2 â The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, September 2013
The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, September 2013 â 3
Minimize mishaps with careful preparation
(BPT) â Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but what happens when the caterer closes, the head count is wrong and the band is a no show? More than one couple has experienced these types of wedding disasters. Make sure your wedding day is only filled with blissful memories by taking a few steps to do what you can to protect yourself from the financial and emotional impact of wedding-day dilemmas and put your mind at ease. 1. Solidify a budget The average wedding costs a whopping $28,427, according to theknot.com, which means couples are spending big bucks to say âI do.â Whether youâre able to spend $5,000 or more than $50,000, itâs important to create a realistic budget and stick with it throughout the weddingplanning process. A good way to stay within budget is to set priorities. Do you care more about the food and not so much about the flowers? Allot more funds for catering and keep the bouquet modest. Create a spreadsheet and involve your partner so you both are on the same page. No one wants to be mid-wedding planning and realize they canât afford what they promised guests, or worse, have a huge bill at the end that risk delays to other goals, such as buying a home. 2. Purchase wedding insurance Imagine itâs two weeks before the wedding and you just found out the reception hall suddenly closed, the tailor lost your dress and the photographer was in a car accident and therefore canât attend the ceremony. Thereâs always an element of the unknown, and when so much money and emotion are involved in an event like a wedding, itâs crucial to get wedding insurance. âWedding cancellation insurance can help cover losses for deposits sent to businesses who have unexpectedly closed, replacement of damaged wedding dresses and attire, and restaging of photos if a photographer is a no show,â says Steve Lauro, vice president of Aonâs WedSafe wedding insurance program. âIt may even cover up to the full cost of your wedding if your event is postponed due to unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather or a venue shutting its doors.â âEvent Liability insurance, required by many venues, is another type of coverage you may be required to obtain in order to adequately protect your wedding,â adds Lauro. 3. Investigate venues and vendors National average wedding costs: $2,379 for a photographer, $1,997 for a florist, $12,905 for a reception venue, $63 per guest for catering. When investing so much money into a wedding, you want to make sure the businesses you select are the best of the best. Spend time researching different venues and vendors before you sign on the dotted line. When researching, ask and make sure each business carries liability insurance. Get references and spend time emailing and making calls; a real person will give you the best insight into what type of experience to expect. Check out every business on BBB. org and read online reviews. 4. Stay organized and confirm details one month out Many couples plan a wedding a year or more out, so itâs important a month prior to confirm all the details to ensure a smooth and beautiful wedding day. Call vendors and event sites to verify times and services. Youâll receive lots of paperwork during the weddingplanning process. Keep copies of all contracts in a specified folder. Record how much was put down on deposits and when additional amounts are due so you donât miss a payment. Keep a spreadsheet of all important numbers in one document for easy reference. Give this document to several trusted people so if you need assistance calling, particularly on the day of the wedding, your mother-in-law or best man can step in and help. Make sure your special day ends in wedded bliss rather t h a n a w e d d i n g d i s a s t e r. These simple tips can help ensure a beautiful experience for you and your guests, and protect you should you encounter an unexpected surprise.
Wedding photos all important Engagement ring shopping guide Wedding dress silhouettes
Limousines, gowns and flowers are each important components of a coupleâs wedding day. But few aspects of a wedding are as important as photography. Thanks to the popularity of social media, some couples may overlook the importance of hiring a professional photographer for their weddings. Although there is something to be said for candid images captured on phones and personal cameras, the pictures a couple will cherish and look back on for decades are best supplied by a professional photographer. Even if you will be hiring a videographer and having photos snapped by loving friends and family, professional wedding photography is an ideal way to immortalize this special day. Most couples say âI doâ with the hopes of staying together forever, giving them only one chance to capture the magic of the wedding day on ďŹlm. Leaving photos to chance by hiring an amateur photographer may be something couples regret down the road. Professional photographers use high-quality equipment that will produce much better results than photos snapped on the average digital camera. Plus, the photographer has experience with posing, placement of arms and legs, head tilting, and lighting, each of which ensures that the photos come out looking as good as possible. While a friend may not notice an eyesore in the rear of a photo composition when taking a picture, a professional may notice something that will stand out and make adjustments. Furthermore, professional photographers tend to have an eye for interesting angles to capture images that may be overlooked. Rather than a series of portraits at one level, he or she may climb high for aerial shots or lie on the ďŹoor for a different perspective. The results may be unique vantage points that set your wedding photos apart from those of the masses. Price alone should not dictate which photographer to hire. Although wedding budgets are often stretched, skimping on a photography allotment may result in subpar results. That doesnât mean you need to hire the most expensive photographer, but couples should realize the value of experience and professional equipment, both of which tend to come at a premium price. Do not expect to pay package prices that would be offered at department or discount stores. Many photographers are artists who take their work very seriously. A photographer will be spending all day with you capturing hundreds of photos. Each image will then need to be reviewed, repositioned and potentially enhanced or retouched. This time-consuming attention to detail is often what dictates the higher costs of a very good photographer. Keep in mind that photographers are unique individuals and not all the visions and styles of particular artists will meld with your own perception of how you want the wedding to look. Expressing your expectations and comparing your goals with the portfolios of photographers will help you ďŹnd the best ďŹt. Do not feel shy about asking for testimonials from past customers or talking to couples you know who have recently gotten married and asking for a recommendation. While couples are making wedding day magic, photographers are behind the scenes capturing all of the memories couples can relive for years and years to come. Long before couples stand before an officiant and say, âI do,â many make another pledge to each other by getting engaged and agreeing to begin a new life together. In a 2011 survey by from XO Group, Inc., formerly The Knot Inc., the average engagement ring costs Americans $5,200. Canadians spend around $5,000 as well. Considering an engagement ring is typically a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, many men say the high cost is warranted and are even willing to finance the purchase or push their budgets to procure a beautiful ring. Many engagement rings feature a 1-carat center stone with some smaller stones surrounding, accounting for a 1.4 total carat weight on average. It can take a groomto-be around three months to find his (and her) ideal ring, sometimes longer. Considering a ring is such a significant investment, it pays to have s o m e k n ow l e d g e i n g e m selection. Start by answering a few questions Having an idea of what you want can help anyone get a better deal, whether one is shopping for a new sofa or an engagement ring. An informed shopper can avoid being taken advantage of or buying something that really isnât worth the asking price. The 4 Cs is a good place for shoppers to get started. Various attributes affect the value, quality and beauty of a diamond. The 4 Cs stand forcut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The cut refers to the shape of the stone as well as the skill involved in achieving the shape of the facets so that it reflects the light brilliantly. The color is designated by the International Gemological Institute. The grading color in a diamond determines how closely a diamondâs color approaches colorlessness.The diamond will be assigned a letter grade. The lower the letter in the alphabet, the whiter the stone. Clarity refers to the amount, size, type, and location of internal flaws in a diamond, also known as inclusions. The cost of the diamond increases when there are fewer inclusions in the stone. Finally, the carat weight is the size and weight of the stone. The larger the stone, the more pricey it can be. Another question to ask is which style of ring your girlfriend prefers? Your fianceeto-be may have a certain setting style and diamond shape preference. It pays to know what she wants, including the type of setting the stone will be encased in. You should also know whether she will be happy with a larger stone that may have some imperfections not easily seen to the naked eye or a smaller, flawless stone. Know your budget Many expenses are associated with planning a wedding, and some couples may not want to begin their lives together in debt. This may need to be factored in to the decision-making process. You should go to jewelry stores to price out different styles and see how diamonds compare. This way you will have an accurate idea of just how much rings cost. Carefully consider your options. Having an intimate knowledge of what your girlfriend will want can help you to narrow down something that is reasonable. It also pays to understand a jewelerâs return policy. Even if you may know what she likes, in the event that the ring doesnât work out, find out if the style can be changed or if you can get a refund or make an exchange. Other tips for savings success There are ways to maximize your budget and still end up with a beautiful stone. â˘ Ask for a stone that is slightly less than the next carat, for example 0.9 instead of one carat. This nearly indiscernible difference can add up to substantial savings. Experts say the price difference between a 1.90 carat diamond and a 2.0 carat diamond can be as much as $5,000. Also, choose a stone that has more surface area, which will make it appear larger even if it does not have as much sparkle. â˘ If she prefers the look of platinum, realize white gold, silver or tungsten are more affordable options and will still give off that silvery hue she desires. Mixed gold colors, including white, pink and yellow, can be unique. â˘ Try to buy a loose diamond. You can inspect the entire stone and then shop around for an acceptable setting. This can save you money in the long run by buying the ring elements separately. â˘ Get a part-time job at a jewelry store. This way you may be eligible for an employee discount and can put the savings toward the ring. â˘ Donât shy away from a warehouse store for a good deal on rings. As long as the diamond is to your liking and follows the requirements of the 4 Cs that you desire, it should not matter where the ring was purchased. â˘ Make sure the store is accredited by the Jewelers of America or is a member of the Gemological Institute of America. This way you know you are buying from a reputable source and the diamonds were acquired ethically. â˘ Negotiate the price. Just because it is jewelry doesnât mean you canât comparison shop and find out if another jeweler will match a competitorâs offer. Many stores will be willing to negotiate if it means making a sale. An engagement ring is a large purchase that requires ample forethought. Following some guidelines can yield the results couples desire. Few wardrobe decisions are scrutinized as much as a bride-to-beâs choice of wedding gown. Finding the perfect gown that flatters t h e f u t u r e b r i d e âs fi g u r e while stunning her guests and soon-to-be husband is a labor of love for many brides. The Bridal Association of America estimates a bride-tobe will spend between $1,500 and $2,000 total on her gown, veil and accessories. Brides often spend months, if not years, shoping for the right gown. Finding the right gown means having an understanding of what silhouettes are available and what flatters certain body types. After all, you want to look like the best version of yourself when getting married. Here is a look of some of the common types of gown silhouettes and why choosing this shape might be right for you. Ballgown A ballgown dress is truly a classic style, evoking images of fairy tale princesses. With a fitted bodice and full skirt that flairs at the waist, this silhouette is usually good for all body types. Because the full skirt, typically poofedup by crinoline and will hide the hips and thighs, women with a pear shape might gravitate toward this style. The ballgown style may not be ideal for petite women, as the skirt may overwhelm their figures. A-line Another silhouette very forgiving or appropriate for many body types is the Aline gown. A-line cut dresses should be the go-to style for anyone looking to minimize perceived flaws. The cut of the dress will fit to the waist and gradually fan out from the hips to form the outline of an uppercase âA.â When in doubt, A-line gowns are classic and sensible and a favorite among brides. Trumpet Women who prefer something a little more formfitting may select a trumpet silhouette. This dress is fitted through the body and then the gown flares out at mid-thigh level. Women with taught stomachs and hourglass figures can benefit from this style gown, but those who do not want anything tight in the hips and thighs will want to select something else. Mermaid A bit more fitted than the trumpet, this silhouette is close to the body from the chest down to the knee. The skirt then flares out slightly by the knee. Tall, thin women generally look best in this type of gown. Modified A-line A balance between a traditional A-line and a more fitted gown, the modified
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A-line does not flare out as much. But it does flare out enough from the waist to hide areas around the hips and thighs. This is another good choice for a wide array of figures. Tea length Brides who do not want a gown that reaches the floor can opt for a tea length dress, on which the skirt generally falls between the ankle and the knee. Sheath L e a n b r i d e s w h o wa n t simplicity in their gowns can opt for a sheath silhouette. The narrow shape of the gown from the neckline to the hem will definitely accentuate the body shape. Therefore, women who are shy may want to select a different option. Petite women who may be overwhelmed by more fabric can usually wear a sheath gown with success. Although a bride may have a wedding gown style in mind, it is a good idea to try on a number of different silhouettes to find the one that is most flattering. Bridal salon employees are usually well-versed in matching body type to a gown and can prove invaluable when selecting a dress.
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