Sunday, October 27, 2013
PRICE LIST McQuade’s Marketplace offers quality cakes and specialty desserts. Our moist golden, chocolate or marble cakes can be ﬁlled with a variety of fruit, pastry crème or mousse to create a custom dessert sure to please everyone. Red velvet or carrot with raisins and walnuts are also available in sheet cakes to serve with either butter cream or traditional cream cheese frosting.
Real Cakes per person starting at: Basic $4.00 D isplay Cakes:
Filled $4.20 3 Tier...$200.00
Fondant Fill/Fond. $4.20 $4.45 4 Tier...$225.00*
Includes middle or second layer to cut *Fondant Extra
T IERED #AKE s 'OLDEN #HOCOLATE OR -ARBLE
McQuade’s marketplace provides unique, custom made cakes designed to your speciﬁcations for affordable prices
S HEET #AKE s 'OLDEN #HOCOLATE Marble, Red Velvet or Carrot.
80 Servings $50.00 w/buttercream or $60.00 traditional cream cheese frosting
EUROPEAN #AKE s #HOCOLATE 3TRAWBERRY Lemon, Raspberry, Tuxedo, Tiger and Tiramisu 60 Servings $80.00 - $90.00 per carton
M iniature Pastry Desserts
F RESH &LOWERS s !VAILABLE FOR ALL YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS DELIVERY ACCORDING TOsubject RECEPTION LOCATION PRICING SUBJECT TO CHANGE Delivery priced according PRICED to reception location, pricing to change. www.mcquadesmarket.com
4 10 History Behind
for an unforgettable wedding
6 11 Here’s to You
Tips for a great best man toast
8 12 Planning
Centerpiece options abound Alternative Reception Sites
the Bridal Veil
the Rehearsal Dinner
9 14 Making Use
The Importance of a Wedding Day Photographer Song Choices for Special Dances
of Wedding Leftovers
15 Wedding Thank-You Cards Etiquette
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Dr. Daniella Duke • Mystic, CT • 860-245-0000
Call now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniella Duke at (860) 245-0000, or visit us online at www.danielladuke.com
A Family Jeweler for 65 years!
Downtown Westerly, RI • www.nigrellisjewelry.com • 401.596.4421
at Nigrelli’s Bridal & Diamond Center
Sunday, October 27, 2013
for an unforgettable wedding From the proposal to the wedding party gifts to the photographs, here’s how to make your special day stand out
ark knew he wanted to marry his girlfriend, Stacy, but he didn’t know how to pop the question. The proposal had to be memorable, unique, and meaningful for just the two of them. A cozy picnic on their favorite beach, surrounded by soft sand and cresting waves sounded perfect. Mark just needed that one final detail to make saying “I do” irresistible.Mark decided to ask his friend Travis, a store manager at Things Remembered in Clovis, California for ideas. Mark told Travis about his beach proposal. As soon as he mentioned his girlfriend’s love of wine, Travis suggested, “Bring in a bottle of her favorite vintage and we’ll engrave: ‘Stacy, Will You Marry Me?’ +) it. When she says ‘yes,’ fill it with sand from the beach as a keepsake.” As details for the upcoming nuptials were set, Mark and Stacy added an engraved wine charm displaying
their wedding date. And when the day finally arrived, the couple was able to use the very special bottle to adorn their head table. Want to make your wedding moments as one-of-a-kind as Mark and Stacy’s? Here are some unique wedding ideas to inspire you.
Capture the look of your love with a custom logo
Are you classic and sophisticated, modern and chic, or casual and whimsical? Whatever your style, you can design a logo that captures that unique spirit. Use it to seamlessly tie together all of the many elements of your event, from the invitations to the
programs to your aisle runner and toasting flutes. Imagine your logo as your cake topper or delicately weaved into the design with fondant. The possibilities are endless.
Jennifer’s a salon offers a beautiful and relaxing setting designed to give our customers a unique experience that will keep them coming back for more.
With over 30 years of catering experience, Dunns Corners Market is available to help you plan the next big event in your life, whether you are planning a wedding, your parent’s anniversary, milestone birthday’s, etc.
Here at Jennifer’s our team is highly experienced in - Hair cutting and coloring - Waxing - Gel polish and natural nail manicures
We are here to assist you every step of the way.
- Bridal and formal hairstyles - Flawless airbrush makeup - 18 hour wear - Waterproof
We are licensed in CT. and RI.
Contact Chef Eric Perrin
- Natural looking buildable coverage
for your custom catering event or gathering: email@example.com
*Jennifer’s can accommodate larger parties and will travel. Located at: 4259 Old Post Road Charlestown, Rhode Island 401-552-7757
Check out our website for some of our catering menus & venues
Visit us at www.facebook.com/JennifersRI or www.Jennifersasalon.com
OPEN 7 DAYS • 401-322-1660 • 5 Langworthy Rd., Westerly
You may be thinking that a wedding logo sounds amazing, but it’s probably time-consuming and expensive. No worries - the personalization experts at Things Remembered will do all the work for you. You’ll get a customized logo (available in several digital formats) that can be used in dozens of ways. And it’s free with any qualifying bridal purchase perfect for any wedding budget.
Spice up your guest book
It’s tradition to have your guests “sign in” at your wedding. But how can you turn it into an experience? Get a big, blank-paged guest book with plenty of room inside. Engrave your names and wedding date on the cover. Then grab some props that fit your wedding’s theme and rent a photo booth. It’s time for everyone to strike a pose! Who doesn’t love playing around with different looks while a camera captures the moment?Your guests can keep a few photos for themselves, plus paste favorites into your guest book along with their personal messages. It’s much more fun than a simple signature!
When she was younger, Kristen, a brideto-be in Minnesota, loved taking walks with her father after dinner. It was their
time to catch up and share stories. For her special day, she wanted to give her dad a gift to remind him of those moments. She bought a frame ready for a photo of the two of them walking down the aisle. On it she engraved, “Of all the walks we’ve taken together, this one is my favorite.” It’s a gift her dad will never forget. The best way to share your love and gratitude is to give personal, one-of-a-kind gifts that are made just for the ones you love. Add a meaningful quote to a pocket watch for your best man or personalize a bracelet with your maid of honor’s favorite song lyrics. Flower girls will love seeing their monogram on a customized keepsake locket, and ring bearers can’t help but show off their first engraved ID bracelet.
...also wedding bands & gifts. 8 High Street • Westerly, RI • www.westerlyjewelry.com • 401-596-2314
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And what is more personal than a message written by you? A new service at Things Remembered called iEngrave lets you personalize your gifts with your own handwriting. Write out your message as only you can and iEngrave will take care of the rest. Your friends and family will never receive another gift so unique. For more information on custom wedding logos, iEngrave and other personalized wedding day gift options, visit www. thingsremembered.com.
Perry Ellis • Ralph Lauren • Oscar DeLaurenta
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Celebrating 102 years in Business!
S H O P
9 Canal St., Westerly, RI | 401-596-2584
Take your wedding gifts up a notch - personalize them
Who wouldn’t say
If you are dreaming of a small intimate celebration, experience the beauty of this 18th century Tavern. Our exceptional staff will create a day you will never forget! Planning on a budget, whether you prefer a sit down dinner or customized buffet, our wedding planner is available to meet with you at anytime to create the perfect menu. We are also ideal for hosting your memorable rehearsal dinner. Accommodations for parties of 20-70!
5153 Old Post Road., Route 1 Charlestown, Rhode Island • 401.322.1829
Sunday, October 27, 2013
ong before couples stand before an officiant and say, “I do,” many make another pledge to each other by getting engaged and agreeing to begin a new life together. In a 2011 survey by from XO Group, Inc., formerly The Knot Inc., the average engagement ring costs Americans $5,200. Canadians spend around $5,000 as well. Considering an engagement ring is typically a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, many men say the high cost is warranted and are even willing to finance the purchase or push their budgets to procure a beautiful ring.
being taken advantage of or buying something that really isn’t worth the asking price.
Many engagement rings feature a 1-carat center stone with some smaller stones surrounding, accounting for a 1.4 total carat weight on average. It can take a groomto-be around three months to find his (and her) ideal ring, sometimes longer. Considering a ring is such a significant investment, it pays to have some knowledge in gem selection.
The diamond will be assigned a letter grade. The lower the letter in the alphabet, the whiter the stone. Clarity refers to the amount, size, type, and location of internal flaws in a diamond, also known as inclusions. The cost of the diamond increases when there are fewer inclusions in the stone. Finally, the carat weight is the size and weight of the stone. The larger the stone, the more pricey it can be.
Start by answering a few questions
Having an idea of what you want can help anyone get a better deal, whether one is shopping for a new sofa or an engagement ring. An informed shopper can avoid
Another question to ask is which style of ring your girlfriend prefers? Your fiancee-to-be may have a certain setting style and diamond shape preference. It pays to
Many expenses are associated with planning a wedding, and some couples may not want to begin their lives together in debt. This may need to be factored in to the decision-making process. You should go to jewelry stores to price out different styles and see how diamonds compare. This way you will have an accurate idea of just how much rings cost. Carefully consider your options. Having an intimate knowledge of what your girlfriend will want can help you to narrow down something that is reasonable. It also pays to understand a jeweler’s return policy. Even if you may know what she likes, in the event that the ring doesn’t work out, find out if the style can be changed or if you can get a refund or make an exchange.
The Haversham House exudes country charm. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, a fieldstone waterfall and serene koi pond, you and your guests will feel transported to another world. Step inside and discover an elegant, glass-enclosed reception room with rich mahogany walls, glowing chandeliers, three stone fireplaces and seating for up to 150 guests. Our outdoor stone patio and beautiful hilltop gazebo make the perfect setting for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and beautiful wedding photographs.
Image By: gulinophotography.com
336 Post Road Westerly, RI 02891
Know your budget
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contact our events coordinators 401.322.1717 or email Havcaters@gmail.com
Memories Of A Lifetime Begin At The Haversham House
The 4 Cs is a good place for shoppers to get started. Various attributes affect the value, quality and beauty of a diamond. The 4 Cs stand for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The cut refers to the shape of the stone as well as the skill involved in achieving the shape of the facets so that it reflects the light brilliantly. The color is designated by the International Gemological Institute. The grading color in a diamond determines how closely a diamond’s color approaches colorlessness.
know what she wants, including the type of setting the stone will be encased in. You should also know whether she will be happy with a larger stone that may have some imperfections not easily seen to the naked eye or a smaller, flawless stone.
Other tips for savings success
There are ways to maximize your budget and still end up with a beautiful stone. • Ask for a stone that is slightly less than the next carat, for example 0.9 instead of one carat. This nearly indiscernible difference can add up to substantial savings. Experts say the price difference between a 1.90 carat diamond and a 2.0 carat diamond can be as much as $5,000. Also, choose a stone that has more surface area, which will make it appear larger even if it does not have as much sparkle. • If she prefers the look of platinum, realize white gold, silver or tungsten are more affordable options and will still give off that silvery hue she desires. Mixed gold colors, including white, pink and yellow, can be unique. • Try to buy a loose diamond. You can inspect the entire stone and then shop around for an acceptable setting. This can save you money in the long run by buying the ring elements separately.
• Get a part-time job at a jewelry store. This way you may be eligible for an employee discount and can put the savings toward the ring. • Don’t shy away from a warehouse store for a good deal on rings. As long as the diamond is to your liking and follows the requirements of the 4 Cs that you desire, it should not matter where the ring was purchased. • Make sure the store is accredited by the Jewelers of America or is a member of the Gemological Institute of America. This way you know you are buying from a reputable source and the diamonds were acquired ethically. • Negotiate the price. Just because it is jewelry doesn’t mean you can’t comparison shop and find out if another jeweler will match a competitor’s offer. Many stores will be willing to negotiate if it means making a sale. An engagement ring is a large purchase that requires ample forethought. Following some guidelines can yield the results couples desire.
Southern Rhode Island & Southeastern Connecticut’s Wedding Specialists
CUSTOM FLORAL CREATIONS & CONCEPTS
Full Service Florist
Event Design & Environments
401-322-0509 • 860-961-4868 • Westerly, RI www.foggsound.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
360 N. Anguilla Rd., Pawcatuck, CT 860-599-4241 www.adamsgardenofeden.com email: email@example.com
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Helpful ideas.... Centerpiece options abound for couples tying the knot
eddings may be characterized as a dozen little details coming together to form one big celebration. Key elements of the big day often must be planned well in advance, and timing is usually of the essence to ensure the day goes off without a hitch. Reception centerpieces are one of those seemingly minor, yet important details couples have to consider. The reception is a memorable night for the couple, and creating a magical experience involves setting the scene, which includes decorating guests’ tables with centerpieces that capture the theme of the wedding. CANDLES: Inexpensive and beautiful, candles impart a subtle glow to a space. Candles of varying heights will cast light on the table and make the reception room look and feel more intimate. Place candles on a mirror or silver cake serving platter so that the light of the flames will reflect and disperse even more.
EDIBLE IDEAS: Centerpieces that double as favors cut down on the expense and amount of work that goes into idea creation. A basket with tullewrapped Jordan almonds or decorative boxes of cookies stacked in the center of the table will look attractive and then can be taken home by guests. Even a tall vase filled with candy-covered chocolates can be attractive, and then guests can fill up their own little bags of sweet treats. THEMED OBJECTS: Birdhouses, watering cans, teapots, a small birdcage, or other items that fit with the theme of a wedding can work well as centerpieces. A carved pumpkin or gourd fits in with a fall-timed wedding, while a sand pail may complete the look of a summer-inspired wedding. BALLOONS: Don’t underestimate the power of a billowing bouquet of balloons in the center of a table. Relatively low-priced when compared to flowers, balloons are easy to set up and will quickly fill a space. WILDFLOWERS: Rather than centerpieces full of exotic flowers, do-it-yourself couples can place whimsical bunches of wildflowers and fresh herbs into vases on each table.
Explore options with alternative reception sites
wedding can be an expensive endeavor for couples. The cost for a reception venue will vary depending on where the party is held, so couples looking to conserve cash or simply set their party apart can consider some different options. • Farmhouse: For that country appeal, a barn or farmhouse estate can make for the ideal place to hold a casual wedding reception. Farms are typically located on a large piece of land that can easily accommodate a number of guests. • Botanical gardens: Enjoy the peak foliage of whatever season you are enjoying at the botanical gardens nearest to you. Many gardens offer some sort of wedding package and may contract with an outside caterer to provide everything from sit-down meals to passed appetizers. Couples looking for one-stop-shopping can also combine the ceremony and reception at the gardens for a magical experience amid flowers, trees and more. • Oceanside: Where there is a beach, there is the opportunity to have a wedding at the seashore. Beach weddings are usually casual affairs, and couples could have more leeway with regard to food and drinks. • Clubhouse: For those who live in a condominium or a community managed by a homeowner’s association, there may be a clubhouse on the premises. Very often these clubhouses can be rented out for parties. Couples interested in an intimate affair can bring in their own food and have a low-cost reception close to home. • Castle or estate: Dreaming of a fairy tale wedding? A historical building may make for the perfect backdrop. Certain historical societies may rent out estates and other buildings for weddings. At the very least, couples may be able to have their wedding on the grounds with the impressive home in the background.
FRUIT: Pieces of fruit, such as lemons, limes, apples, and oranges, can be used as a cost-friendly centerpiece. Whether placed in a basket or clear vase, the colors of fresh fruit can be vibrant and eye-catching. Afterward, the fruit can be brought home and eaten to limit waste.
• Boat: Dinner cruises frequently depart during peak sightseeing seasons from various locations on the coast. Couples may opt to have their reception aboard a paddle boat or larger cruise liner, and the cost may be on par with a stationary reception venue.
BEADS AND BAUBLES: Filling a vase or low-profile glass bowl with beads, shells, rocks, or crystals is an easy way to dress up a table. Consider pairing these decorative beads with candles to have a visually appealing design.
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Don’t underestimate importance of wedding day photography
hanks to the popularity of social media, some couples may overlook the importance of hiring a professional photographer for their weddings. Although there is something to be said for candid images captured on phones and personal cameras, the pictures a couple will cherish and look back on for decades are best supplied by a professional photographer. Professional wedding photography is an ideal way to immortalize this special day. Most couples say “I do” with the hopes of staying together forever, giving them only one chance to capture the magic of the wedding day on film. Leaving photos to chance by hiring an amateur photographer may be something couples regret down the road.
Professional photographers use high-quality equipment that will produce much better results than photos snapped on the average digital camera. Plus, the photographer has experience with posing, placement of arms and legs, head tilting, and lighting, each of which ensures that the photos come out looking as good as possible. Professional photographers tend to have an eye for interest-
ing angles to capture images that may be overlooked.
Price alone should not dictate which photographer to hire. Although wedding budgets are often stretched, skimping on a photography allotment may result in sub par results. That doesn’t mean you need to hire the most expensive photographer, but couples should realize the value of experience and professional equipment. Do not expect to pay package prices that would be offered at department or discount stores. Many photographers are artists who take their work very seriously. A photographer will be spending all day with you capturing hundreds of photos. Each image will then need to be reviewed, repositioned and potentially enhanced or retouched. This time-consuming attention to detail is often what dictates the higher costs of a very good photographer. Keep in mind that photographers are unique individuals and not all the visions and styles of particular artists will meld with your own perception of how you want the wedding to look. Expressing your expectations and comparing your goals with the portfolios of photographers will help you find the best fit. Do not feel shy about asking for testimonials from past customers or talking to couples you know who have recently gotten married and asking for a recommendation.
Song choices for special dances
edding traditionalists know there will be a number of required dances at the reception to keep them on their toes. From spotlight dances to special requests, the night is sure to be filled with memorable moments on the dance floor. While it may be tempting to leave musical selections entirely up to a band or disc jockey, couples should choose the songs they dance to during specialized dances.
A bride’s dance with her father and a groom’s dance with his mother are special moments during a wedding reception that can evoke strong emotions and a few tears from family and friends. Part of what makes these moments so memorable are the songs themselves. Choosing the right songs can be difficult, but there are ways to make the decision-making process go more smoothly.
While couples are making wedding day magic, photographers are behind the scenes capturing all of the memories couples can relive for years and years to come.
Start out by making a list of the songs that you like and believe convey feelings that you want to share with others. Ask your father or mother to make a similar list. These lists can be compared and then a common element
may become apparent. Many brides and grooms will happily defer the choice to their parents, which can give parents a role in the wedding planning and make them feel like they have had an important hand in the festivities. Select among songs that have a special meaning or represent the bond between parent and child. Songs that seem to transcend time often work best for these spotlight dances, rather than something that is too trendy. When choosing a song, it helps to consider a song that has some sort of back beat. This can make it easier for novice dancers to follow along and still move gracefully. Do not feel the song has to be extremely slow. If your dancing partner and you are confident on the dance floor, there are many different songs that can be fitting, from country to soft rock to jazz. Timing of the song is also important. Father-daughter and mother-son dances are not the times for lengthy songs. The songs length could leave you on the dance floor too long and bore your guests as a result. Keep spotlight songs short and to the point. After all, the goal is to have guests up dancing and enjoying themselves. If you and your parent are not the sentimental types, then by all means select a song that’s less traditional. Rock to heavy metal or show your culture with a song that calls to mind your heritage. In some cases the spotlight dance can be even more poignant when a parent is no longer living and is attending the wedding in spirit only. You may opt to have a few special words said with a particular song that reflects a parent’s personality. Otherwise, you can dance with another person in your mother or father’s stead.
Rosanna’s Flowers The location for all your special moments
825 Colonel Ledyard Hwy. (CT. RT 117) Ledyard, CT 860-464-2987 • www.mauglesierravineyards.com
401•596•7677 www.westerlyflorist.com 105 Franklin St • Westerly Mill Pond Plaza
• Beautiful Sunsets • Delicious Estate Grown Wines • Pastoral Setting- The perfect backdrop for you special day
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Sunday, October 27, 2013
Arrow Paper History behind Party Rental & Party Store
the bridal veil
Your Complete Wedding Headquarters Tents Arches Grills Dance Floors Silverware
Tables Chairs China Linens Glasses
to the wedding. A veil hiding her face also ensured that the groom would not see his soon-to-be-betrothed up until the ceremony.
edding day attire has changed in many ways, but one component of getting dressed up for a wedding that has withstood the test of time is the wearing of a wedding veil.
Candy Melts Balloons Invitations Paper Goods Printed Ribbons
Though many brides know it is tradition to wear a bridal veil, many do not understand why. Here is a look at the history behind the veil and why it is continued to be worn today.
567 Colman St., New London, CT 860-442-4575 Monday-Saturday, 8:30-5:00
The veil and the bouquet that a bride carries may predate the wearing of white. Although there is no definitive reason for the wearing of a veil, many surmise it has to do with ancient Greeks and Romans’ fear of evil spirits and demons. In fact, this is where many of the bridal traditions actually come from, including bridesmaids wearing similar dresses in order to serve as decoys for the bride. In an effort to frighten away or disguise the bride from evil spirits, brides-to-be were dressed in brightly colored fabrics like red and obscured by a veil. But in many cases, the veil prevented the bride from seeing well. That is why her father or another person “gave her away.” He was actually escorting her down the aisle so she wouldn’t bump or trip into anything. The veil also served as a method of shielding the bride’s face from her future husband, especially in the cases of arranged marriages. Superstition has it that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride prior
Eventually the meaning behind the veil transformed as weddings evolved into religious ceremonies. The veil came to symbolize modesty and obedience. In many religions it is seen as a symbol of reverence for women to cover their heads. When white wedding dresses were worn to symbolize chastity, the white veil followed suit. There are others who say that before the advent of shampoo, people didn’t wash their hair as often and it could get quite dirty. The veil may have been a method to covering up unsightly hair. Regardless of the origins, veils continue to be sported by today’s brides, who choose from a few different styles. A flyaway is a short veil that ends at the shoulders, while a sweep veil ends at the floor. Chapel and cathedral veils follow the bride at a significant length (nine and 12 feet, respectively). A blusher is a very short veil that covers just the bride’s face as she enters the ceremony. With a fingertip veil, the veil reaches the bride’s waist and brushes at her fingertips. The veil will coordinate with the style of the gown, and many wedding attire consultants suggest choosing the gown prior to the headpiece and veil.
Have a photo ready smile for your big day! We always welcome new patients!
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Here’s to you Tips for a great best man toast One of the reasons best man toasts can be so unpredictable is that giving a best man toast is such a unique experience.
to calm your nerves and lower your inhibitions, it’s not a good idea.
• Spin a yarn. While it’s important to be brief, don’t be so brief that no one at the reception learns about your relationship to the groom. Share a humorous anecdote from your mutual past to illustrate the type of relationship you and the groom share with one another. This story should have an element of humor but don’t include anything too embarrassing, and all ex-girlfriends should be considered off-limits.
For that Special Day, every bride should be radiant. Let Haircraft Designs take care of you and your bridal party by selecting the ideal makeup and hair design.
Manicures • Pedicures • Makeup & Hairstyling For more information or to schedule your wedding party please call 596-4400
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• Get to the point. Men and women who have attended their fair share of wedding receptions no doubt have sat through a long-winded toast from the best man or maid of honor. Avoid long-winded walks down Memory Lane in favor of a toast that thoughtfully cuts to the chase and lets everyone get back to celebrating.
• Congratulate the couple. Because nerves play such a significant part in many best man toasts, it can be easy to forget to con• Avoid alcohol. Getting liquored up prior to gratulate both the bride and groom. Don’t your toast is a recipe for disaster. Though it just toast the groom at the end of your best may seem like a good idea to employ alcohol man speech; toast his new bride as well.
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• Practice makes perfect. Few people are capable of standing in front of a crowd of people and speaking off the cuff. A best man should take this into account and practice his speech before the big day. A spur-of-themoment speech may provide an adrenaline rush, but such an endeavor may come off as if you didn’t care enough to put the effort into writing a thoughtful toast ahead of time. In addition, practicing the toast once it’s been written will make you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the crowd.
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he best man toast can be one of the most memorable parts of a couple’s wedding. Sometimes a toast is memorable for its humor and heartfelt sense of appreciation for the groom and his bride, while other toasts are more memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
the rehearsal dinner
ne of the final responsibilities a couple has before they tie the knot is planning their rehearsal dinner. Typically the night before the wedding, the rehearsal dinner is an opportunity for the families of the bride- and groom-to-be and the members of the bridal party to get to know one another over a good meal.
significant others should always make the cut, as should the parents of both the bride and groom and the person officiating the wedding. Kids who will be in the wedding and their parents also should be invited. Many couples even invite their immediate family members and siblings, even if those relatives are not in the wedding.
Planning a rehearsal dinner is much less complicated than planning the wedding, but couples still must take steps in advance of the dinner to ensure it goes smoothly.
Determine who is paying in advance
Choose the right restaurant
Couples who are having their ceremony and reception at the same venue may be able to have their rehearsal dinner at the venue as well. But many couples still prefer the rehearsal dinner be held at a different restaurant. When choosing the restaurant, be sure to make a reservation several weeks in advance and choose a restaurant that’s fully capable of accommodating your party. The restaurant should have a menu that’s versatile enough to accommodate guests on special diets or those who are vegetarian or vegan.
Invite the right guests
Try to create a relaxed atmosphere
Many of the people invited to the rehearsal dinner may be meeting one another for the first time, so couples should aim to create a relaxed atmosphere to reduce any nervousness and tension. So take advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere and share a few laughs with those closest to you.
Bring the gifts for members of your wedding party
The rehearsal dinner is when brides- and grooms-to-be give
their bridesmaids and groomsmen their gifts. If the gifts are especially large, then you might want to give them before you enter the restaurant or even back at the hotel.
Allow time for toasts
Toasts are not just a tradition of the wedding reception, but of the rehearsal dinner as well. The couple’s parents often want to toast the bride- and groom-to-be, and such a toast may be conducted in tandem. But the groom is also expected to give a toast, most notably to his bride-to-be. In addition, the couple walking down the aisle can toast their bridal party during the rehearsal dinner, thanking them for being a part of their big day. As relaxing as the rehearsal dinner should be, couples should still follow certain protocols to ensure the dinner goes off without a hitch.
Some couples may be confused as to whom they should invite to their rehearsal dinners. Wedding party members and their
The groom’s family traditionally pays for the rehearsal dinner, but that tradition has largely fallen by the wayside. Couples should determine who will be paying for the dinner in advance so there’s no confusion once the meal is over. Couples who are handling the bill for their weddings should include the rehearsal dinner in their overall wedding budget.
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n an effort to create a once-in-a-lifetime event that is remembered by all in attendance, many couples will admit to going a tad overboard with their weddings. When the party has winded down, conscious couples can ensure that some of the excesses of the wedding get re-purposed for good use. And that begins with the food.
Many wedding caterers grossly overestimate the amount of food needed for the reception in order to keep guests well fed. That means there may be plenty of appetizers and main courses leftover, all of which couples have paid for. There are a number of ways that food can be saved and given to others.
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As portion sizes continue to grow, taking a portion home to enjoy later is both cost-conscious and a healthy idea. While a wedding may be a formal event, it shouldn’t preclude guests from feeling comfortable taking home any uneaten food. Provide the reception center with decorative to-go boxes or containers that can be used to package any food guests want to take home with them.
Donate leftover food
Neighborhood food banks may be willing to accept food donations from your wedding. Although many deal with only nonperishable foods, some will pick up both. Before the wedding you can inquire within certain organizations to find out which specialize in what area of food collection. Feeding America (feedingamerica.org) has an extensive list of food banks and food-rescue programs available online. Some organizations can pick up food and deliver it within the same day to a soup kitchen.
Help reduce waste
You can speak with your wedding caterer about cutting down on the amount of food
without making it overtly noticeable to guests. First, consider a sit-down dinner where portions are carefully measured rather than buffet where amounts are estimated. Also, removing extra courses such as dessert or breakfast bars can further keep down the amount of extra food as well as the cost.
Take it home
If you will not be traveling to your honeymoon directly after the wedding reception, you can have the catering staff package the food and you can bring it home. Keep your freezer empty and put the food inside. When you return from your honeymoon you will have plenty of dinners already premade so you can enjoy life as newlyweds. Otherwise, you can invite friends over to view honeymoon photos and serve the food as refreshments.
Food may not be the only item leftover at the end of the night. Guests who may not have taken home favors or centerpieces will leave behind many beautiful items that would normally end up in the trash. Flowers and gifts can be donated to a hospital or senior center to brighten the atmosphere. Be sure to keep just a few favors available for people who send gifts in the mail since they weren’t able to attend the festivities.
Wedding thank-you cards W
eddings and gifts go hand-in-hand. Couples who are tying the knot can expect to receive scores of gifts, ranging from simple well-wishes to cash to items listed on their registries. Because gift-giving is tradition, couples should plan on spending some time writing thank-you notes to express gratitude to the people who were kind enough to give a gift. Contrary to popular belief, couples do not have a year’s grace period to mail out thank-you notes after the gift has been received or the wedding has taken place. According to the etiquette experts at The Emily Post Institute, all thank-you cards should be written and mailed within three months of receipt of a gift. It is preferable that the thank-you be written directly after receipt of the gift, but time-strapped couples may not have the opportunity to do so. However, writing a few thank-you cards every few days can alleviate having a giant pile to do later on. Many couples prefer to order thank-you stationery when they order their wedding invitations. This way the paper, font and style match the original invitations. In addition, it may be less expensive to order stationery as a package. In some cases, a photography package may include thank-you notes with wallet-sized photos to include.
Couples can then mail out a nice sentiment with a photo from the wedding. To keep with the etiquette time frame of thank-you notes, it is important to find out when the thank-you photos and cards will arrive first from the photographer. The thank-you sentiments should not be delayed by the photographer. For those interested in less expensive options, preprinted thank-you cards can be purchased at a stationery store. There are many designs and price points available. Remember, it is not the card itself, but the thank-you that is important. As to the rules regarding those getting a thank-you, it is just about anyone who contributed in some part to the wedding, even if a verbal thanks was already offered. Anyone who provided an engagement, shower or wedding gift, those who gave gifts of money, anyone who hosted a party or shower, attendants in the wedding, people who may have housed wedding guests, parents of the bride and groom, suppliers and vendors, and employers who have wished couples well should all be included on the thank-you list. Here are some other guidelines to follow. • Mail out a handwritten note to each and every person being thanked.
• Be sincere in your messages and try to mention the gift and what it will be used for. • Promptly respond to gifts that were received through the mail so the giver knows they arrived. • Never mention that you plan to return a gift or exchange it. • Mentioning the amount of a monetary gift is optional, but it does confirm to the giver that the right amount was received. • A mass thank-you posted on social media is not adequate. • Even if you are late with writing out thank-you notes, that doesn’t exclude you from doing so. By adhering to thank-you card etiquette, couples will ensure their guests know that gifts and efforts to make the wedding special were appreciated.
• Do not use form letters or preprinted cards to which you simply add your signature.
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