I Do I Do

February 17, 2011
Special Section to: The Valley Gazette


The Stratford Star


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Fairfield Sun


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• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •

• February 17, 2011 •

Stars: a French horn and dancing feet
by Karen Dydzuhn
Kelly Csilliam didn’t plan on falling in love when she enrolled in Juilliard College’s Class of 2010. A French horn player, Kelly planned to continue to play each year in music festivals and tour with prestigious symphonies to European and national music halls before attending graduate school. However, shortly after she met Hanan Misko during her freshman year at the prestigious New York school for the arts, Kelly knew that her life had changed. “We were friends for about seven months before we started dating during sophomore year,” Kelly explained. “We used to stay up late talking and quickly became best friends. I just never thought I’d meet the man that I was going to marry in college.” A dance major hailing from Centerview, Mo., Hanan, too, was not exactly looking for love in the Big Apple. At the end of their junior year, though, it became apparent that they were meant to spend their lives together. Unbeknownst to Kelly — or even to her mother — Hanan made a trip to the family’s Massachusetts residence at the beginning of the summer after they both completed their junior year. He secretly asked her father, Joe, for Kelly’s hand in marriage. Kelly was on the other side of the country in Colorado, performing at a music festival where she’d been playing for several years. About a month later, when Kelly’s gig was completed, she reunited with Hanan at his family’s farm in Missouri. It was here, in a beautiful local garden, resplendent with a picturesque pond and lush landscape, that Hanan orchestrated a proposal befitting their creative endeavors.


A garden of flower girls provides a decorative border for Kelly Csilliam and Hanan Misko.. — Jesiah Misko photo

morning, she thought they were going to work on a collaborative dance and music piece that would eventually be part of their respective senior projects. “He told me to bring my horn because he wanted to get inspiration from my music,” she recalled. “He also told me that he was setting up a video When Kelly woke up early that Sunday camera so that he could capture the differ-

ent ideas that we would come up with.” Of course, the camera was used to document the special proposal that he had in mind. “I was playing and he was dancing away,” Kelly continued. “At some point, he told me to put down my horn and that it was now time for us to dance together.”

Hanan also asked her to close her eyes and turn away briefly. She thought he was just being playful, but Hanan was actually cleverly tucking the ring in the bell of her instrument. Then, putting on their favorite song — Stephen Curtis Chapman’s “Shall We Dance” — the couple gazed into each others eyes for a long time, Kelly said, and


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• February 17, 2011 •

• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •


moved slowly to the music. “We were just enjoying being together after being apart for five weeks,” she mused. “I had totally forgotten about the camera.” When Hanan interrupted their dancing by saying that they should pack up their belongings, Kelly wasn’t suspicious because they planned on meeting his parents at church later that morning. Coincidentally, her parents, too, were also in Missouri at the time. “It was then, when I picked up my instrument, that I felt something inside,” Kelly said. “This little white box fell to the ground. My first thought was that Hanan had bought me some earrings.” Kelly said that although they had definitely talked about wanting to spend the rest of their lives together, she didn’t expect to get engaged so soon. With dexterity that no doubt comes from honing his dancing chops for so many years, Hanan swiftly moved to pick up the jewelry box and, dropping to one knee, asked Kelly to marry him. “It was all on camera. It was just amazing,” Kelly said. She, of course, replied enthusiastically, “Yes!” Kelly said that she did ask Hanan if he spoke to her father. “It’s not a real engagement unless my father gives his permission,” she said. That’s when Hanan revealed his travels to her Massachusetts home earlier in the summer. Two weeks after receiving their diplomas from Juilliard this June, Kelly and Hanan were wed in the Catholic church that Kelly grew up in. Juilliard music students performed at both the nuptials and the wedding reception. After dinner, Kelly, too, joined the jazz ensemble that she had played with during her time at Juilliard. Another highlight was a choreographed hip-hop routine that featured the entire wedding party. Following their honeymoon, the couple returned to the Colorado music festival so that Kelly could, once again, perform. Shortly after returning to New York and enrolling in Juilliard’s graduate music program in September, the newlyweds learned that they were going to have a baby. Given this child’s abundance of creative genes, it’s not hard to imagine what kind of activities he or she might be drawn to. “We’re so excited,” Kelly said. Since graduation, Hanan has danced with some top-notch Manhattan-based dance repertory companies, and he’s currently working at the Metropolitan Opera House as a member of its dance corps. Kelly plans to take some time off after the baby is born before resuming her studies.

Coren Moore designs dresses for bridesmaids that they will enjoy wearing for other occasions as well. — Bruce Plotkin photos

Happy bridesmaids, happy bride!
by Lois Alcosser
When Coren Moore was planning her wedding and went shopping for dresses for her bridesmaids, she was discouraged by what she saw. Why, she asked herself, in this day and age, when fashion itself can be so exciting, are outfits for bridesmaids so behind the times, so dismally unattractive? Was it because designers wanted the bride to be the star, and therefore the dowdier the bridesmaids, the better? mothers of the bride found the perfect dress as well.) The next step was inevitable. Bridal dresses. After all, when bridesmaids look so attractive, the bride has to look magnificent. Once again, fit was an essential factor. Coren Moore wedding gowns are structured to fit and flatter. Brides report that very few, if any, alterations are needed. Favorite fabrics are silk shantung, Mikado shantung (a heavier silk), silk satin and overlays of lace. All have the richness and beautiful draping qualities She felt embarrassed to suggest many of the needed for a bridal gown. Styling is classic, styles she saw, and that was the beginning of with lavish full skirts or more fitted, slim sildesigner Coren Moore’s new career, in 2003. houettes. She proceeded to change what had become There is a Coren Moore store in the heart of an unfortunate tradition. Manhattan’s garment district at 250 West Why should bridesmaid dresses be worn 39th Street, and 60 retailers across the counonce and then hidden away? A 21st Centu- try sell her designs. But the good news for ry bridesmaid, who may be asked to spend Connecticut is that, as of this month, Coren $250 on a dress, should feel sure that she’ll Moore designs move from a pop-up shop in look terrific at her sister’s, cousin’s or dear Rowayton to Connecticut’s quintessential friend’s wedding, and she’ll want to wear her bridal shop, The White Dress by the Shore in Clinton. dress a lot, for a long time. That’s how Coren Moore’s collection of dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls and junior bridesmaids began. First requirement was that these dresses could be worn for many occasions long after the wedding. They had to fit well, be seasonally appropriate, in a refreshing choice of colors and fabrics. That means summer bridesmaid dresses in seersucker and cotton. It means vibrant, saturated colors, not namby-pamby, washed-out pastels, and designed in classic, simple lines that are always in style. One look at their Web site is proof positive that this could be called a paradise for brides. The shop at 104 East Main Street is in a 1763 house that has just undergone its newest renovation; there are now five fitting rooms. Owner Beth Chapman believes that shopping for a wedding should be as memorable as the wedding day itself. She is thrilled that her store will carry Coren Moore exclusively. “Her bridal gowns are perfect for a Connecticut bride and a classic New England wedding,” she says. seamstresses in New York City. The Coren Moore business strategy has always been to focus on partnering with established retailers who value customer service and quality above all else. The Coren Moore staff is “simply ecstatic to be collaborating with Beth Chapman and her team at The White Dress by the Shore, where bridesmaid dresses will be loved long after the wedding and bridal gowns will be treasured by daughters and granddaughters of the bride!”


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• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •

• February 17, 2011 •

‘Save money ... no more weddings!’
by Joanne Greco Rochman
Turmoil’s Sara Mayer was a little frightened as she stood before a television camera and in front of a live studio audience and asked the nationally known finance guru Suze Orman a question about money and weddings. She had gotten to this point via an all-expense paid trip for two to California. The tab was picked up by the new Oprah Winfrey Network. If you’re wondering how this came about, Sara’s sojourn was the result of being in the right place at the right time, and asking the right question. After 10 years of trying to get on the Oprah Show, Sara was determined to get tickets during the last season. Every day she went onto Oprah’s Web site, and finally, she received a note from one of the producers asking her if she was the “ultimate Barbra Streisand fan, and to prove it.” “I immediately e-mailed back that when I was in college, I skipped an important class to catch a Streisand concert. When the professor asked me where I was, at first I lied

Sara Mayer has attended 24 weddings and been a bridesmaid in 11 of them.

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• February 17, 2011 •

• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •


and said I went to see a doctor. A few weeks later, I told the professor where I really went, and she was also a diehard Streisand fan and delighted in the details about the concert.” Sara’s reply got her two tickets to the Oprah show, which featured Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. However, this was only the beginning of Sara’s adventure. While she was waiting for the show, someone came around with blue cards and asked people in the audience if they had any questions for Ask Oprah’s All Stars, which was about to make its debut on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). As fate would have it, Sara had a question for Suze Orman. That question was one heck Suze Orman gave Sara some friendly but sound adof question. It earned her and a guest a two-day vice on how to start building her savings account. holiday, all expenses paid, to sunny Los Angeles where Ask Oprah’s All Stars was being taped live. “She told me in no uncertain terms that if I had invested that money, I would now have $50,000,” said Sara. “She explained where and how to do that, but I’ll have to listen to the show to remember it all. I was caught up in the moment. After I asked my question, a curtain opened and revealed all 11 gowns (cleaned, pressed and on mannequins). I heard the audience ‘Ooh,’ and I thought to myself that the gowns really were beautiful,” A couple of days later, a producer of Ask Oprah’s said the exuberant young woman, who works as All Stars called Sara and asked her some serious an administrative assistant and event planner for questions. E-mails then went back and forth. A Sun Products in Wilton. few weeks later, Sara received a call from a producer who wanted to book her on the Suze Orman In addition to the all-expense-paid trip, Sara was segment of Ask the All Stars. They also wanted to required to arrive at the studio for a hair and know if Sara had any of the gowns from the wed- make-up session. A town car picked up Sara and dings she had been in. friend at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, where they stayed. Adding to the excitement, she had her “Because I had just moved, I had packed all 11 own dressing space with her name on it. “It really gowns in a big plastic bag and was going to bring made me feel special,” she said. She also said that them to Goodwill as soon as I had a chance. I just it was directly next door to Dr. Oz’s dressing room hadn’t gotten around to it. The producer was de- and he popped in to say hello. lighted and asked me to ship all of them to the show. They paid for the shipping,” explained Sara, After the taping, Sara was introduced to Suze Orwho added that they also paid for her and her best man and spent some one-on-one time with her. friend to fly out for the taping and two fun days in “She softened up off camera and was very friendsunny California. ly. I felt completely comfortable with her.” The question was a doozy, but Suze Orman’s reply was quite a shocker. Here’s what Sara asked. “In the past four years, I have attended 24 weddings and I have been a bridesmaid in 11 of them. I just bought a house and I’d like to know how I can start saving some money,” wrote the very popular Sara. The format of the show is like a town hall meeting. A person asks Suze a question and then receives an answer. “What Suze told me was, ‘Don’t be in so many weddings,’” said Sara with a laugh. “Suze wasn’t being funny. She is a tough cookie,” said the long-time Trumbull resident, who said that in addition to that advice she broke down how much Sara had spent for gowns, gifts, showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, new dresses, travel, etc. Orman estimated that Sara had spent over $11,000 in four years on weddings. A couple of years ago, Sara Mayer won a recipe contest that landed her on the Rachael Ray show. Last year, she finally made it to see the Oprah show, and this year, she managed to get a free trip and made another television appearance. Offhand, I’d say that being Sara’s friend is a very good thing. The show aired on January 13 and will be repeated. Look on the OWN schedule for the next time the show runs.

After the honeymoon
by Isabelle Ghaneh
Saturday Night alumnus Chris Kattan separated from his wife after only two months of marriage. That’s a short time to decide you have had enough of married life, especially when the last piece of wedding cake is still in your freezer, waiting to be savored again. Couples may run into trouble before the thank-you cards have been written, and that’s not unusual, according to Gil Consolini, the director of behavioral health for Family Centers, a counseling agency with offices in Greenwich, Stamford and Darien. Smoothing the transition from single status to married isn’t always easy, and unexpected and difficult feelings are normal. Gil said it’s typical for couples to feel let down and disappointed after returning from the honeymoon. “Difficult feelings are inevitable, and unanticipated feelings of being isolated from family and friends are typical,” Gil said. “You are starting to create a life together as a new couple, and feelings will be stirred up as you both try to commit to another person.” Even if two people have lived together for a while, marriage is different. Couples can be surprised at what happens when they first settle in, even if they have spent years dating or known each other a long time. “Once people actually get married, their mental image of marriage and what marriage should be kicks in. They may have a certain vision and fantasy about how marriage should be, and it gets punctured by reality. A very career-savvy woman, who is extremely competent in her job and lived with her partner for several years, may still hold an image of marriage that she acquired when she was playing with dolls. If her marriage doesn’t initially meet her standards of what marriage should be, she may feel extremely disappointed,” Gil said. Images of an ideal marriage may be acquired from early experiences and the media. Some people were disappointed in the marriages they saw as children, especially that of their parents. They feel they want to do things differently, make their own marriage better than their parents’ was. If that doesn’t seem to be happening, it can be terribly frustrating and disappointing. “The feeling of being helpless and out of control to make your marriage dif-

After continued on page 7

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• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •

• February 17, 2011 •

Take time to reminisce
by Karen Dydzuhn
On my first wedding anniversary, my husband, Mark, and I decided to celebrate at a bed and breakfast inn in Essex, Conn. Our little getaway included a lovely dinner and visit to the Goodspeed Opera House. It was nice to recognize the life that we started together the year before. Coincidentally, my aunt and uncle also recently commemorated their wedding anniversary with an overnight stay and visit to the Goodspeed Opera House. Growing up together in Westport, they hung out in the same crowd, started dating and got married a few years after their high school graduation. That was 46 years ago. To mark their 45th anniversary, they went on a cruise to Bermuda, accompanied by another couple with whom they are close friends. Although my aunt and uncle don’t typically celebrate their anniversaries so extravagantly, 45 years is a long time and deserved some special recognition. Although she’s only celebrated three anniversaries so far, Jenn Curley enjoys creating a special time for herself and her husband, Tom. “My wedding day was one of the best days of my life,” said Jenn, “and one that I


Jenn Curley, shown with Anna, Tom and baby Tommy, says her wedding day was one of the best days of her life, and one she doesn’t want to forget.

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• February 17, 2011 •

• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •


a lot of pictures. The day ended with a delicious dinner at Becco.” This year, the Trombettas barely had time to acknowledge their anniversary because they were busy with baby showers and then their daughter Gia’s early delivery. “It was a blur,” Leslie confessed. However, like Jenn, her children are an affirmation of the love she shares with her husband. “It’s important to acknowledge wedding anniversaries, not only for the special dinners or gifts but to celebrate another year of being more in love with each other,” Leslie said. And, before too long, the anniversaries start to add up. This year, Cathy and Dan Szabo celebrated 20 years of marriage. For the majority of this time, the couple has owned and operated various seafood restaurants in Fairfield County. The newest business, Szabo’s Seafood and Catering, is on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. When they are not working side by side shucking clams and booking clam- and lobster-bake parties, the Szabos are busy raising their three sons at their home in Monroe. Cathy said, “Sometimes in our lives, with all the financial responsibilities and kids, bills, business and just life, we forget about what was so special 20 years ago. This is why it’s important to make our anniversary a special time.” She said that although they always try to “get away” to their favorite haunts in Vermont or upstate Connecticut, sometimes they celebrate their anniversary quietly. “We both enjoy eating really unique foods — Thai and Chinese — and we love to laugh, go for walks and just reminisce about how we are meant to be with each other, and how far we have come,” Cathy said.

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ferent can be very unsettling for a successful person in the business or creative field, especially for someone who has a lot of confidence and belief in their ability to succeed. Their confidence can be eroded when they can’t put their own stamp on marriage, and make marriage what they want,” Gil said.

that he has a more realistic expectation of her and her role. You don’t know until you talk to your partner,” Gil said. It’s common for people to hide what they are feeling from themselves if they are not comfortable with those feelings, but it comes out in other ways. “Feelings of cold feet are normal, and every couple experiences them, both before they get married and afterwards. There is always a sense of loss and regret even in the best partnerships and marriages. As you create your life together, you are losing other parts of your life. Your relationship is now more complicated,” he added.

Leslie and Dean Trombetta’s last anniversary was a double celebration with the birth of their daughter.

never want to forget. Because of meeting Tom, we now have two beautiful children and a wonderful life together.” Jenn said that she doesn’t especially need flowers or presents. “Time with Tom is important to me, so as long as we can be together on our anniversary that’s all that matters,” she said. For their first anniversary, the couple celebrated at home with their then week-old daughter, Anna. Due to arrive on the date of their wedding anniversary, baby Anna made a surprise appearance a week early, Jenn said.

One partner may come from a background where emotional expression is the norm, and the other may not be used to displays of emotion. One partner may feel disagreement is a normal part of married life, and the other may feel arguing is unacceptable and not in keeping with his or her idea of “Talk to somebody you trust about your what marriage is all about. concerns if you are worried about how your spouse will react to your feelings. A friend In addition to occasional feelings of disap- can say, ‘Todd could handle this, you can pointment or experiencing disharmony in tell him, he will listen,’ or the friend might a new marriage, it’s also possible that once say, ‘Todd will have difficulties with this; he’s the finality of the situation sets in, one part- feeling insecure.’ Talking to a friend can give ner may feel his or her life options are now you good feedback, and it can help alter your very limited, or very controlled. perspective on your situation,” Gil said. “Now that the marriage ceremony has taken place, a locked-in feeling may occur, and that can be quite panicking,” Gil said. One partner may feel he or she is linked to another person for life, and their freedom is curtailed. You need to find constructive ways to deal with your feelings, Gil said. It’s appropriate to express what you are feeling, and maybe it’s not as terrible as you think. You may find that when you talk to your partner, he or she may encourage you to have your own enriching experiences. Gil advises couples to anticipate some disappointment and difficult feelings after the honeymoon. Accept what you’re feeling, and find constructive ways to deal with it, including a dialogue with your partner that’s positive and not a personal attack.

“On our second anniversary, we celebrated by finding out I was pregnant with baby number two, who turned out to be our son, Tommy,” she said. “For our third anniversary, we celebrated by going out to a nice quiet dinner together. We just talked about how lucky we were, and And, that’s exactly what Mark and I try where our three years of marriage had to do when July 29th rolls around each brought us to.” year. Not one who goes for celebrating holidays with a great deal of fanfare, Mark Leslie J. Trombetta also cherishes spend- once told me that he cherishes our maring time with her spouse, Dean. Some- riage 365 days a year, not just on that one times they’ve watched their wedding special day. Even so, we try to grab a cup video together after enjoying a romantic of coffee, maybe even a dinner at a resdinner. “Last year we had an amazing and taurant without the four kids in tow, just romantic day in Central Park,” Leslie said. to pause long enough to reflect on what “There was gorgeous foliage, and we took our lives have been like together.

“Remember, it’s universal to feel let down after the wedding ceremony is over; it’s just not advertised. Those feelings come up in therapy, and I have seen it a lot,” Gil said. “It’s perfectly normal. If time passes and your feelings don’t change or if they intensify, then you should consider talking to a trained therapist. Talk therapy can be a very “A woman may feel that once she is mar- positive experience, and can help you sort ried, she has to put dinner on the table every through relationship issues.” night and have wonderful sex each night. Once she talks to her partner, she may find Family Centers can be reached at 869-4848.

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• I Do, I Do Spring Bridal • Hersam Acorn Newspapers •

• February 17, 2011 •

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