A resource guide for wedding planning in Beaufort County, NC
On the Waterfront I NGTON WAS H
Every great celebration begins with great food. EXCEPTIONAL CUISINE INDIVIDUALLY CRAFTED MENUS IMPECCABLE SERVICE EVENT SPECIALIST WITH 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE OFF-PREMISE CATERING EXCLUSIVE WATERFRONT VENUE
NUMBER ONE HARDING SQUARE • STEWART PARKWAY
ELCOME TO the 2012 edition of the Beaufort County Wedding Guide
In this edition... A Local Wedding in Pictures.............. 4 Featured Venues................................22 How to...
Buy a Diamond Ring..................8
Choose a Caterer......................12
Pick a Florist............................14
Hire a DJ..................................16
ON THE COVER The couple is Sarah Anne (Faucette) and Bailey Watkins.
They were married on June
25, 2011 on the shores of the Pamlico River at the home of
We hope you find the B.C. wedding guide very useful; it was created as a resource to help anyone considering holding a wedding in Washington, NC.
Sarah Anne’s grandmother,
When it comes to weddings, Beaufort County has a lot to offer, beautiful venues, great services and friendly, helpful people.
Sarah Anne’s parents are Alice
We hope you have a wonderful time planning your wedding and we offer our congratulations and best wishes for the future.
and Walker Faucette of Bath.
The B.C. Wedding Guide was produced by the Washington Harbor District Alliance (WHDA). Without the dedication from talented volunteers this publication would not have happened. WHDA is a non-profit, grassroots-based revitalization program which uses the proven Main Street Four-Point Approach.WHDA is focused on reviving the downtown Washington harbor district. For more information go to: www.WHDA.com For advertising information call Beth Byrd 252-947-1487
Wedding photos were captured by Beth Niser Photography www.bethniserphotography.com.
TWIST SALON Bridal Party Services On Site or In Salon ~ Will Travel ~
Expert Color & Styling 1305 East 10th Street, Greenville, NC
252.752.9884 CONTACT JEROME DIXON
Russell’s GENTLEMEN’S CLOTHING
Tuxedo Rentals and Sales Gifts for Entire Wedding Party 118 West Main St. Washington
The Wine Shop at Catering to the Tastes of the Inner Banks
400 EAST MAIN STREET, WASHINGTON, NC 27889
Relax.... Cafe Duo can do everything for the bride!
From small intimate gatherings to 140 guests. Design the menu to suit you and the groom. Don’t hassle with rentals, everything you need is right here. 2 minutes from the Washington waterfront. Many options to suit any budget, buffets or full service dining.
Experienced Pastry Chef services will put the icing on your cake! CORPORATE EVENTS
CHOCOWINITY / WASHINGTON 28 NC HWY 33 WEST PH. 252.940.1230 GREENVILLE 505 RED BANKS ROAD
Stacy Gaddis & Read Allen 7.24.2009
Stacy & Read
Chapel at St. Peters Episcopal Church
Washington Civic Center
Father Kevin Johnson
Greg Ward Photography
Linda Craft (Bride’s Mother)
The first dance song: G od Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts Honeymoon:
S an Francisco and the Napa Valley
MARKET STREET MASSAGE & Aesthetics
Maggie Ross Potter Massage Therapist & Aesthetician LMBT#8191 AESTHETICS #E5199
141 North Market Street Washington, NC 27889 252-946-8989 8
s g n i d d e W
THE PAMLICO HOUSE
The Pamlico House is an ideal location for weddings, bridal and baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries. Plan you own event or use our full service event planning.
400 EAST MAIN STREET, WASHINGTON, NC 27889
Pamlico Pantry Custom Gift Baskets to greet your out-of-town guests! Party Favors!
Need a Wedding Gift? We have unique Kitchen Items!
127 W Main Street • Washington, NC Inside The Little Shoppes of Washington
Ring of One’s Own
DIAMOND SHOPPING MADE EASY
o you want to buy an engagement ring. On the surface, that seems like an easy proposition: find a jewelry store, pick out a ring, buy it, pop the question. Easy. But unless you’ve had experience buying diamonds before, once you’ve embarked upon the process, it might seem a bit overwhelming. However, finding your way through the gem-studded maze ahead may be easier than you think. All you have to do is know a few things and your “four Cs”—cut, color, clarity, and carat—and the path to the perfect ring will become clear. (Note: Before we go any further, ring size is of utmost importance. Ladies, if you don’t know your ring size, fourth finger, left hand, go to any jeweler and they will be happy to size you. Gents, if you want to do this on the down-low, here’s how: if she wears a ring on the fourth finger of her left hand, “borrow” it. Take it to a jeweler and they’ll size it for you (and then return the ring, of course); or, if her best friend, your future mother- or sister-in-law can keep a secret, get them to help you out.)
First Step. The first thing you want to explore is which shape
diamond you want. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes—round, oval, square, rectangular, pear-shaped—sometimes with stylized cuts—princess, cushioned, hearts and arrows, rose cut, which dates back to the 16th century. Some shapes come into and go out of style, some are timeless, but when you know the shape you want, then you can take the next step of finding a mounting. Mounting? What’s that? It’s simple: it’s the ring onto which you want your diamond to be set, complete with what’s called the head, which is the cradle that holds the diamond in place. Again, there are many, many options when it comes to mountings: from plain bands holding a single diamond (called a solitaire) to elaborately patterned bands embedded with smaller stones to enhance the ring’s overall effect.
Mountings come in a variety of metals: white gold, yellow gold, and platinum to name a few, with platinum being the strongest metal and 24 karat gold, the softest. The strength of the metal holding your diamond is something to be considered. A stronger metal is less likely to bend or break when one of the head’s prongs is accidently knocked against, or catches on, something. But does that mean you need to go with a platinum ring? No. But if your preference is white or yellow gold, you may want to consider putting a head made of stronger metal on that ring. And just a word of warning before moving on: if you’re in the market for a mounting with lots of bling, and your ring of choice is studded with tiny diamonds, be vigilant. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 with small diamonds in mountings—the smaller the diamond, the smaller the prongs holding it in place; yet if the prongs are made larger, they’ll cover up the diamond. Once that ring is on a finger, continue to get the prongs of those small diamonds checked regularly or you could look down one day and find one of them missing.
Cut. When you figure out the shape of the
diamond and have picked the mounting, the next thing to consider is the cut of the diamond. The cut of a diamond is a very important—it’s going to give you the sparkle that is synonymous with diamonds. That sparkle is all about the refraction of light within the stone. A diamond cut to good proportions will shine because light enters the stone and bounces back through the face to dazzle the eye; one cut to less than spectacular proportions will be dull, or even worse, go gray. The number-one selling diamond is the round brilliant, according to Betty Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Jewelry Store in downtown Washington.
“It has the most brilliance,” says Stewart. “It ages well—it’ll never go out of style.”
Color. When you think about buying dia-
monds, the color of a stone probably isn’t foremost on your mind, but color is the number one pricing factor for diamonds. The color scale applied to diamonds starts with the letter D and goes all the way through the alphabet to Z, with each letter denoting how much color a stone has. Here, color is a bad thing: a diamond with the highest color rating of D is perfectly colorless, thereby allowing the light refracted within the stone to do so even more brilliantly. A stone with a color rating of Z is either going to be a murky yellow or brown. The way the grading goes is like this: D to F is considered colorless (great); G to I is near colorless (good); but around J, K, and on up, you started seeing color emerge, and often, it’s not too pretty.
Clarity. Diamonds are carbon—carbon that’s
been heated and compressed for billions of years somewhere between 87 to 120 miles beneath the Earth’s mantle. Only volcanic eruptions through the eons have brought them close enough to the surface for mankind to mine. The creation of a
to find under 10X); SI1-SI2 (“slight inclusions,” noticeable under 10X); and I1-I2 and beyond (inclusions visible to the naked eye). What impact does clarity have on the price of a diamond? Well, it depends. For the most part, the more inclusions, the price of the diamond is deflected downward. But not always. An I2 rated diamond could have inclusions that nestle conveniently under the head’s prongs; an SI2 diamond could have many inclusions, but all so small that no one will ever see them. But one thing to factor in is that the more inclusions a diamond has, the less brilliance, which defeats the point of a diamond in the first place.
Carat. So, here we get to the crux of the mat-
ter: carat. Carat is simply a unit of measurement for gemstones equaling .02 grams, or 0.007055 ounces. Contrary to popular belief, carat weight is the least affecting factor in the price of a diamond.
diamond can’t always be a perfect process, and often we see nature’s imperfections in the clarity of a given stone. Clarity is based on those little imperfections in diamonds, called inclusions. Inclusions are usually one of two things: little pieces of other crystals that got included in the formation of a diamond, or cracks that happened in the process of that formation. They can appear in the stone as dark spots or cloudy, feathery areas. According to Stewart, “It’s the size, amount, and location of inclusions that will also determine the cost of a diamond.” A flawless diamond has no inclusions and those are very rare, indeed. Most diamonds have at least a few, but unless you put them beneath a microscope, you won’t see them. Again, there is a grading scale: FL-IF (flawless to internally flawless) in which no inclusions are visible under a 10X magnification; VVS1-VVS2 (VVS meaning “very, very slight inclusions,” extremely difficult to find under 10X); VS1-VS2 (“very slight inclusions,” difficult
“You can have a one-carat diamond with a price tag of $700,” said Stewart. “And a one-carat diamond can have a price tag of $70,000.” Considering that cut, color, and clarity determine the brilliance of a diamond, the size of a diamond should be considered last. Yes, a one-carat diamond with a good cut, a nice color, and good clarity will cost you more if you’re looking in terms of size. But a one-carat diamond of substandard cut, average color and clarity, while easier on the pocket, will be lacking in…brilliance. Sparkle. Romance.
The finishing touch. So now you’re
engaged. Congratulations! But now you’ve got to pick out wedding bands. And there are things to consider: if a fancy mounting frames your perfect diamond, the traditional wedding band might not fit flush alongside it. Luckily, most decorative mountings these days are sold as part of matching sets, but if yours did not come as part of a set, talk to any reputable jeweler—they can have a wedding band made to fit any engagement ring. Overall, wedding band styles and designs are many: thin, thick, engraved, encrusted with
Washington’s Historic Harbor District Expert diamonds and other stones, gold, platinum—with those options being just as broad for men’s bands. “There are so many styles of men’s wedding bands—gold, platinum, palladium, tungsten, titanium, stainless steel,” says Stewart. “And there are vendors, like Art Carved, that provide lifetime warranties of those metals and resizing for free.”
The last piece of advice. Studying
up on the “four Cs” may be invaluable to your diamond—buying experience, but remember: if you buy the right diamond, that sparkle will last a lifetime. And if you don’t have the time to do the
The Realty Group
252.362.1569 research on your own, according to Stewart, the third generation of the 104-year old, family-owned jewelry store, there’s another option: “My daddy always said: if you don’t know your jewels, know your jeweler,” she says with a laugh. Contributors: Stewart’s Jewelry Store is located at 121 N. Market Street in downtown Washington. The store offers full bridal consultation services: rings, invitations, bridal registries, and bridesmaid’s and groomsmen’s gifts.
Steak or Seafood? Wine or Cocktails? Sit-down or Buffet? Saturday or Weekday?
ost of us have never planned an event as important as a wedding. And with roughly 30-50% of your total wedding budget going towards your reception, choosing the right caterer is a must. Read on for our guide to finding the perfect caterer for the big day.
First Step. Before you begin your caterer search, you should have your reception venue, date, and time already finalized. You should also know what reception rentals you need to provide, and if you can bring in your own caterer or must use someone recommended by the site. While many couples prefer the freedom of choosing their own caterer, working from a “preferred list” of vendors isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Caterers on your site’s “list” are most likely to deliver good work, or they wouldn’t have your venue’s seal of approval. They’re also familiar with the site’s kitchen, layout, coordinator, etc. Even if your venue allows you to bring in whomever you choose, ask the site coordinator whom they recommend. And of course, get suggestions from friends and family, aiming for a short list of five or six caterers who come highly recommended.
By Vickie Desourdy 14
Know Your Budget. To decide your cater-
ing budget, ask yourself how important a role food and drinks play in your wedding vision. And keep in mind, there are many types of receptions to choose from. Catering costs are determined by a few factors: the number of guests you host, the number of courses and food choices you offer, the cost of ingredients, rentals, the way the food is served (buffet‑style, seated-service or tray-passed), and finally, the caterer’s level of expertise. The more flexible you are about these variables, the more wiggle room your caterer has to create the best menu for your budget.
Make the Call. Before spending your valu-
able time in a face-to-face interview, get some key questions answered over the phone. First off, find out if each caterer is available on your wedding day and if they can work within your budget. Once you’ve got an idea who is available and affordable, schedule interviews with your top three picks. During these interviews, you should be able to answer each caterer’s questions about your event and be ready to ask a few of your own, like: W hat range of menu options and courses can you offer for my budget?
C an I bring in my own liquor, and if so, is there a corkage fee? Who will oversee the event and catering staff? How many servers will be at my event? C an you provide a wedding cake? Can you provide a groom’s cake? W ill you box the cake for guests to take home? Will you box the top tier of the cake for freezing? D o you provide bartenders? If so, how many do I need? Do you charge extra to pour coffee for guests? W ill you pack a to-go snack for the bride and groom? W ill you provide food for the photographer, videographer, or musicians? What is the payment schedule? What is your refund or cancellation policy? A re gratuities already figured into the total price? If so, what percentage is being charged? In addition to factored gratuities, will staff expect a cash tip?
H ow do you handle guests who require vegetarian or special meals?
When do you require the final head count?
D o you require a minimum or maximum number of guests?
storefronts will usually give clients a sampling of reception fare. Others host tastings a few times a year, feeding a number of clients at once. But some caterers only provide tastings once a contract is in place, others require that couples pay for tastings, and some don’t offer them at all. If a caterer you’re considering doesn’t offer you a tasting, taking the time to check their references becomes all the more important. You might also want to ask about paying for a sample menu for two. With so much of your wedding budget at stake, it isn’t a bad investment, and you and your fiancé can make a date of it.
W hen does the menu need to be finalized? When will you provide the final per-person cost? W hat kind of deposit do you require to hold a wedding date? Do you offer menu tastings? D o you offer any rentals? If not, can you coordinate rentals, including pick-up and return, with a third party? Can I bring in my own rentals if the cost is less? H ow much time do you need to set up and break down? D o you provide liquor? What is the cost per drink/bottle? Will you buy back unopened bottles?
A Word About Tastings. Caterers with
By Vickie Desourdy of The Healthy Gourmet, offering cooking classes and dinner parties. Call 252-833-0223
I need a florist for my wedding! A very common realization after it sinks in that you are getting married…Soon!
As always, ways to identify a florist to work with are through your own experiences with particular florists and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. Whom do you personally use for daily and special occasion floral purchases? Are they attentive to your requests and instructions? Have the flowers been fresh and professionally arranged? And, if there has been a problem or mistake, (and guess what, even YOU make them), how were your concerns handled? Ask your friends and family whom they use for everyday flower purchases as well as special occasions, and ask the same questions. The relationship between your florist and yourself needs to feel comfortable, professional, calm and exciting at the same time. Not everyone clicks. Find someone you click with! OK, now it’s time to talk money. You’ve identified the florist with whom you’re comfortable and whom you trust. Begin “designing” your wedding flowers with your floral professional. Discuss the types of flowers you’d like, the style of design and where you’d like to have florals. Be realistic! Congratulations
By Sophie Cattalie Photos by FTD
if you can afford Princess Kate’s flowers and wedding but, likely your floral budget is less than the Windsors’. Your florist will help you create the designs you want and achieve the look you want within your budget. That is one of their many jobs! I suggest you identify where you want to maximize your floral dollars. Is the reception where you want to concentrate? If so, scale back on decorating the cars, the church, Aunt Millie’s brunch table, and other spaces you identify as not THE priority. Scale back does not mean ugly—it means appropriate and lovely. You CAN have both! Now, you have some additional available dollars to concentrate on the reception tables. This formula works for each floral opportunity. If you want to “wow” them in the church, then scale back what happens at the reception. Each wedding is a custom design—you may have yours the way you want, but be realistic about your requests as they relate to your budget. Florists have medical insurances, mortgages, car payments and all of the same expenses you do. They go to work to make money, just like you! You are hiring them for their skills, temperament and value they bring to your floral designs. You want a beautiful, memorable wedding and so does your trusted floral professional!
hen you start thinking about entertainment for your wedding, realize that there is more to it than just getting someone to play some music.
Where should you start looking? In this instance, your sister-inlaw’s cousin who is out of work but has a killer stereo is probably not the best way to go. Hiring a professional, full time, DJ service will save you big headaches at a time when a headache is the last thing you need. Check with the American DJ Association (www. adja.org). Their website will list members who subscribe to a specific code of conduct. There are also event search services like Eventective (www.eventective.com) where you can conduct geographic searches and read comments left by previous clients. Make a list of possibilities and start calling. Here are questions to ask: Are you available for my date? I s this a full-time endeavor for you, or a sideline? (Separate the professionals from the hobbyists.) D o you provide a written contract? (A written agreement will protect you from any unexpected charges. Always get it in writing!) A re you insured and can you list my venue as an additional insured? (Extremely important!) Do you charge by the hour or do you have a package? H ow many performance hours are included, and do you charge for setup, teardown, or travel? Is overtime possible and if so, what is the charge? D o you provide a wedding reception planner, and is it available online?
W ill I have a face-to-face consultation? (This ensures that the service provider knows what you want and expect.) H ow many DJ’s do you have? Will I get to speak to my DJ before my reception? (Many DJ services are one person, part-time operations. If that one person gets sick on your wedding day, you’re out of luck. Look for a service that has multiple DJs, “roadies”, and will assign a planner / coordinator whom you can contact directly. Eliminate the possibility of a single point of failure.) W hat do you wear to my reception? (A professional service should be able to match your theme, from very casual to white-tie formal.) I n what format is your music and how much variety can we expect? (This is important! In the days of vinyl records and CDs, a selling point for DJs was the number of songs they could bring to your reception. This was limited by how many CDs or records they could afford and could carry. Modern DJs have gone digital and some subscribe to services offered by companies like VirtualDJ® which provides them access to literally millions of titles via internet or cell phone connection. The greatest variety will be available through DJs with this type of service.) Is a wireless microphone provided for toasts, speeches, etc.? Is basic dance lighting included in the price? D o you use commercial-grade equipment? (This will also separate the pros from the hobbyists. Look for names like Pioneer, Crown, NuMark, SA, and Alesis. Brands like Panasonic, Realistic, and RCA are more often associated with consumer-grade equipment.) Do you have back-up equipment on site? (Even the best gear will fail eventually.) D o you have an office / studio that I can visit? (Hobbyists are unlikely to have a full-time place of business. Garages don’t count.) D o you accept credit cards? (While you may want to pay by check, the ability to process credit cards shows that the service has a merchant account and is more likely to be a full time business.) What is the total price for my package? Notice that price is the last question. If you ask all the other questions, you will eliminate the amateurs before you get to the price. Evaluate the service, and then look at the price to get the best value for your money. Remember, your DJ service needs to do a lot of preparation prior to your reception. The service’s coordinator should be able to provide you with a planner, a timeline for the event, and a playlist, well in advance of your date. You should have the name and telephone number of a point of contact you can reach at reasonable hours. Keep in mind, entertainment can make or break a reception! Advance planning is what a professional DJ company does as part of their service. For every hour your DJ performs, three to four hours of planning and preparation go into the production. Doing your homework will ensure that your reception is enjoyed by your guests and remembered long after it’s over. Sound advice from Generations Mobile DJ Service. Call 252-509-4423
It 's a Matter By Virginia Finnerty
he steps and arrangements required to plan a wedding are pretty much the same regardless of the number of guests invited. The timeline below will help you navigate this process.
Hire makeup artist / hair stylist / manicurist and make appointment Choose wedding cake vendor
12 – 6 MONTHS BEFORE
Select wedding gown and shoes/veil/accessories
Set budget and decide who pays for what
Reserve transportation (optional)
Set date & time for wedding and reception
Compile guest list
Announce engagement in local newspapers (optional)
Select and invite attendants
Select & reserve venue for ceremony
Gather all necessary contact information / email addresses for both sets of parents, attendants, etc.
Select & reserve venue for reception
Shop for bridesmaids dresses
Start setting up wedding website (optional)
Notify wedding party of wedding attire details (i.e.: formal vs. semi-formal, where to buy/rent)
Determine your theme/style/colors Interview & hire a wedding consultant (optional) Select officiant
Coordinate mothe-of-the-bride & mother-of-the groom outfits and colors
Hire musicians for ceremony
Meet with hotel and reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town guests
Hire entertainment for reception (band, DJ, etc.)
Select and send out save-the-date cards /packets
Select caterer and get menu quote
Begin bridal registries
Select florist and get quote
Begin to plan & make reservations for honeymoon
Select photographer and/or videographer and get quote
Obtain passports/visas you may need for foreign travel
6-4 MONTHS BEFORE
Order wedding invitations and maps Select and order stationery (thank you notes) Select wedding program (optional) Order napkins/guest towels etc. (optional) Order place cards & table numbers (optional) Begin planning bridal luncheon (optional) Begin planning post-wedding brunch (optional) Finalize guest list Reserve rental equipment as needed (tables, linens, etc.)
Meet with florist and choose ceremony and reception décor Finalize wedding cake choice (taste, select & order)
4-2 MONTHS BEFORE Finalize menu with caterer (tasting optional) Create floor diagram for reception (optional) Write/design verbiage for wedding program (optional) Order/buy invitations for bridesmaids luncheon (optional) Finalize ceremony details with officiant
Finalize wedding gown and accessories choices
Do hair and make-up trial (optional)
Purchase wedding rings and leave for engraving
Schedule bridal portrait (optional)
Send envelopes to calligrapher (optional)
Choose and order favors (optional)
Do wedding day schedule of events
Select and purchase wedding party gifts
Purchase ceremony and reception items
Schedule fittings for yourself and attendants
Garter belt (optional)
Book accommodations for wedding night
Guest book and pen
Arrange wedding day transportation
Cake knife and server (optional)
Purchase/rent grooms attire
Toasting flutes (optional)
Sign up for dance lessons (optional)
Ring bearer pillow or box (optional)
Write thank-you notes as gifts arrive
Begin planning rehearsal dinner
Unity candle (optional)
Select or write wedding vows
8-6 WEEKS BEFORE Mail invitations
1 MONTH BEFORE Get marriage license Announce wedding in local papers (optional) Finalize choices with florist Confirm with attendants that dresses have been altered properly, delivered on time and shoes and accessories purchased Confirm the men have been fitted for their attire Begin seating plan for reception (optional) Confirm transportation arrangements (optional)
1-2 WEEKS BEFORE Confirm details with all wedding vendors P ack your wedding-day supply bag and address for proper delivery, i.e. church, hall, dressing room, etc Remind wedding party of their schedule Contact guests who haven’t responded. H ave place cards and escort cards written (optional) Finalize seating plan (optional) Assign specific duties to wedding party S elect friend or family member to “house-sit” during honeymoon.
Select songs for first dance and father-daughter dance (optional) Purchase gifts for groom and parents Purchase going away outfit (optional) Finalize wedding-day schedule of events Select portrait and arrange framing (optional) Send program to printer (optional) If you are changing your name, fill out proper documents Break in wedding shoes Send change-of-address form to post office Pick up wedding rings (after engraving)
D eliver welcome packets to hotel for out-of-town guests R econfirm make-up artist /hair stylist/ manicurist appointments P repare checks for vendors who need to be paid on the wedding day Report final head count for caterer C onfirm honeymoon reservations and leave a copy of itinerary with trusted friend of family member Pick up tickets and foreign currency (optional) P ack for honeymoon—DO NOT LEAVE FOR THE LAST MINUTE! Final fitting for wedding gown
1 DAY BEFORE
Make sure groom gives rings to best man
Have manicure & pedicure
Transfer engagement ring to right hand
6-3 HOURS BEFORE
G ive gifts to attendants and parents at rehearsal dinner
Hair and makeup
WEDDING DAY Be sure to eat a good healthy breakfast
2 HOURS BEFORE B ride and wedding party dressed and ready for pictures (optional) Hand out corsages and boutonnieres
1 HOUR BEFORE Ushers at ceremony venue ready to seat guests
30-45 MINUTES BEFORE Music should begin and guests seated
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE. . . . As distasteful as it may be, don’t skip the first step. Setting a budget IS the most crucial factor in planning any event. Having a budget gives you peace of mind and makes the multitude of choices much easier. Because venue rates can vary greatly between low and high season the budget helps starting with the very next choice: the date. Make a list of your must-haves and your negotiables and refer to them throughout your planning. This gives you something to help keep you on-track. For example, if food and drinks are important to you, more of your budget will go to that instead of expensive flowers, fancy chairs or pretty table cloths. Then, when you start stressing out over not having roses, chiavari chairs or lace linens you can re-focus by referring to your list of must-haves and negotiables. Another way to make the process easier is to set a theme, style and colors because it will narrow down the choices. There are so many beautiful flowers in such variety of colors; varieties of themes and styles: outdoor, indoor, casual, formal . . . it can be absolutely overwhelming. Planning an event is not rocket science. Anyone who is organized and pays attention to details can do the job. However, as you may have already concluded from the timeline, it is a very time-consuming process with countless details to attend to. If you are very busy and/or not a do-it-yourself type, and your budget allows, do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner. It will be the best money spent. At the very least recruit your friends and family to help. The one item that should NOT be skimped on is the photographer—those are you memories! The day will go by in a flash and the photographs will be a treasure to you in years to come.
Virginia Finnerty, Event Planner and Proprietor of Pamlico House Bed & Breakfast located at 400 East Main St. in Washington. Virginia provides full event planning services from concept to completion or if they prefer a-la-carte, to fit her clients’ needs.
100 West Main Street ❀ Washington, NC
252.833.0560 ENVI, ALICE & TRIXIE, MOON & LOLA, JADE, MICHAEL KORS WATCHES AND MORE!
Dreaming of a Wedding by the Water? Check out these locations...
WASHINGTON HARBOR DISTRICT
Imagine your wedding at the newly renovated Festival Park in Downtown Washington. Located on the Washington Waterfront, Festival Park offers two shelters to host wedding ceremonies, a great lawn, and a beautiful view of the Pamlico River. Call (252) 975-9367 x 223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and prices.
One way to combine a love of history with a romantic wedding setting is to make arrangements to marry at North Carolina’s oldest town, Bath. Waterfront Bonner Point and the 1830 Bonner House yard and garden — all part of Historic Bath Sites— may be just the venue you have been searching for. Call the site at (252) 923-3971 or email email@example.com for pricing various wedding options and reserving these premium locations for your special day. 24
c i v i c c e n t e r
Let the historic charm and beauty of this downtown Washington landmark provide the backdrop for events nothing short of legendary. Inquiries: 1-800-546-0165 110 North Gladden Street Washington Harbor District www.washingtonciviccenter.com
DJ Charlie McNeill With 20 years of experience playing the greatest music of all times!
Bellport Inn Bed & Breakfast
Southern Hospitality WITH AN International Flair 4 bedrooms, home-cooked breakfast & wedding family/party discounts.
723 East Main Street ď‚Ź Belhaven, NC 27810 252.943.9910 or 919.624.7610 www.bellportinn.com
Newly Renovated Rooms in 2012! Microwave/Fridge in Every Room Pool Free WIFI Group Rates Available
Restored to natural beauty and its heritage of Southern Hospitality
916 Carolina Ave Washington, NC
Call Phyllis Hodges Boyd at 252- 946-6621
Everything you need for a perfect wedding.
6195 Hwy. 264 West, WA S H I N G T O N
CELEBRATING LIFE EVENTS
Located between Washington & Greenville
& the Soulshakers DANCE BAND, SOUL, FUNK, BLUES, R&B BILLY HOLTON
New Orleans Style Dixieland Music that makes any occasion better Booking Info: 252.975.0754 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TOGETHER 13 YEARS 252-617-3973 BillyH@SoulShakin.com
The Moss House Bed & Breakfast
Fantastic Bridesmaid’s Gifts & Apparel to Complete Your Bridal Trousseau
Artwork by: Bettie Bonner Bradshaw
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ll wedding ceremonies accomplish the same purpose for couples in love, to join them in Holy Matrimony. Many of the differences in these ceremonies depend on the couple’s religion, ethnic origin, finances and the number of traditions they choose to follow. These traditions may be as old as time or as new as yesterday. Every bride and groom may choose customs that suit their families, or the popular fashion of the day, or they might invent for themselves their own personal beginnings. For the bride, the initial step in planning a wedding is to find the perfect dress. The first weddings, according to tradition, called for a white dress. White wedding gowns became popular in the 1840s when Queen Victoria chose white instead of the “traditional royal silver” for her wedding gown. In the beginning, the tradition of white gowns did not indicate or signify virginity or chastity. This idea of sexual purity came about later and thrives to this day. Around 1000 AD, marriages were often nothing more than trading money between families or even other goods like cows or horses or pigs for a bride. In early Greek and Roman times the bridal veil came into being. Marriages were arranged by families and the veil was used to hide the face of the bride. Dowries had been exchanged and the family was afraid that the groom might refuse to marry the girl. Eventually the groom did lift the veil, prior to the ceremony, to see his bride for the first time. In Jewish traditions, the groom lowers the veil over the bride’s face prior to the ceremony to indicate that he is marrying the right woman. This custom came about because of the story of Jacob, who was tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel, the bride he wanted.
The bouquet, a very important and beautiful part of the bride’s attire, has also evolved from early traditions. Originally, bouquets were made from strong herbs, such as thyme and garlic, which were meant to frighten away evil spirits. And to cover the stench emitting from guests who had not bathed recently. The bouquets eventually
By Helen SommerKamp Inman evolved into other herbs, then to flowers. The belief that a bride was especially lucky on her wedding day grew to the point that guests wanted some good-luck souvenir from her. They began to tear her dress to capture some of that luck. The concept of a wedding ring dates back to early man when he tied plaited bracelets around the bride’s wrists and ankles to keep her spirit from running away. In 3000 BC, Egyptians originated the phrase, “without beginning, without end” to describe the significance of the wedding ring. It is not clear when the wedding ring began to be worn on the finger. Prior to the 5th century, the ring finger was the index finger, the pointer finger. Later it was believed that the third-finger left hand contained the “vein of love” that led directly to the heart. Originally the Romans used iron for wedding rings and the gold as a symbol of “all that is pure”. Diamonds were first used by Italians. It was said the diamonds were created from the “flames of love”. After the wedding, is the “honeymoon”. Very romantic, right? Some of the early ancient marriages were carried out by the groom and his groomsmen. They would kidnap a women from another tribe and hide her for one month—surprise, surprise—for mating purposes. Other brides and grooms would drink mead every day. Mead is a honey sweetened alcoholic brew that affects both sobriety and the acidity of the womb, thus increasing fertility. Thus the word honeymoon came into being. During the Roman Empire, wedding cakes were baked of wheat or barley and were broken over the head of the bride by the groom. The guests would scramble for a piece of the cake. During
the reign of King Charles II of England, the baker added icing and the modern style of the wedding cake was born. Other traditions still practiced today include “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”. This idea originated in Europe to ward off evil spirits. “Something old” symbolizes continuity. “Something new” represents the transition to married life. “Something borrowed” from a happily married couple means good fortune will follow the newlyweds. “Something blue” symbolizes purity, constancy, and fidelity. Other traditions we continue to see today might be the tying old shoes to the back of the newlyweds’ car to signify the transfer of the groom’s authority over his bride from her father. A penny in the bride’s wedding shoes is thought to bring good luck, fortune and protection against want. In ancient African tribal marriages, the couple would jump over sticks placed on the ground; this represented the couple’s new home. Today jumping over the broom represents “sweeping away the old and welcoming the new”. The tradition of “jumping over the broom” was used by African Americans who could not legally marry during slavery. Today the brooms are decorated and are used as a reminder of the past and the beginning of a new life. Many Irish weddings are ended with this prayer: May God be with you and bless you. May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings. May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward. Amen.
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