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  • Happily Ever After: Wedding Advice
  • Wedding Accessories Shopping List
    (ARA) - With an engagement ring comes several months of planning and a lot of shopping. Most brides have long fantasized about shopping for major wedding items such as the dress and flowers. However, it's the little things that seem to fall through the cracks and even a calm, cool and collected bride can get frazzled when they remember the many wedding accessories needed to make the big day complete.
    FOR THE CHURCH
    Unity Candle - A unity candle and holder is optional depending upon the style and religious nature of the ceremony. Today's Rice - Bridal couples are being very creative when it comes to this showering tradition. Some ideas include birdseed, flower petals, bubbles and even butterflies. Decorations - Church decorations could include flowers, an aisle runner, candles or bows for the pews.
    FOR THE BRIDAL PARTY
    Gifts - Everyone in the bridal party, ranging from the maid of honor to the ring bearer, should be acknowledged with a special gift.
    Flower Basket Every flower girl needs a basket to hold her petals. Ring Bearer Pillow A ring bearer's duties would not be complete without the pillow and, of course, the rings. Itinerary Have a detailed itinerary made for the bridal party ensuring they will stay on schedule and are aware of the day's activities.
    FOR THE GUESTS
    Favors Whether it's candy or a small gift, every guest will love to bring home something. Wedding Programs Beautiful wedding programs add to the special touch of a wedding and can be an informational piece as well as a keepsake.
    FOR THE RECEPTION
    Table Centerpieces Make the room look aglow with a large candle in a decorative holder as the centerpiece or add a fragrant scent with flowers in a beautiful vase. Champagne Glasses - To toast the beginning of a new life together, the bride and groom should have keepsake champagne glasses. Guest Book and Pen - A guest book will help record all that attend the wedding as well as make future "thank you" notes much easier. Cake Cutter and Server - Make cutting the cake a moment to last a lifetime by purchasing cake accessories. Cake Topper If remembering the special day is important, purchase a cake topper that can later be displayed in the home. One-Use Cameras - Giving guests the power to capture every moment will ensure good wedding day candids. Envelope Holder - An envelope holder atop the gift table is a great way to collect wedding envelopes. Some suggestions include a birdcage, wishing well or bridal mailbox. "Creating an elegant, memorable wedding is as easy as using the same theme or look on all of the wedding accessories," said Powers. She also recommends selecting a flower, image or color combination and coordinating all wedding details around this look. For example, couples can purchase accessories from Enesco's Pretty as a Picture Promises of Love Collection and continue this theme throughout by printing the adorable image of the miniature bride and groom on wedding programs, napkins and table cards.

    -Margaret Powers, executive director of events and merchandising for Enesco For more information or to locate a Pretty as a Picture retailer, consumers can contact Enesco at 1/800-NEAR-YOU.... Enesco offers more than 10,000 gift items, including Precious Moments, Cherished Teddies, Mary Engelbreit, David Winter Cottages


    Happily Ever After: Wedding Advice by Sue Zelickson - Food Editor for WCCO Radio in St.Paul (ARA)
    We find the families involved making detailed plans for setting the date, and choosing the place for the ceremony and the reception. Plus the hotel for the out of town guests and the millions and trillions of minute details that often make the entire love match become a dueling match between many of the participants.
    Avoid altercations between the couple and family members
    Perhaps a few words to the wise might be engraved and initialed even before the first trip to the printer for invitations. Those wonderful new books by Richard Carlson, Ph. D. could prove to be the first wedding guide you all read, especially the one entitled "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family."

    Beginning with the showers,
    it is up to the bride to decide exactly how many and what kind of showers she and/or her husband will accept from their friends and family. Keep in mind that too many showers which invite the same people is not the way to win friends and keep them. Divide your lists according to compatible groups and try not to overlap guests as one shower per person is plenty, except for your mother, mother in law and perhaps close sisters and sister in laws. Couple showers are also fun and get the groom involved and a chance to meet more of the family and friends before the wedding. The food at these showers can be elaborate or plain. Often guests at a recipe shower will bring the recipe for the gift and prepare it for the shower as a pot luck; this usually turns out to be a nice, fun theme that is easy on the hostesses as well.
    "No Hostess" showers
    are often done when one person doesn't want to spend a lot to give a shower alone or if too many friends all want to entertain. A letter or call goes out from a core committee to see who wants to pay twenty or twenty five dollars for gifts and the cost of the luncheon and decor. Then the core committee takes the group money and buys and wraps the gifts, plans the luncheon, and when everyone comes, the entire group becomes the party and gift giver. The couple showers are fun, as the gifts and the food are more work related than bridal. Instead of salads and tea sandwiches, the shower can consist of ribs, a steak fry, or poorboy sandwiches. Common gifts include tools or appliances.

    Now let's talk about the bridal dinner
    , which is usually the night before the wedding and is held in a party room or restaurant or even someone's home. The invitations are sent out to those coming in from out of town, the bridal party and close relatives. The food is usually a well-planned dinner- either a fancy or casual meal with time for talks and stories and almost a roast of the couple. One bride recently booked the back room of a family style Italian restaurant that served food just like her future husband's grandmother did at home. It was an old fashioned, fun-filled evening with lots of nostalgia and melting together of ethnic backgrounds.
    The wedding dinners take on the wishes of the bride and groom
    if their parents listen carefully. If they love chocolate or carrot cake, who is to say that the wedding cake has to be white? No rules allowed in the kitchen. Just make the food plentiful and beautiful and delicious and the entire evening will be perfection.The minute you start planning the wedding keep a notebook to jot down ideas you see at parties or other weddings.
    One last word of caution,
    Make sure there is plenty of space for you guests. It's crucial to have enough room to move around and places to sit down, especially if you don't have assigned tables. Nothing makes a wedding fall flat more than guests with plates full of food and no place to sit to eat and enjoy it. And remember to greet as many of the guests as you can personally, to show your appreciation that they took time out of their busy lives to share your special time.




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