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2017

.. .f r o m t h is D a y

F or w a

r d...

Capturing love stories


By HERMAN LENSING

Staff Writer

INSIDE

MELROSE There are a lot of expectations for


weddings, one is they will be perfect.
Helping preserve the memories of that day
has led to the art of wedding photography.
I like the excitement of a wedding from start
to finish, said Sara Revermann of Sara Revermann
Photography, Melrose, who has photographed
weddings for about five years. There is something
new each time.
Photographers have become as much a part of

CAPTURING LOVE STORIES...............................................1, 2, 3


POSTPONED HONEYMOONS ARE THE NEW NORM...........4, 5
Q&A - LOVE LESSONS................................................5, 6, 15, 16
2017 WEDDING TRENDS.......................................7, 8, 9, 14, 17
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MATRON OF HONOR...............10, 11
THE CHORD OF THREE STRANDS.................................. 12 & 13
A PERFECT MARRIAGE.............................................................15
THE SENTIMENTS OF A MUG............................................18, 19

weddings as a gown and tuxedoes, bridesmaids


and groomsmen, receptions, dinners and
ministers. But unlike the others, they really
dont want to be remembered as being part of
the day.
You have to be careful and respectful.
This is their day, said Amy Herkenhoff-Terres
of Alee Photography, who has been a wedding
photographer since 2005. I keep my tone of
voice low and quiet so they forget I am there.
The reason a photographer is there,
Photographers continued on page 2

ST R

Publications

January 2017
A Special Supplement to:

Albany Enterprise
Melrose Beacon
Sauk Centre Herald

Page 2 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017


Photographers continued from page 1
however, is to capture, to freeze, the memories of that day in time, and there
is a lot that can go on at a wedding.
I give options of an eight- or 10-hour day, said Becky Vogel of Barefoot
Photography, who has covered weddings since 2009. Usually from getting
ready for pictures before church to the ceremony and the reception. Ill stay
for the first dance, the cutting of the cake, and all that good stuff.
Taking the actual photograph doesnt take long, but planning for the
photographs can take a while. All three noted they are usually booked a year
in advance of most weddings they are covering. Something else that helps is
just visiting with the photographer.
I set up time where I talk to the bride and groom and we go over a time
frame, Vogel said. They can then write out a schedule for all in the party.
Those meetings can also help the photographer develop the artistic part
of their duties.
I usually meet with the bride and groom and find out what they want,
Revermann said. Every bride is different on what kind of photos they want.
The grooms are usually like whatever most of the time. Some of the grooms
want their say, but usually its let her do whatever she wants.
Herkenhoff-Terres has found another way to help guide couples through
planning the photography of the day.
I have a questionnaire to accumulate
information, to find out more about them and their
day and the styles they like. That way I can create a
time line for them, Herkenhoff-Terres said.
She also pointed out that couples should find
out what they can about the photographer.
Ask lots of questions, she said. Ive had
people ask me questions about vendors, or about
how the wedding day will flow.
Which photographs and where they are
taken, is something each couple decides. But all
photographers want is to take a photograph that
shows the subjects are people. That is why meeting
with the couple can be important.
Usually I have the bride come with me a
couple of days before and we go around the church,
or a family farm and we go to that area to pick out Becky Vogel tries to find something special
spots, said Revermann. I like to do a wedding and unique at each wedding
PHOTO BY
from start to finish. To capture a love story.
HERMAN LENSING
Capturing that special moment is the goal of
the photographers. They want to find an interesting
Many couples have taken the approach nowadays to see each other
way to tell what is going on, even in the formal pictures.
As much as possible, I try to be artistically different. I want it to be more before the ceremony, unlike the traditional waiting till the bride walks down
the aisle, she said. Most couples have found it to be less chaotic. But some
than just sit and pose, Vogel said.
You want your love to be portrayed in those images and how you feel to still enjoy the tradition in making it memorable, which both are just as fun to
that person, said Herkenhoff-Terres. I love photographing wedding parties, look forward to.
Vogels time in D.C. also gave her a chance to take some photographs
but I really love photographing couples.
Photographing wedding parties can be a bit hectic in itself. The number in unique locations. Finding neat locations is something that helps create
of people involved, the dynamics of the families and who should be in the memorable photographs. Most weddings are held in spring, summer or early
photograph, all play a role. Vogel said she found that one area that has to fall. Herkenhoff-Terres has found winter weddings also offer some great chances
be solved is the dilemma of whether or not the groom should see the bride for memorable photographs.
before the wedding.
I love photographing them (winter weddings), she said. The lighting is
awesome. Even a snowstorm can create a beautiful picture. You do have to find
someplace out of the wind.
Taking photographs has been made a bit easier with digital photography.
Nevertheless, couples should expect a wait of a week or two before the
photographs come to them.
I will take 3,000 photographs. I take a lot of the same picture. The couple
will see about 150 or 200, said Revermann.
Not all of them are going to be formal wedding photographs. Many times,
some of the most memorable are those not planned.
Grandparents watching the ceremony; that is usually one of my favorite
shots, said Revermann.
Candid shots of the reception and dances are also memorable. Something all
three said they do find out about is how and when they can shoot photographs
during the ceremony. Usually it is just a matter of checking with the head official
at the wedding, and some are stricter than others.
Ive had to sign contracts for some saying I would not use a flash or go into
the sanctuary, said Herkenhoff-Terres.
Revermann recalled a few times when she was told she could only come
within so many pews of the altar or had to shoot from the choir loft. Vogel
though, had one directive that pretty much kept her out of sight and from
taking pictures.
In Washington, D.C., I photographed a Mormon wedding. I was not allowed
in the church, she recalled.
A different wedding made up for that.
I photographed an Italian wedding. They had family members coming
from all over and the reception was at the Ritz. It was so cool, she said.
The experience of the three has led them to some key points for couples
planning their wedding:
Meet with the photographer and review what kind of photographs you
want.
SUBMITTED PHOTO
Take the photographer to visit the locations you want photographs taken
Sara Revermann has found she really
at,
especially
if they are not familiar with the location.
enjoys taking wedding photographs
Let the photographer know about your families. Has there been a recent
and recording that day for the couple
death, divorce or change in lifestyle or jobs?
and finds creative ways to highlight
elements of a wedding.
Trust the photographer They are there to take the photographs, so you
Photographers continued on page 3

Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 3


Photographers continued from page 2
SUBMITTED PHOTO

This photograph of a bride,


taken by Amy HerkenhoffTerres, is among her favorites
as it captures the elegance of
the bride.

Your wedding day

Sm le
i
is what people

will remember.
Amy Herkenhoff-Terres is
among the area photographers
who have gained a good
reputation for her style of
wedding photographs.
PHOTO BY
HERMAN LENSING

can enjoy the day.


Review previous work by the photographer to see if you like their style.
Suggestions for photographers include:
Meeting the couple is a must, as is getting familiar with location.
Make sure to arrive early for the shoot.
Have a schedule of when pictures will be taken.
If a job seems too big for one person, bring along an assistant (it is also a
way to help someone become a wedding photographer).
Bring back-up equipment such as fresh batteries, different cameras, lenses
and memory cards.
Remember you are there to record the event, not be part of it.
The wedding day is the beginning of a new journey for two people. Most
want the day to be perfect, and wedding photographs can capture the perfect
memory of the day.

Dr. Jason Spychala

320-845-2032
360 Railroad Ave Albany, MN

Office Hours:
Monday 8 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday 7 A.M. -3:30 P.M.
Wednesday 8 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Thursday 7 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.

Page 4 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

Postponed honeymoons
Pros and cons of delayed
vacations and mini-moons

PHOTO SUBMITTED
Emily and Kyle Hoium celebrated their
honeymoon by going to a luau on Dec. 13,
2016. They were married on May 20, but
delayed their honeymoon until December.
By ELIZABETH BETHKE

Staff Writer

In the last couple of years, many


newlyweds have delayed their
honeymoons, deciding that whisking
off the day of the wedding or the next
day may not be the best decision. Due
to certain circumstances involving the
couples occupations, financials, as
well as timing and weather conditions,
among other situations, postponing a
honeymoon can be beneficial.
Emily (Goellner) and Kyle Hoium,
a newly-married couple, made the

decision to postpone their honeymoon


roughly seven months after their
wedding.
I did the majority of the wedding
planning because Kyle was busy at
work. Planning a wedding and a
honeymoon was just too much all
at once, Hoium said. We looked
forward to the wedding for so long,
the honeymoon was another thing to
look forward to.
Planning a honeymoon right
after the wedding may be even
more stressful because the couple
is not only planning and packing for
a wedding, but also another weeks

Everything you need


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worth of clothing and supplies for the


trip. It may be nice to decompress
after the big day, spending time with
out-of-town guests or opening gifts
and getting situated back home, not to
mention catching up on much-needed
sleep.
Many businesses allot employees
a certain number of days or weeks
of vacation a year, and after planning
and having a wedding, the remaining
vacation days are sometimes not
enough for a lavish getaway. Some
individuals work life can be very

constricting and they seem to always


have tasks to accomplish, so much
that finding time to have a wedding
can be stressful enough. Planning a
honeymoon after the wedding can
give the bride or groom time to tie up
loose ends and prepare for their time
together.
After the wedding festivities are
complete, the newlyweds can start
planning for their next adventure and
budget what they will need, which is
exactly what the Hoium couple did.
Shortly after they celebrated their big

Postponed Honeymoons continued to page 5

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Postponed Honeymoons continued from page 4
day on May 20, 2016, they booked and
secured their flight to Hawaii for early
December.
We already knew where we
wanted to go, Hoium said. This way,
we could settle in and save up for the
vacation.
If a couple gets married at the
end of a year and their time off is
replenished after the new year, money
might not seem like too much of a
worry. Plus, depending on the time
of year, flight tickets vary in price and
may play in as a factor as to when a
vacation is planned. For someone who
lives in Minnesota, or locations that get
chilly and snowy in the winter months,
a tropical place might be appealing
during January or February.
We decided to travel in December
because we felt like it was the right
time to leave Minnesota to travel to
warmer temperatures, Hoium said.
Postponing a honeymoon does not
come without its disadvantages. For
some, it might feel unusual or weird
to head back to work right after the
big day. Couples might find it hard to
concentrate or get back into the swing
of things if they do not take at least a
couple of days off after their wedding.
One thing that couples are doing

to find middle ground if they are


postponing their honeymoon is taking
a mini moon, where they travel
somewhere within a couple of hours
from their home for a couple of days
just to get away. It provides some time
to relax before heading back to the
grind of normal life.
After our Friday wedding, we
left Saturday morning and traveled
to Duluth until Monday morning,
she said. It was nice to get away for
awhile but I was anxious to get back to
settle in.
Upon returning from their mini
moon, the Hoiums were happy to find
routine in their married life.
It was definitely strange and
weird at first to head back to work
right away, Hoium said. It took about
a week to adjust but it happened quite
easily.
Some couples may feel like their
delayed honeymoon might feel like
any other regular vacation after a
couple of months have gone by. Other
couples might even prefer to pack
up and leave right away to remain
in their just married emotional
state of mind. For Emily and Kyle,
traveling to their honeymoon months
after their wedding felt a little like a

Q& Love Lessons


A

regular vacation until they got to their


destination.
Once we got to Hawaii and it
was just the two of us, it felt like a
honeymoon, Hoium said.
Whatever a couple decides for a
honeymoon, whether that be leaving
right after the big day or postponing
it, it will be a vacation that the
couple will cherish and enjoy when

the time comes. A honeymoon does


not have a time frame attached to
it. After all, everyone deserves the
luxury and pampering that comes
with a honeymoon no matter when it
happens.
Im glad we waited, it was less
stressful, Hoium said. The wait was
worth it.

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Alan and Jeanie Raitor


Sauk Centre
Married: 65 Years

Did you know you were right for each other right away, and how have
you nurtured that knowledge through the years? Jeanie: I think so. We
were only engaged from October through December. Alan: We were both
20 when we got married. We didnt really think about it. Im one to miss the
nuances of psychology, I guess.

Studies have shown that opposites may attract but its not necessarily
a good thing in marriage. In what ways are your personalities the
same? Different? Jeanie: I would say were different. Im much more of a
low-key person. One of my favorite things was having the kids home on a
snow day. He cant sit still. Even watching TV he has to be doing something
to fill the time during the commercials. Alan: We were taught (in school)
any minute wasted will never come back. I dont miss many. Both: We share
the same values from attending private school growing up. We both love
music (Alan was a band and choir director). Alan: She is very loyal in the
respect that shes been to every concert I ever had. Now she is my hearing
aid I blame the sopranos. I reach things on the top shelf for her. The
similarities are a lot less important than the differences. Its the differences
where we have to reach a compromise. If you carry a heavy hand or refuse
to bend theres going to be a problem.
How have honesty and communication played a role in your marriage?
Do you have great conversations, share your feelings in difficult times?
Explain: Alan: We dont have any trouble with honesty. Weve shared the
ups and downs. Overall we try not to hurt the other person, and when were
mad its no secret. We let each other know. We understand we have different
opinions, but we dont let that get in the way. Jeanie: Were improving on
that. There has been a lot of stress over the years, with deaths in my family.
Alan was really supportive through all that. Everyone has trials. At our 65th
anniversary party last week, one of our grandchildren said, I just hope we
can be as happy.

How do/ did you manage life issues such as finances, parenting, stress,
etc.? Alan: Jeanie was home every day after school; it was important to the
kids. I did the financial things because she really doesnt have an interest
in it. She trusts me with those things. I could not do a load of laundry, and
Id have to Google how to make a microwave egg. Jeanie: Id rather do those
things myself. We agreed on parenting and we were consistent. We were
supportive of each other and kept a united front.

Do you share a sense of adventure? What do you do for fun to keep


your marriage fresh? Alan: We are very lucky. Our son is a pilot for Delta,
and after we retired we wanted to travel and we really did. Whenever there
were seats open we could get on and go anywhere they went. We went to
the Orient, Australia, Europe, Bangkok and many other places. We learned a
lot, and they were new experiences for both of us. Jeanie: We were lucky to
do so much, and to learn each others thoughts.

Do you have any other advice for newlyweds: Its important to create a
positive atmosphere for kids to grow up in. Jeanie: And follow the Golden
Rule.
Love Lessons continued on page 6

Q& Love Lessons


A

Page
StarPublications
Publications- -Wedding
WeddingPlanner
Planner- -January
January2014
2017
Page 66Star

Ralph and Mary Stich


St. Anthony
Married: 50 Years

Did you know you were right for each other right away, and how
have you nurtured that knowledge through the years? Ralph: We met
through our siblings who happened to get married as well. We first met
at her familys party on their farm, which was just down the road from
my farm. I guess the way we have nurtured our relationship is by staying
in touch with and spending time with the same group of friends, staying
local, going to the same church religion means a lot to us. But it wasnt
always easy. The world is completely different now compared to when we
got married. Routine definitely helped strengthen our relationship.
Studies have shown that opposites may attract but its not necessarily
a good thing in marriage. In what ways are your personalities the
same? Different? We like the same things. Music, entertainment, politics.
There isnt much we dont agree on. Mary: The only difference we have is
that Ralph is more patient than I am. Ralph: most of the time

How have honesty and communication played a role in your marriage?


Do you have great conversations, share your feelings in difficult
times? Explain: Honesty and communication are definitely a big part
of our relationship. Without it you cant get along for any length of time.
We are pretty open with each other. We talk about difficult topics such as
illness and how we are going to cope with it. At our age, there are a lot of
our friends and family members passing away. Mary: We usually dont have
to pry anything out of each other because we are either open or can sense
it through body language.

How do/ did you manage life issues such as finances, parenting, stress,
etc.? With situations involving parenting and stressful situations, we put
our hopes and concerns with the Lord. You have to hope that the Lord will
handle it for you sometimes. We depended on him a lot. Weve been lucky
with all four of our children Lisa, Corey, Randy and Amy because they
were well behaved. The Lord is still taking care of our kids. As for finances,
we never stressed too much about it, we agreed where to spend the money
and what not to spend it on. Something I think we look back on is that we
wish we could have done more to pay for our childrens college, but you can
only do so much.
Do you share a sense of adventure? What do you do for fun to keep
your marriage fresh? Mary: We used to go on bus trips, but Im not a

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good traveler. Both: We travel to friends and family members houses for
dinner, which are only a few miles away. We go to the casino, sometimes
with friends. Mostly we just spend time with our close family and friends
because we are all getting older and wont be around forever. We have been
able to get back in the habit of hanging out with friends. When we were
younger, we were able to spend time with them more but once we started a
family, everyone was busy. Now that the kids are out of the house, we have
more time to do what we want. Mary: We also volunteer at the nursing
home in Albany and help with Meals on Wheels.
Advice for newlyweds: Its not going to be easy all the time. Ralph: Be
patient and work things out. Trust in the Lord it makes things a lot easier,
whether He answers you the first day, the second or not at all.

Honesty and communication are definitely a big part


of our relationship. Without it you cant get along for
any length of time.

Love Lessons continued on page 15

Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 7

2017
Wedding
Trends
Elegance, simplicity
overarching themes
for upcoming year
PHOTOS BY JENNIFER COYNE

Jacki Lanoue owns Special Event Bridal Boutique


in Alexandria. Lanoue has noticed that simple
attire and accessories will be popular in 2017.
By JENNIFER COYNE

Staff Writer


With the turn of the calendar,
engagement season is in full swing
and central Minnesota wedding
boutiques are prepared to serve the
blushing brides.

As eager couples plan for their
special day, wedding experts are
anticipating simplicity and elegant
themes to overwhelm the 2017
wedding season.

Simple, simple, simple thats
what this year is about, said Jackie
Lanoue, owner of Special Event Bridal
Boutique in Alexandria.

Bridal gowns

While trends move in cycles,
spanning over many years and fading
in and out through the decades, finding
the perfect wedding dress is timeliness.

Whether the dress is a ball gown or
trumpet fit, embellished with jewels or
lace, pure white or a light champagne,
boutiques have the style and price
range for all brides.

Its so much fun to be a part of
it all, said Sue Spanier. The look on
the brides face when were able to
make her happy means were doing a
wonderful job.

Spanier owns Wedding and Tuxedo

Connection in Richmond with Jennifer


Mayers.

However, some styles are more
popular than others, and that seems to
be the case as 2017 gowns arrive on the
racks.

As was popular last year, lace
is coming back but not without
competition from satin fabrics.
Additionally,
embellishments
are
common on most designs.

Tulle and satin are becoming more
popular than the form-fitted all-lace
dresses, Lanoue said. Beading varies
by age. It seems that the young women
like more glitz and glam, while the older
brides have more of a sophisticated
look.

The bridal gowns are also becoming
more intricate with bountiful ruffles

through the body and into the train.



Ruffles are coming back, but
maybe not here in Minnesota, Mayers
said.

Lanoue agreed.
Trends continued to page 8

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Page 8 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017


Trends continued from page 7
has more than 12 years of experience
in the wedding industry. Bow ties were
first popular, then ties and now bow
ties again. There are so many different
patterns and colors available for both
styles.

To add flare to the outfits, many
men are choosing brown shoes to
complete their look.

Navy blue and brown shoes are

our most popular combination right


now, Mayers said.

While tuxedos remain the most
requested rental garment for men,
purchasing suits may be a more costeffective option for those who are a
part of several upcoming weddings and
formal events.

If a group of friends are all getting
married, the guys buy nice suits and
then switch out tie colors and patterns,
Lanoue said. Otherwise the cost to
rent an outfit for several weddings can
be expensive.

Bridesmaid apparel

Much
like
menswear,
the
bridesmaid dresses are full of pattern
this year with many color options to
choose.

While options for dress length are


Were in a very conservative
part of the country and our wedding
trends tend to be more reserved than
something you would find on the east
or west coasts.

Helping create that perfect look
is the color of the dress.

Blush, light champagne, even
light gold. No one chooses a pure
white dress anymore, Mayers said.
I even worked with a bride who
ordered a black dress once.

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Styles are also changing for the
groom and his wingmen. What once
used to be a black tuxedo and bow
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of color, patterns and styles.

Tuxedos didnt change much
until gray became popular, and now
thats a big hit, said Spanier, who

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Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 9

many, long gowns are by far the most


common even in the summer months.

But this year, everything is simple
and elegant not gaudy, Lanoue said.
There will be a lot of pastels sages
and lavenders and sequin and floral
patterns.

Additionally,
halter
strapped
dresses are re-entering the wedding
scene.

Much like in recent years, if a bride
has a large wedding party she may
allow the bridesmaid and personal
attendants to choose different shades
of a dress style or different styles of the
same color.

Having different styles and shades
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are in more control of what dresses are
chosen, Lanoue said. Typically, the

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Matron of Honor

Page 10 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

Fuchs revels in role


for future sister-in-law
By LAURA HINZEN

Staff Writer

Chris and Kristina (Stuckel) joined


their hands in marriage on Saturday,
Jan. 7 in Sauk Centre.
While the couple was engaged at
the beginning of June, Laura (Blank)
Fuchs, Chris sister, was lucky enough
to be asked to be the matron of honor.
In early August, Fuchs was
attending a birthday party for her
niece when Kristina asked her to do
the honor.
I cried I was emotional just
because I havent known her really
long and she asked me to be her
matron of honor, Fuchs said. I met
her in the beginning of last January,
so its almost been a year that weve
known each other.
As matron of honor, a list of
responsibilities is in order to make
sure everything runs as planned.
Fuchs and her mother planned
the bridal shower for Kristina, which
was held in Sauk Centre at the senior
center late in October.
We had it combined with both
sides of the family, just so she could
have one. It was a lot easier and I
didnt have to clean my house, Fuchs
said, chuckling.
The day Fuchs was asked to be
matron of honor, she started planning

for the bachelorette party on Dec.


10. Fuchs figured she totaled nearly a
days worth of time planning events.
I had fun planning the party,
Fuchs said. We had a shower and fun
games at my house and then 10 of us
hopped on a party bus to a few local
bars. Plus, Kristina had a blast.
Chris was having his bachelor party
that night as well, so the girls met up
with them at Chris friends house later
that evening.
Along with planning pre-wedding
celebrations, Fuchs has helped Kristina
prepare for her big day.
Throughout these past few
months of making phone calls and
arrangements, Kristina has remained a
cool, calm, collected and an organized
bride, said Fuchs.
She has her binder of what she
needs to do, when she needs to do it
and a checklist, Fuchs said. She has
a very Type A personality, and I think
that is the perfect way to be when
youre planning a wedding.
However, things didnt go as
planned when Kristina encountered
one stressful situation.
After the guys ordered their suits,
only four of the 11 suits fit properly,
Fuchs said. The funny thing is, they
all got measured for them. I think
every bride has one major thing thats
stressful. But, shes on top of it and

Formerly Twin Pines Cateri


Catering
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Laura Fuchs (right) was matron of honor for


her sister-in-law to be, Kristina Stuckel.

makes sure things get taken care of.


As
the
wedding
quickly
approached, Fuchs thought about her
speech and how she would write it.
I had an idea of what I wanted to
say, but I mostly spoke from the heart,

Fuchs said. I havent known Kristina


a real long time, but weve become
really close in that short amount of
time.
Matron of honor
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Matron of honor continued from page 10
said. I felt happy that she could come
to me with those sorts of things and
feel comfortable with the suggestions
I gave her, whether she liked them or
not. Im extremely honored to be her
matron of honor.

Laura (Blank) Fuchs


puts on the finishing
touches before her
brother, Chris Blank,
gets married on
Saturday, Jan. 7.
The reception was
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Planning one or more showers for the bride, with the help of the other bridesmaids
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Helping the bride choose her dress and shopping for bridesmaid dresses.
Making sure the bridesmaids all go for their dress fittings and get everything they
need for the big day.
Lending an ear when the bride wants to/needs to vent, whether it be about her
mother-in-law to-be or the fact that the napkins dont exactly match the tablecloths.
Generally keeping the bride sane during wedding planning.
Making sure the bridesmaids know where they need to be and at what time on the
big day.
At the ceremony, standing next to the bride while she exchanges vows and holding
her bouquet during the ring part of things.
The MOH may also hold onto the grooms wedding band for the bride (although the
best man has traditionally taken care of both bands).
She may stand in the receiving line.
Bustling the brides train for the party.
At the reception, shes often announced along with the best man.
She may dance with the best man during or after the couples first dance.
Generally keeping the bride sane during the wedding itself.
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she should or shouldnt do, Fuchs

Page 12 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

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Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three
strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

AVON Pastor Jeff Manthe has many favorite scriptures for wedding
ceremonies, but the one that stands out with great strength reminds the couple
that including God at the center of their marriage is vital.
God is that third cord and adding that to the rope weaved together by
the couple makes their marriage stronger and throws all the statistics out the
window, Manthe said.
As he and engaged couples journey through marriage preparation courses
at SonRise Lutheran Church in Avon, Manthe talks to them about a lot of topics
one of which, are statistics.
While the numbers dont lie, referring to national divorce rate, the discussion
is important because couples need to know what they are up against to avoid
becoming one of the numbers.
I always tell them, if they can keep God involved all the way through, all the
statistics in the world cant touch them, he said. But so often, people keep God
close until things get tough just when they need Him the most, they suddenly
think they can fight the battle on their own, Manthe said.
For Manthe, it is difficult to fully prepare a couple for such moments when
they are going to be faced with tough decisions and hardships.
Leaving God on the sidelines and pulling into ourselves and lashing out at
others is so easy to do. Its unfortunate if you can lean fully on God, you cant
fail, Manthe said.
Among other topics discussed through marriage preparation courses in
multiple denominations, are expectations about finances, lifestyle, children and
careers. Manthe encourages all couples to take part in such courses.
These are topics they may have talked about on a basic level, or perhaps
things that never crossed their minds, he said. They often have not lived day in

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Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 13

BRIDES & GROOMS


PREFER THE

Elegance
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Pastor Jeff Manthe of SonRise Lutheran Church in Avon finds joy in


supporting couples as they prepare for marriage. PHOTO BY LIZ VOS
and day out with their partner and they dont know how certain situations will
play out.
During the courses, Manthe discusses an expectation couples too often have
that leads to disappointment and discontentment down the road thinking the
other person will change or that they will be the one to change them.
Its a dangerous thought and it is never going to work, Manthe said. I tell
couples straight out, if they think that anything about the other person is going
to change, they couldnt be more wrong. That is an uphill battle. I ask couples
to consider everything about their partner and be completely willing to accept
what they are and love them for that.
If he could sum it all up, Manthe suggests couples say they are sorry a lot.
Know that you are both going to make mistakes, he said. And be kind; as
simple as that sounds if we could all be kinder, its so much better.
He also adds that it is important for couples to know that they are going to
be growing as one not as two people carrying on along two separate paths.
There are so many blessings marriage brings, he said. Going through it all
together multiplies those blessings.
Manthe points out that he learns something new each time he helps more
people on their path to marriage. He hears from them the varying challenges
they are facing and advises them as best he can, always reminding them of that
third strand in the cord they are weaving.
It is a blessing to help them consider how they will navigate through life
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Trends continued from page 7

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Wedding accessories

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Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 15

Love Lessons
Dave and Lisa Rahn
Melrose
Married: 34 Years

Did you know you were right for each other right away, and how have
you nurtured that knowledge through the years? Though we had gone
to the same school for many years, it was at a high school Homecoming
dance the year Dave was a freshman and I was in 8th grade when the world
stood still. It was as if I saw Dave for the first time! It was love at first sight
for me, and we danced the night away with Foreigner and the Bee Gees.
After that, we sought each other out at school each day and became friends.
The friendship grew. We went steady for years; and here we are 45 years
later. Being right for each other is not a stance, it is a dance. Life changes
and moves and we are affected by that. So naturally our marriages will
change too. The secret is to keep reaching for each other and holding on
with love so that while life is changing and moving, you are safe in the arms
of your dance partner.

Studies have shown that opposites may attract but its not necessarily a
good thing in marriage. In what ways are your personalities the same?
Different? We are alike in the ways that matter such as morals, working
hard and helping people. We love spending time with our wonderful
children and precious grandchildren. There are some differences. Dave
loves snowmobiling, motorcycling, hunting and old-time country music. I
enjoy going for walks, drinking tea with a friend and listening to classical
music. Dave assesses a situation and dives in with both feet. I dip my toe to
test the water first. Our dedication to one another allows us the space and
time for each to do the things we enjoy. When we do have our special times
together, like evening dinner and Saturday morning coffee, we cherish that
time together and share our hearts.
How have honesty and communication played a role in your marriage?
Do you have great conversations, share your feelings in difficult times?
Explain: We never say I told you so, we never say ridiculing things to each
other and we never say the D word. Through the years, there have been
some long hours of silence; but saying nothing in the heat of anger is always

better than wishing you could take back hurtful words. We celebrate each
others victories and support each other in times when things go wrong.
We say I love you many times each day.

How do/ did you manage life issues such as finances, parenting,
stress, etc.? Marriage is a partnership so all life issues must be managed
together. We know each of us has different strengths so one will take the
lead in some things and one will take the lead in others. By supporting the
lead and showing faith in each other we form a team. It is not a matter of
domination control for one and weak-willed submission of the other. It is
a matter of dedication, selfless love, devotion and giving for the sake of the
marriage.

Do you share a sense of adventure? What do you do for fun to keep


your marriage fresh? Keeping the fun and love alive is an adventure! If
Dave tries one of my new teas or I go on a snowmobile ride, we are both
out of our comfort zones. Doing crazy little things like that may seem funny
by the worlds standards but it is the little things in life that make marriage
fun. Keeping your eyes and ears open to surprise your partner in loving
ways keeps the marriage alive. You could climb the highest mountain in the
world but if there is no love at the top, there is no prize. Remembering the
things you fell in love with about your mate and waking each day to love
them more makes every day a sweet adventure.
Advice for newlyweds: I will give you what we have from the One who
instituted marriage: Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does
not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight
in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always
hopes, always preserves. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 12:4-8

A perfect marriage

Later this year, we will celebrate


our 10-year wedding anniversary
and with such a milestone upon us,
I thought I would share some advice
on how we have lived such a happy,
blessed and perfect marriage.
I am totally kidding! While
we are quite blessed to get to this
point, I think my husband and I can
agree that marriage is one of the
biggest challenges we have ever
faced; but as they say, the toughest
climb offers the best views.
No one told us marriage was
going to be easy, but they also didnt
mention how hard it was going to be.
Then again, maybe they did say it and
I just didnt want to hear it. Its hard
to be a soon-to-be bride or groom
and picture the kinds of struggles
real marriages see every day.
As the perfect wedding dress
is chosen and the couple decides
which side dish they should serve
alongside the chicken at their
reception hall, it seems as though
nothing can stop them. Together,
they can take on this great big
world.
But (and thats a big but) the
reality is that it is going to get hard
and what the world offers is going

to do its best to break


every day seemed to pull us
down the promises and
emotionally, stressed us out,
good intentions made at a
made us laugh, cry, scream
wedding ceremony.
and smile. Inside the closed
In our first year of
book are billions of words,
marriage, we found plenty
feelings, fears, joys and
to disagree about the list
imperfect perfection.
grew in the second year.

Years five, six, seven
By the third year, we had
and eight involved more
figured each other out;
questioning
of
each
by Liz Vos
Staff Writer
pinpointing contentious
other on parenting skills,
topics or remarks that hit
finances, careers, a majorly
the other persons hot button.
complicated attempt to sell our
By our fourth year, we were home and buy a new oneand
blessed to be expecting our first somewhere in there we welcomed
child, which was joyful. At the same sweet baby boy number two! Year
time, we lugged each other through nine brought the house and home
grief as our nephew lost his battle journey to a close and helped us get
with cancer. Also at the same time, to a point where we finally started
both our jobs were not working feeling connected and at home in the
out very well and career changes town we both grew up in.
loomed, thus, stretching our finances We have changed and grown
and pulling on whatever strands of so much over these first (almost)
strength we had left.
10 years, and yet, we are the same
Our son was born and together, people who promised to love each
we soaked up all the sweetness, other in sickness and in health, in
faced late nights, and constantly good times and in bad. The same
questioned our parenting skills. eyes fell upon each other many years
Eventually, we both made career ago; the same hands have held onto
transitions.
each other in happy times and in
It all sounds so general, like a hard times.
closed book, but every moment of A perfect marriage is just two

Love Lessons continued on page 16

imperfect people who are willing to


accept each other and take on the
world side by side always willing
to face each other with a warm
embrace of kindness, compassion
and loyalty.
Here are just a few things we
have learned so far:

1. Be hopeful, but prepared


2. When an argument arises, avoid
the temptation to hit hot buttons
3. Apologize and mean it
4. Forgive and mean it
5. Never miss a chance to tell
them how much they mean to you
6. Take turns planning fun dates
nights (especially after kids!)
7. In the heat of battle, a hug may
be all it takes to find resolve
8. Cherish the good stuff and build
on it
9. Grow together
10. Be kind

You dont know the challenges that


will come, just like you dont know
the joy that will come. Take the
leap, but take it together. A perfect
marriage is not easy, but nothing
good ever is!

Q& Love Lessons


A

Page 16 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

Paul and Lois Pischke


Sauk Centre
Married: 66 Years

Did you know you were right for each other right away, and how have
you nurtured that knowledge through the years? Paul: I did, but she
didnt. When I was eight years old, I went to school in West Union. The
teacher brought the school kids out to our farm. We had a door leading
right out to the porch outside the living room and Lois and I ran into each
other. Thats how we met. Throughout the years, I played a lot of baseball
with her brothers. But what I do remember is Lois not wanting to kiss me.
Studies have shown that opposites may attract but its not necessarily
a good thing in marriage. In what ways are your personalities the
same? Different? We both try to make the best of our marriage. Paul: Lois
was raised Lutheran and I was raised Catholic. She later converted Catholic.
My family is very musically talented and Lois family has other interests.
How have honesty and communication played a role in your marriage?
Do you have great conversations, share your feelings in difficult
times? Explain: We dont keep any secrets from each other. If we get into
an argument, we wont talk to each other for a little while, but then well
get over it.
How do/ did you manage life issues such as finances, parenting, stress,
etc.? We talk about most of that stuff. Were pretty 50/50. We knew not to
overspend in our younger years.

Do you share a sense of adventure? What do you do for fun to keep


your marriage fresh? Lois: Yes, we do, but at our age there isnt a lot
of things we can do. We used to travel to Arizona for 20 years during the
winter months.

We dont keep any secrets from each other. If we get


into an argument, we wont talk to each other for a
little while, but then well get over it.

Do you have any other advice for newlyweds? Some advice that Id offer
to those planning on getting married include getting an education and
waiting longer to get married.

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Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 17

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Trends continued from page 14


said. Were always setting up lighting as
a part of a backdrop, underneath tables,
with the ceiling draping, wherever.

Also, fresh flowers remain the
most common option for bouquets
throughout the year.

Hydrangeas are our most popular
flower, Spanier said. Succulents, too.

Mayers agreed.

Were also seeing Babys Breath
and pine cones for winter weddings,
she said.

With the different options for
dcor and outfits for the bridal party,
2017 is shaping up to be a memorable
wedding season one Spanier, Mayers
and Lanoue are eager to be a part of.

Its so exciting to be a part of
the planning for our brides and their
families, Lanoue said.

Spanier agreed.


They become like family to us,
she said. We love helping them plan
their perfect day.

We Preserve:

MARY
MARY
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RICHTER

Travel Consultant/Owner
Travel Consultant/Owner

Honeymoons &
Destination Weddings
All-Inclusive Packages to
Mexico & Caribbean
All Major Cruise Lines
European Travel
Disney & Las Vegas
Romance, Couples
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Wedding Dresses
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We Dry Clean:
Suits
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322 12th Street S


Suite 2
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Dallas & Doris Hamilton, Owners

Office: 320-351-4515 Cell: 320-491-2524

Page 18 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

The sentiments of a mug

Bridal party asked with a cup of tea


By ELIZABETH BETHKE

Staff Writer

Oct. 13, 2015 was a day I pestered


my boyfriend about for four years. It was
the day he asked me to marry him and
of course I said, Its about darn time!
We were in the process of finishing up
school, so a long engagement was on the
agenda.
Our wedding date is approaching
quicker than I expected but I believe I
have preplanned most everything so I
do not turn into the dreaded bridezilla.
One of my first tasks I accomplished
was asking my maid of honor and five

bridesmaids.
I searched for hours on Pinterest to
try and figure out a clever and unique
way to ask them, but nothing seemed
to strike my fancy until I spoke with my
co-worker who works in a photo lab.
We decided on a mug, but not just any
mug plain ol black mug that when hot
water is poured into the emptiness, the
dark color lifts like a curtain to reveal the
actual design, which says Hes marrying
me but stuck with us. Will you be my
bridesmaid? The coloring and design I
left to the professionals. My next task
was to figure out how to get the mugs
to where they needed to go or meet up
with my girls.

SUBMITTED PHOTO
Natalia (middle) and Emily (right) will be in my wedding on Sept. 15, 2017. Emily is
my Maid of Honor as well as my sister.

Contact
Alicia Meyer
for More
Information!

Broadway Ballroom
EVENT CENTER

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alicia.meyer@broadway-ballroom.com | 115 30th Ave. E. Alexandria, MN 56308 | 320-763-6565

Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017 Page 19


I asked my sister, Emily, first
considering she was my maid of honor
but I used the same tactic for all six of
them. I asked Emily if she wanted some
tea, filled up the mug in front of her with
boiling hot water and waited for the
curtain and her response. It went a little
like this
Oh my gosh, are you serious? Is
this really happening right now?
Tears, hugs and laughter
followed, along with a
sarcastic remark about
how she would only
agree if she could
have a couple of
shots before her
maid of honor
speech.
(She
agreed, but I
did not agree
to her terms.)
Four out
of my five
bridesmaids
I was able to
meet and treat
them with tea.
Their responses
were roughly the
same. A couple of
them were oblivious
to the changing of
the mug, and I could not
help but laugh at them. They
laughed with me after I pointed to
the message. My other bridesmaid, my
foreign exchange student from Italy who
became like a sister, was a little harder
to ask.
I paid extra to ship her mug to Italy,
but it was definitely worth it. It took
two long weeks to arrive and when it
finally did arrive, Natalia called me at 3
in the morning there is a seven-hour
difference between here and there
and asked if she could open it.
Nope, you have to wait because I

want to Skype and get your response on


video, I said. Plus, I wanted to go back to
sleep!
Her response was a grumbled and
discontented OK.
After getting five more hours of
sleep we Skyped and she beamed with
excitement and anticipation. I made sure
to secure the package with enough tape
to ensure its safe arrival, but she did
not seem to appreciate the obstacle
that stood between her and the
gift. After several minutes of
struggling with a scissors,
unraveling tape and
tissue paper she held
in her hand the plain
black mug.
The expression
on her face was
priceless. The look
she gave me said
it all, Seriously?
You shipped a plain
black mug all the
way from Minnesota
to Italy

I
instructed
her, just like I had
with all my other
bridesmaids, to fill it
with hot water for a cup of
tea. She went along with it,
but looked at me in disbelief.
When the curtain rose and she
was able to read the message out loud,
her eyes welled up with tears for one
of two reasons she was filled with
happiness and the hot water in the mug
was scorching her hand.
Of course I would love to be a part
of your day, she said
When Sept. 15, 2017 rolls around, I
will have my girls stand by me and I will
be ready to say I Do to my best friend.
Maybe before our vows, well share a
cup of tea.

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Page 20 Star Publications - Wedding Planner - January 2017

SAVE YOUR DATE

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