Ilana and Kevan were one of those couples that new their priorities - they wanted everyone to have dance, feel loved and enjoy great food. They initially were planning on having a backyard wedding at her parent's pond-front home in Sharon, MA - but when the guest count climbed and seemed a little too much to handle, they found a great local spot that checked everything off their list. They still could have the waterfront views with a chill vibe - enter the Sharon Community Center. The venue that used to be a lodge where families summered - is off the beaten bath but impresses with this grand front porch and beautiful gardens.
We were so thrilled to transform this local gem into a tropical dance party for Ilana and Kevan. They kept photos limited to keep people focused on the party - but we are pleased to share some highlights from their special day! Many happy years Ilana and Kevan!!
Photographer: Ronnie Saini Photography
Working in Weddings, we get to be a part of so many different traditions and learn about cultures from all over the world! Last month, we were so thrilled to help Rati and Ipsit transform the oversized stage in their banquet hall into a gorgeous focal point for the evening. The stage had to serve multiple purposes: offering a grand centerpiece for their receiving line and a location for a family traditional dance to take place later in the evening. In addition to creating a beautiful backdrop, we had to make sure it was moveable and allowed enough space for their dancers. With some creativity and lighting tricks, we worked within their budget to create the stage of their dreams!
We have special place in our hearts for destination weddings. When we met Jessica and she told us the reasoning behind wanting to have her Wedding as a vacation for her friends and family, I knew we'd get along! It took us awhile to find the perfect location in Florida - but once we did, Hammock Beach was definitely the place! In beautiful Palm Coast, it's a spansive property with beautiful views and plenty of opportunity to relax! You'd never even know that the sky opened up and it started to downpour halfway into their ceremony. They danced the night away as if it was all apart of the plan!
Photographer: Two Hearts Photography
Venue: Hammock Beach
Florist: Art Among the Flowers
Planning a Wedding is hard. So is math. Our goals it make things as easy as possible for our brides, so we have these few simple tricks to help you figure Wedding things when it comes to numbers.
WEDDING GUEST COUNT
GUEST COUNT PER TABLE
Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with clients with weddings of all shapes and sizes. No matter the format, number of guests, location, budget etc, something that's always helpful is what we call a Wedding Audit about 4-5 weeks out. With our Day of Coordination Plus clients, we meet with them at this time before their wedding and go through every detail of the plans. There are a few reasons this is important:
Key things we discuss with our couples:
Looking for a Wedding Audit? Contact us to schedule yours!
We are knee deep in engagement season! The holidays and New Year are a popular time for couples to decide to tie the knot. And after the excitement settles down, it's time to think about the wedding. We've previous given you tips on the first steps to take after you get engaged - but now that you've gotten that far - you can think about what type of wedding you'd like!
Destination weddings are one of our favorite to produce. They may seem overwhelming and more difficult to plan (and they can be), but there are lot of positives that make wedding guests say (every damn time!) - "that was the best wedding i've every gone to." So if you're on the verge of taking that leap or you're still thinking it through - here are some reasons why you won't regret it:
1. Everyone is on Vacation
We say the true definition of a destination wedding is when EVERYONE is on vacation - including you. Pick a resort or town where there is a lot to do and your guests can explore and relax without you needing to constantly entertain them. They'll get a vacation out of it - and if they don't have a good time on vacation - well then there's something wrong with them. Let's face it - most people are a lot happier and stress-free on vacation, and isn't that what you want?
2. New Best Friends
This really should have been number one, but it was a close call. The purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the couple and their families coming together to start this new journey. Your friends and family are going to be interacting for the rest of your lives, so using the wedding as an opportunity for everyone to bond is key. With a destination wedding - guests have multiple opportunities to get to know each other, and by the time the Wedding comes - Uncle Joe and your friend from work will be spinning each other on the dancefloor as if they've known each other for years. Trust me, this comes from experience.
3. A Guest Count Trimmer
Unfortunately, traveling to a destination wedding is not possible for everyone. Health, budget, age, work etc are all factors that can conflict with a guest's ability to make the trip. This is definitely something to take into consideration. If you just cannot get married without your Grandmother who is just too old to make a trip that far, a Destination Wedding may not be for you. It's not a heartless move to still move forward with the Destination though. There are plenty of ways to celebrate with friends and family who can't make the trip before or after your Wedding. For those that want an easy way to weed out guests from their list? Well people take not being invited to a Wedding a lot easier when you can say "it's just a small destination wedding." Shadey maybe? But fact.
4. $$ Goes A Lot Further
It is inevitable that your guests will spend extra money on something for your wedding. They are expensive. Whether they need to get a room for the night, a babysitter, or even fly/travel - majority of weddings require some additional spend. So wouldn't you rather they just spend it towards something they get to celebrate personally also? We aren't avoiding that they can be more expensive for your guests - but if you do your research and do it right - it can be affordable and help their money go further. This also goes for your budget. Many tropical resorts are cheaper and you can get more for your $50,000 budget than one night in your local city. TIP: All-inclusive resorts are great and help offset some of your guests allowing you to wine and dine your guests with more entertainment.
5. Make the Best Day Of Your Life the Best WEEKEND of Your Life
This reason is simple. All the planning, stress and anticipation that goes into planning a Wedding, making it just one night is just a shame. Extend the party to a weekend or week and have a Destination Wedding.
I initially joined Lindsay and Dee's Wedding as their Day-of Coordinator to ensure it all went as seamless as possible for them. As many times in the wedding planning process, obstacles arose and they need some extra support putting together the look and feel for a space they felt didn't completely represent them. I was thrilled to take their floral theme into The Essex Room and reflect their spirit from floor to ceiling. We literally brought their floral crowns up to the chandeliers and filled the room with bud vases and candles the created a romantic garden ambiance. It was truly such a pleasure to work with them and it was a fantastic night captured so beautifully by Addie Roberge Photography! Enjoy!
We are going to let this video speak for itself. Nothing but magic on this special night in Rhode Island. Thank you Last Take Films!
You're engaged! Congrats! Now what?
Whether you are one of those people who has been planning your wedding since you were a child or you never thought about until all of the sudden you're engaged, these 3 tips can help get you on the right path to take those next steps to plan your special day before you even look at a venue.
Get on the same page.
Each couple has a different dynamic and we see couples of all varieties. Sometimes it's a partnership and they work together to plan the day. Sometimes the bride takes it all on and just tells the groom where to show up. No matter what, talk it through with your partner. What are their expectations for the process and what's important to them? It's also a great communication exercise to prepare you for that adventure that comes after the wedding :)
Here are some question to help get you started:
The topic no one wants to talk about is really one of the most important pieces. You can't start looking a venues until you decide how much you have or are willing to spend on your wedding. Not only how much is an important decision, but where is the money coming from? Is family contributing? Are you doing it on your own? This will help give you some perspective on what your options are.
**Tip, if you aren't sure how much you want to spend, I like to compare it to the "$" symbols that OpenTable uses to describe restaurants. How do you want people to rate your wedding as if it was an OpenTable listing?
$ - $100 / person
$$ - $100 - $200 / person
$$$ - $200 - 400 / person
$$$$ - $400+ / person
***the per person cost encompasses your whole budget divided by how many people - not just f&b
Think About Who You Want There
This is a key piece. Thinking about who you want there can be a big driver in location. If you're thinking about a destination wedding, but would never get married without your grandma who is too old to fly, this may put that into perspective. Guest count also will help frame your venue search, budget, and overall vibe of your wedding. A 50 person wedding is very different than a 200 person wedding, and where you think you'll fall is important.
Have more questions? Contact us! We can help.
More and more we meet couples looking to put together a "backyard" type of wedding. Whether it be in a rented barn, field, or their actual backyard, they often think this is the easiest way to achieve their rustic wedding dreams while saving money!
I hate to break it to you, but i'm here to report that it is never as easy or cheap as you think. Don't get me wrong! I fully support this trend and they actually have become my favorite weddings to coordinate because the opportunities for personalization are endless! But with all those opportunities for details comes the task of how you actually can make them happen out of thin air. Before undertaking this massive wedding project, let me share some tips with you that save you from day-of chaos and that it has all the comforts of an existing venue.
DISCLAIMER: These tips may come off negative and as though i'm trying to persuade you not to do this. That's not the case! I just want to be honest and frank with you so that your wedding planning process is as enjoyable and seamless as possible.
Hire a Planner
I fully recommend that you hire a full-service planner to be by yourself during the whole process, but if this isn't in your budget, a day-of coordinator atleast is necessary to make this all happen. A full-service planner can help you along the way to ensure that you've thought of every logistics. Trash, power, lighting? Maybe your tent company is installing lighting so your tent looks gorgeous, but have you thought of how people will be able to see getting back to their cars? A planner can remind of these things AND make them happen. If a day-of coordinator is more your speed, just think of this, when you're sitting in the chair getting your hair and makeup done for the most special day of your life - are you going to be able to answer vendor calls looking for directions or setup your escort cards? Perhaps you may be able to, but let me promise you, you don't want to and you shouldn't! It's YOUR day.
Full Service Caterer
Full-service catering can mean many things, but mainly, make sure that you are bringing in a caterer who is going to help clean up plates, trash and clear left over food. This is not the case with all caterers, especially for these types of events, so ensure that you've talked through these details with them so your family isn't the clean-up crew at the end of the night.
Take a 360 View of Your Venue
When you're planning the floorplan and guest flow, make sure you are looking up, down and all around. What is the ground like? Will people be able to walk on it or do we need flooring? Again, lighting, will people be able to see where they are going?
Also in this category is your neighbors. Be conscious of noise and disturbances that may not go over well with your neighbors. Be sure to talk to them ahead of them (maybe even invite them!) so that nothing disrupts the party!
Prepare for Weather
This may sound obvious, but ALWAYS have a plan B. Any portion of your wedding that could be affected by rain (or even wind or cold) should be addressed and have a backup plan. Tents are great, but does your tent come with sides? If it's cold, windy and rainy, a tent overhead won't solve all your problems. It's also important to talk these through with your vendors. Entertainment such as DJs and Bands who have instruments will be very sensitive to the elements, so ensuring they feel comfortable with your plans in place will prepare you for a lot of day-of concerns.
Let it Go and Remember what Matters
Weddings in general are vulnerable to stress and obstacles, but "build your own venues" come with their own folder of challenges. The key is to remember what is important to you and being flexible to help make that happen. Do you want to have a bumping 3-hour dance party? Make sure your dancefloor is secure and your DJ is comfortable. Do you have a family of foodies? Make sure your caterer has a great workspace and everything they need to deliver a seamless experience. At the end of the day, you are marring the person you love and it is the start of an amazing next chapter. If you can focus on that, you can handle your wedding :)
Enjoy some of our favorite tips, tricks and select event highlights!