping for. Much like couples don’t want to receive “take it or leave it” offers, vendors don’t want to be given demands they have to meet in order to book a wedding. The right tone can go a long way with wedding vendors, who are typically more willing to work with couples who treat them nicely than couples who enter the negotiation process full of demands. Vendors often like it when couples know what they want, but couples are not doing themselves any favors when they express those desires as demands. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR MORE Making demands and asking for more are not the same thing. When negotiating with

wedding vendors, there’s no harm in asking for more. For example, the worst a deejay can do when asked to play an extra hour at no additional charge is deny that request. Reception venues often have the most wiggle room, so don’t be afraid to ask for free coffee with dessert or valet parking. Vendors are often open to suggestion and willing to honor requests, but it’s not their responsibility to make such offers. MAKE SURE ALL CONTRACTS ARE ITEMIZED, AND READ THEM THOROUGHLY BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE The negotiation process is often tedious, and contracts should reflect that. When hiring a wedding vendor, make sure the contract is itemized, spelling out in intimate detail just what was negotiated and how much each item costs. Couples may even notice items in the contract that can be removed, saving them a few dollars as a result. Be especially mindful of extra fees that can add up. For example, some venues try to make up for lower rates couples negotiated by tacking on fees for cutting the cake or other minute details. These fees will be in the contract, and it’s up to couples to have them removed before they sign

and the contract becomes official. REMEMBER THERE ARE TWO PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS Vendors are not the only ones who might need to bend a little at the negotiating table. Couples might have to be flexible in order to make their dream weddings a reality. Some vendors charge considerably less during certain times of the year than they do during peak wedding season. If couples are finding it impossible to afford the wedding of their dreams during peak wedding season, they should consider tying the knot during a less popular time of year, when venues and vendors can offer them more competitive rates. Brides- and grooms-to-be cannot expect vendors to bend over backward for couples who aren’t willing to make any concessions themselves, so couples might have to make certain sacrifices at the negotiating table when planning their weddings. Negotiation plays a significant role in wedding planning. Couples who take the process of negotiation seriously often find the best deals without having to make too many concessions.




10 expert tips

for an affordable and memorable destination wedding


flurry of congratulatory phone calls, social media announcements and sparkling ring pictures all mean one thing: engagement season has arrived. With approximately 39 percent of marriage proposals taking place between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, engaged couples are taking note of one of the fastest-growing nuptial trends - destination weddings.

These days, one in four weddings is a destination wedding, giving couples - and their guests - a reason to blend the joy of a marriage celebration with a fun and memorable vacation. Planning a destination wedding suitable for all your attendees is easier than you think, thanks to some key insights from Myrtle Beach-based expert wedding planner, Cheryl Cox. 1. PLAN AHEAD Cox says nine to 12 months is the optimum planning time, especially for a destination wedding. Many couples start planning a destination wedding as soon as they get engaged. While the summer months are typically most popular for couples, when choosing a date, Cox recommends considering a Friday or weekday wedding, or planning the big day during the less-crowded but still desirable shoulder seasons (spring and fall). 2. SELECT A DESTINATION THAT CATERS TO ALL GUESTS Consider a location with something for everyone. Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the perfect example. The destination offers pristine greens for golf enthusiasts, museums and historic plantations for cultural buffs, delicious Coastal Carolina cuisine for the foodies, fun in the sun with a day at the beach or one of the many water parks, and for brides looking for some quality time with the girls, numerous spas for a day of pampering. Plus, there are plenty of lodging options for your guests including oceanfront resorts, beach home rentals and quaint bed and breakfasts. 3. RESEARCH CEREMONY LOCATIONS Beautiful and unique ceremony locations are one of the perks of having a destination wedding. “Research wedding venues, travel and accommodation options, and rates, then rank the venues you like best,” suggests Cox. As a Myrtle Beach wedding planner, she notes that the area’s 60 miles of stunning coastline make the perfect romantic backdrop. Whether you’re looking for a beachside wedding outside a charming beach home or at the Myrtle Beach State Park, or a historic location like Litchfield Plantation or Pine Lakes Country Club, there are countless ceremony locations to choose from. You can even tie the knot 200 feet above the ground on the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. Visit for more information.


5. HELP GUESTS PLAN ACTIVITIES Travel is the foundation for long-lasting memories. In fact, a recent Harris Interactive survey found 62 percent of adults said their earliest memories were of family vacations taken when they were between ages 5 and 10. Help your guests - particularly families with young ones - get the most out of their trip by suggesting activities or even making reservations for dinners, tee times, theme parks, museums, etc., before arrival.


6. HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER Planning a destination wedding doesn’t need to be stressful - hire a wedding planner. “Wedding planners know the local wedding professionals and venues including the city regulations for beach weddings,” says Cox. The perfect beach wedding can be accomplished with the help of a wedding planner as they know the ins and outs of planning a beautiful beach wedding so couples and their guests can enjoy the true beauty of a beachside wedding. 7. CONSIDER A PRE-WEDDING VISIT “If possible, attend a local wedding show to meet wedding professionals one-on-one or plan a ‘wedding planning trip’ to visit venues and meet with wedding vendors,” Cox suggests. “Remember to take notes so you can recall all the details when you’re back home.” 8. GET WEDDING INSURANCE Give yourself peace of mind by purchasing the appropriate wedding insurance. And, Cox notes, “Research to find the best coverage for your wedding - I highly recommend it.” 9. BE MINDFUL OF BUDGET Start your marriage off on the right financial foot by keeping your wedding on-budget. Many couples planning destination weddings find them to be similar or even more affordable than traditional weddings back home. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of wedding venue options at various price points, so you can have your dream beach wedding and still stay on a budget. 10. ENJOY! This is perhaps the most important step of all. Don’t forget to enjoy the experience of planning this memorable day and enjoying the company of your guests. Take pictures, sample cakes, pick out flowers and remember these moments and the beautiful destination you selected.


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Did you know? S

ymbolic gestures are commonplace during wedding ceremonies. The exchange of rings, stomping on a glass and lighting of candles are each among the various traditions associated with different faiths.

Couples who would like to try something a bit different can opt for pouring sand. Choose two different colored sands and decorative vessels that can hold the sand until a special time in the ceremony. You also will need another large, clear container that will contain the sand once it is poured. A glass vase or heart-shaped vessel works well. To symbolize the joining of two lives together, both the bride and groom can take one of the colors of sand and begin pouring them together into the larger container. The ribbons of sand will join and meld together, much as the couple’s separate lives will now become one. The finished sand art can be kept on a mantle as a remembrance of the wedding day for years to come.

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From our garage to yours




Tuxedo G

purchasing pointers

entlemen getting ready to tie the knot will have to make certain wardrobe choices so they look their best on their big days. Although many groomsto-be rent tuxedos on their wedding days, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a tuxedo.

Tuxedos are the ultimate formal wear for men. Worn at formal gatherings like proms, weddings and lavish parties, tuxedos have undergone several style changes over the years. Men interested in looking polished will find no option makes that impression more convincingly than the right tuxedo. Men frequently called upon to attend formal events may find purchasing a tuxedo is a wise investment. There are several advantages to owning a tux rather than renting one time and again. Tuxedos typically cost around $1,000, whereas renting tuxedos can be $200 or more each time, making it advantageous for men who frequently don tuxedos to purchase their own rather than rent. Another advantage to owning a tuxedo is the opportunity to wear a tux that is custom-made and tailored just for you. Instead of a rental that

will merely be stitched temporarily to fit your measurements, a tuxedo you purchase will be tailored specifically to your body, increasing comfort and making you look better as well. Men who buy their own tuxedos also can choose the style, fabric, color, buttons, accessories, and type of lapels on the jacket. A tuxedo store may have more styles available for sale than for rent. If you desire something that fits your personality and your physique perfectly, buying your own tuxedo may be your best bet. Men worried about purchasing a tuxedo only to see their waistlines increase or decrease should keep in mind that many tuxedo shops offer free tailoring for as long as you own the tuxedo. When purchasing a tuxedo, men should choose classic styles and colors so they can enjoy the tux for years to come. Opt for a slim-fitting white shirt underneath that won’t billow out when jackets are removed. Men who want to break from tradition can opt for a shirt that is a pale blue or light gray to wear under the jacket. This is still an understated look, but one with a hint of creativity.

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Tuxedos come with different lapel styles, and it’s important to know the differences. Today’s most popular style is the notch lapel, wherein a triangular indentation is cut where the lapel joins the collar. This lapel mimics the shape of a classic suit. A peak lapel is the quintessential classic, featuring a broad, V-shaped lapel that points up and out just below the collar line. A shawl lapel is a smooth, rounded edge lapel. The shawl lapel reached the height of its popularity in the 1950s, but it can still look


good today. TUXEDO HISTORY The origins of the modern tuxedo remains a topic for debate, but one of the more widely known tales of the tuxedo’s beginning traces this classic look to a wealthy tobacco magnate of the 19th century. Pierre Lorillard lived with his family in a residential colony called Tuxedo Park, which was roughly 40 miles northwest of New York City. The Lorillards were popular in social circles, and Pierre helped establish the area as a prime hunting and fishing destination.


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Lorillard also developed a social organization called the Tuxedo Club, which regularly hosted balls. At the time, men wore dinner jackets with long tails to formal events. However, Lorillard wanted something different and modern, and he commissioned a tailless black jacket to wear to the Tuxedo Club’s Autumn Ball.

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Lorillard got cold feet in time for the ball and did not wear the shorter jacket. However, his son, Griswold, did wear the short jacket and received much praise. Soon the style was copied and worn in various social circles across the country. The “tuxedo” was born, and soon became a timeless classic.


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A classic, black bow tie is an ideal match when purchasing a more classic tuxedo. The bow tie is back in a big way, and men who want to spice things up can purchase more traditional neckties for those occasions when they don’t want to wear bow ties.




How to stay energized

throughout your wedding day


couple’s wedding day is the culmination of months and months of planning. For most, it is one of the most memorable, magical days of their lives, filled with fond moments of time spent with close friends and family. As enjoyable as a wedding can be, most brides and grooms who have already tied the knot can attest that a wedding is a long, often tiring day. It is very easy for energy levels to wane. To ensure you have enough energy to last through to the final good-bye of the evening, follow these suggestions to remain energized. RECOGNIZE YOUR WEDDING DAY IS A VERY LONG DAY It’s possible to rise quite early in the morning to begin prepping with makeup, hair styles, wardrobe and more. If the party is an evening reception, it could last until the wee hours of the night. You may find yourself up for nearly 24 hours, when the cameras will be flashing and the video rolling throughout. Naturally, you’ll want to look your best throughout. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE Get to bed early the night before so you will get ample sleep and look rested. It is understandable that nerves and excitement may get the best of you and make it difficult to fall asleep. If you often grow anxious and struggle to fall asleep before big events, talk to your doctor prior to the wedding to ask if you can be prescribed a one-time-only sleeping pill that will ensure you get to sleep promptly. Do not take this medication with alcohol, and be sure to take it only if you can get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise you may experience medicine hangover. ENJOY A HEARTY BREAKFAST At breakfast on the morning of your wedding, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will provide the initial burst of energy you need to get going, and the protein will keep you feeling full. A combination of whole wheat toast, fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes for a filling start to the day. STAY HYDRATED Although drinking a lot of water can result in more frequent trips to the bathroom -- which can be cumbersome for brides wearing their gowns -- it is essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in headaches, weakness and dizziness and may make you feel

cranky. Be sure to consume water throughout the day. PACK SOME SNACKS The time between breakfast and the cocktail hour of a wedding may be significant. In your wedding “survival” kit, be sure to pack some easy snacks to eat. Trail mix can be nibbled for a boost of energy, and a banana can take the edge off of hunger pangs. Avoid anything messy that can drip onto clothing or get stuck in your teeth. Arrange to have snacks stowed in the limousine or another mode of transportation so that you can refuel on the way to the ceremony or in transit to the reception. DON’T OVERDO IT WITH CAFFEINE It may be tempting to lean on an energy drink or a super-size cup of coffee to give you the boost you need. But caffeine is only a temporary fix. After the effects of the caffeine wear off, you could find yourself more tired than before and crash at an inopportune time during the day. Instead, a brisk walk outdoors may recharge your batteries. Afterward,

time spent on the dance floor enjoying the reception will likely stimulate some adrenaline to keep you going. EAT DINNER When family is beckoning and the photographer needs to get yet another pose, it is easy to skip dinner. Be firm with your decision to enjoy your meal. After all, you paid for it and it should not go to waste. Besides, sitting down to dinner enables you to rest and absorb the atmosphere of the wedding. CONTINUE TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT Alcoholic beverages may be flowing, but too many spirits can compromise your energy levels. Be sure to balance the booze with hydrating fluids, such as water or juice. Weddings take up the entire day, and it can be easy to succumb to a lack of energy as the day progresses. But by heeding a few tips, it’s possible to remain in top form throughout the entire wedding.


Explore A

unique cake flavor combinations

wedding cake is the piece de resistance of the wedding ceremony. Guests anxiously await the unveiling of the cake near the end of the festivities. Modern cakes are showpieces grander in scale than in years past. As bakers and confectioners hone their skills with fondant, buttercream and gum paste even further, the results are often impressive, awe-inspiring cake designs. While the look of a wedding cake is certainly important, cakes should not only look good, but taste good as well. Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting was once the gold standard. But today’s couples are being more adventurous with their wedding cakes and winning rave reviews from guests along the way. The vast scope of wedding cake flavor choices available to brides and grooms is astonishing. Options may range from the traditional to something adventurous and daring. Keeping in mind that couples will need to please the masses, finding a compromise between plain va-

nilla and a mocha-chile-coconut surprise is essential. Otherwise, they risk an unpopular flavor and a lot of wasted, expensive cake. Some couples shy away from more adventurous cakes because they fear something chocolately or not white in color will not be well suited to a wedding reception. Such couples should keep in mind that any flavor of cake can be hidden beneath layers of pearly white fondant or royal icing. Therefore, the sky is the limit with regard to flavor combinations. Those who might want to veer from tradition can consider these clever cake combinations. LEMON CAKE WITH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM: Lemons are tart, juicy and refreshing, helping to cleanse the palate after a rich meal. Lemon cake, with its summery feel, is tailor-made for summer weddings. The flavor is popular enough to appeal to many, but just a little different to add an unexpected zip of flavor. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND MOCHA FILLING: True chocoholics will be hard-pressed to resist See Combinations / Page 23




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Wedding reception favors

Choosing the right ones for your wedding


lanning a perfect wedding is no small undertaking. From scheduling venues and hiring vendors to tasting menus, lots of decisions must be made when planning a wedding. But when the pieces fall into place, the entire day can be magical. One of the final components of weddings are the favors guests will take home with them as mementos of the festivities. Though favors don’t require immediate attention, that does not mean couples should wait until the last minute to made decisions regarding their wedding favors. Brides- and grooms-to-be should not underestimate the importance of handing out wedding favors, a tradition with a rich history. A wedding favor is considered a symbol of good will to guests, and there are many different wedding favors on the market. Finding the right one can take a little work. It is usually a good idea to find something that suits the theme of the wedding and is both long-lasting and practical. Try to avoid anything that is too kitschy.

A couple’s budget should be considered when choosing wedding favors. A couple may want to give their guests lavish gifts but should only do so if their budget allows. It may be challenging for couples to find favors that fit the theme of their wedding, as well as their own personalities and budgets. But it can be done. The following are some favor-finding guidelines. BE CREATIVE Wedding favors can be just about anything, so there’s no need to stick to Jordan almonds or wine bottle stoppers. The more creative couples are, the more receptive their guests will likely be. For example, for an autumn-theme wedding, fill mason jars with the ingredients for a spiced cake and give the recipe directions on a tag. For a summer wedding, gift guests with a sun and surf survival bag, full of sunblock, a beach towel and sunglasses. COMPLETE THE THEME Some weddings follow a particular theme from start to finish, and wedding favors should stick with that theme. Couples who will showcase their love of travel on their wedding days may want to give guests keychains or purse holders that feature popular landmarks around the world. Those who are admitted beach bums may want to present a small fishbowl with sand and a goldfish inside, reminiscent of days at the seashore.

GO TRADITIONAL Couples who opt for universally appealing favors can lean toward some popular options, such as silver cake servers, candlestick holders, decorative photo frames, or engraved keepsake boxes. Aim for favors that have utility. Otherwise, favors may end up collecting dust on someone’s shelf. FOOD AND BEVERAGE GIFTS ARE FUN Food favors mean guests can enjoy their gifts and not have to worry about finding space inside their homes to display trinkets. Food favors can be lavishly decorated cookies, fine chocolates, petit fours, small bottles of champagne or cupcakes decorated like the wedding cake. Favors are often integral to wedding celebrations. Selecting a favor that will be appreciated and fit with the wedding is often a fun and stress-free part of planning a wedding.

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Makeup tips

for brides and bridesmaids

ew events are more photographed than weddings. Needless to say, wedding participants, from brides and grooms to the couples’ parents, hope to look their best for the celebrations. Women often find that well applied cosmetics can enhance their beauty and help ensure they are picture-perfect.

The key to wedding makeup is finding a balance between application that will come across well in person and will look good in photographs. Professional makeup artists may understand just how heavy a hand to use to apply makeup, but the novice do-it-yourselfer may need some instruction to master wedding day makeup. Very often the key to wedding makeup is simplicity. Brides want their best features enhanced and have the makeup add to their beauty rather than outshine it. Brides want guests to notice their faces and gowns and not their makeup. Here are some other tips brides can employ in an effort to put their best faces forward. BEGIN PREPARATIONS A FEW DAYS PRIOR TO THE WEDDING If you will be enhancing your skin color with a spray-tan, do so at least two days prior to the wedding. By the third day the color will set and appear more natural. The same idea applies to your brows. Tweezing, waxing and threading can create irritation and redness. Have your brows professionally shaped a few days before the wedding and then do a minor touch-up with your tweezer the night before. This allows your skin to recover and redness to dissipate. ONE LOW PRICE

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START OUT WITH WELL HYDRATED AND MOISTURIZED SKIN Apply a few layers of moisturizer, preferably one with an SPF if you will be spending time out in the sun. When the moisturizer is completely absorbed and dry, use a skin priming product that will help keep your foundation locked into place.

tanning, then find a shade that matches the tanned color. A foundation that has slightly yellow undertones will even out redness on the face and look better in photos. Apply the foundation thoroughly with a sponge or brush and be sure to blend it well at your neckline. Set the foundation with a matte powder.

MATCH YOUR FOUNDATION COLOR TO YOUR NATURAL SKIN COLOR When these colors don’t match, your face may look like it is a separate shade from your neck and decolletage. If you will be

APPLY CONCEALER TO RED SPOTS OR UNDEREYE CIRCLES AFTER THE FOUNDATION Aim for a creamy, emollient concealer for under the eyes. A peach color that will contrast with the purple and blue tones of your


eyelids. Putting on the concealer after the foundation means you will probably need less and won’t look like you’re caked with product. USE AN EYEBROW PENCIL OR POWDER TO FILL IN YOUR BROWS This is a must for your wedding day and can really help to frame your eyes. Use small, light flicks of the pencil rather than long strokes to make the color blend naturally. Use a brush to blend in further. Always go a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Finish with a gel that will set the hairs into place. COMPLEMENT YOUR LIPS AND EYES Many brides like to play up their eyes on their wedding days. If you are going for a dramatic eye, opt for a more neutral lip, and vice versa. Otherwise, you may look like you’re wearing stage makeup. Neutral colors look best for weddings and will not appear dated in photos. Stick to subtle browns and taupes for universal flattery on most eye colors. Use a light hand to apply a neutral shade of light shadow all over the lid. Apply a medium brown to the crease of the eye and a darker brown to the very outer corner, and blend thoroughly. A very light shade of shadow can be used directly under the browline and toward the inside of the eye to make eyes appear wide and bright. Stick with matte shades of eye shadow, with the exception of one pearlescent shade that is lightly dusted right in the center of the lid from the lashline to the crease. This will add just a touch of luster to catch the light and make eyes sparkle.

APPLY LINER BEFORE MASCARA, AND BLEND IT WITH A BRUSH Push the liner into the lashline to make lashes appear thicker. Use mascara to lengthen lashes. Place a makeup sponge behind your lashes when applying mascara so you don’t risk hitting your lids with the mascara wand. If you will be using false lashes, apply them now. Err on the shorter side for fake lashes, and cut them as needed to fit your eye. Lashes that are too long or full may appear cartoonish and can be uncomfortable to wear. Connect your lashes together with the false ones with another application of mascara. Waterproof mascara will hold up through tears of joy. BE SUBTLE WITH BLUSH Use subtle blush in a peach-pink color to achieve that blushing bride appearance. Smile and apply the blush only to the apples of your cheeks. CHOOSE A LONG-LASTING LIP COLOR THAT WILL HOLD UP THROUGH KISSES AND SMILES Lip stains work very well, as they provide that hint of color but wear well during the day. Another helpful tip is to perform a practice run prior to the wedding, taking some photographs to see how the makeup looks in pictures. Cameras and flashes can wash out makeup, so sometimes you need to apply just a little bit more than usual for it to show up on film. Also, certain makeup products will reflect light more. Don’t forget to stock up on oil-blotting papers to touch up your face during the day.

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Brides look for ‘something blue’ -A

s weddings become more and more personalized to the bride’s own tastes, blue and other colors have been making their way into the bridal picture, both in decor and in jewelry. “In addition to our wide selection of pearl and crystal jewelry for brides, we have seen increased interest in sapphire and other colors like topaz for brides,” according to Jill Maier, Vice President of Design at CAROLEE. As the “jewelry destination for brides,” CAROLEE has for decades had its finger on the pulse of what brides want. Sapphire blue stones are now a staple in their bridal collection, with stones set in silver and gold tone metal. Topaz stones set in gold have become popular, and rose gold metal is another color option that brides have gravitated to. These trends also influence jewelry for bridesmaids and every member of the bridal party. While color is making news in bridal circles, pearls will always play a lead role in the world of bridal jewelry. Classic styles like single and double row chokers, often mixed with crystal, are truly classic and always appropriate for brides. But there are now many modern twists, both in design and in ways brides choose to wear pearls. Modern brides often personalize their pearls by wearing bolder, longer styles, by mixing and layering different millimeters and by twisting, tying or knotting them. The variations are endless with a 72” white pearl rope -- a staple for any bride -- as well as any post-wedding wardrobe. Crystal styles -- teardrop earrings and necklaces, delicate Y necklaces, chokers and bracelets in floral designs -are also beautiful and popular choices among brides. They, too, can be layered, mixed and matched with pearls. The bottom line is that brides are more than ever expressing their personal style in every aspect of their weddings. Jewelry selection is a wonderful way to do this because it is a focal point that frames the face and will live forever in glorious photos of the memorable day. The CAROLEE Bridal Collection is available in fine department stores and at Like all of the company’s jewelry, each piece comes with a lifetime guarantee.

and more -- in jewelry

Arrow Paper

Combinations From Page 17

such a decadent flavor profile. Chocolate can be sweet and satisfying and a welcome change from the vanilla cakes commonly served. For traditionalists, the cake can be covered with a white chocolate ganache. Or couples can ask that the cake be adorned with white sugar roses for an eye-appealing contrast. Chocolate cakes covered with autumn hued flowers go over well at fall weddings. RED VELVET CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Red velvet cake was once a regionally specific staple, but now has grown steadily in popularity across the country. Red velvet has quickly become the new classic, as its vibrant red coloring offers a shock of something different, while the flavor is mild for those who are not comfortable taking risks. The richness and creaminess of cream cheese is irresistible. WHITE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: Couples who want a bit of chocolate but do

not want to be overwhelmed can select a white cake that is filled with light and rich chocolate mousse. It’s the perfect blend of vanilla and chocolate for guests who enjoy both.

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VARIETY TIERS: Those who cannot settle on just one flavor can have different flavors on each tier of their cakes. This gives guest some flavorful variety and enables them to pick their favorite flavor combination. Brides- and grooms-to-be who have specific flavors in mind can ask their bakers to include two cupcakes with the wedding cake. Then the couple can enjoy their own mini cakes while the rest of the guests enjoy a more classic cake. In addition, an assortment of cupcakes in lieu of one cake can give guests the opportunity to sample several different flavors. Cakes are a part of many special events, but few cakes are fawned over as much as wedding cakes. Couples can spice things up by choosing a nontraditional flavor combination.

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Winter Weddings, 2014  

Sun Publishing Co. & The Westerly Sun

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