Life Insurance for Newlyweds

Life Insurance: Who Needs It?


Simply put, everyone.

If You’re Single: When you are young and healthy your insurability is at its peak.  This means that right now you’ll be offered the best rates on life insurance.  Premiums go up as you age, or health issues arise.  Lock in coverage while you’re young.

If You’re Married: You need life insurance even if you don’t have children.  Would the surviving spouse be able to pay off all debts like credit-card balances and car loans, let alone cover the monthly expenses?

If You Have A Family: In today’s world, many families depend on two incomes to survive.  Would your family be able to maintain your standard of living on only one income?  Probably not.  Life insurance helps to ensure the safety of your family’s financial future if the unexpected happens.

If You Have A Special Needs Child:  You need to have enough life insurance on your life so that your child will be taken care of after your death.  Preparing for the future of an individual with special needs requires in-depth knowledge of federal laws, government benefit eligibility, special needs trusts and guardianships.

If You Have Adult Children: Life insurance enables your spouse to help maintain their current lifestyle, while still being able to able to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

If You’re A Single Parent:  With everything resting on your shoulders, it is even more important to make sure that you have enough life insurance to help safeguard your children’s financial future.

If You’re A Small Business Owner:  A life insurance policy can be used as a tool to fund a “buy-sell” agreement.  This helps ensure the remaining business owners have the funds to buy the company interests of a deceased owner at a previously agreed upon price.

If You’re Retired:  Proceeds of life insurance are paid upon the death of the insured.  This helps ensure your loved ones are able to pay funeral costs, estate taxes, and other debts without the added financial stress in an already difficult time.

Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC Member SIPC ( 300 Corporate Parkway, Suite 216N Amherst, NY 14226.  716-852-1321. Wilcox Financial is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC or its affiliated companies. CRN201811-205660

Short Street Photographers Do not alter, copy or reproduce without permission.

Sarah Blankenship, MBA – Financial Planner

Nicholle M. Overkamp, MBA – Retirement Planning Specialist – Wilcox Financial, CEO

29 California Drive , Williamsville, NY 14221

P: 716.906.3175

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DIY Wedding: Ideas for seating cards and seating card arrangements (from a calligrapher’s perspective)

Our Spotlight Vendor for this month is Barb Courtney. Barb is the owner and talented calligrapher of Courtney Calligraphy. Enjoy Barb’s story and expert tips for seating cards and seating card arrangements.

cropped picture of Barb Courtney

Barb Courtney

Courtney Calligraphy

Barb’s Story:

For Barb Courtney, calligraphy has been a lifelong love that began in an art class in high school, and has been practiced and used whenever opportunity presented itself. It was a friend’s suggestion, after Barb had written out the addresses on her daughter’s wedding invitation envelopes, that she strongly consider doing calligraphy as a post-retirement activity. And so Courtney Calligraphy was born as a professional, home-based enterprise 3 years ago. Barb loves lettering, and strives for perfection on every piece of handwritten material that leaves her table.  The main focus has been on weddings – writing out addresses on envelopes and/or guest names on seating cards, although any project request for something that needs “neat writing” is always considered. Hundreds and hundreds of envelopes and seating cards have been written out in the past 3 years, and Barb hopes to do hundreds and hundreds more!

DIY Wedding: Ideas for seating cards and seating card arrangements (from a calligrapher’s perspective)

“A wedding may be a ceremony but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative and put a personal spin on it.” (MetaSpoon)

Question: what do these 3 things have in common?

  • Guest names and table numbers printed on photos of the wedding couple from their various travel adventures as a couple, and used as seating cards.
  • A weathered window hung on the wall, with seating charts posted in each of the window panes
  • Seating card discs slipped onto the rim of the toasting glasses, at the entryway to the reception site

Answer: These items were at weddings I attended, and all were simple “DIY” touches that real-life wedding couples added to their seating card tables (or walls) – little details that added some uniqueness to the occasion. These tiny creative touches added a personal element to the wedding, and made it memorable not only for the wedding couple, but for the wedding guests as well.

This article will focus on two different possibilities for DIY – one is the seating cards table, and the other is the seating cards themselves, both with lots of potential for DIY creativity.

The seating cards table is usually at the entryway to the reception, and as such, is the first impression that your guests will have of your wedding. You can make the seating cards table a focal point and introduction to your reception, and it can be anywhere from simple to elaborate on the DIY spectrum. Time is precious for all couples planning a wedding, so tailor the DIY to what you can manage – remember that all it really takes is one element to make it special.

Flower arrangements and candles are an elegant and beautiful way to decorate the seating cards table to add interest, but a little DIY can make it even more interesting. For instance, do you like the beach? Make the seating cards table look like a shoreline – add sand, pebbles, seashells…Do you have a favorite shared hobby? Make the table look like a garden, or a sports field, or a game board.  Love wine? Attach seating cards to a corkboard or insert each card into a cork holder.

You can write your guests’ names and table numbers on a chalkboard or mirror. Or attach leaf-shaped seating cards to a tree branch. Create a snowscape with cards inserted into snowball holders. Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it’s a couple’s shared interests, hobbies, sports, music, favorite season or holiday, or even something as simple as a color. Anything that adds whimsy, charm, or romance; or simply lets your guests know something about you as a couple, will add that wonderful DIY touch to your reception.

If space is at a premium, a seating diagram or chart of your design can be attached to a wall. Seating cards can be attached to a wreath, a ribbon tapestry, or strung on strings or ribbons and attached with clothes pins, decorative pins or velcro.

Seating cards themselves can be something unique that you yourself have designed. Some couples have taken  plain tent cards and decorated them with glitter tape;  rhinestones, miniature pearls  or other decorative elements – stampings, cut-outs, stencils, lace – can be added. Watercolors or colored pencil shadings can add vibrancy to the background of a card. Tent cards don’t have to be the norm, either. Anything that can be written on, or have a card or tag attached to it, is game – stick candy, oversized puzzle pieces or game board pieces, pencils, lollipops, pinwheels, miniature flags, miniature animals, seashells, stones, pieces of wood, feathers, playing cards, cardstock cut into butterflies, birds, hearts, snowflakes, leaves, etc. etc. Seating cards can be attached to sprigs of flowers or herbs, or to single roses. The idea is to take something that is unique to you as a couple and add it as a keynote to the celebration. If you have the time and creative vision (and maybe even some help from family or friends) for designing specialized seating cards, go for it!

If you are having a smaller, more intimate wedding, and are able to put place cards at each guest’s dinner setting, consider this – cardstock can be cut and shaped to the edge of the charger plate, with the guest’s name prominently displayed for easy reading. Guest names can be written on doilies or place mats. Place cards can be attached to ornaments, mini wine bottles, favors, tiny flower arrangements or plants. If you are having a menu card at each place setting, it can also double as a place card by adding each guest’s name to it.

One final note: if you are going to write out the cards by hand, and don’t trust your handwriting, enlist the help of a friend or family member whose writing skills you admire.

In the end, every couple getting married would like to have a ceremony and reception that is uniquely their own; a wedding that all of their guests will remember for years to come. One way to do this is to put that “DIY” stamp on it. Best wishes, and happy creativity!

Submitted by Barb Courtney,

Courtney Calligraphy

How to Navigate a Bridal Show



This is the time of year for bridal shows. There are many bridal shows for Buffalo Brides to attend, but how do you know what show is right for you? An even more important question is once you are there what should you be doing? Navigating your way through a bridal show can be confusing and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Bridal shows are a ton of fun and if you come prepared you can get real wedding day shopping done. Follow these tips to get the most out of your bridal show experience.

Bridal Show Tips:

1. How to choose the shows you want to attend?

Your time is valuable so don’t waste it at a show that dose not  fit your needs. Before attending a show try to find out what vendors will be there. Many times the vendors will be listed on show website. Look to see who is hosting the show. Is it a marketing agency? Or a bridal association? Look to see what the grand prize giveaways are. Many shows have prizes and give aways going on through out the day.


2. Come Prepared

Many vendors have show specials that are only available if you book that day. If you are looking for a vendor be prepared to book at the show. This may include putting down a deposit, signing a contract or setting up a meeting for the following week. Bridal shows are a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Vendors are there for a reason they want your business. Consider pre-printing your contact information (including you’re wedding date) on labels or small cards so that you can easily enter contests, and leave your info with vendors you like. 


3. Dress Comfortable

Leave your heals at home ladies. You will be walking around a lot, there will not be many opportunities to sit down. Consider checking your coat or leaving it in the car. There will be a lot of people and you will be moving around. You don’t want to get over heated.


4. Attend with a Friend

Bridal shows are a great opportunity to spend time with the ones you love. Having your groom, a bridesmaid, or your mom with you will keep you on task. If there is another person who is helping you with wedding day decisions  make sure to bring them with you.


5. Have Fun!

The most important tip is to have fun and enjoy the experience.


We hope to see you on February 18th,2018
Buffalo Bridal Expo at Seneca Niagara Casino hosted by the Buffalo Bridal Association.

For Free tickets!


The first thing to do after the ring!


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Dana Goodemote 

Dana Marie Photography:

The love of your life has asked you to marry him and you said yes! Now its time to celebrate!

Everyone celebrates their engagement differently. Some couples celebrate their engagement by throwing an engagement party, announcing their engagement  on social media, or calling every person they know to spread the word that they are getting married! When I first got engaged to my husband I knew that I wanted to have our engagement photographs taken. This was my way of celebrating our love for each other. Now I know what you are thinking….. I am a photographer and that is probably how I celebrate every big event in my life. In all honesty that is a true statement, I love photographs! My husband on the other hand is a little camera shy.          I knew that this was my opportunity to get him in front of the camera and it worked!  Shortly after our engagement we had our engagement photographs taken. It was great to have our engagement photographs taken when we were newly engaged. Once the wedding planning stared our free time was tied up with vendor meeting and planning. The other up side was that I had our images ready to use on our save the date cards. I am a big believer in having engagement photographs taken. Not only does it capture a truly important time in your life it also prepares you for your wedding day photography. Keep in mind it is very important that your engagement photographs are taken by the photographer that will be photographing your wedding. Once you have your wedding date booked, start looking for your photographer.

The first thing to do after the ring!


Tammy Pollino

KaLu Salon and Day Spa:

You said yes to the guy and are flashing that ring to everyone who will take a peak.  Now what?

As the hustle and bustle of the first months of planning begin you will be overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make and forget the most important detail… YOU!!  If you have always envisioned long, flowy hair for you wedding and are looking in the mirror at a chin length bob, now is the time to meet with your hair guru and outline a plan.  Regular trims and deep hydrating treatments, like the one we offer from Aveda, may be just what your locks need to stay healthy.  Start regular manicures to show off the bling and prep your nails so harsh acrylics aren’t necessary.  Consider your skin care regimen and have a consultation with an esthetician.  Regular in spa facials or a good at home routine may be all you need to have the best glow to walk down that isle.  Be sure to book your wedding day with the salon of choice.  Usually a small deposit will hold your day.  Believe it or not, salons are booking 6 months to a year ahead of time, especially in the summer months.  If you don’t have a salon you are loyal to, be sure to check reviews on sites like and  These sites have information and reviews directly from brides that have worked with area businesses.  When booking you salon always, always, always make sure they have a back up plan.  Emergencies happen.  Even on YOUR wedding day.  So make sure your salon has a plan in case, heaven forbid, your stylist has a situation that results in him/her not being available.  After all of these decisions are made and appointments are booked, don’t forget to BE GOOD TO YOURSELF!!


The first thing to do after the ring!

Flowers by Johnny:


Congratulations!!! Your engaged!!

So much to do,  so much to plan… But what a exciting time.

Your wedding may be a year to 6 months away. However, it is never to early to start planning.  The Buffalo Bridal Association is a great place to research all the people that can help with this  overwhelming task of planning your special day.

You may want to think of what  time of year you would like to get married in.

Some flowers are available year round such as roses, hydrangea and orchids.  Others are very seasonal such as peonies, tulips or hyacinths.

Every season has its own special look and feel.  Just as each bride is unique in her own way.

When you have your venue and your  bridesmaids dresses – it is time to contact your florist to set up an appointment.  At this time we will discuss all your options for flowers and decorations for your special day.


The first thing to do after the ring!




Topic – Get Organized!
Engaged? Time to get Organized!
The most crucial thing for a newly engaged couple is to get organized
early-on in the planning process. 90% of event missteps are made
during the initial planning stage. There are simply too many details
to rely solely on your memory to keep things in order! Before jumping
onto the internet for wedding research and a planning timeline (and
instantly being overwhelmed), run to the local office supply store
and buy yourself an accordion folder, a three-ring binder, labels and
a mini calendar. Technology is great, but paper is reliable. Keep the
important things together whether it be copies of your contracts, a
tear-out from a bridal magazine or a color swatch for your linens.
Details will be flying and you’ll want to keep them all together! NOW
– with the first task done, you’re ready to plan! Determining your
Budget and one Non-Negotiable item for your wedding is the next step.
It’s very important to start from the beginning on where your funds
are coming from and how much you can spend on your wedding. Money is
always a tricky subject but developing your budget will determine
everything else (including the wedding date) so it’s best you figure
this out now. The “non- negotiable” item is something that is of high
priority for your wedding day. A “must-have”; it may be a specific
date or hiring your favorite band. Whatever your non-negotiable
item(s) are, use them to guide you in your budget and planning process.

Everything But The Wedding

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KaLu Salon and Day Spa
Now that you have the date, venue, dress, and of course the GROOM….. What’s next?  The average engagement lasts 15 months from proposal to “I Do” and during that time there are many events and activities that happen with the ones we love.  Some of my favorites include the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and of course a spa party with the girls.  Planning and budgeting is key.  Start by talking to your spa about what they offer.  For example, at KaLu, we offer spa parties for up to 20 people where guests can relax the day away with a variety of services.  When planning your engagement photos, consider booking a hair and makeup appointment for yourself and a haircut and eyebrow shaping for your man.  Are you having a boudoir photo session?  Choose a package that includes a sexy blow out and some smoky eyes.  Whatever fun you plan during the months of your engagement be sure to take time for your self and relax.  In the end, everything but the wedding leads to your perfect day!!

Finding Your Wedding Day Style – Photography


Photography is an art form and like artist each photographer has their own unique way of creating imagery. When looking for your photographer this is something you want to take in consideration. If your wedding day style is soft and romantic, then you would want to look at photographers that photograph in that way. Your wedding photographs tell your wedding day story and will play a key role in creating a comprehensive wedding style.  A great way to look at different photographers work is to go to a bridal show. There you will be able to meet the photographers and get a chance to look at their portfolios.

Finding Your Wedding Style – LOOK, STYLE and AMBIANCE


Ideas to think about in finding your wedding style

Time of year/season – this will help determine your colors to accent with or a theme you may want to follow

Your wedding gown and the bridesmaid dresses – this is a area that may truly  define your style… romance, elegance, classic, fun & funky, casual etc

Once a bridesmaid color is choosen – we can concentrate on flowers. These colors and flowers will flow and set a style throughout your wedding. It is important to have dress colors determined before calling your florist.

Venue – this may also help in defining your style. It may be formal, elegant, out doors. With so many beautiful locations in Buffalo and the surrounding area selecting the right venue to fit your wedding style is important.  Do you see your reception out doors under a magnificent tent, a winery or a grand ballroom?  Now we can determine floral centerpieces to decorate and create the ambiance your looking for.

Your florist can help you focus on a theme and your style.  We can assist you in carrying this style throughout your wedding ceremony and reception. Flowers should always compliment all the other choices you have made.  Your florist should be able to create a look and style that fits the season, your dresses, color and venue.

Your flowers and floral accents you choose can change something ordinary to something extraordinary.  And this will be YOUR wedding style….