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     March 22, 2008
2                                                                                                       Greek Wedding 2008                                                                               THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

By Nick Mavrakis                                                                                                                                                      clusions usually noticeable without       the diamond with a metallic rim,
Special to The National Herald                                                                                                                                        magnification).                           highlighting the top of the stone.

                                                           The First Step
                                                                                                                                                                          The ‘4Cs’ all come into play          The tension setting uses a compres-
            he engagement ring                                                                                                                                        when pricing a diamond ring, so it        sion spring for pressure, holding a

    T       plays a classic, symbolic
            role in marriage. As
            such, it’s often the source
                                                                                                                                                                      is imperative to be able to juggle
                                                                                                                                                                      the 4Cs when deciding what to go
                                                                                                                                                                      for. What is the best way to achieve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                diamond in place, and giving the il-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                lusion that it’s floating in air.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Other settings exist that accom-

                                                        in the Proclamation
of much anxiety. With a little prepa-                                                                                                                                 optimal value for money? How can          modate multiple stones. The chan-
ration and information, however,                                                                                                                                      you get a ring that she’ll love, with-    nel, for example, fits a small row of
the numerous choices to be made                                                                                                                                       out breaking the budget?                  gemstones between two grooves or
won’t be nearly as daunting.                                                                                                                                              Many experts agree that cut is        “channels”. These surround the en-
    The engagement ring is the                                                                                                                                        probably the most important factor        tire ring. Alternatively, choices like

                                                            of Matrimony
doorway to marriage – that tradi-                                                                                                                                     when dealing with the beauty of a di-     the three-stone setting hold gems
tional first step that asks a loved                                                                                                                                   amond. Because it effects the actual      representing past, present, and fu-
one, “Will you be my partner for                                                                                                                                      sparkle, this is the element that will    ture – with the middle gem usually
life?”. This proclamation of love is                                                                                                                                  be most evident in the liveliness of a    being slightly larger than the two
the item that’s seen by all, signify-                                                                                                                                 diamond. On the other hand, clarity       aligning stones.
ing the bond between the bride-to-                                                                                                                                    doesn’t usually effect the sparkle of a       The final piece of the ring is, of
be and the groom. The mundane                                                                                                                                         diamond unless heavily included           course, the actual band itself. Cir-
motions of a simple wave of the                                                                                                                                       (where light can become distorted         cular bands are the most classical,
hand, or extension of the fingers,                                                                                                                                    through large irregularities). As         but bands that are slightly more
now become a ceremonial event: an                                                                                                                                     such, a lower clarity diamond will        curvy are starting to come into
ever-lasting reminder that what is,                                                                                                                                   come at a more affordable price           vogue. Also, think about the mater-
no doubt, one of the grandest days                                                                                                                                    without having a noticeable quality-      ial of the ring. Platinum is always a
of the bride’s life is approaching.                                                                                                                                   deficiency, where any inclusions          popular choice, as it neatly matches
    With such weight placed on the                                                                                                                                    would be invisible to the naked eye.      the brilliance of diamond. Platinum
ring, the inevitable questions arise.                                                                                                                                     When dealing with the weight of       is rarer than other precious metals,
What kind of ring should I get?                                                                                                                                       the stone, a useful tip to remember       and this will be reflected in the
How much should I spend? What                                                                                                                                         is that diamonds frequently jump in       pricing. White gold makes for a
are the different options available?                                                                                                                                  price as soon as hitting the full         good alternative to platinum, hav-
    To begin with, know that dia-                                                                                                                                     carat mark. As mentioned above,           ing the same silver luster, but being
monds (which comes from the an-                                                                                                                                       carats are divided into points; thus,     more affordably priced. The other
cient Greek word “Adamas” mean-                                                                                                                                       a 1.80 or 1.90 carat diamond will         prominent style is yellow gold.
ing “invincible”) are the most popu-                                                                                                                                  offer substantial savings when            When dealing with gold rings, re-
lar choice for the gemstone of the                                                                                                                                    compared to a 2.00 carat diamond.         member that higher carat values
engagement ring. In the early to                                                                                                                                      Keep this in mind when you have           will hold up better over the years
mid 20th century, the De Beers dia-                                                                                                                                   an idea of the size and weight of the     than lower ones. An 18kt gold ring,
mond company started a high-pro-                                                                                                                                      stone you’re looking for.                 for example, will experience less
file advertising campaign to link di-                                                                                                                                     Although the color of the dia-        wear and tear than a 9kt one.
amonds with engagement. In 1947,                                                                                                                                      mond will effect its price, this can          With all this information now at
the company came up with the                                                                                                                                          be masked by the band used for the        your disposal, the final step is a little
memorable slogan, “A Diamond is                                                                                                                                       ring. White gold or platinum can          bit of reconnaissance. What style
Forever,” on account of diamonds                                                                                                                                      make a stone appear whiter than it        does the bride-to-be like? Does she
being the hardest natural sub-                                                                                                                                        is. Look at samples at your jeweler’s     wear mostly silver or gold jewelry?
stance, and thereby, lasting more                                                                                                                                     to help you compare the color-ver-        What size should the ring be?
than a lifetime. Since then, the pre-                                                                                                                                 sus-price tradeoff.                           Some careful observation and
cious stone has become synony-                                                                                                                                            Of course, there’s more to en-        subtle talks with the bride’s friends
mous with the engagement ring.                                                                                                                                        gagement rings than just the ‘4Cs’.       and family can answer some of
    When discussing diamonds,                                                                                                                                         The shape of the diamond, which is        these questions. An unworn ring
you’ll often hear about the infa-                                                                                                                                     different than the cut, will be the       can be taken to any jeweler for siz-
mous ‘4Cs’. Anyone shopping for a                                                                                                                                     most evident choice you make. The         ing. There’s always the option of
diamond engagement ring should                                                                                                                                        shape refers to the actual geometry       actually going with the bride and
familiarize themselves with what                                                                                                                                      of the stone. The most popular            picking out the engagement ring,
exactly the four Cs are. These are:                                                                                                                                   shape is round, which has a stan-         as has become more commonplace
carat, cut, color, and clarity.                                                                                                                                       dard cut of 58 facets (known as be-       these days; this is a safer option,
    The carat is probably the most                                                                                                                                    ing brilliant-cut), but many other        but it does, admittedly, lose the tra-
well-known of a diamond’s (and, in                                                                                                                                    shapes are available. The emerald         ditionalism and surprise of picking
fact, all gemstone’s) characteris-                                                                                                                                    shape, for example, is rectangular        one out yourself.
tics; it describes the weight of the                                                                                                                                  and showcases a large table, or sur-          When shopping for a ring, check
stone, where one carat equals 200                                                                                                                                     face, area of the diamond. Al-            the jewelers return policy. Will they
milligrams. The word carat is de-                                                                                                                                     though it doesn’t have some of the        accept exchanges if the would-be-
rived from the Greek word ker΅tion        eye-catcher that it should be. It en-    fore, will decrease in value when          trapped within the cooling stone.       brilliance of other shapes (due to        bride doesn’t quite like the stone?
(via the Arabic word qirat, and Ital-     sures that the stone has the bril-       more yellow hue is detected in it. A       These artifacts can show up in a di-    having fewer facets), it’s a popular      It’s also a good idea to check if the
ian word carato), which literally         liance and “fire” that simply would-     popular color scale developed by           amond as internal defects known         choice nevertheless.                      store is accredited with industry or-
means “little horn”, used to de-          n’t be the case were the stone cut       GIA (Gemological Institute of              as inclusions, or external ones             The pear shape is like the round      ganizations, such as the GIA or the
scribe the seed pods of carobs. Be-       for weight alone, with light reflect-    America) grades diamonds, from D           known as blemishes. Small cloud-        shape, being brilliant-cut, but has a     Jewelers of America. Recommen-
fore precision scales emerged,            ing and refracting through the           (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Bear      like or whitish cracks can some-        narrow tip on one end, and a              dations from friends and family are
carob seeds were used to measure          crafted surfaces of the stone. The       in mind, some diamonds will actu-          times be seen, and these will effect    rounded tip on the other. This            an excellent place to start your
the weight of gemstones, as they          cut of a diamond is the one factor in    ally increase in value as more color       the clarity of a diamond, as will the   shape, also known as the teardrop,        search for potential jewelers.
were thought to all be of uniform         the ‘4Cs’ that isn’t dictated by na-     is detected. For example, because          size, color, number, and location of    has quite a slimming effect on the            One final piece of advice is that
weight. Diamonds weights can also         ture; it must be done by a diamond       red is so rare in these gemstones, a       these inclusions.. In other words,      fingers when used as a ring gem-          if you have a certain day in mind to
be referred to in points, where one       cutter.                                  red diamond would be substantial-          the clarity defines how “clean” a di-   stone                                     pop the question, make sure to plan
carat equals 100 points.                      Color describes the hue of a dia-    ly more expensive than a clearer           amond is, with higher clarity dia-          Another factor to consider is the     for the ring in advance. Most jewel-
    The cut of a diamond refers to        mond. Ideally, diamonds should be        yellow one.                                monds fetching a premium. Clarity       ring’s setting. The setting refers to     ers need up to six weeks and be-
the number, placement, shape, and         colorless and clear. In reality, how-       The final ‘C’ refers to clarity. Dia-   can be measured by a trained pro-       the metal framework holding the           yond to make a custom ring.
craftsmanship of the facets in a fin-     ever, the stones are rarely perfectly    monds are made of mostly pure              fessional using a loupe, which is a     diamond. Single-stone settings,               Buying an engagement ring is a
ished stone. This is the element          transparent, due to chemical impu-       carbon, but during crystallization,        10X magnifying lens, and is graded      like the bezel, serve to accentuate       formidable task, but hopefully, you
that makes diamonds flash in the          rities or structural irregularities. A   other minerals, or even other              on a scale: from Flawless (no inclu-    the gemstone in the center. The           now have the tools to make it that
light, turning it into the intended       naturally white diamond, there-          strands of carbon, may become              sions or blemishes) to Included (in-    bezel envelopes the perimeter of          much easier.
THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                 Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                       3

                                                                          Weddings the Greek Orthodox Way
                                                By Emmanuel Mendonca

                                                           hose of Greek heritage

                                                   T       may not necessarily
                                                           know what a traditional
                                                ding entails. The wedding service
                                                in the Greek Orthodox faith is an

                                                ancient and beautiful ceremony,
                                                which has been celebrated in its
                                                current form for centuries. The
                                                wedding ceremony is full of sym-
                                                bolism and is a great experience if
                                                you have never attended one be-
                                                fore, because it is likely to be quite
                                                different from other weddings you
                                                have attended in Western Europe.
                                                The service is also rather unique
                                                because the bride and groom do
                                                not make vows to each other – their
                                                presence together in the church is
                                                taken to mean that they are serious
                                                about getting married. There are
                                                no wedding rehearsals and the cer-
                                                emony usually has a very relaxed
                                                atmosphere – guests take photos
                                                whenever they want to and often
                                                chat quietly among themselves
                                                throughout the ceremony.
                                                    In most cases, the wedding
                                                guests will wait with the groom                                                                                          dated by modern standards in
                                                outside the church until the bride                                                                                       Greek Orthodox weddings. These
                                                arrives (a few sneaky wedding pros                                                                                       include: the baking of bread and
                                                will go into the church early to se-                                                                                     cakes containing coins, rolling a ba-
                                                cure a good seat). In the Summer,                                                                                        by on the marital bed to encourage
                                                when most weddings take place, it                                                                                        fertility, the throwing of money on-
                                                is not unusual for ceremonies to be                                                                                      to the marital bed, and the pinning
                                                arranged back to back, so the                                                                                            of money onto the bride (and
                                                guests attending a marriage will of-                                                                                     sometimes also the groom) at the
                                                ten stand around with those who                                                                                          wedding reception;
                                                have just attended the previous                                                                                              Although these rituals are seen
                                                wedding are ready to leave.                                                                                              as traditional, fewer and fewer
                                                    Wedding dress commentators                                                                                           young people marrying today are
                                                among the crowd will get to consid-                                                                                      following them, because they are
                                                er and discuss at least two brides                                                                                       seen as old-fashioned. Many people
                                                and maybe even a third as they                                                                                           do not wish to put their guests
                                                leave the church – bargain! Mean-                                                                                        through the ordeal of other people
                                                while, the groom waits for the           gers, three times. A number of ritu-   It was at this wedding that Jesus        being able to see how much money
                                                bride at the entrance to the church,     als in the ceremony are repeated       performed his first miracle, chang-      they pin on the bride, for example.
                                                often holding her floral bouquet.        three times, and this symbolizes the   ing water into wine, which was           Although money is still a very com-
                                                He hands it to her as they meet and      Holy Trinity: God the Father, the      then given to the married couple.        mon, as well as practical, wedding
                                                they then go inside together fol-        Son and the Holy Spirit.               Wine is given to the couple and          present, it is often given to the cou-
                                                lowed by the guests. There is no            This Ceremony consists of sever-    they each drink from it three times.     ple before the wedding day or to a
                                                separation of the guests into guests     al key parts. First, several prayers       The priest the leads the couple,     third person at the wedding recep-
                                                of the bride and guests of the           are said and then as they come to      who are still wearing their stefana,     tion, for safe-keeping.
                                                groom – everyone sits together and       an end, the priest joins the right     three times around the altar on              Greeks living in the more re-
                                                in the case of small churches, many      hands of the bride and groom.          their first steps as a married couple.   mote parts of Greece and abroad,
                                                people prefer to stand in a spot         Their hands remain joined until the    The Koumbaro follows close be-           who will naturally feel more
                                                where they can get a good view of        end of the wedding ceremony,           hind the couple holding the stefana      strongly about doing things the tra-
                                                the proceedings.                         which symbolizes the couples           place. At this point the couple (and     ditional way, are more likely to fol-
                                                    The wedding ceremony itself is       union.                                 anyone standing nearby) is usually       low these traditions than those liv-
                                                in two parts: the Service of Be-            The bride and groom are             showered with rice, which was ear-       ing in Athens, for example. Like
                                                trothal and the Ceremony of the          crowned with thin crowns, or ste-      lier handed out to the wedding           weddings in many places, Greek
                                                Sacrament of Marriage. The ex-           fana, which are joined by a white      guests. The priest will often make       weddings are changing. For exam-
                                                changing of rings is the focus of the    ribbon and have been blessed by        use of the bible he is holding to give   ple, there is a growing fashion to go
                                                Service of Betrothal. The priest         the priest. The crowns symbolize       himself some protection!                 and get married on an island and I
                                                blesses the rings by holding them in     the glory and honor that is being          When the Ceremonial Walk has         recently heard someone say that he
                                                his right hand and making the sign       bestowed on them by God, and the       ended, the priest blesses the cou-       was looking into getting married in
                                                of the cross over the heads of the       ribbon represents their unity. The     ple, the crowns are removed and he       a ski resort. He was wisely advised
                                                bride and groom. The rings are           Koumbaro then exchanges the            then separates their previously          by a friend: "You had better first ask
                                                then placed on the third fingers of      crowns between the heads of the        joined hands with the bible, re-         the priest if he wants to perform a
                                                their right hands. The Best Man, or      couple, three times.                   minding them that only God can           marriage up a mountain!"
                                                Koumbaro, the couples religious             The crowning is followed by a       break the union which they have
                                                sponsor, then swaps the rings over       reading of the Gospel, which tells     just entered into.                       The above article was originally
                                                between the bride and grooms fin-        of the marriage of Cana at Galilee.        Some traditions are a little out-    published on

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4                                                                                   Greek Wedding 2008                                                                THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

By Marilyn Woodman                                                                                                                 make a point of inviting and listen-      proven uncooperative, relieve them

                                            The Process                                                                                                                   ing to any input from the brides-         of their duties before the wedding,
                                                                                                                                   maids regarding the color and style       if you want to retain your sanity.
            ou should keep certain                                                                                                 of the dress – they're going to have          There is another situation that

    Y       things in mind in your se-
            lection of your brides-
            maids,       groomsmen,
                                                                                                                                   to pay for it and wear it, and they
                                                                                                                                   should be entitled to at least some
                                                                                                                                   input. It would be a tactful and con-
                                                                                                                                                                             you may be confronted with, and
                                                                                                                                                                             that is being forced into selecting a
                                                                                                                                                                             bridesmaid you hadn't planned on.

                                            of Selecting
maid/matron of honor and best                                                                                                      siderate act to select several dresses    Do it! Usually, it's a family member
man. The first and most important                                                                                                  and present them to the brides-           you don't know well, but for rea-
factor is the knowledge that you                                                                                                   maids for their opinions. Be open         sons unknown to you, you might be
are more likely to know and associ-                                                                                                and open-minded about the styles          pressured into inviting this person
ate with your relatives for the rest                                                                                               and colors, and especially about the      to be a bridesmaid. Unless the per-
of your life than a friend. In many                                                                                                price!                                    son is completely incompatible, ob-

                                            Your Bridesmaids
instances and for many reasons,                                                                                                        By the way, it is not strictly nec-   noxious, or plainly doesn't want to
people are often closer to a friend,                                                                                               essary that the bridesmaid's dresses      do it either, this should definitely
particular a life-long friend, than a                                                                                              either be alike, or the same color. It    be a point you should gracefully
sibling whom them might not even                                                                                                   is also not necessary that they wear      concede on. There is an exception,
like! There is a strong temptation to                                                                                              anything at all on their heads, or        however; that is being forced into
ask your friend to be maid/matron                                                                                                  that their shoes match the color of       asking a child who is temperamen-
of honor or best man – if there is                                                                                                 the dress. Far better to have a com-      tally completely unsuited for the
any chance that you might offend a                                                                                                 fortable bridesmaid on your wed-          role. She may be too young, or she
relative --don't do it! In this case,                                                                                              ding day because they're wearing          may have behavioral problems that
blood is definitely thicker than wa-                                                                                               their own shoes, and they like their      would mean she couldn't be count-
ter. There is no hard and fast rule in                                                                                             dress!                                    ed on to behave properly on your
your selection, it's simply a matter                                                                                                    This also leads into a discussion    special day.
of common sense.                                                                                                                   regarding the bridesmaid or                   A friend of mine solved the issue
     The second important factor in                                                                                                maid/matron of honor who seems            with an autistic child whose behav-
your selection of attendants should                                                                                                to be "difficult" to deal with, after     ior was erratic at the best of times,
be how much of a financial sacrifice                                                                                               they have accepted.                       and whose brothers and sisters
participating you your wedding                                                                                                         The signs are a person who is         were going to be in the wedding.
will be for them. You would be sur-                                                                                                unable to keep an appointment and         She very tactfully offered, at her
prised how many times people are                                                                                                   is difficult to contact, and always       own expense, to have the child
actually relieved not to be asked,                                                                                                 seems to be busy. It is very likely       dressed in the same dress the other
because of the expense involved.                                                                                                   that she's trying to tell you that for    flower girls were wearing. She even
Attendants are expected to pay for                                                                                                 one reason or another she really          drove the child and her parents to
a gown they are not likely to use                                                                                                  doesn't want to be a bridesmaid in        the fitting.
again, even if it would suitable for                                                                                               your wedding. Before you take of-             The child was also allowed to
that purpose – people just don't go                                                                                                fense at her or her actions, please       participate in the preparations,
to a lot of formal occasions any                                                                                                   stop and think that her financial or      such as the rehearsal and the re-
more. She has to pay for the shoes,                                                                                                personal circumstances may have           hearsal dinner, and she went to the
which again, she probably can't use                                                                                                changed since she agreed to be a          bride's home that day to dress with
again.                                                                                                                             bridesmaid in your wedding and            the others. The child then sat in a
    She will have to pay for a show-                                                                                               she doesn't want to hurt your feel-       pew with her parents at the front of
er gift as well as a wedding gift, and                                                                                             ings by backing out. This is espe-        the church in the same dress, and it
may have to partially pay for the                                                                                                  cially true if the bridesmaid is a rel-   went a long way to soothing feel-
shower as well. There may be mul-                                                                                                  ative.                                    ings that could have been ruffled.
tiple showers, and she may be ex-                                                                                                       In such a case, your goal should     The parents were well aware of the
pected to provide a gift for each. In                                                                                              be to relieve this person of the          problems, but they didn't want
addition, there may be transporta-                                                                                                 obligation of being your brides-          their child slighted because she was
tion and housing expenses if an at-                                                                                                maid way in advance of the cere-          different – and she wasn't left out.
tendant lives out of town. Any                                                                                                     mony, but the best way to do that is      In addition, the problem was re-
woman who consents to be a                                                                                                         to try to lead her into asking you to     solved because the bride and
bridesmaid or maid/matron of                                                                                                       back out. You will do both of you a       bride's family got their way and the
honor in your wedding is doing you                                                                                                 favor by having an open and honest        child was not in the actual ceremo-
a terrific favor – please understand                                                                                               discussion about the situation.           ny, but in such a way that no feel-
this and be properly grateful!                                                                                                     Considering the fact that your            ings were hurt. That is the founda-
    Remember that it is your wed-                                                                                                  nerves are probably not in their          tion of etiquette!
ding, so don't let age and physical                                                                                                best state, you might want to really           Your bridesmaids are obligated
appearance stop you from asking                                                                                                    tell her off, but please give her the     if asked to help pay for a shower for
someone to be your bridesmaid. Af-                                                                                                 benefit of the doubt and take the         you, and your Maid or Matron of
ter all, beauty truly is in the eye of                                                                                             high road. Remember, it may be            Honor is obligated to organize the
the beholder, and if she is beautiful                                                                                              your wedding, but it's not always         shower and collect the funds from
in your eyes, it's your wedding and                                                                                                about you.                                the bridesmaids. If one or more of
that's what counts.                                                                                                                    She even may start out the dis-       the bridesmaids are unable or un-
    If you would like to ask a person                                                                                              cussion insisting that she still wants    willing to pay their share, she must
who is perhaps on the heavy side, is                                                                                               to be a bridesmaid, especially if the     make up the difference. In addi-
pregnant, is not the most attractive                                                                                               reason she's uncooperative is finan-      tion, if a bachelorette party is
woman, or is considered a little old-                                                                                              cial. Financial reasons can be a          planned, she may be required to
er than the norm – by all means ask                                                                                                very difficult issue to discuss. If       perform the same tasks and obliga-
them anyway – that is your privi-                                                                                                  your attendant is behaving as I           tions for it as well. If you haven't
lege as the bride, and chances are if                                                                                              have outlined above absolutely            understood before, perhaps you
there any comments at all, they will                                                                                               positively do not let her be a part of    now understand what is involved
be expressions of approval.                                                                                                        your wedding party! If you do, you        to be your bridesmaid or Maid/Ma-
    You must use some common                                                                                                       will cause yourself an incredible         tron of Honor, and will treat them
sense in the selection of the dresses                                                                                              amount of grief that you don't            with the kindness and considera-
and shoes. While you may select                                                                                                    need.                                     tion they deserve!
what you want your bridesmaids to                                                                                                      I'm not saying that you should
wear, consider the fact that they are                                                                                              make snap judgments, but if this          The above article was originally
paying. It is only good manners to                                                                                                 person over a period of months has        published on

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THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                                     Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                        5

                                                        How to Make Out-Of-Towners Feel At Home
           or a significant number of                                                                                                                                                                         your special day.

   F       your friends and family
           members, showing up for
           your nuptial celebration
may mean hopping on a plane to
cross state lines, or even national
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Create welcome packets of rele-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              vant information (phone numbers
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of the families of the bride and
                                                                                                                                                                                                              groom, the names of the other
                                                                                                                                                                                                              guests staying at the hotel, nearby
lines. These out-of-towners will go                                                                                                                                                                           hot spots to check out) to leave in
to a lot of effort and expense to                                                                                                                                                                             guests' rooms with another copy of
share in your momentous occasion,                                                                                                                                                                             your wedding itinerary, plus local
so it's your job to welcome them,                                                                                                                                                                             brochures and sightseeing maps.
help them get around, and keep                                                                                                                                                                                Enlist the aid of your wedding crew
them entertained. With that in                                                                                                                                                                                to assemble and distribute all these
mind, here's how to put them at                                                                                                                                                                               treats. Finally, add that finishing
ease.                                                                                                                                                                                                         touch and pen a personal note
    One of the simplest, yet proba-                                                                                                                                                                           thanking each guest for coming to
bly most useful, things you could                                                                                                                                                                             celebrate with you.
do for your guests is to provide a                                                                                                                                                                                Leading up to the main event,
wedding itinerary. After sending                                                                                                                                                                              you may have plenty to fuss over,
out your invitations, mail guests an                                                                                                                                                                          but out-of-town guests may not.
additional clever, elegant, or inter-                                                                                                                                                                         Don't leave them in the lurch with
esting communiqué with a com-                                                                                                                                                                                 nothing to do. If many guests are
plete rundown of the events lead-                                                                                                                                                                             showing up the night before the cer-
ing up to and following your walk                                                                                                                                                                             emony, suggest ways they can stay
down the aisle. In addition, create a                                                                                                                                                                         amused while you hold the re-
wedding web page for an easily ref-                                                                                                                                                                           hearsal dinner. Ask a friend or rela-
erenced one-stop-shop for guests to                                                                                                                                                                           tive to host a gathering like a back-
check up on everything you have                                                                                                                                                                               yard barbecue or pizza party to help
planned. In both cases, include key                                                                                                                                                                           guests get to know one another. Or
times, locations, who is hosting,                                                                                                                                                                             arrange to have everyone meet to-
what to wear, and so on for each ac-                                                                                                                                                                          gether at a restaurant or bar. Better
tivity. Tell your visitors about any                                                                                                                                                                          yet, create a more casual rehearsal
free time they'll have, and provide                                                                                                                                                                           dinner, and open up the invite list to
suggestions for how to fill it. There                                                                                                                                                                         include everyone who might be
may be events you have in mind                                                                                                                                                                                around. For guests who like to enter-
(such as a brunch the morning after                                                                                                                                                                           tain themselves, be sure to supply a
the wedding) that travelers should                                                                                                                                                                            roster of your favorite restaurants,
know about in advance so they can                                                                                                                                                                             shops, and local movie theaters as a
schedule their trips around them.                                                                                                                                                                             thoughtful gesture.
    Be aware that since many of                                                                                                                                                                                   Though recommended, some-
your guests are taking to the skies,       how to get around once they arrive.                                                                                                                                times it's not possible to have your
they may be turning your nuptial               Recommend different places for                                                                                                                                 reception immediately follow your
event into a weekend getaway or            guests to stay. Look for locations                                                                                                                                 ceremony. If there will be a lengthy
part of a vacation. Also, remember         near your ceremony and reception                                                                                                                                   break between your "I dos" and the
that some of your guests may never         sites, and start calling around                                                                                                                                    party, or your ceremony is late in
have visited the area before. You          about six months beforehand to                                                                                                                                     the day, try to come up with a game
may wish to add in "travel guide"          check on large-scale availability for                                                                                                                              plan. During a lull, some people
bits of information to your pre-           the days surrounding your wed-                                                                                                                                     won't mind going back to the hotel
wedding itinerary to get guests ex-        ding, and to inquire about special                                                                                                                                 and kicking back. But others may
cited about the journey. For exam-         group rates. To get the best deal for                                                                                                                              be interested in touring your
ple, if there are some great sights to     your guests, reserve blocks of                                                                                                                                     stomping grounds. If guests will
see or points of interest to visit, tell   rooms at a couple of hotels. Keep                                                                                                                                  have the morning free, suggest a
your guests in case they'd like to do      your guest's probable budget range                                                                                                                                 game of golf or a visit to a museum.
some exploring. Do some research           in mind, and recommend both fan-                                                                                                                                   With lots of spare time between the
and investigate which museums              cy fare for those flush with cash and                                                                                                                              main events, you could organize an
will have amazing exhibits show-           a less expensive alternative for the                                                                                                                               excursion, such as taking a group of
ing, whether or not the local sports       budget-minded. For the best air-                                                                                                                                   guests to visit nearby attractions or
team is playing a home game, and           fares, try getting in touch with the                                                                                                                               to see a movie.
what musical or other cultural per-        airlines directly. Inquire about fre-                                                                                                                                  Remember the reason that these
formances will be happening.               quent-flyer deals, special dis-                                                                                                                                    intrepid travelers have come is to
    Though footing the bill for trav-      counts, and group rates for those                                                                                                                                  see you, so make sure they do. Pull
elers' overnight accommodations            who may all be flying in from the                                                                                                                                  them aside amid all the revelry for
and flights isn't your responsibility,     same place.                                                                                                                                                        some one-on-one attention, or
you and your fiancée should offer              Some       out-of-towners      will                                                                                                                            make it a point to tell them at the
suggestions for how to find both           choose to rent cars (be sure to pro-                                                                                                                               receiving line how much seeing
(and tips on how to score good             vide car rental info with your hotel                                                                                                                               them means to you. Raise your
deals will no doubt be appreciated         and airline details), but for those                                                                                                                                glass during toasting time to ac-
by guests). Be sure to put important       who don't, you'll have to figure out      someone pick up nondrivers from         guests know you've arranged this,       flowers, a tin of local chocolates, or   knowledge those who have come
details for airlines and hotels (web-      how they'll get to and from the           the airport – especially if they're     and clue them in on who to look         a bottle of chilled bubbly. What you     from afar, and consider setting up
site and street addresses, phone           wedding. Cover all the bases: orga-       new to the area or get nervous trav-    for).                                   choose to give depends on your re-       something special for journeyers,
numbers, directions, and cost infor-       nize a fleet of relatives that will act   eling. Recruit volunteers for this:        Comfort the jet-lagged and trav-     sources, and can be as lavish as a       such as a brunch the morning after
mation) on an insert sent out with         as chauffeurs, talk to the hotel          parents, next of kin, and friends are   el-weary with a little something left   free massage at the hotel spa or as      the ceremony (if you aren't already
your invitations, or post it separate-     manager to arrange for a hotel            likely targets. Put together a roster   in their hotel rooms. Imagine their     simple as a plate of homemade            off to a magnificent honeymoon).
ly on your wedding itinerary or            shuttle, hire a car or limo service, or   of arrival times, and have trekkers     delight – walking into their tempo-     chocolate-chip cookies. The pur-
web page so guests can book their          rent a few vans or a bus.                 greeted at the gate with signs bear-    rary living quarters and discovering    pose is to let guests know you ap-       The above article was originally
flights and rooms early and know               It's also a kind gesture to have      ing their names (be sure to let         a basket of fresh fruit, a bouquet of   preciate their effort to join you for    published on

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                                                                                                                                   lovely, lush green grounds of the South Shore Golf Course in a tranquil,
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                                                                                                                                   upgraded the entire property. We invite you to come see for yourself
                                                                                                                                   why the South Shore Country Club should be the place to celebrate
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6                                                                                             Greek Wedding 2008                                                                    THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

                                                                                                         Finding a Photographer for the Big Day
                                                                                                        By Angela Bauer                                               ly 35mm? If the photographer has only one standard
                                                                                                                                                                      35mm camera and you want a poster-size portrait, you'll
                                                                                                                    electing a photographer to document your day      want to find someone who can shoot in medium format

                                                                                                           S        of days is possibly the most important hire
                                                                                                                    you'll make. To find your shutterbug soul mate
                                                                                                                    who will make sure the trip down memory
                                                                                                        lane is one you'll want to take over and over again, start
                                                                                                        early and shop around. These eleven steps will help to
                                                                                                                                                                      (the larger negative retains its crisp image at larger mag-
                                                                                                                                                                      nifications than 35mm-or "small-format"-film). Make
                                                                                                                                                                      sure he or she brings a backup set of equipment in case of
                                                                                                                                                                      malfunction or other snafu.
                                                                                                                                                                                     6) EYEBALL THE EFFECTS
                                                                                                        light your way.                                                   If you have your heart set on special effects -- fish-eye
                                                                                                                           1) SUIT YOUR STYLE                         lenses, infrared film, sepia-toned prints, handmade wed-
                                                                                                            Before you start calling photographers, first decide      ding albums -- be sure you see ample examples of the
                                                                                                        which visual style suits you. Photographers fall into three   photographer's technique. You don't want your prints to
                                                                                                        general camps: photojournalists, traditional wedding          be guinea pigs for his darkroom experimentation. Be
                                                                                                        photographers, and those with a balanced bag of tricks. If    sure the resulting look is not overdone (too artsy) or
                                                                                                        you loved your sister's nuptial snapshots and most of         barely there.
                                                                                                        them are candid black-and-white action shots, you're                          7) REVIEW REFERENCES
                                                                                                        probably leaning toward a cameraman with a penchant               Request two to three references for the two photogra-
                                                                                                        for photojournalism. If you prefer portraits and posed        phers you feel most strongly about. If a photographer is
                                                                                                        shots, a traditionalist is for you.                                                    reluctant to give you a list of prior
                                                                                                        Ambivalent? Can't agree? Seek                                                          clients, cross him off your list. Ask
                                                                                                        out that special mix.                                                                  the references if they would they
                                                                                                                2) MEET & GREET                                                                recommend this person to their
                                                                                                            Start compiling a list of candi-                                                   best friend. Why or why not? Was
                                                                                                        dates by flipping through the                                                          the photographer on time, well
                                                                                                        wedding albums of any friends or                                                       dressed, and completely profes-
                                                                                                        family who have recently gotten                                                        sional throughout the event? Did
                                                                                                        married. Other sources include                                                         guests have any comments – neg-
                                                                                                        experts you've been working with                                                       ative or positive?
                                                                                                        on other aspects of your wedding                                                            8) CONFIRM THE COST
               You’ve got the Perfect Flowers, the Perfect Dress and                                    (wedding coordinator, caterers,                                                            Expect to spend at least $1500
                                                                                                        etc.) and bridal shows, where you                                                      and easily up to $4000 on the
          t h e P e r f e c t C a t e r e r s , w h y n o t h a v e t h e P e r f e c t S m i l e for   can meet photographers in per-                                                         photographer. You're paying for
                                          your Perfect Wedding?                                         son and view their work.                                                               the cameraman's time at your
                                                                                                            3) RUB THE RIGHT WAY                                                               wedding, plus all post-production
                                                                                                            Don't underestimate the im-                                                        work, such as developing the
        At Astoria Dental Arts we employ State of the Art technology to whiten, enhance                 portance of liking, if not bonding,                                                    prints -- by hand and one at a time
                                                                                                        with your photographer. Some of                                                        in a traditional darkroom in some
             or totally remake your smile. From white fillings to porcelain veneers                     the best shots of your main event                                                      cases – and assembling an album.
                  to one visit whitening, we can create the smile of your dreams                        will be those taken behind the                                                         Special effects and more time at
                                                                                                        scenes, and you need to be com-                                                        the event will, of course, cost ex-
                                                                                                        fortable about inviting him or her                                                     tra. If you're on a tight budget,
    ñ Porcelain Laminate Veneers                                                                        backstage. This person will also                                                       ask about the most basic package.
                                                                                                        have a lot of contact with your                                                             9) ASK ABOUT ONLINE
    ñ One Visit Whitening                                                                               family and friends, and in general                                                         Sharing photos on the Internet
    ñ Invisible Braces (Invisalign)                        Bridal Party S                               be a very visible "guest" at your                                                      has become the norm. How does
    ñ Implant Dentistry                                                                pecial           wedding.
                                                                                                            To get the best photos, he or
                                                                                                                                                                                               your photographer do it? Is he or
                                                                                                                                                                                               she partnered with a service that
    ñ White Mercury Free Fillings                        Free Cosmetic C                                she has to be assertive enough to                                                      can post your wedding album on-
    ñ Cosmetic Imaging (see how                          $100 Off In Offic nsultation and               hunt for great moments, cajoling                                                       line? A lot of couples like this op-
                                                                          e Whitening for               enough to coax relaxed smiles                                                          tion because it allows you to
      your smile will look before you do                     the entire Brida                           and natural stances from guests,                                                       share your entire album without
                                                                              l Party                   and calm enough to be a positive force. He or she should      carting around your proof book – and guests and family
      the work)                                                                                         ask lots of questions and be a good listener. Trust your      don't have to go through you to order prints. Alternative-
    ñ Cosmetic Bonding                                                                                  gut: If anything about him or her rubs you the wrong          ly, you could use one of the many free sites used to show-
                                                                                                        way, keep looking.                                            case pictures, like
    ñ 10 Year Written Warranty                                                                                              4) CHOOSE WISELY                                             10) DOUBLE-CHECK
                                                                                                            Seasoned wedding photographers have what's called                                THE DETAILS
                                                                                                        a "book," a portfolio of their best work to show potential        Many larger studios have several photographers on
                                                                                                        clients. If a candidate doesn't have one, think twice – he    staff. Since every professional has a different style, tech-
                                                                                                        may be too wet behind the ears or too disorganized for        nique, and personality, you need to make sure that the
                                                                                                        the job. While browsing a book, look for crisp images,        one you interview and "click" with will be the same one to
                                                                                                        thoughtful compositions, and good lighting. Do the more       work your wedding. Also, who shoots the event in case of
                                                                                                        journalistic shots convey a sense of emotion? Do people       an emergency or illness? Will the photographer have an
                                                                                                        in the portraits look relaxed? Be sure he or she has pic-     assistant? How many? How will the photographer and
                                                                                                        tures from the time of day your wedding will take place.      the assistants be dressed?
                    2 5 - 1 9 3 0 t h D r i v e , Astoria, NY 11102 ñ (718) 545-9600                        Don't commit before examining a wedding album the                            11) WRITE IT DOWN
                                                                                                        photographer has conceived and created. You should get            We know you know this, but we have to say it any-
                          Angelo A. Takos, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.                                             a sense of the couple's personality and their wedding         way: Get every detail in writing. Also important: Don't
                                                                                                        style as well as who ranks on their VIP list. Ask about his   sign anything if a studio claims it has the right to send
                                                                                                        or her philosophy regarding wedding albums – bonus            any staff photographer to your wedding and you feel un-
                                                                                                        points for those who talk about every album being             easy about even one person in their stable of photogra-

                          Get informed                                                                  unique or how an album should "tell the story of your
                                                                                                                        5) TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
                                                                                                                                                                      phers; if you sign, that's the one you'll inevitably get.

                                                                                                                                                                      The above article was originally published on the-

                                                                         Does he or she shoot in medium format, digital or on-

THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                               Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                         7

                                  Know What to Expect: A Traditional Reception Timeline
By Allison Micarelli                   mony, heading off (with photogra-
                                       pher in tow) for pictures together
          o you want your reception    before the partying gets under way.

   S      to be the most talked
          about of the century – but
          don't know the first thing
about throwing a good party? The
crucial thing to scoring a fabulous
                                       Your guests will head to the recep-
                                       tion site for cocktails. Depending
                                       on the logistics of the event, your
                                       cocktail hour will begin immediate-
                                       ly (if the ceremony and reception
wedding celebration is knowing         are held at the same venue), or it
what's supposed to happen when. So     might start more than half an hour
we've strung together a timeline       later (if there's travel involved).
based on a traditional cocktail hour   Cocktails will kick off your recep-
and a four-hour reception, common      tion and will last for at least an
even in modern Greek weddings, to      hour. During this time stationary or
give you an hour-by-hour guide to      passed appetizers and drinks will
the day's post-ceremonial events.      be served, which will get people
Get your stopwatches read – the re-    mingling and in the mood. Don't
ception countdown is about to begin.   forget: Greeting your guests is es-
                                       sential! It's customary for the cou-
  00:00 | THE COCKTAIL HOUR            ple, along with their parents and
   After being pronounced hus-         the bridal party, to form a receiving
band and wife, the newlyweds of-       line outside the ceremony site to
ten are the first to leave the cere-   greet guests before the escape.

                                                                               Many couples these days are opting      – while all eyes are still on you and    comes as a buffet. Just remember:        that it's okay to leave soon there-
                                                                               for this post-ceremony receiving        most attentive, since hopefully no       The bride and groom need to do           after, be sure not to do this too ear-
                                                                               line, rather than going from table      one yet has had too much to drink –      everything possible to take their        ly or things could start wrapping up
                                                                               to table during dinner; or doing        to thank everyone en masse for tak-      seats and eat!                           before you're ready.
                                                                               both. But if you haven't done so,       ing part in your wedding. A family
                                                                               you should form one now.                member, often a parent of the bride,             02:45 | PARTY TIME                    04:15 | SHAKE A LEG
                                                                                                                       will say a blessing (depending on           Monkey-see, monkey-do is how            Once the cake is cut, the band or
                                                                                     01:00 | NEWLYWEDS’                the families' faiths). Then, since       this game is played. Guests are go-      DJ should start right back into
                                                                                    ARRIVAL\FIRST DANCE                toasting signifies a transition in the   ing to follow the lead of the bride      swing and rock music for those
                                                                                   Here's the part where the bride     course of an event, the mother and       and groom. Once dinner dishes are        wanting to trade in their slices for
                                                                               and groom make their grand en-          father of the bride will thank guests    cleared, the newlyweds should be         another turn on the dance floor.
                                                                               trance. The coordinator usually         for attending and invite everyone to     the first ones on the dance floor so
                                                                               will make sure guests are seated be-    enjoy the celebratory meal. Keep in      people know it's time to start party-           04:45 | LAST DANCE
                                                                               fore the emcee alerts them to your      mind that the toasts given by the        ing. Throughout the jammin', the            End your wedding on a high
                                                                               imminent arrival. Generally, both       best man and the maid of honor           music will stop for any extracurric-     note and choose a dance song that
                                                                               sets of parents and the wedding         should occur between courses, to         ular activities you've planned (also     will leave a lasting impression.
                                                                               party are introduced, followed by       spread out all the high-emotion,         known as the bouquet toss, the           You'll want everyone to have a
                                                                               the announcement of the couple          much-anticipated moments and             garter toss, the centerpiece give-       chance for one last twirl, so select
                                                                               for the first time as husband and       keep guests in their seats.              aways, and whatever else you've          something fast and festive.
                                                                               wife. In many cases, your newly-                                                 dreamed up). If you do choose to
                                                                               wed first dance will begin as you         01:30 | BRING ON THE FOOD              toss the bouquet, make sure to get a          05:00 | FINAL FAREWELL
                                                                               step out onto the floor and into the       Time to dig into the main             throwaway from the florist so you            The time has finally come to say
                                                                               spotlight after being announced.        course. If you're having a seated        can keep your original bouquet as a      good-bye. Your coordinator will
                                                                               Alternately, you can wait until after   meal, the band will play subdued,        memento.                                 usher everyone into the foyer or on-
                                                                               the first course of the meal is         conversation-friendly background                                                  to the steps outdoors so that as you
                                                                               served, but since everyone already      music as the wait-staff makes the              04:00 | CAKE CUTTING               make your grand exit from the re-
                                                                               is cheering you as you enter the re-    rounds. If you're having a buffet,          About one hour before the con-        ception, friends and family can
                                                                               ception, use the applause as en-        your coordinator or bandleader           clusion of the reception, when the       blow bubbles, light sparklers, or
                                                                               couragement enough to skim away         will dictate how the rotation will       party starts getting a little too row-   toss rose petals – and cheer to your
                                                                               any shyness and step on out.            work by calling each table when it's     dy and the bar starts getting a little   successful celebration and future
                                                                                                                       time to head to the front of the line.   too empty, your waitstaff should         together.
                                                                                 01:20 | CHEERS AND TOAST              Some receptions will even have a         start preparing tables for coffee and
                                                                                  Following your first dance, you      mix, where appetizers and desserts       dessert. Since the cutting of the        The above article was originally
                                                                               might want to take the opportunity      are served, but the main course          cake generally signals to guests         published on
8                                                                                                      Greek Wedding 2008                                                                              THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

             he cutting of the wedding cake is                                                                                                                                                        of Styrofoam, which from what we can tell

         T   one of the most memorable mo-
             ments of your big event. You
             should, therefore, consider it a
whole different aspect from catering.
These guidelines will help you on your way.
                                                      The Hunt for the Perfect Wedding Cake                                                                                                           certainly doesn't taste very good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          The last thing that magazines don't have
                                                                                                                                                                                                      to think about is logistics. Our favorite
                                                                                                                                                                                                      falsely advertised tidbit is the whole idea of
                                                                                                                                                                                                      the mini-cake, where each guest gets his or
    Before you begin your cake quest, in-                                                                                                                                                             her own little confection that doubles as a
quire whether your venue has certain regu-                                                                                                                                                            favor. Many bakers agree that this is a great
lations regarding wedding cakes. Some re-                                                                                                                                                             idea -- in theory but not in practice. Not on-
quire that you use particular bakers (in-                                                                                                                                                             ly does each cake require its own decora-
house or otherwise), while others may                                                                                                                                                                 tion (often as intricate, if not more, than
charge a fee for using your own.                                                                                                                                                                      one four times its size), each will require its
    Next, find out if the cake designer meets                                                                                                                                                         own box.             Unfortunately,       boxes
the requirements of the local health depart-                                                                                                                                                          don't come in mini-cake sizes. Often the
ment. (Most reception sites will not allow a                                                                                                                                                          bakery must construct individual boxes in
baker without a license to serve cake on the                                                                                                                                                          which to transport these cakes. Multiply by
premises.) Ideally, you should start shop-                                                                                                                                                            however many guests you'll be having, and
ping for a cake designer at least four to six                                                                                                                                                         you'll see what a costly, time-consuming
months before the wedding – some of the                                                                                                                                                               feat this actually is – very different from the
country's best cake designers can be                                                                                                                                                                  one, five, or ten little cakes that a magazine
booked a year in advance. If you have your                                                                                                                                                            might produce for a shoot.
hopes set on a marquee name, get on his or                                                                                                                                                                In the end, instead of finding something
her calendar as soon as possible.                                                                                                                                                                     in print and aiming to replicate it in reality,
    The price of wedding cake is generally                                                                                                                                                            choose elements of the cakes you love –
calculated per slice, or according to how la-                                                                                                                                                         shape, color, details – and let those ele-
bor-intensive the design is. Prices can                                                                                                                                                               ments simply inspire you, and your baker.
range from a few dollars to $15 per slice.                                                                                                                                                            Your cake designer will take it from there.
Consider your cake: Will it require numer-                                                                                                                                                                Once you've done your research and
ous layers? How many tiers? Do you want                                                                                                                                                               have a sense of cost and a rough idea of the
intricate designs, or something plain and                                                                                                                                                             type of cake you're looking for, meet with
simple? Will it require an engineering de-                                                                                                                                                            your top three favorite bakers in person to
gree to get it in the door? All of these things                                                                                                                                                       look at their portfolios. If you like what you
will affect the price of your cake.                                                                                                                                                                   see, sample a few varieties they have on
    Ask your cake baker to give you a sam-                                                                                                                                                            hand. Many vendors will bake a requested
ple of cake at room temperature – not just                                                                                                                                                            flavor specifically for you, but don't de-
out of the fridge. This way, you can make                                                                                                                                                             mand this until you've chosen your baker
sure the cake you choose will hold up after                                                                                                                                                           (and unless they offer, of course).
it has been sitting out for a while (cream                                                                                                                                                                Once you've chosen someone, start the
filling is fantastic, but it's not so tasty after                                                                                                                                                     inspiration process. Since the wedding
five hours on a counter).                                                                                                                                                                             cake is a centerpiece for the whole recep-
    When it comes to decoration, adorn-                                                                                                                                                               tion, you'll want yours to represent your
ment costs run the gamut. The most inex-                                                                                                                                                              wedding, from the inside (fillings) to the
pensive option is fresh fruits or flowers                                                                                                                                                             outside (icing and topper). Browse pictures
that, in some instances, can be applied by                                                                                                                                                            in magazines or online for inspiration and
your florist for a minimal fee. On the high-                                                                                                                                                          ideas, and make notes of things that are im-
end is gumpaste or sugarpaste flowers,                                                                                                                                                                portant to you or that you would like to try
which are handmade and extremely deli-                                                                                                                                                                to include. Everything from a tasty dessert
cate, painstakingly constructed one petal at                                                                                                                                                          you once had at a nice restaurant to Grand-
a time. But here's the bottom line: All add-                                                                                                                                                          ma's pecan pie can help you bring your
ons – including marzipan fruits, chocolate-                                                                                                                                                           dream cake to life.
molded flowers, and lace points – will raise                                                                                                                                                              Some bakers excel at taste but not at
the rate.                                                                                                                                                                                             construction, while others create master-
    Shipping is going to be an issue too.                                                                                                                                                             pieces that aren't so palatable. Really good
Most bakers will want to deliver the cake                                                                                                                                                             bakers can do both, building a cake from
themselves, not trusting their masterpieces                                                                                                                                                           the best of both worlds. You'll want to be
in the hands of anyone else. They'll include                                                                                                                                                          able to sample a real wedding cake -- one
delivery cost in the price of the cake or                                                                                                                                                             with icing and other decoration – to ensure
charge an additional delivery fee. Either                                                                                                                                                             you'll be getting a cake that tastes as good
way, have your baker do the honors -- you'll                                                                                                                                                          as it looks.
be hard-pressed to find someone else with                                                                                                                                                                 If you have your heart set on a specific
the same know-how and the right vehicle,                                                                                                                                                              taste sensation, ask whether the baker
specifically a refrigerated truck. (In other                                                                                                                                                          would be willing to work from a recipe. You
words, this would not be a good time to ask                                                                                                                                                           may want an unusual flavor, or maybe one
your cousin if she wouldn't mind picking                                                                                                                                                              that's not part of the roster – or perhaps
up the cake for you.)                                                                                                                                                                                 you'd like a re-creation of a confection that
    If you're ordering a cake from a city oth-                                                                                                                                                        your grandmother made when you were a
er than where your wedding will take                                                                                                                                                                  child. Just be sure to ask for a test-run so
place, things will get a little trickier and                                                                                                                                                          that there are no surprises.
more expensive. You'll want to be sure that                                                                                                                                                               The other thing to keep in mind is how
your baker has a sound way to transport                                                                                                                                                               well the cake is going to last throughout
your cake to your reception site (appropri-                                                                                                                                                           the wedding. For example, buttercream
ate boxes, packing materials, and so on),              Finally, few people know about the cut-         Yes, looking at beautiful pictures of cakes   cakes looking perfect. These people spend        frosting, while quite delicious, doesn't hold
and that the confection will be sufficiently        ting fee. If you don't use an in-house baker,   online or in magazines can be a delicious ex-    hours fixing the sweating, dripping, lean-       up well after sitting out – fondant is a much
insured in case of any mishaps. Some pro-           some venues will charge a fee for the cake      perience. But what happens in magazine-          ing, or sagging that can happen to a cake        better option for cakes that need to with-
fessionals will chose to buy the cake a             cutting – from $1.50 to $3 a slice to divvy     land doesn't always work in the real world.      after a while, or under hot lights. And if       stand heat, humidity, or a lifetime without
plane ticket (at your expense, so be sure to        up the cake. When it's all totaled, this can    Sadly, not all bakers can work the magic that    what they do doesn't work, they can fix it       refrigeration.
inquire about this when working out your            cost a pretty penny – so be sure to check       you see whipped up in photos.                    with PhotoShop. They also have the luxury
budget) and put it in a seat with the seat-         with your reception manager or caterer be-         Magazines have food stylists, editors,        of creating cakes from stuff that isn't edible   The above article was originally pub-
belt fastened (we're not kidding).                  fore finalizing the budget.                     and assistants working nonstop to keep the       – most cakes in magazines are iced pieces        lished on

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THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                                      Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                           9

          Dealing with Family and Friends
By M. A. Woodman                         if the couple and the families work             Third, remember that no matter                             towards that goal-but how? Here             what you do, people are responsi-
                                         are some guidelines that may help           ble for their own actions. There's al-
           wo people fall in love        you.                                        ways a part of us that feels that if

   T       and decide to get mar-
           ried, and that should be
           it, right? You happily an-
nounce your engagement to your
respective families, who, if not
                                             First, you and your fiancée have
                                         some deciding to do between your-
                                         selves. No, not about the wedding
                                         arrangements – about what your
                                         limits and attitudes are going to be.
                                                                                     we were different in some way, the
                                                                                     other person would behave better.
                                                                                     That may or may not be true – but
                                                                                     you are who you are and they are
                                                                                     who they are. In the end each indi-
wildly enthusiastic until now, have      These should be very carefully dis-         vidual is only responsible for them-
at least seemed neutral – and all of     cussed between you two, privately,          selves. If you have relatives or
a sudden, hell beaks loose! You          right at the beginning of your en-          friends that you feel have really
now find that everyone wants to in-      gagement. They involve what is go-          crossed the line, it may be neces-
terfere, everyone has an opinion,        ing to be negotiable and what is            sary to stand up for yourself. Do so
and everyone is creating havoc at        not. Obviously, your marriage is not        with the knowledge that it may
the worst possible time in your life.    an area of negotiation – but details        server ties with that person tem-
You're already dealing with the          about the ceremony and other                porarily or permanently, and de-
nerves, the doubts, the indecision,      arrangements certainly should be.           cide if it's worth it to. Unfortunate-
your unknown future and the              Decide to be flexible and accommo-          ly, there are people in this world
strain of preparations for the           dating when you can!                        who are simply not worth the price
biggest moment in your life. Now             Second, take the high road – it's       it takes to get along with them.
everyone wants to misbehave?             essential. It's difficult not to react to   That's their responsibility, not
                                                                                         Remember that if you have to
                                                                                     take a stand to still take the high
                                                                                     road. There's a big difference be-
                                                                                     tween stating your case and stand-
                                                                                     ing up for yourself and reacting
                                                                                     with angry and hurtful words that
                                                                                     can come back to haunt you in the
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                                                                                     years to come. It's amazing how
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                                                                                     be. Years later, they'll remember
                                                                                                                                                  “Sweet and Juicy”
                                                                                     that you reacted with anger, but
                                                                                     not the actions that led up to it.
                                                                                         So exactly how do you take the
                                                                                     high road, but still stand up for                          Your OTHER HALF’S well being is in your hands now.
                                                                                     yourself? You do that by stating                                Take charge. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES...
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                                                                                     means you are careful not to bring
                                                                                     in anything else in the discussion.
                                                                                     You talk about you, not about the                   Visit our Fruit Market for the best Fruits & Vegetables in town
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                                                                                     remarks like, "You always have to
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                                                                                         Take as an example a situation
                                                                                     where a relative is insisting on a
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                                                                                     specific style of bridesmaid's dress-
                                                                                     es that you simply can't live with.
                                                                                     That's exactly what you say: "I sim-
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                                                                                     What you do not follow up with is,
                                                                                     "I won't let you bully me," or "You're
                                                                                     always trying to get your own way."
                                                                                     Those last two sentences are the
                                                                                     things that will be remembered for
    The first thing an engaged cou-      remarks you consider rude, and              years – so don't say them. It's a very
ple has to realize is that as far as     your loved ones can make remarks            hard thing to leave out, because
their families were concerned,           that hurt your feelings-even though         this is a naturally upsetting time for
when they were dating it was their       that was not what they intended.            you as well as them – but the effort
own affair, but when they became         Your relatives are going through a          is well worth it. The person you're
engaged it became their families af-     painful time too – their initial reac-      speaking to will still probably be
fair. Why? Because the couple is         tions are very often "thinking out          angry, but they'll get over it much
now planning to unite two families       loud" rather than actually true.            quicker, because you didn't criticize
who will now have to create new          People do adjust. Many couples              them! You simply stated that you
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both families. That's a different sit-   and try to be "hard of listening"           will be the hardest thing to do and
uation entirely! Now you have            even for a little while. Your only          the hardest lesson to learn but very
everyone in an uproar, and that's        other choice is grudges among fam-          much worth it in the long run.            When you advertise in The National Herald
the way many families regard it!         ily that may last for years, or a life-
    Somehow, these things can be
resolved and usually are resolved,
                                         time – do you want that? Is it worth
                                                                                     The above article was originally
                                                                                     published on
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10                                                  Greek Wedding 2008   THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

        f your reception is going to be                                       meal later on.

   I    in a hotel, restaurant or other
        facility that provides food,
        you will need to select a meal
to serve your guests. Most of these fa-
                                                                                  Plan carefully and take care of
                                                                              your catering/menu needs at least
                                                                              nine months before your wedding
                                                                              date. Make sure that you have “taste-

                                            Wedding Menu
cilities will have a predetermined                                            tested” your selections during the
menu from which to select your                                                planning stage, checked on the avail-
meal. There are usually many differ-                                          ability of special ingredients and any
ent menus to choose from and a                                                special dietary needs of your guests.
range of prices. If your reception is                                              BUFFET, SIT-DOWN MEAL,
going to be in a facility that does not                                               OR FOOD STATIONS?
provide food, you will need to hire an                                            A menu is chosen for your guests.
outside caterer. The caterer will be
responsible for preparing, cooking,
decorating and serving the food.
Again, there will be many different
choices of food and a range of prices.
    There are many options available
as to the actual food service. Food can
                                            Planning Tips                     The food is sure to satisfy each palate.
                                                                              How should you serve the food to
                                                                              your guests? It may depend on the
                                                                              mood you want at your reception
                                                                              and the expense of the technique.
                                                                              Some reception venues may already
                                                                              have a way of doing this but others
be served either buffet style or as a                                         may leave it completely up to the
sit-down meal (see below). It should                                          bride and groom.
be chosen according to the time of                                                Some prefer a buffet style meal
day, year, and formality of the wed-                                          while others prefer a sit down meal.
ding. Another thing to keep in mind                                           Buffet style is usually less expensive
is the ages of the guests. If there are a                                     then a sit down meal. A bride and
great many elderly individuals or                                             groom may decide that they would
children, a sit-down dinner is usually                                        like to serve their guests a full meal.
the better choice.                                                            Many family members and friends
    Although there are many main                                              may have traveled to come to this
dishes to choose from, chicken and                                            event. You may consider it disap-
beef are the most popular selections                                          pointing for them not to get a full
for a large event, followed closely by                                        meal before leaving. Buffet style is
salmon. Ask your facility manager or                                          much more relaxing and creative.
caterer for their specialty. If you have                                      Guests can get food at the announced
a special type of food you would like                                         time, choosing what they want from
to serve at your reception, select a fa-                                      what they see.
cility or caterer who specializes in                                              On the other hand, a sit down
preparing it. One of the new trends is                                        meal may be more your style. This
to go totally ethnic, focusing on the                                         way of presenting food is more for-
cuisine from a particular region or                                           mal and elegant.Many times the
country. Many catering services even                                          bride and groom may forget to eat
have the servers dress in the tradi-                                          unless food is given to them. It comes
tional garb of that country. There are                                        down to table service or self service.
many different things to consider                                             If you are aware of dietary limita-
when hiring a caterer. One of the                                             tions, make sure you compensate in
main things to do is check to see if the                                      some way.
location for your reception provides                                              If neither of these satisfies you,
refrigeration and cooking equip-                                              then go for what is called food sta-
ment. If not, make sure your caterer                                          tions. This is a unique, exciting and
is fully supported with portable re-                                          interesting way of presenting food to
frigeration and heating equipment.                                            your guests. It’s quite fun which will
    A caterer may have to prepare                                             add to the joy and the festivities of
much of the food in his/her own                                               the reception. Each guest goes
kitchen and should provide an ade-                                            around the room sampling different
quate staff of cooks, servers, and bar-                                       foods from the stations. It’s a nice
tenders. Ask for references and look                                          way to allow guests the option of
at photos from previous parties so                                            choosing their own food and sitting
you know how the food will be pre-                                            where they want. Some people may
sented. One word of caution: avoid                                            already feel uncomfortable among a
mayonnaise, cream sauces, or cus-                                             crowd of other guests they don’t
tard fillings if food must go without                                         know. Put them at ease by letting
refrigeration for any length of time.                                         them have options. Perhaps each
Be certain that soups and sauces are                                          food station can have an ethnic food
kept at a steady temperature and not                                          such as Spanish, Italian, Japanese,
allowed to cool in the center.                                                Indian, Thai and, of course, Greek.
    To keep your costs down, select                                           Find a flavor or two that suits you
dishes that are not too time-consum-                                          and that you haven’t been able to try.
ing to prepare, or food that does not                                         If you are aware of some that live a
have expensive ingredients. If there is                                       vegetarian lifestyle, then allow at
a certain something you cannot live                                           least a few items on the menu for
without, ask if there is an equally                                           their taste buds. However you pre-
tasty, yet less costly substitute. Also,                                      sent the food at your wedding recep-
consider a brunch or early afternoon                                          tion, make sure it’s appealing to all.
wedding so the reception will fall be-                                        Seasonal food may be more tasty and
tween meals. This way it will allow                                           satisfying.
you to serve hors d’ oeuvres instead
of a full meal. Another option would                                          The above article was originally
be to tray pass hors d’ oeuvres during                                        published on weddingstrategies.
cocktail hour, followed by a light                                            com
THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                                        Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                              11

                                                     The 10 Most Common Wedding Mistakes
By Kate Wood                                                                                                                                                                                                            the print on your invites. Or the best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        man's boutonniere has a hint of ba-
          rides are only human –                                                                                                                                                                                        by's breath where you'd specified

   B      and they're bound to
          make mistakes. No big-
          gie. But since we hear
about some common blunders all
the time, we figured why not give
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        berries. Let's face it, even the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        perfectly planned wedding is sure to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hit a few bumps along the way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The solution: When you've
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        worked so hard for so many
you the heads-up?                                                                                                                                                                                                       months on your wedding-day de-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tails, it can be hard to deal when
  1) DOING ANYTHING...BEFORE                                                                                                                                                                                            you find a flaw among them. The
           THE GUEST LIST                                                                                                                                                                                               key is that when you spot one,
    The problem: You're engaged!                                                                                                                                                                                        you'll need to take a deep breath
You're excited! You're ready to send                                                                                                                                                                                    and think: "How important is this
out save-the-dates, book that recep-                                                                                                                                                                                    going to be to me in a year?" Not in
tion hall, choose those flowers –                                                                                                                                                                                       10 years, not even in five, but in
now! Well hang on a second, be-                                                                                                                                                                                         one. Chances are, most mishaps
cause we're afraid you're forgetting                                                                                                                                                                                    that are causing you so much agita
something. Who's coming to this af-                                                                                                                                                                                     won't really matter to you once
fair, exactly?                                                                                                                                                                                                          you're at your wedding (let alone
    The solution: It's not the most fun                                                                                                                                                                                 after it). If it's a serious snarl, go
part of planning (and we'll be hon-                                                                                                                                                                                     ahead and deal with it. But if it's a
est, it's one of the most likely to lead                                                                                                                                                                                minor mess-up, just move on. You
to a fight or two or twelve), but you                                                                                                                                                                                   can't give up all of your resources to
shouldn't make any wed-day deci-                                                                                                                                                                                        every little crisis. Pick your battles
sions before you have your guest list                                                                                                                                                                                   wisely and they will be better
somewhat firmly in place. Why, you                                                                                                                                                                                      fought.
ask? Well, do you want to have a
nonrefundable deposit down on that                                                                                                                                                                                         9) BLOWING YOUR BUDGET
cozy restaurant room that fits 75                                                                                                                                                                                           The problem: You came up with
when your mother-in-law's additions                                                                                                                                                                                     a number. You did some research.
bump your list up over 200? Exactly.                                                                                                                                                                                    You revised the number. You start-
Once everyone's in agreement, then                                                                                                                                                                                      ed planning ... and now that num-
you can move forward. That said,                                                                                                                                                                                        ber's not going to cut it. Budgeting
this means that one of the parts of                                                                                                                                                                                     for a wedding can be the stuff of
your wedding you can plan immedi-                                                                                                                                                                                       nuptial nightmares – but that does-
ately (or at least talk over with your                                                                                                                                                                                  n't mean you should elope.
fiancée) is what kind of atmosphere                                                                                                                                                                                         The solution: If you find you've
you'd like for your wedding. Do you                                                                                                                                                                                     underestimated some expenses,
want an intimate, close friends and                                                                                                                                                                                     don't panic. Instead, sit down with
family-only affair, or do you want to                                                                                                                                                                                   your fiancée and try to reach a con-
throw the event of the season for                                                                                                                                                                                       structive solution. Maybe you can
300-plus people? Later, when you're        weds spend so much time personal-         from it (just kidding). This doesn't         and order it in your current size. If      7) OVERLOADING YOUR MOM'S                  give up an item or trade one for an-
in the guest-list trenches, this bit of    izing their weddings and trying to        have to mean yet another huge in-            you want to work on your body                      BIG DAY TO-DO LIST                 other (for example, dahlias over
planning will help back up your gut        find really unique big-day details        vestment or reneging on a bunch of           during your engagement, that's                The problem: So you can't do it         Black Magic roses saves about $4
instinct about whether to say yes (or      that it does seem reasonable to freak     contracts – you'll be surprised how          great – go ahead, but be sure to          all yourself – fine – but, you've got to    per stem). If you're coming up short
no) to guest-list additions.               if another couple chooses the same        easy it is to make simple additions or       make your goals are manageable            have someone you trust double-              overall, you may have to take on
                                           favors or flowers or food. Before you     subtractions and change your whole           (toning up but not dropping 20            checking with the caterer and the           some debt. To make it as minimal
  2) READING ALOUD TO YOUR                 decide to arm-wrestle for it, let us      style. Already ordered those pastel          pounds, for instance). You're more        florist, steaming your veil, or mak-        as possible, consider obtaining a
     FIANCÉE ... FROM BRIDAL               suggest a different way of dealing.       bridesmaid dresses? Think about              likely to stick with a routine that       ing sure the limo company's got di-         low-interest loan or using a low-in-
             MAGAZINES                         The solution: If someone else         adding a bold sash or accessorizing          doesn't      require      superhuman      rections. Most brides turn to good ol'      terest credit card. And to keep it
    The problem: Look, we know it's        "steals" one of your ideas, you'll        with chandelier earrings to liven            willpower. And if you still find that     Mom (or their sister or their maid of       from becoming a source of tension
not the Stone Age, and there are           probably hear a lot of "Imitation is      them up a bit. Unsure about the col-         you are freaking about your figure,       honor) to make sure things go as            between the two of you, make a
plenty of guys out there who want to       the sincerest form of flattery" and "It   or scheme you chose? Pay an extra            just remember that you're about to        planned on the big day. These folks         plan to deal with the debt and a
see their wedding as an event that         will be at your wedding, not theirs,      visit to your florist and work out           get hitched to someone who can't          are usually happy to help in any way        deadline for paying it off so it won't
reflects their style too (or at least      so it'll be totally different." Whether   changes to your bouquets and cen-            get enough of the way you look (re-       they can – but hey, didn't they come        hang over your heads.
one that isn't dripping with pink          these statements are true or not          terpieces – adding new blooms in all         ally, truly) right now.                   here to party too?
froufrou). But there's likely to be a      (they are), they're probably not go-      of your arrangements will introduce              If you do drop some weight, this          The solution: No matter how              10) SAVING YOUR PLACE CARDS
limit to your fiancée’s ability to cope    ing to make you feel better – but nei-    a new color throughout the room.             slow-and-steady approach will help        worried you are, most wedding-day                 FOR THE MORNING OF
with an infinite array of invitation       ther will stewing over it. Instead of     Same thing if you've already or-             you big time (and help you keep it        (and day-before) chores can be                 The problem: Right now, it might
choices. Save his sanity (and yours)       worrying about someone else's wed-        dered the linens – spice them up             off long-term). You'll want to lose       trusted to any competent adult, and         seem weird to have a basic sketch of
by designating one night a week as         ding looking the same as yours,           with bright table runners or over-           those extra pounds before your sec-       aren't there a slew of them coming          your seating plan or all of your fa-
wedding-free.                              think about how you can make the          lays. If you decide you really can't         ond fitting – any big changes after       into town just for your wedding? Be-        vors tagged and ready to go. But
    The solution: Here's how to            copied detail different. If a friend      live with it, chances are you can go         that, and though you might be             fore you hand your mom or MOH a             other than taking up a little extra
defuse a potentially sticky situation      chooses the same gown as you, add         back on your first choice – just re-         lighter, your alterations bill will be    mega-task list, consider splitting          space in your closet, they're not
(and a minefield of fights you don't       details to make yours unique: Acces-      member that it will have a cost. A           pretty hefty. Your final fitting should   jobs among a larger group of people         causing any harm – and they will ac-
want to have). Take a night off to go      sorize with a brooch, add a sash, ac-     good rule of thumb is that if you've         be for last-minute tweaks, not a total    – friends, cousins, aunts. They'll be       tually save you a ton of stress a
out to dinner and talk with him            cent the train with some embroidery       already signed a contract or seen a          overhaul.                                 glad to lend a hand (and likely flat-       month or two down the line. The
about all the different parts of the       (you get the idea). Has someone           proof, you will have to pay extra for                                                  tered that you asked), and it's a           closer the wedding gets, the busier
wedding, and try to get a concrete         else swiped your fun favor idea?          any changes or additions you make.              6) DOING IT ALL YOURSELF               great way to include more people in         you'll be, so making (and sticking
idea of his interest in the various de-    Find a way you can package yours to       But if it's still relatively early in your       The problem: We love nothing          your celebration. If you're worried         to) your timeline is essential.
tails. Does it sound like flowers are      set them apart. And if you're really      planning process, don't be afraid to         better than seeing the clever pro-        about losing track, simply take the            The solution: Worried you're
flowers in his book? Okay, then you        that worried about copycats, here's a     make the change. Remember, you're            jects that couples come up with to        to-do list you already have and note        jumping ahead on the wedding
can more or less leave him out of          thought – just keep mum. If you           getting married to your husband,             make their weddings unique. But           who's who next to each task. Check          planning timeline? Don't be. You're
that decision. And if he's cramming        don't divulge every last big-day de-      not your centerpieces.                       even we have to draw the line some-       in with each person at some point,          in the best possible situation. If
lettuce leaves in his ears to block        tail, you won't have to worry about                                                    where. There's doing it yourself, and     then check off the chore from the           you're set on saving tasks until the
sound, you definitely don't want to        your bride friends snatching them.         5) TRYING TO DROP TWO SIZES                 then there's overdoing it yourself.       list.                                       appointed time (rather than going
drag him into it.                                                                       BEFORE YOUR FINAL FITTING                 After all, there are plenty of benefits       Another option: Hire a profes-          ahead and doing a little of this or
    Moving forward, save his sanity        4) REALIZING THAT GRAPE ISN'T                 The problem: You've found the            to DIY. You can be sure no one else       sional wedding coordinator for the          that when you've got the time), you
(and yours) by designating one                YOUR COLOR ... WITH TWO                gown of your dreams – though it's            has the exact same thing, you might       final weeks before the wedding.             may wind up with way too much to
night a week as wedding-free. Talk                   MONTHS TO GO                    not exactly a perfect fit on the real-       keep your budget in check, and (be-       They're experts at making sure those        accomplish in the last month (or
about the weather, your friends, the           The problem: When you started         life you. Your plan: Order the dress         fore you actually sit down to hand-       last-minute details get done, and           week) before the wedding. That's
dog -- whatever you want. He'll be         planning your wedding, you knew           two sizes too small, and then do             tie 200 tiny ribbons) you probably        having the extra hands around will          exactly the time when anything
psyched to see that the girl he fell in    just what you wanted: pink brides-        whatever it takes to make it fit. Or so      think that it will make a fun story.      help you (and mom) decide what              (and everything) can happen, when
love with still lives there, and you'll    maid dresses, peonies, and classic,       you think.                                       The solution: Rather than taking      you really want to be in charge of          everyone will have demands on
appreciate the breather yourself.          engraved invites. Now that you've             The solution: Making a commit-           on too many projects, pick the one        and what you can happily hand off.          your time, and you'll – well, you'll
And who knows? Left to his own de-         been hard at work for a few months,       ment to eat right and exercise is            (or two) that you're really in love       It's more affordable than you might         just want to take a hot bath and
vices, your fiancée just might sur-        you know just what you want: jewel        great whether you're planning your           with and put your resources (both         think -- and really, can you put a          dream about your honeymoon. With
prise you with a great idea for your       tones, orchids, and funky, bold in-       wedding or trying to stave off the           mental and monetary) into working         price tag on alleviating that kind of       check marks beside all your biggest
cocktail hour or the perfect solution      vites. Too bad – you're stuck with the    newlywed nine. On the other hand,            on those. For the others, do a little     stress?                                     to-dos, you'll be able to relax and en-
to a guest-list dilemma.                   wedding style you first chose ... or      crash-dieting and chaining yourself          research and try to find a ready-                                                     joy your wedding – and the days
                                           are you?                                  to the StairMaster is a course likely        made version that makes you happy.                 8) CRYING OVER                     leading up to it. Make no mistake
   3) FREAKING OUT BECAUSE                     The solution: You should feel free    to end in disaster – and a gown that         With so many great prefab goodies                MISMATCHED LINENS                    about it.
         SOMEONE ELSE                      to rethink, redo, and revamp any el-      doesn't fit.                                 out there, chances are you'll find one       The problem: The place cards
        HAS YOUR GOWN                      ement of your wedding that you                Instead of losing more sleep             that fits your style – and saves you a    just came back from the printer, and        The above article was originally
   The problem: These days, to-be-         want – unless you've accepted a ring      than weight, find a gown you love            whole lot of time!                        the color of the ink is a little off from   published on


                                                                                                                                            Includes airfare and the finest deluxe hotels, most romantic islands, honeymoon extras.
12                                                                             Greek Wedding 2008                                     THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

By Judy Dutton

               hen planning your         Thirty Tips and Tricks No Bride Should Be Without                                                   hire a child care service to provide
                                                                                                                                             day care either at the reception
                                                                                                                                             space, in a hotel room, or in a fami-

   W           wedding, there are
               things that are nice
               to know, like that
trumpet skirts are all the rage or
nosegays are making a comeback.
                                             6. LIGHTEN YOUR LIST.
                                            The easiest way to trim your
                                         budget? Cut your guest list. Re-
                                                                                                    percent for miscellaneous items
                                                                                                    like a wedding coordinator. It's es-
                                                                                                    sential to allocate an extra 5-10
                                                                                                                                             ly member's home. To prevent hurt
                                                                                                                                             feelings, it's wise to avoid allowing
                                                                                                                                             some families to bring children
                                                                                                                                             while excluding others (unless, of
                                                                                                                                             course, the children are in your
Then, there are things you need to       member, half of your wedding                               percent of your money for surprise       bridal party).
know – advice so essential that any      expenses go to wining and din-                             expenses like printing extra invites
bride who's lucky enough to hear it      ing your guests. If it's costing                           because of mistakes, additional tai-                17. PRIORITIZE
thinks, "I'm so glad someone told        you $100 per person, eliminat-                             loring needs, umbrellas for a rainy                 YOUR PEOPLE.
me that!" If you're wondering            ing one table of 10 can save you                           day, and ribbons for the wedding             Pare down your guest list with
whether there's something you may        $1,000.                                                    programs.            Go           to     the "tiers of priority" trick. Place im-
have missed (or even if you've got                                                         for an in-          mediate family, the bridal party,
everything under control), check            7. ASK AND YOU MIGHT                                    teractive budget allows you to add       and best friends on top of the list;
out our indispensable planning se-                  RECEIVE.                                        your own items.                          follow with aunts, uncles, cousins,
crets.                                      Request an extra hour for                                                                        and close friends you couldn't
                                         cocktails or for your band to                               12. DON'T BE AFRAID TO BEG.             imagine not being there. Under
     1. GUESTS COME FIRST.               throw in that Frank Sinatra                                   With vendors, almost every-           that, list your parents' friends,
   Get a grip on the approximate         sound-alike before you sign                                thing is negotiable. And it doesn't      neighbors, coworkers, and so on. If
number of guests you'll invite be-       on the dotted line. Most ven-                              even sound insulting. Just say, "I       you need to make some cuts, start
fore settling on a venue. This will      dors would rather secure the                               would love to have you, but my           from the bottom until you reach
ensure there's ample space for your      reservation than nickel-and-                               budget doesn't allow for this. Is        your ideal number.
crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for      dime you early on and turn                                 there any way we can make this
25-30 square feet per guest. That        you off. Later on, though, they                            work?"                                         18. TAKE IT ONE STEP
may seem like a lot, but it's not if     may have less of a motive to                                                                                    AT A TIME.
you count the space you'll need for      meet you halfway.                                                13. WAIT FOR A DATE.                  Put together a wedding plan-
the tables, bustling waiters, the                                                                      Sometimes, last-minute plan-          ning schedule and do things one by
band, and the dance floor.                    8. MAKE A MEAL PLAN.                                  ning can work in your favor. The         one, in a logical order, so you don't
                                            Another unforeseen expense?                             closer your date, the more bargain-      take on too much too fast and end
   2. INVESTIGATE BLACKOUT               Feeding your wedding day crew.                             ing power you have. Since most           up with everything snowballing
               DATES.                    Before you sign the contracts, make                        people book their wedding sites at       around you. Don't hire any vendors
   Know ahead of time if your wed-       sure you're not required to serve                          least six months in advance, calling     before you've confirmed your date;
ding date falls on the same day as a     the same meal to your vendors that                         for open dates two months prior to       don't design your cake before
trade conference, charity walk, or       guests will receive. Otherwise, you                        your desired time can save you up        you've envisioned your flowers;
other local event that could affect      could be paying for 20 additional                          to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sun-      and don't book a band before
traffic and hotel room availability.     lobster tails. Choose a less expen-                        day weddings should cost about 30        you've settled on a space.
Click here for wedding dates to          sive (but equally hearty) meal for                         percent less than Saturday wed-
avoid.                                   them instead. You will have to let                         dings.                                       19. NO RING, NO BRING?
                                         your caterer know a couple of days                                                                     If your guest list is bursting at
           3. LISTEN TO                  before the wedding exactly how                                   14. MANAGE THE MAIL.               the seams, assess the plus-one sce-
        MOTHER NATURE.                   many vendors you need to feed                                 Of course you want the perfect        nario. Do a faux seating chart in
   Heed the weather and other po-        (don't forget photography assis-                           stamps for your wedding invita-          your mind, and imagine whom
tential annoyances. Guests have          tants and band roadies) and what                           tions. But not all stamps are widely     your single pal would sit with. If it's
been known to skip out early from        you want them to serve.                                    available at every post office, espe-    a table of singles that she knows
hotter-than-hot, summer tent wed-                                                                   cially in large quantities. Save your-   pretty well, then you're all set. If it's
dings and improperly heated win-            9. GET ORGANIZATIONALLY                                 self scouting time by ordering them      a table of couples (making the sin-
ter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats,                     FOCUSED.                                      online at And be sure to       gle one odd man out) or if it's a
deerflies, chiggers, and no-see-             In a three-ring binder, compile                        weigh your invitation and all the        table of singles where she won't
ums) also swarm in certain areas         all your correspondences with ven-                         additional paper products before         know anyone, consider bending the
during certain seasons. Consider         dors; notes you make during meet-                          you send it out so you can attach        rules. If asked why you're not al-
renting pest control tanks to allevi-    ings; and photos or tear sheets                            the right amount of postage. Ask         lowing single friends to bring
ate the problem or including bug         from magazines you want vendors                            your stationer about the need for        guests, size constraints or your par-
repellent in guests' gift bags. And if   to see. Set up a special email ad-                         additional postage for odd-shaped        ents' never-ending guest list are al-
you want a sunset ceremony, make         dress dedicated to your wedding,                           envelopes.                               ways good fallback white lies.
sure you know when to say your           and store important vendor num-
vows           by           checking     bers in your cell phone.                                     15. PREPARE FOR REJECTION.                   20. RELEASE ROOMS.                                                                                     Know that as a rule, about 30            As soon as you have picked a
                                              10. TEND TO YOUR BAR.                                 percent of the people you invite         date, start to look for hotels in a
     4. CHECK YOUR CREDIT.                   Typically, you need one bar-                           won't attend. Naturally, this de-        wide variety of price points. Many
   Take advantage of the high cost       tender per 50 guests to keep the                           pends on the location of your wed-       hotels allow you to reserve rooms
of weddings and sign up for a cred-      line at a minimum. But if you're                           ding (destination weddings are           for guests under a special wedding
it card with a rewards program.          serving a signature cocktail that                          harder to attend), how many out-         block and a reduced rate. You can
Whether it gives you airline miles       cannot be made ahead of time (or                           of-towners are on your list, and the     then release any unbooked rooms a
or great shopping deals, consolidat-     in large quantities), consider                             timing of the event (some guests         month prior to your wedding. If the
ing all wedding-related purchases        adding an extra server designated                          may have annual holiday or sum-          hotels you contact insist upon con-
to this card will help you accumu-       to this task.                                              mer plans). On the other hand,           tracts with cancellation penalties,
late thousands of rewards points                                                                    everyone could accept – knowing          just say no – you don't want to be
(which could be used for your hon-             11. LEAVE SOME ROOM                                  your wedding will be the can't-miss      responsible for rooms you can't fill.
eymoon).                                          IN YOUR WALLET.                                   party of the year!
                                             Your wedding budget should                                                                          21. PROVIDE ACCURATE
       5. PAY IT FORWARD.                follow this formula: 48-50 percent                           16. MAKE A UNIFORM KIDS                      DRIVING DIRECTIONS.
   Let one vendor lead you to an-        of total budget to reception; 8-10                                     POLICY.                         Make sure guests know where
other. Your photographer can tell        percent for flowers; 8-10 percent                             You have four choices: you can        they're going. As easy as online
you which florist's blooms really        for attire; 8-10 percent for enter-                        welcome children with open arms;         map programs are to use, some-
pop, and your reception manager          tainment/music; 10-12 percent for                          you can decide to have an "adults        times the directions are wrong – or
should know which band packs the         photo/video; 2-3 percent for in-                           only" wedding; you can include im-
dance floor.                             vites; 2-3 percent for gifts; and 8                        mediate family only; or, you can         Continued on page 14
THE NATIONAL HERALD,MARCH 22, 2008                                                                    Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                 13
By Miles Stiverson                       nothing wrong with getting glam-

                                                                                                          Inside Your
                                         orous for your wedding, your
               e're    not     selling   groom doesn't want you to change

   W           grooms short: There
               are a lot of guys who
               count      "expressing
                                         your look so much that he doesn't
                                         recognize the girl who's walking
                                         down the aisle. He fell in love with
my feelings" as a forte, and who are
engaged in the drama of a seating
chart. Communication is a corner-
stone of any good relationship, but
the high tension, strange customs,
                                         you seeing you every day, so re-
                                         mind him of that with hair and
                                         makeup that are distinctly you.

                                          "MY FRIENDS AREN'T D-CLASS
                                                                                                         Groom’s Mind
and unfamiliar etiquette that come                    CITIZENS."
with planning a wedding can leave            Just because you might not like
some guys speechless, and many           one (or a few) of his friends, does-
brides aggravated. Here's what he        n't mean you can seat them in
really wants you to know, and how        Siberia during the reception. If you
to handle it, without even having to     stick a table of his buddies in a cor-
ask.                                     ner while your friends have a prime
                                         spot near the dance floor, they will
 "YOU HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT               notice, and they'll probably wonder
     I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR."               why they got the short end of the
    You might expect him to plan         seating chart.
the honeymoon, and might hope                Relationship Rx: Make a game
for a present on the morning of the      plan for your reception seating that
wedding, but does he know what a         follows logic more than favoritism.
groom traditionally takes care of?       Give close family and attendants
Unless he's been sneaking a peek at      the best seats in the house, and
your bridal magazines, he might be       arrange tables from there. If you
totally unaware that he has any re-      have to put a group of his friends
sponsibilities after he proposes.        toward the back, show there's no ill
And if he's among the first of his       will by seating your friends in a
friends to get married, he probably      similar position.
doesn't have anyone dishing these
valuable tips to him.                    "DON'T ASK FOR MY OPINION IF
    Relationship Rx: Telling your          YOU DON'T REALLY WANT TO
groom what you expect of him is                        HEAR IT."
not poor etiquette – it's necessary,        With so many tough planning
and he'll welcome the guidance. If       decisions to be made, it's natural to
you're not comfortable filling him       second guess yourself and seek out
in on some of the details (like the      your groom's opinion. And that's
bride's gift, for example), ask one of   fine, but not if you're asking him
your bridesmaids to bring it up so       only to reinforce something you've
that he gets the hint (and so you        basically already decided. If he tells
don't get mad).                          you his thoughts (the ones that dis-
                                         agree with you), your response                        BOW TIE."                    dure the wedding day with a hang-     of many a bride who has suggested      sacred.
      "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT               shouldn't be along the lines of, "Are       Dreaming of a perfectly coordi-        over.                                 a particular cigar bar or offered up      To give suggestions, let alone
  NAPKINS WILL GO BEST WITH              you serious?"                            nated wedding party? Think he'd                                                 her parents' vacation home for the     put boundaries on the party, im-
  OUR LINENS, BUT THAT DOES                 Relationship Rx: Turn to him          look handsome in a classic, full-              "THE BACHELOR PARTY              festivities.                           plies that you don't trust him,
    NOT MEAN I DON'T CARE."              when you're really torn about a          dress tailcoat tux? Make sugges-                   IS OFF-LIMITS."                 Relationship Rx: Be careful         which is a shaky way to start a mar-
    You mention how you'd like           choice, and he'll gladly give his in-    tions about the formalwear, but let          You've had a hand in every as-     how you tread when it comes to his     riage. By showing him that you
your bouquet to match his bouton-        put. When you know exactly what          him choose his own attire. You            pect of planning the wedding – so     bachelor party – though it may         trust him completely, he'll be re-
niere, and his eyes glaze over. You      you want, however, go with your          don't want to look at your photos         why shouldn't you have a say in his   seem like an immature tradition to     minded again why you're the per-
show him a motif you're going to         gut rather than put him in a posi-       years later and see him cringe at his     night out with the guys? We know      you, for some guys it's practically    fect bride.
add to all your stationery, and he       tion to pick an option you would         white linen wedding suit (that was
responds with a shrug. It's tempting     never really consider.                   your pick, naturally).
to interpret reactions like these as                                                 Relationship Rx: Although
disinterest in your wedding (and,         "LET ME DECIDE WHICH PARTS              your fashion sense might be on-
in turn, your relationship), but           I WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN –             point, what matters most is that
don't be so quick to pounce.                THEN MAYBE I'LL DO MORE!"             he's comfortable in his formalwear.
    Relationship Rx: Even if your            Getting your groom to attend         Just like you wouldn't want to wear
groom doesn't have strong feelings       the cake-tasting is a cinch. And he'll   a gown you consider unflattering,
about the decor, he wants the wed-       probably be up for choosing your         he shouldn't wear an outfit that he
ding to look good just as much as        playlist. But shove a binder of sam-     feels doesn't fit right.
you do. His mild interest in the de-     ple invites in front of him and he'll
tails doesn't mean he doesn't care       be thinking of nothing other than        "DON'T GIVE ME A CURFEW THE
about the wedding – it means he          an exit strategy.                        NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING."
trusts your tastes. Ask him specific         Relationship Rx: Your powers             The rehearsal dinner often
questions, like "Which flower do         of persuasion may be exceptional,        segues into a late-night party. If he's
you like better?" and you're more        but wedding planning is a whole          having a great time, you're liable to
likely to get a direct response.         new terrain. Involve him in the de-      put a damper on things if you insist
                                         tails you know he'll enjoy, but don't    he turn in before midnight.
   "I WANT YOU TO LOOK LIKE              force it or his instinct might be to         Relationship Rx Despite what he
               YOU."                     resist. Instead, let him know about      does the night before, you can rest
    Every bride wants to look her        some of the less interesting tasks       assured he'll show up for the wed-
best for her wedding, but some risk      piled on your plate, and he'll be        ding... and that he'll arrive on time.
changing their style too dramatical-     more willing to offer his assistance     If you're really concerned, ask his
ly with heavy makeup, big hair, and      if he sees you're stressed.              most responsible groomsman to
too many accessories.                                                             keep an eye on him, and to remind
    Relationship Rx: While there's       "I'M NOT WEARING A SAILBOAT              him that he wouldn't want to en-

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14                                                                                                  Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                 THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Thirty Tips and
                                                               a nqu
                                                                    et                                                                                                                                         Tricks No Bride
                                                 ng      ura
                                                            & B nt                                                                                                                                             Should Be
                                          teriiies, Resta
                                        Cafacil t
                                         ty                                                                                                                                                                    Without
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Continued from page 12

                                                                                                                                                                                                               there's a quicker, less traffic-prone
                                                                                                                                                                                                               route to take. Ask your ceremony
                                                                                                                                                                                                               and reception sites for printouts of
                                                                                 PANATHENIAN BANQUET HALL                                                                                                      recommended driving directions,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               which they often keep in stock for
                                                                                 AND BAR                                                                                                                       weddings and will give to you for
                                                                                                                                                                                                               free, and test out the routes your-
                                                                                ñ Only A d e l p h i a can combine fine dining services                                                                            22. KEEP A PAPER TRAIL.
                                                                                  with nightly entertainment in the best location                                                                                 Get any nonstandard changes to
                                                                                                                                                                                                               your agreements in writing or send
                                                                                  in Central Jersey.                                                                                                           the vendor a confirmation email
                                                                                                                                                                                                               saying, "Hello, just confirming that
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you'll keep the venue open until 2
                                                                                ñ Chefs from all around the world have helped                                                                                  a.m. versus midnight." Don't take
                                                                                                                                                                                                               anyone on his word – by the time
                                                                                  in developing a menu that provides Greek,                                                                                    the big day rolls around, your con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               tact may no longer be working
                                                                                  American, Mexican and any other international                                                                                there to vouch for you.
                                                                                  cuisines. We are willing to make any foods that                                                                                 23. SCHEDULE THE SETUP.
                                                                                  aren’t on the menu.                                                                                                             You must make sure there's am-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ple time for setup. If you're renting
                                                                                                                                                                                                               a venue and bringing in outside
                                                                                                                                                                                                               help, ask, "What time can people
                                                                                ñ The P A N A T H E N I A N Ballroom which seats                                                                               come in to set things up?" Preston
                                                                                  500 people provides the perfect atmosphere                                                                                   Bailey, author of Preston Bailey's
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Fantasy Weddings, recommends
                                                                                  for casual dining or banquets.                                                                                               seeing if they can do it the day be-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               fore, or at the very least the entire
                                                                                                                                                                                                               wedding day, before the event
                                                                                ñ Have your Wedding Reception, Bridal                                                                                          starts.

                                                                                  or Christening Party at Adelphia’s.                                                                                            24. LEARN ABOUT MARRIAGE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   You can check your state's li-
                                                                                ñ Organizers of concerts.                                                                                                      cense requirements online, but
                                                                                                                                                                                                               confirm with a call to the county
                                                                                                                                                                                                               clerk's office to see when they're
                                                                                ñ Call for reservations and ask for Evelyn.                                                                                    open. Even if it's open from 9 a.m.-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               5 p.m., they may issue marriage li-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               censes only during slower times
                                                                                                                                                                                                               like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m.-3
                                                                                                                                                                                                               p.m. Give a copy of your marriage
                                                                                                                                                                                                               license to your mom or your maid
                                                                                                                                                                                                               of honor (just in case you lose yours
                                                                                                                                                                                                               during the final days before your

                                                                                    1750 Clements-Bridge RD,                                                                                                     25. GO OVER GROUND RULES.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Be prepared! Ask the manager
                                                                                    Deptford, NJ 08096                                                                                                         of the house of worship or site
                                                                                                                                                                                                               where you will be married for the
                                                                                    856-845-8200                                                                                                               list of restrictions (if any). For in-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               stance, are flash photography or
                                                                                                                                                                           bare shoulders prohibited? Or, if
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you're exchanging vows outdoors,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               are you allowed to plant tent stakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                               in the lawn (which is often a no-
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch.                                                                           26. CLASSIFY YOUR CASH.
                                                                                                                                           Sir Richard Steele 1672-1729, British Dramatist, Essayist, Editor      Wedding budgets are all about
                                                                              Exercise your mind...                                                                                                            balance. Start your budget plan-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ning by making a list of the crucial
                                                The National Herald Bookstore ñ (718) 784-5255 ñ                                                                                    details, like the music, your wed-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ding gown, the invitations, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                               flowers, and the photographer, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                               assign a number to each – one be-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ing the most important and three
                                                                                                                                                                                                               being the least. Invest your money
                                                                                                                                                                                                               in all your number ones and cut
                                                                                                                                                                                                               corners on your number threes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               (But everything can't fall into the
                                                                                                                                                                                                               number one category!) For exam-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ple, if a designer gown and fabu-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               lous food are what really matter,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you may have to choose simple in-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               vitations and smaller floral

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      27. HELP GUESTS PAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Make sure your guests can see --
                                                                                                                                                                                                               and hear. If people are seated far-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ther than 15 rows back from your
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ceremony altar or podium, consid-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               er renting a mic and a riser. This
                                                                                                                                                                                                               could range anywhere from $50-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               $100, depending on the equipment
                                                                                                                                                                                                               used. You'll need to coordinate the
                                                                                                                                                                                                               delivery and setup with your cere-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               mony space, so put your wedding
                                                                                                                                                                                                               planner or best man in charge of
                                                                                                                                                                                                               this task.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               28. WRITE DOWN YOUR DIGITS.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Carry an emergency contact
                                                                                                                                                                                                               sheet on your wedding day. Keep
                                                                                                                                                                                                               the paper with names and phone
                                                                                                                                                                                                               numbers of all your vendors in your
                                                                                                                                                                                                               purse – it may come in handy in
                                                                                                                                                                                                               case your limo driver gets lost or
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you decide you'd like your photog-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               rapher to take some behind-the-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               scenes shots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               29. CALL THE FASHION POLICE.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't go dress shopping on your
                                                                                                                                                                                                               own – all the gowns will start to
                                                                                                                                                                                                               look the same after a while and it
                                                                                                                                                                                                               will be harder to recall which style
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you really loved. But be careful
                                                                                                                                                                                                               about who you do bring. If your
                                                                                                                                                                                                               mom or sibling can't make the trip,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ask a friend who is truly honest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               This is the time when you really
                                                                                                                                                                                                               need to know which dress looks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 30. BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When it comes down to the last
                                                                                                                                                                                                               month of your planning (and when
                                                                                                                                                                                                               you're particularly harried) look at
                                                                                                                                                                                                               your mile long to-do list and cut
                                                                                                                                                                                                               three things. Yes, cut three things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Not crucial things that you just
                                                                                                                                                                                                               don't feel like doing, such as pick-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ing a processional song or confirm-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ing final details with all of your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eliminate only the over-the-top
                                                                                                                                                                                                               tasks like hand-painting "Just Mar-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ried" signs, or baking cookies for all
                                                                                                                                                                                                               of the welcome bags. Make a
                                                                                                                                                                                                               pledge to not think about them
                                                                      WWW.CARLYLEONTHEGREEN.NET                                                                                                                ever again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               The above article was originally
                                                                                                                                                                                                               published on
THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                                      Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                                              15

                                                                                      History of the Koufeta
By Jon Price
with additional material
by Sara Macy and
Nick Mavrakis

    One of the most common, tradi-
tional wedding favor candies used
today is the Jordan Almond. Jordan
Almonds as wedding favors is a tra-
dition over 3,000 years old in
Greek, Middle Eastern, French and
Italian weddings. The Jordan Al-
mond wedding favors are given
many names depending on the cul-
ture in which they are referred to.
In English, the term “Italian confet-
ti” is the most commonly used. For
the origin of Jordan Almonds as
wedding favors, we must look back
to the ancient Romans, who cele-
brated births and marriages with
the distant ancestors of today's con-
fetti favors.
    Until the Renaissance they – and
other sweets – were sweetened by
the use of honey. With the arrival of
sugar from the Orient, the Me-
dieval Italian apothecaries devel-
oped the "sugarcoated pill." The
ability to heal was soon associated
with the sugar coating. Soon after-
ward, Confetti fiori, or floral candy
was developed by the nuns of the
Santa Chirara convent in Sulmona
in the Renaissance era.
    During the Renaissance, Jordan
Almonds wasn’t just used for cere-
monial purposes; they were real
sweetmeats made of candied fruits,
or more specifically, with almonds,
dried fruits, aromatic seeds, hazel-       her wedding day by her intended,          self – sweet for the good times, bitter   in the bag, representing the joy of a               lar. The five Jordan Almonds pieces                 are covered with sugar without the
nuts, pine nuts or cinnamon, cov-          Demophon. Phyllis waited for years        for the bad times – the candies are       girl for the firstborn child.                       are presented to each wedding                       addition of starch which would
ered with a hard coating of sugar.         for him to return, but finally died of    more sweet than bitter on account             As a further custom, single                     guest, and they represent the same                  make them heavy and affect the fla-
Not only were they served at wed-          a broken heart. In sympathy, the          of the sugar-coating, infusing the        women are to take the candies                       five traits as the Italian version. In              vor. After having been peeled in a
ding banquets, but also at many im-        gods transformed Phyllis into an al-      hope that the married couple’s life       home and place them under their                     the Middle Eastern wedding cul-                     special machine, the almonds are
portant meals.                             mond tree, which became a symbol          will see more ups than downs.             pillow. The sweetness of the candy                  ture, the candy covered almonds                     put in large rotating basins: lique-
    Through the course of history,         of hope. When the errant, remorse-            In Greek tradition, the wedding       will allow them to dream of the                     are considered aphrodisiacs and                     fied sugar is poured in gradually in
their presence in important events         ful Demonphon returned to find            favors normally come in a white           man they will marry.                                are always on hand.                                 order to lightly coat the almonds.
expanded throughout various re-            Phyllis as a leafless, flowerless tree,   bag (a bonbonniere), tied with a              When it comes to Italian wed-                       Although time has progressed,                   At the end of the day, the almonds
gions and cultures, and became             he embraced the tree. The tree sud-       satin drawstring, are filled with an      dings, guests are given five Jordan                 and technology has advanced; the                    must rest until the next morning
known as a celebratory item. As the        denly burst into bloom, a demon-          odd number of white koufetes. The         Almonds. The number five repre-                     creation of Jordan Almonds retains                  when operations resume.
sweet itself evolved over time, it re-     stration of love not conquered by         odd number is indivisible, and sym-       sents five wedding wishes: health,                  some of its old-world splendor to                      The artisan production of Jor-
mained representative of para-             death. As such, the almond came to        bolizes how the husband and wife          wealth, happiness, fertility and                    this day. Workers produce the little                dan Almonds remains a labor of
mount occasions: from commu-               represent immortal love and im-           will share everything and remain          longevity.. They can be bundled in                  sweets on machines that recall the                  love requiring constant attention to
nions, to confirmations, to baptisms.      petuous youth.                            undivided. The white symbolizes           tulle and personalized with the                     past. They are made through a                       detail. The result is a confection be-
    In Greek mythology, legend tells          Called koufeta in Greek, the bite-     purity; the shape of the almond           meaning and the couple's name                       four-day-long process that will nev-                yond compare, and the continua-
of the beautiful princess Phyllis,         sized candies are prevalent in Greek      symbolizes never-ending love. In          and wedding date.                                   er be completely industrialized.                    tion of a centuries-old wedding tra-
who was left waiting at the altar on       weddings. Said to represent life it-      some cases, a single pink koufeta is          Middle Eastern custom is simi-                      First, the centers of the almonds               dition.

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16                                                                                                              Greek Wedding 2008                                                                           THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

     JAY W. BECKER FLORIST                                                                                                                                                                                        Get a Grip
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                                     Specializing                                                        All made by every possible ingredient, spice                                                             your wedding, you've had this nag-
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                                     i n We d d i n g s                                                                        • Specializing in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  this affair is costing dear old Dad,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  about having to cross your best
                                                                                                                                 custom made cakes                                                                friend from third grade off the
                                                                                                                                 for all occassions                                                               guest list. If this sounds familiar,
                                     and all

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  don't worry – you're not the only to-
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tend to blame themselves if things
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      House Florist for Sand Castle and Floral Terrace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Women have expectations and
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hood, from watching Martha Stew-
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                                                                                                                            Proprietors: George & Gigi Vastardis                                                  to having mothers who didn't work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  away from home full-time," says
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  June Price Tangney, Ph.D., a profes-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sor of psychology at George Mason
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                                                                          Today                                                                                                                                   Robinson, Ph.D., past president of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the American Counseling Associa-
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course, it is your big day, and
                                               Tel.: (718) 932-3800                                                                                          Westfield, NJ 07090                                  it's understandable if you cramp a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  few nights' sleep doing your best to
                         Thank you
                                               Cell: (917) 882-4238                                                                                                                                               make everyone happy. But if guilt is
                         for your continued                                                                                                                                                                       consuming your life, you need to
                         support and
                                               CARMELA VLACICH                                                                                                                                                    reassess what you are taking the
                         patronage                                                                                                                                                                                blame for. Prioritizing your con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cerns, what you can fix, and what
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you should just forget about will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  make the days from now until your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wedding night run much more

                 R r P A e cy
           P E TInsuOa nceOgLnE                                                                                                   LAW OFFICE OF BENJAMIN & VASILATOS, LLC
                                                                                                                                 • PERSONAL INJURY                                    Experience counts:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Added bonus: Doing so can have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a residual positive effect on the rest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of your life. As Rabbi Harold S.
                                                                                                                                   Wrongful Death                                                                 Kushner says in his book, How
                                                                                                                                                                                    You need a lawyer             Good Do We Have to Be? (Little,
                                                                                                                                   Automobile Accidents                                                           Brown & Co, 1996), no one is per-
                                                                                                                                                                                 with trial experience
           Call us for                                                                                                             Slip and Fall
                                                                                                                                                                                     who understands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fect – and that includes you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not easy to let guilt go and
                                                                                                                                   Defective products
           free information                                                                                                        Medical Malpractice                    what your case means to you             get on with things. "Guilt is one of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the toughest things to shake," says
           and details about your insurances                                                                                       Premises Liability                                 and your family.            Dr. Robinson. "It's all wrapped up in
                                                                                                                                   Scaffolds/Ladders/Stairs                                                       our sense of self."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Guilt is often tied to self-esteem,
                                                                                                                                   Construction Accidents                                  We can help.           the need to be liked, the need to
           We provide s p e c i a l p r i c e s                                                                                  • CRIMINAL LAW                                                                   please others (parents, future in-
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                                                                                                                                                               BENJAMIN & VASILATOS, LLC                          Psychiatric Center in Houston.
                                                                                                                                                                              30-16 Steinway Street, 2nd floor        Take guilt over a too-short guest
                 PETROPOLE INSURANCE AGENCY                                                                                                                                                Astoria, NY 11103      list, for example. Before you start
                                                                                                                                 • MATRIMONIAL
                                                                                                                                                                                         (718) 728-0555           maxing out your credit cards to add
                                                                                                                                   FAMILY LAW                                                                     more reception seats, sort out your
                 8601 4th Ave., (corner of 86th Street)                                                                            Child Abduction                                                                motivations for doing so. Dr. Robin-
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  feel guilty because you can't afford
                 Tel.:   (718) 680-3777                                                                                            Divorce                                                                        to spend what you think a "good"

                                                                                                                                   Child support                  • Translations from Greek to English            person would spend (and/or what
                 Fax:    (718) 680-3700                                                                                            Child custody                                  and English to Greek            people will expect), or whether

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you're merely disappointed be-
                 1-800-273-4113                                                                                                                                                                                   cause a shorter and less-expensive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  guest list means not being able to
                                                                                                                                                   Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week                        invite sorority sisters you haven't
       44 years of community service at your disposal                                                                                                                                                             seen in years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you realize it's the latter, make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  changes -- such as springing for a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  buffet instead of a seated dinner –

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                                                                                                                                                       192-06 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11358                   "seen," recognize that there are
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                                                                                                                                                             1-800-748-3320                                       son you most need to please when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  it comes to your wedding is you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Others are important, but not at
                                                                                                                                                     “What comes from the heart...                                your own expense – mental or oth-
                                                                                                                                                          Goes to the heart”                                          Next, talk about it. If your to-be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  can't comprehend why your stom-
                                                                                                                                                       Our touch of Experience & Elegance                         ach is tied in knots over this stuff,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  try to articulate why having a large
                                                                                                                                                    will create distinctive floral arrangements                   group of friends and family at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wedding is important to you and
                                                                                                                                                         for your wedding or your special                         why you really want to find a way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to have everyone you want there
                                                                                                                                                             dream event to remember                              without breaking the bank. Ask him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to help you brainstorm some solu-
                                                                                                                                               We design packages to suit your style & budget                     tions.
     We specialize in high quality, el-                                                                                                                                                                               Once you've explained to your
     egant sugared almond favors.                                                                                                                                                                                 sweetie what's making you feel so
     These are beautiful flowers                                                                                                                                                                                  bad and you've talked through
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  some options together, take con-
     fashioned from koufeta and tulle. Also, specially pocketed-ribbon and koufe-
     ta you can buy to make your own flower favors                                                                                                                                                                    Act on your decision to cut costs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  or actively decide not to feel guilty.
                    Our materials are imported from Italy                                                                                                                                                         Assuage yourself by calling left-out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  parties for a catch-up chat or invit-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ing them over or out – let them
                                                                                                                                                                                 know that they continue to be an
                         Phone: (732) 792-1616                                                            w w w. h e a r t t o h e a r t n y. c o m • w w w 4 s e a s o n s f l o r i s t s . c o m               important part of your life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reward yourself by taking a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  time out from all this wedding stuff

                           Get informed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and focusing on some serious play.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And whatever you do, don't feel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  guilty about indulging yourself for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a change!
THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008                                                                Greek Wedding 2008                                                                                                                     17

                                                                                                                        you enjoy being in their space? A good floral designer     lavender and calla lily, pristine lily-of-the-valley paired

     Love in Full Bloom
                                                                                                                        understands display, presentation and scale. Pictures      with bay leaves, or the perfect gardenia. For mothers
                                                                                                                        in their portfolio should inspire, mutually generating     and honored women, romance is in vogue: diminutive
                                                                                                                        ideas. Ask about the rentals they provide, as many         nosegay bouquets in silver Victorian holders, a simple
                                                                                                                        have large prop closets filled with arches, chuppahs,      but elegant single rose and, of course, the always femi-
                                                                                                                        and vases of every size, shape, and style.                 nine wrist corsage.
                                                                                                                            With your designer selected, the creative process          Finishing Touches: What better way to tie-in your
                                                                                                                        begins. Supply your floral designer with as much detail    cake with the rest of your wedding, than with a floral
                                                                                                                        as possible. Let them know the particulars: wedding        cake topper? Echoing your floral choices of bouquet
                                                                                                                        date, time of day, style of wedding (formal or infor-      and centerpiece, the cake topper is the perfect state-
                                                                                                                        mal), ceremony and reception locations, linens, and a      ment on your delectable dessert. If the budget allows,
                                                                                                                        general idea of your budget.                               consider adding a few more finishing touches. Sprinkle
                                                                                                                            Be Prepared: How to express exactly what you           petals on serving trays and weave garlands along buf-
                                                                                                                        want when you don't know the particular names of           fet stations. Finally, do not forget the loveliness of
                                                                                                                        flowers? Pictures, pictures, pictures. Before your first   greenery and plants. Ficus trees wrapped with twin-
                                                                                                                        initial consultation, gather as much visual detail as      kling lights and magnificent potted palms add dimen-
                                                                                                                        possible. The more pictures and magazine clippings         sion to all venues.
                                                                                                                        you provide, the easier it is for the designer to create       Wedding flowers are steeped in symbolism, tradi-
                                                                                                                        your special look. Snapshots of your venue, along with     tion and meaning. Use this opportunity to share your
                                                                                                                        items you would like flowers to accentuate (from your      love and sentiments. Be prepared for the compliments
                                                                                                                        hair to the Rolls-Royce) are all essentials. Swatches      to follow.
                                                                                                                        from table linens and the wedding party wardrobe
                                                                                                                        (mothers', bridesmaid', flowergirls' and your own          The above article was originally published on
                                                                                                                        gown) are always a big help. Don't be afraid to bring
                                                                                                                        pictures of completely different arrangements and
                                                                                                                        bouquets that grab your attention. A good designer
                                                                                                                        will help you identify, focus and incorporate elements.
                                                                                                                            Time-Of-Day: Chosen wisely your floral arrange-
                                                                                                                        ments should last throughout the day. Some flowers
                                                                                                                        hold up beautifully in the sun; others are better suited
                                                                                                                        for indoors. Let your designer know exactly the time
                                                                                                                        and month your wedding is taking place. A good de-
                                                                                                                        signer will advise you on what flowers remain perky
                                                                                                                        and perfect under the palm trees, and which wilt be-
                                                                                                                        fore the wedding reception.
                                                                                                                            The Bouquet: The star of all your floral choices is
                                                                                                                        your bouquet. Understand bouquets come in all shapes
                                                                                                                        and sizes. From petite nosegays to showering cascades,
                                                                                                                        realize the size and style you select will affect your
                                                                                                                        overall look. First pick a bouquet style that suits your
                                                                                                                        height, frame, and gown. Then combine different blos-
                                                                                                                        soms of varying shapes and size, or compose a delicate
                                                                                                                        bouquet of one type of flower. From timeless white, to
                                                                                                                        rich, jewel-toned shades of reds and purples to exotic
                                                                                                                        tropical stems, the selections and combinations are
                                                                                                                            Ceremony Location: Before making decisions re-
                                                                                                                        garding ceremony florals, check with your venue for
                                                                                                                        possible restrictions. Some churches request that altar
                                                                                                                        arrangements remain on-site for weekend services. A
                                                                                                                        cost saving tip: determine if your ceremony flowers
                                                                                                                        can be repurposed for your reception. Ceremony
                                                                                                                        arrangements are ideal for buffet tables, and aisle
                                                                                                                        flowers can be used to decorate powder rooms, stair-
                                                                                                                        cases and small hallway tables. Using these items twice
                                                                                                                        helps maximize your budget.
                                                                                                                            Reception Location: Your reception location is a
                                                                                                                        big influence in determining your floral design needs.
                                                                                                                        High ceiling venues call for bolder, more dramatic
                                                                                                                        arrangements, while an outdoor venue can be accent-
                                                                                                                        ed with rustic, potted and flowering blooms. Let your
                                                                                                                        floral designer know the size of your reception equip-
                                                                                                                        ment (dining tables, place card tables etc) during your
                                                                                                                        initial consultation so the scale of your arrangements
                                                                                                                        will be perfectly balanced.
                                                                                                                            Centerpieces: The options are many: elegant vases
                                                                                                                        filled with cut flowers, towering candelabras, potted
                                                                                                                        orchids and detailed topiaries are magnificent design
                                                                                                                        statements. Clusters of smaller arrangements or scat-
                                                                                                                        tered rose petals around densely packed votives are
         rom boutonniere to bouquet, flowers set the       wedding day.                                                 dual centerpiece and favor options. Except for the "14

   F     stage and carry your wedding theme from cer-
         emony to reception.
   Perfect roses, plump peonies and precious daisies
                                                              Do not be intimidated if you don't know the differ-
                                                           ence between an orchid and a lily. A patient and cre-
                                                           ative floral designer will help you identify your wed-
                                                                                                                        inch rule" dictating that centerpieces should never ob-
                                                                                                                        scure guests' vision across the table, there are no hard
                                                                                                                        and fast rules. Mix, match and think "outside the box."
have won many a bride's heart. Bountiful and beauti-       ding style. When interviewing a floral designer observe          Personal Flowers: In addition to bouquets and
ful, flowers express your wedding palette like no other.   their use of color, texture, and overall flair. Share your   arrangements you'll need to select personal flowers.
From ceremony to centerpiece, flowers are the consis-      ideas and your vision, and be open to their sugges-          The ever-forgotten groom is taking a larger role in se-
tent visual element linking all the activities of your     tions. Examine a designer's portfolio at their studio. Do    lecting boutonniere styles. Popular combinations are
18                                                        Greek Wedding 2008                   THE NATIONAL HERALD, MARCH 22, 2008

          No matter which location you choose, our utmost
          attention will be focused on you and your guests

     Book your wedding at either location & enjoy a
     Complimentary 10 Day Stay at the
     Aegean Palace Hotel in Greece!

          Offer good with the presentation of this ad at either location.

                                                                 Visit us at:

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