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Mixing business with pleasure

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Although fun, wedding planning can entail difficult decisions, especially when it comes to the guest list. Close friends and family are usually a given; business associates, clients and colleagues, on the other hand, are not. While some couples might find the decision a no-brainer and just nix the idea of mixing business with pleasure, others, especially those higher up the ladder, might have a much more difficult time making the decision.

When you are a high-level executive, leaving people you work with off the guest list might not be such a good idea. You should certainly invite your boss, and depending upon where you are in your career and what’s going on at work, you may need to invite business associates, clients and colleagues. If a big client is in town the weekend of your wedding and your boss is entertaining them, you may want to go ahead and invite them to your wedding. That way, your boss can attend your wedding and bring the client with them.

Before you make any decisions regarding the people you work with, you should speak to your beloved first and find out what they think. They may not be too keen on mixing business with pleasure. On the other hand, they may be in the same position as you and feel it is essential.

Once you have made the decision, you will have to determine how many people from work to invite. If you are having a large wedding and have the budget, the easiest solution may be to invite everyone. If you are more restricted, you may have to make some difficult decisions. You should most definitely invite your boss, as well as close colleagues. If you work regularly with a group of associates and clients, you may want to invite them as well.

When inviting clients, you need to be aware of the products and services they sell and accommodate for that at your wedding, if needed. If a client owns a vineyard, for example, you may want to serve some of their offerings at your wedding. Be careful that you do not serve offerings from their biggest competitor.

To avoid conflict, you may want to throw a separate party before or after your wedding for those you work with. That way, no one will feel left out.

Whatever choices you make, try not to turn your wedding into a day at the office. Remember the reason you are there and keep the mood light and the tone celebratory.

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd

Circle of love

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When a couple gets married, they usually exchange rings as a symbol of their union. Wedding ring styles can run the gamut from simple gold bands to custom diamond creations. Whatever the choice, whatever the price, wedding rings have long been a part of the celebration, and there are many superstitions surrounding them. Following is a brief description of some of them.

Don’t drop the ring
According to superstition, it is bad luck to drop the ring during the wedding ceremony. Whoever does so will be the first to die. If the ring does happen to get dropped, neither the bride nor the groom should pick it up. Whoever is officiating should. Superstition also has it that a wedding ring dropped in a cemetery that rolls across a grave indicates death—death of the bride if the grave is of a female or death of the groom if the grave is of a male.

Wear the ring on the right finger
In most countries, wedding rings are worn on the ring finger, or the fourth finger, of the left hand. This stems from the ancient belief that the vein of that particular finger on the left hand ran straight to the heart. In other countries, the ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand. This stems from the belief that the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand are sacred to the Trinity.

Don’t take the ring off
Taking the wedding ring off could lead to loss or damage, a sign the marriage will come to an end. Lost or damaged wedding rings should be replaced as soon as possible and vows renewed. In some areas, it is acceptable to remove a wedding ring after the birth of the first child. Superstition also has it that a wedding ring suspended on a lock of hair over the womb of a pregnant woman can determine the sex of the baby. Spinning clockwise denotes a boy; spinning counterclockwise denotes a girl.

Other superstitions
There are many other superstitions regarding wedding rings. Rubbing a wedding ring over a wart or sty will remove it, while sleeping with a bite of wedding cake pulled through a wedding ring will bring dreams of the person’s future spouse. Some couples have a faux wedding ring baked inside their wedding cake. The guest that finds the ring will be married within the year. Pearls are shaped like tears, and therefore, not a good idea for wedding rings. Sapphires and aquamarines, on the other hand, symbolize marital bliss and make an excellent choice for wedding rings.

Of course, all of these are merely superstitions. Brides and grooms do lose their wedding ring from time to time, and while it might lead to some tension with their partner, it usually does not spell the end of their marriage. It gives them the opportunity to get a new ring, perhaps even one better than before. It is fun to learn what superstitions brides and grooms once observed. Many seem silly today, but that wasn’t the case at the time.
by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd

Flint, Piller wed Nov. 27, 2010

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Lynette Flint and Nicholas Piller were wed Nov. 27, 2010, at Zion Lutheran Church of Clarion in La Moille, Ill., with a reception following at Pitstick Pavilion in Ottawa, Ill.

The bride, a 2004 Hinckley-Big Rock High School graduate, is employed at Lee County Farm Service Agency in Amboy, Ill., and is the daughter of Ronald and Rhonda Flint of Maple Park. The groom is employed at Holland and Sons in Mendota, Ill., and is the son of James and Martha Piller of Mendota.

The maid of honor was Amy Schoger, sister of the bride. The best man was Brad Piller, brother of the groom.

The couple resides in Mendota.

Bridal shower trends

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Not so long ago when a couple announced their engagement and the bride selected her maid of honor, the maid of honor would start planning the bridal shower. She would invite all of the bride’s closest female friends and family members together to toast the bride and share good times with her. While some brides today continue this tradition, others take an alternative route.

One of the biggest trends in bridal showers today is the couples shower, in which friends and family gather together with both the bride and the groom. With more grooms taking an active role in the wedding planning and more couples footing the bill for their wedding themselves, it is only natural that some couples would want to share the shower experience. Couples showers can be held at someone’s home or at one of the couple’s favorite venues.

For those that prefer the traditional women-only bridal shower, a hot new trend is to center it on some activity, like bowling, making pottery, going to the spa or volunteering for an organization. This requires less planning and provides for a fun, stress-free experience for one and all. Guests can participate in the activity and share a meal afterwards, either at the venue or at a restaurant.

If time and budget permit, destination showers are another idea. The bride and a select group of friends and family can take a little trip together. They can hop a plane and spend a few days at the beach or take the train to a ski resort. The sky is the limit.

For brides that prefer to stay home, themed showers continue to be popular. Themes can run the gamut from kitchen gadgets to entertainment to the bride’s favorite things. And because many brides are already living on their own and have the items needed to set up house, gifts can range from the unique to the wacky.

Whatever the choice of bridal shower, anyone can host it—family, friends, even coworkers. Brides, or couples, can have more than one shower. The bride’s mother might throw one for family and friends, while her coworker throws one for business associates and colleagues. If the couple has a rather large circle of family and friends, they might end up having three or four bridal showers. It all depends upon time and preference.

The key to any good shower is to involve the bride or couple. Whoever is hosting the shower should get the input of the bride or the couple and respect their wishes. After all, they are the guests of honor.
by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd

Faivre, Peterson wed Aug. 14, 2010

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Ted Peterson and Heidi Faivre were wed Aug. 14, 2010, at Salem Lutheran Church in Sycamore, with a reception following at St. Mary Memorial Hall in Sycamore.

The groom, a Batavia Fire Department firefighter and 2003 Kaneland High School graduate, is the son of Jim and Linda Peterson of Maple Park. The bride, a teacher at Prairie Knolls Middle School in Burlington, Ill., is the daughter of Vince and Jerilyn Faivre of DeKalb.

The maid of honor was Anne Faivre, sister of the bride. The best man was Steve Groetsema, cousin of the groom.

The couple resides in Maple Park.

Scawinski, Mueller wed Sept. 11, 2010

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Rose Mary Mueller and Brian Scawinski wed Saturday, Sept. 11, at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wis., with the reception following at the resort, as well.

The bride, a financial analyst at PMA Financial Network in Naperville and a 2006 Kaneland graduate, is the daughter of Michael and Vicki Mueller of Elburn.

The groom, a customer service representative at Fifth Third Bank in Naperville and a 2005 Kaneland graduate, is the son of Kathleen and the late Edward Scawinski of Cortland, Ill.

The matron of honor was Kayla Crowther, friend of the bride. The best man was Derek Scawinski, brother of the groom.
The couple now resides in Wheaton, Ill.

Link, Warner wed May 22, 2010

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Jeff and Cheryl Link of Elburn announce the wedding of their daughter, Alyssa Link, to Michael Warner, the son of Tom and Dee Warner of North Aurora, on May 22, 2010.

The ceremony was held at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva, with the reception following at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

The matron of honor was Julie Pirtle of Hampshire, Ill., cousin of the bride. Bridesmaids were Cristi Spang of North Aurora, friend of the bride and groom; Shannin Miller of North Aurora, friend of the bride and groom; Mallory McCormick of Merrillville, Ind., cousin of the groom; and Christina Marrassa of Downers Grove, Ill., friend of the bride. Flower girl was Ava Poss of St. Charles, friend of the bride and groom.

Best man was Rick Warner of Naperville, Ill., brother of the groom. Groomsmen were Brian Carew of Aurora, Jason Frantzen of Aurora, Matt Hills of North Aurora, Josh Lopez of Plainfield, Ill., and Mike Bovelli of North Aurora, all friends of the bride and groom.

Ushers were Mark Bozik of North Aurora, Adam Miller of North Aurora, Joel Fullmer of Aurora, and Mike Rippinger of North Aurora, all friends of the bride and groom.

Ring bearer was Alec Poss of St. Charles, friend of the bride and groom.

The bride is a 2006 graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, and was a student at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

The groom is a 2002 graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora and was a student of Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. He is a lieutenant in the Sugar Grove and North Aurora fire protection districts.

After a honeymoon in Bora Bora, the couple reside in North Aurora.

Solis, Zielinski wed Aug. 28, 2010

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Greg and Mary Clare Zielinski are pleased to announce the engagement and wedding of their son, Tim Zielinski, to Annie Solis, daughter of Frank and Barb Solis of Davenport, Iowa.

Tim is a 1998 graduate of Kaneland High School in Maple Park, and a 2002 graduate of Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, earning a bachelor’s degree in logistics and transportation management. He is currently employed at Sears Holdings Corporation in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Annie is a 1998 graduate of Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa, and a 2002 graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. She is currently employed by Hillstone Restaurant Group in Chicago.

Annie and Tim were married Aug. 28, 2010, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa, with a reception at TPC Deere Run Golf Course in Silvis, Ill.

Schiff, Hebel wed May 14, 2010

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Sheila Schiff of Sugar Grove and James Hebel of Sandwich, Ill., were married May 14, 2010, in Negril, Jamaica.

The bride is employed by Fairview Dental in Aurora, and the groom is employed by James Olson Associates Land Surveyors in Yorkville.

The couple will reside with their children, Amanda, Vanessa and Ben, in Sugar Grove.

And the colors are …

in Featured/Weddings by

You got engaged recently, and everyone is clamoring to know what kind of wedding you’re going to have. Home or destination? Large or small? Formal or informal? These are just some of the issues you may find yourself wrangling with over the next few months. Another issue you will have to decide on is your wedding colors.

There are hundreds of colors beyond the basics found in every eight-count crayon box, any of which may serve as your wedding colors. For some brides, the decision is easy. They have a favorite color or have imagined their wedding being such and such color, and there is no other choice. For other brides, it’s a struggle. If you find yourself in this category, don’t despair. Here are some tips to help you get over the hump.

First, sit down and make a list of your favorite colors, keeping in mind that the more specific you are, the better. Don’t just write down “blue” when everyone knows that you love cornflower blue. Cornflower blue looks a whole lot different than baby blue, navy blue and royal blue. Be specific in your color favorites.

Review your list and cross off any that you know for certain will not work for your wedding. Neon green and yellow, for example, may not be the best choices for a wedding, unless of course, you are going for that glow-in-the-dark look. Even then, you will probably have trouble finding apparel and accessories for your wedding in those colors.

Once you have narrowed your color favorites, do some research and find out what kind of tones they set. Silver, for example, often invokes an air of sophistication, whereas pale pink invokes a sense of playfulness. Cross off any colors from your list that conflict with the tone you hope to set for your wedding.

Consider the time and venue of your wedding as well. An evening wedding at a swanky hotel during the winter may call for a different color palette than an afternoon wedding poolside in the dead of summer. You might choose darker, richer colors for the former, and brighter, lighter colors for the latter.

Theme, too, can dictate your color choices. Hot pink and lime green might work well for a tropical-inspired summer wedding, but not so much for a serene spring garden-themed wedding. For that, you might want to go with a paler shade of pink and green.

These are just some of the factors that might influence your color choices. Keep in mind that availability may have a bearing on your decision as well. You might have your heart set on a ruby-red and gray wedding until you discover that the style of bridesmaid dresses you want doesn’t come in either of those colors. Rather than search for new dresses, you might find it easier to change your color palette.

Be flexible. You might start out with a silver and white palette and end up with a silvery-white and dark purple palette after spying the purplish flowers of your dreams at the florist’s.
by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd Builder

As green as possible

in Featured/Weddings by

You just got engaged, and much to your delight, your fiance has suggested you keep the wedding close to home and make it as green as possible. Like you, he supports many environmental causes and believes everyone should do their part, even when they are getting married.

You have already made the first good green decision, keeping the wedding at home. The closer the wedding is to your guests, the shorter of a commute they will have to make and the less fuel they will consume. For guests that are willing, you can set up carpools to transport them to and from your wedding to save even more fuel. For guests that are out of town, try finding bus or train routes they can take and encourage them to use those modes of transportation to save fuel.

The next step is finding an eco-friendly venue. Obviously, having your wedding outdoors is the easiest way to save energy, but if you’re getting married in the early spring, late fall or winter, that option may not work for you. Eco-friendly venues are out there; you just have to find them. Many hotels and resorts now offer eco-friendly wedding packages. You might also go an alternative route and get married at an organic farm or orchard. If you can’t find an eco-friendly venue, don’t despair. You can go green in many other ways.

When shopping for apparel, keep the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle—in mind. Buy vintage gowns and tuxedos and turn them into something else afterward, or rent or borrow gowns and tuxedos. If you must have new apparel, look for pieces you can wear again or shop at eco-friendly suppliers. Many designers now make wedding dresses and other formalwear out of hemp and other sustainable materials.

You should use the same principles when shopping for wedding rings. Consider buying vintage or used rings and having a local jeweler turn them into pieces you’ll cherish forever. If you prefer new rings, look for ones made with recycled metals and stones.

Tree-free or 100 percent recycled paper is the way to go with invitations. Of course, if you really want to reduce waste, consider sending electronic invites. Mail tangible invitations to guests who rarely use the computer and electronic invites to those who use their computer for everything.

As for the food, flowers and favors, you can definitely make green choices in these areas. Local is the key word here. Find an eco-minded caterer and work with them to create a menu made from foods grown locally. Rent your linens and tableware, or look into biodegradable or recycled disposable options. Donate your leftover food afterward instead of throwing it out. Select an eco-minded florist to create arrangements using locally grown flowers or make the arrangements yourself using flowers from your own garden or a friend’s. Throw the flowers into the compost bin afterward. Finally, look for eco-friendly favors that will make your guests more aware of the environment and the importance of making good choices.

When selecting decorations for your ceremony and reception, again keep the three Rs in mind. Borrow or rent as many items as you can. Then look for items that you can reuse or recycle. Add bows to the pews and turn them into throw pillows afterward. Place your wedding cards in various places around the room and recycle them afterward. Strew flower petals on the tables and toss them into the compost pile afterward.

You can even go green with the music. Skip the band or DJ. Hire an instrumentalist or vocalist instead and ask them to leave all of their electronic equipment at home. Whether acoustic or sung a cappella, the music will be beautiful.

Continue your efforts to go green with your wedding gifts. Set up a registry of eco-friendly gifts. If you are combining houses and don’t really need anything, request your guests contribute to one of your favorite environmental causes in lieu of buying you a wedding gift.

Contrary to popular belief, going green at your wedding doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. You can still have the wedding of your dreams; you just have to be willing to take the time to explore your options. If it seems overwhelming, consider hiring an eco-minded wedding planner. They will know all of the ins and outs of having a green wedding and have access to people and places that you don’t.

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd Builder

What’s new in wedding flowers

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Tastes tend to change considerably over the years, and nowhere is this more apparent than in wedding planning. Trends come and go, and what was once fashionable is no longer.

Take flowers, for instance. Many brides today are opting for fewer, but more daring, floral designs in their weddings.

When it comes to wedding flowers, brides have a number of choices. Roses remain popular, as do gerbera daisies and tulips. Tropical flowers are also hot.

One of the biggest changes in wedding floral design is color. Lighter, more muted shades are now being replaced with brighter, bolder hues. Brides today are not afraid of mixing reds and yellows, oranges and purples, and greens and blues.

Along with stronger colors, many wedding floral designs feature herbs, fruits, vegetables and other striking pieces. These help create interest and add dimension.

To create even more drama and interest, many brides are varying the contents of their centerpieces. Gone are the identical baskets of flowers on each table. In their place are various kinds of flowers in various sized containers. You might find a large wicker basket of tulips on one table and a slender crystal vase of lilies on another.

As for the bouquets, brides are going for a simpler, sleeker look, with many choosing hand-tied or posy bouquets. Small, compact, tasteful bouquets with exquisite flowers and gorgeous accents are ideal. Flowers may be embellished with beads, crystals, faux jewels, feathers or pearls. These may be glued inside petals, strung on wires over petals, threaded onto thin strands of glass within petals or left to dangle. Ribbon has also made a comeback, but instead of being used in bows, it may be wrapped around the flower stems.

For brides that choose not to wear a veil, flowers may be the answer. They may use flowers from their bouquet in their hair, attaching them with pins or securing them to barrettes or a headband.

These days, brides are being more daring with the flowers for their wedding. Bold is in!

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd Builder

A permanent reminder of the cherished day

in Featured/Weddings by

Your wedding day is just months away, and the time has come for you to select a photographer. You have spoken to several in the past weeks, and they all want to know what style of photography you are most interested in. You’re not up on the current trends in wedding photography and could use a brief review.

There are two basic approaches to wedding photography: portrait and photojournalistic. In the former, subjects pose for the pictures; in the latter, they don’t; the shots are more candid. Many brides and grooms opt for a combination of the two, often hiring a photographer familiar with both styles or separate photographers for each style.

Photojournalism has become quite popular in weddings in recent years. Couples want to see the story of their wedding unfold from what goes on behind the scenes in the dressing rooms to the connections made at the reception. Photographers work to capture all of the little moments—the flower girls’ mischievous grins as they chase each other in the dressing room, the look on the father’s face when he sees the bride for the first time, the mothers’ intensity as they light the unity candle.

In spite of the popularity of photojournalism, portrait wedding photography is not going away any time soon. The majority of couples still want the standard posed portraits. These days, however, many are choosing to have their wedding portraits taken with a high-end fashion approach.

A throwback to fashion magazine shoots, in-vogue wedding photography maximizes the glamour of the moment and makes the couple look their best, almost like celebrities, through digital image editing and manipulation. Shots are very artistic, and the editing is very skilled.

When it comes to the style of your wedding photos, it is your choice. You can stick to formal portraits or go for more candid shots. To ensure you get what you want, select a photographer with care. Interview each of the candidates on your list, find out what their interests are and review their portfolios. If they seem more familiar with portrait photography and you are interested in having portraits and candid shots, you may want to look for someone else.

For the best results, find a photographer who is comfortable with both styles and has some experience with the in-vogue trend if that’s what you’re after.

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAD Builder

Fortier, Snyder wed

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Joseph and Barbara Fortier of Rockford, Mich., announce the marriage of their daughter, Jackelyn M. Fortier, to Kevin J. Snyder, son of Kelly and Pamela Snyder of Elburn. The ceremony took place at the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a reception following at the American Legion Hall in Rockford.

The maid of honor was Meg Stewart, a friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Autumn Poisson and Amanda Poisson, both cousins of the bride, and Jennifer Maxwell, a friend of the bride.

The best men were Eric and Brett Snyder, brothers of the groom. Groomsmen were Rick Fortier, brother of the bride, and Brian Maxwell, a friend. Ushers were Cameron and Chandler Cobb, both cousins of the groom.

The bride is a Rockford High School graduate, and a graduate of Grand Valley State University. The groom is a Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jan. 31 fashion show, bridal expo

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Sandwich—For Brides Today and Best Western Timber Creek in Sandwich, Ill., invite the public to the annual Bridal Expo, to be held on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Best Western Timber Creek Inn and Suites and Convention Center, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brides can pre-register to attend for free at www.ForBridesToday.com. This event is free for brides and their families and friends.

The fashion show begins at 2 p.m., featuring the latest in bridal wear and is free to the public. In addition to bridal wear, the fashion show will feature a special segment of homecoming and prom dresses. All students and their families are welcome.

While at the expo, watch dance demonstrations, taste-test from local caterers, mini-martini tastings, tour the facility, meet and greet with wedding companies.

For more information, contact Hope McCombs at (630) 202-3620 or visit www.ForBridesToday.com.

Your wedding: Keeping it small

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While some couples go all out and invite everyone they know to their wedding, others opt for a smaller, more intimate affair. Although they can be less costly, small weddings are not always easy to pull off. Whittling the guest list to a select few can be difficult and cause conflict among family members. If you would like to keep your wedding small, you need to be aware of the pitfalls and approach the initial planning with tact.

You must decide first just how small you want your wedding to be—10 people, 20 to 40 people, 100 people? The smaller your guest list, the more lightly you will have to tread. There will be people who expect to be invited to your wedding and they will be hurt and angry when they do not receive an invitation. You can accommodate for this by having a large bridal shower or post-wedding party and inviting everyone not invited to your wedding to that.

With number in hand, you can turn your focus to whom to invite. Depending upon how small your target number is, you may have to make some hard decisions like excluding extended family or children from your guest list. Whatever your decision, be prepared for conflict. No doubt there will be some hurt feelings. There might also be pressure to change your mind and have a larger wedding. Don’t give in. It is your wedding. If you want it to be small, you should have it that way.

After you have completed your guest list, make a list of everyone you couldn’t invite and find a way to let them know why they weren’t invited. Send them a note, shoot them an e-mail or give them a call. If you intend to have a large bridal shower, you may be able to wait until then to let everyone know that you will be having a small wedding.

When letting others know of your decision, be tactful. Let them know that while you would have liked to invite everyone, you chose not to for personal, financial or other reasons. Reassure them that they are still very much a part of your life and thank them for everything they have done for you.

In spite of your best efforts, some people will not understand why they were not invited. They will be hurt, angry and disappointed, so much so that they may refuse to attend your bridal shower or post-wedding party. Try not to let it get to you. Give them time to cool off and focus on making your wedding the best that it can be.

Choosing to have a small wedding is easy; implementing the idea, on the other hand, takes work. Be prepared and forge ahead with a smile on your face.

Geneva Wedding Walk set for Sept. 20

in Regional/Weddings by

GENEVA—Anticipating your perfect wedding is exhilarating. Getting to that dream day, however, can mean a lot of work and stress, unless you are working with the right people.

The 2009 Geneva Wedding Walk on Sunday, Sept. 20, provides those people all in one place, to lessen the stress and heighten the excitement.

The event is sponsored by Geneva Bride, a group of Geneva-area wedding boutiques committed to making a wedding everything the bride and groom imagine. Geneva Bride members include wedding planners, florists, decor designers, caterers, owners of unique venues and boutique dress shops, photographers, jewelers, salons, rental companies, hotels and providers of custom invitations, cakes and treats, and financial planning services, travel companies and more. There are multiples of nearly every kind of business, for a wealth of choices.

Admission is $25 for a bride and two guests, and includes a wedding planner, goodie bags, three wedding magazines, plus favors and handouts from vendors. Brides also will have the chance to win a honeymoon in Aruba or Cancun. To be eligible for the honeymoon trips, brides must stop at each vendor and have their tickets stamped.

“The Chicago area is a top destination for weddings,” said Elizabeth Wray, owner of Elizabeth Wray Design and co-chair of the event. “That makes it very difficult for a bride and groom to sort through the many options available to them. Geneva Bride brings together more than 40 experienced vendors, under a spectacular tent, all well-versed in what it takes to make the day everything everyone involved wants it to be. It eliminates some of the confusion and a lot of the stress.”

Registration for the Wedding Walk will be form 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees will then visit participating stores in the mall, and have their tickets checked. From 2 to 5 p.m., participants will visit in the Wedding Walk tent with the remaining participating vendors, receive giveaways and goodies, and watch continuing fashion shows.

The Geneva Wedding Walk sets itself apart from other expos, where vendors commonly are culled from a wide geographic area.

“Who wants to have a florist in the southern suburbs and a photographer from the North Shore?” Elizabeth Wray said. “This is one-stop shopping. A bride can have a dress fitting, then visit her wedding cake baker and wedding reception venue, all in the same afternoon.”

“We are showcasing Geneva and the unparalleled services Geneva has to offer brides, grooms and their friends and families,” said co-chair Anton Engelmann. “Even if the wedding itself isn’t here, it’s so convenient to have a number of your vendors—distinctive, established vendors—in one place. Brides love it. Mothers of brides appreciate it as well.”

Participating stores within the Geneva Commons outdoor lifestyle mall include Harry & David, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and annabella salonspa.

Geneva Bride grew out of the first Geneva Wedding Walk, held in January 2008 in downtown Geneva. That event attracted brides from throughout the Chicago area and beyond, and was so well-received it has become a semi-annual event.

Geneva Commons is on Randall Road in Geneva, between Williamsburg Avenue and Bricher Road.

Visit www.genevabride.com to register and see the participating boutiques and venues. Space is limited for the Geneva Wedding Walk event.

My best man is my best friend

in Weddings by

Regional—Many pet owners consider their pets a part of the family. If you are among this group, when you get married you want your family to be a part of your memorable day, right? What better way to do so than to have your pet be a member of the wedding party. But how can you be sure your pet will behave? You can’t, so hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. Above all, keep your sense of humor.

Many churches or other institutions may not allow pets on the premises. Check with the location where you are planning to hold the ceremony before making your pet a part of it.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow if you wish to include your pet in the ceremony:
• Be reasonable about your pet’s participation in the ceremony. Dogs are the most likely to be included in a wedding—just make sure they are well trained. They can serve as best man, maid of honor, ringbearer, usher or doorman (just make sure guests have an adequate supply of treats as a reward). Cats are less predictable and can be harder to control in a crowd, so their role might be best as an observer. Since they tend to flee quickly when they get spooked or enticed, it is best to secure them in a carrier or on a leash.
• Include your pets in the rehearsal activities. You may appear differently to your pet in a tuxedo or dress and spook them. So wear your tux or dress at least once in their presence before the ceremony.
• Choose appropriate attire for your pet. Getting a tux for your dog is not as hard as you might think. Websites like www.doggyduds .com can provide a custom fit within a week by mail. If you are going to have your pets dressed in costumes, try it on before the ceremony to see how they will react to wearing them. Do they try to take it off or gnaw on them? Maybe it would be best to just go with something simple like a bowtie collar.
• Have someone familiar with your pets be their chaperone. They can watch for signs of bad behavior and make sure your pets do not overindulge in people food. There is nothing wrong with your pets having their own food at the reception.
• Make sure your pets have been walked and given the chance to relieve themselves.

The bond between a human and their pet can be as strong as any human bond. Some even compare it to that of a parent and child. So it goes without saying that pets should be allowed to participate in the wedding ceremony and celebration of their masters.
by Ronda Addy, MultiAd Builder

Basic wedding etiquette guidelines

in Weddings by

Regional—There are dozens of books on the market about wedding etiquette. Each has its own version of what is acceptable and what is not. Depending on how closely you choose to follow etiquette, here are some basics.

Bachelor and bachelorette party rules no longer require the sexes to have separate events. There is no reason, as long as both sides agree, why one party for the whole wedding party cannot be arranged. In this case, all those attending would pitch in an equal amount to cover costs.

Send wedding invitations to both sets of parents as a keepsake, as well as to the officiate. Send one to all members of the wedding party. If you don’t want children at the wedding, either print “Adult Reception” on the card or use word-of-mouth to spread the word. All invites should include a “Reply by” date. Call guests who have not replied one week after that date. You can estimate that about 85 percent of the guests you invite will attend. Make sure your RSVP cards include postage.

Everyone who is involved in the ceremony needs to be at the wedding rehearsal, including musicians, parents of the bride and groom, and all attendants, whether groomsmen or bridesmaids. A rehearsal dinner usually follows the ceremony practice but does not include spouses or significant others of those in the wedding party unless specifically invited by the hosts, which in most cases are the groom’s parents. Practicing the music at the rehearsal is essential. We take many of our cues from the music at the ceremony and one little mistake can throw everyone off balance.

For the ceremony seating, the parents of the bride and groom should sit in the front rows respectively. In the case of divorced parents who don’t get along, the mother sits in the front row and the father sits in the second row. If everyone is friendly, they may sit in the front row together. Don’t arrive late to the wedding or you can consider it missed. Once the mother of the bride is seated, a signal that the ceremony has begun, formal and informal seating is complete. No guest should ever enter the ceremony once it has started under any circumstances.

At a wedding of more than 75 guests, you may want to limit the receiving line to bride and groom, mother of the bride and groom, and maid of honor/best man. For smaller numbers of guests, the whole wedding party and fathers may be in attendance. Technically a receiving line should take place at the reception upon entrance of the first guests but since many couples schedule post-wedding photographs to be taken immediately following the ceremony, it is acceptable to hold the receiving line outside the church.

At the reception, plan on feeding the band or DJ when making catering arrangements. Don’t do the money dance—it’s tacky. Head-table seating is up for grabs these days, so any combination of the wedding party, parents, grandparents and significant others is fine. Assign seating if having more than 30 guests at the reception. You don’t have to name each person to a seat; just put the names on tables. For example, seat the Miller family and the O’Brian family together at one table. The parents of the wedding couple should sit at a reserved table if they are not already seated at the head table. Don’t bring gifts to the reception. Gifts should always be sent to the bride’s residence prior to the wedding.

At the reception, the bride and groom should have the first dance prior to a sit-down dinner. The bride should dance with the groom’s father and the groom with the bride’s mother. Etiquette also calls for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to dance together regardless of marital status. The garter toss, while a long-standing traditional event, has recently fallen out of favor. The bouquet toss, another long-standing event, can be omitted if desired, but is acceptable if kept low-key.

If the wedding is called off, you should return the gifts unused. Make sure you keep a list of who sent what. Engraved gifts may be kept. Cancel travel plans immediately and inform guests who planned to travel to your wedding first.

Keep in mind that these are just some basic wedding etiquette guidelines. Ultimately, it is your day and you need to bring to it your unique outlook so it will be much more memorable to you.
by Doris A. Black, MultiAd Builder

Campbell, Eigenberger wed

in Weddings by

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Campbell of Maple Park announce the marriage of their daughter, Kelly Joanna Campbell, to Brian Robert Eigenberger, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Eigenberger of Dubuque, Iowa.

The couple married Aug. 9, 2008, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Dubuque, Iowa, with a reception following at Bittersweet on the Bluff in East Dubuque, Ill.

The maid of honor was Amanda Martin of Ames, Iowa, a friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Jolene Gruenke of Naperville, Ill., a friend of the bride; Melissa Dean of Naperville, a friend of the bride; Samantha Espinosa of Morton Grove, Ill., a friend of the bride; Sarah McGreer of Cortland, a cousin of the bride; Stephanie Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a sister of the groom; and Jenny Stiefel of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the bride.

The flower girl was Abigail Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a niece of the groom. The bride’s personal attendant was Becky Robbennolt of Elgin, Ill., a friend of the bride.

The best man was of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom. The groomsmen were Nick Wagner of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Dan Budden of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Steve Campbell of Maple Park, brother of the bride; Grant Calease of Cedar Falls, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Ryan Chatfield of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; and Brian Placke of Manchester, Iowa, brother-in-law of the groom. Ushers were Jeremiah Christensen of Dubuque, Iowa, friend of the groom; and Jason Tuthill of Dubuque, Iowa, friend of the groom. The ring bearer was Garrett Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a nephew of the groom.

The bride is a graduate of Kaneland High School in Maple Park, and received a bachelor’s degree from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. She is employed as a special education teacher in the Dubuque Community School District.

The groom is currently attending Northeast Iowa Community College and is a member of the Iowa Army National Guard.

The couple honeymooned in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and is residing in Dubuque, Iowa.

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