Broadway Liveâ€™s Ballroom with a Twist Ballroom with a Twist was conceived and choreographed by Dancing with the Starsâ€™ Louis Van Amstel. The event was a dazzling production highlighted by stunning costumes, magnificent music by American Idol finalists and dancing performed by Dancing with the Stars pros, Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts. lexingtonoperahouse.com Photos by Alex Orlov
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UK Basketball The Cats have struggled at home this season, losing Coach Cal’s first home game at Rupp ever. That hasn’t stopped the Big Blue Nation from coming out and supporting the Wildcats on their home court! The Cats have the best fans in the country and they have a blast at the games win or lose! Let’s get ready for tournament time! ukathletics.com Photos by Dr. Michael Huang
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he american dream is a powerful idea. People flock to the United States from all over the world to get a taste of that dream. They believe they can rise above the poverty and oppression in their country by coming to America.
Lexington may be a small corner of the country, but the local Urban League chapter has moved mountains for its community, and the people who call it home.
But what about those who are already here? What about those who don’t share in the economic and social equality promoted by this country’s foundation?
Franklin and the rest of the small staff at the Urban League work around the clock to bring many programs which better the lives of African Americans and other minorities the Lexington community.
The Urban League of Lexington was founded in 1968 to combat the social and economic inequality in our community and give African Americans and disadvantaged citizens the chance to achieve equality, their personal vision of the American dream. From Across the Nation to Lexington, Kentucky Established in 1910, the National Urban league is the nation’s oldest and largest community based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. As much of a mouthful as that is to say, it means that for over 100 years, Urban Leagues across the country have been doing big things for minorities.
by Kelly Adams
“We recognize that just because the door is open, it doesn’t mean everyone can just walk in,” says Annissa M. Franklin, Chief Administrative Officer at the Urban League of Lexington – Fayette County.
What is the Urban League Doing? The list of programs the Urban League administers is astounding for having only four full-time staff members. The reason the organization is able to do so much is because of the continued support of the board and community leaders who believe in what the Urban League of Lexington – Fayette County can do for the community. P.G. Peeples, Sr., who was hired in 1969 and became President/ CEO of the Urban League of Lexington in 1971, is one member who has been working tirelessly for the cause for over 40 years.
Recently, the Urban League has been focusing on four main areas to better the community. These include bringing affordable housing to families who need it, empowering and helping underprivileged youth, guiding young professionals in this crazy economy and bringing technology and resources to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Helping the Kids In today’s world, a college education is almost invaluable. Unfortunately, most African American children don’t have the opportunity to attend or graduate from college. “We have found that remediation, lack of funding and being the first in the family to go to college adds to the problem,” says Franklin. One of the goals of the Urban League is to flip this statistic around and give every minority child the hope of a college education. The key to the Urban League’s strategy is to address the problem from many angles. Affordable Housing Projects The home is a solid foundation to self-esteem and self-worth. A decent place to live is essential. Even though it is a buyers market, some families can’t afford decent housing. There is a major shortage in affordable housing in this city. The Urban League is trying to convert that shortage into a boom by revitalizing deteriorating streets in Lexington’s “inner city.” By putting new affordable housing in Lexington’s core downtown, the Urban League is not only beautifying the city, but also occupying these neighborhoods with young families. Through the Fayette County Local Development Corporation, which is the Urban League’s housing development initiative, the league offers opportunities for home ownership, renting and senior housing. FCLDC partners with the Community Action Council and V&D Construction to do all this safely and efficiently. But guess what? With this project, the Urban League is able to kill two birds with one stone and help high school dropouts find a trade. The Young Builders Challenge program assists students in preparing for their GED while learning the ins and outs of the construction trade.
Peeples advocates for minorities through board participation, community forums and by lending his energetic and powerful voice to those in leadership so new policies can be created in the private and public sector. A definite man-around-town, most know Peeples as someone who is passionate about the programs the Urban League has to offer.
The League begins in elementary school by giving kids the opportunity to compete in academic challenges. You remember elementary school right? Where school was fun and challenges were even more fun! Well, for those dedicated elementary students, the Urban League offers scholarships to two and four year institutions as prizes in One Community, One Voice Academic Challenges. This gives children the incentive to start early and prepare for their futures, but more importantly, it aims to close the achievement gap in Fayette County Schools. Now, if you remembered elementary school, then you definitely remember middle school and how peer pressure can take its toll on struggling preteens. More times than not, that peer pressure is negative and it overcomes the student, causing behavior problems and grades to slip. Often, those youth turn to gang violence. MADE (Motivated All Day Everyday) is a gang violence and prevention program implemented by the Urban League. MADE helps middle and high school youth identified as “atrisk” of engaging in gang-related activity by school officials. The program helps students develop life skills to deal with the reality of drugs and gang violence in their community. Also, MADE aims to challenge the students to develop critical-thinking and study skills to improve their classroom performance. YLEAD is also a major program run by the Urban League. YLEAD stands for Youth Learning Economics and Appreciating Diversity and is a free program for middle school students.
Kids in the program get to learn entrepreneurship skills through mentors, research and implementation. These kids get to create business and marketing plans, learn to budget and develop a product or service and essentially run a small business. The top teams receive college scholarships and of course, bragging rights. Middle and high school students are also given the opportunity to attend a one-day conference that includes parental information on financial aid, individual development plans and information on financial literacy. The Lifting and Impacting Futures Today (LIFT) conference gives students and parents a clear vision to how they can make their dreams actually happen. Assisting the CEOs of Tomorrow I bet you didn’t know the Urban League has a young professionals chapter. These young men and women are given professional development opportunities and interaction with high-powered professional leaders in Kentucky. By participating in community service projects, civic engagements and mentorships, young minorities trying to make it in the working world are able to rub shoulders with the people they aspire to be. Bringing Technology to Everyone Because having a computer with Internet access is not feasible for every family, the Urban League has created the Connect Your Community project. This project will reach 1,750 low-income individuals and their households in Fayette County. CYC provides broadband training, lowcost equipment and support for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. CYC opens doors to allow low-income individuals the opportunity to participate in the digital world. The Urban League also serves as a technology-training site for people with low vision. Their technology labs use modified keyboards and monitors to help low-vision individuals learn how to use modern technology. Let’s Get Aware The Urban League promotes social and economic equality in the community and you can help by donating and participating in events and fundraising efforts. The Urban League Annual Empowerment Banquet is set for October 21, 2013 at the Lexington Center Bluegrass Ballroom. “Attendees at the Annual Empowerment Banquet will learn more about the Urban League, our programs, our supporters and how they can get involved and make a difference to our constituents,” says Franklin. Every year the League uses this event as an opportunity to give out their Diversity Awards. To nominate someone, visit ullexfay.org. Nominations will be accepted beginning in May. The Urban League does so much for the Lexington community. Recently, they provided computer literacy to 1,848 adults in Central Kentucky and opened a $6.7 million multi-family facility, Russell School Apartments. Now doesn’t that sound like an organization doing big things? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave millions of African Americans hope for their own American dream. Forty-nine years later, the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County is continuing to make those dreams come true.
Branfor Marsalis T
he voice of a legend can come from anywhere. For Branford Marsalis, it comes from his saxophone.
The legendary Branford Marsalis and his jazz ensemble, The Branford Marsalis Quartet, will be gracing the stage at EKU’s Center for the Arts this February with their smooth sound and flawless chemistry. The band’s namesake, Marsalis, got his start in music at a very young age. Growing up in New Orleans exposed Marsalis to all kinds of different genres of music. It gave him an appreciation for everything. According to Marsalis, “Jazz was not always in my blood, but music was.” His father and three brothers are also musicians. His father was a music professor while Marsalis was growing up, getting the whole family into the groove.
by Kelly Adams
From 1992 to 1995 Marsalis had the opportunity to be leader of The Tonight Show Band on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Every night you could see him leading the band and entertaining millions of viewers across the country. “[Leading the Tonight Show Band] was a great honor and a lot of fun,” said Marsalis. After leading the band, Marsalis realized that playing his music was where he wanted to be, so he formed the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Eric Revis on bass, Joey Calderazzo on the piano and Justin Faulkner on the drums make up the other three members of The Branford Marsalis Quartet. Since its inception, the Quartet has toured and recorded extensively. The quartet even won a Grammy in 2001 for its album Contemporary Jazz.
Marsalis played many instruments and genres before he found his passion playing jazz on his saxophone. He was a clarinet player in concert band and youth symphony and switched to the saxophone when he was 15 to join an R&B band.
When finding musicians for his quartet, Marsalis wanted to hire musicians that meshed well.
This, no doubt led to an interest in jazz, which began at the age of 19. While attending Berklee College of Music, Marsalis toured Europe playing alto and baritone saxophone in a large ensemble.
But for the quartet, simple is better. They are a tight-knit group that loves creating and performing music together.
From there his career playing saxophone took off. He played with his brother Wynton Marsalis in a few ensembles, which led to the release of his own first recording, Scenes in the City in 1985. That year, Marsalis also had guest appearances on the albums of jazz greats Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1985, Marsalis joined Sting on his first solo project. From there, Marsalis became a regular in Sting’s lineup in the studio and on stage until 1999. Of all the notable artists he has been able to work with, Marsalis says Sting was the most fun. “When we get together to play, it doesn’t matter how much time there has been between meetings,” says Marsalis of his working relationship with Sting. “We just pick up where we left off, and everything is in sync.”
“I hired musicians that would make the music sound better,” said Marsalis. That’s simple enough.
The Quartet’s latest album, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes was the first album release with new drummer, Faulkner. The album shines with ambitious original compositions by different members of the band, a Thelonious Monk classic and even a standard dating back to 1930. Taking the best possible combinations of all their work, this album is a work of jazz genius. Marsalis is more than just a musician; he has dedicated ample amounts of time to promoting the future of jazz in the classroom. He has had appointments at several outstanding universities including Michigan State, San Francisco State and North Carolina Central University. Marsalis was also honored with an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from the University of North Carolina for his work with music education. After Hurricane Katrina devastated Marsalis’ hometown of New Orleans, he wanted to do something to help the vast
What’s New musical community in the area. He joined forces with fellow New Orleans native and friend Harry Connick, Jr. to conceive the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village. “Harry Connick Jr. and I were driving to New Orleans one week after the storm to play for the evacuees staying in the Astrodome in Houston,” says Marsalis of the conception of the idea for the Village. “The long ride went from gallows humor, to talk of starting a school, to Harry wanting to use his relationship with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for musicians in the city who were forced to evacuate and had no home to come back to.” The Musicians Village, located in the historic Upper Ninth Ward, provides homes for displaced residents, musicians and their families. In the center of the Village is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Named after his grandfather, this center is a mecca for the areas musicians with performance, instructional and practice spaces. The center even boasts a state of the art recording studio. Building the village with Habitat for Humanity was one of the best experiences of Marsalis’ life. For him, it was rewarding to put music back to the community that shaped him into the musician he is today. “My favorite memories of the experience are the thousands of people from all over the world coming to help us out,” re-
Branford Marsalis Performs in concert at the EKU Center for the Arts Tuesday, Feb. 26, 8pm Tickets starting at $5 Purchase online ekucenter.com or call 859.622.7469 Ask about the EKU Center Supper Club for dinner before the show.
flects Marsalis on his time working on the village. “One time, I heard a marching band break out at lunchtime. The University of Maryland Marching Band had come for a week to build houses. Every day after lunch they would rehearse for an hour. It was a blast to hear.” Since the completion of the Musicians Village, Marsalis has had the opportunity to delve into the world of theater. He composed the electrifying score for the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” a play about the struggles of an African American breadwinner before the race barrier was broken. In 2010 Marsalis won a Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Music in a Play” and was nominated for a coveted Tony Award in the same year in the category of “Best Original Score Written for the Theatre.” “When writing for a play, you have to understand that, as Shakespeare said in Hamlet: ‘The play's the thing,’” notes Marsalis. Marsalis has had the opportunity to spread his legendary voice to so many outlets. He even received an NEA Jazz Masters Award with his father and brothers in 2011. Leading the Branford Marsalis Quartet with saxophone in hand, Branford Marsalis will spread his legendary sound to Eastern Kentucky. I suggest buying a ticket (or twelve) and being a part of this legendary band’s career.
What To Do
ENTERTAINING: VALENTINE PARTIES FOR YOUR LITTLE SWEETIES by Deanna Talwalkar Party Planner
Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally a couples-only holiday, it can also be a great time to celebrate the sweet kids in your life. Since the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over and the cold winter weather often keeps kids indoors, February is a fantastic time to plan something fun to beat the winter doldrums. Why not plan a Valentine’s Day party to add some entertainment to those long winter days? Whether you just want to celebrate your own children or would like to host a Valentine’s Day play date for all of your kids’ friends, you’ll fall in love with these simple party ideas. What to Serve Valentine’s Day fare typically includes chocolates and other sweets. In addition to the sweets, serve some heart-healthy Valentine’s party foods. For example, fruit kabobs are a nutritious treat that kids love. Strawberries sliced vertically look just like little red hearts, making them the ideal fruit for a Valentine’s themed fruit kabob. Consider serving other pink and red foods and drinks, such as strawberry milk. Red fruit, like watermelon, can be cut into a heart shape using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Party guests will think you’re so sweet if you send home a party favor. Individually bagged conversation hearts and wrapped chocolate bars are inexpensive favors that can be sent home with guests. Decorations
are inexpensive decorations. Hearts cut out of paper are another simple decoration for a Valentine’s Day party. Other pink, red, and white decorations that you might have lying around the house, such as tablecloths and cake stands, can be used for decorations. Matching paper goods easily bring together your party décor. Coordinating place cards, cupcake toppers, candy bar wrappers, banner, drink flags, signs, and Valentine’s Day cards are all available. You’ll love the ease of using the coordinated paper goods, while kids will think that the cute little owl friends are a hoot. Activities Party activities don’t have to be complicated to be fun. Two easy party games for a Valentine’s Day party are Cupid Says (a Valentine’s twist on Simon Says) and Stack the Hearts using candy conversation hearts. One simple Valentine’s Day craft is to cut several paper hearts out of construction paper. Gather your markers, crayons, and pens and have kids make personalized Valentine’s Cards for their parents or for each other. You can also embellish the hearts with glitter, sequins, or stickers if you have those items on hand. Another engaging craft is to make Valentine’s Day “roses” with simply mini and regular sized cupcake liners, floral wire, and glue. Using the wire, poke a hole in the middle of three small cupcake liners. Insert the liners onto the top end of the wire, then secure with a small dab of glue. Squeeze the bottom of the liners into a floral shape. Repeat with the two large cupcake liners, placing them underneath the mini cupcake liners.
Photos & Styling by Mirabelle Creations
Start your party decorations by picking a Valentine’s Day color scheme. Paper doilies and paper fans in your party color palette
To download the paper templates shown here visit topsinlex.com/read/3777/Entertaining%3A+Valentine+Parties+for+Your+Little+Sweeties
What To Do
POSH PAWS: BUDGET FOR YOUR PET by Amanda Harper, Pet Aficionado
Did you know that, on average, a dog owner spends between $600 and $900 a year on a pet pooch? A cat, meanwhile, will cost about $670 a year, according to the ASPCA. And that’s just basic costs. Nevermind the upcharge of pricier goods, niche care, insurance or medical costs.
Saving for emergencies is a difficult subject for many pet owners. My first and best advice is to accept that your pet will, at some point, have a health emergency that requires you to make some difficult decisions. Those difficult decisions will cost money. It is important to save for that time now so that you will be less focused on your finances, more focused on being there for your beloved pet.
Whether you’re considering the purchase of a pet or simply thinking about your finances, it’s important to look at your pet expenditures as a factor in your overall household budget. Since you spend money on your pet every month, you should plan ahead for those costs—and for emergencies.
Everyone should have an emergency fund set aside in their budget to save for the event of a health or life crisis. A pet emergency fund should be completely separate. You shouldn’t plan to tap into your own emergency fund for your pet.
Why budget? Planning your expenses helps you choose where to put your money. Knowing how much you spend and how much you should spend helps curb impulse buys and encourages you to make more informed decisions about the products and services you choose. To start including your pet care costs in your budget, add up all your monthly pet expenditures. Grooming, toys, treats, food and trips to the dog park all count. Factor that into your home’s monthy, recurring budget. For more infrequently-purchased items, such as an annual vet visit or adorable pet accessories, divide these costs out by the months that go between purchases and add that cost to your monthly budget. Say you take your pet to the vet for a checkup once a year (and you should!) You’d divide the cost of the visit by twelve and factor that number into your budget. That way, you will have put aside the entire cost of this visit by the time it rolls around.
Of course, budgeting can reveal something you may not expect. If you take a good look at how you’re spending your dollars, you might find that you’re not really spending all that much on your pet. There’s no hard and fast rule for how much you spend on your four-legged companion, but it’s fun to treat your pet sometimes! If you’ve got room in your budget or you’re willing to forego a night at the movies for your pet’s sake, splurge a little. Consider a new toy, a little extra grooming or upping the quality of your pet’s food. Your pet will reward you with lots of love, and that’s priceless.
What To Do
MONEY MAKE MORE
KEEP MORE “We work hard for the money, so hard for it honey!” Donna Summers summed it up pretty well. We work hard for all we have, so why not get the most out of it? TOPS is dedicating February’s issue to MONEY. On the following pages, you will find Financial Advice from local experts, articles on Life Insurance, Mortgages, Credit Unions and Interest Rates. Beginning on page 80 are profiles on some of Central Kentucky’s leading bankers. Get to know YOUR local banker!
What To Do
It’s time to talk about LIFE insurance, even if you don’t want to by Don McNay As people work to make money on Main Street, insurance plays a key role in making sure that an illness, fire, or accident does not put them out of business and that the financial goals for families and charities are met if the person who set the goals dies before they are achieved. I’ve been affiliated with the industry for twenty-nine years. All of the titles behind my name -- Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, masters in financial services, Certified Structured Settlement Consultant – have some relationship to the insurance industry. I’m a licensed life insurance agent in several states and a licensed life and health insurance consultant in Kentucky, which means I can charge a fee instead of taking a commission for my advice. I’m also a licensed claims adjuster in Kentucky. Dealing with insurance claims is part of what I do in the structured settlement business. I understand the power of life insurance. The first life insurance check I ever delivered was on a twentyeight-year-old family friend who was hit by a truck. The money allowed his family to bury him, hire a lawyer, and eventually win a verdict against the trucking company. A year later, the second death claim I filed was for my father,
a fifty-nine-year-old who died of prostate cancer. I had argued with him for years before he agreed to buy the policy. He hated insurance and didn’t really like it being part of my career path. Near his death, he thanked me for convincing him to get the coverage. I became a true believer in life insurance after Dad’s death. That makes me dramatically different from Main Street America. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The number of individual life policies sold annually in the U.S. dropped 45 percent over the past twenty-five years, even as the number of households with children rose more than 25 percent. Meanwhile, the number of $2 million-plus policies, typically sold to affluent households, has been rising.” Wealthy people, who can afford first-rate advisors and attorneys, see the need for life insurance, but the message is not getting to Main Street. I have theories as to why. I’ve met a lot of quality insurance agents—really bright people who care about their clients and recommend innovative solutions. Many of them I’ve become acquainted with through the Million Dollar Round Table. No one, outside of their individual clients, knows much about them. You don’t see many reality shows about insurance agents. If you asked the average person to describe a typical insurance agent, he would come up with a character such as the one Bill Murray kept punching in the movie Groundhog Day: a pushy, not-so-bright person more interested in making a sale than helping his clients. I’ve been lucky to know people who have devoted their lives to the insurance industry and really know their stuff. Insurance advisors play an important role in people’s lives, and agents should have the same kind of
What To Do
FINANCE: INTEREST RATES by Tom Dupree The Money Man
In 35 years in the investment business, I have never seen interest rates as low as they are now for as long as they have been. My Dad has been in the business for 57 years and the same thing applies to him. My Granddad had been in the business for 50 years at his death in 1970 and the same thing applied to him, also. Rates have never been this low for this long in anybody’s memory. They were rarely this low at any time in the 1800s, the 1700s, or the 1600s either. What does this mean? Money is like any other commodity because the cost of it can go up and down with supply and demand. Interest is the rental cost of money. If there’s not much of it available to be loaned out and there are lots of people who want to borrow it, interest rates will rise. If it is widely available and there’s not much demand for it, rates drop. That’s where we are today. Now this is the strange part. You may have been denied a loan at a bank in the last few years, yet I am telling you that there’s lots of money out there going begging. “Where’s my loan?” you may ask. I am not sure I fully understand it myself, and I’m supposed to be the expert, but I am going to attempt to explain it. If you think I did well, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, I’ll try to do it in less than 300 more words. Here goes! Leading up to the housing crisis in 2008, there was tremendous loan demand based on real estate and housing. Real estate had been going up in price for years and years and nobody thought it would ever drop in price. When bankers believe the collateral for their loans will always be worth more than the loan, they usually make the loan. The reason is because even if the borrower doesn’t make the loan payments, the banker believes if he has to foreclose on the property there will be enough value there to satisfy the loan amount. So the loan isn’t being made to the lender so much as it is being made to the lender’s property.
In this environment, lenders got sloppy. They made loans they shouldn’t have, expecting real estate to keep climbing in price. It didn’t. When the real estate started dropping in price, many mortgage loans stopped paying because the loans had been made on the expected price of the underlying real estate rather than the borrowers’ ability to make payments, banks and mortgage investors lost money and lending slowed dramatically. At the same time, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal government began creating and spending money to “stimulate” the economy when all the economy wanted to do was contract. So massive money began sloshing into the private economy with no place to go. But that still doesn’t explain why it’s so hard to borrow. Bank examiners, which regulate banks are always fighting the “last battle.” When the crisis hit in 2008, many loans went bad. The examiners subsequently made it hard for banks to justify making the same loans they made prior to the crisis even though the collateral was now reasonably valued. It’s like trying to nail the barn door shut after the horse escaped. This is my opinion on how this has come down, like a perfect storm for lower interest rates. It’s great for borrowers and terrible for savers. Hope these views are helpful to you. Listen to “The Tom Dupree Show” Saturdays from 6-9 a.m. at News Radio 630WLAP or wlap.com.
What To Do
MORTGAGE LENDING by Lauren Henry
To buy, or not to buy, that is the question home-owning hopefuls are pondering at the moment. With so many gems on the market resulting from the recent glut of inventory in today’s market, what are the mortgage options available to make one your own and what processes need to be set in motion to ensure that the house of your dreams becomes your reality? PRE-APPROVAL The first step is to work with a lender to attain pre-approval, or a promise from the lender that you are qualified to borrow up to a certain amount of money at a specific interest rate. During the pre-approval process, the lender looks closely at your credit and verifies your income information, though getting pre-approved does not absolutely guarantee that your loan will be approved. You must also provide your lender with pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns and W-2 forms from the previous two years, and documents showing other sources of income, so if you have yet to begin this process, start saving these forms now. At this point, though the lender is confident that you can make the necessary down payment and that your income is sufficient to cover the mortgage payments, he or she needs to be sure that the home is appraised for an amount more than or equal to the purchase price. Thus, it is important to get pre-approved because in today’s competitive housing market, sellers prefer a pre-approved buyer. PRIMARY OR INCOME PROPERTY Once you have been pre-approved, you will need to determine whether or not you will occupy the property as a primary residence. Generally speaking, the best deals on mortgage terms are available to people who are going to occupy the property as their primary residence, though it is important to know how an income property mortgage will differentiate. An income property loan is given to an investor seeking to purchase a residential or commercial rental property. Income property mortgages are typically much harder to qualify for and often require a borrower to include estimates of the rental income that will be received from the property. FIXED MORTGAGES After determining that you are planning to occupy a property as your primary residence, you can delve into the varying options of mortgages and select the best one for your personal goals and needs. If, for example, you are interested in a mortgage that presents predictable housing costs for the entirety of the loan, a fixed rate mortgage may be the optimum choice for you. A few examples of fixed rate mortgages include but are not limited to: 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages, bi-weekly mortgages, and even “convertible” mortgages. The 30-year loan remains the traditional favorite because it offers the lowest monthly payments of fixed rate loans while providing for a never-changing monthly payment schedule. Some lenders also offer 20, 25, and even 40-year mortgages but it is important to remember that the longer the term of the loan, the more total interest you will pay. Another of the more familiar mortgage plans is the 15-year fixed rate mortgage and it allows homeowners to own their homes free
and clear in half the time and for less than half the total interest costs of the traditional 30-year loan. A few of the lesser known mortgages include the biweekly mortgage, which shortens the loan term to 18 to 19 years by requiring a payment for half the monthly amount every two weeks, and the convertible mortgage which offer today’s homebuyer the option to change the loan’s interest rate after some period of time or some specified movement in interest rates. ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGES Also consider Adjustable Rate Mortgages, or ARMs, which have become one of the most popular and effective tools for enabling one to achieve the dream of owning a home. ARMs were developed during a period involving high interest rates that kept many people out of the housing market and they offer lower initial rates by sharing the future risk of higher rates between the borrower and the lender. Under certain conditions, such as rising income expectations, high interest rates, and short-term homeownership, ARMs can be an excellent choice of financing. Each Adjustable Rate Mortgage is comprised of four components including: initial interest rate, adjustment interval, index, and margin. REFINANCE Once you have obtained your dream home, at some point in the future, you will consider refinancing. With interest rates at record lows, refinancing is a great option if your goals are to reduce the interest expenses and/ or reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Another consideration for refinancing involves debt consolidation, by combining both a first mortgage and a home equity line of credit. When you do decide to refinance, you will need to choose which type of new mortgage is the best fit for you. The two main types of refinancing are cash-out refinancing and standard refinancing. Cash-out refinancing involves taking out a new mortgage on your current property where the amount of cash borrowed is greater than the amount of the previous mortgage. Typically, a cash-out refinancing will have a slightly higher interest rate than standard refinancing as the lender will have more money at risk. This type of refinancing plan is also often used to pay down debt.
What To Do
WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION? ADVANTAGES OF BEING A CREDIT UNION MEMBER Savings Credit unions want to help you meet your financial goals. Savings plans available through credit unions usually pay dividends or interest that is comparable to or better than interest paid on savings accounts offered at other financial institutions. Many credit union members find that saving through payroll deduction becomes an easy way to systematically build their savings program. Loans
credit union is a cooperative, non-profit association, incorporated in accordance with the provisions of the Kentucky Credit Union Law or the Federal Credit Union Act. Its purpose is to create a source of credit for its members at a fair and reasonable rate of interest and, at the same time, encourage habits of thrift and provide the opportunity for people to mutually benefit from the use and control of their savings. Based on the principles of brotherhood, economic democracy and individual self-help, credit unions serve people who are united by a common bond of association, employment, residence or membership in the same church or organization. Creating financial peace of mind, satisfaction and economic stability for its members is the mission of every credit union. Credit unions are greatly influenced by the realization that a good financial life is possible only as the result of systematic savings and the prudent use of your resources. By encouraging the intelligent use of credit, through education and low-cost loans to its member-owners, a credit union is able to increase its members’ moral responsibility and enhance their individual dignity. The convenience of consumer credit through a credit union can provide additional purchasing power that may contribute significantly to an improved standard of living if they are used with understanding and foresight.
Only members may borrow from the credit union. Credit unions traditionally have been the best place to get a loan. Interest rates are usually lower than those offered by other lenders. Since credit unions consider one’s character as well as collateral, it is often easier to get a credit union loan. Most Kentucky credit unions also offer the convenience of payroll deduction for ease in making the payments. Other Financial Services In a credit union you’ll find many other consumer services to help you secure a financially sound future. These services may include low or no cost checking accounts, certificate savings accounts, ATM (money machine) cards, credit cards, as well as sound financial advice. Credit unions are non-profit. Earnings are distributed to members either in the form of better rates on savings and loans, or earnings are invested in new or improved services for members. Ownership of a Credit Union Once you deposit money in the credit union, you become a member-owner. Eligible members can then vote for the credit union’s Board of Directors on a one member, one vote basis. Officers and directors are chosen from the membership and serve on a voluntary basis. Once you join you not only become a member of the credit union but part of a national financial system. The credit union does not stand alone but is joined by more than 7000 other
Courtesy of the Kentucky Credit Union League
What To Do
FAMILY: MISERS & SPENDTHRIFTS by Hallie Bandy
When it comes to teaching children about money, there is no shortage of advice. Start early. Give them their own money. Teach them responsibility. Which in real life translates to: teach the miser to spend generously, and keep the spendthrift from going broke. When they were young, my children attended a church-sponsored program that made what I thought was a brilliant attempt to give them some reallife experience. They provided their own currency and awarded the kids “bucks” for meeting milestones, then opened a “store” at the end of the year. One of my sons diligently saved his “bucks” for two years to purchase an elaborate rocket … which worked exactly one time. Certain I could improve on the system, I created our own family currency. “Bandy Bucks” allowed me to rule my own banana republic. I printed the currency myself, and determined its value. I could pay generously, but charge exorbitant prices. I thought the system worked quite well. The child who quickly became a Bandy-bucks millionaire thought differently. He told me it wasn’t worth it. He wanted cash. Children can be so smart. And in fact, that child was so smart he didn’t stop at asking for cash. He asked for stock. For Christmas. At the tender age of 10. And so his Aunt — my husband’s sister — a successful investor herself, set him up with his own account, which he has managed for several years now. I am not exaggerating when I say he has a better portfolio than I. We were visiting with longtime family friends not long after and mentioned how much we appreciated her influence and what a generous spirit she has. Oh yes, the friends agreed, recalling a summer, over two decades earlier, when my husband was sick with mono. Each day, they said, his sister, an adorable child with blond pigtails, would come into the convenience store they ran and ask for a “finger bar” for “her Greggy.” She was so cute, and the cause so noble, they never charged her for the candy. “What?!” my husband said, incredulous. “I never got a single one.” Apparently, the miser had, at some point, learned to be generous. But not before she had two weeks’ worth of free candy bars.
What To Do
IN THE ‘BUF’: MONEY COMPATIBILITY by Buffy Lawson Relationship Veteran
Money. One short word that seemingly makes the world go round. It has made poor men rich and wealthy men lose their minds. People have such diverse stances on how to make, save and internalize the dollar bill that studies have declared the issue of finances as one of the most common reasons for disagreements in marriages. Not a lesson that one wants to learn the hard way. I have dated princes, paupers, lawyers and guitar players and one thing is certain--it can be like a bad ear infection trying to find two partners that agree on how money should work in a household unit; i.e. PAINFUL. But buddy, it sure is important if you don’t wish for your castle (of whatever size) to look like a bad episode of Rosanne. It has been my experience that some people are totally defined by money and power. Others could use a nice firm kick in the rear to be a bit more - inspired shall we say? Over the years, I have met a fairly full spectrum of personalities and have learned the importance of two people being on the same page. Years ago, I was set up on a blind date with a very attractive man, who it turned out, was extremely successful in his career as a corporate manager and was quite wealthy. STEVE showed up at my door with three dozen red roses. Wow! I thought to my twenty-two year old self. We walked up to his red shiny Porsche and he opened my door. He proceeded to take me to the nicest restraunt in town and had reserved the most romantic table in the corner beside the fireplace. I felt like Cinderella at the ball as we shared a two hundred dollar bottle of wine…until dinner continued. Steve must have opened his wallet five times flashing a large wad of cash, trying to act as if he was showing me pictures of his grandmother. He proceeded to talk…and talk and talk…about himself. He discussed his career, houseboat, lake house and multiple trips to Spain while sneaking in several chauvinistic comments about his secretary and our waitress. He never once bothered to ask me a thing about myself, and by this time his monologue made me want to take a nap. Even at that age, it occurred to me that no amount of money in the world would make me enjoy a man like that. However, I had to admit, the marinated filet was nice. Sometime later I met and had a lovely exchange with PAUL, who was very likable, artsy, kind-hearted and certainly no Steve. However, it turned out that he was an out of work screenplay composer who apparently left his wallet at his home. The home which he shared with his Grandma Spriggs. I paid for our dinner bill and dropped Paul off at his granny’s because according to him, his car was in the shop. The writing was very clearly on the wall and I had a sneaking suspicion that Paul probably had not had a job for a long time and if I intended to
date or marry Paul, I had better make a great living for the two of us or learn to love Grandma Spriggs. Years later yet, I became involved with a banker, RON. I enjoyed my time with Ron and thought we might have a nice future together. I am not irresponsible with money, nor am I willing to obsess over every penny at the expense of having a few perks along the way, when possible. After moving in together, I realized that money would always be a huge issue for us. Even though I made my own good living, I found myself hiding a new pair of shoes in my trunk so as to avoid the lecture that would follow. Who would have thought that money could affect so many relationships so drastically? I recall when Mister Man and I had dinner early on in our relationship. We discussed some of the biggies… religion, children, politics and the mighty green dollar. He laughed as I told him about my previous money disaster dates and decided that we would have one primary banking account, a savings account and each of us would have our own money for earned perks. So you can imagine how guilty I felt as I shoved a hot pair of new high heels in the trunk of my car. What was wrong with me? We had an agreement and he would be so disappointed in me for my little secret. But I felt guilty that without question, those hundred bucks could have been better spent. I felt guilty until the next morning as he was on his way out of the door; I noticed what appeared to be a new set of golf clubs. “Hey babe?” I asked. “Are those new clubs?” “Uh…well, yeah.” He guiltily replied. “I got them in a killer sale last week….didn’t I tell you?”
Who’s Who Born and raised in Kentucky, Shaun grew up in Mount Sterling, just East of Lexington. “When I came to Lexington, it seemed huge—it could just as easily have been New York.” He adds, “I’m proud to be from Kentucky. We’ve got some gorgeous scenery for sure, but we’re most rich in our people.” Early on in his career, Shaun was a teacher in Jessamine County where as he explains, “I realized very quickly that I enjoyed the teaching aspect, but not all the other things that came with the job. When I got out of teaching for real estate, I had already been moonlighting as a photographer for several years.” The bi-vocational nature of his career absolutely plays into his organic approach to business, and to life. “I appreciate the variety and I am thrilled that I am able to say to my clients, this is my art, this is the personal service I offer, and I can help achieve what you are looking for in more than one area.” Not only does Shaun help people in his profession daily, but his studio is involved with several non-profits in the community. They recently donated auction items to the Beastie Ball for the Humane Society and Shaun is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the communtiy and help others, both professionally, and personally. The studio also volunteers their time and services to the Alzheimer’s Association and Susan G. Komen, just to mention a few. With all that he is involved with now, it was not until Shaun took a risk, stepping away from teaching full time, that business started truly ramping up with photography and real estate. “Katie [wife] and I had a year to get everything up and running in both businesses because we were expecting our son, Carson.” Years later, to be sitting in the studio space that Shaun once merely imagined, is an absolute confirmation that things are not only up and running—but thriving. Shaun’s studio is shared by the Serif Group (a creative marketing agency) and ‘visionary’ radiates from every corner. Their lovely lofted area is as bright and heartfelt as Shaun’s smile, featuring clean modern lines that beautifully accent the original rustic ceiling. The space also boasts gorgeous windows that cover an entire wall in the conference room, stimulating one’s imagination to formulate thoughts of brilliance. “I love this whole area because, to me, it’s in transition. It’s not perfect and I like that. It feels human back here, not overly produced. It’s indicative of how I approach everything and above all else, I want it to feel authentic.” TOPS: What is your Mission Statement? Shaun: We are focused on providing a personal experience for each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the services being rendered. Whether we are photographing family portraits, advertising photography, weddings, high school portraits, or whatever the service may be – we are just really excited to continue making each session a special experience for our clients as a studio. At this point in my career, the satisfaction level is
high and the burnout level is low and I’m excited that what I do feels less like work and more like living and being able to help others through the services I love. TOPS: Do you have a secret weapon? Shaun: I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for Candi, without whom I could not have reached this point in my career. Candi takes care of the backside of real estate and photography, making it possible for me to be out working with people. I am also excited that Candi will be taking a more active role in the studio’s photography for canines, because her passion for the subject is reflected beautifully in the portraits she captures. TOPS: What is your inspiration? Shaun: While most of my inspiration is derived from other forms of creativity, such as film and music, one photographer who has been particularly influential is Jules Bianchi. I went out to work with her a few times in California and it was a chance for me to get outside of the local Lexington market and have someone totally unbiased help me to see my photography and my business in a different light.
TOPS: What is your motivation? Shaun: When I’m not out going different directions for work, I am always enjoying time at home with Katie, Carson, and Cera (as in Triceratops) our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who Carson actually named. TOPS: Do you have a favorite topic to photograph? Shaun: The common thread to what I enjoy photographing most often involves interactions with people of all types and ages. One thing that you’ll hear me say if you were a fly on the wall during one of my shoots (whether it’s for a large corporation or for a family) is that I don’t want this to be too posed; just relax and be yourself. I’m not trying to fit subjects into my mold, I just want to find you where you are and capture the best parts of you. I’m a collector of memories and awesome people—I guess that’s why I love photography. As Albert Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe in a friendly or hostile universe,” and I try to remember these words of encouragement and kindess. When we were approached with the Susan G. Komen spread for TOPS, for example, we were trying to come up with how
Who’s Who to photograph these survivors in a friendly and hopeful way, and I really wanted that human element to show through. Rather than trying to pull back and take more of a polished, glammed up shot of the ladies, we brought them in and captured a very close, intimate portrait cast in natural light. There is a connection between the eyes of each of these portraits. Each portrait makes a great impact when standing alone, or when viewing collectively. By focusing the camera lens right into their eyes, it is as if we are able to look inside what they have lived through and experience what they felt just for a second. It is remarkable to be working with that many people who have overcome so much and who remain so incredibly strong. TOPS: Any final thoughts? Shaun: I’m keenly aware that there is something awesome going on within us and around us. I have deep-seated beliefs, but I’m not quite sure that the box isn’t bigger. What I do know is this— I’ve never been happier. I am surrounded by incredible people and I am having one heck of a ride so far in this life.
To learn more fun facts about Shaun, please visit his website: shaunring.com Find him on Facebook: facebook.com/shaun.ring
The wood paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer is made to look like a piece of furniture. Another excellent feature of the kitchen is a Wolf 4-burner duel fuel range with a built in griddle, an additional Wolf built-in wall oven and microwave with warming drawer, all of which are available at Pieratt’s. Continuous with the kitchen is a space dedicated to entertaining. Originally a half bathroom that separated the kitchen and family rooms, the area is now an open concept wet bar that features cabinet space for absolutely everything. The glass pillar-like columns that flank the bar are beautiful display cases for the Neuman’s crystal glassware. They also function as a concealed chase for the electrical and plumbing between the basement and second floor. The thick Black Walnut Butcher Block Countertop finishes this unique bar area off. On the other side of the entertainment bar is a beautiful and inviting family room. In this room, every corner received some type of change. The wallpaper came down and all the molding and built-ins got a coat of fresh white paint to brighten and upgrade the space.
Directly off the family room, and accessible to the kitchen’s large breakfast area, is a screened in porch. The floor to ceiling French doors open completely, creating an open extension to the family room and kitchen. The Screen Eze screens on the porch are remarkable offering an incredible view of the backyard garden and the golf course. “Because the screens are so invisible, I was worried about our little grandchildren running into them,” jokes Susan.
What To Do
GARDENING: WINTER IS FOR DREAMING & PLANNING by Michelle Rauch, Gardening Enthusiast
It may only be February, but it’s already beginning to look a lot like Spring! Well, at least in my mailbox and inbox. The 2013 gardening catalogs and emails started pouring in last month, tempting me with the latest and greatest gardening goodies. The cover of the Burpee catalog is splashed with a headline that’s hard to resist: “The Super Sauce. The world’s largest sauce tomato.” Flip through the pages and you’ll find the first ever sweet corn you can grow in a container. Who knew? But, wait, there’s more! (I almost feel as though I’ve been tossed into a Ron Popeil commercial. I wonder if I cave in to the temptations they’ll throw in a Chop-o-matic or Veg-o-matic.) There is the ‘Masquerade’, a potato with strikingly good looks that’s paired with delicious flesh. Then there is the ‘Martha Washington’ petunia. Billed as so dazzling, so striking, the creator claims it will be the “talk” of the petunia growers garden. I wonder if that comes with a money back guarantee? In all, Burpee has more than a whopping eighty new garden goodies to try. Now to my email inbox where the excitement continues. Better Homes and Gardens has the hot new trends for 2013. Among them, fragrant flowers. Now, while I do still consider myself a beginning gardner, I find it hard to believe fragrant flowers were ever out of fashion. But for what’s its worth, they’re back en vogue. So much so they are “skyrocketing in popularity.”
Heirloom seed saving, community gardens, and raising chickens in urban settings are also projected to be hot this growing season. I find the names of flowers delightful. Each year there seems to be something new. This year is no different. Superbells ‘Pomegranate Punch’ sounds as splashy as it looks. Not a fan of pomegranate? That’s okay. There’s ‘Strawberry Punch’, too. The list goes on: ‘Solar Flare’ Sunflower, ‘Patchwork Cosmic Orange’ Impatiens, ‘Pink Shimmer’ Echinacea, ‘Pardon My Pink’ Bee Balm, ‘Blue Lagoon’ Verbascum, ‘Lady in Red’ Fern, and ‘Livin’ La Vida’ Rose. That one simply inspires me to hit the dance floor with a latin inspired ditty with a rose tucked behind my ear. While Burpee is touting its largest sauce tomato, Bonnie Plants has the ‘New Girl’. This tomato is guaranteed to arrive earlier than the ‘Early Girl’ herself. With so many decisions to be made during the next few months, there is something else you should know. The early bird gets the worm or in this case, the sales! As if the 2013 flowers, fruits, and vegetables are not tempting enough to try this year, growers are sweetening the deal with sales. Looks like its time for me to put my penchant for procrastinating aside so I can cash in.
What To Do
ETIQUETTE: TURNING ORDINARY INTO EXTRA-ORDINARY by Sue Ann Truitt Etiquette Consultant
Many people need encouragement and advice on how to move from feeling bored into feeling alive. It doesn’t require huge sums of money, traveling to far away islands or a complete makeover. It is the desire to live each day to the fullest by making it the best you possibly can. No one knows what lies ahead of the present day. It must take a concerted effort to make each day the best day. Everyone can accomplish this goal. It requires attitude and desire to make this happen. One day I walked into a jewelry store to get some repair work done. There, I saw a friend trying on a spectacular pair of sapphire earrings. I asked “Oh, is it your Birthday?” “No”, she replied. “Your Anniversary?” “No, I am buying these earrings for myself because I deserve them”. I have thought of that encounter so often. We all deserve so much. It may not be a pair of sapphire earrings but we deserve to be good to ourselves. It is estimated that the average person uses 5% of their home and collections and saves 95% of their possessions for special occasions; birthdays, holidays, etc. What if those numbers were reversed? You used your best china, more formal dining room and sterling silver 95% of the time. Why not try it? You deserve to enjoy these treasures. When each day becomes a special occasion, it is amazing how the day turns around. Even small moments, when handled lovingly, can become life enhancing. Instead of rushing about and saving up for later, experience each day as the special God-given gift that it is.
• Light a candle on the table for dinner. Children tend to be better behaved in dimmer lighting. • Rotate placemats and napkins so that there will be several sets for each season. • During cold weather, be certain there is a folded, cozy throw on the back of the sofa and several chairs. They look warm and inviting. • Fix baskets lined with colorful fabrics to receive the day’s mail. • Enhance table tops and shelves with books. Keeping them handy encourages family members to read. • On top of a stack of coﬀee table books, place a pretty cup and saucer filled with mints. • Remove the petals from last week’s tired roses and place them in a pretty bowl. Add a couple drops of scented oil while placing them on the table beside your bed. These incentives will provide instant gratification for you as they improve your thoughts and feelings about your day. Don’t wait for gratification from others—even your spouse may never notice the touches. But improving your day does matter, because you deserve it!
The following suggestions are meant to inspire you to create the small details which make every day living more pleasurable. It is an uplifting way of making simple, ordinary tasks into something special. • Treat yourself to a cup of tea in one of your best china cups and take 10 minutes to be quiet before preparing dinner. • Make a practice of setting a table in a diﬀerent room for a meal – the den, living room or foyer. • Pick up a fresh flower for the table each time you grocery shop. • Change china often to celebrate the season or the time of day. • Change the pillows on the sofa to give the room a diﬀerent look and feel. • Organize your stationery drawer. Spray a touch of perfume in the stationery box and replace the top. It will have added appeal when you write the next notes. • Place a pretty colored pen and pad near each phone.
An Evening with Donny Osmond Famed singer Donny Osmond performed at St. Mark’s Catholic Church’s “An Evening Among Friends” series to an intimate crowd of local fans. The event’s Vegas theme included Blackjack dealers and showgirls. “An Evening Among Friends” is an event that raises funds for St. Marks Church and its ministries. saintmarkcatholicchurch.net Photos by Judy and Brian Myers
Scan here to see all the photos for this event at topsinlex.com!
September 29, 2012
Kirsten & Andrew Carey
t may sound like a plot from a romantic comedy, but on the cold, December day when Kirsten and Andrew met, their lives were changed forever. They each felt as if they already knew one another. Their paths were bound to cross—they have many mutual friends, similar interests and they both attended UK. They still reminisce about that whimsical moment that so few in the real world get to experience. A year after they met, Andrew picked another December day to add a new chapter to their story. They met at the Henry Clay Estate in front of the world’s largest living Christmas tree. Just after sundown, he got down on one knee and a photographer was waiting in the wings to capture the moment. The wedding ceremony was held at the Second Presbyterian Church, where the bride had attended her entire life. Kirsten had always imagined her wedding there, so it was a dream come true. The church was decorated with hydrangeas, ivory garden roses, lilies, willow branches and seeded eucalyptus. The candlelit nuptials featured live singing by the bride’s childhood best friend. Kirsten wore a trumpet silhouette gown from Bridal & Formal made of Chantilly lace along with a handmade belt by Amy Perry. Her cathedral veil was handmade in New York. She carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, mini calla lilies and ivory garden roses, wrapped in ribbon and pinned with pearls with a gold locket from her maternal grandparents that was a gift to her mother. Tucked inside was a 2012 penny, a tradition her grandmother passed down. She carried a handkerchief from each of her grandmothers, as well. The bride gave each of her bridesmaids a monogrammed champagne pashmina from Daffodils and gold & diamond love knot earrings. Dressed in navy, each carried ivory hydrangeas and ranunculus, wrapped in champagne silk ribbon and pinned with pearls. The groom and groomsmen wore traditional tuxes with bow ties.
Since many of the guests were from out of town, the couple wanted a reception space that was representative of Lexington. The Lexington Country Club was a perfect fit for the 500 guests. The interior was decorated with silver containers of various sizes, filled with the same flowers used to decorate the church. The patio floral arrangements featured ferns, blooming gardenia and palm trees. They created a wishing tree by hanging tea lights in mercury glass votives along with flowers, the couple’s monogram and streamers. Guests wrote wishes for the couple on ivory cards and hung them from the ribbon. The reception food featured Southern fare including a signature drink, The Sweet Pear. Since the bride can’t eat cake due to allergies, they had only a small cake featuring her grandparents’ cake topper. They served a variety of desserts, instead, including bourbon balls. The Sensations kept guests dancing all night. In a funny and touching moment during the reception, the bride’s cousins, aunts, grandmother and mother surrounded the bride and sang “Goin’ to the Chapel.” Eco-friendly sky lanterns illuminated the couple’s exit. Afterwards, there was an after party at the Griffin Gate so the pair could let loose and relish the end of their special day. Kirsten & Andrew honeymooned in Curacao. by Amanda Harper Photography by Melanie Mauer
Details: Wedding Venue: Second Presbyterian Church Wedding Planners: Bride and Mother Reception Venue: Lexington Country Club, Event Coordinator: Ashley McDonner Bridesmaid Gowns: Twirl Florist: Crist Creona Photographer: Melanie Mauer Photobooth: Shutterbooth Hair & make-up: Lisa Hickerson, owner Sharp Images Salon, assisted by Alex McLean Invitations & programs: Cardinal & Straw Cake: Martineâ€™s Pastries Desserts: by a family friend Monogramming by SAB Embroidery
What To Do
wedding: Weddings go to my head, pART Two! by Marsha Koller Wedding Consultant
Step Aside Wedding Veil – Interesting Headpieces Update Style and Add Bling Last month we looked at the array of wedding veil options, but choosing just a veil has taken a backseat to updated headpiece styles that combine fresh new looks with classic wedding day beauty. These trends work because you can choose a headpiece that uniquely flatters your dress, suits your personality, and one that works perfectly with contemporary hairstyles and trends. For those brides that want some bling, this is the perfect place to add it without adding cost to your wedding gown choice. These headpiece styles can be paired with a simple veil to make you feel like a bride, but can be easily removed for reception revelry. The Headband The Headband, especially an intricately detailed rhinestone wedding headband, is one of the newer trends in wedding headpieces and adds sophisticated vintage flair. It can be worn either by pulling the hair back away from the face or in the hair while leaving your beautiful locks surrounding your face. An embellished headband is the perfect addition to a simple wedding veil to lift the glamour factor and add sparkle, without moving up to a more formal tiara. You will find wedding headband pieces made of combinations of rhinestones, pearls, lace, ribbons or feathers. Best of all, its simple form suits almost everyone, and looks wonderful with an up-do. The Tiara While this may not feel like a new trend – after all queens and princesses have been wearing tiaras at weddings forever – the tiara has gone mainstream. It is not at all over-the-top to wear a sparkly rhinestone tiara, nicely coupled with a veil, to glitz up
your look. Tiaras now come in understated styles (isn’t that an oxymoron – an understated tiara?) that work with any dress style, from a slightly up-tilted head band style for a minimal tiara treatment, to pearl tiaras if you don’t want too much sparkle. The Fascinator Thanks again to Kate Middleton, this Brit fashion mainstay is taking the bridal world by storm. The Fascinator is a smaller headpiece (not a hat, not a veil, sometimes worn slightly askew) that ads whimsy and lightheartedness to a wedding day ensemble. It is perfect for the non-traditional bride that wants to be just a little different, or one who feels a veil is just too fussy for her unique style. We see wedding fascinators adorned with feathers and flowers, ribbons and bows, poufs of netting, or mini hat styles like the top hat or pillbox. Fascinators are many times paired with a birdcage veil. You can even add color to your fascinator to coordinate with your wedding theme. The Rhinestone Clip or Comb This simple headpiece treatment is no shrinking violet – and can be a complete stunner especially if it is a rhinestone encrusted work of art. Artfully worn on the side of the head that faces the congregation, it will look fabulous in your wedding photos. These wedding jewelry hair accessories can make a true statement of your individuality, great for a non-fussy bride that wants just a little something, or a bride that is wearing a statement gown and feels a large headpiece would detract from the gown. Top Off Your Wedding Look Your headpiece choice is a great way for you to personalize your wedding look and find what best suits your facial features, giving you that wow look on your wedding day. You will already be all smiles, and your headpiece is just the icing on the cake.
Amy Lynn (Kyle) & Michael Simmons Durham November 10, 2012 Photo by Ashley Portraits
Donna(Hancock) & Bryan Hoskins September 29, 2012 Photo by Jay May
Taylor (Sargent) & Kyle Marston September 8, 2012 Photo by Kentucky Studio
Karen (Giles) & Seth Poteat December 22, 2012 Photo by Sarah Dills
Want to see your wedding photo published in TOPS? Email email@example.com for more information.
The Money Issue