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A special publication

February 14, 2014


WEDDINGS

PUT THE GROOM TO WORK

Get grooming! T

hat wonderful woman you’re about to marry is running around at breakneck speed, treating this wedding like her full-time job. How on earth can you help?

By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

If you don’t know what to do, just ask! If she says she’ll handle it all herself, it may be time to put in a call to her mother. Those extra brownie points never hurt, either. Still not sure where to start? Here are a few “groomable” jobs for you to jump at.

BUDGET

Help work out a wedding budget. Be prepared that hers will be much higher than yours. Yes, you could have purchased a slightly used Ferrari instead, but you only do this once. So suggest having a dinner with both families where everyone can discuss what costs can be covered. Wedding budgets are kind of like the national budget — it’s going to cost a lot more than you expect.

TRANSPORTATION

Don’t all guys love cars? You may want to be the one to pick out a great limousine or classic car for you and your honey to be escorted around in on the big day. Keep in mind the bride may not want to see you prior to walking down the aisle, so ask your friend with the SUV (so not to wrinkle the dress) to pick her up at the appropriate time and take her to the ceremony site. Also, you will need transportation to the wedding night location. Consider a limo service or a late-night carriage ride so the best man doesn’t need to be the “designated driver.”

MUSIC

Why don’t you volunteer to research bands or DJs for the reception? If you do the legwork of gathering all the info, the two of you can then interview DJs or musicians to make the final decision. Put together a play list and a do-not-play list. A good Page 2

DJ or band really can make or break the wedding, so make an informed decision.

FOOD Find a few caterers to interview, come up with a basic menu and set up some tastings. You can even check with your favorite restaurant about catering the big shindig. If you have a favorite meal, try to find a caterer who can make it. With the right caterer, the food will be delicious and there will be something for everyone.

THE HONEYMOON This is a traditional groom’s duty that’s got to be the best job of the whole process — organizing and planning your glorious post-nuptials blowout vacation. Choose a location you’ll both like. Remember, the honeymoon is not the time to get in a few rounds of golf! Still, you could send her to a surprise half-day spa treatment and secretly get in nine holes on the links. Most importantly, make it the most

WEDDING GUIDE

romantic vacation ever! (Brides: Drop hints to your guy by emailing him some fabulous honeymoon destinations.) Don’t relegate yourself to the sidelines. Get involved and make your mark. After all, this wedding is half yours, and the ceremony and party should reflect that fact as much as possible. Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride.com. FEBRUARY 14, 2014


ANSWERS

WEDDINGS

Take the wedding Q&A

A

nswering your most-often-asked wedding and etiquette questions.

By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

Q: How can I ask for money instead of a gift? A: You shouldn’t ask for specific gifts from your guests. The only thing you can do is tell friends and relatives your preference. Then, when others ask, your family and friends can say that you would prefer money. But don’t announce it in a formal way (whatever you do, don’t put a card in the invitation). Another strategy is to register for your honeymoon trip or for a down payment on a home. This way, guests will still feel they are getting you something specific and you get what you really need. And, of course, be sure to accept and acknowledge every gift with a gracious thank you!

Q: Yikes! Our guest list is too long and we’re on a tight budget. How do we trim it without being unfair to anyone? A: Some areas to start cutting back on your guest list would be to not include distant relatives or co-workers. You want to share your special day with the people who mean the most to you, not people you see occasionally and are not really close to.

Q: How many invited guests should I expect will actually attend my wedding? A: The general rule of thumb is if you’re having more than 200 guests, you can estimate that about 25 percent of your guests will be unable to attend. If you are having fewer than 200 guests, the percentage usually decreases to about 15 to 20 percent or less. Other factors include how many guests you invite who live out of town and the travel distance required to attend the wedding. Remember, every family and guest list is different, so always be prepared in case everyone is able to come. FEBRUARY 14, 2014

Q: Almost all of the attendants in my wedding are coming from out of town. Is it necessary for us to pay for their lodging? A: No, this isn’t your responsibility. It is assumed that attendants will bear this burden, but you should make the process as easy as possible. Find a convenient hotel and arrange for a group rate, if possible. Your attendants may certainly choose a different hotel if they like, but having prearranged accommodations means they don’t have to search for a place if they don’t have time. Of course, there’s no reason you can’t offer to pay for your attendants’ accommodations if you want to.

and not your main shower, you do not need to invite everyone. Q: On which side should males wear their boutonnieres? Right or left? A: The boutonniere is worn by the groom and his attendants on the left lapel. Q: I’m the mother of a groom, but I’m at a loss as to what roles I play in the wedding. A: The mother of the groom can be as involved as the couple would like. Some of her main responsibilities may include: Introducing herself and her husband to the bride’s parents. This may be as simple as making a call to the bride’s mother and telling her how happy she is about the engagement or an informal invitation to dinner at their home or res-

30Years

Q: My bridesmaids are of different shapes and sizes. What can I do to get a dress that will flatter all of their figures? A: Many brides are opting for choosing a certain designer and color and letting their bridesmaids choose their own dress and style. This way, each bridesmaid will be able to choose something that she feels comfortable in, that is flattering to her figure, and she’ll be able to express her own unique style while fitting in with the rest of your wedding.

Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride.com.

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Q: What are some ways to save costs? A: Get married the week after Christmas or the week after Easter if you want to save money on flowers. Get married off-season to save money on reception costs. Get married at 1 o’clock (too late for lunch; too early for dinner) and have a light-fare reception. Q: My co-workers (20 of them) are throwing a shower for me. Am I obligated to invite them all to the wedding and reception? A: No, you need not. If it’s a “work� shower, thrown with coworkers only,

taurant. This may be with or without the couple in attendance. (If the parents live far away, a friendly letter is appropriate. A snapshot of the family and maybe even one of her son as a small child is always welcomed by the bride’s mother and is a kind gesture.) Providing an accurate and timely guest list. Making reservations for out-of-town guests, invited by the groom’s family. Organizing and hosting the rehearsal dinner. Lighting the family candle on the altar, along with the mother of the bride. Taking her place beside the bride and mother of the bride in the receiving line to thank guests for attending.

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WEDDING GUIDE

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WEDDINGS

OUTSIDE

The great outdoors

P

lanning for an outdoor wedding? Be prepared. By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

Don’t let Mother Nature spoil the fun. Here are some backup plans and tips so you’ll be prepared for the unexpected. • Have an alternative plan arranged just in case of bad weather. This could be the rental of a tent, moving to an inside area or changing locations. • If Alaska is famous for its beauty, it’s also famous for its bugs. No matter how beautiful a location is, unless you’re See OUTDOORS, Page 5

Write vows that wow By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

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If you want to make your wedding a one-of-a-kind affair, consider writing your own wedding vows. Here are some tips to help inspire you and bring your vows to life. Reminisce. Take a walk down memory lane and think about all those wonderful moments spent together. Jot down favor¬ite memories, including moments that defined your relationship or locations that hold significance for the two of you. They can be funny, touching, sad, romantic. Find inspiration. Of course your love is unique, but countless others have fallen in love and married before you, and a lot of them have written about the subject. Use your favorite poems, love songs and movie quotes to help inspire your own masterpiece of love. Reflecting on the relationships within your families could be another great source of inspiration, such as your parents’ marriages. Ask questions. What do you love about your partner? Why is he/she the one?

WEDDING GUIDE

What is better about your life with your future spouse in it? What is it about him/ her that inspires you? What would you like to promise your partner? Let those questions and the emotions they stir up guide your writing. Write it down. Once you agree to write your own vows, come up with a rough outline of what you want to say. As far as structure, there’s no rule that your vows have to mirror one another. But if you want consistency, come up with agreedupon components (like a short story) or structure (like a list of promises) ahead of time. Keep it short and sweet. There might be a million things you want to say to your future spouse, but don’t share them all at the altar. Be aware of how much time it will take and be understanding of your audi¬ence. Keep it brief (aim for about one min¬ute) but don’t hold back your emotions: Speak from the heart! Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride. com. FEBRUARY 14, 2014


OUTSIDE

OUTDOORS Continued from Page 4

careful, the mosquitoes will steal the show every time. Consult with the site’s manager for solutions such as strategically placed mosquito traps or spraying the ground with a nonpoisonous bug spray an hour or two before the wedding. Choose a spray that won’t leave a lingering odor. If these aren’t options, then a location away from water might be your best bet. • You’ve taken care of the insects, what’s that buzzing noise? A float plane, perhaps. Or a motor boat, a jet-ski or a four-wheeler? Some popular sites might provide more than just the chirping of birds. And depending on your vision, the noise of summer sports might add to the fun or might shatter the mood — an important consideration when choosing a site. • Use your location’s natural dÊcor. Many sites come complete with greenery, floral gardens, lakes, mountains and a gorgeous view of the setting sun. When searching for your ideal location, look for natural or built-in points of beauty for great backdrops and photo opportunities. • For your bouquet, consider choosing a single type of flower, loosely tied, that doesn’t fight the beauty of the great outdoors. • For added dÊcor, potted arrangements are beautiful, but bear in mind that it takes a lot of planning to get cultivated arrangements safely to an outdoor site. Many plants will do their best if they wait in the shade

WEDDINGS

before making their grand entrance. • Heat and sun can intensify the effect of alcohol. Make sure to have plenty of soft drinks, coffee and high-carb foods available to stave off any problems. • Provide plenty of finger-foods – eating outside can be messy! • If indoor plumbing is inaccessible, provide moist towelettes. • Make sure any portable restroom facilities are strategically located — easy access for high heels, but not so close that odor is an issue. • You can never have too much ice, especially on a sunny day. Borrow a canoe to hold the ice and cold drinks. Attach a bottle-opener to it. Inflatable boats or kiddie pools also make fun casual ice buckets. • Provide small bottles of sunscreen and hand-held fans as wedding favors. Provide baseball caps or umbrellas to negate the effects of rain or sun. • Beware of buttercream frosting, which will melt. Choose fondant for your cake. • Respect the pristine beauty of your outdoor “reception hallâ€? and make sure there is no trace of you or your party when the wedding is over. Above all, keep your sense of humor. Even if a breeze blows your veil off, just relax, smile and know that you are having a beautiful and joyous wedding with an unforgettable backdrop. Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride.com.

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WEDDINGS

MAKE IT PERSONAL

17 ways to personalize Tips for bridal gown shopping ou may have fantasized about your your special day Ydream dress from the moment he By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

• Who says you have to stick with traditional ceremony music? Hire a cellist or quartet to play an instrumental version of your favorite rock song that has a special meaning for both of you. • Seat guests in a circle around the altar. You’ll feel surrounded by love. • Consider extinguishing the unity candle idea and instead combine sym¬bolic cups of sand from your respective hometowns — such as glacier silt from your groom’s home in Fairbanks and soil from the farm where you grew up. • Ask a calligrapher — or a friend with good penmanship — to hand-write some¬thing personal on your aisle runner using chalk or fabric paint (a line from a favorite poem, perhaps). • Start the celebration as soon as guests arrive by throwing a short pre-cer¬emony cocktail party. It will give everyone a chance to mingle and ensure that even your chronically late college roommate will get there in time for the main event. • If you don’t have nieces or other little girls you’d want as your flower girls, consider sending little boys down the aisle. Instead of tossing rose petals, they can ring bells or carry lanterns. • Before the start of your Christmastime celebration, welcome guests with hot cocoa, holiday cookies and Christmas carols. • Amuse your guests by stringing your childhood photos along a clothesline for

their viewing pleasure. • Will you have a long, winding cer¬emony path? Let your brothers and father, standing at various intervals, escort you to the altar one by one. • Instead of numbering the reception tables, name your tables after significant years in your lives and display a photo of you and your new spouse from that year. Or name them after your favorite date places, pets, travel destinations, movies, songs, etc. • Treat your out-of-town guests to a taste of Alaska with local flavors like fresh Alaska salmon and halibut, king crab dip, locally brewed beer and blueberry wine. • On each reception table, include trivia cards that pose questions about the bride and groom — a great icebreaker for guests who don’t know one another. • Incorporate a family dish into the meal and give out the recipe as favors. • Serve wines from the year you met. • For a personalized dessert station, ask all of the cooks in your family to provide two dozen cookies or treats of their own. • Along with including details about the wedding party in the program, also list your new contact information for guests to keep in touch. • After your ceremony, ask guests to linger for a group photo that you can later use as the cover for your thank you cards. Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride. com.

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popped the question, but the chances are you haven’t yet considered the practicalities of actually finding it. By Alaska Bride & Groom magazine

Here are some tips to ensure it turns out to be a dream come true. 1. You deserve excellent service. You’re shopping for your dream gown, and you have every right to expect top-notch customer service. If you believe you’re being mistreated, take charge of the situation and go to another shop that values you as a customer. 2. Plan in advance. Most bridal gowns have to be special ordered, and it can take up to six months to order certain dresses. Then you have to leave time for alterations. A word to the wise: start shopping for a gown nine months to a year before your wedding. 3. Keep an open mind. Try on as many styles as you can. Lots of dresses have zero hanger appeal, but look great once you put them on. 4. We all know that too many cooks spoil the soup. The same applies when shopping for a gown. Bringing along an army of well-meaning friends or relatives is usually a mistake. Bring along one or two trusted partners — your mom, a close friend, etc. — for a second opinion. 5. Start out with a general idea of the kind of dress you like: traditional, straight, empire line, princess line, etc. Also, think about whether you want a theme to your wedding (color, period, style) as this will make your choice of dress easier. 6. Be practical. A huge skirt will be hard to maneuver in a tiny ceremony site. 7. Ask to try on a veil with the dress and consider accessories to complete the look, such as jewelry and gloves. These touches just might turn a dress from ordinary to

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special. 8. Think about the style of your shoes: whether or not you want a heel may affect the whole look of your dress. 9. Remember to look at your rear view! Your guests will have an uninterrupted view during the ceremony, so it’s got to look good. 10. Get it in writing. Make sure all the details of your gown order (and any promises the shop makes about delivery, sizing, etc.) are in writing before you place your deposit. Reprinted with permission from Alaska Bride & Groom magazine, AlaskaBride. com. FEBRUARY 14, 2014


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Patterns Are In

olka dots, plaid and stripes, oh my! Patterns are taking the wedding world by storm as more and more brides are opting for uniquely whimsical events.

And wedding experts aren’t calling the pattern trend a passing fad. Bridal shows from California to New York have seen an uptick in designers showing off pattered dresses over the past few years. When matched with a classic color scheme, polka dots and plaid can help create a contemporary yet quirky wedding theme.

tomized patterning. Bride and bridesmaid veils, shawls or corsages can also be spiced up with subtle stripes or plaid patterns. The key to pulling off patterned success is cohesion across your wedding party. Don’t ask your bridesmaids to wear polka dots and the groomsmen to don stripes. A little consistency can go a long way.

THE ATTIRE

THE DECORATIONS

While you won’t spot many brides donning full-on polka-dotted dresses as they walk down the aisle, patterns are becoming part of wardrobe accessories. Groom and groomsmen vests, lapels or ties offer the perfect pieces for a little cus-

If you decide to go with a patterned theme for your attire, help enhance it with similarly designed decorations. Your tablecloths, napkins, chair backs and aisle runner can look great in patterns. You can even give guests a preview of your theme

FEBRUARY 14, 2014

WEDDING GUIDE

by sending out patterned invitations, RSVP cards and dinner menus for the reception.

THE FOOD And speaking of dinner menus, you can even infuse patterns into your wedding fare. Patterned napkins and plates can help strengthen your theme during dinner, while your cake be totally decked out in polka dots or stripes. Let your cake designer get creative with layering patterns together or with only patterning one or two tiers of your cake. Guests will love your attention to detail and the effort you put into integrating patterns into every aspect of your event.

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WEDDING GUIDE

FEBRUARY 14, 2014


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