Tag Archives: bride

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Two-in-One

HOW TO COMBINE TWO HOUSEHOLDS INTO A HAPPY HOME 

So, you said, “I do,” – but what does that mean about accepting your soon-to-be’s stuff, too? 

Regardless of how much you’ve both accumulated, combining two households into one can be a chore and a major headache, and lead to unnecessary strife. Here are some tips to make the transition easier. 

LABEL LOVE 

Prior to the merger of your life together, it’s time to look at everything you own. Overwhelmed? Devote 20 to 30 minutes each day to make piles and put them in designated areas that are labeled LOVE, LEAVE and WAIT. 

Keep what you LOVE. Get rid of what you label as LEAVE, and hold onto the WAIT list with a promise you’ll revisit within a time frame you and your beloved can agree upon. 

JUNK JAM 

Donating, selling and recycling your extras is best, but if you have a bunch of stuff you just want to get rid of, 1-800-Got-Junk is your jam. Seriously. You point and they make it disappear.

ADVICE MAESTRO 

Moving into a new home and want help on melding two households into one? Ask your Realtor for input. They know everything and everyone. 

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Get Fit Before You Hit The Aisle

FOUR BARREL FITNESS OWNER CASE BELCHER OFFERS UP A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST ON YOUR BIG DAY – AND BEYOND 

BY LISA HORNUNG 

Everyone wants to look perfect for their wedding, and when you want to lose weight to do your best, you need to find the right diet and exercise program to make that happen. 

CASE BELCHER, owner of Four Barrel Fitness, said he sees a lot of brides who come in and want to drop pounds before their big day. While he’ll help them reach their goals, he also wants them to continue their progress after the wedding. 

“Say you want to lose 20 pounds before your wedding, but then later you put on 25 pounds,” said Belcher, who is a Crossfit Level 3 coach and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 coach. “We get them through the door with the stuff they’re interested in. Then we say, “Let’s search for that more sustainable path now.” 

Belcher advocates a three-tier system of fitness: nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Nutrition is all about eating healthy food and fueling your training and life. Exercise includes cardio and strength training, with a buddy or coach. Lifestyle changes include getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. 


NUTRITION 

Fad diets and cleanses are a no-no, Belcher said. “Studies, in fact, show that you tend to put on more weight than what you took off. You can lose weight quickly, but it probably needs to be monitored by a nutritionist or dietitian.” 

Belcher recommends the “hand system” to measure food portions. Four meals a day should have meat or protein (beef, chicken, fish) the size of your palm; a carbohydrate (such as potatoes, rice or carrots) that can fit in a cupped hand; vegetables (such as a salad, asparagus or broccoli) should be the size of your fist; and fats (oils) should be the size of your thumb. “That way no matter where you’re at, you don’t have to have a food scale,” Belcher said. “You can just eye that stuff up.” 

The “go-to thing that people have been told in terms of dieting is you’ve just got tp eat like hardly anything, but that’s totally not true because you don’t have the nutrients you need for training. You’re going to run into a wall, you’re not going to be motivated, you’re not going to have the energy you need to stay consistent. A lot of times when people start eating (utilizing the ‘hand system’), it feels like a lot of food to them. But they’re eating balanced now, they’re getting more fiber because they’re eating vegetables and things like that. They start to lose the fat and lose the pounds.” 

EXERCISE 

For exercise, Belcher said a key component is accountability. Find a gym or place to exercise that’s convenient and where you’ll be able to stay consistent. He recommends either taking a buddy – a bridesmaid or groomsman, perhaps – who will plan to be there with you, holding you accountable. Hiring a coach is another way. You can make appointments, and you’ll be expected to be there. 

Conditioning with cardio along with lifting weights at least three times a week is the best plan, he said. Compound moves, such as pushups, squats, deadlifts and pull-ups or ring rows work more than one muscle at a time. 

“People who are looking for fat loss, strength training and putting on some lean tissue is going to help them keep that fat off, and essentially, it’s giving them a bigger engine to burn fat,” Belcher said. “More muscle burns fat, and it makes you a more functional human being. We want you to get those immediate results, but then also we want to set you up for what’s going to keep you healthiest for the long term. Putting on that muscular base is what keeps you strong later in life.” 

LIFESTYLE 

Stress and lack of sleep make losing weight more difficult. “Sleep is when your body does most of its recovery,” Belcher said. “It also controls a lot of your hormonal processes. If you’re low on sleep, your body is going to have a lot higher cortisol. When stress levels are higher, you tend to hold more fat because your body is kind of in that flight mode.” Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates your metabolic and immune systems. 

Drinking more water is another way to keep your body functioning properly, he said. “Most people are low-level dehydrated on a daily basis, and your body systems just don’t function as well if you’re not well-hydrated.” 

Belcher recommends drinking 100 ounces per day. 

Adhering to these three components will ensure weight will come off, and Belcher likes to see people start their training about six months before the big event to give enough time to make changes and see results. 

“Do your research and find a professional,” Belcher said. “I’ve found that speed and degree of results are directly related to the skill of the coach I’m working with. Use your wedding as momentum to start healthy behaviors that could last a lifetime.”

 

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TO HAVE & TO HOLD (AND THROW) (category)

Creatively inspired by Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany

By Morgan Sprigler

Wedding Season is upon us and the DIY options are endless. Crafting for a wedding not only helps cut down costs but adds a personal touch that won’t soon be forgotten. Can you picture yourself and your soon-to-be being showered in flowers as you exit your ceremony as husband and wife? If so, this is the DIY craft for you! Start saving all of the flowers you receive during your engagement to help out the budget and add that personal touch.

SUPPLIES:

• Dried flowers 

• Essential oil of your choice 

• Cardstock 

• Wooden sign 

• Paint marker 

• Sheer bags 

• Basket 

• Twine 

• Glue gun

 

Materials provided by Ben Franklin Crafts & Frame Shop 420 New Albany Plaza | New Albany benfranklinartsandframing.com 

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STEP ONE 

Gather flowers! I used a combination of flowers, leaves and herbs I found in my garden. Petals from my rose bushes, ivy from my flower beds, basil and lavender from my vegetable garden and hydrangeas from my hydrangea plants. I love the idea of repurposing flowers from your engagement parties, showers or bouquets you’ve received from friends and family over the course of your engagement. All you need is a little sunlight to dry 

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STEP TWO 

Make floral confetti. Combine all of your petals, leaves, etc. in a large bowl and add your essential oils. I went pretty heavy with my oil, as I love all things that smell great! Once you feel like all of your “confetti” is coated in oil, allow everything to dry overnight. 

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STEP THREE 

Make cones to hold your confetti. Starting in the bottom corner, roll your cardstock to create a cone shape. Glue the ends down to hold the cone together. If you find that there is an opening at the bottom of your cone, simply apply a dot of hot glue and pinch the ends together. Cut and tie a piece of twine around the middle, if you wish. 

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STEP FOUR 

Fill your bags (to have) and cones (to throw)! Fill your cones and your sheer bags full of floral confetti. The cones can be used during the celebration, and the bags can be used as gifts for your guests to use in their homes as potpourri. 

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STEP FIVE 

Create your display. I found all of my supplies at Ben Franklin in New Albany. They have an amazing selection of baskets, bowls and trays that could be used to display your creation. I also found a distressed wooden sign that I used to write, “To Have and To Throw.” So cute!! Assemble however you would like. 

Congratulations to all of you newly-engaged couples! This is such an exciting time in your lives. Enjoy every single moment! Wishing you so much love and happiness!

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XO,

Morgan

 

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Be Our Guest

We sent our resident explorer, JD Dotson, in search of the perfect wedding gifts that will land you on the greatest guest list 

PHOTOS & STORY BY JD DOTSON 

Always looking for the perfect wedding gift that is sentimental or functional (or both!), I have a tendency to skip buying the single salad fork on the registry and look for something special for the couple of the hour. I 100% get the importance of a gift registry, especially if the couple is someone I barely know or just starting out in adulting life together. But I also 100% trust my instincts on giving thoughtful gifts to people I love and in no way have waited until the last minute when the only thing left on the registry is a $600 Vitamix. So, here are a few of my faves that will help land you on the unofficial “Greatest Guest” list you know couples compile. 

 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_052_image_0002Set of 3 galvanized steel hearts, $19.99 

Ceramic You and Me Dish, $3.99 each 

Instantly feeling the need to redo everything in my house, I had to remind myself to stay focused when I go to PC Home Center. Anything a young couple starting a home together might need can be found in this store. From paint, flooring, windows, cabinets to entire kitchen installations and really cool lighting features, PC Home Center offers gift cards in any denomination to get the project started. Not one to just toss a gift card at a couple without something to open, I found this galvanized steel heart set of three containers, and a couple of “you and me” ceramic ring dishes to compliment. 

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For the bicycle enthusiast couple on your gift list, I fell in love with this Cycle Gathering Table. I even have the perfect spot picked out at home and don’t mind a belated wedding present. 

Cycle Gathering Table $559.99 


PC Home Center 

123 Cherry St., New Albany | 812.944.4444

www.pchomestores.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_053_image_0002The blank page cut out letter books have the look of vintage, classic readers digests. They come in a wide and wild variety of cover designs, all 26 letters of the alphabet and the ampersand. Combine the initials of the couple, spell out LOVE, the last name, any romantic word for a functional, customizable and fun gift. 

Everyone needs that chip and dip tray for fancy entertaining. The couple are full-on adults — no more cutting the top of the bag off and screwing off the lid. It is time to actually elevate the chips and dips when company calls. The Nora Fleming line of platters, cake stands, serving trays and chip and dip bowls can be accessorized with “decorative minis.” Every kind of theme is available from summer fun, holidays, baby, even a tiny ceramic zombie hand and they all easily attach to the dish. 

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Nora Fleming Chip and Dip Platter, $43.20 

 

Decorative Minis, $11.66 each 


Ben Franklin Crafts 

420 New Albany Plaza, New Albany | 812.944.1215

www.benfranklinartsandframin.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_054_image_0001The best way to get your foodie friends to invite you over for a post-honeymoon meal is to get them amazing things they can use in the kitchen. I love a multifaceted theme gift, and The Olivet delivered. I discovered The Oil and Vinegar Lovers Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus and picked a variety of exotic goodies (Rose’ Wine Balsamic, Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and a Citrus Peel Rub) and topped off the gift with a locally-handmade wooden cutting board by Wayne Pepin. I may have had some chocolate and macarons while I shopped. Don’t judge. 

 

Cookbook, $29.95 2 oz. bag of spices or salts, $7 each or three for $18 

375 ML Balsamics, $18.95 

200 ML Olive Oil, $13.95 

Cutting Board, $79.95 


The Olivet 

37 Bank St., New Albany | 812.913.4430 | www.theolivet.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0001Georgetown boy meets the love of his life in Clarksville. Wedding toasts follow in the stemless wine glass with etched zip codes. No matter what area the couple grew up in or plan to call home, zip code glasses can be special ordered. 

$9.99 each 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0002The rustic, simple and sweet couple, hand-carved out of wood, painted and embellished is ready to be taken to their new home. Sold individually, they are perfect for every couple. 

$30 each; $60 for the couple 


Madhouse 

151 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.924.7728 www.madhousena.com 


Walking into True North makes me want to get remarried and put so much hand-made beautiful stuff on my list. I fell in love with the simple driftwood candle holder by Mack Dryden, even though my IKEA coffee table would do it justice. Depending on how much you loved me and my significant other, you could throw in the gorgeous Paul Weddington coffee table it sits on and I wouldn’t hate that one bit. 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0003Driftwood Candle Holder, $45 

Table, $475 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0002Every home should have that beautiful tea set that comes out on special occasions. Dallas Wooten’s soda-fired ceramic tea set deserves a spot in a glass cabinet and carefully taken out when people you love stop in for tea. A really beautiful, functional work of art is an ideal gift. 

Tea set, $120 


True North 

137 E. Market St., New Albany | 502.873.868

www.shoptruenorth812.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_057_image_0001The stacks of books that have been on my side tables and coffee table for the past 12 years are the ones I keep telling myself I am going to read. I found a stack of books at LL&A that make the reading quick, easy and perfect for the happy couple. “I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me” will now be stuck in your head as well. Top off the gift with a bottle of wine and a congratulatory bottle topper and get yourself out on the dance floor. 

 

Bottle Toppers, $18 

Book Stack $ 172 


LL&A Interior Design 

247 Spring St., Jeffersonville | 812.282.6606

www.leslielewisdesign.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_058_image_0005There is nothing wrong with pre-wedding gift giving. You want the couple to look and feel good on their wedding day, and gift cards to Body & Brow Boutique will take care of both of them head to toe. Facial and body waxing, male waxing, tanning, facials and even makeup application are available. I thought treating the couple to a nice soak with some bath bombs for after the big day would be a good way to start spending the rest of their lives together. 

Gift cards available in any denomination, price list available on the website. 

Bath Bombs, $6.50 


Body & Brow Boutique 

141 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.225.9191

www.bodyandbrow.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0005Great as a pre-wedding gift to be used at a reception perhaps, the Love Jar by Gratitude Jars comes with 250 blank foil embossed Love cards. Guests can leave a love note in the jar as a keepsake for the couple after the wedding. Great minds think alike: the Love Jar is one of Oprah and my favorite things, too. 

Love Jar $45.00 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0006Love is Love is Love in these beautifully sweet rendered wedding mugs. Love is a lot of things and I hope every morning starts off the day right with a good cup of coffee with the one you love. 

Coffee Mug, $15 


Regalo 

234 Pearl St., New Albany | 812.542.6567 | www.regaloart.com


 

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EnJoy the Setting

Stunning new outdoor venue in Henryville makes planning easy 

BY MANDY WOLF DETWILER | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON AND COURTESY IMAGES 

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When planning a wedding, the bride and groom have a plethora of decisions to make, from choosing date right down to selecting a guest book and designing the invitations. One of the biggest decisions, of course, is choosing where the event will take place. 

The location sets the tone for the entire event. A barn can be dressed up or down. A rented reception hall gives the bride and groom ample space with which to work. But if it’s elegance you seek, one can hardly do better than EnJoy the Venue, located off Flat Rock Road in Henryville. The picturesque setting overlooks a lake named after co-owner Sydney Higginbotham. 

But the property is more than just a dream-wedding venue. During the off season, it’s also a stunning place for yoga, CrossFit and pop-up events like canvas painting and wine events. 

“We opened July of last year in a rush for a wedding for a good friend’s daughter,” says co-owner Tracy Reardon. “There were so many bumps and tension was so high with the pressure of completing it satisfactorily for her wedding. Doing something for a friend is risky in business, and I didn’t want it to affect that relationship. We got it finished in time. There were over 300 people, and it was the worst storm of the year with tornado warnings and lightning. Total disaster. Talk about trial by fire! It turned into the best wedding ever. People left soaking wet but with so much joy it was amazing. There are stories online about the wedding.” 

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Reardon, is a CPA, and business partner and long-time friend Lee Sweeney actually took Reardon to see the property 20 years ago to get an opinion about making it a housing development. Sweeney had built two beautiful lakes on the property and did all of the infrastructure himself. 


“The sun sets right over the lake. It’s incredible.” – EnJoy the Venue co-owner Tracy Reardon


“He is a true visionary,” Reardon says. “I actually purchased a lot for a house back then across the lake from the venue but never built there, so it’s vacant across from the venue. One day, we were just talking casually, and I said I have always thought about opening a spa or a wedding venue, and just wanted his professional opinion. He surprised me and said he has always wanted to do [a wedding venue, too]. I asked where, and he said right here, and that’s where it started. 

“My daughter Sydney is partner as well. She went to Sullivan University and has an event planning degree, so it’s a great fit for her. Flat Rock Estates is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places you’ll find.” 

Initially, the team wanted to “make it simple, and see what direction it organically grew,” Reardon says. “We considered a large indoor building and may do that in the future. There is space for retreat cabins so we could do corporate retreats or a place for people to come in the fall to just relax and enjoy nature. 

“We have an Amish-built pavilion that is 2,800 square feet. It is open air. We are considering enclosing it in the near future in case of weather. It’s a beautiful space and the lighting makes it magical at night.” 

The team built stadium seating going up a hill, with no obstructed view of the event participants and the large lake, dubbed Sydney Lake after Reardon’s daughter, as the stunning backdrop. 

“The sun sets right over the lake,” Reardon says. “It’s incredible.” 

That setting is something many other wedding venues just can’t boast. 

“The setting is unlike any place around,” Reardon says. “When you come in the entrance, there is a feel of relaxation (that) immediately everyone tells us. It is so quiet and peaceful. We hear over and over there isn’t a need for much decor because you can’t outdo what is naturally there already when you look around. To be able to enjoy your family and friends in such a relaxed quiet setting is irreplaceable. 

“We like to say we don’t just hold events, we help create experiences to last a lifetime. It’s truly why we got into this business. Watching people react to the space and the comments about the setting make us so happy. Then to see the love and laughter people share is the biggest reward for us. We work hard to make sure our couples have the experience for their guests that isn’t just a wedding. Instead, it’s one of those memories when people think back they smile because of the experience they had here with us.” 

In the off season, the setting provides plenty of opportunities for other events, making good use of a stunning location. 

“We are starting to organize pop-up events, such as yoga and fitness classes,” Reardon says. “This is so exciting, and the response we have had is heart-warming. I think there is a craving for people to have a place to come and do the things they love to do but in a unique setting once in a while. 

“We have a couple of artists who would like to do art classes by the lake. Yoga and fitness in a setting such as this is perfect. We want to host EnJoy Yoga, EnJoy Art etc. at the venue. I’ve spoken with a couple of musicians and would love to have a place music students could come and share their talents. Dinner under the stars is an idea we have knocked around as well. Sitting with friends enjoying the sounds of tree frogs and crickets and unwinding doing what you EnJoy is what we want to offer.” 


Choosing Your Setting

When choosing a wedding venue, EnJoy the Venue coowner Tracy Reardon offers some advice:

“Of course an outdoor venue is not for everyone,” she says. “You won’t get the same setting or feel, but the flip side is the uncertainty of the weather. One of the best weddings we had was in the middle of a storm. You have to be able to let that go upfront and roll with it in those cases. So asking yourself if you accept that uncertainty is important.”

Reardon continued: “I think couples need to list the most important things for their special day and choose the best fit based on their own list. Couples should ask venues their policies on outside vendors, times they will have access to the venue, cancellation policies and what is included with the rental.”


Learn more about EnJoy the Venue, which is located at 13967 E. Flatrock Trail in Henryville, by visiting enjoythevenue.com or calling 812.595.2168.

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Shelby and Jamison Valvano

May 11, 2019 

PHOTOS COURTESY ALEXANDRIA KAY PHOTOGRAPHY ALEXANDRIAKAYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 


REHEARSAL DINNER VENUE: Noah’s Event Venue 

REHEARSAL DINNER CATERING: Susie Phelps and Sue Ann Everitt were the caterers. They used to have a catering company but don’t anymore and are friends of the family. 

WEDDING VENUE: Noah’s Event Venue 

WEDDING DRESS: Sher’s Bridal Boutique 

HAIR/MAKEUP: Molly Johnson at Tranz4mationz Salon 

GROOM’S ATTIRE: Men’s Warehouse 

CAKE/BAKERY: Sweet Treats by Jennifer (Jennifer Schindler) 

FLORIST: Bride’s grandmother, Deborah Bartley, did all of the flowers throughout the wedding and reception 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Alexandria Kay Photography 

VIDEOGRAPHY: Braden Lee Renfro 

MUSIC: Spin Around Sound (John Cortie)


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HOW WE MET: Jamie (Jamison) and I have been best friends since we met in the fourth grade and remained friends all throughout elementary, middle and high school until we finally started dating junior year of high school – and the rest was history. I always knew he was the one. 

Our wedding was…filled with so much love and happiness. It was a dream come true and I truly have my incredible parents to thank for that. 

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Marriage is…about becoming a team. You’re going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person, and you both love each other, you’ll always find a way to get through it. Marriage is commitment and never-ending love. It’s the most special kind of friendship. 

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Aaron & RuthAnne Burns

May 11, 2019 

PHOTOS COURTESY KATIE MARIE PHOTOGRAPHIE KATIEMARIEPHOTOGRAPHIE.COM 


REHEARSAL DINNER VENUE: Groom’s grandmother’s house, Ruth Kaiser 

REHEARSAL DINNER CATERING: Groom’s mother’s cooking: DeAnn Burns 

WEDDING VENUE: St Louis Bertrand Catholic Church 

RECEPTION VENUE: Hyatt Regency Hotel Downtown 

WEDDING DRESS: Essence of Australia purchased at Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique with alterations by Therese Grant 

CUSTOM WEDDING VEIL : Made with fabric from the bride’s mother’s wedding dress by The Hat Girls 

HAIR: Jessica Kelley with Creations Hair Design 

MAKEUP: Charolette de la Torre 

GROOM’S ATTIRE: Bonobos suit with alterations by Ace Custom Tailors and Johnston & Murphy shoes 

WEDDING CATERING: Breakfast buffet catered by The Hyatt’s culinary staff and donuts by Adrienne’s & Co 

CAKE/BAKERY: Fun-fetti cake from Winnie’s Decadent Desserts & Deli 

FLORIST: Top Knots Florals 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Katie Marie Photographie 

MUSIC: The Cincinnati Sinatra 

TRANSPORTATION: Kentuckiana Express Shuttle-Limo, LLC 


HOW WE MET: In February of 2017, RuthAnne was brought on as an administrative assistant at Neace Ventures. She was warned that Aaron was a know-it-all and a bit of a jerk and that their personalities would clash; however, the two quickly bonded, if for no other reason because their desks were 5 feet from each other. Although they thought, without ever even talking about it, they would never date the other, they were both smitten. 

 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_036_image_0001After several months of working together, Aaron was convinced he must pursue RuthAnne. He awkwardly revealed his feelings for RuthAnne at her favorite lunch spot – Chic-fil-A. Eleven months later, they were engaged. Twelve months after that, they were married. 

Our wedding was… Beautiful. We had hoped for everything to go perfectly, but we couldn’t have anticipated just how great everything went. The Mass was solemn and respectful of the sacrament taking place. The sermon pulled no punches in communicating the significance of the contract we were entering into with each other. The weather was perfect. The food was delicious. The music was both classy and fun. Friends, family and benefactors alike all had an amazing time celebrating with us. The only bump in the road was that the wedding rings were left at the hotel, and one of the groomsmen and bridesmaids drove like maniacs between the church and the hotel in order to make it back in time for Aaron to get to the sacristy behind the altar. 

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Marriage is… a sacrament. First and foremost we hope to help make each other holier and more virtuous people. We want to get each other to heaven. We pray we will have many children. We hope to avoid some of the trappings of modern life. We would like to spend less of our lives in front of screens and more time in good books, nature and prayer.

 

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Let’s Get Planning

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-10-25-33-amBut do you really need a wedding planner? 

BY MANDY WOLF DETWILER 

So, you’ve just said “yes!” Now what? Brides and grooms can become inundated with choices, from the dress and tux colors to venue seating, flower decisions and thank-you notes. Hiring a wedding planner can certainly ease the load, but is it an affordable option for the average future married couple? We talked to Jamie Lott, owner of Louisville Events4U and a wedding planner for 11 years.

EXTOL MAGAZINE: Who should hire a wedding planner?

Jamie Lott: The value lies in having a professional who won’t forget even the smallest detail of the big day. Wedding planners are all about the details – things you might miss. If you’re a detail-oriented person and you’ve got a career of your own, maybe a busy life with your fiancé, it’s much, much easier in my opinion to turn (wedding planning) over to a professional so that nothing is missed as part of your wedding planning process.

EXTOL: What are some of the most overlooked details by couples who plan their own weddings?

Lott: Transportation to and from the venue and/or the church. Things like right down to the catering. Did you plan on just feeding (guests) the cake or did you plan on feeding them another dessert? I’ve been to so many weddings where I’ve just done day-of coordinating and they ran short of cake. Little things like that, I’m there to remind you about.

EXTOL: Is there anyone who shouldn’t hire a wedding planner?

Lott: By the day of the wedding, even the control freaks, even the very OCD brides, have been very grateful that (a wedding planner) is there because she can relax and not have to worry about the details. My standard line is, “I’ve got this. Please don’t worry.” I do this almost every weekend, and if you haven’t thought of it, I will. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t need a wedding planner. I think there are some girls who think they can do it on their own, but I actually feel bad for them on their wedding day because they are so stressed trying to do it, even with their girlfriends. They should be getting ready that day. They should be with their family. They should be relaxing and sipping mimosas or whatever makes them happy versus worrying about setting up their tables and their centerpieces, and going to pick up this or going to pick up that.

EXTOL: What should you look for in a good wedding planner?

Lott: It’s all about the details. Look for the person who asks all the right questions, the person that is the best fit for you. Your personalities need to mesh. You need to make sure that you like this planner and this planner is almost a member of your family because of the length of time you’re going to be spending with this person and what this planner is going to ask of you. As you go along in this process, you need to be willing to work with this planner and trust this person.

EXTOL: How do you help set a budget with the bride and groom?

Lott: I’m very brutally honest and I ask them what they think they can spend on this wedding. If it’s a certain amount and that amount is very low, I ask them if they’re willing to do some of the work themselves, like we make part of the centerpieces ourselves and then we add florals from a florist –– anything we can do to cut costs. I’m very good about keeping them on budget. They take themselves off budget!

EXTOL: As a wedding planner, how do you handle so-called bridezillas?

Lott: In the industry, we all laugh at the shows because they pick the worst of the worst. I have been very blessed … that I have had very few “bridezillas.” Most of these girls are very grateful for the help, which is why they hired me in the first place. If they get a little tense right before their wedding, which is very common, we talk it out. … I try very hard to let them know I’m on top of this.

EXTOL: What should the wedding planner do and what should the couple take care of?

Lott: Everything, down to scheduling everything. I create timelines and itineraries, an overall day-of timeline for the ceremony and the reception so everybody’s on the same page. I make sure the DJ’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing, the venue’s doing what they’re supposed to do, and if that includes catering, we’ve gone over that menu 15 times. I don’t want that bride to think about anything but enjoying her day. … I keep a bride box with me on the day of the wedding of all the “what ifs.” If this breaks, if this needs to be taped, a first-aid kit, things like that that they would never have thought to bring.

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Bridezilla Be Gone

bride1BY DR. JENNIFER EVANS 

The term “bridezilla” has become almost as common as the monikers “bride-to-be” and “fiancé.” (FYI: Bridezilla refers to a bride who is extremely demanding and difficult to deal with during the wedding planning process.) 

We get it – planning a wedding is stressful. Here’s how to stop yourself from becoming the next scary creature (aka bridezilla) planning a walk down the aisle:

Eat a balanced diet and make time for exercise — every day. 

Most brides-to-be are overwhelmed with fitting into their dress that they may be starving themselves into a crazed state of mind. Our bodies need food, so eat the right kinds to keep your mind and body in good working order. A balanced meal plan fuels your body and gives you energy.

Exercise is a great form of stress reduction, especially activities that incorporate mindfulness, such as yoga. Make time for exercise and think of it as a little much-needed “me time” instead of another thing on your to-do list.

Check yourself and check-in with others. 

Phone a friend, message your mom or schedule an appointment with your therapist. Find someone to talk to during this exciting time in your life. Having a person to vent to will help you avoid being overwhelmed by emotions.

Elsa and Anna had the right idea with their iconic song lyrics from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Make your mantra “Let it go, let it go” when it comes to things you cannot control. The weather, nope, out of your hands; the color of the floral centerpieces, yes, that you can control. However, if they end up being two shades lighter than your favorite lavender, again, let it go.

Post-wedding blues are a possibility. 

Many brides report an emotional letdown days or weeks after their wedding. It took months, maybe even years, to plan and the day went by so quickly. Some of the signs to watch for in yourself or a loved one are boredom, sadness, lethargy, loneliness and isolation. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, know that it’s normal. Try these tips to turn the blues into wedded bliss:

• Talk with your new spouse about your favorite memories from the wedding.

• Invite your friends over to share photos and stories from your honeymoon.

• Write thank you notes to those who really stepped up to help you even when you didn’t think you needed it.

If the feelings start affecting your life, talk to a professional. Norton Women’s Mental Health Services can help. For more information, visit NortonHealthcare.com or call 502.629.1234.

This article was written by Jennifer Evans, M.D., system vice president of Women’s Services, Norton Healthcare. Dr. Evans has more than 25 years of medical and surgical experience in obstetrics and gynecology. 

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5 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know

5 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know

STORY & PHOTOS BY TONY BENNETT 

AS A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER, I’VE QUICKLY LEARNED TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS IS THE EASY PART. THE MANY HOURS OF PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING AND PRACTICE ARE ITEMS THAT CANNOT BE QUANTIFIED. AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, I WANT TO GIVE MY CLIENTS THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE. TO ENSURE YOUR WEDDING DAY IS THE JOYOUS EVENT IT SHOULD BE, HERE ARE A FEW ITEMS TO KEEP IN MIND. screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-3-40-05-pm

MAKE A BUDGET. The only thing you’ll have the day after your wedding are the photos. So remember to prioritize your budget. If you want great photos, you may want to cut the gelato bar and ice sculpture and pay a little more for a photographer with the experience to capture your special day.

TIME. Make sure you make time on your wedding day for photos. As a photographer, I love to get creative and I want to capture that “perfect” image you will cherish for a lifetime. This can best be accomplished by creating a timeline for how the day will flow and trying to stick to it as best you can. If there are certain people that you want to ensure you have your photo taken with, make a list and give it to your photographer at the start of the day. Don’t be afraid to tell your photographer what you want. That’s what we’re here for.

screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-3-40-21-pmADAPT. Every wedding is different. There are many aspects that can affect your photographs. Ceremony location, time of day and time of year (think sunset time) can all affect the look and feel of your photos. To capture better photos, your photographer should bring multiple light sources, including battery-powered studio strobes and speedlites, for quick movement between locations. Ask your photographer if he or she has those.

SMILE. This one is simple: Be happy on your wedding day. Nothing will sour your photos more than you stressing out before, during and after your big day than having a frown. This is your big day. Enjoy it.

 

 

screen-shot-2017-08-10-at-3-40-33-pmBE PATIENT IN POST-PRODUCTION. The wedding day may last for 8 to 12 hours (sometimes longer), but that is only part of what it takes to capture a wedding and deliver the final product. Long after the cake is cut and the guests return home is when most of a photographer’s work begins. A good one will immediately gather all the memory cards and download them to various locations. Data loss is a huge problem, ensure your photographer has a plan to take multiple precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen to clients. Also, moving through each of the images will take a number of days. Be patient. Every image we take during a wedding is edited, and this takes time. Then, when the client decides which photos to have printed and which to put in the album, a good photographer will put additional work into perfecting each image. Again, be patient.

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