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3 brides share their best tips

Mary Pickels
| Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
Angie and and J.R. Maxson celebrate their wedding at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn on Aug. 18.
Angie and and J.R. Maxson celebrate their wedding at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn on Aug. 18.
Sheri and Cory Gonder tied the knot on Aug. 18, after planning their wedding for about a year.
Sheri and Cory Gonder tied the knot on Aug. 18, after planning their wedding for about a year.
Desiree and Thomas Reuss celebrate their Nov. 25, 2017 wedding.
Desiree and Thomas Reuss celebrate their Nov. 25, 2017 wedding.

Fun, engaging DJ

Desiree and Thomas Reuss, both 25, of Manor wed on Nov. 25, 2017.

Engaged for two years, they had time to think about what they wanted to include in their celebration.

“One thing my husband and I really wanted to focus on was the DJ. … We wanted our wedding to be fun and for people to stay and dance,” Desiree Reuss says.

After attending another wedding, the couple found their entertainment in 2nd II None Productions of Monroeville.

The couple also offered a photo booth for their guests, something she recommends.

“That gave the guests something to do while waiting for the bridal party to arrive. While it’s your special day, you don’t want your guests to be bored,” Reuss says.

Keeping track

Even guests who RSVP on time sometimes forget to be specific, notes Sheri Gonder, 27.

She and Cory Gonder, 30, of Claridge were married on Aug. 18, and spent about a year planning.

Because her husband is a firefighter, the couple’s venue, Colton Hall, the Claridge VFD social hall, was an easy choice.

A tip she’s passing along concerns those well-meaning responders.

She kept an online document to track her guests. And she used a pen to put a tiny number on the back of each card.

“I had some people with the same last name, and they would put ‘Mr. and Mrs. Blank’ on the card,” she says.

As those responses came back, Gonder says, she could consult her spreadsheet and match numbers with guests’ names.

One recommendation she has is to make tasting appointments with vendors.

The couple went with Foodarama Catering of Madison, and she was pleased with everything from the organization from the food to the all-inclusive pricing. “There was no guessing game with taxes and gratuities,” she says.

Flexibility first

Regardless of how one plans for a perfect day, one has to be open to compromise, says Angela Maxson, 45.

She and J.R. Maxson, 48, of Greensburg, also chose Aug. 18 for their outdoor wedding and reception, both held at Rizzo’s Malabar Inn in Crabtree.

“We got engaged in October 2017, and started planning. I can’t imaging doing it longer than that,” Maxson says, laughing.

“We had no issues. Rizzo’s was my first choice. We always go there for special occasions, and we wanted an outdoor wedding,” she says.

One thing Maxson discovered was that planning floral centerpieces, real or artificial, can be expensive.

Staff at her florist, Blue Orchid Floral in Greensburg, suggested renting manzanita trees, with votives hanging from the branches, which worked out well, Maxson says.

One idea that she’s happy she used was a seating plan board for guests, rather than place cards. The board, in a gold frame, stood on an easel in the lobby, with an alphabetical list of guests and their tables.

“That saved a ton of time,” Maxson says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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