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2023 A Special Pullout Section

The County Times Spring 2023

Your Wedding Timeline Guide

wedding gown because it might take some 4 Months Out
trial and error to find the perfect dress. You Grooms traditionally arrange the hon-
also can start shopping for wedding party eymoon, so this is a fine time to get those
attire at this time. Check with formalwear travel plans in order. If you need passports,
vendors to see how long it will take for the you should secure them as early as pos-
gowns to arrive in the shop for alterations. sible, and no later than four months prior
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to to the wedding to ensure processing times.
book the wedding venue. Book cake tastings and order the cake if
it is not part of the venue food and bever-
8 Months Out age package. If you haven’t already done
Reception halls may have their own so, the bride should have an initial gown
schedules, but you should think about set- fitting, and wedding invitations should be
ting your menu at this time, including de- ordered at this time.
ciding if you will host a seated dinner, a
buffet or something else. 2 Months Out
Eight months out also is a good time to Secure your wedding license and buy
finalize the guest list and send save-the- wedding party gifts. Address and mail the
Wedding planning involves many mov- pick a date, and start to assemble a cur- date cards. wedding invitations. Undergo a second
able pieces that ultimately need to come sory guest list. This also is a great time to This also is a good time to visit stores to gown fitting and work with the seamstress
together on the big day. Planning is typi- begin touring venues to get a feel for po- create registry gift lists. for the final fitting date just before the wed-
cally a months-long process, and adher- tential ceremony and reception locales. ding. Finalize any song selections with the
ing to certain monthly benchmarks can 6 Months Out DJ or band.
help couples stay the course. 11 Months Out Meet with potential florists and other The final details will occur in the last
Brides magazine offers that the perfect Now is the time to get a firm handle vendors, like transportation companies weeks before the wedding. Buy all the
engagement period is 12 to 14 months, on the theme and scope of the wedding. and hotels, to secure these arrangements. small accessories and items, undergo final
which affords ample time to get organized Start picking wedding colors and overall Your place of worship also may require fittings and check in with all vendors for
and work with vendors. With that in mind, design. Also, interview and hire vendors, certain classes or preparatory meetings, final payments and to ensure they are on
here’s a 12-month timeline for couples get- such as photographers, bands and vid- so be sure to inquire about these. schedule. Notify the reception hall of the
ting ready to say “I do.” eographers. These vendors tend to book Meet with a makeup and hair stylist and final guest count.
up quickly as wedding season draws near, book a trial. Choose attire for groomsmen
12 Months Out so it’s never too early to book them. and give them a deadline for fittings and Once the wedding day arrives, couples
At the start of the planning process, es- orders. If you will not be getting married who have done their best to stay on sched-
tablish your budget, hire a wedding plan- 10 Months Out in a place of worship, hire an officiant at ule can relax and have a great time with
ner (optional), choose the wedding party, This is a good time to start shopping for a this time. family and friends.

Engaged over the holidays?

Dreaming of a waterfront
Schedule a venue tour of
the Calvert Marine Museum
to find out more!
Call or email Marci Kreamer today.
410-326-2042 ext. 8066 or
Spring 2023 The County Times Weddings

How to Build a Wedding Budget Without

Breaking the Bank
Wedding planning is a unique experi- still need to come up with roughly half of
ence unlike any endeavor most couples the money needed to fund their weddings.
will ever encounter. Much effort goes into Couples without substantial savings may
planning a wedding, and that includes be forced to cut back in order to avoid
building a budget that ensures the big day beginning their life as a married couple in
will be fun without breaking the bank. debt.
Most couples planning a wedding have
never tied the knot before, so it can be dif- • Make a list of potential expenses.
ficult to determine a reasonable amount Location will be a significant factor when
to spend. It’s easy to go overboard when determining potential expenses. For ex-
planning a wedding, and couples may ample, a 2022 ValuePenguin analysis
find their list of wants and, consequently, of data from The Wedding Report found
their expenses, growing as they get into that the average wedding in Massachu-
the weeds of wedding planning. Though it setts cost roughly $30,500 in 2020, while
might require some difficult decisions, cou- couples tying the knot in Arkansas spent
ples can keep these tips in mind so they around $12,500 on their weddings. With
can build a wedding budget that won’t such wild fluctuations, it’s important that • Make a list of what’s most impor- • Commit to a limit before spending a
land them in debt after saying, “I do.” couples get an accurate estimate of how tant. Most couples will have to compro- dime. Committing to a limit before spend-
much it may cost them to get married in a mise in order to avoid taking on debt to ing a dime can help couples keep wed-
• Determine funding. The days when a given city. Couples who met in a city and finance their weddings. An earnest dis- ding costs more manageable. Once that
bride’s parents would finance the wedding still live in a city but grew up in a suburb cussion about what’s most important to number is defined, couples can then work
entirely on their own are largely a thing might save a considerable sum by getting each person can ensure you both get what within its parameters, which can make po-
of the past. According to a recent Wed- married in their hometowns. Compare and you want. Each person can make a list of tentially difficult decisions a little easier by
dingWire Newlywed Report, parents now contrast prices in locales you’re consider- their priorities, ranking them from most im- narrowing options at a time when options
pay for 52 percent of wedding expenses. ing, and then build your budget accord- portant to least important. Once lists are can seem endless.
As couples begin establishing a wedding ingly. This can help you avoid sticker shock shared, couples can see where their priori-
budget, it’s imperative that they first deter- and going over budget. Notable expenses ties converge and where they diverge. Any A well-planned budget can be just what
mine who, if anyone, will be helping them to budget include the venue, attire (i.e., items that rank low on each person’s list of couples need to begin married life on
finance the big day. Fifty-two percent of wedding dress and tuxedo rental), hair- priorities can be afforded less funding, strong financial footing.
wedding expenses is a significant amount style and makeup, entertainment, photog- while those that are high on each list can
of money, but in that scenario, couples will raphy, and transportation, among others. take up more of the budget, if necessary.

Wedding Invitations
and Programs
Custom Designed for Your Wedding
• Save the Date Cards & Magnets • Table Numbers
• Wedding Invitations • Seating Charts
• RSVP Cards • Candy Wrappers
• Accommodation Cards
• Menus
• Printed & Addressed Envelopes
• Bridal Shower Invitations
• Favor Cards & Tags
Place Cards

Thank You Cards

• Signs
Weddings, Parties, Corporate Events
• Direction Cards • Banners
• Many Typestyles and Templates to choose from


office: 301-475-5531 • fax: 301-475-9636 301-686-8502 •
HOURS: MONDAY - FRIDAY: 8a.m. to 4p.m.
18050 Church Cove Lane, St. Inigoes, Maryland 20684
The County Times Spring 2023

Questions to Ask
Weddings by Monique
Restoring the Joy in Wedding Planning
Prospective Officiants
Couples make many de-
cisions when planning their
weddings. Everything from the
design of save-the-date cards
to the color of the napkins at the
reception tables requires cou-
ples’ input. Choice of officiant
is another decision that’s wor-
thy of significant consideration.
Many couples may have an
officiant in mind before they
begin planning their wedding.
In such instances, couples may
choose an officiant who’s affili-
ated with their place of worship
or even a friend or family mem-
With careful planning and budgeting, we find ber who’s been ordained or
certified to officiate weddings.
ways to make your wedding dreams come true Couples with no such option
without breaking the bank. We have several can ask the following questions
as they look to hire an officiant
wedding packages that are affordable for their wedding.
and customizable to meet the Can you legally officiate
specific needs of the bride our wedding?
Each state has its own re-
and spouse to be. quirements regarding who
can sign the paperwork nec-
essary for couples to be con-
Free 1 Hour Consultation by phone or Zoom. sidered legally married. An
Call to Schedule a No Obligation Appointment officiant should meet these
Phone: 240-298-9474 | Email:
What services do you
Some officiants will do more
than officiate the wedding.
Some will help couples ob-
tain their marriage license and
even submit the documentation after the ciants may preside over their ceremony.
wedding. Those services can be important,
but many couples are more concerned Will we work together prior to the
with what officiants will do before and dur- ceremony?
ing the ceremony. Ask if the officiant will Many officiants will ask to meet with a
write his or her own remarks to be deliv- couple at least once before the wedding
ered during the ceremony. Some couples so they can get to know them as well as
may want to write remarks for the officiant, possible. Ask each officiant if this is their
while others may need help crafting the policy. Pre-wedding meetings can be con-
message they want to convey. ducted in person or via Zoom. When dis-
cussing meeting before the wedding, ask
How flexible are you? the officiant if he or she will attend the
Ask how officiants handle feedback and wedding rehearsal. It’s not customary for
how willing they are to deliver remarks officiants to do so, though some might be
they did not necessarily write themselves. willing to attend the rehearsal, especially
Some officiants may have a template they if the ceremony will feature any elaborate
customarily follow, but that doesn’t neces- components that require their involvement.
sarily mean they won’t stray and person-
alize the ceremony based on couples’ Miscellaneous considerations
wishes. Couples should ask such officiants Couples also may want to broach
how far they’re willing to stray from their some additional topics when questioning
routine if necessary. prospective officiants. Such topics may
Do you have a portfolio? • Officiant’s attire
Written testimonials from past clients • Backups if the officiant falls ill prior to
can be invaluable, but couples can get a the ceremony
true feel for an officiant’s style by watching • Officiant fees, and if extra services
video of ceremonies they’ve officiated in like attending the rehearsal incurs ad-
the past. Ask prospective officiants if they ditional charges
can share video of weddings they’ve pre- • Officiants’ experience
sided over. It’s not a red flag if officiants
have no such video, which couples may Couples can ask prospective officiants
have forgotten to share. But video can help various questions in an effort to find the
couples get an accurate idea of how offi- right person to officiate their wedding.
Spring 2023 The County Times Weddings

How to Find the Right Reception Venue

essary concessions if you have different 2021 Real Weddings Study found that
ideas in mind. couples typically spend around 30 per-
cent of their overall budget on the venue,
• Consider picking a venue before which makes this decision the biggest one
setting a date. It can be wise to pick a in terms of the financial commitments a
reception venue first and then choose your couple will have to make. Couples may
wedding date based on the availability of be tempted to choose an awe-inspiring,
the venue. This is especially important for costly venue for their reception, but they
couples who already have an ideal venue should consider how devoting so much of
in mind, and it also provides some flex- their budget to the venue will affect the rest
ibility as couples search for the venue. For of their big day. The best reception venue
example, couples working within a strict might be one that won’t eat up too much
budget may not be able to afford a pre- of your budget.
ferred venue during the height of wedding
season, but that venue could be less costly • Consider the package. Venues vary
during slower times of year. By waiting to in terms of their reception packages. Some
pick a date until you’ve chosen a venue, may offer catering, including beverages,
you’re increasing your options. with each of their packages, while food
and beverage might not be part of other
• Consider your guests. Though cou- venues’ offerings. If you find a venue you
ples, particularly those footing the bill on love but it doesn’t offer catering services,
Every decision engaged couples make • Decide what you want out of a their own, should prioritize their desires seek estimates from area caterers to de-
in regard to their weddings is significant, venue. Prospective brides and grooms when choosing a reception, it’s important termine how much it will cost to feed and
but some may affect the day more than may have vastly different ideas regard- they also consider their guests before mak- serve your guests. Many couples find it
others. Perhaps no decision will help cou- ing how they want their weddings to go, ing a final decision. A venue that’s acces- more convenient and less stressful to pick
ples set the tone they hope to establish and it’s imperative that couples discuss sible and located near transit hubs like a venue that offers on-site catering, though
more than their choice of reception venue. their ideal weddings prior to looking for airports and train stations will increase the plenty of others have had no trouble after
Reception venues are where couples a venue. Do you want to get married in likelihood that more people can attend. In choosing a venue and separate caterer.
and their guests will spend the vast major- a place of worship? Or do you prefer a addition, if children will be invited, a venue
ity of their time on the wedding day, which venue that can host both the ceremony that includes family restrooms, including at The bulk of a couple’s wedding day and
is why choice of venue bears such signifi- and reception? Do you want an indoor, least one with a changing table, can make night will be spent at the reception, making
cance. With that in mind, couples can con- outdoor or hybrid ceremony and recep- parents’ nights much easier. choice of venue one of the more fun and
sider these tips as they look for the perfect tion? Define what you both want before important decisions they’ll have to make.
place to host their receptions. looking for a venue and make the nec- • Consider your budget. The Knot

Wildewood Village
Event Center
The Wildewood Village Event Center is the perfect
place to host your Wedding Reception, Birthday Party,
Baby Shower or any Special Events.
The Event Center is located in the Wildewood Community
in California, MD. The Event Center has a tranquil setting
that provides the perfect location for your event. The
venue features accommodations for 150 guests with tables
and chairs, a 15ft full wet bar, and beautiful outside patio.

Book your special event now!

Visit us on Facebook at: Wildewood Village Event Center
Spring 2023 The County Times Weddings

Why a Wedding
Planner Can Be a
Couple’s Best Asset
The average cost of a wedding today is attention they deserve.
enough to make a sizable down payment
on a home. According to The Knot’s 2019 Problem solver
Real Weddings Study, the average wed- Wedding planners step in to save the
ding in the United States cost $33,900 day when hiccups threaten to derail plans.
in 2019, though the price tag can vary A planner will know what to do should a
widely from state to state. Though love gown become torn or if a vendor fails to
may not cost a thing, weddings certainly respond to calls on the day of the wed-
do. One of the best ways to maximize ding. Removing some stressors allows
wedding budgets and ensure that all that couples to relax and more fully immerse
money is well spent is to enlist the services themselves in their weddings. The Inn at Leonardtown, Ascend® Hotel Collection, is a boutique hotel in
of a wedding planner. Wedding planners Leonardtown offering a perfect retreat for your next getaway. Just minutes from
wear many hats, which underscores how Idea generator Breton Bay, our location makes the perfect base for both business and leisure
valuable they can be. Pulling together ideas from every cor- travelers to explore the area’s attractions and outdoor recreation. We’re within
ner requires a creative eye. Couples can walking distance of Leonardtown Wharf and Leonardtown Square. Group rates
Sounding board rely on a professional wedding planner are available for weddings, family reunions, and other special events.
An experienced wedding planner can to help with brainstorming and putting dif-
help couples keep their worries at bay. ferent elements together. He or she likely
Countless decisions must be made when has seen a vast array of celebrations and
planning a wedding, and some couples can make suggestions based on what’s
may feel as if they need to micromanage worked before.
their nuptials. A wedding planner can take
tasks off of couples’ plates and serve as a Time saver
sounding board as couples try to make the Wedding planners already have a bevy
best decisions. of industry contacts and can pull together
wedding details in much less turnaround
Financial guru time than couples with no wedding plan-
A wedding planner may help couples ning experience. 41655 Park Ave, Leonardtown • (301) 475-0187
score insider deals and will know when a
vendor’s price is on target or inflated. That Wedding planners are invaluable re-
savvy saves couples money in the long sources who wear multiple hats as they
run. Wedding planners also can advise on help couples plan the wedding of their
ways to save money and allocate funds so dreams.
couples’ biggest priorities get the financial

Stage Fright? Consider

Private Vows
Weddings are very special occasions • You do not like being in the spotlight
for two people who are in love. That’s or become shy in front of crowds.
why many couples want close family and • There are words you would like to
friends nearby when they tie the knot. But share with your future spouse that are
even the happiest couples may express deeply private, and you don’t want
some nervousness about one particular to express those feelings to every
part of traditional wedding ceremonies. person at the wedding.
Wedding vows are a way for couples • You do not want to censor your
to profess their love for each other. How- thoughts or words.
ever, many couples who want to write their • You desire an intimately private and
own vows are hesitant to say them aloud in personal moment together before
front of an audience. If couples are intimi- all of the fanfare and rush of the
dated by a heartfelt recital of their vows in wedding.
front of a crowd, then exchanging vows in • You’d like to recite loving words in
private may be for them. a native language that some guests
Wedding planners and industry experts may not understand.
say that private vows have become very • You desire the potential for some Locally owned and operated transportation company featuring
popular. While the vows do not replace very great candid photos if you in- unique trolleys! We service the Tri-County region and offer our
the public exchange that seals the mar- vite the photographer to be there at services for any event needing to transport guests safely. Each
riage from a legal standpoint, they can be a distance. trolley holds 26 passengers, is fully air and heat controlled, and
words shared in a private moment before • You want to create a lasting mem- most importantly, offers the best photo opportunities for everyone!
the actual ceremony itself. A quiet moment ory that is only yours as a couple to
alone allows couples to shed private tears
and share a special moment before they
The popularity of private vows ex- 301-690-6989
make haste for the altar.
The Knot, a premier wedding planning
changed before a wedding ceremony is
growing. This growing trend provides yet
resource, notes that there are many rea-
sons to share private vows.
another way for couples to personalize
their weddings.
Braddock Hall
at Bay District Volunteer Fire Department
A warm intimate setting designed specifically
to host your most memorable moments

Exceptional Receptions
The Perfect Hall for Wedding Receptions,
All Occasion Parties, & Conferences



*Variance in capacity is based on state guidelines during COVID period.

For a tour & consultation contact Katie Boas

at 240-925-8190 or
46900 South Shangri-La Drive | Lexington Park, Maryland

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