Simply Brides 2022

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So many things come to mind when we hear the word “wedding,” from rings and promises to waving good-bye as the newly-married couple leaves to begin a life together. Along with the dreams, excitement, and best wishes, though, comes planning—a LOT of planning! Even a simple, informal wedding requires some advance thought and preparation. Thinking through the details and scheduling can help prevent what should be a happy day from turning into one of tears and disappointment.

This issue is packed with articles and planning guides to help any bride create a wonderful wedding. We cover everything from engagement rings to what colors are trending for 2022. There is also a list of local venues that you’ll want to consider when you are planning your special day as well as an easy-to-use guide for keeping your budget on track.

I would like to thank the advertisers who have enabled us to make this bridal issue happen. Without their support, we would have no way to bring these ideas and this information to you. It is our hope that you will shop locally first as you get ready for your wedding!

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel on their recent wedding. You’ll find photos of their special day scattered throughout the magazine. Thank you both for sharing your day with us.


Simply Hers Brides is published by and is the property of CHESTNEY PUBLISHING

For information on how to submit story ideas, concerns or information on how to advertise, please contact Marlanea McGraw 517-320-9235 Hudson, MI 49247

Simply Hers Magazine makes every effort to provide accurate information in advertising and editorial content, however, does not make any claims as to accuracy of information provided by advertisers or editorial contributors and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information

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Blossom Shop - 14

Bras that Fit - 31

Canopy R Us - 43

County National Bank - 35

Daphne’s Framing & Gifts - 37

Decker Insurance - 43

Happily Ever After Wedding & Event Planning - 41

Hillsdale County Fair - 10

Hillsdale Elks Lodge #1575 - 14

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Johnny T’s Bistro - 17

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Market House - 25

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Patty’s Bridal - 48

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Playford Real Estate / Carolyn Scholfield - 41

Powers Clothing - 41

PRIME Fitness Studio - 11

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State Farm Ins - Jason Adcock - 25

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(Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)

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Fairly Fantastic!

The Hillsdale Country Fairgrounds Provide a Unique Wedding Venue

Contemporary brides are exploring alternatives to traditional settings for their ceremonies and receptions. While many still choose a house of worship for the ceremony, receptions are happening in parks, on beaches, at campgrounds, in art galleries, and more. Non-traditional settings give a fresh feel to your special day and can be very memorable for your guests.

If you’re planning a wedding or reception and would like a setting that’s different from the usual, consider holding your ceremony, reception, or both at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds. There are several options within the fairgrounds from which to choose, and fair manager Lori Hull explained the locations:

“We can utilize the Grange Hall, and folks have been using that as their backdrop for a ceremony, or some use the Nichols Bandshell. The other venue that we just have taken on is the 4-H Building. That was managed by the Michigan State University Extension and with 4-H not allowing alcohol, that limited its appeal. We


now operate it for all but three weeks of the year, those being the week before, week of, and week after the fair. And, that venue is the only one that is available year-round. The other venues are generally done by November 1 because the water in this area is above frost level and we have to drain the pipes at that time.”

The Grange Hall, a local landmark, has become increasingly popular for ceremonies and receptions as well as the aforementioned backdrop. Built in 1870, it was initially the Mechanics & Agricultural Hall. Around 1913, it became known as the Grange Hall, and the first wedding held there took place in 2008. Recent renovations have made it more accommodating for private events. The booths were removed in 2014 and a cement floor was poured. Attractive tulip poplar paneling now enhances the interior. This tree is native to Hillsdale County, and the wood came from a county farm.

The fair management provides tables and chairs to seat up to 250, and one advantage for couples is that the room can be arranged however they choose. Renters do the set-up, and they can place tables, dance floor, food service area, etc., as they wish. There are ample outlets and circuits so no one needs to worry that slow cookers and roasters will trip the breakers. “As long as they don’t put nails in the walls, they can decorate however they wish,“ adds Lori. Rental rates are $800 for one day (key is picked up in the morning and returned at the end of the event) or $1200 for the weekend.

With its timeless feel and the beautiful setting of the fairgrounds around it, the Grange Hall updating happily coincided with the trend for barn weddings that skyrocketed about 10 to 15 years ago and is still going strong. “Beginning in the spring, we’ll have a wedding in there just about every weekend,” says Lori. “July tends to be a little thin because the building isn’t air-conditioned, but we’re generally booked pretty solidly.”

Anyone considering utilizing the Grange Hall can find endless decorating ideas for barn-style weddings and receptions online. Its high ceiling with the rustic beams below offers wonderful opportunities to create magical effects with fairy lights, streamers, lengths of tulle, and other decorations. Candles (flameless only, please!) can add soft light and romantic shadows. And, of course, it’s the perfect setting for the popular boho wedding style with mason jars of wildflowers, trailing greenery, and casual décor.

For couples wanting a more traditional reception setting, the 4-H building offers plenty of room and the benefit of being available during cold weather. The room will accommodate 175 people and tables and chairs are provided. Rental rates are $600 for one day and $800 for the weekend. Use of the Nichols Bandshell for ceremonies is $100 and that includes benches with backrests.

Renting these venues is not limited to weddings and receptions. Lori says that people often book them for graduation open houses and rehearsal dinners as well. All of this off-season use has not only benefitted the community by providing additional venues for private events—it has also helped the fair! “We are a nonprofit and receive no county or state help, so fundraising is really critical. That makes off-season usage very important. The buildings on these grounds are part of Hillsdale County history, and they require constant upkeep. Foundations and roofs, foundations and roofs . . . those are non-stop issues!”

If you’re interested in learning more about renting a venue at the fairgrounds for your wedding or other event, contact the fair office at 517-437-3622. It’s recommended that you call now, as 2022 is already quite booked!


A Sensible Schedule To


Congratulations! You have set the date and your big day is only a few short months away. Not that we are assuming you need to lose a few pounds, but if you have the urge to give it a try, we’ve come up with a few diet and exercise tips to help you along the way. By following these steps, it is possible to look and feel more beautiful on your wedding day.

First, it is important to decide how much weight you would like to lose before the wedding. From there, you can break down weekly and monthly goals to be sure you reach your target weight. And, before you begin any sort of fitness/diet program, we encourage you to consult your doctor or healthcare provider.


We know six months seems like a long way out to start dieting, but it is actually right on schedule if you are planning on losing more than 10 pounds. Start incorporating more green vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy, and nuts into your diet. It is also time to step away from processed carbs, sugary foods, foods containing trans fats, and to be more conscious of portion sizes. Yes, we acknowledge this is easier said than done, but every time you choose the right foods, you take a step in the right direction.

On the exercise front, incorporate three, 45-minute workouts a week with 20 minutes being cardio and the rest strength training. If this is a weak area for you, consider getting in touch with a personal trainer such as PRIME Fitness in Hillsdale. They even offer a Bridal Bootcamp that will have you toned and trim for your wedding day.

THREE MONTHS ‘TIL THE BIG DAY: Time to evaluate your progress and make adjustments accordingly. If you are not meeting your short-term goals, consider cutting a food vice from your diet until the wedding. Think of it as an investment in your big day. If exercising is becoming a chore, try rounding up some of the members of your wedding party; having a support group will make you work even harder!

ONE MONTH ‘TIL THE BIG DAY: Life is going to get very busy. Now is the time to be sure you do not skip meals. With all of the wedding prep going on, it will be very easy to allow yourself to grab a bag of chips or a fast food burger. In just a few short weeks, you can sabotage everything you have worked hard to accomplish. Also, don’t blow off your exercise because things are so hectic. If you can’t find the time for an entire workout, make time for a short yet high-intensity workout to keep that toned body.

ONE WEEK ‘TIL THE BIG DAY: Time’s up. You can stop fretting and just enjoy the moment. Resist the urge to fast to try to lose a few more pounds. Drastic fasting can impact your mood severely, making you stressed and unable to enjoy your wedding day. Besides, by now you have had your final fitting and you wouldn’t want your dress to be anything less than a perfect fit. On the flip side of that coin, don’t do any binge eating, either; it is too late for you to have your dress let out!

THE BIG DAY: Congratulations! Your day has finally arrived. Go and enjoy your healthy new body that you have worked so hard to create. Remember, no matter what, you are beautiful!


Put a Ring on It!

For the majority of couples, his proposal and her acceptance are symbolized by an engagement ring. Now the representation of a loving pledge, the first engagement rings date back to Ancient Rome and were actually a symbol of ownership. In 850 A.D., Pope Nicholas I decreed that the engagement ring represented a man’s intention to marry a woman and gold was the popular choice for these betrothal rings.

Initially, engagement rings did not feature the diamonds which are almost universal today. In 1947, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. (now just De Beers) wanted to create a demand for diamonds and launched the very successful “A Diamond Is Forever” ad campaign. To convince young women that they wanted diamonds in their engagement rings, the campaign used film stars in their ads. The Hollywood studio system was in full swing at that time and because female movie stars were the absolute standard for glamour and romance, the campaign was very effective.



EMERALD RINGS. Millennial brides are beginning to show a move away from diamonds, and emeralds are definitely gaining in popularity. If you opt for an emerald, be sure to discuss with your jeweler how to care for it as they are somewhat less durable than diamonds and should not be cleaned or polished with commercial cleaners.

STATEMENT WEDDING BANDS. Instead of a separate engagement ring and wedding band, a bold, bejeweled statement wedding band is the choice of many modern couples. These rings have plenty of bling but can still be less expensive than separate rings.

TWO- AND THREE-STONE RINGS. Not everyone goes with the solitaire or halo style as is evidenced by the number of couples choosing rings with two or three stones. The two-stone “toi et moi” (you and me) ring symbolizes you and your husband now joined as one. Three-stone rings also have symbolic meaning. They can represent friendship, love, and fidelity, or a couple’s past, present and future.

OVAL CENTER STONES. Although the round cut has been the star for engagement diamonds, oval stones are coming on hard, growing in popularity faster than any other cut. For women who prefer a rounded shape versus the emerald, princess, or Asscher cut, oval-cut diamonds fill the bill but have a little more visual interest. Also, a large oval stone is often in better proportion and more flattering to a smaller hand than a round stone of the same carat weight.

VINTAGE RINGS. Whether it’s a true vintage ring or one utilizing the details of times past such as filigree and milgrain, rings with a vintage look are distinctively lovely. Vintage rings suit women who are traditionally romantic and whose personal style includes a nod to fashion from the past.

13 13



• Take at least a week without making decisions

Envision your wedding

Set up a wedding email • Set a budget. Who is helping, when, and how much? • Set priorities. What’s important to you?

Have three tentative dates in mind

Start looking at venues and make viewing appointments

Book your venue

Select your wedding party and ask them to participate

Start thinking about guest list

Hire a coordinator or planner if the budget allows

If you have any high priority vendors, book them

Get wedding insurance


Have an engagement party

Book your wedding photographer and do engagement session

Book your videographer

Book your hair and makeup consultation

Book your MC/DJ

Book your florist

Select your food type (sit-down, buffet, BBQ, hors d’oeuvres, etc.) and start scheduling tastings

Try on bridal gowns and order yours

Decide on overall style for wedding party clothes

Order wedding bands

Reserve room blocks at several price points

Send out “save the date” cards or notes

Create your registry

Order invitations and paper goods BONUS


Set up your wedding website now, too!

LARGE BANQUET ROOM: wood dancing floor & stageseating up to 200 Guests. 2 PRIVATE ROOMS - 40 guests PRIVATE LOWER ROOM - 100 guests Full service bar Full banquet kitchen, fryers and 7’ gas grill (Outside catering also welcome) Hillsdale Elks Lodge #1575, 60 N Manning St, Hillsdale 517-437-7266 YOUR WEDDING YOUR BOUQUET! • 20 N. Howell St. • Hillsdale • 517-437-4160 (Mr.
& Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)


• Finalize your guest list • Reserve rentals (tables, tent, chairs) • Book your caterer • Book your dessert baker • Book your officiant • Book any live musicians • Reserve your decor and game rentals • Order bridal party outfits • Groom choose and reserve his outfit



• Mail out invitations • Have your dress altered to fit you • Make sure passports are in order • Start planning honeymoon • Have bridal shower • Reserve your “day of” transportation


• Plan and order gifts for parents, attendants, and spouse • Do your hair and makeup trial • Make nail and haircut appts for before wedding • Hire a “day of” coordinator if you haven’t yet



• Get marriage license • Have final dress fitting and bustle training if applicable • Final fitting for groom • Draw up final decor plans • Finalize honeymoon plans

• Create your emergency kit • Order thank you cards (if non-photo) • Finalize RSVP list and send out final counts to vendors


• Final walkthrough to plan reception layout

• Timeline created and sent to vendors for approval

• Create family photo grouping list

• Final haircuts

• Pack boxes of decor, details, documents, plans, gifts, payments/tips, take home bag, and emergency kit for transport to wedding

• Final song list to MC/DJ • Bachelor/bachelorette parties

• Confirm “day of” transportation • Plan order of standing, processional, and recessional • Write all final checks and tips and delegate who will hand them out  THE


• Take the week off work

Steam dresses • Pick up any final items needed

Nails done • Pick up rental suits • Confirm vendor details and timeline • Confirm delegations to family and bridal party • Write your vows • Have rings cleaned • Have rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

Arrange rental returns/pickup


promise attentive, helpful service; professional, on-time delivery; expert setup; and distinctive products for a picture-perfect event.

Elegant Tents We
of classic tents and accessories
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full line
and other special events.

Local & Unique

Venues in our area you should consider!

Herrick Chapel

110 S. Madison St, Adrian (517) 264-3156

A beautiful atmosphere for a daytime or evening wedding, Herrick Chapel has 36 unique stained glass windows, seating for up to 1,000 guests, and a sound system.

Johnny T’s Next Door

173 E. South St., Hillsdale (517)439-1100

Offering a bi-level room accommodating up to 350 guests with large raised areas on each side flanking an open floor ideal for dancing.

Lewis Emery Park

2121 State St., Hillsdale (517) 437-4458

A beautiful natural setting for any size wedding. Building offers a kitchen on-site.

Hillsdale County Fairgrounds

115 S. Broad St., Hillsdale (517) 437-3622

Large venue offers many places to tie the knot including the lovely band shell. Grange Hall is also a great place for receptions, large enough to hold parties of 250 guests.

Rayba’s Tennis Retreat/ Vellucci Vineyards

Coman Rd. & Squawfield Rd., Hudson (517) 383-2215

A beautiful outdoor setting with every amenity, also includes an indoor reception hall for up to 100 guests.

Hillsdale College Arboretum

Barber Dr., Hillsdale (517) 437-3311

Outdoor wedding ceremonies can be beautiful almost year-round, and the Arboretum is a great location to say “I do”.

Herrick Chapel Johnny T’s Next Door Lewis Emery Park Hillsdale County Fairgrounds Rayba’s Tennis Retreat/Vellucci Vineyards Hillsdale College Arboretum
17 BANQUET CENTER Call today to schedule your consultation with our experienced event planner. 517.439.1100 • 171 E South St • Hillsdale • • email: Johnny T’s Banquet Center is the venue of choice for brides throughout Hillsdale County. love is all you need Sandals® has created the most unforgettable Caribbean vacations for two people in love. At Sandals®, all you need is love because everything else is included and unlimited! All Aboard Travel 517-437-4844 | Hillsdale

Grosvenor House

211 Maumee St, Jonesville (517) 849-9596

This beautiful Victorian Italianate brick home is the perfect location for a periodthemed wedding.

Venue 8 8 North Howell St, Hillsdale (517) 273-1888

The charming event and conference space is located in Hillsdale’s historic downtown, perfect for any small ceremony or shower.

Cherry Creek Vineyard & Winery 11500 Silver Lake Hwy, Brooklyn (517) 592-4663

Lovely rural setting for your special day!

Kimball Camp YMCA

4502 Berlin Dr., Reading (517) 283-2168

The main lodge offers a space to accommodate up to 200 people with a lovely fieldstone fireplace (think photo op!) and a full-service kitchen.

McCourtie Park

12715 East Chicago Rd, Somerset Center (517) 688-9223

A naturally-landscaped but maintained park of 42 acres featuring bridges over a meandering stream and two ponds. A pavilion is available, as well.

The Adrian Armory 230 W. Maumee St. Historical elegence in a newly renovated 100-year-old building.

Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm 11025 S. Jackson Rd, Somerset Center (517) 688-3455

This local landmark offers three venue options that can handle parties of many sizes in a lovely, orchard setting.

The Ponds of Coldwater 368 S. Jefferson St., Coldwater (517) 227-5208

A thirty acre hidden treasure located in Coldwater, Michigan. We cater to all types of outdoor events such as weddings & receptions, corporate business meetings, high school proms, family reunions, community events, and photography sessions.

Venue 8
8 North Howell Street,
Grosvenor House
Hillsdale 50 people maximum occupancy
Kimball Camp YMCA Venue 8 McCourtie Park Cherry Creek Vineyard & Winery Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm The Ponds The Adrian Armory

Vendor Contact List

go unnoticed. The food was superb and she and her staff were incredible.


Besides the bride and groom, every wedding needs an officiant. This is the person or persons who perform the wedding ceremony and then introduce the newly-married couple to their guests. Although we usually think of a member of the clergy in this role, the truth is that there are various types of officiants who can legally fill this role. Understanding the different types can help an engaged couple choose the one who is right for them.


Couples who want traditional religious ceremonies often choose a religious officiant such as a parish priest, pastor, or rabbi with whom they’re familiar. For example, couples who grew up attending a particular church might choose the one who’s been preaching to them since they were children, while others might choose someone at their current place of worship.


Civil officiants are officers of the court, such as a judge or justice of the peace. It’s quite common for couples who are planning destination weddings abroad to have a civil officiant perform a wedding ceremony at home. This is because marriages performed by some overseas officiants may not be recognized as legal in the country where the couple resides. Civil officiants make sure marriages are legal,

and they also make great options for couples who just want to get hitched without a grand ceremony or who do not follow a faith and feel a religious officiant would be hypocritical.


Professional officiants are not affiliated with a particular religious organization. That makes them great choices for couples who aren’t religious as well as those who come from different religious backgrounds and won’t be converting to the same faith. Professional officiants generally meet with a couple once or twice to get to know them a bit before preparing what they will say at the ceremony. Many will share the speech with the couple in advance of the big day, and some even allow couples to write the speech.


A popular trend in recent times is asking a friend or family member to officiate the wedding. This gives the couple a chance to include someone very important to them in the wedding in a deeply meaningful and special way. Couples who want to have a loved one serve as the officiant must research local laws to ensure that the individual takes all steps necessary to perform a legal marriage that will be recognized by the state or country where the wedding will take place.


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21 517-964-2473 | 28 N. Howell St. | Hillsdale | Mon - Fri • 10 - 6 | Saturdays • 9 - 3
Vintage 720

Whether they are your own children or the children of family members or friends, including them in your wedding can be a charming—and often entertainingly spontaneous—addition to your ceremony. Children’s roles are not limited to the traditional ring bearer and flower girl, although many couples do opt for those functions. Read on to discover some other ideas.

COVER THE AISLE. The traditional touch of having your young attendants scatter flower petals is still popular and lovely. But, what about confetti? Or feathers? For fall brides, a scattering of leaves in fall colors is a beautiful idea, and you don’t have to run around gathering them the day before, either. Beautiful artificial fall leaves in a variety of materials are readily available. Winter brides might want to go with snowflakes in fabric or as iridescent confetti.

LIGHT THE WAY. Imagine how beautiful it could be for an evening wedding if the littlest members of the wedding party come down the aisle bearing fairy lights or lanterns with flameless candles!

CARRY A SIGN. A newly-popular trend is having one or two children walk down the aisle immediately before the bride enters carrying a sign. It might read, “Here comes the bride,” “Announcing the future Mrs. __________,” or “Just wait until you see her!”

CARRY SOMETHING THAT MATCHES YOUR THEME. The possibilities for this idea are endless! If you’re having an

outdoor wedding, have baskets filled with seasonal items (think pine cones, greenery, flowers) and trimmed with your colors. Winter holiday brides can opt for baskets of ornaments or small wreaths. Spring weddings call for ribbon wands in your wedding colors or something similar.

ESCORT FAMILY MEMBERS. Sometimes there are children who would like to be part of things but they’re really too old to be ring bearers or flower girls. A nice role for these children is escorting honored guests like parents and grandparents to front row seats.

INCLUDE THE DOG. If there’s a canine friend you want to be part of the wedding, see if the children in your family would like to walk your pet down the aisle. Kids love animals — and vice versa — so it can definitely work. Do plan on having them make some practice walks down the aisle ahead of the wedding day so the dog can get familiar with the setting and the child or children can gain confidence.

Including children who are special to you can make your wedding even more wonderful. Just be realistic about what to expect and what they can handle. If you’re someone who absolutely has to have everything go perfectly to plan, think carefully before adding little ones to your wedding party—they are children, after all. But, with some planning and flexibility, those sweet faces will be a welcome part of your magical day.

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Typically, a wedding reception is known for three things: food, endless toasts, and dancing. But not everyone who attends your reception will want to dance, so it’s a nice touch to provide activities for those guests as well.


A photo booth lets your guests dress up and have fun creating some special memories. You can be sure that many of your guests will take advantage of this option.

When you talk to photo booth vendors, remember to ask if props are included or if you’ll have to pay an additional fee. Make a list of the props and ask a wedding helper to check that they’re all returned at the end of the reception. Props can be funny like goofy hats, fake noses, and mustache sticks or elegant and pretty like flowers, ornate frames, and beautifully-lettered signs with the wedding date.


No, you don’t have to have games, but they can provide a nice break in the dancing and drinking and often evoke plenty of laughter. Here are some games you might include:

Clinking glasses. You’re probably familiar with this one! Whenever guests clink their glasses, the newlyweds share a kiss. If you’re concerned about overly-enthusiastic

guests breaking the glassware, you can put small bells on the tables for people to ring instead.

The shoe game. This is a newer game but it’s getting popular. The bride and groom sit in back-to-back chairs, then you each remove your shoes and exchange one with your spouse. The reception emcee (often the DJ) reads off questions like, “Who is neater?,” “Who’s more patient?,” or “Who has better handwriting?” After the question, the bride and groom raise a shoe to indicate which of them each thinks fits the question. An online search for “wedding shoe game” will yield lots of questions.

Board game station. So, literally . . . games! Set up a table off to the side with a supply of quick, uncomplicated multi-player board games and plenty of chairs. Remember to include pencils and pads of paper if any of the games require scorekeeping.

Picture scavenger hunt. Make a list of 20 wedding moments for your guests to capture with their phones like you and your husband kissing, someone having cake, your first dance as a married couple, a group selfie, etc. Provide an email address at the bottom of the list so they can send you the photos and include your wedding hashtag so you’ll find them easily if they post them on social media.

Let ‘Em Do More Than 22

Jason Adcock CPCU CLU FLMI, Agent

Jason Adcock CPCU CLU FLMI, Agent 32 S Howell Street Hillsdale, MI 49242 Bus: 517-437-3364

32 S Howell Street Hillsdale, MI 49242 Bus: 517-437-3364

May the magic of the season bring you peace, love and joy. Happy Holidays to an incredible community!

May the magic of the season bring you peace, love and joy. Happy Holidays to an incredible community!

2523 3 Time People’s Choice Award winning CATerer Market House Black t ie c atering If You Can DREAM IT... WE CAn Do IT! Professionally decorated wedding cakes and cupcakes. Exceeding Expectations Since 1941 From professionally decorated cakes to award-winning chef catering! Market House is here for your special event! Call Joyce in our bakery or Chef Lu Ann for catering Hillsdale - 517-437-2100 Hudson - 517-448-3141 • Bridal Showers • Tea Parties • Wedding Gifts Join us at the roof top café for showers & luncheons
Holiday wishes.
State Farm
IL 1708156
Holiday wishes.
State Farm
IL 1708156


Every Bride Should Have


Take your time choosing and be sure your dress is one that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and—most importantly—like you!


Whether it’s a breathtaking veil; a gorgeous floral crown; elegant, full-length gloves or some other special touch, find a detail that will lift your ensemble above the ordinary.


This might actually end up being two pairs of shoes: one for walking down the aisle and another, more comfortable pair for the reception. Regardless . . . DON’T choose a pair of shoes that make you wince, no matter how gorgeous they are.


This is a sweet tradition and an easy one to make work. Do some thinking ahead of time, talk to your mother, aunts, grandmothers, future mother-in-law, friends, etc., and come up with items that are meaningful to you.


Don’t try something new or completely not you on your wedding day. Look natural and you’ll be radiating beauty. When you come down the aisle, you want your groom to be stunned by your loveliness and not trying to figure out who’s in that white dress.

6. FUN

Don’t stress every little thing. Sometimes the least-planned detail makes the best memories.


Wedding jewelry doesn’t need to be elaborate or terribly expensive, but do consider the style of your gown, shoes, and flowers and plan something that complements your total look. Often, just an elegant pair of crystal, pearl, or diamond (or a good imitation) earrings is all you need.


Brides no longer need to be limited to orange blossoms or roses for bridal bouquets. Choose flowers that you love and that will make you happy when you carry them. Colors can be soft or bold, flowers can be real or silk, or bouquets can be a mix of wonderful greenery. After all, this is your wedding, right?


Comfy pajamas and a good book can work wonders for your stress level.


For many of us, chocolate just makes everything better.

(Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)
(Mr. & Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)

Wedding Day Emergency Kits


Bug spray (be sure it leaves no spots and smells nice)

Extra flowers (in case of sun wilting)



Handkerchief for dabbing sweat

Sunglasses (pre- and post-ceremony)


Cash ($20 – you never know what you’ll need it for)

Disposable camera

Driver’s license or photo I.D. card

Duct tape (good for any handy repairs)

Extra copies of directions to your reception

Important phone numbers:


Wedding party

Wedding vendors

water (granola bars, dried fruit, etc.)







1.Cash ($20 – you never know what you’ll need it for)

phone (remember to turn it off before the ceremony)


license or photo I.D. card

copies of directions to the reception

phone numbers (family, wedding party, vendors, taxi)

4. Emery
5. Extra
6. Hair
7. Handkerchief 8. Makeup 9. Mints 10. Mirror
11. Perfume,
12. Legal
Cell phone (be sure to turn it off before the ceremony!)
Dental floss (for all those photos!)
panty hose
(small and portable)
travel size
documents needed
8. Extra
9. Extra
10. Hair
11. Iron 12. Lint
13. Makeup 14. Nail
15. Undergarments 16. Sewing
17. Shoe
18. Shoes 19. Spot
20. Static-cling
Baby powder (for getting out spills on a white dress)
Bobby pins and hair elastics
Brush and comb
Clear nail polish (also helpful for stocking runs)
Corsage pins
Cotton balls/swabs
earring backs
pair of flat shoes
polish in the bride’s shade
polish that matches wedding party’s shoes
remover (test it first!)
Straws (for drinking without messing up lipstick)
“Throwaway” garter
White chalk (to cover any stains on the dress)
Wrinkle out spray (test it first!)
2. Aspirin/Ibuprofen 3. Band-aids
4. Contact
5. Deodorant 6. Dental
7. Eye drops 8. Wash cloth or hand towel 9. Lotion 10. Medications 11. Moist towelettes 12. Mouthwash 13. Smelling salts 14. Sunscreen 15. Tampons
pads 16. Toothbrush and toothpaste 17. Tissues
(that best match your skin tone)
lens solution/cases
Taxi company 7. Notebook and pens 8. Portable flashlight 9. Roll of quarters 10. Snacks/bottled
11. Umbrella 12. Watch
1.Black socks (a few pairs) 2.Brush/comb 3.Cologne (travel
4.Corsage pins 5. Extra shirt buttons 6.Extra cufflinks (2-3 pairs) 7.Handkerchiefs 8.Lint brush 9.Shoe polish 10.Spot
7.Notebook and pens 8.Portable flashlight 9.Snacks/bottled water 10.Umbrella 11.Watch

Prenuptial Agreements

and marriage

Weddings are an exciting time of life, one that most people look forward to for years, especially women. We take great steps to ensure that day will be one to remember forever. We research every vendor, every location, every flower that is available at that time of year, everything down to the smallest of details – we want to make sure the day will go off without a hiccup.

However, what we don’t want to plan for, or to even think about, is what would happen if the marriage does not work. Who would? But this is an extremely important topic that everyone, male or female, needs to discuss and to plan for as well. Discussing a division or retention of assets if the couple divorces is really not a lot different than talking about what will happen upon your death.

In this day and age, according to some sources, 45% of marriages end in divorce, while a great number of individuals also enter into second or subsequent marriages. When that happens, both parties usually come into the marriage with some assets such as retirements, savings, homes, and other things that have significant value. Because of that, marrying couples should really consider what will happen to those assets if they divorce.

In the State of Michigan, generally, whatever a person has when entering into the marriage, he or she shall retain upon divorce. However, that isn’t as simple as it sounds as there are numerous caveats as to how those assets can become marital and subject to an equal division at the time of the divorce. With that, a party can end up losing part of their retirements, savings, and home if they do not properly plan for it prior to getting married.

One general rule is that if a person starts using marital income which is any income that is earned during the marriage, no matter who the employee is, then if those funds are used to pay for, as an example, a home which the employee owned prior to the marriage, that home now becomes marital and the other spouse is entitled to his or her share of that asset upon the termination of the marriage.

However, should the couple plan for these situations ahead of time, they can determine how assets and debts will be divided upon the dissolution of the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are a great place to start as these agreements allow the couple to articulate what each person is or is not entitled to upon a divorce. Prenuptials are not an overly complex process and usually do not take an extended period of time to complete, but the time spent or the expense that may be paid up front will alleviate a lot of the time, expense, and heartache if the marriage does not work.

As with planning the wedding, planning for the dissolution of the marriage is just as important.

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Color Trends For

When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the fun decisions is selecting a color scheme. This is an important choice, because a beautiful color scheme—thoughtfully chosen and creatively implemented—has a huge impact on your event. Color is a powerfully evocative thing, setting the mood and tone for your special day.

Your color scheme provides a unifying element as it can be used for far more than just the wedding party’s outfits. Invitations, decorations for the wedding and reception venues, flowers, favors for the guests . . . all of these can showcase your color choices. Color trends for 2022 include some truly beautiful shades that will help create a stunning event.

Dusty rose pink is a versatile and beautiful choice that can be softened by pairing it with a neutral like champagne or made to pop by teaming it with deep green, peacock blue, or gold. If you’re planning a garden-themed wedding, this color is gorgeous with eucalyptus and fresh greenery.

Green became popular when the tropical wedding theme hit, but wedding designers are seeing it take a softer, dreamier direction for 2022. Sage green paired with gentle hues like blush, pale gold, or peach makes a combination that can be simple or sophisticated.

Light blue in tints from pale aqua to the beautiful periwinkle Veri Peri that’s Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year will be seen at many weddings this year. Blue has long been a staple for wedding

2022 Weddings

colors, but the navy and sapphire versions that were so popular recently are giving way to the softer members of the blue family.

Metallic tones are perfect for the couple looking to put together a polished, sophisticated wedding with lots of bling and glam. After the pared-down living of the last two years, using metallics in your color scheme is a great way to up the elegance of the wedding and give the reception a great, big, party feel. Go beyond gold and silver and consider copper, bronze, rose gold, and pewter. Feel free to mix metallics as well as textured and polished finishes.

Earth tones continue to be popular and not only for fall weddings. Nude, beige, soft white, dusty rose and rust are at the forefront but are now being paired with softer, lower-contrast shades like soft browns, beige, and khaki. Because of the lower visual contrast, utilizing a mix of textures and materials is important with this color scheme.

Yellow is popping up all over in wedding attire and décor in shades from deep cream to mustard. Yellow is well-known as an important element to make quilts sing, and it’s no different for a wedding. Used as a secondary color, even small yellow accents can lift the look and give your wedding a fresh, positive vibe.

An online search will bring up lots of helpful information on how to incorporate your color scheme throughout your wedding, from “save the date” cards to wedding favors. Selecting colors that you love is a wonderful way to personalize your special day.

(Mr. & Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)

Whew! You made it through the wedding—now it’s time to celebrate! Take some time before the wedding to talk to your emcee (it’s usually the DJ) about the timeline for your reception. Think about what specific events you want to include and plan when they’ll take place. Remember, this is your wedding. You and your groom don’t need to make anything part of your reception that you’d rather not do.


If the after-ceremony pictures are going to take quite a bit of time or if you’re having the ceremony and reception in the same room and time is needed to flip it, it’s a nice idea to provide drinks or drinks and hors d’oeuvres during that period. Your guests can mingle and greet one another while they shift into party mood. Talk to your bartender about ideas for a signature cocktail to be served at this time.


The entire wedding party gathers outside the reception room and is introduced by the emcee—usually as bridesmaid/ groomsmen couples—as they enter. Make sure the tables are arranged to provide a clear path for all of you to get from the door to the head table. The bride and groom are announced after the rest of the wedding party is seated.


Once everyone is seated, now is the time to welcome your guests. If your parents are hosting, they can do this. If you’re having a prayer or blessing said before the meal, it works well to have it follow the welcome.


If you are having a full meal at your reception, it logically follows the welcome. Beginning with the bride and groom who are first as the guests of honor, the meal progresses with each table going through the buffet line or being served by the wait staff.


The first toasts are offered by the best man and maid of honor. After that, you can include parents, siblings, and close friends, as you choose.


Does the reception feature dancing? The first one is always the newly-married couple. After that, it’s usually the father-daughter and mother-son dances, if you wish, and then any other special dances that you’d like to include. After that, the floor is open to everyone.


After your guests have had time to dance for a bit, it’s time to cut the cake. Don’t wait too long to do this if you have young children in attendance because etiquette generally dictates that guests stay until the cake cutting and parents with little ones will be wanting to get them home.


Gather all the single guests in attendance for the bride’s bouquet toss and groom’s garter throw.


Have your emcee announce your last dance and explain how things will be done if you’re doing any big exit plans like a sparkler arch or confetti. This moment makes for great photos, so be sure your photographer is alerted a little ahead of time!

Timeline Planning your reception 34
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Without Breaking Your Budget

One of the iconic elements to any wedding is the cake! Bridal magazines, photos from celebrity weddings, and television shows focusing on cakes showcase some jawdropping bakery creations that would definitely wow your guests. But, before you decide you want one of these beauties, remember that elaborate wedding cakes can come with a price tag that’s as stunning as the cake. When you combine all the elements—size, flavor or flavors, icing, decorating, assembly, delivery, and serving—your cake budget can disappear quickly. Consider these things before your first cake tasting.


One great way to save money is to have If you need to save, make the highly-decorated cake that you and your husband cut a smaller one that is perhaps served just to the wedding party and order a simpler sheet cake for the guests.

If you absolutely must have a tiered masterpiece, talk to your baker about making some of the layers foam and not cake. You’ll get the effect with less expense.

Also, keep in mind that every decoration on the cake that your baker has to create will increase the cost. There are some minimalist trends in cake decorating that are dramatic and striking and fit in especially well with a wedding theme that is modern and sophisticated. Incorporating some of your flowers or reception decorations into the cake design is a great way to carry your theme into the cake’s decorations at a lesser cost.


If you’re willing, think beyond the classic cake. Many couples are now opting for something different. You don’t have to have a cake at all if you don’t want to, and anymore, many couples don’t! Doughnuts, cookies, make your own sundae or s’mores bars, cheesecakes, and pies have all become popular for wedding desserts.

Bridal Tip: If you want to follow the tradition of saving the top tier to freeze and share on your first anniversary, remember to remove and non-food decorations beforehand. You can also talk to your baker about making an extra, separate tier for you to freeze.

Having Your
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Tips for Including

Bridal tip: If the venue will allow it, bring your pet on site before the big day. This helps the dog become familiar with the space and will make for a more relaxed wedding.

Your Pet 38


You absolutely must discuss including an animal in your wedding when you’re checking out venues. Some will be open to it while others will give you a definite no. Don’t think you can sneak Scruffy in at the last minute, either, so get specific permission before you book your location.

If you get the go-ahead from your venue, have a conversation with your photographer to let him or her know there will be a pet included and discuss which photos will include the animal. Keep in mind that your photographer might be allergic to dogs or simply afraid of them and unwilling to keep the booking if a dog is involved. If possible, have your photographer and dog meet before the wedding day.

Finally, let your guests know! The same possible issues of allergies or fear can crop up with those you invite. You don’t want your pet’s presence to make any of guests uncomfortable or, worse, force them to leave.


If the venue, photographer, and guests are all on board with having your dog there, it’s time to decide how to include your furbaby in the event. Here are some popular ideas:

•       Include them in your first look

•       Greet guests as they find seats

•       Act as a ring bearer

•       Include them in the bridal party •       Carry a sign announcing the bride •       Escort the bride down the aisle

Above all, be considerate of your pet. While having it there might sound like a wonderful idea to you, think about your pet’s personality. Do strangers frighten your dog? Is your dog anxious in new places? Being a kind, loving dog owner is more important than getting what you want.

If the dog can’t actually be there, there are still ways to include that four-legged friend. Have a caricature artist do a portrait and include the dog on your seating chart. If you have someone in your area who does custom embroidery, consider having the dog’s likeness put on a handkerchief that you carry or on the groom’s pocket square.

More people than ever are including a beloved dog in their weddings. Before you go ahead with this idea, there are some things to think about.

Wrap-Up Wedding

Your magical day is over, but there are still some things you need to do. Handling these tasks promptly is important!


Yes, we mean handwritten thank you notes that go in the mail just as your “save the date” and invitations did. These should include a personal note to each guest that mentions the gift you received and an expression of thanks for them coming to the wedding if they were able to attend. They should be mailed no later than eight weeks after the wedding—none of this, “I have a year to do that” nonsense.


If you’re planning to do this, get a certified copy of your marriage license. To save a trip later, ask if you can purchase certified copies in advance when you apply for your license. Then you can pick up the license and copies at the same time. (Sources recommend three copies.) Stash the license but be sure to keep the copies handy. Then, contact Social Security to arrange for a new card. After that, you can change your driver’s license, credit cards, passport, bank accounts, insurance, etc.

Be aware that processing all of these name changes can sometimes take quite a while, so don’t plan on using your new name legally (home purchase, for example) immediately after the wedding.


Your wedding photos—SO many photos! Allow plenty of time to go through them, because there will be hundreds. You and your spouse can make lists of your favorites and then compare notes to make your final selections. Once that’s done, contact your photographer to see how to get them assembled into an album. (It’s a good idea to ask if the album is included in the cost of your package when you’re choosing your photographer.) Your wedding album is a very special keepsake, so this is not the place to scrimp. Have it done professionally!


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Timeline Planning your reception
(Mr. & Mrs. Mitchel Gabriel)

Whew! You made it through the wedding—now it’s time to celebrate! Take some time before the wedding to talk to your emcee (it’s usually the DJ) about the timeline for your reception. Think about what specific events you want to include and plan when they’ll take place. Remember, this is your wedding. You and your groom don’t need to make anything part of your reception that you’d rather not do.


If the after-ceremony pictures are going to take quite a bit of time or if you’re having the ceremony and reception in the same room and time is needed to flip it, it’s a nice idea to provide drinks or drinks and hors d’oeuvres during that period. Your guests can mingle and greet one another while they shift into party mood. Talk to your bartender about ideas for a signature cocktail to be served at this time.


The entire wedding party gathers outside the reception room and is introduced by the emcee—usually as bridesmaid/ groomsmen couples—as they enter. Make sure the tables are arranged to provide a clear path for all of you to get from the door to the head table.

The bride and groom are announced after the rest of the wedding party is seated.


Once everyone is seated, now is the time to welcome your guests. If your parents are hosting, they can do this. If you’re having a prayer or blessing said before the meal, it works well to have it follow the welcome.


If you are having a full meal at your reception, it logically follows the welcome. Beginning with the bride and groom who

are first as the guests of honor, the meal progresses with each table going through the buffet line or being served by the wait staff.


The first toasts are offered by the best man and maid of honor. After that, you can include parents, siblings, and close friends, as you choose.


Does the reception feature dancing? The first one is always the newly-married couple. After that, it’s usually the fatherdaughter and mother-son dances, if you wish, and then any other special dances that you’d like to include. After that, the floor is open to everyone.


After your guests have had time to dance for a bit, it’s time to cut the cake. Don’t wait too long to do this if you have young

children in attendance because etiquette generally dictates that guests stay until the cake cutting and parents with little ones will be wanting to get them home.


Gather all the single guests in attendance for the bride’s bouquet toss and groom’s garter throw.


Have your emcee announce your last dance and explain how things will be done if you’re doing any big exit plans like a sparkler arch or confetti. This moment makes for great photos, so be sure your photographer is alerted a little ahead of time!

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Ride Rock!

Although things like gowns, attendants’ dresses, and food are more exciting to plan, transportation is a crucial element to ensuring your wedding goes smoothly. The wedding party needs to be at the ceremony on time, out of town guests without cars need assistance, and you need to plan your grand exit from the reception!


Generally, the wedding couple provides transportation for the wedding party, and it’s typical for the best man and maid of honor to be in charge of getting the wedding party to the ceremony on time. A limousine that can take the entire wedding party to the reception will ensure everyone gets there together, but individual cars are also fine as long as which people in which car is established in advance.

Most of your guests will have their own transportation. Be sure to provide accurate addresses for the ceremony and reception sites along with detailed

Make Your

directions. Maps can be posted on your wedding website and/or included in your invitations. Check the online information about construction as your wedding nears and post any changes in routes on your wedding website as soon as you know about them. If you have out of town or elderly guests without transportation, think about renting a shuttle or setting up a ride share system to relieve them of one concern.


Once you’ve planned the transportation options, be sure your guests know what’s available and how to utilize it. If you are offering a shuttle, trolley or bus, share the pickup times and boarding information for their hotels or B&Bs. Also add these details to your wedding website or include them in your RSVPs.

Remember that the transportation for the bride and groom can be a way to showcase your style! Weather and location permitting, think beyond limousines to horsedrawn carriages, golf carts, classic convertibles and such.

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