February 2012 Febru
A supplement to The Bar Harbor TimesCapital Times, Weekly, VillageSoup Gazette and VillageSoup Journal
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February 9, 2012
February 9, 2012
Origins of bridal customs
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hances are those who have attended a wedding have witnessed some popular traditions take place. The bride wears a veil, a court of wedding attendants accompanies the bride and groom, and birdseed, rice or flower petals are tossed. But have you ever wondered why? The wedding customs are ripe with tradition and harken back to days when superstition and myth often ruled the day. • Throwing rice: Today it has become de rigueur to blow bubbles, toss birdseed or release doves when the bride and groom leave the house of worship newly betrothed. That’s because savvy individuals found that raw rice can pose a hazard
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to birds pecking in the area. However, rice throwing is an old custom that dates back to the Middle Ages,
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Customs on page 23
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Is a wedding loan for you? E
ngaged couples about to take a trip down the aisle are increasingly choosing to pay for the wedding themselves. Where it used to be tradition for the bride’s parents to handle the bill for the occasion, today the responsibility for funding has largely fallen into the hands of the prospective bride and groom. To meet the financial demands of the modern wedding, some individuals turn to loans for financing a portion or all of the wedding. You may question whether this is a good idea. As with any situation, there are pros and cons. The same can be said about a wedding loan. The following are some factors you will need to consider before taking out a loan. One of the most important things to realize is that a wedding loan, like any loan, will need to be paid back and interest fees will be included. What
that means is that, by the end of the payback period, you will have spent several thousand dollars more on the loans than the original principal amount when interest is added in. If you’re taking out a loan because you’ve already gone above budget on wedding expenses, a loan may push that budget even further into the red. That being said, there are some instances where a loan may be an option that works for a couple. For example, couples who anticipate considerable monetary gifts from guests attending the wedding can offset the cost of the loan with those gifts. Some couples might begin their professional careers after their wedding, which will increase their salary enough to repay the loan quickly. Others may actually have the money for the wedding, but want to use a loan as a way to establish strong joint credit as a new couple.
February 9, 2012
Although a wedding loan may enable you to have the wedding of your dreams, it comes with a steep cost -starting out your new life together with a considerable amount of debt.
However, many couples take out loans because they simply cannot afford their dream wedding. In a world where many people already live beyond their means — financing cars, homes, retail purchases — a wedding loan may just be another shovelful of soil on a financial grave. The consensus among financial experts is that it is better to scale back the wedding or postpone it until you
Loan on page 23
February 9, 2012
Engagement photo tips N
ewly engaged couples choose to capture the occasion in photos that they can cherish. Often, one of these photos is used as an announcement to family and friends and might even be published in the newspaper. Engagement photos may be part of a package negotiated with the photographer who will be covering the wedding day. Some couples enlist the help of a friend or a budding photographer to capture an engagement shot. The average cost of engagement photos can range from $200 to $500. Some couples opt to use a photographer who might specialize in other areas (i.e. fashion models) but may want to break into the wedding biz because of how lucrative it can be. Costs may be negotiated as a result. When shopping around for a photographer, there are certain things couples should keep in mind. The first and most important is selecting a photographer you can relate to. If you don’t feel a connection with the photographer, he or she will have trouble coaxing the shots that will produce the best results. He or she should also be a professional and have some experience working with posing couples. This way the photos don’t look stiff or contrived. Here are some other tips that can lead to great photos. • Find a photographer who fits your style. If you’re a quirky couple, go with a quirky photographer. If you’re reserved and a follow-the-book type of couple, then select a more traditional photographer. Some photographers out there forget that this is your moment and want to impart their idea
of what you want. Make sure he or she takes your ideas into consideration. • Select one who is open to different shoot locations and brainstorming. Some of the best photos occur in natural settings, where things aren’t entirely planned. If a photographer simply works out of a studio, you may want to select one who has more free reign with different locales. • Choose your location wisely. Certain locations will stand out in your minds because they are visually stunning or are special places where you have spent moments as a couple. By choosing a place that offers a personal connection, there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate the photos in the long run. Also, be open to the fact that unplanned stops may offer a great background for the image. Be open to the unexpected. • Try random poses and some candid shots. Although you might have a vision of the perfect photo in your mind, experimenting with different ideas can sometimes lead to a great photo you really love. Expect to take your share of kissing, nose-touching and portrait shots. But some fun poses, such as running or jumping (or rolling around on a beach full of waves) can produce candid shots that are truly masterpieces. Remember, sometimes photographers will pose you in positions that seem a bit awkward, but this is to get the best lines of the body and flattering images. • Choose clothing that fits the mood. If time and budget allow, have several different wardrobe changes so that you can see which outfits
Engagement photos don’t have to be posed portraits. Experiment with looks that fit your personalities for memorable photos.
work and which ones don’t. A formal outfit, comfortable street clothes, something beachy or clothing that fits with your interests (such as sailing or baseball) can make for interesting engagement photos. Avoid clothing that is too trendy or busy, which may take away from the actual images in the long run. Plus, you don’t want to look back at these photos in the future and say, “What was I thinking?” Avoid matchy-matchy, though. If you are dressed alike, you may appear to be trying too hard. It’s the individual personalities you want to shine through.
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February 9, 2012
Do-it-yourself wedding T
hose thinking about tying the knot in the months to come may be discouraged by how expensive weddings can be. But with a little ingenuity and a handson approach, couples can have a wedding that is inexpensive and memorable at the same time. According to costofwedding.com, on average, U.S. couples spend $26,542 for their weddings. Weddingbells magazine states that the average cost for a wedding in Canada is $23,330, up from $20,129 in 2010. These amounts do not include the cost
for an engagement ring or wedding bands. With such a high price tag, some couples may wonder if they can afford their dream wedding or if there are ways to cut costs. Having a backyard, DIY wedding can be the answer. Although some may envision a backyard wedding with picnic benches and Dad at the grill, it can be a much classier affair than that. Smart couples are realizing that the money they would normally spend on a big wedding at an outside venue can
Yourself on page 24
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February 9, 2012
Make-your-own wedding invitations
ost-conscious couples today seek different ways they can reduce expenses on their weddings. Do-it-yourself weddings have grown in popularity, and creating personalized wedding invitations is one way to save money and dream up something special. Wedding invitations can range in price depending on the service used. Many brick-andmortar printing companies have gone by the wayside, and online printing sources have replaced them. The reduced overhead means that many online retailers can produce wedding
invitations depending on style and quantity, according to estimates from many printing company Web sites. Expect to pay around $90 for postage
invitations at a lower cost than in years past. That doesn’t mean they are cheap, however. Couples can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 on
if mailing 100 standard invitations that do not require extra postage and include stamped response cards. In order to avoid overpaying for wedding invitations, or simply to create a personalized invitation, many couples are opting to go the doit-yourself route. DIY invitations are even more common thanks to the popularity of scrapbooking and papercrafting. Although people may have different standards in terms of quality for their invitations, it’s important
Invites on page 23
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February 9, 2012
Wedding themes can add up to extra fun
very couple wants their wedding to be memorable. The goal of planning a wedding is to create an experience that everyone will remember for years to come. For some couples, a theme wedding is the best way to accomplish just that. When it comes time to select a theme, the day the wedding takes place may dictate the theme. For example, if the wedding takes place on Halloween, the ideas for the theme are easy. Many other couples choose a theme that highlights a specific interest or hobby or something that is dear to them. Here are some popular themes.
A masquerade theme might be an entertaining theme for a couple’s nuptials.
• Holiday: The Christmas season lends itself well to wedding planning. The colors
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Themes on page 9
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February 9, 2012
Themes from page 8 Themes all their loved ones can attend can recreate the magic of Vegas wherever they may be. Casinoinspired games and big buffet meals can make guests feel like they have stepped into a casino on the famed Vegas strip. In addition, an Elvis impersonator is essential to a Vegas wedding. • TV show: Some couples elevate certain television shows to cult status. Whether it’s “Friends” or “Star Trek,” popular television shows have been transformed into festive wedding themes. Whether the idea is to go daring and exchange vows in costume or simply name reception tables according to characters or show locations, couples can include a little television fun into the event. • Fairytale: Many men and women envision a fairytale wedding
complete with horse-drawn carriage and the “happily ever after.” This is what makes Disney properties as well as the various castles around the world popular backdrops for wedding events. Those planning a fairytale wedding need only look to favorite stories or movies for their inspiration. • Interest or passion: Love to climb mountains? Avid about scuba diving? Couples who share a particular interest can include elements of this sport or hobby into their wedding. Invitations and decor can hint at the theme, and then special activities can further enhance it. Fish bowls as centerpieces may call to mind underwater adventures, while surfboard-shaped invites may set the scene for a beachside party. Theme weddings can add an extra spice to the festivities and incorporate couples’ interests into the event — making it even more special.
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February 9, 2012
Choosing a hue for the bridesmaid gowns
ridesmaids are an important part of the wedding party, and most brides opt to have a handful of close friends and family members play a special role in the wedding. Choosing a gown and a color that will flatter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work. An overwhelming majority of couples choose to have a formal wedding. The average number of bridesmaids for these formal weddings is four. Considering around 2 million weddings take place in North America every year, that’s a lot of bridesmaids for whom gowns and other attire must be planned. Many bridesmaids worry about the gowns they will wear come the big day. Horrible bridesmaid
Gowns on page 11
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February 9, 2012
Gowns from page 10 dresses have been the butt of jokes for years, and many people have their own stories of garish gowns they’ve been asked to don for a wedding. Some have said that brides intentionally choose ugly gowns for their bridesmaids to ensure they’re not outshined come the wedding day. Although this may be the case for some, most brides aspire to select gowns that will be flattering for all. And color scheme is integral in the choice of gown. Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone’s features. Therefore, some experimentation might be necessary to find a color that is flattering to all and fits with the color scheme. Depending on hair color and skin shade, there are many flattering hues available for gowns. When making
this decision, consider bridesmaids’ ethnicity and skin tone. Women with dark skin and hair may really shine in jewel-colored gowns, including silver, gold, purple and salmon. Very pale colors may be daring and conspicuous. Those with a slight yellow tone to their skin will look good in many colors, including red, navy, peach, and fuchsia. However, avoid colors in light yellow, aqua, gray, taupe, or mint, which may make the bridesmaid look washed out. Ladies with pale skin will benefit from richly colored gowns in jewel tones. Pastels may work, but be careful about those depending on hair color. Pink or red-hued gowns may clash with someone with auburn hair. Yellow and green may not work with a fair brunette. Gray and silver may wash out someone who is pale and blonde. Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue
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may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, russet or brown may work for the autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons. After colors are worked out, the style of the gown deserves consideration. Because not every bridesmaid has the same physical attributes, many brides are now open to selecting a color and length and allowing the bridesmaid herself to choose the exact style. This way someone who is busty won’t feel uncomfortable in strapless, and someone who is thin won’t be overwhelmed by a lot of ruffles. The intent is to have bridesmaids feel beautiful and comfortable, and different styles can help achieve this. Making the effort to choose a gown color and style that is flattering to all in the bridal party will help the ladies feel they are truly a special part of the wedding.
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February 9, 2012
Tips for trying on wedding gowns M
any brides-to-be look forward to the day when they visit a bridal salon and are able to try on gowns for the first time. There are certain tips that can make the day go much more smoothly and potentially reduce the amount of time it may take to find the perfect gown. • Wear a supportive, well constructed strapless bra or corset in your correct size. If you will be wearing a petticoat, also have the right size available. • Go without face makeup when trying on gowns so they remain clean. • Try to wear your hair similar to the style you have in mind for your wedding. • Note that the size of the wedding gown you will wear is typically one to two sizes larger than your day-to-day clothes. Proper measurements can be matched to designers’ size charts. • It’s best to limit the number of people with whom you shop to one or two trusted friends or family members. An entourage can be confusing. • It’s always better to order a slightly larger gown and leave room for alterations if you are between sizes.
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February 9, 2012
Fll oral terms to know F I n preparation for discussing wedding table settings, many couples find it helpful to brush up on some floral terminology before visiting florists. You will be more knowledgeable and prepared if you understand what will be discussed and are able to articulate what you want. It also helps to ensure your money is being spent in the best way possible. Here are some common and some lesser known florist terms that can be advantageous to know. • Biedermeier: A nosegay arranged tightly with concentric circles of differently colored flowers. The flowers are wired into a holder with only one type of flower in each ring. • Bouquet: A dense bunch of blooms that are kept together in a bouquet holder, wired or tied with ribbon. • Crescent: One full flower and a flowering stem wired together to form a slender handle that is held in one hand.
• Garden: A centerpiece featuring wildflowers. • Nosegay: Small, round bouquets composed of densely packed round flowers and fill. •Oasis: Specialized foam that is used in bouquet holders and centerpieces to retain water and keep blooms fresh. • Pomander: A flower-covered ball that is suspended from a ribbon. It is often carried by child attendants. • Posies: Smaller than nosegays but similar in design. • Presentation: A bunch of long-stemmed flowers cradled in the bride’s arms. It’s sometimes known as a pageant bouquet. • Topiary: Flowers trimmed into geometric shapes. • Tossing: A smaller copy of the bride’s bouquet to use in the bouquet toss. • Tussy mussy: A small, metallic holder to carry a posy.
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February 9, 2012
Feed on these wedding favor ideas
o you have a shelf or cabinet that’s filled to the brim with wedding favors such as engraved ice cream scoopers, cake servers, cheese spreaders or tea light candle holders? If you do, you’re not alone. As couples pore over guest favor options, many select trinkets or knickknacks that, while thoughtful, end up collecting dust in someone’s home. Edible gifts also can be thoughtful — and flavorful! Guests may look forward to an edible favor because it’s a memento of the special occasion and it won’t become a permanent fixture in their homes. There are many edible favors from which to choose. They can also be customized according to the theme of the wedding. Chocolate It’s difficult to find an edible favor more universally beloved than
chocolate. Rich and inviting, chocolate has long been given as a symbol of love and devotion. Chocolate candies and baked goods can work well for wedding favors, provided the favors are refrigerated to avoid melting. Ideas for chocolate favors include individually packaged truffles, gourmet brownie bites, candy-covered chocolates with an inscription, chocolate covered apples, chocolate coins, and other similar creations. Chocolate molded designs (much like those chocolate Easter bunnies) are another idea. Cookies Sweet cookies also make good edible favors. Butter cookies are a favorite because they are sturdy enough to cut into different shapes. Professionally iced, these cookies can be a masterpiece to behold. Some
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Favors on page 24
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February 9, 2012
Seating your wedding guests W
eddings are filled with many emotions: happiness, excitement and anticipation, to name a few. With all of the positive emotions a wedding may drum up, in the mix there may be a few negative ones, including feelings of being overwhelmed at all the details that need to be completed on a deadline. One aspect of wedding planning that tends to send people into panic is wedding reception seating arrangements. The thought of having 200 friends and family members together under one roof -- and then attempting to seat them next to an acceptable group of people -- can cause some couples to hyperventilate. Every family has its ups and downs, and there are certain people who get along well and a few who clash. Ensuring that a wedding is memorable for all the right reasons (and not for the brawl at table 3) is why seating arrangements are so important. Many couples can use a little advice when seating guests, while others would love another person to handle the seating arrangements for them. Here are some guidelines for setting up reception seating arrangements. • Place yourselves, as well as the bridal party, at a separate table that is in a prime location in the room. Be sure to allow the spouses or dates of bridal party members at the same table so couples remain together. • Some couples choose to seat both sets of parents at one table together -
- the parents’ table. Grandparents may also be seated at this table, depending on the number of people each table can accommodate. • If children under the age of 7 are invited, they should be seated with their parents. Children between ages 7 and 14 can be seated at a separate kids’ table. • Be mindful of guests with disabilities or mobility issues. Seat them close to the door, bathrooms or food station. • Instead of separating the bride and the groom’s family to separate sides, intermingle the tables to promote conversation. • Consider arranging guests by
common interests at each table, seating business associates or parents’ friends together. • Take into consideration people who have relationship rifts and try to seat them separately. But don’t stress about this too much because it won’t be possible to accommodate everyone. You’ll have to hope that at your wedding a certain level of decorum will preside. • It’s not unheard of to let guests seat themselves. This takes the pressure of finding a seat for everyone off of you as a couple and enables you to think about the other tasks at hand. This can take place at a buffet wedding or a smaller affair.
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February 9, 2012
Use cuisine to create a wedding to remember D
espite the months of planning and poring over every minute detail of a wedding, it has often been said that what people remember most about wedding receptions is the food and if they had fun. Therefore, instead of worrying about choosing Jordan almonds over chocolate truffles, or whether the cake should have an extra tier, couples may want to pay more attention to selecting their reception menus. Although certain foods are wedding staples, it could pay for couples to think with their stomachs instead of their heads when selecting wedding day fare. Having a selection of foods that taste as good as they look is a wise idea over having certain foods simply because they are trendy. Whether you are cooking yourself, having a family member serve as chef or relying on the menu of the reception hall or caterer, think about foods that
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will please guests and select those items, regardless of them being fancy. Here are some other tips. • You want foods to be filling but not so much so that guests have to waddle to the dance floor. If you’re planning on several courses, keep portion sizes small to offer a taste of the different items offered. • Classic foods can work well as wedding fare. Roasts, barbecued meats and favorite pasta dishes can make guests feel like they’re dining at someone’s home and not at a wedding. • Choose items people have heard of. Instead of tornadoes of beef, select a hearty prime rib. Just because a dish sounds fancy doesn’t make it taste better. If a guest doesn’t know what he or she is eating, it can be uncomfortable. Now is not the time to experiment with exotic foods, either. Otherwise, some picky
Cuisine on page 22
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February 9, 2012
Unique reception touches
ver the course of their lifetimes, many people will be wedding guests on several occasions. During the height of wedding season, weddings can run into one another, as the format and the festivities are similar at various ceremonies. Couples interested in setting their nuptials apart may want to enhance the wedding reception with a few unique ideas. Who hasn’t attended a wedding that seems formulaic? The couple enters, they do their spotlight dance, there’s food, a bouquet toss and then the cake cutting. Guests may actually be able to predict what’s coming next. While it is often customary and easy to follow tradition, that doesn’t mean you cannot offer a few creative ideas to make your event stand out. • Skip the big entrance. Those who were kind enough to attend the ceremony have already been introduced to the newly minted happy couple. Instead of spending the cocktail hour in the isolation of the wedding suite, mingle with your guests from start to finish. So much time is spent posing for pictures or being out of touch with guests, the cocktail hour can be a great time to sit and chat. Being with guests during the cocktail hour means you don’t have to make that big entrance from behind closed doors. Guests will have all eyes on you when you step on the dance floor for your first dance together. • Dance to an upbeat number. Guests are expecting a slow, sappy
tune. What they may not expect is an upbeat song that shows you are willing to have a little fun. If you haven’t mastered the waltz but enjoy a little quick step now and again, feel free to choose a tune that shows your excitement and love for each other. • Encourage couples to dance together. It’s often customary for the bridal party to join the bride and groom on the dance floor midway through the first dance. However, that leaves spouses or significant others waiting in the wings while their dates tango with groomsmen or bridesmaids. Instead, don’t have assigned partners. Rather, encourage your bridal party members to dance with whomever they choose. • Swap the garter/ bouquet toss for something more meaningful. If you’re part of a couple who feels the garter and bouquet
toss has become trite, there are other ways to create special moments in your celebration -- ones that don’t single out the singletons who haven’t yet found their special someones. Use this time to present a small gift or token of your affection to someone on the guest list who has served as a mentor or source of inspiration. • Choose one special component as an extra goodie for guests. Some couples feel the more they offer the better guests will view their wedding. Spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean guests will have a better time. If you want to go above and beyond the ordinary, find one thing that you absolutely love and offer that at the party. It could be a flambe presentation, a chocolate or candy bar, a carving station with your all-time favorite food (even if that’s PB&J), or a carnival-inspired automatic photo booth.
• Hire a live performer. Although it’s hard to beat the performance quality of your wedding song being performed by the original artist, unless you’re cousins with Celine Dion, chances are she won’t be available to sing “My Heart Will Go On” at your reception. However, a live band adds a certain level of excitement that a disk jockey may not be able to provide. Those who are adding a cultural or ethnic component to their wedding may want to hire a dance troupe or another type of performer, like a bagpiper, as an added measure of entertainment for guests. • Let them eat ... cookies? Some people just don’t like cake. Therefore, why should a couple have to cut a seventiered white confection? Towers of different types of treats can be created from just about anything and serve as the perfect backdrop for that classic cake-cutting photo. A pyramid of cream puffs, stacks of brownies, a cookie castle, or cerealcake concoctions can work. Some bakeries will decorate a “dummy” styrofoam cake, and then you can serve apple pie a la mode, if you desire. • Stage a costume switch. Let’s face it, dancing all night in a long gown takes some stamina. As the bride, have a more comfortable cocktail dress available to switch into for the latter part of the reception. It will also add some variety to your wedding photos.
February 9, 2012
First dance song ideas I f Michael Bublé or Nat King Cole aren’t on your playlists, chances are you may be looking for a firstdance song that’s a little less traditional for your wedding reception. Couples considering a song that’s a little different and speaks to them but won’t necessarily offend the wedding purists in attendance, might want to consider the following tunes: “All I Want is You” (U2) “Amazing” (Aerosmith) “Crash” (Dave Matthews Band) “Crazy for You” (Adele) “Faster” (Matt Nathanson) “For You I Will”(Monica) “Here Without You” (3 Doors Down) “Kiss Me” (Sixpence None the Richer) “I’ll Stand by You” (The Pretenders) “Love Song” (The Cure) “No One” (Alicia Keys) “Nothing Compares to You” (Sinead O’Connor) “Suga Suga” (Baby Bash) “Without You” (Rent Soundtrack) “You Want to Make a Memory” (Bon Jovi)
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February 9, 2012
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February 9, 2012
Planning calendar G
etting married? Keep yourself organized all year-long with this handy wedding to-do list:
• Announce your engagement • Brainstorm wedding ideas • Choose a wedding theme and style • Work out a basic wedding budget; research reception venues • Determine number of guests • Look through bridal magazines for attire ideas • Meet potential wedding consultants; obtain bids • Research wedding pros (photographers, videographers, reception bands or DJs, ceremony musicians). Set up appointments, and review portfolios, tapes and recordings.
• Select a wedding consultant and meet to discuss wedding planning details • Determine theme/ decorations for your reception • Meet with several caterers; arrange for tastings • Select and book a caterer • Reserve musicians/DJ for reception • Determine wedding ceremony musicians and make musical selections • Book wedding videographer and photographer; make a list of photos, such as bridal ceremony and reception shots • Research and interview florists • Select and reserve your ceremony venue and schedule a rehearsal time • Choose reception venue; negotiate contract; leave a deposit • Secure parking and/or transportation for your guests at the reception location
• Visit local bridal stores to browse their selection of gowns • Choose your wedding-party members and ask them to participate in your celebration • Meet with your officiant to discuss the wedding ceremony • Determine your honeymoon budget • Mail save-the-date notices for a destination wedding
• Select/order your wedding gown • If your ceremony or reception will be held in a park or recreational area, obtain necessary permits • Discuss attendants’ duties with your maid of honor and bridesmaids
• Register for wedding gifts • Coordinate with vendors to incorporate your theme/style into all aspects of your wedding • Decide on the food and liquor to be served at your reception • Prepare a playlist of weddingreception musical selections • Select and order your headpiece, veil, gloves and shoes • Confirm orders of and delivery dates for your wedding attire • Research airline, hotel and rental-car reservations for guests
• Go to first gown fitting; invite your maid of honor to attend • Choose and order bridesmaid dresses and accessories • Research wedding ring styles • Select florist; discuss wedding ideas, theme and style
• Review and finalize your wedding details with consultant
• Notify bridesmaids about dress fittings • Discuss attire with groomsmen and make referrals to local formalwear store • Select attire for flower girl and/or ring bearer • Determine the design, wording, font and paper stock for your wedding invitations, stationery, table cards and thank-you notes; finalize order • Arrange a printer or hire a calligrapher for table cards • Determine order of ceremony events and choose appropriate wording for your programs • Negotiate rates and book a block of hotel rooms for guests • Select/order your wedding rings • Purchase bridal accessories: jewelry, lingerie and so on • Choose and order something fun for guests to throw after your ceremony (rose petals, confetti or birdseed)
• Review and approve proofs of wedding invitations and stationery • Discuss the type of honeymoon you want, start reading up on potential destinations and consult a travel agent for ideas and suggestions.
• Order table cards; place print order for programs • Finalize choice of honeymoon destination • Taste a variety of wedding cakes and select a baker; place cake order and arrange for delivery • Secure reservations for rehearsal dinner and select menu
P on page 21 Plan
February 9, 2012
Plan from page 20 Plan Four months
• Determine method of addressing wedding invitations and hire a calligrapher, if applicable • Print labels, and hand-address— or have a calligrapher address wedding invitations • Write or choose your wedding vows • Have groom visit formalwear shops and try on tuxedos • Purchase or rent groom’s wedding accessories, including tuxedo, cuff links, shoes, socks and so on • Make honeymoon reservations and place all deposits
• Review and approve wedding announcement and printed program proofs • Book venue or secure reservations for post-wedding brunch • Discuss bachelorette party plans with your attendants • Plan your bridesmaids’ luncheon or dinner • Make appointment with stylist/ hairdresser to discuss hairstyle • Take another look at your registry and update or add items • Create hotel information cards and maps to include with your wedding invitations
• Secure a wedding-day dressing room for your bridesmaids • Weigh, purchase postage for and mail wedding invitations • Go to final gown fitting; arrange for pickup or delivery • Have groom’s formalwear fitted • If you plan to have a prenuptial agreement, meet with your attorney to discuss it • Purchase gifts for all wedding-party members • Arrange transportation for bride and groom from the ceremony site to the reception
Wedding Planner • Purchase ceremony accessories (Unity candle, wineglasses,etc.)
• Purchase a new camera, if needed • Send rehearsal dinner invitations • Write thank-you notes as you receive gifts • Confirm music selections (“playlist”) with musicians/DJ • Select menu for post-wedding brunch • Write newspaper announcement and gather photos • Purchase a gift for your spouse-to-be • Shop for wedding favors • Purchase honeymoon clothing, luggage and accessories • Go in for a practice hairstyling and make day-of-wedding hair appt.
• Confirm floral order and
arrange for delivery times • Meet with ushers and assign duties for the ceremony and reception • Discuss the details of your wedding ceremony with your officiant • Determine the placement or distribution of programs at the ceremony venue • Arrange for preparation, storage and break areas for musicians/DJ at the reception venue • Determine seating arrangements for guests • If you color your hair, make appointment for a touch-up the week before your wedding • Go in for a dry run with a professional makeup artist and make a day-of-wedding appointment • Schedule an appointment for a manicure and/or pedicure the day before your wedding • Finalize details with wedding photographer and videographer, determining arrival times at each nuptial venue • Arrange for preparation/storage area for photographer and videographer at each nuptial venue • Sign your prenuptial agreement, if applicable • Finalize honeymoon plans/itinerary
Page 21 and confirm all travel and hotel reservations • Arrange for transportation to and from the airport • Make all necessary arrangements for care of pet(s), plants and mail while you’re away on honeymoon • Post announcement and photo on your wedding website • Arrange for table card setup at reception venue • Schedule pickup/return of groom’s formalwear
• Finalize list of reception guests • Give the final headcount to the caterer and review details • Arrange for delivery and placement of wedding flowers, candles and other decorations on the day of the ceremony • Call anyone who has not responded to his or her wedding invitation
• Confirm your honeymoon travel arrangements • Start packing bags for your honeymoon • Get traveler’s checks and/or a small amount of foreign cash • Pick up your wedding dress
• Eat a good breakfast • Attend hairstyle appointment • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready • Relax and enjoy yourself!
Post-wedding: 3 days
• Arrange for transport of gifts • Have family or friends mail wedding announcements
After the honeymoon
• Take wedding gown and veil to a dry cleaner who specializes in gown preservation • Submit name-change forms for driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, state and federal tax boards, banks, credit cards and so on.
February 9, 2012
Advantages to a wedding video T
he decision to hire a videographer is one area couples can fret over. After all, with a photographer snapping hundreds of pictures, having a video may seem like an unnecessary luxury. However, people often find that having a wedding video to cherish long after the day has passed is well worth the price. There are several advantages to hiring a professional videographer to capture the day. A professionally produced wedding video is not the same as Uncle Fred carrying around his archaic camcorder and catching a few embarrassing dance moves during the reception. A professional video will showcase all moments of the wedding from perspectives not easily captured by photography. In addition to showcasing the images of the wedding, the video will also share the sounds and emotions of the day. Here are some things to think about. • Choose a videographer who will work in conjunction with the wedding mood and parameters. You probably don’t want a videographer who uses bright lights that can be distracting. Nor do you want a videographer who pushes the camera in guests’ faces for a lessthan-candid interview. Today’s
Cuisine from page 16 eaters may be left hungry. • Think about the foods you love and see if they can be incorporated at the wedding. Although a breakfast bar at an evening event may seem funny, waffles and omelets may appeal to a greater number of guests than a gourmet fish creation. • Don’t make vegetarians an afterthought. Too often, vegetarians must eat whatever the kitchen can pull together, which is usually a compilation of the vegetable garnishes from the
professionals are inconspicuous and simply record the events as they unfold. • The videographer often works in tandem with the photographer. Some photographers have a videographer on staff. But it is fine to bring in your own if you like the quality of the photographer’s photos but not the videographer’s work. • A videographer will capture the things you may have missed during the busy day. He or she can serve as the eyes and ears for the things you’re not seeing and hearing. • Although ours is an increasingly digital world where people capture photos and videos on their smartphones and other devices on a regular basis, a wedding video can serve as a family memento. What other time, apart from the holidays, do you have all of your friends and loved ones together in one place? • Although no one wants to think of a friend or relative passing away while planning their wedding, the fact remains that after a few years some of the people who attended your wedding may no longer be around. Having a wedding video may be the last moving image and sound of a special person who is no longer in your life.
meat dishes. Make an effort to have a true vegetarian dish that is intricate and delicious. • Mashed potatoes are a crowd pleaser. Serve little portions of mashed potatoes in cocktail glasses and enable guests to top as they see fit with bacon bits, cheese or chives. • No idea is silly, and serving any type of food in a hors d’oeuvre style can make it acceptable at a formal affair, whether that food is pizza or caviar-topped crackers. • If you have a favorite restaurant that serves delicious food, find out if they will cater your wedding. • Just because it isn’t on the menu
• Sound is a portion of the wedding that photos simply cannot capture. To relive the music and the words of the day, a videographer is a necessity. Professionals who use wireless microphones will produce a video with the best sound quality. • You can work with a good videographer so it’s not simply a video with close-up shots of your face or unflattering perspectives. Talk about your preferences and even fears about being filmed (some people just don’t like watching themselves on TV), and the videographer can no doubt find solutions that will accommodate your needs. • There are many things that you will not see at the wedding but may have liked to, such as the first gasps of wonder upon guests walking into the reception room, or the tears on the face of an aunt who was sitting too far back in the church pews. This is where a wedding video can prove invaluable. • Modern videographers offer high-resolution, edited movies in a variety of digital formats to ensure the best quality. Although brides and grooms may be cutting costs with regard to their wedding, they may not want to pass on the wedding video.
doesn’t mean it cannot be prepared. Talk to the catering manager and let him or her know your preferences. Provided you’re willing to pay a little more, there’s a good chance you can have items that aren’t on the standard catering menu. • Think outside the box for your cocktail hour “bars.” A bread bar, a dipping station, milk and cookies service, or vegetable bar are options that go against the standard cheese and pasta stations. Although it’s your wedding, ultimately the goal is to please the guests. By choosing foods they will love and rave about, you’re guaranteed positive remarks on your wedding.
February 9, 2012
Customs from page 3 when wheat or rice where thrown to symbolize fertility for the couple. • Bouquet: Nowadays, the bride carries a beautiful bouquet of flowers. But the purpose of the bouquet held different meanings in the past. Saracen brides carried orange blossoms for fertility. Others carried a combination of herbs and flowers to ward off evil spirits with their aroma. Bouquets of dill were often carried, again for fertility reasons, and after the ceremony, the dill was eaten to encourage lust. • Bridesmaids: There may be arguments over dresses and how many bridesmaids to have in a wedding party
Loan from page 4 can save money the old-fashioned way instead of taking out a loan. But if a loan seems the only option, here are some tips. • Shop around on a wedding loan, just as with any other loan. Find the best rates and terms before settling on a lender. • Decide how much you can afford to pay back within two to three years and how much the monthly payment
Invites from page 7 to realize the invitation is the first thing guests often see concerning the wedding, and it will help set the tone of the upcoming nuptials. Today there are many options when it comes to making invitations oneself. Couples can be as hands-on or hands-off as they like. Here are some choices to consider. • Design it yourself, but hire the printing service. Couples can visit Web sites that enable them to choose paper type, ink color, a certain template, wording, color scheme, embellishments, dye-cutting, and many other different options. Then the couple sits back and waits for the invites to come in the mail for at-home assembly and mailing. These may be the most expensive of the DIY invites because a vendor is still doing much of the work.
now, but in ancient times it was “the more the merrier.” That’s because bridesmaids were another measure to keep the bride safe against evil spirits. Essentially the bridesmaids were decoys for the spirits -- dressing like the bride to confuse the spirits or maybe help deter them to leave the bride be. • Wedding rings: Wearing of wedding rings dates back to ancient Egypt. The round shape of a ring symbolizes eternal love. The ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it is believed this finger has a blood vessel that goes directly to the heart. • Wedding cake: The traditional wedding cake evolved from Roman times when the cake was originally made from wheat. It was broken over
the bride’s head to ensure fertility. All of the guests eat a piece for good luck. Single women used to place a piece of wedding cake under their pillows in the hopes of finding their own husbands. • Father accompanying the bride: This tradition symbolizes that the bride’s father endorses the choice in husband and is presenting his daughter as a pure bride to that man. • Kissing the bride: In older times, a kiss symbolized a legal bond. Therefore, the bride and groom kissed to seal the deal on their betrothal. There are many traditions surrounding a wedding that people simply accept. But understanding their origins can make the ceremony more meaningful.
will be. Then take out the loan only in that amount. • Figure out which portions of the wedding can be scaled back to make the finances work. • See if options like refinancing a home or borrowing from family would be better than taking out a loan. • Look at banks, credit unions and even programs sponsored through your employer to compare rates on loans. • Wedding loans may be secured or unsecured. A home or car can serve as a form of security in a secured loan. Unsecured wedding loans do not
require a form of security. • Personal loans, like wedding loans, generally have low annual percentage rates.It may be worth it to take out the loan rather than using a credit card for financing because the card’s rates could be double. Keep in mind that a wedding loan — even if it comes at a low interest rate — means you’re starting out your new life together with a chunk of debt for an event that lasts one day. Think about whether the wedding of your dreams is worth using that joint checking account to pay off months of wedding debt.
• Use wedding invitation kits. Many stationery shops, craft stores and office supply retailers offer allin-one kits for purchase. These feature a standard design with the accoutrements of that particular design. Most will come with envelopes and small response cards. The couple simply uses the template provided to create text on a personal computer and then the invite can be run through a home printer. • Mix and match components. Couples who want to be a little more hands-on can purchase card stock and envelopes separately and design their own invitations according to color scheme. Clip art included with some word processing or design software can embellish invites that are then printed on a home printer. Ribbon can be added by punching holes into the invite and threading the ribbon through.
• Do it all yourself. The truly crafty couple can make their invitations from scratch. This involves drawing out a template, cutting the card stock to fit, selecting envelopes, creating and executing response cards, and decorating the invitations as they see fit. This will require some tools, including scrapbooking or papercrafting supplies. A paper trimmer will help ensure straight cuts, and decorative-edged scissors can help hide any small mistakes in the edges. While this may be a cheaper option if couples get good prices on all the paper components, it also entails the most work and the greatest margin of error. Saving money on wedding components has become essential for many couples today. Choosing to take on some aspects of invitation creation can help reduce costs and personalize the event even more.
Yourself from page 6 be put to better use, either through buying a new home now or fixing up one they may already own. Furthermore, for couples who are picky about details, having a DIY event ensures that they can control the details and make them as personal as they would like. Getting Started Grab a notebook and start making lists of all the things you will need: • location • tables and chairs • linens • food • silverware and glassware • invitations • photography • music • officiant • music • centerpieces and other decor • cake or dessert • lighting • attire • flowers Work in Advance Many items necessary for a wedding can be bought in advance. Some couples find that purchasing low-cost items at discount stores turns out to be less expensive than renting. For example, inexpensive glasses and silverware can be bought at dollar stores or chains like Reny’s and Mardens. Later on these items can be kept, sold or even donated to others. Tablecloths don’t have to be the traditional kind. It may be less expensive to purchase pieces of fabric from a fabric store and
Favors from page 14 Make-your-own Sometimes it’s less expensive to give guests kits that they can take home to create their own edible treasures. Options abound and can include everything from personalized packets of hot chocolate to tea bags. Other couples choose among mixes for making cookies or cakes.
Wedding Planner dressing them up oneself. Candles can be stockpiled relatively easy and provide a very affordable means of ambient light. Plan out centerpiece ideas and figure out which components can be bought and stored. Then items can be assembled at leisure. Wedding stationery is one thing that will have to be bought well in advance so there will be time enough to printout save-the-dates, invitations and response cards, as well as mail them. An informal wedding may mean couples can get simple attire. Buying off the rack may mean a smaller price tag for gowns. Gentleman may be able to fare with sportcoats and slacks. Purchase wardrobe essentials several months in advance to be sure there will be time for alterations, if necessary. Enlist the help of family and friends to get many of the tasks completed. Upon asking, many couples find there are members of the family who have skills in certain areas, which can be tapped for the wedding. There may be a gourmet chef, a disc jockey, a photographer or even someone who can officiate the vows. Having these people on board means a great reduction in costs. Readying the Venue Because couples will be doing the work themselves, it’s best to start several days in advance of the wedding (weather permitting). Be sure the grounds are well groomed and landscaped. Ensure there are no tripping hazards and that there is a sturdy surface for placing tables or creating a dance floor. It may pay to ask an electrician or someone who dabbles in electric work to help string some lights Candies It has become popular to have a self-serve candy bar at many weddings. Guests are invited to step up to the display and serve themselves from a series of different confections. Autumn weddings could have Halloweeninspired candies or those in fall hues. It’s easy to follow a color theme when you have a bevy of different candies at your disposal. Many discount stores
February 9, 2012 to better illuminate the area, especially for when the sun goes down. Set up the tables and chairs to finalize placement the day before. Figure out where the ceremony will take place. A small arbor can mark the area and make a nice photo backdrop. Dress the tables with linens and settings the morning of the wedding. One splurge couples may want to make is hiring staff to help set up food service areas, serve as bartenders and clear away dishes and other messes. This way the bride and groom can mingle with guests on their big day. Other Tips and Tricks • Fruit is less expensive than flowers for centerpieces. • Include postcard response cards in wedding invites. The postage is less, and you don’t have to spend money on an extra envelope. • Be sure to check with your town if you need a permit or variance for having many cars parked by the house in the event of a backyard wedding. • Many different foods can be cooked in advance and frozen instead of hiring a catering service. • Consider favors that also double as table centerpieces. • Bouquets can easily be made with store-bought flowers, some floral tape and decorative ribbon. • Restrict the bar to wine and beer, and you’ll save money on expensive liquors. A DIY wedding can be a fun, memorable event that costs a couple a fraction of what it would be to have it held at an expensive location. sell inexpensive jars and candy dishes to hold and display the candy. Designer Chinese takeout-type containers are available from craft stores and can be the perfect way for guests to make that candy portable. Other edibles From cupcakes to maple syrup to personalized bottles of barbecue sauce, couples have many options for guest favors at their disposal.
February 9, 2012
Packing for your honeymoon
hen basking in the afterglow of a momentous wedding, most couples would rather think about scores of other things than packing for their honeymoons. But with ever-changing restrictions on what and how much a person can bring along on airlines and other modes of travel, packing is something that eventually must be done. According to the Honeymoon Study 2010 by The Wedding Report, a wedding statistics and market research organization, 81 percent of newly married couples take a honeymoon. The top honeymoon destination for those in North America is the Caribbean, where the average couple will spend $3,500 on their honeymoon. Although 15 percent choose to cruise to their destinations, the remaining likely drive or fly. In any case, packing is a part of the honeymoon planning. Some people are good at packing and can execute the task rather easily. Others are left with a bulging suitcase that won’t pass muster at security clearance or meet size and weight guidelines imposed by airlines. Nevertheless, anyone can become a packing pro with a few guidelines. • If you don’t already have a suitcase, choose a design with a hard case. This way it won’t expand while packing, and there’s no chance it will ever exceed the size limits.
Honeymoon travel is made easier with smart packing.
• Roll clothes because it will limit wrinkling. • Use a layering technique to fit a multitude of items and protect against displacement during transit. • Fill the bottom of the suitcase with the heavier items: shoes, jeans, jackets, and any gear or tech items. • Next, layer dresses and slacks so they lay lengthwise on top of the first layer of items. It’s okay if the ends extend over the edge of the suitcase. • Shirts and sweaters (if applicable) can be rolled and
Packing on page 26
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February 9, 2012
Honeymoon how-to A
fter the thrill of wedding festivities dies down, couples often jet off to a honeymoon retreat and begin an entirely different adventure. The honeymoon may create mixed feelings, some concerning the chance to spend time alone after months of planning and a few feelings of anxiety over spending the first night together as a married couple. For many couples, the honeymoon wedding night is the first time they are intimate together or it holds a special meaning of being intimate for the first time after being married. Such significance can put pressure on a happy and natural experience. Wedding jitters are normal, as are honeymoon and wedding night jitters. But just as wedding trends have changed through the years, so, too, have beliefs about the wedding night. Knowing about shifting trends can alleviate some of the nervousness. According to a recent survey from Brides magazine, one in three brides plan to get into bed on the wedding night and ... sleep. After all of the hoopla of planning and enjoying the wedding, most people are exhausted. Others say they plan to stay up and relive moments of the day. Only about half of all couples think they will consummate the marriage on their wedding night. Taking the pressure off of the wedding night means that the rest of the honeymoon may be filled with opportunities to be amorous. But couples may still be filled with expectations for the perfect romantic retreat. Here are some things to think about. • Accept the fact that some wedding nights and honeymoons aren’t exactly what’s pictured in the movies. Don’t try to live up to a Hollywood-inspired ideal or you may be let down when things don’t go your way. In other words, it may rain on your beachside liaison. • A wedding requires a lot of work. Many people find themselves physically exhausted afterward. Others find they are so wound up that they cannot relax. When the mind or body is on adrenaline overload or completely wiped out, it’s not the ideal situation for romantic endeavors.
Packing from page 25 then layered next. Use any overhanging slacks and dresses to fold over the shirts and keep them in place. • Lightweight items, like lingerie and undergarments, can be placed on top. Also, include toiletries that are sealed in leak•proof bags. • Be sure to know airline requirements in advance. While some restrictions have been lifted, the Traffic Safety Administration and the airlines themselves may have updated
• Try to make the honeymoon stand apart from other nights by packing nice lingerie or nighttime attire so that the memories will be special. There will be plenty of other times down the road when you’re an old, married couple to hop between the sheets in a well-worn college T-shirt. • Pack some candles and mood music, or ask the resort to handle these details for you. • Make sure your packing list includes special toiletries and personal items as the brands you prefer may be hard to acquire while at some honeymoon locations.
rules regarding how much liquid or sharp items you can bring along. • Keep important documents, such as tickets, reservation numbers and emergency contacts, with you in a travel bag. Any prescriptions you need should be carried as well. • Place an emergency outfit in your carry-on in the event your luggage is lost or temporarily detained. • Consider packing lightly and buying some necessities at your destination. • Sometimes it is less expensive to ship
items for longer stays instead of paying airline baggage fees. Investigate these options, especially on the return trip. • Take advantage of laundry service on honeymoons so you won’t return with a bag full of dirty items that need laundering right away. Also, doing laundry on your trip limits the number of things you need to pack because you can wash and rewear. • Make the most of the honeymoon by packing early so that on travel day, you can simply head out and look forward to the vacation ahead.
February 9, 2012
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February 9, 2012
ÂŠ Rogier van Bakel / www.eagereyeweddings.com
Come experience what we have to offer! Ducktrap Retreat was designed and built specifically to hold corporate meetings and special events. In recent years the property was enhanced to make it an elegant choice for wedding events as well. Enjoy all the amenities including access to Ducktrap Harbor Beach, tennis or basketball in the onsite courts, and several cabins and guest rooms on the property. Open year-round overlooking Penobscot Bay in Lincolnville, Maine, the Ducktrap Retreat offers privacy and accommodations at a wonderful location for events of any kind.
Just 90 minutes north of Portland. Entering our 5th year of Business.
1-800-498-6367 www.ducktrapretreat.com | Lincolnville, Maine