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Tips & Traditions

Brides first aid kit
How to have a flawless wedding reception and enjoy your day too
Secrets to Choosing an All-Inclusive Vacation Package
Selecting a Wedding Gown
Tips on choosing a wedding date
Tips on choosing a photographer

Bride’s first aid kit
Brought to you by Cindy B. Wedding & Event Planning

Below is a list of items that have been needed by the bride or someone in the wedding party on the big day.  Look over the list and decide what you think might be important to have in your emergency bag. 

Band aids
Bottled water
Cotton balls
Comb & bobby pins
Curling iron
Easy wipes or wet ones
Electrical tape
Floral tape
Hair spray
Over the counter pain reliever (Tylenol, Advil)
Hard candy (mints)
Nail clippers
Nail polish (the color you’re wearing and clear)
Nail polish remover
Needle and thread
    thread the color of all the wedding party dresses and the brides dress.
Paper towels or napkins (white)
Plastic bag (grocery store size)
Safety pins (big and small)
Saltine crackers
Shoe Polish (the grooms shoe color and the brides)
Slippers or flip flops for the reception (your feet will thank you)
Straight pins
Tide instant stain remover stick
Two sided tape

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How to have a flawless wedding reception and enjoy your day too.
Let the party begin! After the ceremony, you and your new husband are looking forward to the next five or six hours with your friends and family. So you want to make sure it runs smoothly and nothing is forgotten. The question is how do you do that and still enjoy your wedding reception.

Most reception venues have a coordinator who can help you decide how to make your reception run flawlessly. The typical reception flow goes like this; the guests almost always arrive first. Make sure you arrange to have Hors D’oeuvres out and the bar open for at least an hour. Try not to make your guests wait longer than an hour for you to arrive. Typically, after the ceremony you have photos taken and then the bridal party takes a quick ride in the limo before arriving at the reception. Try to have some photos taken before the ceremony so that it doesn’t take so long afterwards. (Talk to your photography, they know what they can make happen before the ceremony with out the Groom seeing the Bride) Once you’ve arrived, the DJ should take a moment to say hello to you and go over the list of names he or she have to make sure the bridal party is lined up correctly for the introductions. After everyone has been introduced, the Bride and Groom usually go into their dance. If you want to have the parents and the bridal party dance take place then, you can. Other wise save it for after dinner. Once the Bride and Groom dance is through, you should then cut the cake. This allows the cake to be cut and plated by the servers while everyone is eating dinner. Time is of the essence when you only have 5 or 6 hours to enjoy. Everyone should then be seated for dinner. Typically the toasts take place before dinner is served. You and the event coordinator can decide what time dinner should be served based on the amount of time needed for every thing mentioned above. When dinner is done the dance party can begin. This is the time for the bride to throw her tosser bouquet and the groom to throw the garter. You can then do your dollar dance. Usually the best man and maid of honor take on the duties of the dollar dance. Plan this ahead of time with them. You will also want to make arrangements for someone in your family or bridal party to be responsible for all of the items that need to be taken from the reception. After all, you will be on your honeymoon and won’t want to be bothered with these things… Maybe your parents can take the gifts home with them. Usually the cake baker has asked for some things on the cake to be returned. Ask someone to take those items with them and return it to the cake baker the following week. Don’t forget about the center pieces or flowers or any rental items that will need to be returned. Talk this over with the event coordinator. They may be able to help send these items in the right direction when the reception is through. Try to have as many things organized and in place as possible. If the reception location you’ve chosen does not have any one available to help your reception flow, try finding a Wedding Planner.  A Wedding Planner is always a good idea if you live out of town or do not want any of your friends and family to be bothered with the details.  You don’t want to worry about anything but enjoying your special day. return to top

Secrets to Choosing an All-Inclusive Vacation Package
Brought to you by AAA Your local Travel Professionals

Every year, tens of thousands of travelers opt to take their first all-inclusive tour vacation. For some, the appeal lies in a tour operator’s ability to explore popular destinations like Europe and North America and provide insider access to authentic and little-known, “off-the-beaten-path” experiences. For others, a group tour provides a sense of ease and assurance in more exotic locations like Asia, Africa, or South America. Still others choose tours for the convenience, familiarity, and great value they can offer.

Regardless of why travelers choose an all-inclusive tour, how they select their tour is critical to the success of the trip. So what should the savvy traveler look for when choosing a tour?

Choose a reputable company with a proven track record.
Look for an established tour operator with a strong reputation for quality. Get the opinions of friends who’ve taken a tour, or better yet, visit a professional travel agent to get his or her recommendations.

Determine what’s actually included in the price — especially meals.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a tour that’s truly 100 percent all-inclusive, so look carefully at what’s included. Pay particular attention to meals — they’re actually the most expensive component of a typical vacation. Also, are airport transfers included? Taxes? Shore excursions (for escorted ocean or river cruises)? Admission to attractions? Entertainment? And be mindful of the weak dollar if you’re traveling overseas — anything you’re forced to purchase on tour will be pricier this year due to unfavorable exchange rates.

Insist on city-center hotels.
Many tour operators are building more free time into their itineraries so guests can explore on their own. That’s great, but having an afternoon and evening to wander the streets of Rome loses its appeal when your hotel is 10 miles outside the city. Tours featuring city-center hotels cost more, but staying in the heart of a city will make a huge difference in the quality of your vacation.

Gauge the expertise of tour directors.
Ask your travel agent about the prospective tour operator and their guides or tour directors. How long, on average, have they been with the company? What kind of training do they have? A passionate, knowledgeable, articulate, and personable tour director will educate you about the destination and act as your on-tour concierge.

Look for value, not just price.
A rock-bottom price will usually get you a rock-bottom experience. Instead of fixating on price, focus on value. Is your tour operator an experienced and well-regarded company with a sterling reputation? Are the hotels it uses centrally located? Is most everything included, or will the low brochure price get inflated when options and add-ons are factored in later?

Thankfully, there are several top quality tour operators to choose from.  For more information on vacation packages, and to make the best choice about all-inclusive touring that is just right for you, contact your local Travel professional.  

Brought to you by AAA, your local Travel Professionals.
Located in South Williamsport PA. return to top

Selecting a Wedding Gown

Finding the perfect gown sets the tone for your big day. Turn your wedding dreams into a reality with these helpful tips in selecting the perfect dress for your unique needs.

Before you even step into a bridal shop, you need to consider some important details. First of all, how much are you willing to spend? Remember, the dress is only a small part of the entire cost of your wedding. Figure out your budget for your wedding, and decide how much of that budget you will spend on the dress alone. Deciding your limit beforehand can erase the stress and anxiety of spending beyond your means. It will help you to narrow your focus on many beautiful dresses that won’t break your wallet.

Close your eyes and envision your perfect day. Are you having an outside beach wedding? Maybe you are having a traditional church wedding and sit down dinner.  Regardless, you are going to want the dress to match your occasion. Look carefully for inspiration well before going to the actual bridal store. Research like crazy! Consult the internet or wedding magazines for to-die-for styles. Compile a wedding “file” of magazine cut- outs to bring to the bridal boutique. Many styles include classic, retro, and modern. Current trends now include bows, embellishments, and short lengths. One of the most popular styles today is a strapless dress with a full A-line skirt. This is perfect for the traditional church wedding. These A-line skirts are beautiful, ranging from a full-on princess tulle style, to a more conservative look. An elegant knee length slip dress would be perfect for your outside wedding.  If you are busty, the halter is a good choice to consider because it provides excellent support for the chest. These halters create a beautiful, visually stimulating focus on the neck. Another option to consider is the spaghetti strap style, which also provides the necessary support for your bust. Remember, often these straps can be removed. Another beautiful style to consider is the corset back, which provides support for your tummy as it laces up the back like the old fashioned undergarments. Look for interesting details on the bodice of your dress. These can often create the appearance a narrowed waist.

 Another important style aspect to consider is the color of the dress. There are many different shades of white to choose from. Unless you wish to be very traditional, don’t be afraid of bold color. Wearing an elegant, colorful sash that matches your color scheme can make for a beautiful accent piece that is sure to be noticed. Once you have considered styles and colors that you love more than others, you will be better prepared when you actually go to look for your dress. Make sure to keep an open mind regarding different styles that you may not have considered. Your research should simply provide a framework for the look you want, but you won’t know until you actually try on the gowns in the store. You may discover your dream dress is completely different from what you had previously envisioned and that is perfectly okay! The possibilities are endless.

When will you be getting married? Keep in mind that if you are having a spring or summer wedding, you will likely want to select a sleeveless or short sleeved dress. If you are marrying in the fall or winter months, you may want to consider a dress with sleeves. However, you are not limited to this style. If you still prefer a short sleeved or strapless dress, using a dressy shawl to keep comfortable may be a perfect choice. It is up to you! It is important that you are dressed appropriately for the weather to ensure comfort on your big day, but don’t be afraid to be creative.  Ultimately, it is your wedding and you make the rules.

Understand that the size of wedding dress will likely differ from the clothing size you are accustomed to wearing. The wedding dress is typically 2-3 sizes bigger than you actually are. Prepare yourself for this difference before shopping. Don’t become discouraged or caught up in the numbers. Instead, place priority in finding the perfect dress to flatter your shape. What matters is that you look and feel your best on your special day.

Arm yourself with a few close, supportive friends and/or family members to take along for the dress shopping excursion. Remember, the dress you choose should ultimately be your decision. You know what works for you, and what makes you feel most beautiful. That being said, including others along for the shopping experience will be beneficial because they can provide you valuable input while shopping. Be careful though, including too many people may become overwhelming.

Wear comfortable, nice clothes to the bridal shops. You want to wear clothes that are easy to slip in and out of, as you will likely be trying on many dresses. Bring comfortable shoes with the heel-height that you plan on wearing. Wear your hair in a similar way that you will be wearing it for your special day. Include a strapless bra in your purse. Wear pretty undergarments that day that make you feel beautiful. Feeling confident is part of the whole process! As you are trying on dresses, look for quality. Every detail should have a perfect finish. Silk is more expensive than synthetics. That being said, this material allows your skin to breathe. Remember, if you don’t want to pay for expensive beading and details, you can always accentuate the dress with beautiful, eye catching jewelry and accessories. Remember to consider the finishing touches such as a headpiece/veil, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, bag, a cover up, and the groom's ensemble. Try not to become overwhelmed with the pressure. Have fun trying on many different gowns, and don’t settle for the first dress you find. If you find one you absolutely love, come back and try it on again at a later time. See if it evokes that same have-to-have-it feeling. Two weeks before your wedding, you should have a final fitting with all the accessories. Break in your shoes at home to provide extra comfort for your special day. The most important of all of these tips would be to stay true to you. Find the perfect dress for you, one that makes you feel like the beautiful bride that you are. Congratulations! return to top

Tips on choosing a wedding date
You’re engaged and now you need to choose a wedding date. Some couples use loved ones birthdays and anniversaries or the date of the day they first met. However you decide on that special date, keep a few things in mind. Find out what events are going on in your community. Remember we are surrounded by College’s. In the fall they typically hold parents day and homecoming. Penn State home games also have an affect on the number of overnight rooms available in the area. The last couple of weeks in August we are privileged to have the Little League teams visit us. The Hotels and Restaurants are usually very busy at that time. It may not be the best time to plan a wedding, especially if you have a lot of out of town guests. So, before you announce the date for the big day, you may want to talk to the hotels or the Chamber of Commerce in your area and ask about the wonderful events scheduled for that date.return to top

Tips on choosing a photographer
You’ve planned and stressed and invested money on your special event and you want to make sure your memories are saved forever. In today’s high tech world the digital camera makes us all look like professional photographers. But, we usually aren’t the professionals we thought we were when we get home and load the photos on the computer and see that we’ve missed a few things. You can’t redo your day. You’ve invested a lot of time and money on all of the little details of your once in a lifetime event. Why not invest in the images that you want to last a lifetime as well. There are many professional photographers who would love to work with you. Contact the photographer and find out what he or she offers for weddings. Meet with them face to face. You should feel comfortable with them. Ask to see there portfolio. Ask if they have references; brides they have worked with that would be willing to speak with you. Ask if they offer wedding packages, what is the cost, how many photos do you receive, how many different poses and shots can you have, do they stay for the reception or just the wedding ceremony, do you receive the originals to make copies as you please. I know your time is valuable, but this is important. Contact more than one photographer and ask the same questions. Then decide who is right for you. Most professional photographers will have a list of the types of poses and shots that could be taken at your wedding. Ask to see the list and ask if you can pick and choose which you’d like to do. These are just some of the questions you will want to ask the photographers. Remember, this is your day. These are your memories. You decide what you want. Find a photographer who is willing to work under these conditions. There are many talented photographers in your area who know how important this day is to you. Take your time and find the right one for you. return to top

This is a free reference guide only.
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