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Fall Bridal 2014

August 19, 2014

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Made Easy
Bachelor Party
Playlist Classics
Throwing an outdoor wedding | Dressing for comfort
Kid free wedding | Wedding day transportation
Shopping tips for plus-sized brides to be
Whitley County, Indiana
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 2
Which dinner service is perfectly right for your perfect wedding?
Weddings are typically the cul-
mination of months of careful plan-
ning. After a couple has officially
tied the knot, a celebration typi-
cally follows. Although music and
mingling are integral to a wedding
reception, the meal is often the cen-
tral component of the party.
Couples have options when
choosing dinner service for their
weddings, and some need not serve
dinner at all. An early wedding may
consist of a brunch or some passed
appetizers, while some couples opt
for a cocktail party in lieu of a
dinner party. Still, some weddings
feature only desserts.
But guests attending more tradi-
tional weddings expect to dine at the
receptions that follow such affairs.
Buffet service and a sit-down din-
ner are the most popular choices
for wedding meals, and each has
its advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing the dinner service that
works best for your wedding may
involve a careful comparison of the
various offerings and keeping your
budget and guests’ comfort in mind.
Sit-down dinner
A sit-down dinner consists of
several courses of plated food
served by a waitstaff. Guests never
have to leave their seats, and sit-
down service is usually in line
with a formal reception. Some food
offerings at sit-down dinners tend
to be fancy and presented in a man-
ner that is appealing both to the eye
and the palate.
There are several advantages to
sit-down meals. Guests can focus
entirely on enjoying themselves
and conversing with fellow guests
rather than getting up to seek out
food, and those with mobility issues
do not have to worry about maneu-
vering to a buffet station or trying
to balance food. Guests get top-
notch treatment and will have a
waitstaff on call to fill their every
need, which can make an affair
more memorable for all in atten-
But sit-down dinners are typical-
ly more expensive as well. Guests
are generally given several choices
for the main course, and that could
mean ordering extra food and pre-
paring it to be ready for guests’
selections. Serving meals may take
longer, and sometimes meals may
not arrive hot to the table. Guests
may be limited to certain food
choices, and portion sizes may not
be what guests were hoping for.
Sitting idle for a while can affect
the mood of the reception and lead
to boredom.
Buffet service
A buffet-style dinner is served
from a long dais table that holds
several chafing dishes full of food.
Wedding guests will rise from their
seats and make their way to the buf-
fet stations, where they’ll be able to
serve themselves or be served by
staff manning the stations.
Buffets present an array of foods
that cater to the various dietary
needs of guests. Those at the recep-
tion can sample several different
foods rather than be restricted to
one main course. Guests can limit
portion sizes or sometimes return
for second helpings. Buffets are
generally less formal and allow
guests to mingle more readily.
But buffet-style meals may pro-
duce long lines as guests pick and
choose their meals. While experi-
enced catering managers and recep-
tion site staff should have plans in
place to create a free-flow of guests
to the buffet stations, there will be
a first and a last table called to eat,
and guests on the tail end of the
service may be stuck with whatever
is left over if food is not adequately
restocked. In an effort to accom-
modate everyone, extra food may
be cooked for buffet-style dinners,
which can be costly and wasteful.
In addition, guests are asked to do
more work, as they need to get up
and retrieve their own food.
A catering company or the ban-
quet manager at a reception site can
work with couples as they decide
if a buffet or sit-down dinner is the
best option for their wedding recep-
Classic songs to include
on your reception playlist
Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding
March” is popular at wedding cer-
emonies near and far, but many
songs also enjoy such widespread
popularity. Sentimental standards
help shape the celebration. Unless
a couple intends to buck all trends,
the following are some popular
wedding reception staples.
• “Unforgettable”: Made popu-
lar in the early 1950s by Nat
King Cole, “Unforgettable” expe-
rienced a resurgence in popularity
in the 1990s thanks to a remix of
the song that turned it into a duet
between the late Cole and his
daughter, Natalie.
• “Unchained Melody”: The
Righteous Brothers classic was a
hit in 1965 but rose to even greater
popularity when it was included in
the 1990 film “Ghost.” Couples
still love to cut a rug to this song
at their wedding receptions.
• “The Way You Look Tonight”:
This oft-covered song is one of
the more romantic songs to grace
the American songbook. Billie
Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Fred
Astaire have put their own unique
spins on the song.
• “At Last”: Although Ella
Fitzgerald was not the first artist
to record this song, her version is
arguably the most popular.
• “What a Wonderful World”:
Louis Armstrong’s rousing ren-
dition of this classic can make
any reception even more upbeat.
The song is especially popular for
mother-son and father-daughter
• “Wonderful Tonight”: Many
couples love this Eric Clapton
classic about enduring love. And
guests love to grab their signifi-
cant others to take their own spins
around the dance floor.
• “Last Dance”: Donna
Summer’s “Last Dance” is an
ideal choice for the final song of
the evening. By the time the song
switches from the slow-moving
opening chords to a more upbeat
pace, guests will be grabbing their
party favors and heading for the
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 3
The way it
should be!
Traditional Wedding Menu
Pulled Pork • Beef Brisket • Ribs
Chicken • Homemade Sauces
Scratch Made Sides
Fruit & Vegetable Trays
Custom Punches with Fountain
Chocolate Fountain
501 North Line St.
Columbia City
Simple pointers for planning a traditional bachelor party
A bachelor party is a tradition that some
might be surprised to learn extends far beyond
North America. Though bachelor parties go by
many different names, these get-togethers held
for a man shortly before he gets married are
enjoyed in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and
South Africa.
The responsibility of planning a bachelor
party traditionally falls on the shoulders of the
groom-to-be’s best man, who can choose to
plan the party on his own or enlist the help of
his fellow groomsmen. Immortalized in films
such as 1984’s “Bachelor Party” and the 2009
comedy “The Hangover,” bachelor parties
range from the tame to the relatively raucous
to the outrageous. While best-men-to-be might
be nervous about planning a bachelor party,
the following are a handful of tips for men
who want to make a friend or family member’s
bachelor weekend as memorable as possible.
• Don’t go it alone. Just because you are
the best man does not mean you need to plan
the entire bachelor party on your own. While
you might want to add a few special and per-
sonal touches to the festivities, that does not
mean you can’t enlist the help of your fellow
groomsmen or the groom’s friends who are
not included in the bridal party. Enlisting the
help of others can be especially helpful when
planning a party for a large group, which can
be difficult to organize. If the group is large
and spread out, ask someone to represent each
particular group of friends, such as childhood
friends, college buddies and any professional
associates who will be joining in the festivities.
If the groom is your family member, you can
take on the responsibility of coordinating with
family members. Breaking things down can
make it easier to organize and help the groom’s
other close friends and family members feel
like they are more involved in the festivities.
• Ask the groom for a list of invitees. While
it’s tradition to prevent the guest of honor from
participating in the planning, it is a good idea
to ask the groom for a list of people he wants
to invite. This can help a best man who is not
familiar with all of a groom’s friend’s or asso-
ciates to organize the party, and it also ensures
that friends who were not invited to the wed-
ding are not mistakenly invited to the bachelor
party. In addition, the groom may want certain
people excluded from the festivities for person-
al reasons, so asking him for a list of invitees
can help avoid any confusion or conflicts down
the road.
• Choose a different locale for the bachelor
and bachelorette parties. Many couples have
their bachelor and bachelorette parties on the
same weekend, and such parties are meant to
be a chance for the groom to spend time with
his male friends while the bride spends time
with her female friends. So when planning the
bachelor party, the best man should ensure he
does not choose the same locale as the maid
of honor chooses for the bachelorette party.
While many couples have abandoned tradition-
al bachelor and bachelorette parties in favor of
one big party for everyone a couple of nights
before the wedding, those who are sticking
to tradition likely want to keep the festivities
separate. A best man can work with his female
counterpart, the maid of honor, to ensure the
parties don’t cross paths.
• Plan at least one special event for the
weekend. While many men would be content
to enjoy one last weekend hanging out with
their male friends before tying the knot, one
way to make the weekend even more memo-
rable for the groom-to-be is to plan at least one
special event, which can act as the centerpiece
of the weekend. This special event may include
a group trip to attend a sporting event or an
evening seeing the groom’s favorite band per-
form live. The event should cater to one of the
groom’s interests, and if possible, keep things
a surprise to make it even more memorable.
• Limit the groom’s financial responsibility.
Chances are the groom has enough on his plate
with regard to paying for his wedding, so it’s
best to limit the groom’s financial responsibil-
ity as much as possible. Don’t let him buy any
drinks or food all weekend, and if you can
afford to do so, foot the bill for his transporta-
tion and lodging as well. While such gestures
are certainly not obligatory, they are thoughtful
and will mean a lot to the groom-to-be.
Planning a bachelor party might come with
some pressure, but men tasked with such a
responsibility should remember to have fun
and enlist others’ help when necessary.
Honeymoon planning made easy
Weddings are one-of-a-kind occasions. Weddings
also tend to be stressful, even for the most laid-back
people. But a honeymoon gives the couple a chance
to enjoy uninterrupted moments together and serves
as a way to recuperate from the months and some-
times years of wedding planning.
Honeymoons are a beloved wedding tradition,
and some couples even combine their weddings and
honeymoons by opting for a destination wedding.
Because the honeymoon should be a way to unwind
on a dream vacation, booking the honeymoon and
setting an itinerary should not add to the pressure of
planning, and the following tips should make plan-
ning a honeymoon a snap.
• Research your destination. Learn all you can
about a destination before booking your honey-
moon. Study the weather for the time of year you
will be on your honey-
moon, and learn about
currency exchange,
local rules and reg-
ulations and other
pertinent factors to
determine the best
places to visit. You
do not want to be
met with surprises
that might com-
promise your trip
upon arriving to
your honeymoon
• Book well
in advance. The
sooner you choose
your destination,
the faster you can
begin the process
of applying for passports, visas or other necessary
documents. Booking early also guarantees you bet-
ter seats on the flight and the ability to negotiate
• Give yourself a full day between the wedding
and embarking on your trip. Scenes of couples being
whisked away to the airport right after the reception
dwindles down are commonplace. But that doesn’t
mean you need to leave right after the final dance.
Allow some breathing room to pack, deposit wed-
ding gifts, return tuxedoes, and tackle any other
post-wedding tasks. Save the romantic “first night”
as a couple for the honeymoon and enjoy a well-
deserved night’s sleep.
• Purchase travel insurance. One way to alleviate
the stress of planning a wedding is to ensure your
honeymoon investment is protected in the event of
bad weather or other unfore-
seen circumstances. Travel
insurance is a safety
net that can come
in handy. Speak
with a travel agent
or insurance agent
about how to secure
travel insurance for
the honeymoon.
• Pack light.
Don’t burden your-
self down with a
lot of belongings.
Chances are you’ll
pick up new things
and mementos on
the trip, and pack-
ing light makes
traversing airports
that much easier.
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 4
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experience TNT tailors every detail,
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corsages to unique wedding and
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Call today for a FREE consultation
appointment to meet and share ideas
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550 Old Trail West (across from Miller’s Merry Manor) • Mon-Sat 8am-5pm Phone 244-5531
How to throw a successful outdoor wedding
Outdoor weddings are romantic when
done right, and a growing number of couples
are exchanging vows amid an expansive gar-
den or with the splendor of the pounding surf
providing a picturesque backdrop. If Mother
Nature cooperates, outdoor weddings can go
smoothly. But even if the weather does not
cooperate, there still are ways couples can
enjoy a memorable ceremony.
Preparation and planning help keep out-
door weddings moving along. Weather can
be unpredictable and unforgiving, so it is
always best to account for various scenarios.
The following are some tips to consider.
• Be mindful of hot weather. Many out-
door weddings occur when temperatures
are at their warmest. As anyone who has
had to sit outdoors in the blazing sun for
an extended period of time can attest, it can
grow quite uncomfortable, especially when
everyone is dressed to the nines. Advise
guests in advance that the wedding will be
taking place outdoors and to dress accord-
ingly. Arrange to have shaded areas for
guests who may struggle with the heat. Keep
chilled bottled water nearby so guests can
stay cool and refreshed. Ask the officiant to
keep the ceremony brief so that guests are
not melting away in their seats.
• Keep wind in mind. A stiff breeze can
upset tents and wreak havoc on hairstyles.
Be sure everything outdoors is properly
secured and weighted down. Avoid light fab-
rics on a wedding gown that will get swept
away by wind. A short, blusher veil may
be more appropriate than a sweeping train.
Couples should advise their hairstylists that
they will be getting married outdoors, and
looks should be well secured by bobby pins
and gel to keep hair in place. Stick to real
dishes for food service, as plastic or light-
weight materials may get blown away.
• Check for power sources. Choose a
wedding location with easily accessible
power outlets. Guests will certainly want
to hear the vows, and that may require the
use of microphones and a sound system.
Having power available also makes it eas-
ier for bands and musicians to set up their
equipment for an outdoor reception. If the
wedding will be stretching into the evening
hours, electricity will be needed to power
supplemental lighting that illuminates the
• Ensure accessibility. Outdoor terrain
can prove tricky, especially for older guests
or those with mobility issues. When scout-
ing locations, select a wheelchair-accessible
spot that can be easily traversed. Understand
that turf can become water-logged and chal-
lenging to walk over should it rain the day
of the wedding or prior. Plastic or fabric run-
ners may make things easier. Also, choose
a location that isn’t too far off the beaten
path. It should be close enough to a parking
lot and not require guests to have to take an
extended hike through nature.
• Face away from the sun. Glares can
make it difficult for guests to see the cere-
mony. Be sure to arrange seats so that guests
do not have to look into the sun. This is best
achieved by having the sun behind everyone
for the ceremony. It also ensures that you
won’t end up with washed-out photos or
pictures of everyone squinting.
• Ensure food is properly chilled or
heated. Dining outdoors means keeping food
safety in mind. Food that is supposed to
be kept cool should remain on ice or be
refrigerated until served. Hot foods should
remain hot. Food in chafing dishes or served
buffet-style also should be protected from
insects. Improper handling of food can result
in foodborne illnesses. No one wants to
remember a wedding for intestinal discom-
• Use fresh flowers in potted plants.
Cut flowers tend to wilt prematurely in hot
weather. Rather than waste money and beau-
tiful flowers, choose potted plants that will
thrive if well-tended. Guests can then take
the plants home and continue to cherish the
wedding long after it is over.
• Budget for a tent. It is always better to
have a contingency plan. Even if you have
your heart set on an outdoor wedding, have a
backup plan in place if the weather is unco-
operative. A tent with surrounding sidewalls
may be sufficient. Otherwise, determine if
there is an indoor location that can be kept
on standby.
• Mix up the candles. Intersperse citro-
nella candles with the decorative ones to
help keep bugs at bay. You can also consider
placing small bottles of insect repellent on
the tables. Guests will appreciate the gesture
when biting flies or mosquitoes want to join
in the fun.
Make sure Mother Nature doesn’t rain
on your outdoor wedding. Plan for all the
possibilities so that an outdoor ceremony or
reception goes as smoothly as possible.
According to XO Group Inc., a glob-
al media and technology company
and creator of the wedding website, wedding traditions
continue to evolve. In its 2013 Real
Weddings Study, a comprehen-
sive report in which nearly 13,000
brides and grooms married in 2013
in the United States were surveyed, found that couples
are increasingly modernizing their
nuptials and, consequently, leaving
many once cherished traditions in
their wake. Nearly 75 percent of
couples surveyed admitted to living
together prior to tying the knot, a
living arrangement that might once
have been a societal taboo but is
now gaining greater acceptance. In
addition, more and more couples
are not marrying in religious institu-
tions, as just 33 percent admitted to
doing so in 2013, marking an 8 per-
cent decrease from 2009. Another
rising trend concerns the tradition
of brides taking their groom’s last
name. While 86 percent of brides
took their new husband’s last name
in 2009, by 2013 that figure had
dipped to 80 percent.
Did you
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 5
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• Receptions
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Over 30 Years Experience
Planning a wedding is compli-
cated. Once couples choose a date
and location for their ceremony,
they can then can get down to the
nuts and bolts of the big day.
When planning a wedding, many
couples are governed by a budget.
Budgets often get stretched, but
even those brides- and grooms-to-
be who spend more than they had
initially hoped often find them-
selves not going too far over bud-
get. One of the best ways for cou-
ples to stay within spitting distance
of their budget or even come in
under budget is to take steps to sim-
plify the ceremony and reception.
Simplifying a few aspects of the
wedding can save couples money
without forcing them to make sac-
rifices that affect the look or feel of
• Turn floral arrangements
into multi-purpose accessories.
Bridesmaids typically carry beauti-
ful floral bouquets during the wed-
ding ceremony. But such bouquets
are quickly put down and forgotten
once a couple has officially tied the
knot. Couples can save a few dol-
lars by repurposing floral bouquets
and other floral arrangements used
during the ceremony. Once the cer-
emony has ended, repurpose floral
bouquets as centerpieces for the
reception tables and turn flowers
used as aisle markers during the
ceremony into small centerpieces
on the escort card table or place
them alongside the guestbook. This
saves you the trouble of choos-
ing various floral arrangements to
display throughout the reception
venue and also saves you money.
• Scale back on the alcohol
offerings. Some couples opt for a
full-service, top-shelf bar at their
wedding. While that’s a nice ges-
ture, it’s also an expensive one.
Couples can save a substantial
amount of money by simplify-
ing the alcoholic offerings at their
reception. Instead of a full top-shelf
bar, offer guests one or two choices
of popular liquors such as whiskey,
rum and vodka and steer clear of
especially expensive brands. The
majority of guests likely won’t even
notice, but couples will notice how
much money they save.
• Choose a classic cake.
Elaborate cakes may be de rigueur,
but the cost of an especially elab-
orate wedding cake can make a
cost-conscious couple’s collective
jaw drop. Instead of a specially
designed, labor-intensive cake,
choose a classic cake that won’t
break the bank. Classic cakes can
add an elegant touch to a wedding
without extending a couple’s bud-
• Trim the guest list. Trimming
the guest list is arguably the most
effective way to simplify a wedding
while simultaneously saving some
money. Once you have compiled a
list of potential invitees, peruse that
list to determine if there are any
people who can be trimmed from
the list. This is easier for couples
paying for their own wedding, as
they won’t feel pressured to invite
any friends or colleagues of their
parents whom they don’t know per-
sonally. But even couples splitting
the cost of their weddings with their
parents should speak with their par-
ents about trimming the guest list to
make the affair a little less expen-
Traditional weddings are any-
thing but simple. But there are ways
for couples to make planning their
wedding less complicated while
saving some money at the same
Simplify and save on your wedding
Wedding attire is known more
for style than comfort. Formal wear,
high heels and the various trappings
of wedding day wardrobes do not
always equate to a day of comfort.
While dressing up will never be the
same as slipping into a well-worn
pair of jeans, there are ways for
brides, grooms and guests to be
comfortable on the big day.
• Dress for the weather. It’s
tempting to put appearances before
comfort. However, wearing cloth-
ing without regard for the weather
is a surefire way to be uncomfort-
able all day long. Choose light-
weight fabrics for warm weather
occasions, and heavier fabrics when
attending a winter wedding. Wraps,
short jackets, muffs, and decorative
scarves allow women to cover up if
there’s a chill from the weather or if
air conditioning is set too cold.
• Invest in alterations. Few peo-
ple can wear clothing, especially
formal attire, right off the rack. The
services of a good tailor can prove
invaluable. Shortened hemlines or
tightened sleeves can make dress-
es fit better. Shapewear or support
components may be added to the
wedding gown so that extra under-
garment layers can be avoided. The
less you have to fuss with clothing,
the more comfortable you will be.
Try on your outfit without altera-
tions and point out the areas that
are bothersome. Is a bodice slip-
ping down? Is the tuxedo jacket a
little too snug? Speak with the tailor
about what can be done to remedy
the situation.
• Choose the right size. Formal
wear is frequently governed by a
different set of sizes from everyday
attire. Formal items are cut smaller
and more in line with high fashion
couture sizing. Expect to have to
go up in size with regard to formal
gowns. Instead of concerning your-
self with the size on the tag, focus
on the fit. Squeezing into something
that is too small can make you
uncomfortable all evening long and
inhibit your ability to enjoy yourself
on the dance floor. Avoid discom-
fort (and split seams) by leaving
some wiggle room in wedding day
• Focus on footwear. Guests’
eyes likely won’t be on your feet.
Still, many people subject them-
selves to uncomfortable shoes all
in the name of fashion. The fastest
way to an unenjoyable time is hav-
ing to sit out a wedding because
your shoes are causing excruciating
pain. New shoes sometimes need
a period of breaking in, so wear
them around the house to determine
if they’re comfortable enough to
wear for several hours at a time.
Women should opt for the lowest
heel possible to avoid pressure on
the balls and arches of their feet.
Floor-length wedding gowns usu-
ally cover a bride’s feet, so she has
more leeway with finding an attrac-
tive, yet comfortable shoe. Outdoor
weddings tend to be more casual
than indoor affairs, and guests may
be perfectly comfortable wearing
• Brides can go minimalist.
Wedding dresses range from ethe-
real sheaths to layered princess
gowns. The more fabric, tulle, bon-
ing and crinoline in the gown, the
heavier it will be. Heavy gowns can
make it difficult to move around,
particularly when dancing or visit-
ing the restroom. Unless you have
your heart set on a full Cinderella
look, scale back on your gown.
• Eat and choose healthy foods.
Don’t skip meals the day of the
wedding. Choose low-sodium, low-
sugar foods that provide sustained
energy without sitting heavily in
your stomach or causing fluid reten-
tion. In addition, be sure to drink
plenty of water. Dehydration and
hunger pangs can ruin a wedding by
causing fatigue, headaches and even
Comfort may not be a top pri-
ority when planning a wedding.
But wedding guests and participants
alike should dress with some man-
ner of comfort in mind in order to
make the day more enjoyable.
Dressing for comfort
on your wedding day
Ensure those beautiful shoes are
comfortable, as weddings often
find brides and bridesmaids spend-
ing lots of time on their feet.
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 6
How newlyweds can successfully blend their mutual finances
Planning a wedding is a collaborative
effort for couples. But the decisions do
not end when the wedding reception wraps
up for the night. Although couples spend
months choosing everything from wedding
bands to registry china patterns, even more
decisions are on the horizon. These include
decisions on housing, when to start a family
and how to merge bank accounts, bills and
investments that comprise their financial
Many couples discuss finances before they
tie the knot. Establishing a financial plan will
shed light on how much you can afford to
spend on your wedding. Newlyweds should
make a list of financial matters that concern
them, and these concerns can spark discus-
sions about finances. Unfortunately, many
couples are hesitant to discuss their personal
finances because of embarrassing financial
indiscretions or fear of being chastised by
their spouses. To avoid conflict, consider
these ways to merge newlywed finances.
• Be forthcoming with information. It
may be embarrassing to have a low credit
score or substantial amount of debt. But it’s
still best to share this information sooner
rather than later. Openness with regard to
finances allows couples to work collectively
to improve their financial standing.
• Begin slowly. After so many years of
financial self-sufficiency, some newlyweds
find it difficult to blend finances. Couples
with vastly different salaries may struggle
to determine equitable contributions to joint
accounts, so it can pay to take
things slowly. For example, open a
joint account shortly after tying the
knot, using the account to pay for
home and living expenses. Keep
separate accounts for discretionary
• Create a savings plan.
Budgets that worked before you
got married likely won’t be realis-
tic now that you have tied the knot.
Expenses and/or income may have
increased, so examine your financ-
es to get an honest assessment of
your finances. Once a clear of how much
money is coming in and going out picture is
presented, you and your spouse can begin to
map out your short- and long-term financial
• Establish a family CFO. Many couples
opt to split responsibilities equally, while
others realize one person is better suited to
managing money. Whatever your decision, it
should be mutual. Financial conflicts are one
of the biggest contributors to marital dissatis-
faction. If one person is the primary account
manager, the other spouse should have open
access to bank accounts, credit cards and
passwords. Recognize that responsibilities
are not static. Changes can be made if things
are not working out.
• Kids change everything. Plans may need
to be revised as children enter the equation.
Separate accounts may have worked in the
past, but usually it makes more financial
sense, especially come tax time, to com-
pletely merge accounts when children are
in the picture. It may also be time to think
about life insurance and disability insurance.
Couples also must update investment paper-
work and retirement accounts to include new
beneficiaries. Both husband and wife should
each write a will once children are born. This
may require another assessment of assets and
some additional financial decisions.
Communication is the most important
thing when newly married couples begin to
merge their finances.
Wedding day transportation
Couples about to tie the knot must
make a host of decisions when plan-
ning their weddings. One important
decision couples must make is how
to get their guests to and from the
reception. Since alcoholic beverages
are served at many wedding recep-
tions, it’s a good idea for couples to
have transportation available for their
guests to ensure everyone safely gets
from the reception hall to the hotel
after the party has ended. The follow-
ing are a handful of options couples
can consider when arranging trans-
portation for their wedding guests.
• Private shuttle: Private shuttle
companies are a popular option, espe-
cially among couples whose guest
lists are extensive. Private shuttle
companies typically have a vast fleet
of vehicles of various sizes, from
10-passenger vans to small buses to
larger buses capable of seating several
dozen passengers. Shuttle information
should be included in welcome pack-
ages provided for guests.
• School bus: Couples might be
able to find a local school bus com-
pany to transport their guests to and
from the hotel and the reception.
Some bus companies may rent cou-
ples a school bus that may not be the
most comfortable method of travel.
Couples who rent a school bus may
want to ask the company if they can
decorate the bus prior to their wed-
ding day to give it a more festive feel.
• Hotel shuttle: Many hotels pro-
vide airport shuttle service to and
from the airport for their guests, and
couples might be able to work out a
deal with their wedding hotel manager
to use such shuttles to get their guests
to and from their receptions. Renting
the hotel shuttle service won’t be free,
but couples might be able to negotiate
a rate based on the number of guests
registered to stay under their wedding
party. The hotel may offer a discount
for its shuttle service based on the
number of wedding guests staying at
the hotel, and couples should broach
that subject during the negotiation
process. If the hotel does not provide
shuttle service, its manager or con-
cierge might be able to recommend
local shuttle companies to couples.
• Taxis: Some couples simply
can’t afford to foot the bill for their
guests’ transportation. That’s perfect-
ly acceptable, but if no transporta-
tion will be provided, couples should
arrange to have taxi cabs available
outside the reception hall. The recep-
tion hall manager can help with such
arrangements. When opting for taxis,
arrange for some to get there as much
as an hour before the reception is
scheduled to end so guests who want
to leave early don’t have to call or hail
cabs on their own.
Arranging transportation for
guests is a nice gesture for couples
who want to ensure their family and
friends have a fun and safe time at
their wedding receptions.
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 7
Dress shopping survival tips for plus-sized brides to be
Weddings are special days for
couples tying the knot. But even
the most carefully planned wed-
ding requires some patience and
For brides-to-be, finding the
right gown is one element of wed-
ding planning that calls for patience
and persistence. Trial and error is
often part of the process as women
look for the perfect wedding gown.
Brides-to-be who have a specific
style in mind may find that their
dream gown doesn’t always live up
to expectations, while another style
of dress they never imagined wear-
ing turns out to be a stunner.
Another challenge many women
face when gown shopping is that
many wedding gowns are styled
and geared toward women with
slender figures, making the process
of selecting a gown for a curvier
bride a bit more difficult. But any
bride, regardless of size or figure,
can find the ideal dress, especially
when she employs the following
• Sample sizes fit a select few.
Bridal shops carry a range of dress-
es but may only stock one or two
sample dresses. For economy, these
samples are a median size that are
intended to fit as many shoppers
as possible. Such gowns are usu-
ally in the neighborhood of a size
10. Most women, whether petite
or plus-size, will not fit into the
sample, so do not get discouraged.
• Visit large retail chains.
Popular wedding dress chains, such
as David’s Bridal, may have a
wider selection of sample dresses
in larger sizes. Department stores
as well as designers who specialize
in plus-size gowns also make good
• Call bridal stores in advance to
schedule your visits. Your time is
precious, so call bridal shops prior
to visiting and explain to them your
size and what you are looking for
in a gown. This will ensure you
aren’t wasting your time driving to
stores that can’t provide what you
• Select the right fabrics.
Heavier fabrics like taffeta, silk
dupioni and satin may conceal bet-
ter than others and can be ruched
to camouflage areas you want to
• Use salespeople as a resource.
The right salesperson can make
wedding shopping much easier and
far more pleasant. Don’t rest until
you find someone who is excited
to work with you and will give
you his or her honest opinion and
• Dresses can be altered. Every
bride needs some alterations made
to her dress to achieve the perfect
fit. Plus-sized brides may need a
few extras. A dress is unlikely to
meet all of your needs right off
the rack, so find a good seamstress
who can alter your dress to meet
your needs. Sleeves can be put on,
dresses can be shortened, support
can be added, and many customiza-
tions can be done to a gown post-
• Find a flattering shape. Choose
a gown with a full-skirt or an
A-line skirt with an empire or a
dropped-waist seam that will elon-
gate your midriff and flow away
from your hips. Curvier brides
typically avoid strapless gowns,
as such dresses have a tendency
to make a woman’s shoulders and
arms look wider.
• Don’t get stuck on size. Sizes
vary widely depending on the
manufacturer. Wedding
gowns tend to be labeled
with couture sizes,
which are much
smaller than street
sizes. A good
s a l e s p e r s o n
should have a
reasonable con-
version chart or
will choose sizes
based on your mea-
surements alone.
Ignore the size on
the tag and go for the
gown that fits.
• Never settle for
less. Whether it’s a
gown that’s not flattering
or a salesperson who is rude
or chastises you for not being the
ideal size, do not settle for anything
less than a great gown and attentive
service. Bridal stores compete for
business, so if a given shop does
not meet your expectations, don’t
hesitate to work with a rival store.
Kids or no kids? Enjoy a wedding that works for you
Weddings are a time for celebration and
sharing good times. Some couples want to
share their love and excitement with as many
people as they can fit under one roof, while
others may prefer a more intimate affair to
enjoy with a select few. One difficult deci-
sion couples must face when planning a
wedding is whether or not to invite children
to join in the festivities.
Young guests can bring an energetic spark
to the celebration, but kids unaccustomed to
dressing up and enjoying a fancy night out
may get swept away by the majesty of the
night. Adult guests looking to have a good
time may find it difficult to relax and let
loose if they have to keep a constant eye on
their children.
The topic of children at weddings is a
tricky subject. Family and friends may have
strong opinions on either side of the debate.
Ultimately, the couple needs to come to an
agreement regarding children at their wed-
ding. Once a decision has been made, cou-
ples can employ some strategies to make the
wedding as enjoyable as possible for every
age group.
No children
Couples who decide to exclude kids from
their guest lists should alert guests well in
advance of the “no kids” edict. Be tactful
when alerting guests. If you will be sending
out save-the-date cards, include the phrase
“Adults only, please” on the card. You also
may want to include the information on a
wedding website if you have one. A web-
site affords you more space to explain your
stance on young guests.
When it comes to the wedding invitation,
your indications should already be clear.
However, you can reinforce that kids are not
invited by addressing the invitations accord-
ingly. Do not include the children’s names
or “and family” on the envelope. Invitations
should only feature the names of the people
being invited.
Be consistent if you do not want children
at the reception. It is not okay to allow one
guest’s kids while excluding another’s. The
only exception is children who are members
of the wedding party. However, if you prefer
a kid-free wedding, you may want to avoid
a ring bearer and flower girl during the cer-
Chances are word will spread that the
wedding is not for child guests. If you do
not want to handle inquiries, ask a member
of the bridal party to answer any kid-related
Children allowed
Contrary to popular belief, children can be
well-behaved at a wedding and add a youth-
ful component to the celebration. Watching a
child twirling on the dance floor or devour-
ing a large piece of wedding cake can make
a wedding day more memorable and special.
Couples who invite kids to the wedding
should expect the unexpected from their
youngest guests. Let the small things slide
and speak with youngsters’ parents if any
issues arise.
Arrange for some activities to keep chil-
dren entertained and out of trouble. Have
the band or deejay incorporate some child-
friendly dances or activities. Designate the
kids’ table and arrange some small toys or
activity books.
Be sure to choose some child-friendly
foods during the cocktail hour. Hungry chil-
dren can be that much more fussy. Arrange a
special menu with the catering manager and
be clear about how many kids are invited.
Usually kids’ dinners cost substantially less
than adults’.
Some reception sites may provide a sepa-
rate room where children can gather. A tele-
vision with a favorite movie or a few video
games may be all that’s necessary to pass the
time. Hire a babysitter to stay with the chil-
dren and give adults in the other room peace
of mind.
Limited children
You may want to include older children
at the wedding but have younger ones stay
home. As you would for a wedding with-
out kids, spread the word that there is an
age limit. On save-the-date announcements,
request that “No children under age 12”
attend the wedding.
Be prepared for some opposition from
guests whose kids fall under the age limit.
Just be firm with your plans.
Post & Mail FALL BRIDAL 2014 8
Brides look
for ‘something
blue’ and more
in their jewelry
(MS) — As weddings
become more and more per-
sonalized to the bride’s own
tastes, blue and other colors
have been making their way
into the bridal picture, both
in decor and in jewelry.
“In addition to our wide
selection of pearl and crystal
jewelry for brides, we have
seen increased interest in
sapphire and other colors like
topaz for brides,” according
to Jill Maier, Vice President
of Design at CAROLEE.
As the “jewelry destina-
tion for brides,” CAROLEE
has for decades had its finger
on the pulse of what brides
want. Sapphire blue stones
are now a staple in their brid-
al collection, with stones set
in silver and gold tone metal.
Topaz stones set in gold have
become popular, and rose
gold metal is another color
option that brides have gravi-
tated to. These trends also
influence jewelry for brides-
maids and every member of
the bridal party.
While color is mak-
ing news in bridal circles,
pearls will always play a lead
role in the world of bridal
jewelry. Classic styles like
single and double row chok-
ers, often mixed with crystal,
are truly classic and always
appropriate for brides. But
there are now many modern
twists, both in design and in
ways brides choose to wear
Modern brides often per-
sonalize their pearls by wear-
ing bolder, longer styles, by
mixing and layering different
millimeters and by twisting,
tying or knotting them. The
variations are endless with
a 72” white pearl rope — a
staple for any bride — as
well as any post-wedding
Crystal styles — teardrop
earrings and necklaces,
delicate Y necklaces, chok-
ers and bracelets in floral
designs — are also beautiful
and popular choices among
brides. They, too, can be
layered, mixed and matched
with pearls.
The bottom line is that
brides are more than ever
expressing their personal
style in every aspect of their
weddings. Jewelry selection
is a wonderful way to do this
because it is a focal point that
frames the face and will live
forever in glorious photos of
the memorable day.
The CAROLEE Bridal
Collection is available in
fine department stores and
at Like
all of the company’s jewelry,
each piece comes with a life-
time guarantee.
How to handle guests who don’t RSVP
Wedding invitations are often
a great source of information for
guests. While wedding websites
also provide a great opportunity for
couples to get the word out about
their weddings and share pertinent
details like the date and location of
the wedding, many people are still
unfamiliar with the concept of a
wedding website, and therefore they
rely on invitations as their primary
source of information about a wed-
One of the most important bits
of information couples must include
on their wedding invitations is
the RSVP date. The RSVP, which
stands for “repondez s’il vous plait,”
is a couple’s request for a response
to their invitation. The RSVP is
typically a specific date by which
guests must let the couple tying the
knot know whether or not they plan
to attend the wedding.
There are no rules that govern
how far in advance of the wed-
ding couples should ask their guests
to RSVP, but some venues might
want a final headcount or at least
a close estimate of the final count-
down three to four weeks before the
big day. As a result, it’s best to ask
guests to RSVP at least three weeks
before the wedding and preferably
four to five weeks before the festivi-
ties commence.
If invitations are mailed two to
three months prior to the wedding,
that gives guests ample time to
determine whether they can or can-
not join in the celebration. While
many guests will respond immedi-
ately or in plenty of time for couples
to arrange seating and notify their
reception venue, nearly every bride
and groom has been forced to deal
with guests who simply failed to
respond to their invitations, a poten-
tially precarious position for cou-
ples to find themselves in as their
wedding day quickly approaches.
When guests
fail to
respond on
time, cou-
ples should
ma i n t a i n
their com-
posure and
not take it
as a sign of
disrespect or
i ndi fference.
Guests might
not be plan-
ning a wedding,
but chances are t hey’re
busy, too, and their failure
to respond is likely just a mistake.
Before contacting those who failed
to provide a timely response, wait
a few extra days so responses that
were mailed at the last minute can
be counted among those that were
received on time.
Once the deadline and subse-
quent extension has passed, couples
can begin to contact those guests
who have not responded to their
invitations. If it’s a close friend or
family member who hasn’t respond-
ed, simply call them on the tele-
phone and politely ask if they plan
on coming to the wedding. They
won’t need to mail the RSVP at
this point, so just jot down their
response and thank them before
moving on to the next person.
When a person who hasn’t
responded is less familiar to the
bride and groom, such as a par-
ent’s distant cousin or professional
colleague, then it’s
r eason-
able to
ask for
For ex-
ample, if a parent’s neighbor has
yet to reply, ask Mom or Dad to
drop by their house or call them on
the phone to determine if they plan
to attend.
The majority of invitees, if not
all of them, who fail to respond
on time will understand when con-
tacted directly and asked if they
plan to attend, so couples need
not be nervous or confrontational
when making phone calls or writing
emails. Keep things short and sweet
and let guests know their attendance
is appreciated or their absence will
be felt if they cannot make it.
Fall Bridal
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