This is my first walk down the aisle as executive editor of Westchester Weddings, and I like to think that producing this issue was the best of both worlds: all the fun of producing an elaborate event with none of the expense! And, with three daughters growing up faster than I’d ever imagined, I need all the practice I can get. Weddings have sure changed since mine, more than 20 years ago, when I borrowed a friend’s gown, my rings were family heirlooms, our reception in my in-laws’ backyard. Instead of an extravagant party, we bought our first house.
Our featured weddings in this issue are at the other end of the spectrum: lavish affairs in storybook settings with impossibly beautiful floral displays, gorgeous gowns, delectable dinners, and desserts—lots of desserts! Of course, because of our lead times, these weddings took place before the economic outlook turned so gloomy. But we believe that weddings are the embodiment of optimism about creating a new life together, a collective leap of faith in what the future will bring. “Whatever your budget is, you can have a beautiful wedding,” assures wedding planner (and one of our featured brides, see page 66), Jennifer Spaziante. “Everything is negotiable. If a price seems too high, ask why. Ask if there is a less expensive alternative: trust me, there is.”
In that vein, we looked at high-end jewelry (see “One Look, Two Price Points,” page 30) and then found lower-cost alternatives; you have to look pretty darned close to tell the difference between the $9,900 earrings and the $88 ones! We deconstruct wedding gowns in “Fabrics 101” (page 16), so you can tell silk from satin, taffeta from tulle, chiffon from charmeuse, and know the prices, pros, and cons of each. We tell brides how to get the most for the money when hiring photographers and musicians, offer reasonably priced bubbly substitutes for Champagne. Our shopping editor, Melissa Tomlin, even found a raft of eco-friendly gifts at recession-friendly prices, most under $50.
But what fun is planning a wedding without indulging in a little fantasy? We invite you to join in: gorgeous gowns from short and sweet to simply stunning, the common thread being their common Champagne color (page 52); ethereal veils (page 22); naughty and nice necessities for the big day and the ones following can be found in “Something New, Something Blue” stories (pages 24 and 26). No, we didn’t forget the guys: find out the latest looks in formal wear in “Tuxedo Junction” (page 28).
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Westchester Magazine product without a healthy dose of service to our readers. Unsure about whom to invite to the rehearsal dinner (or who should pay)? We’ve got the answers. Wonder what to expect when expecting out of town guests? We’ll tell you where to house them, how to entertain them, and get them to the church on time! Learn how to throw a memorable bachelorette bash, even how to prepare for that first dance—it’s all here in this issue.
My favorite part of working on Westchester Weddings was meeting the brides, hearing their stories and getting to know them, particularly our 52-year-old bride, who married her college beau, 35 years after their first date (page 68).
So to engaged couples in Westchester and their families, we wish you the best: Cheers! L’chaim! Salud! Kampai! We hope you enjoy this issue.
Nancy L. Claus