Aisle Style . Planning

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Warming Trends

Register for gifts that say spring. Photographs by Carlos Alejandro.

Siesta dinner plate by Hermes, $190 at Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Hockessin

Resin votive candle holders by Emilio Robba, $35 and $45 at The Enchanted Owl, Greenville

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Banana leaf server by Mariposa, $78 at The Enchanted Owl, Greenville

Garden bowl by Hermes, $1,215, at Everything but the Kichen Sink, Hockessin.

Page 2: The Bandwagon | Make sure you pick the right entertainment. Here’s how. 


Gas House Gorilla played the reception of Jennifer Sodorff and Adrian Malatesta November 1, 2008, at Archmere Academy. Photograph by Feehly Photography.The Bandwagon

Make sure you pick the right entertainment. Here’s how.

Nothing sets the tone of a reception like the band or DJ. You can spot the pros. Most have websites with video. Many hold showcases. And the best DJs use only music equipment (no CDs or vinyl). Here are a few ways to find the right band.

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Brandywine Valley Talent in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, hosts monthly showcases so you can hear the songs and meet the leaders of the bands it represents. BVT president Kurt Titchenell books 400 events a year, including 100 gigs for his own award-winning band, Jellyroll.

“It’s important to ask how many weddings the band performs each year and where,” says Titchenell. “A band that performs at the Hotel du Pont, for instance, gains credibility.”  

Most reception sites maintain a list of preferred vendors who are familiar with the property and its procedures. “Preferred vendor lists can be helpful,” says Ellen Lebowitz, leader of local favorites Lavender. “But I encourage people to do their own research.

Look at the band’s song list to see if it plays the music you want to hear, Lebowitz says. Club bands may not have experience with bridal party introductions, reception timelines and announcements. You’ll want a band that’s experienced, flexible and personable.

When shopping for a DJ, ask for five recent referrals, suggests Delaware Disc Jockeys owner Craig Saltiel. On his website, a bride can select songs and enter a timeline for the reception.

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“That way there are no mistakes,” says Saltiel. “The bride can then print that timeline and give it to the banquet manager and photographer so they’re all, literally, on the same page.”  —Susan Oates

Page 3: Plan to Have Fun | Avoid the stress. Plenty of people want to help.


Bianca Spatafora  married Carson Henry on September 20, 2008, at Venus on the Half Shell in Dewey Beach. Photograph by Kevin Quinlan Photography.Plan to Have Fun

Avoid the stress. Plenty of people want to help.

Why do so many women get stressed while planning their weddings? “They want everything to be perfect,” says Samantha Diedrick of Secretariat—Wedding & Event Planning. But managing the multitude of details, finances and unsolicited opinions can be overwhelming. “Even the most ideal couple will fight when planning a wedding,” says Diedrick. So what’s a bride to do?

Get a Planner “We know the vendors in the area and what they charge, can review contracts, and can tell you where you can save money,” says Diedrick. Mark Kingsdorf of The Queen of Hearts in Philadelphia says, “Whether you hire someone or get a planning book and follow it, the trick to beating stress is knowing what to expect and staying ahead of the game.”

Watch Your Money “Set a realistic budget,” says Leanne Silicato Affeldt of Make My Day Event Planning in Milford. Know what you can afford and be honest about what you want.

“People like to take ownership of what they’re paying for,” says Kingsdorf. “If someone gives you money, tell them, ‘Thank you very much. We’ll put that toward the band—or the flowers or the hall.’”

Accept Help “Embrace friends and family as your wedding planning committee,” Affeldt says. “Start with the groom. See where his interests are and give him a task, whether it’s food tasting and menu selection or choosing the band or cars.” Recognize your helpers during the reception. It’s also important to appoint a bridal attendant for the day, “to greet vendors at the reception and keep things on schedule so you can relax.”

Have Fun “Don’t make it the most important day of your life,” says Diedrick. “It’s a five-hour party.” And keep in mind what is truly most important. “Go out with your fiancé and take time to do the things you normally do,” says Kingsdorf. “Don’t be all about the wedding, because by the time it arrives, you may not even know each other anymore.”   —Susan Oates

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