TOPS Weddings 2015

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Monte Durham of "Say Yes To The Dress" gives us insider tips on wedding trends

Style cues from Deanna Talwalkar of Mirabelle Creations for bridal showers

Tips for weathering the 1st year of marriage from Cynthia Ellingsen

Top Marketing Group | 465 East High Street, Suite 201, Lexington, KY 40507 | 859.543.TOPS (8677) | Keith Yarber


Kristen Oakley

Editor in Chief

Danielle Pope

Director of Promotions & Marketing

Jen Brown

Content Manager & Graphic Design

Haley Walls

Graphic Design

Amanda Harper

Digital Manager & Senior Designer

Teri Turner

Advertising Sales Manager

Debbie Hodges

Advertising Account Executive

Megan Hillenmeyer

Advertising Account Executive

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Aly Strainer

Advertising Account Executive

Niki Dillman

Advertising Account Executive

Melissa Meatyard

Art Director

Keni Parks

Photography Manager

Contributing Writers

Monte Durham, Cynthia Ellingsen, Deanna Talwalkar and Amanda Harper


Peyton Houchens Mariah Scilley

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The details of the wedding were arranged to showcase the couple’s love of the country and their warm spirits. Rather than picking a simple color scheme, Maggie preferred a mix of corals, pinks, reds and greens in ombré, contrasted against burlap and hay for a rustic touch. The bridesmaids wore dresses in varying styles and shades of coral. They donned boots for photos before stepping into wedges for the ceremony. The groom, groomsmen, Father of the Bride and ushers wore grey suits with vests, which were swapped for suspenders at the reception. The bride’s mother wore beige while the groom’s mother wore a layered turquoise blue dress. Maggie’s gown was a custom LuLaKate dress with a lace belt. She accessorized it with a gold antique bracelet that bore an “M” initial; it was an heirloom passed from Maggie’s great grandmother to her grandmother, Maggie’s namesake. For Maggie, it was important to stay present and enjoy every moment of the special day. For brides-to-be, she suggests choosing what details are important to you to handle personally and delegating the rest. She says letting some stuff go will make the experience more enjoyable. She also advises to sit back and appreciate everyone involved in the wedding process, especially your husband to be, once in a while. Above all, Maggie reminds you to be happy!

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During the cocktail hour, guests went onto the roof of the castle to enjoy the spectacular view. They enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, including mini Kentucky hot browns. The couple allowed the beauty of Castle Post to create a romantic, elegant feel for guests, from the glittering crystal chandeliers to the beautiful atrium, illuminated with the couple’s monogram. The reception tables were decorated with ivory linens, gold chargers, blush satin napkins, gold votive candles and place cards for each guest. The centerpieces on each table included pink roses and lilies, which was a nod to his great grandmother’s name. Megan and Jeff sat in throne chairs at the head table with the wedding party. Following a long night of laughter and dancing, guests lined up outside with sparklers to give Megan and Jeff a glittering send-off into the start of their new life together.

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For their wedding celebration, the couple envisioned a historic house in the country that their family could call home for the weekend and enjoy the festivities all in one spot. When they toured The Ashley Inn, they knew they’d found the perfect location for their wedding. Jeremy and Cassie both had children from previous marriages. It was important for them to share the celebration with their children while instilling in them the meaning and significance of their commitment. The ceremony itself was held beneath a willow tree by a large pond. Surrounded by their immediate family, they exchanged their vows with one another and became a family. Cassie carried a bouquet held together by a strip of fabric from one of Jeremy’s late father’s dress shirts, a touching remembrance. The bouquet also featured a memorial bracelet, made to remember her best friend’s late son. Jeremy gave her three wedding bands, one to represent each of the couple’s children.

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The Newlyweds Survival Guide


for the


Year of Marriage by Cynthia Ellingsen

The wedding is over, the thank you notes have been sent and videos of the Chicken Dance have done their rounds on Facebook. Now, it’s time to settle down with the love of your life in a peaceful co-existence. But before you do that, you have to tackle one of the most difficult survival challenges of all: The First Year of Marriage.



Expectations versus Reality

Remember that moment at the altar, when you looked into the eyes of your One True Love and promised to cherish each other forever? It was like a Nicholas Sparks book come to life! Expecting that moment to sustain through the next fifty, sixty, seventy years of your life is a great goal. But pace yourself, oh Love-Struck One. Trust in the strength of your relationship and don’t expect every day to feel like your wedding. Romance – even in the movies – needs time to ebb and flow. PHASE


Living Together Isn’t Always Awesome

Building the perfect love nest for your marriage is an awesome experience. But cohabitating can be hard. You’ll be faced with boring, necessary adult issues such as sharing closet space, doing the dishes, managing the laundry... the list goes on and on. While you were dating, it might not have been a big deal if you were the only one schlepping the trash to the curb or wiping toothpaste off the sink. But now, it’s forever. Make plans about how you will share responsibilities. That way, no one will burst into tears like a psycho the next time there’s no toilet paper in the house. PHASE


Congratulations, You Acquired a Family!

When you get married, you marry the whole crew: Cousin Betty and her NKOTB obsession; Uncle Billy and his gravelly laugh, even a second set of parents. Marriage is like a two-for-one, on so many levels.

In that first year, make a point of getting to know the family. If they live in town, schedule coffee dates or family dinners. If they don’t, make time to go see them. Maybe you’ll bond and maybe you won’t, but it’s important to get to know and respect one another because once you’re married, you’ve got a second family for life. PHASE


Fighting Fair

Fights change when you’re married. It’s not like you can walk out the door when you get angry, so that means still spending time in the same house when you get upset. Learn how to fight fair. Sit down once a week for the first year of marriage to check in with one another. See how things are going and what needs to be discussed. That way, problems can be addressed before they blow up into a Gillian Flynn novel. Oh, and you’ve heard “Never go to bed angry”? Sometimes, you just need to go to bed. The odds are good that after a full night’s sleep, everything will look a lot brighter. PHASE


Build Traditions to Last a Lifetime

Wonder why you feel pep in your step every time you hear that first Christmas song on the radio? It’s the comfort of tradition. Part of the beauty of marriage is the opportunity to share traditions together for years to come. But first, you have to build them. In your first year of marriage, brainstorm with your partner on what traditions you would like to share each year. Then, put them into action. Take pictures, make memories and say things like, “When we do this again next year…” Planning moments that you’ll share forever will warm your heart like a perfect champagne toast on your wedding day.

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