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Table of Contents

......your your destination

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Old Town Winchester 540-662-2195


How to curtail wedding expenses and still impress guests


7 ways to make the big day easier


Choosing a wedding reception menu


Real Weddings: Lesleigh & Jake at Shenandoah Lodge at Trilogy at Lake Frederick


Real Weddings: Priya & Joaquin at Historic Rosemont Manor


Choosing a honeymoon destination


The dress: trends and shopping tips


Trimming the guest list


Winning wedding gift ideas

ur Engagement, Ready To Announce Yo ar y? Wedding or Annivers

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The budget:

er, there are ways for couples to curtail their wedding spendTying the knot can be an ex- ing and impress guests at the pensive endeavor. According to same time. The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, which sur veyed nearly Trim the guest list 13,000 brides and grooms in the United States who got marThe 2017 Real Weddings ried in 2017, the average cost Study found that couples spent of a wedding was more than an average of $268 per guest in $33,000. 2017. Many couples are recogThat figure may surprise nizing that smaller guest lists some couples planning their are a great way to lower wedweddings, many of whom may ding spending, and The Knot not be able to afford spending study found that the average so much on their ceremonies guest count decreased from 149 and receptions. Couples may in 2009 to 136 in 2017. Trimfeel pressure to compete with ming the guest list may seem friends and relatives whose harsh, but couples who work toweddings they have attended gether need not cut their guest in the past, and that may com- lists in half. By working togethpel some to stretch their bud- er, couples can likely find begets and even go into debt to tween 10 and 15 acquaintances finance their nuptials. Howev- on their initial lists who won’t Metro Creative Services


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HOW TO CURTAIL WEDDING EXPENSES AND STILL IMPRESS GUESTS be of fended if they’re not invited. Couples who spend the 2017 average per guest can save nearly $3,000 by removing just 10 people from their guest lists.

Expand your venue horizons A greater number of couples are looking beyond traditional wedding venues and opting for more unique locales to tie the knot. The 2017 Real Weddings Study found that 15 percent of 2017 weddings were held on farms, ranches and even in barns, while just 2 percent of weddings were hosted in such venues in 2009. The growing popularity of unique wedding venues may make some locations more expensive than couples anticipate, but a

willingness to tie the knot in a Tie the knot in winter unique venue greatly increases couples’ options, improving the Summer and fall were the chances they will find more af- most popular wedding seasons fordable venues. in 2017, and that does not figure to change anytime soon. Couples can take advantage of Cut back on guest those trends by getting marentertainment ried in winter, a slow season Customizing experiences for for wedding venues and venguests is a major reason why to- dors, who might be more flexday’s couples are spending so ible with their prices. The most much more per guest than their popular months to tie the knot predecessors. Spending for cus- in 2017 were September, June tomized guest entertainment, and October, so couples who which includes things like pho- don’t want to wed in winter but to booths, sparklers and video want to avoid paying top pricbooths, tripled between 2009 es should avoid those three and 2017. Couples may want to months. Weddings are expensive, give their guests unique experiences, but should not stretch but couples can find ways to their budgets or go into debt to cut costs without sacrificing quality. do so.

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Did You Know? A first dance song at the wedding reception often sets the tone for the upcoming festivities and can exemplify just how newlyweds feel about each other. Couples may agonize over which song to choose, but there are many different resources available that can help couples narrow down their options. Spotify, the popular streaming music service, has compiled a list of the most popular wedding songs for 2018, based on global respondents. Their top pick was “Perfect,” by Ed Sheeran, a song that many might suspect was composed with wedding dances in mind. Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Etta James’ “At Last,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” and Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” filled out the remaining top five spots on Spotify’s list.

Six Star Events is a full-service catering company that specializes in creating custom menus for each client. Contact us today for help planning your next event! Kim James • 540.773.3306



tips: 7 WAYS TO MAKE THE BIG DAY EASIER Metro Creative Services

Wedding planning is no small task. From sending out engagement announcements to gifting guests with takehome favors, a couple will pour over scores of details as they plan their weddings. As if selecting a photographer or choosing the right passed appetizers isn’t challenging enough, some unknown variables are sure to pop up on the big day as well. Couples can take their cues from others who have walked the aisle before them with these tricks of the trade, which may help couples’ wedding days go smoothly.

Host everything at a single location

person can handle all of the details of the wedding day so brides and grooms can fully Couples who want to sim- immerse themselves in the plify their wedding day can se- festivities. lect a site that can host the Give an outgoing ceremony and reception and also house guests. The cost person a job of such facilities may be more affordable than couples think, Enlist a boisterous friend as transportation costs will or family member to wranbe minimal and the venue gle guests for photo opportumay offer discounts on group nities. He or she can be the packages. photographer’s helper and give the happy couple one less thing to do. Think about a day


Bring extra cash

Couples who cannot afford a wedding planner to handle Unexpected expenses may all of the details often find pop up. Couples may have to that a day-of-service provid- feed an extra member of the er is within their budget. This band or a guest who was able

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to get a babysitter at the last Stock the bathroom minute. Brides and grooms may want to offer a bigger Some venues will have tip than anticipated to the c o u r t e s y i t e m s f o r t h e i r waitstaff or deejay who went guests, but couples also above and beyond. should bring their own necessities, such as breath mints, Learn how to bustle toothpaste, extra pantyhose, hairspray, lip gloss, and/or Walking around with a sanitary pads. free-flowing train all day can become tiring for brides. Be all smiles Brides should make sure that one person practices how to Couples can’t predict evbustle the train and will step erything that will happen on in to do so for the reception. Also, it may not be the height their wedding day, but they of fashion, but having a gar- can help create the mood. bage bag on hand can keep Smiling couples can make the train clean during inclem- things better for ever yone, ent weather, or if the bride has even when zippers break or to trek across grass or soil for someone gets the chicken instead of the salmon. photo opportunities.

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Did You Know? The per person average couples spend on guests at their weddings has risen considerably since 2009, as more and more couples seek to provide unique guest experiences. According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 13,000 U.S.-based brides and grooms who tied the knot in 2017, per-guest spending increased from $194 in 2009 to $268 in 2017. Some of that increase can be traced to couples wanting to provide memorable experiences, including customized entertainment, for their guests. Among the couples surveyed, 69 percent paid for photo booths for their guests, while 24 percent provided sparklers. Twenty-two percent of couples included selfie stations or video booths in the festivities, while 19 percent provided games for guests during their receptions. The 2017 Real Weddings Study also found that customized entertainment options such as fireworks, cigar rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings, and magicians were more popular in 2017 than in 2009.

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Don’t zero in on specialties

Weddings are memorable for a host of reasons. While couples remember their weddings because they mark the day they officially tied the knot, guests may remember weddings for other reasons, including the food ser ved at the reception. Some wedding venues are known for their stunning landscapes, while others build their reputations on unique interiors that provide unforgettable ambiance. But regardless of where weddings take place, guests are liable to discuss the food served at the reception. Guests might rave about the escargot or complain that the fish was flaky, but couples who choose reception menus wisely can go a long way toward ensuring there are more compliments than complaints once the dinner bell rings.

According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, a sur vey of nearly 13,000 brides and grooms who tied the knot in 2017, the average wedding hosted 136 guests. While couples might be tempted by specialty dishes when choosing their wedding menus, couples who are hosting dozens, if not hundreds, of guests should keep things simple.

allergic reactions. Peanuts, soy, sesame, and shellfish are among the most common food allergies, according to FARE. FARE also notes that allergies to wheat, milk and eggs are common in children. While such foods can still be served at wedding receptions, make sure to also include foods that are unlikely to trigger allergic reactions. Couples can even ask guests to inform them of any food allergies.

Consider potential allergies

Don’t hesitate to offer a favorite food

In regard to entrées, make sure guests with food allergies can choose something that won’t make them sick. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, an organization devoted to improving the quality of life of individuals with food allergies, some common foods cause the majority of

While specialty entrées might not be a great choice, especially at large receptions where lots of mouths must be fed, a couple who has a favorite food that’s symbolic of their relationship should not hesitate to offer it during the cocktail hour. For example, a cou-

ple who met in Thailand may want to offer a favorite Thai dish.

Offer an elaborate dessert The last bite guests will take is dessert, so couples who want their guests to go home raving about the food may want to offer something special after the entrées have been taken away. Some guests may not indulge, but those who do might end their nights thinking about the delicious dessert they enjoyed as the festivities drew to a close. If the dessert is especially unique, offer something more traditional alongside it for more hesitant guests. Choosing a wedding menu should be fun. Menus should reflect not only couples’ tastes but also include some popular foods so no one goes home hungry.

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Couples booking a reception with us have the option to have their ceremony in the gardens at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Photo: Aaron Riddle Wedding & Portrait

103 East Piccadilly St, Winchester, VA 22601 Phone: 540-678-4700 • Fax: 540-545-8050


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Lesleigh & Jake

OCTOBER 13, 2018


A high school friend was responsible for the union between Lesleigh Dunbar and Jake Gschwind. The friend was dating Jake’s roommate, and thought Lesleigh and Jake would be a good match. She gave him Lesleigh’s phone number, and the two texted and talked on the phone for about two months before meeting in person, since she lived in Fairfax and he lived in Maryland. “I went up to their apartment for a game night with Jake, his roommate, and my friend,” recalled Lesleigh. “He walked me to my car that night and asked me out.” After a first official date to a Jason Aldean concert at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, the two commenced a long distance relationship for nine months, commuting an hour and a half to see each other. A trip to Jamaica set the scene of the engagement. “Jake proposed on the beach in Jamaica. It was a beautiful night. We had just had dinner on the pier and he asked to go for a walk down the beach. You could tell he was very nervous but so happy,” she said. The rest, as they say, is history. By JENNY BAKER The Winchester Star

Photography by Kathleen Marie Ward Photography



Tips SELECTING THE VENUE "We really wanted a rustic chic venue,” said Lesleigh. “We had looked at barn style and winery, but the event center alone at Shenandoah Lodge and Athletic Club was to die for! The Joanna Gaines vibes I got from the chandeliers and the shiplap walls had me obsessed. It also helped that we had the option to get married with the lakeside view, since my husband is from Long Island, he wanted water incorporated somehow.” Shenandoah Lodge was selected “Best of Weddings 2019” by THE VISION The couple wanted a rustic chic look for their wedding. “We went with a wood theme for the signs

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and decor. My best friend did all of our beautiful signs by hand, thank God for her. For it being a fall wedding, we thought burgundy and navy would be beautiful colors with touches of gold sparkle and blush.” FIRST DANCE “Yours” (wedding edition) by Russell Dickerson. PERSONALIZED DETAILS Lesleigh’s mom played a big role with the wedding’s decor. “She’s an electrical engineer and helped me design our photo trifold for the reception, and our trellis for the ceremony,” said Lesleigh. Her bridesmaids, a friend, and dad helped her create the flowers for the wedding. “We put ev-

erything together ourselves so it was a great bonding experience.” MOST WORTH-IT SPLURGE “Hair and makeup! I’ve worked with both ladies in the makeup and hair industry, and they were my absolute must no matter what it cost to get them out there,” she said. “They made all my ladies look more beautiful than they already are for my big day. And I loved how we all had different looks.” FAVORITE MOMENT “I mean obviously the getting married to my best friend part, but that’s a given right?” laughed Lesleigh. “The reception was probably my favorite. Everything about it was amazing. My dj had

everyone on the dance floor all night and the photographer and videographer captured the moments perfectly.” ADVICE TO NEW BRIDES “Enjoy every minute of it and don’t stress about the small stuff,” advised Lesleigh. “It will all come together beautifully no matter what, and even if something goes differently no one will know but you!” Local vendors:

Venue: Shenandoah Lodge at Trilogy at Lake Frederick. Day-of coordinator: Amy VanMeter Events.


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Priya MAY 12, 2018


& Joaquin



An ophthamology residency at Columbia University Medical Center brought Priya Mathews and Joaquin De Rojas together — but first, as friends. With shared interests of dancing, trying new restaurants, and enjoying the outdoors, they were fast friends. “After awhile, it became obvious that we were ditching dates with other people so that we could hang out with each other,” Priya shared. “We finally admitted our feelings to each other a year after knowing each other, and decided to take a huge risk with dating, which was scary when you work with the person every day!” Their friendship created a strong foundation for their relationship, and according to Priya, “everything felt right.” A year later, Joaquin surprised Priya with a private boat cruise in Manhattan. “When we were in the middle of the water near the Statue of Liberty, he got down on one knee and proposed! I was so surprised I almost fell off the boat,” she said. Another surprise was in store — Joaquin had arranged for their parents, family, and best friends to surprise them at his apartment. “It was such a special day!” By JENNY BAKER The Winchester Star

Photography by Regeti’s Photography


SELECTING THE VENUE "I grew up in the D.C. area, and I have always wanted to get married in the beautiful countryside of Virginia,” said Priya. “We looked up a few venues online, and drove down from New York one Saturday to visit all of the venues. After visiting the Historic Rosemont Manor in Berryville, we knew this charming countryside location was the perfect venue for us. It was quite a contrast from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, which is where we lived at the time.” THE VISION “Joaquin comes from a Latin American background, and my family is from the southern region of India. We were raised with many cultural values and traditions, but at the same time, we considered ourselves American since we were born and raised in the United States. We



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wanted our wedding to reflect who we were and what we loved to do,” she said. One way they did this was having three dance performances: Their slow dance was Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” followed by Enrique Iglesias, “Bailando,” which Priya and Joaquin danced in an expressive and sensual Latin style with elements of salsa. Later, they performed an Indian dance to “Cheap Thrills” by Sia with their bridal party. BERRIES FOR BERRYVILLE Priya and Joaquin honored the town of Berryville by having a berry theme to their wedding. “It influenced our flower, decor, bridal party dresses and bouquets/boutonnieres, welcome bag gifts, food, and cake,” she said. “For example, bridesmaids were dressed in strawberry, blueberry, raspberry colors, and we gave homemade ber-

ry jams, made by a lovely couple in West Virginia, Sister Sue’s Jams, to all of our guests.” THE CHURCH Since both their families have a strong Catholic background, finding a Catholic church was important. Luckily, St. Bridget of Ireland Catholic Church is only a mile away from Historic Rosemont Manor. “We had a traditional ‘American’ wedding processional and mass, however we did incorporate both of our backgrounds,” said Priya. “We honored Joaquin’s background by doing the ‘las arras’ tradition, or passing of coins to one another, symbolizing our promise to provide for each other. His uncle is a Cuban American priest and he presided over this part of the ceremony. We honored my heritage by including the thali and manthrakodi tradition, symbolizing our commitment and

loyalty as well as the groom’s promise to take care of the bride. My uncle, who is a Canadian priest from an Indian background, led us in this part of the ceremony. It was wonderful to have each of our uncles there to represent our respective cultural traditions.” MOST WORTH-IT SPLURGE “Definitely the fireworks, which were a big surprise for everyone,” she said. “The fireworks were timed perfectly to start as we were cutting our cake on the Portico... We also synched the fireworks with a modern electronic remix of our first dance ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.’” THE WEDDING PLANNER Priya said pulling off their wedding vision wouldn’t have been possible without Michael Haymaker, Rose-

See Wedding, Page 12


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Shenandoah Valley Golf Club

Shenandoah Valley Golf Club

brings charm and elegance to your special day.

Banquet Room with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Enchanting Ceremony Venue Over-night Accommodations Onsite On & Off Site Catering Available

Priya and Joaquin De Rojas performing a dance on the porch of Rosemont Manor.

From Page 11 mont’s wedding planner and coordinator. “He was unbelievable and was able to execute our vision of the ‘berry’ theme exactly how we imagined it. We had berries in the center of every table with mirrors and votive candles, then for dessert we had vanilla ice cream and everyone already had berry toppings at their table! He even personally bought berries and put it on our wedding cake,” she said. “Michael’s creativity, attention to detail, and ability to solve any problem was absolutely incredible.” Local vendors:

Gelato Truck: La Dolce Vita Gelato Fireworks: Pyrotechniques Rehearal Dinner: Mission BBQ

Shenandoah Valley Golf Club 134 Golf Club Circle Front Royal, Virginia, 22630 540-635-3588

Inquiries to

Venues: St. Bridget of Ireland Catholic Church and Historic Rosemont Manor Shuttle service: The Lifters Carriage: Shenandoah Carriage Company




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Metro Creative Services

Engaged couples spend lots of time and money planning their weddings. The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study found that the average couple who married in 2017 spent more than $33,000 on their weddings. If that figure raises eyebrows, couples may be even more surprised to learn it does not include the cost of a honeymoon. Honeymoons often mark couples’ first trip together after tying the knot. The 2017 Real Weddings Study found that the average engagement length in 2017 was 14 months, and many couples are no doubt ready for a getaway after spending more than a year planning their weddings. Whether couples are working with shoestring budgets or have some financial flexibility, it’s wise to consider various factors before choosing a honeymoon destination.


nities, including all-inclusive food and beverage, spa access, access to water sports, and even airport pickup and dropoff. Such packages can save couples substantial amounts of money, which can help those who might have spent more on their weddings than they initially intended.

A remote, exotic island might sound like the perfect place for couples to visit on their honeymoons. However, couples who spent more than a year planning their weddings may prefer somewhere less remote than an exotic isle that requires multiple flight transfers and possibly Recreation even days of travel to get to. Couples should discuss how much travel Couples also may want to consider they’re willing to endure during their honeymoons, and then find some- the accessibility of local recreationwhere that both partners are excit- al activities before choosing a honeymoon destination. Some couples ed about. may just want to spend the duration of their honeymoons unwinding on a Amenities beach, while others may want to mix relaxation with exploration. All-incluMany resor ts of fer honeymoon sive resort packages may or may not packages that include a host of ame- include off-site resort activities. Cou-

ples who want to do some exploring away from their resorts should investigate both the accessibility and safety of doing so.

Budget If budgets were stretched for the wedding, couples should not discount the benefits of planning a post-wedding weekend getaway and then saving some money for a more traditional honeymoon down the road. This option still affords couples a chance to spend a few post-wedding days away from home and can help them save for a honeymoon trip they will never forget.


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The dress:


The wedding dress doesn’t change much year after year — the dress is still typically a long gown in a shade of white. What may change year after year are necklines, sleeves, skirt style, and fabric. Morgan Beachler, who co-owns The Valley Bride in Winchester with her husband Rob, shares with us wedding dress trends for 2019, as well as some tips for helping you prepare for dress shopping.



“I’m starting to have a lot of people ask for sleeves, which is different,” said Beachler. The primary designer she works with, American designer Rebecca Schoneveld, can do a lot of customization to dresses, such as adding sleeves.

Pockets started appearing on bridal gowns a few years ago, and they likely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. “When someone sees the dress has pockets, they just love it,” said Beachler. Pockets come in handy for the bride to stash her lip balm or lipstick, phone, or tissues.

Color While color or color accents on dresses have been popular in other areas, Beachler said that brides in the Winchester area are pretty traditional and conservative. “I never saw too much of a color trend in this area. People mostly go with ivory,” she said.

Texture “I’m still seeing a lot of lace,” she said. Textures like brocade can also add visual interest to a gown and have been growing in popularity.

American designers Shape “Clean lines, and fit and flare is still pretty popular right now,” said Beachler. “It’s not as constrictive as the mermaid, it breaks at thehips instead of the knee.” A-line has become very popular, and many of the dresses in Beacher’s shop are A-line, which is a flattering style on just about anyone. Spaghetti straps have also become popular.


In the American-made Schoneveld line she carries, brides are privy to customizations that other bridal gown lines may not offer. She’s able to further customize dresses, by adding sleeves, a lowering or raising a neckline, removing the train or making it longer, making a dress in a different color, split sizing, and she can even doing complete measurements for a total custom fit (there are over 30 measurements that must be taken for a bridal gown). Hayley Paige is another American designer Beachler will carry soon.

By JENNY BAKER The Winchester Star



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Shopping tips Appointments

Bring inspiration

“Make an appointment — that is optimal. I have one dressing room. I can’t help you the way I want to help you, if I have another appointment,” said Beachler.

“I look at their Pinterest board, I look at what is the theme — they like a really nice back, or an A-line, I start looking for the overall connecting factor. Most do come in with an idea but are open minded.”

Wear underwear Beachler said to be sure to wear underwear. You don’t necessarily have to bring along a strapless bra, however. Beachler said many of her fittings begin with the bra, but since most of the dresses are meant to be worn without a bra, brides usually ditch the bra pretty quickly.

But come in with an open mind “Girls often buy exactly the opposite of what they think they want. Hands down, about 90 percent of the girls who say they want a fit and flare go with a ball gown, or someone who says I’m never going strapless,

goes strapless,” said Beachler. Don’t be afraid to try on different styles, she said it just depends on how it fits.

Support system Bring people with you who are going to be supportive. “I have seen too many girls torn down, by mom, by best friends, I find it very strange. Bring who is going to be supportive, but honest.”

dress shops and try on many styles. You also need to plan for alterations. “Give yourself three to four months for alterations,” said Beachler. “It takes that long to get the dress in, get it pinned, and get it into rotation with the seamstress. She has other dresses she has to do, not just yours.”

Alterations Plan to start looking for your dress eight to 10 months in advance of your wedding, especially if you want to visit multiple

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Did You Know?

• Corporate Meetings • Banquets • Weddings • Birthdays • Family/Church Gatherings Capacity up to 300 people 160 Front Royal Pike, Winchester, VA 22602 540-665-0685

Wedding insurance can provide couples who are about to tie the knot with some peace of mind on their big days. Many wedding venues require couples carry liability coverage in the case of accidents, injuries or incidents. But wedding insurance policies may even surprise couples with regard to what they cover. Each policy is different, and couples may be able to customize wedding insurance policies to cover a host of items. Many policies cover couples in the wake of cancellations or postponements due to weather, damage to the facility or even a change of heart on the part of the couple holding the policy. But some policies may provide coverage for couples should their photographers and/or caterers fail to appear. Policies may also cover lost, stolen or damaged items, including equipment rentals, bridal growns, jewelry, and/or gifts. Couples should speak with their wedding venue representative to determine if the venue offers extended coverage and ultimately compare those offerings to policy estimates they receive on their own.




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Metro Creative Services

Weddings are a time to celebrate, and many couples hope to invite as many people as possible to share their excitement. A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Denver found that couples who invite at least 150 guests to the wedding may have happier marriages. The study examined 418 people who were single at the beginning of the study and married five years later. It found that 47 percent of those people who had gotten married in front of at least 150 guests had “high-quality marriages,” while those with 50 or fewer guests fell short. While guests make weddings more enjoyable, and may increase the propensity to enjoy a more successful marriage, couples must be practical and consider their wedding budgets when creating their guest lists. The average American wedding includes 120 guests, according to a 2015 Newlywed Survey released by WeddingWire. Couples who are finding it difficult to create and pare down their guest lists can employ the following tips.

Create initial lists

those people to the wedding. They are more likely When jotting down po- friends of your friends and t e n t i a l g u e s t s ’ n a m e s , not your close friends. write down ever yone you want to invite, regardless Know the guest list of budget. Then list the ceiling must-have guests for the wedding. This should inCatering halls or recepclude the family and friends tion rooms often can only with whom you interact on accommodate a cer tain a regular basis. Create a number of people. Know separate column for guests this number before makwho don’t make the must- ing a final list. The limits of have list. the space may serve as the catalyst for trimming the Separate friends from guest list.

friends’ friends

Consider coworkers

your coworkers if the company dissolved tomorrow. If not, you should not feel obligated to invite them.

Have we met? If you don’t remember interacting with a person (your parent’s long lost friend from high school) or the person has never met your significant other, then they probably can be cut. If parents insist on inviting someone you barely remember, they should help defray the costs.

Cut out the kids If you don’t see people carefully outside of events set up by Think about whether Even though children’s mutual friends, you should not feel obligated to invite you’d still be friends with dinner costs may be low-

er than adults’, inviting children can significantly increase the guest list. A no-child policy at the reception can save money.

Avoid uncomfortable situations Unless you have remained particularly close, keep former boyfriends and girlfriends of f of the guest list.

Ask for an unbiased opinion Give the editing pen to someone else if you cannot make a decision. This person may help weed out extraneous guests.

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18 Saturday, June 15, 2019


Gifts: A WINNING WEDDING GIFT By ELIZABETH MAYHEW Special to The Washington Post

I have always appreciated the one-year rule of wedding gifting; etiquette dictates that you have 365 days from the wedding date to send the couple a present. (If only more items on my to-do list had as much leeway.) Such temporal luxury means you can save and budget for the gift and/or use the time to find something really special for the couple. But waiting to send a gift has its drawbacks. If you don’t act quickly, for example, other guests can complete the couple’s registry, leaving the much more difficult task of finding (and taking a chance on) something the couple will like. If, as we enter one of the busiest wedding months of the year, you find yourself too late to the registry, here are some foolproof gift suggestions from experts in the wedding world. Jeffra Trumpower, creative director at WeddingWire, says to consider giving experiences. “Whether you purchase a deliver y-box subscription that allows the couple to have fun cooking together or a gift certificate for a couple’s massage at a spa lo-

cal to them, the couple will think of you when they participate in these activities,” Trumpower says. She also suggests chipping in for honeymoon activities. “If you know where a couple is honeymooning, purchase them a gift certificate for an activity like snorkeling, a sunset boat cruise, or even dinner and drinks one evening.” Another idea of Trumpower’s: Set up an anniversary photo session. “It’s easy for to-be-weds to be so caught up in planning for their wedding day that they don’t consider how they will celebrate their anniversaries,” says Trumpower. “An anniversar y photo session is a great way for them to continue celebrating their love after their nuptials take place.” Donating to a cause the couple is passionate about is another meaningful gift alternative, she says. Jennifer Spector, director of brand strategy at Zola, a wedding registry website, says that if there is a registry, you should stick to it. “Couples spend a lot of time creating their wish list of what they’ll actually use, so even if the dinnerware pattern your friends chose is not your personal taste, it’s what

they love.” Spector says that if you can’t find something off their registry, then choose something that fits the couple’s style and has a personal touch. “If the couple likes to entertain, a nice wine opener paired with a really great bottle of wine is one idea, or if they love to cook, give a cookbook along with cookware essentials like a cast-iron skillet.” But, Spector advises, “if you are going off-registry, stick to shopping at the same stores where the couple registered. This way it will be really easy for them to return or exchange, and you know they already like that store.” Like Trumpower, Spector says gift cards for experiences make great wedding presents. Her suggestions: a StubHub gift card so the couple can buy tickets to a show or sporting event that works for their schedule, or a gift card to Framebridge for custom wedding photo framing. According to Spector, some of the most popular gifts on Zola are travel-related gift cards for companies such as Airbnb and Delta. Even though some people feel uncomfortable giving money, it is still a popular gift choice.

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Did You Know? Brides prefer their wedding guests purchase wedding gifts from their registries. According to a poll conducted jointly by The Knot and Kohl’s Bridal Aisle, nearly 85 percent of the 15,000 brides polled said they want their guests to buy items from their registries. Wedding guests need not worry about the accessibility of those registries, as the poll also found that 98 percent of brides have at least one registry online or in a store. Bridesto-be can improve their chances of getting gifts from their registries by registering with nationwide stores their guests can visit regardless of where they live and/or by linking their registries to their wedding websites. Couples who do not plan to create wedding websites can include registry information with their wedding invitations..

Saturday, June 15, 2019 19

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Summer Bridal Guide 2019  

The Winchester Star's 2019 Summer Bridal Guide

Summer Bridal Guide 2019  

The Winchester Star's 2019 Summer Bridal Guide