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Bridal Guide


A passion for making ‘Dreams Come True’ Bridal shop owner finds success in bridal business

Keisha Hebrink, owner of FinleyFlorence Bridal, stands in her bridal shop in New London.

Erica Dischino / Tribune

Continued on page 5 WEST CENTRAL TRIBUNE - JANUARY 2018 - 3

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Keisha Hebrink explains some of the current bridal dress trends such as having an illusion back, which is a mesh tulle area on the back of the dress that appears as if there is no fabric, at FinleyFlorence Bridal in New London.

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hen everything – from the gown to the colors to the accessories – comes together to fulfill the customer’s dream of a perfect wedding, Keisha Hebrink knows her work has been a success. It’s one of the passions she brings to FinleyFlorence Bridal, the full-service bridal shop she opened this past May in downtown New London. A wedding is “such a huge day” for any couple, she said. “We just really want it to be a special day for them.” 001669419r1

In an age when consumers can point, click and shop online for everything from food to furniture, Hebrink provides a service that’s both personal and customized. It starts the moment the bride-to-be sets foot in FinleyFlorence Bridal. The shop, renovated in what used to be a hardware store, is named after two of Hebrink’s most influential role models – her 5-year-old daughter, Finley, and her mother, Cherilynn Florence. Continued on page 6

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Continued from page 5 An array of wedding gowns is showcased against a discreet background of ivory and dark gray. Some are sleek, others frothy. They’re encrusted with lace, sparkling with glitter and shimmering with beads. Although it’s possible to select and buy a wedding dress online, there are many advantages to shopping in person, Hebrink said. For one thing, it allows the bride to actually see the dress and view all the details, she said. Trying on gowns also can help the bride-to-be find the right thing. She might be inspired by a dress on Pinterest but per-

haps when she tries it on, “it’s not the one,” Hebrink said. Ensuring a flattering style and fit is important for the big day and can help avoid expensive or time-consuming alterations, she said. “It’s one less thing to stress over.” Once the bride has chosen from among the sample dresses in the shop, Hebrink then can custom-order the gown for the wedding day. “We make sure that we’re measuring to your body type to get the fit of that dress as close as can be,” she said. A retail shop can offer some of the newest trends as well. Continued on page 8

FinleyFlorence Bridal owner Keisha Hebrink only purchases about two bridal dress styles that are pure white in color. The rest of the dresses are in ivory or other variations of white.

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Accessories are displayed for special occasions in FinleyFlorence Bridal in New London.

Erica Dischino / Tribune

Keisha Hebrink, owner of FinleyFlorence Bridal of New London, offers these tips to help make the most out of your partnership with a bridal retailer: • Plan way ahead. At her shop, wedding gowns must be ordered five to six months in advance. Bridesmaid gowns must be ordered three to four months in advance. • Although most stores are fine with walkin customers, making an appointment can help ensure the staff is ready to devote one-on-one attention to you. • Bring at least one other person to help you evaluate your choices. • Come with some idea of what you’d like. • Bring an open mind and be willing to consider all the options. “Go outside of the box,” Hebrink suggests. • Don’t feel pressured to choose a gown in a single shopping trip. Many bridesto-be use their initial visit to the store to narrow it down to two or three dresses, then return another day to make their final decision. • Let the staff help serve as your resource. Above all, don’t forget to have a good time. “Honestly, just have fun with it,” Hebrink said. WEST CENTRAL TRIBUNE - JANUARY 2018 - 7

Continued from page 6

Keisha Hebrink, owner of FinleyFlorence Bridal, stands in her bridal shop in New London.


Erica Dischino / Tribune

A retail shop can offer some of the newest trends as well. Hebrink attended a trade show in Chicago this past March and came home with fresh knowledge of the latest: illusion backs and fronts, off-the-shoulder straps and a comeback of the sleeve. It’s not just the bridal gown that FinleyFlorence can help with. The shop also has gowns for the bridesmaid, the flower girl and the mother of the bride, plus veils, headpieces, shoes and other accessories, along with tuxedos. “We’re the full bridal store,” Hebrink said. She also has dresses available for special occasions – proms, homecoming and formal events. They can be tailored to order or purchased off the rack. Hebrink has a longstanding passion for the special occasions in people’s lives. She got her start in high school, helping with pageant gowns. From there, she branched out into wedding decorations with Laurie’s Design of Raymond, a wedding planning service. Launching her own business has “always been a dream,” she said. “Seeing it all come together is a lot of fun.” FinleyFlorence Bridal combines her love of both dresses and decor, a passion that’s carried into her approach with customers. One of the first things she asks the bride to do is fill out a questionnaire on the colors chosen for the wedding, the size of the wedding party and the venue. “It’s so we can get the whole picture of what the bride is looking for,” she said. For her, it’s more than a transaction. “Success to me is the couple being happy with their choice,” she said. “It really makes us feel they trust us. We’re building that trust relationship and getting to know them. We see them many times and we feel they’re part of the FinleyFlorence family.”

Keisha Hebrink, owner of FinleyFlorence Bridal, stands among the Mother of the Bride dresses in her bridal shop in New London.

Erica Dischino / Tribune

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Rustic bouquets add natural flair to wedding celebrations Metro Creative Connection


ouples opting to get back to basics, streamline their nuptials and create more intimate and less superficial affairs often gravitate toward rustic celebrations to showcase their ideals. Rustic weddings also may appeal to environmentalists and men and women who want their weddings to be as eco-friendly as possible. Rustic weddings may include those ceremonies and receptions that take place outdoors or in abodes, such as barns, wineries, castles, or converted silos or town factories. In fact, Bridal Guide says that barn weddings have never been more popular – among both urban and rural couples alike. Coordinating a rustic wedding may mean letting go of perceived notions of how everything from food to favors to flowers should be. In fact, one way to describe rustic weddings – and especially the floral arrangements that adorn them – is “purposely imperfect.” Rustic wedding bouquets may seem like they were plucked right out of the garden or grabbed through a stroll in a meadow. They’re rarely symmetrical or feature the customary flowers

of more formal wedding celebrations. When designing rustic bouquets, florists may keep the stems of wildflowers or other blooms untethered for a relaxed feel. Long stemmed arrangements are quite popular, and trends point toward bouquets that are loosely tied with raffia, twine, vines and other natural materials rather than more refined ribbon. Another way rustic bouquets set themselves apart is with the introduction of other elements into the arrangements. Not merely blooms and greenery, rustic pieces may feature twigs, vines, berries, scabiosa pods, ivy, and feathery ferns. The heights of elements in the bouquet are varied, and the bouquets will not have an overly uniform shape. Rustic bouquets are far from pretentious, and brides shouldn’t feel that these bouquets are delicate or will fall apart when handled. When planning a rustic wedding, couples can work with their florists to create bouquets and arrangements that fit with their visions.

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Is airbrushed makeup the way to go? Metro Creative Connection


air and makeup is an important part of wedding day planning. Brides and grooms want to look their best on their wedding days, when they will no doubt take dozens of photos, if not more. Men may apply some oil-absorbing powder to tone down shine on their skin, but women tend to pull out all the stops when selecting bridal makeup – often hiring professional makeup artists to create a signature look. Airbrush-applied makeup is an option women may want to explore. The wedding resource The Knot says that makeup airbrushing is quite popular in the world of movies and modeling and is now becoming more popular among brides-to-be. When applied correctly by a professional, airbrush makeup can have a number of perks. Understanding airbrush makeup can help brides determine if it’s the best choice for them. Airbrush makeup is comprised of a very thin liquid makeup that is applied with the use of an air gun. This produces a thin, even layer of foundation, often creating a matte finish. Makeup artists can custom-blend shades to get the right match for their customers’ skin tones. And because the fine mist of airbrush makeup enables true skin tone to show through, it can appear much more natural. Many airbrushed formulations are silicone-based, enabling long-lasting wear and water-resistant properties. This is advantageous when hugging and kissing on one’s wedding day. Some airbrush makeup can last up to 16 hours. Some airbrush formulations are water- or alcohol-based. Alcohol-based options can be used to cover tattoos or birth-

marks. Touchups are minimal with airbrush makeup, and the formulations can be layered to cover blemishes. Airbrush makeup also creates a pristine finish for applying other makeup. Airbrush makeup is compatible with well-moisturized skin and takes to it well, but dry skin may flake, crack and look flat, advises Essence Designs. Brides who end up shedding tears of joy on their wedding days might find that airbrush makeup can streak, which can be difficult to cover up. Because it requires a certain skillset and equipment, airbrush makeup tends to be more expensive than traditional makeup when done by a professional. Airbrush makeup can create a flawless look and may be an option for brides to consider.

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Frosting-free cakes the latest trend A

Metro Creative Connection

new trend is taking hold both in North America and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Cakes are being pared down so that frosting and fondant coverings are now nearly absent from the confections. They’re called “naked cakes,” and these simplified desserts showcase the texture of the cakes and their fillings. According to culinary experts, the idea for the naked cake came from Christina Tosi, owner of Momofuku Milk Bar. It’s an award-winning bakery with locations across the United States and Canada. Now many other pastry chefs and bakers are hopping on the naked cake bandwagon, with the trend being highlighted by the likes of Martha Stewart and the respected wedding resource The Knot. Just because these cakes may be short on exterior buttercream doesn’t mean they fall flat on flavor or visual appeal. Cakes can be embellished with fresh blooms, gum paste-molded flowers, edible pearls and gems, fresh berries, and much more. The Knot notes many naked cakes are garnished with flavors that are included in the cake, such as chocolate chips, crumbs, cookie dough, or candy sprinkles. Couples who are stripping down their weddings to include more basics and natural effects may be drawn to these naked cakes. They’re also an option for those who find frosting, buttercream and fondant too sweet for the palate. Naked cakes enable the interior flavors to really shine.

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Choosing wedding color palettes METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION


ome brides may feel beholden to the color white on their wedding days, at least in regard to their gowns. Those who do often embrace the opportunity to showcase their personal styles and set the mood for their nuptials by embracing various colors throughout their ceremonies and receptions. Color can be a critical component when establishing the ambiance for a wedding. Color can evoke certain moods and set the tone for the day. Some colors work better together than others, so while choosing a color scheme may seem like an easy undertaking, some couples may find it requires more careful consideration than they first imagined. According to the bridal guide A Practical Wedding, wedding colors can give couples a starting-off point for all of the other details of their weddings. This ensures the wedding ultimately has a cohesive look. Colors need not necessarily match, but borrowing on similar hues can make it easier to plan wedding party wardrobes, flowers, table linens, and much more. Colors can come from anywhere, but many couples try to coordinate their color schemes with the season in which the wedding takes place. In fact, couples who are finding it difficult to decide on a palette can look to seasonal colors for inspiration. For example, pastels and blooming flowers can set the scene for spring weddings, while jewel tones and rich reds and greens may be fitting for winter ceremonies. Continued on page 20

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Continued from page 19 Some couples opt for more loosely defined color palettes, such as neutral and natural colors. Country and garden weddings can borrow ideas from the landscape, with natural linens paired with wildflowers. Using whites, grays and beiges enables couples to add a pop of color without overwhelming the setting. Brides magazine suggests that couples avoid choosing too many colors. A maximum of three with one metallic can ensure that things look cohesive without being over-the-top. Also, brides and grooms needn’t feel pressured by the “hot” colors of the moment. As with clothing and hairstyles, trends change. It is better to select colors that will stand the test of time and look good for years to come.

Couples may have to incorporate colors already at their wedding venues into their style. Fortunately many reception sites are outfitted in neutral tones to enable customization. The wedding resource The Knot also says having a basic knowledge of the color wheel can help. Typically, colors that pair well together are those that are opposites on the color wheel. Also, colors that share proximity on the color wheel will have similar tones and play well together. Examples of opposite colors include purples and yellows, reds and greens, and oranges and blues. Couples should not be afraid to take some chances with their color palettes, especially if they want to make a bold and modern statement.

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12 wedding tricks add ease to planning and fun METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION


rides and grooms understandably feel a little stress when planning their weddings. Adding to the pressure is the fact that, according to a report, the average couple in their 30s spends $32,000 on their wedding. That is a lot of money riding on one day. But planning a wedding can be even more fun than it is stressful, especially for those couples who employ a few tricks of the wedding planning trade. 1. Fake the cake. Save some money by asking the bakery cake artist to decorate a foam-tiered “mock” cake for pictures and display, and serve guests from an inexpensive sheet cake in the kitchen. 2. Use labels. Once the guest list is finalized, create a database of guests’ addresses. Print out two sets of labels: One for addressing the invitations and the other to address the thank-you cards. 3. RSVP tricks: Number the back of RSVP cards and correspond the numbers to the guest list. If one or more responses is illegible, refer to the number to figure it out. 4. Embrace inexpensive decor. Dollar stores and craft stores are great places to find inexpensive decorative items. Empty wine bottles can be painted or glazed to serve as vases. Candle lanterns can be picked up at low cost at many retailers. 5. Create an email address. To have all of the wedding-related details in one place, create a separate email address exclusively for wedding correspondence. 6. Use veil weights. These weights can be sewn into veils to prevent flyaways during outdoor ceremonies or photoshoots. 7. Keep bugs at bay. Spray chair and reception table legs with insect repellent. Dryer sheets also can be tucked into inconspicuous spots to keep bugs away. 8. Save money on favors. Unless the favor is something to eat or something especially practical, you may consider skipping the favors altogether, as many guests tend to forget to take them home anyway. 9. Use page markers for seating. Use multicolored, self-sticking page markers to create easy seating arrangements. Each color can represent a category: His, Hers, Friends, Work. 10. Make a photo clothesline. A clever and inexpensive idea is to pin photos of the couple to a string, cataloguing how they met and their time together leading up to the wedding. 11. Use loose flower centerpieces. Loose flowers in a vase are easier to sort and transport home for guests who want a memento. Make precut butcher’s paper or cellophane available to make bouquets. 12. Stock up on string lights. Lights can be wrapped around trees outdoors, strung indoors around windows or draped along buffet tables to create a romantic ambiance. Weddings can be expensive and stressful; therefore, couples can use all the tips they can to corral their expenses and tame their nerves.

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Bridal guide  

West Central Tribune Bridal Guide January 2018

Bridal guide  

West Central Tribune Bridal Guide January 2018