How I Planned a Wedding in 3 Months - Molly & Jalen
I met Molly's mom, Sandy, by coincidence. Her grandkids (Molly's nephew's) are friends with my boys. One day in July, I took my boys over to play and Sandy happened to be baby-sitting. We got to talking and she asked what I did for a living, since I was home during the summer. I told her about my business and how I had just opened up a new office in town. She had commented about seeing it as she drove down Route 10, and proceeded to tell me about her daughter who had just gotten married in a private ceremony at the beginning of the month. Sandy had wanted to plan a reception for her daughter, but wasn't sure where to start. I gave her my info and she said she would be calling me!
A day or 2 later, she did. She wanted to come by my office and talk about planning the reception. When she came in the first time, she wasn't 100% sure that she wanted to have the wedding at her home. She asked if I could try to find a venue to host it. Seeing as it was July, and she wanted the second most popular date of the year, I had my work cut out for me. My assistant and I immediately got to work researching and calling and emailing, but to no avail. Being such short notice, we couldn't find a venue on that date that fit their requirements. Venues tend to book up for October a year or more in advance. So Sandy decided to host the post-wedding reception in her home. This meant we needed a caterer! And a tent, and tables and chairs and...so much to do in such a short time.
It wasn't until AFTER Sandy had hired me that she told me who her daughter and son-in-law were. Their last name is "Rose", which didn't ring any bells to me because I'm not big into sports, but apparently, her son-in-law Jalen is a former NBA star who was a part of the FAB 5! And Molly is a host on "First Take" on ESPN. How cool! This is what had inspired our "Rose" theme for the wedding.
The first phone call I made to begin the planning was to my friend Dan at Spice Catering Group. Not only because he is a big basketball fan, but because I knew he was perfect for the job. He would handle all of the rental needs, create a delicious menu, and his staff would take care of everyone professionally and courteously. They did not disappoint.
Next, we needed a photographer. Lucky for me, I know TONS of talented ones. Since this was not a traditional wedding (no ceremony and not too many formalities), Sandy wanted a photographer with a laid-back feel who would capture lots of candids of family and friends having a good time. I gave her a handful to choose from and she decided on Marissa from Wonderland Photography. I'd say an excellent choice!
Entertainment was next. Since there were so many kids that would be at the event, Sandy wanted a kid-friendly DJ and also a bounce house. I knew that DJ Butters Entertainment could provide both, so he was our choice. He even included some fun lighting for when the party really got going!
Sandy's husband, Dave, had a florist in mind for the centerpieces. Plumb Farmsis a client of his, so he chose to hire them to create the centerpieces that we had envisioned. The floral wreaths they designed for the lanterns that we purchased were amazing! The colors were vibrant and the flowers were as fresh as can be! The pop of red roses were the perfect accent for our "Rose" theme, with a hint of autumn.
What wedding is complete without cake? Sandy chose to go with cupcakes and a small cake for Molly & Jalen to cut at the reception. Kristin at Cheshire Baking Company was amazing to work with. She was so thorough and wanted to make sure she had all the details correct, from the flavors to the display and the cute little rose buds on top of the cupcakes. I'd say she nailed it all!
The last little detail we wanted to incorporate was an ice sculpture with a frozen rose inside. Dan at Spice Catering Group has been working with Ice Matters for quite sometime, so they discussed this piece as the center of the Mediterranean station at cocktail hour. It really stood out and looked gorgeous!
Hats off to all of the wedding professionals who made this day magical (and in a very short period of time)! I couldn't have done it without all of you! And thank you to Sandy, Molly & Jalen for entrusting us with such a beautiful day for your family! Congratulations to all!
Photography: Wonderland PhotographyFlorals: Plumb FarmsCatering: Spice Catering GroupCake & Cupcakes: Cheshire Baking CompanyDJ & Uplighting: DJ Butters EntertainmentRose Ice Sculpture: Ice MattersFull Wedding Planning: Pink Olive EventsRead More
At Work: Cheshire Wedding Planner
About 2 weeks ago, I received an email from Ashley at the Record Journal asking if I would be interested in being interviewed for their "At Work" segment. It would be an article in the Record Journal as well as a short video for their online viewers and social media. Normally, I don't like to be in front of the camera, but I thought this was an opportunity too good to pass up! I get to talk about doing what I love!It needed to take place pretty quickly (it would be published the following Sunday), so Ashley and I set up a time for her to come to my office on Tuesday. She set up a video camera and we sat down to chat about everything I love doing! Take a look!
Thank you for this feature, Ashley! It was so fun to better explain what it is a Wedding Planner actually does. I hope it brought some insight to those considering hiring one!Read More
Rebecca & Dale's Wedding Weekend Extravaganza
Rebecca originally contacted me in the spring of 2017. After taking a break from wedding planning, she contacted me again over the summer. We had a few phone conversations and exchanged lots of emails, as Rebecca and her fiancee, Dale, were busy business owners themselves living in Florida. We finally made arrangements to meet in person at her hotel when she came to Connecticut for a visit. She talked about the little bit that she had planned so far for her wedding and how she envisioned the entire weekend going. Her date was Labor Day Weekend, so she was planning an extended weekend in Connecticut with her family and friends. It sounded amazing and I so wanted to be a part of it!
I later created a proposal based on what we discussed she would be needing. There was lots of planning involved with this client because she was out of state. I was looking forward to bringing it all together for her! Rebecca accepted my proposal and I got to work.
Rebecca and her guests started the weekend off with a rehearsal dinner at Rocky's Aqua. Guests were welcomed to the beginning of the weekend ahead!
Then on to the wedding day...
First of all, when she told me her color scheme (fuchsia and navy blue), I couldn't have been more excited! I mean, anything pink is my jam. So, let's talk about these florals from Bethany Florist & Gift Shoppe. SO GORGE! Rebecca had a specific vision in mind for her bouquets and centerpieces, and Rachel completely nailed it!
Since Rebecca and Dale were living out of state, they had a lot shipped directly to me that needed assembling. That included these adorable bonfire S'mores treats for their guests staying at the resort...
And these very personalized hotel welcome bags. They were customized with a personalized cup, tons of snacks, Voss waters, adorable hangover kits, Westbrook stuffed lobsters, and a Westbrook guide.
This arch and ceremony setup was everything! Another job well done by Bethany Florist & Gift Shoppe.
Lisa from Chair Affair was in charge of the linens and the chair bling. And what a beautiful job she did! Totally transformed the room!
Themes Come True was a vendor that Rebecca found to make all of her stationary. Everything from the invitations to the menu cards to the place cards and welcome bag itinerary.
What wedding is complete without flip flops! Quintessential Design & Boutique made this super cute sign for the box I purchased!
Just as the party started to kick off, there was an unplanned interruption...
The fire alarm went off and the entire building was forced to evacuate. Rebecca and Dale were such troopers that they stopped to pose and take a few shots with the fire truck to document the event! :)
After everyone was allowed back in, the party continued and guests had a great time with Luna Photo Lounge, and games and music from Boppers Events!
Thank you to all of these fantastic wedding professionals for making the day so incredible!
Photography: J. Fiereck PhotographyVenue: The Water's Edge Resort & Spa, Westbrook, CTVideography: MV Film ProductionsFlorals: Bethany Florist & Gift ShoppeCatering & Cake: The Water's Edge Resort & Spa, Westbrook, CTHair & Makeup: Kiss N MakeupDJ & Uplighting: Boppers EventsLinens and Chair Accents: Chair AffairPrinted Materials: Themes Come TruePhoto Booth: Luna Photo LoungeSignage: Quintessenial DesignsDay Of Coordination: Pink Olive Events
Max & Ashley's Madison Beach Wedding
Max's mom, Cathy, contacted me about 2 months before Max & Ashley's wedding. She told me that they were hosting her son's wedding in their backyard, and while they had hosted parties there before, they were beginning to get a bit overwhelmed with this one. I told her that I was available on their date (8/18/18) and would love to help out! Max contacted me for a meeting shortly after that.
Max and Ashley were the first couple that I met in my new office! I was so excited to meet them and of course, they were so sweet. We discussed their plans so far and what exactly they were looking for in a day-of coordinator. My "month of" package was just what they wanted. I sent over a proposal that night and they booked me soon after that!
We scheduled our detail meeting soon after, and Liz and I went to the home in Madison for a walkthrough. It was beautiful! There was a large guest house where Ashley would get ready on the wedding day, and a big backyard that dropped off to the beach. The ceremony would be on the beach, and the cocktail hour and reception would be under a large tent on the grass.
The day of the rehearsal, Liz, Diana and I set up all the tables and chairs that the rental company had left. We coordinated the ceremony so that everyone knew what to expect the next day, and where they needed to be and when.
They had a (mostly) beautiful wedding day. There were talks of thunderstorms that day, and it had even rained the night before. Fortunately for them (and us!), the rain held off until after the beach ceremony and they were even able to get some great photos after the ceremony.
Didn't Max look handsome waiting for his bride?
Here she comes!
The clouds were rolling in...
But it didn't last long.
After a brief thunderstorm post-cocktail hour, my assistants and I hit the dance floor with some towels to wipe up the rain. Things did get a bit messy, but I'm proud of my team for stepping up and doing what needed to be done (including ruining a perfectly pair of comfy work shoes).
It was all worth it to see these 2 so happy. They're absolutely adorable!
Max and his mom, Cathy, had a completely non-traditional mother/son dance song. Look at them getting down!
Oh, and Ashley's sister owns The Sugar Bakery, so how amazing do you think THESE were?
The evening ended with sparklers and lanterns. Perfect way to end a perfect wedding.
Thank you to all of these fantastic vendors for making the day so incredible and stepping up when the rain started!
Photography: Rod Jovanelly, The ProsVenue: Private Residence, Madison, CTVideography: Vlad Fridlyand, The ProsFlorals: Stop & Shop, MadisonCupcakes: The Sugar BakeryHair & Makeup: Blu Hair & Bridal StudioBand: Those GuysRentals: Abbey TentCatering: Fitzgerald's Fine CateringDay Of Coordination: Pink Olive EventsRead More
5 Tips to Wedded Bliss
OK, maybe the title is a bit overkill, but you opened the blog, didn't you?
My 10 year wedding anniversary was yesterday and although I am by no means a marriage expert, I thought it would be fun to put together a few tips that I’ve acquired over the last decade.
1. Never stop dating each other.
Even after the kids came, my husband and I always made time for date nights, and still do. We’re lucky enough to have plenty of family and friends nearby that love to babysit our kids. Even still, we sometimes hire a babysitter if no one is available and we think we are in need of a date night. I realized not everyone has the means to do this, so if going out isn’t an option, there’s other ways to “date”. Put the kids to bed and have dinner together in peace. Pour a glass of wine, share a meal and just talk to each other. Then snuggle up on the couch with a movie or good book. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Always say good morning and goodnight.
My husband leaves for work pretty early in the morning, and let’s be honest, I’m still asleep 99% of the time. But I know that every morning before he leaves, he kisses me goodbye and says “I love you”. He has been doing this for 13 years (almost 3 years together before we got married). At the end of the day, we always make sure to say good night to each other too (even if we’re not particularly happy with each other).
3. Support each other.
No matter what. Whether it’s work, personal or otherwise, support the choices your spouse makes. Find out how you can help so he or she will be successful. We have both been business owners and we have both worked for other people or companies for the steady paycheck and benefits. We have supported each other through all of it. My husband has hung lanterns at venues, and he’s driven to Maine to be my assistant when a couple changed their venue and I was 6 months pregnant. I’ve done marketing and promoted his business. And we were both there for each other when we decided we didn’t want to be business owners anymore, or wanted to change directions. Just be supportive.
4. Don’t take each other for granted.
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s easy to let this happen. I know that my husband will do anything for me and our boys and I sometimes forget that he doesn’t have to do much of what he does. Be gracious towards each other.
5. Be friends.
We have been best friends since day one. Tell each other secrets. Have an end-of-the-day drink together. Call or text each other throughout the day if your job allows it. Tell each other about everyday things that happen to you. Laugh together. Then go to sleep together at the end of the day.
I know planning a wedding is fun, but the real fun comes during the marriage. You'll go through many ups and downs (hopefully more ups), but if you take even a little piece of this to heart, you will be happy for many years to come!Read More
Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner Before Anything Else
Not everyone is a wedding planner or knows one. Wedding planning is stressful and can be confusing. According to the Wedding Wire 2017 Wedding Report, the top stresses of brides planning their weddings are: determining budget, the guest list, finding their venue, finding the right vendors and managing RSVPs.Wedding planners can help you with all of these stresses and others that may arise during the planning process.
We will have an overall sense of what you can and can’t afford according to your budget.
We will also be able to tell you where you could save and how you could splurge.
We can help you weigh the time of year, day of week, location and if you should consider an all-inclusive venue or not.
We will be able to explain (in detail) the differences, challenges and ideas they see among a selection of venues you are considering.
We will be able to discuss with you what you will have to rent (from tables to lighting to bathrooms), how transportation will be a factor with a venue near the edge of town or in the middle of the city and back up plans for bad weather.
We Will Be Your Advocate.
We will deal with all of the details and logistics with vendors.
We will be your voice and liaison when booking venues, vendors, etc.
We will also help you advocate for your vision and keep everything on track.
We know many people in the industry. We will be able to tell you the vendors that will make a good dream team and which vendors do great work. Additionally, we will be able to tell you who we did not have great experiences working with.
Many times, a vendor that we work with regularly will offer my clients a discount.
Inside Industry Knowledge.
We will be able to help guide you in the right direction.
If you’re a DIY bride, we will know where to get the cheapest materials, which wholesale retailers (usually florists) sell to the public and how to set up that dessert bar you saw on Pinterest.
Because we have almost seen it all, we can answer any question you may have. Meaning you don’t have to spend hours doing research.
Planners are professionals that can answer any questions, concerns or problems you have. From proper etiquettes for your invitations, to how to limit children at your reception without hurting feelings, and when you should cut the cake or do the bouquet toss. Wedding planners are your secret weapon to helping you create the wedding of your dreams. We will do everything they can to make sure that your special day is the best day ever!
Contact me today to get started!Read More
5 Tips for Embracing Rain on Your Big Day
Rain, Rain, Go Away! Rain on your wedding day may be a terrible thought for most brides. Will it dampen your dream day? Will it destroy all of your meticulous planning and details? Only if you let it. We've complied 5 tips to ensure that rain on your wedding day isn't the end of the world.
5. Use Rain for Creative Photos
Make sure to ask your photographer and videographer if they have any ideas to make pictures fun, creative and beautiful. Rain can create natural and romantic pictures due to the soft lighting and shimmer of water on the ground.
Umbrellas can keep everyone dry and provide a fun prop for pictures. You can ask your guests to bring (or provide) a certain color or multi-colored umbrellas to create a sea of colors for photographs.
3. Tell Your Guests
Let your guests know the plan with an "incase of rain/inclement weather" note in your invitation suite and/or on your wedding website. Guests feel more comfortable when they are in the loop.
2. Be Practical with Beauty
Rain and beauty are not friends, think about runny mascara and eye shadow. This can be alleviated by talking with your hair and make up team. Whether it be waterproof make up, a messy hairdo or a flower crown that won't fall apart if exposed to wind and water.
1. Rent a Tent
We can't express the number of times tents have saved the day. If you want an outdoor ceremony or reception, make sure to rent a tent to keep everyone dry. This will keep your guests happy as well as allow you to keep your ceremony/reception outside. If the venue doesn't rent tents, you should be able to find a vendor for last minute services.
BONUS TIP: The Blues
It's perfectly understandable to be upset about the rain, but don't let it ruin your day. Your guests take cues from you, they will follow and minic your energy. If you don't let the rain bother you, it won't bother your guests.
Happy planning!xoRead More
10 Ways the Groom Can Help with the Wedding Planning Process
1. Choosing and Overseeing the Groomsmen.
The groom will usually be in charge of choosing his groomsmen. But to further the process he can also invite (if you're feeling fancy Pinterest has tons of ideas), keeping track of suit fittings and notify them of all wedding activities and schedules.
2. Help Plan the Guest List.
The groom should provide his partner with a list of friends and family that he wants to invite with their addresses. He should also provide a list of who his parents want to invite with correct salutations and addresses.
3. Track Down Missing RSVPs.
He can also be in charge of tracking down missing RSVPs from his side of the guest list. With their meal choices and number attending, if applicable.
4. Choosing and Giving Gifts to Groomsmen and Best Man.
This is a chance for him to thank the guest for their participation, their friendship and their support. Popular gifts we've seen this wedding season are flasks, apparel (t-shirts, jerseys, etc.) and liquor with personalized labels.
5. Writing and Practicing His Vows.
Please don't leave this till the last minute. Take your time to write heartfelt, meaningful vows in advanced. Be sure to practice reading or reciting them aloud before the big day.
6. Staying on Top of the Rehearsal Dinner.
Decide on a place and a time. Make sure to tell both sets of parents and all bridal party members where and when to show up. This will take a task off of your partner's plate.
7. Styling His Wedding Day Look.
The groom should pick his suit and make sure that he feels comfortable wearing it. It should also fit into the overall style of the wedding. For traditional weddings, grooms usually wear tuxedos. This wedding season, we've seen a rise in slim-fit silhouettes and shades of gray suits.
8. Getting a Haircut.
We usually advise getting a haircut about a week before the wedding.
9. Making a Toast.
Be prepared to make (and respond) to toasts at the rehearsal dinner and the reception.
10. Give the Bride a Thoughtful Gift.
Get her something special, make sure its wrapped and has a touching note. You can exchange gifts the night before or have it delivered to her while she's getting ready.
BONUS - Say It and Often - "I Love You."
This is the perfect time to be romantic to the point of being cheesy. Leave notes around - post its, on a note in her lunch or slips of paper under fridge magnets, anywhere she'll see it. This will help keep your bride smiling and reminded of your love no matter how stressful the planning gets.
Happy planning! XORead More
Guide to Wedding Planners, Designers, Coordinators, and On-Site Coordinators
What's the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator? Do I need to hire a Wedding Coordinator if my venue has one on-site? Many think that these titles are interchangeable, however, they would be very wrong. Read on to find out the differences and when you should hire which?
What they do:
Wedding planners are all about the logistics and planning. Some may also provide design services or styling services that will help with the creative specifics of your wedding day.
Put in the most hours helping you plan.
Provides vendor referrals and negotiates contracts, schedules and attends all vendor meetings.
Creates detailed timelines, floor plans and schedules.
Helps determine and manage your budget.
Attends site tours and menu tastings.
Brainstorms style ideas and coordinates design details.
Coordinates hotel room blocks and transportation.
Manages the rehearsal.
Oversees everything on the big day (makes sure everyone sticks to the timeline, handles issues, manages all the vendors, and executes your wedding vision on-site).
You have the budget for it.
You want the smallest amount of wedding-related stress possible.
You have no free time because of a demanding job.
You have no clue where to start and your organizational skills aren't the best.
You have a very short timeframe for planning and executing.
You're hosting your wedding in an unusual venue (not in a hotel, restaurant or banquet hall).
Wedding Designers/Wedding Stylist/Wedding Architect:
What they do:
A wedding designers job is purely aesthetic. They work on the overall style and design for your wedding day.
Creates the wedding's design concept.
Provides color scheme or palette guidance.
Oversees the décor budget and vendors (your florist, rentals and lighting).
Sources special props and equipment.
Attends a site visit to visualize where you want everything to go, devise a layout and identify potential problems with the décor.
Creates detailed floor plans.
Ensures all of the décor elements are in place on-site for the wedding.
The décor is the most important element of the wedding for you.
You're confident in your organizational and logistical skills, but your creative skills are lacking.
You're trying to pull off a very specific theme or you have a million weddings style ideas that you can't narrow down.
What they do:
Wedding coordinators as like wedding planners, but on a shorter timeline. They usually come in and help you a month or so before the wedding as well as functioning as the point person on the big day.
Meets with you 4-8 weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you've planned thus far.
Checks in with your vendors to review the signed contracts and confirm logistics.
Creates detailed timelines and floor plans.
Completes a final walkthrough of the ceremony and reception sites.
Addresses any overlooked details (like forgetting to hire a coat check attendant or a tent rental).
Manages the rehearsal.
Oversees everything on the big day.
You want to play an active role in planning your wedding but would like someone to take care of the last minute details and make sure you haven't missed anything.
You're extremely organized and detail oriented.
You don't have the budget for a full service wedding planner.
What they do:
On-Site Coordinators are responsible for everything that specifically deals with the venues. They are not wedding planners or designers or coordinators, they will not help you plan your wedding. They are there to ensure that the venue is doing what the contract says.
If the venue provides catering, make sure there are kitchen and wait staff scheduled to fit the needs.
Will possibly provide you with a list of preferred vendors.
If catering is provided, they will create a timeline for the catering staff.
Be there during your wedding to make sure that venue provides what was contracted for.
Happy planning! xoRead More
4 Biggest Regrets from Real Brides Who Have Planned Their Wedding
I wanted to know what REAL brides these days regret about their wedding planning or wedding day. I posted this question on social media and watched the responses pour in. Future brides: don't make the same mistakes that these brides did. Get comfortable and read on!
4. Not hiring a wedding coordinator.
This is the one I was hoping for (obviously)! All kidding aside, do yourself a big favor and hire a wedding coordinator. Even if your venue has one on-site, it's not the same as having your own personal coordinator that works for YOU instead of the venue. We provide very different services, and we can assure you that YOU are our number one priority on the day of your wedding. If your venue does NOT have a coordinator on-site, that is an even bigger reason to hire one. One of the brides who responded to my post said that she gave a "friend" her centerpieces to setup, but they never made it to the reception. The "friend" claimed she lost them on the way, so the tables were bare for the reception. Don't let that happen to you.Intrigued? Here's our Full Planning and Month Of packages.
3. Trying to please everybody else.
There are going to be a lot of "cooks in the kitchen" when it comes to your wedding planning. Everyone is going to have an opinion, whether it is about the venue, the dress, the guest list, the seating chart, the bridal party...the list goes on and on. BUT...remember that it is YOUR day. The only ones you have to please are yourselves. Make the day truly about you and your fiancé and what you want.
2. Not spending enough on quality vendors.
Ever hear the saying "You get what pay for"? Yeah, that's a saying for a reason. You want quality? You're going to pay for quality. Don't skimp on the important vendors like your photographer. They are going to be taking the photos that you will have for the rest of your life! You want them to not only be GOOD, but you also want them to know enough about wedding photography to make sure they capture the important moments like the first kiss. There are no do-overs.The same goes for your DJ. Anyone can press play on an iPod, but are they going to be able to read the crowd? Make announcements? Follow a timeline? Being a wedding DJ is so much more than just playing music and unfortunately, the "cheap" ones think that's all there is to it.When it comes to hiring a wedding planner, I may not be the least expensive, but my experience is priceless. I've heard horror stories about hiring someone with less experience "because they were cheap" and it was not good. My advice is to decide what your top 3 priorities are for your wedding and put your money there.
1. Not getting the wedding video.
Videographers, rejoice! The numero uno response that I got when asked what brides regret about their wedding is that they didn't hire a videographer. Listen, we know weddings are expensive, but we actually think this is an important vendor to somehow fit into your budget (also see #2). I have my wedding video that I've watched with my kids, and the fact that I have grandparents who are no longer with us on that video (along with their voices!) that I can point out and share with my kids is priceless.
Happy planning!xoRead More
5 Tips for Staying Organized During Wedding Planning
Preparing for your big day without organization of almost every aspect can lead to disaster. It may seem redundant at first, but writing every detail down (phone numbers, names, lists, etc.) will save you some hair pulling and unneeded stress throughout the planning process.
2. Make labels and tabs for EVERYTHING. This includes your invite list (names, addresses, and numbers of possible attendees), vendor options (photographer, caterer, DJ/band, venues, etc.), honeymoon possibilities, wedding shower details, invitations, thank you cards, bridesmaids and groomsmen information, etc. Excel will be your best friend. You might also want to check out Allseated.com for floor plans and guest lists!
3. Keep pictures of the venue, floral arrangements, invitation design, etc. Having pictures along with contact information (names, phone numbers, emails), this will help you remember who is who in the long run. It's also easier to toss designs or venues that don't appeal to you with visual representation. Or make a Pinterest board for each of these or put them in separated folders in your binder.
4. Create an email address specifically for all things wedding-related. This will reduce the clutter in your personal or work inbox and keep wedding plans in one place. Use this email address when you attend bridal shows as well. You will be getting lots of follow up emails from the vendors you spoke with!
5. Make sure to have a calendar. Whether this be your personal calendar or a specific one for your planning process, it's important to have. This will help you keep track of bookings, tastings, appointments and countdown to the big day. If you use a digital calendar, great. Old pen and paper work better for you? No problem! Just make sure you pick one or the other and stick with it. Things could get lost in the mix if you go back and forth.
***BONUS TIP*** Start planning EARLY. Not only will you get your first choice with your venue and vendors, but you won't feel stressed and on a time constraint to make decisions.
Happy planning! xoRead More
The 411 on RSVPs
There's so much information that needs to be relayed in a response card. Who's eating what? How many guest responses are included on that card? It can get confusing, but keep reading because here's the 411 on RSVPs!
The date on your RSVP card should be about 3-4 weeks before your wedding. There will ALWAYS be those people who you have to hunt down to respond last minute (BTW, DON'T be that person for someone else's wedding). Allowing a buffer of 3-4 weeks allows for those last minute slackers to respond and helps reduce your stress of having to put together a floor plan. Most venues or caterers don't need your final head count until 1 week before the wedding, so you should be ok there!
Your little cousins are totally adorbs, but you don't want them at your reception. How do you convey this information nicely to your aunt? Simple! On the RSVP card, simply state "We have reserved 2 (or 1) seats in your honor". This should give them the hint that the children are not invited. *Side note: The outer address envelope should also read "Mr. & Mrs. Jones" as opposed to "The Jones Family". This is another indicator that it is adults only.
With all of the dietary restrictions these days, it's hard to completely accommodate everybody (gluten free, vegan, lactose intolerant, the list goes on and on). Whether you are having a plated dinner or buffet, leave a line on the RSVP card to note any dietary restrictions. Your caterer or venue should be able to accommodate most.
Want a packed dance floor at your reception? Your guests want to dance to the songs they know and love. On one side of your RSVP card, leave a line asking for your guests' favorite songs.
If you love the info we share with you, feel free to share with others!
Happy planning!xoRead More
Dara & Jared's Hyatt Regency Wedding
This wedding was so amazingly beautiful that I had to share. With 220 guests, this was one of the largest weddings I've coordinated in my 11 years in business. It was also one of the most involved in terms of number of vendors and moving parts, but my assistants and I totally pulled it together and the result was amazing!!
I've known the father of the bride for about 5 years now. He owns a venue where I coordinate an annual post-graduation party. Last year, at one of the meetings with that client, he mentioned that he had a daughter who was planning her wedding (and another who was going to be getting engaged soon) and asked if I planned weddings as well. I told him that was actually the bulk of my business, so he asked me to give him a call. The rest is history...
Fast forward to April 29, 2018: Dara & Jared were married at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. Their first look took place prior to the ceremony on the balcony overlooking the Atrium, which would later be their cocktail hour site. Clearly, Jared was thrilled to see his bride-to-be. We can't over his expression! Pure joy and love for Dara!
They went on to take photos with their bridal party at Binney Park in Old Greenwich. They had the perfect weather!
They returned to take photos under the most beautiful Chuppah I have ever seen. I mean, seriously, this thing was amazing. Those colors. That setup. It took at least 4 hours to set it up. It was literally constructed on-site from scratch. I wish it could have stayed up for the entire wedding. It was set up in the temporary tent that they Hyatt puts up from April until October. This is where the ceremony took place, and the way a plain white tent took shape with the right chiavari chairs and decor was amazing.
Here comes the bride...
I thought it was absolutely beautiful the way that Dara circled Jared before they took their places under the Chuppah. This is a tradition with Jewish wedding ceremonies.
After the ceremony, guests were directed down the hall to the Atrium. This looked like a rainforest and was just the perfect setting for cocktail hour.
Then came the reception in the ballroom. As amazing as this photo is, it's hard to convey how gorgeous this room looked. It went from a plain old hotel ballroom to a perfectly magical wedding. The uplighting was beautiful. The centerpieces, absolutely exquisite. Truly breathtaking.
Next came this work of art in the form of a cake. DiMare Pastry did a beautiful job with this 5-tier cake, garnished with beautiful flowers from Bride & Blossom. Swoon!
Finally, the 11-piece Eddie Bruce Band led the guests to dance the night away. They are insanely talented and the guests had a blast (obviously).
As guests exited the ballroom, mini S'mores favors awaited.
When the reception ended, there was an after-party until 1:00 am! It was definitely a fun-filled day celebrating the love between Dara & Jared. We wish them all the best for a lifetime of happiness!
Photography: Brian Hatton Photography
Venue: The Hyatt Regency, Greenwich
Videography: Frank Ahn Films
Florals: Bride & Blossom
Cake: DiMare Pastry
Hair: Styles on B
Makeup: Stacie Ford Weddings
Band: Eddie Bruce Band
Lighting: Vivid Events
Day Of Coordination: Pink Olive Events
Why Would I Work with a Travel Advisor for my Honeymoon?
No doubt working with a travel advisor saves precious time both during the
planning process and during your journey. But that's hardly the extent of
the value that a good travel advisor adds to your trip. In many cases,
booking with us actually saves money in addition to providing you with
amenities you can't get on your own or through an online travel agency.
And, when planning this very special once in a lifetime trip, why wouldn't
you want all of the extra attention and amenities you can get!!!
If you've worked with me before, you know about my affiliation with the
Virtuoso network, which makes me a preferred partner with the best hotels,
tour operators and cruise lines in the world and provides exclusive benefits
to our clients such as room upgrades, resort credits and breakfast included
when you stay at a Virtuoso hotel.
More than that, however, I cultivate strong relationships with my partners
so that when I send my clients out into the world, I am placing you in the
care of trusted friends. When my clients arrive, they are greeted as VIP
guests and doted on by my partners. And if my clients do not receive
exceptional service, I will find out the reason why and take steps to correct
any issues while you're in travel. Good luck getting that from an online
travel agency. When you work with a travel advisor, especially me....you
should see a noticeable difference.
The difference goes beyond Virtuoso, as we are members of just about every
elite hotel amenity program there is. With Belmond's Bellini Club, you'll
receive extra benefits on Belmond luxury trains and in their hotels.
Membership in the Dorchester Collection's Diamond Club gives our clients
gives our clients guaranteed upgrades at such hotels and the Plaza Athénée
in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and The Beverly Hills Hotel. As preferred
partners of Fairmont and Four Seasons, our clients receive VIP treatment
at some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in the world.
Staying with such fine hotel chains as Mandarin Oriental, Jumeirah,
Rosewood, Ritz-Carlton, Rocco Forte and Starwood, you'll enjoy
complimentary breakfast, credits for use in spas or restaurants along with
upgraded rooms and personalized welcomes from management. The same
goes for collections such as Small Luxury Hotels and the Relais & Chateaux
network of properties famed for their culinary quality and unique charm.
You simply cannot reproduce the quality of experience that working with a
Memorable Moments Travel, an affiliate of Largay Travel by booking on
your own or through an online travel agency. Every step of the way, from
planning to traveling to memorializing the trip of a lifetime, you are in good
hands with real live people who are dedicated to making sure your
experience is one you'll want to relive over and over. With my help, you'll be
so thrilled with your vacation, you'll already be thinking about your next
one by the time you get home.Read More
5 Tips for Creating A Delicious Wedding Menu That Everyone Will Love
We customize all of our wedding menus, so that tends to throw couples off when we say, "We can make whatever you want". It seems like such an overwhelming task to build a wedding menu from scratch as opposed to having options handed to you. But don't you want your wedding to be a reflection of you and your fiancé? Shouldn't the food appeal to you and your likes? Although it sounds like a daunting task to build your menu from the ground up, here are 5 tips to help you through it.
Decide on your style. Is it a backyard BBQ that you are going for, or an elegant plated dinner? Looking for something a bit more eclectic? We can do that too! Buffet not your thing? Let's create an action station. It just depends on your style and the vibe you are going for.
Determine the formality of the wedding. Are passed hors d'oeuvres a must have? I'd say that's more of a formal quality. If you're having a black tie affair, passed hors d'oeuvres are a must. Stationed hors d'oeuvres make it a bit more casual and allows your guests to get up and mingle. Consider a fun action station if you are going for a more laid back feel.
Create a budget. Think about what it costs you to go out to a nice meal with your fiancé. You order an appetizer, a few drinks, an entree and dessert. What is your bill at the end of the night? $100? $150? Don't forget to add gratuity! This is just a night out. Now think about what your budget should be for your WEDDING. I'm not saying it should cost as much as a down payment on a house, but consider the cost to treat all of your guests to a nice dinner, and set the budget accordingly.
Consider the season. The weather in New England is so finicky, but you can rest assured that it is going to be HOT in July and August. Consider lighter fare during the warm summer months. Guests don't want to be eating anything too heavy, especially if they are outside. A summer gazpacho could be a nice refreshing treat. On the other hand, winters are know to linger in Connecticut. People want warm comfort foods during those months. Hot homemade dishes that evoke comfort are the way to go.
Make sure you have plenty of food to cater to the masses. Chicken, beef, fish and veggies are just some of the popular categories, but make it fun! Your caterer doesn't want to make the same things over and over. Allow them to be creative and design a menu that is exactly what you envision on your wedding day.
10 Tips for Creating Your Wedding Timeline
You can be the chillest bride in all the land, but you (and your vendors) still need a wedding day timeline.
ALWAYS put an end time. That way there is NO question about when the reception is over. It seems like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised. There was one wedding I coordinated that the DJ, venue and caterer ALL had different end times given to them by the bride. In order for your event to flow effortlessly, this needs to be determined well in advance.
Make sure that all of your main events happen before the photographer and/or videographer leave. Again, it sounds obvious, but not all photographers/videographers offer an unlimited amount of time on the day of your wedding. Make sure you don't have the cake cutting planned after they are scheduled to leave, for example. Plan your hours of coverage around the main events. Are the "getting ready" photos as important to you as those end of the night dancing photos?
Be sure that all of the vendors' timelines correlate and that you can put it into one main timeline for the entire day. You don't want your photographer to plan on taking family photos while dinner is being served. Make sure that everyone's timing is the same, and if it's not, get it there.
Put the timeline in order. Skipping around causes confusion. When everything is in order, you can check things off as they happen.
Include the vendor's contact information right on the timeline. If someone is late and you need to call them, you won't have to search through your stack of contracts for their phone number.
Leave a buffer. You should definitely leave a little extra time between things like your hair and makeup being finished and your first look, or the length of your ceremony. Things happen and sometimes things take longer than planned. Be prepared.
Go with it. If all of your vendors are on the same page, but your timeline isn't being followed minute by minute, don't stress. As long as your vendors are working to improvise the timing together, and everything that is planned will get done, just sit back and enjoy your wedding day. I had one bride who literally looked at her watch the entire night, asking "Are we going to cut the cake soon?" when her dance floor was packed with dancing guests. The DJ and I were reading the crowd, and at that moment, guests were enjoying themselves and we made a decision to hold off on asking guests to sit down so the couple could cut their cake at that exact moment.
Lines are KEY! If your caterer or the venue is providing table linens, these are one of the first items that need to be setup. The florist cannot set the centerpieces and the coordinator cannot set up any table decor if the table linens are not dropped yet. Plan accordingly.
Get your vendors fed first, or at least when you eat. If they are served dead last after the guests, they barely have time to take a bite before they get back to work. You don't want cranky, hungry vendors on your wedding day. Most of the time, they have been on their feet for hours, and they're human too. They get hungry. Take this is into consideration when speaking with your caterer or venue. Tell them you want your vendors fed with you so that nothing is missed when it's time to get the party started.
Distribute the final timeline to ALL vendors at least a week prior to the wedding to allow for any discrepancies that may need to be fixed. You don't want to be scrambling the day before your wedding to fix a major timing issue.
*Bonus Tip: ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY! Don't sweat the small stuff. In 10 years, no one is going to remember that dinner ran a few minutes late or you didn't cut the cake immediately following dinner. Enjoy being surrounded by friends and family that are only there to celebrate the love you have for each other.Read More
Pros & Cons of Planning a Holiday Wedding
Think you had the greatest idea ever by planning your wedding on a holiday/holiday weekend? Consider these pros and cons before signing on the dotted line.
Out-of-state family and friends may already be in town.
Family and friends can enjoy an extra day of relaxation after the wedding.
Your venue may already be decorated accordingly, thus saving you money!
This is a perfect way to gather friends and family that you don't get to see too often.
Some people already have plans for the holidays.
Holiday season, particularly in December, can already be costly. A wedding will only add to that!
Venues and vendors may charge more to work during a holiday.
Mother Nature can have different plans for your wedding day (just think of all the snow we had this past winter!).
In the end, no matter when you choose to have your wedding, remember that the most important thing is that you will be marrying the person you want to spend your life with.Read More
What DOES a Wedding Planner Do?
There seems to be some misconceptions or confusion about what a wedding planner (coordinator, consultant) actually does. Yes, I plan weddings, but I do so much more than that. I can't even count the number of times I've heard "I don't need a planner, I'm doing it myself". That's great! Of course we don't want to take away the joys and excitement of planning your wedding. But everyone needs a little help now and then.
For starters, did you know that Pink Olive Events offers rehearsal and day-of wedding coordination? This allows you to plan your own wedding, but about one month before the big day, I come in and take care of those final details. I confirm with your vendors and create a detailed timeline for all to follow. I take charge on the night of the rehearsal to make sure that the bridal party processional and recessional flow and that everyone knows their place. Anything that needs to be set up on the day of the wedding is collected at this time so that you are not to worry about a thing that day! Once the big day arrives, I coordinate with all your vendors to make sure everything runs smoothly and I serve as that "go-to" person should any issues arise.
For that couple who needs a bit more direction than this, I have a variety of services that can be customized just for you. I NEVER confine you to a package or make you pay for something you just don't need. Every couple is different and I realize this, so I am only as involved as you'd like me to be.
If you are recently engaged or just don't know where to begin, I can help with this too! The full planning wedding services cover everything from soup to nuts. I will recommend and tour wedding venues with you, set you on the right track with your budgeting, recommend and meet with vendors with you, assist you with your invitations, and so much more!
Speaking of vendors, did you know that I can help you save money in your planning? Many of the vendors that I work with on a regular basis offer my clients discounts on their services.
In addition the all of the above, I also serve as that "go-to" person for you, your family, and your vendors. I act as that neutral third party when there are decisions to be made that family disagree on. And most of all, I like to think that we are a friend to many of our clients. They can call/text/email me at any time for anything!
I ALWAYS offer free consultations, so it doesn't hurt just to come in to sit and chat! Relax with a cup of coffee and come tell us about your dream wedding!
And yes, that is me, pinning the groom with his boutonnière because very rarely does anyone actually now how to do this!Read More
Do's & Don'ts of Giving a Wedding Toast
Weddings are a very emotional and sentimental for everyone involved, not just the couple. Family and friends often take the opportunity to offer a toast to the happy couple at the wedding reception. Now, let me tell you, I've seen and heard my fair share of toasts all the way from a quick congratulations to a 30 minutes slideshow, so please listen up as I offer the do's and don'ts for a wedding toast.
Make it meaningful. If you're giving a toast at a wedding, chances are you're very close to the couple. Make the toast special and meaningful to both.
Put some thought into it. Don't just "wing it". Put some thought and consideration into what you want to say. This is one of the happiest days of the couples' lives. Don't stumble and "um" your way through a toast because you didn't prepare.
Keep it short. I mean, 5 minutes, tops. Wish the couple well and move on.
Address both guests of honor. There are 2 people at this wedding. Don't go on and on about what a wonderful person just one of them is. If you don't know the other one very well, just acknowledge what a great couple they make and how happy they are together.
Tell inside jokes or talk about stories that only you and the bride or groom will understand or find funny. People get bored by this because they have no idea what you are talking about.
Ramble. Make a few bullet points about what you want to say and stick to it. Your audience can tell when you are rambling just to fill your time with words.
Read word for word. Again, make a few key bullet points and expand on them. Speak from the heart and to the couple. Nothing is worse than seeing the top of your head the entire time you are giving the toast because you are reading from a piece of paper (or your phone!). Look at the couple and toast TO them.
Tell embarrassing stories. Please don't embarrass your friends on their wedding day. Their parents don't need to know about that time they were "soooooo drunk". It's embarrassing for all involved, so keep these stories to yourself. Keep it classy.
Talk about exes. Exes are in the past for a reason. They don't need to be mentioned at a wedding. Clearly, everyone has moved on, so you should too.
3 Tips for Staying Cool During Your Wedding This Summer
Wedding season is in full swing! But there is a lot to consider when planning your outdoor summer wedding. Here are 3 tips for staying cool at your wedding this summer!
Looking Your Best
The summer is definitely a great time to have a wedding, but the heat and humidly are not always hair and makeup-friendly. So how do you still have the summer wedding you dreamed about while still looking your absolute best?
HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE! Make sure you consistently drink cold water throughout the day. This will cool your body down and also prevent dehydration. Ask your Maid of Honor or Wedding Coordinator to keep a cold bottle of water nearby at all times, especially if you plan to take photos outside.
Water-based makeup is best matched with a light powder. Also be sure that your makeup and lotions contain a sunscreen to avoid getting sunburn. For eye makeup such as mascara and eyeliner, be sure to go with the waterproof brands so if you do sweat it won't run.
Use a facial blotting tissue to blot away excess moisture without smudging your makeup. See if your makeup artist has a particular brand they suggest, or even if they have some samples they can leave with you.
If you find yourself overheating make sure you apply a cold compress to the back of your neck and your wrists. This will help cool your body down.
If your wedding is during the hot summer months make sure your bridal party (and the bride and groom!) are comfortable. You can still keep some sort of formality for your summer wedding while remaining cool. Brides - you're not going to be cool and comfortable in a heavy wedding dress. Stick to something sleek and elegant. Guys can wear linen suits (or another lightweight material) to keep them cool while the maids can wear tea-length dresses or even something a bit shorter (but not TOO short, it's still a wedding after all, not a nightclub). If you're going for a super casual outdoor wedding let guests know on the invitations that khakis, Hawaiian shirts, sundresses, etc. are allowed by including something like "Casual dress" on the invitation or wedding website. The formality (or lack thereof) of the invitation should suggest this as well.
Most people don't want to eat anything hot or too heavy when the weather is warm. Keep the menu to light hors d'oeuvres and refreshing cocktails. Fresh fruit is always a good choice for dessert, especially when added to the cake.
#ThursdayThoughts #PinkOliveEvents #WeddingPlanner #WeddingCoordinator #DayOfCoordinator #Engaged #EngagedInCT #SummerInCT #SummerWeddings #StayCool #SummerVibes #ThirstyThursday
Makeup Photo Credit: Tim Nosenzo Photography
Food Photo Credit: Wonderland Photography CT