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 :)
Set just 35 minutes north of Boston is Lynch Park. The expansive park lies in the middle of a residential neighborhood which makes it hard to stumble upon unless you are directed. In addition to multiple picnic tables, walking paths and a small beach, you'll find a gorgeous rose garden, enclosed by a beautiful brick wall and looking out to ocean views. Even though the park is very busy especially during peak season, the rose garden can be reserved for private events.
Location: Beverly, MA
Associated Costs: Permit, Chair Rentals (if needed)
Transportation: Parking Lot (Parking can be arranged for free for your guests)
Bonus Selling Points:
- Steps from the waterfront!
- Photos, photos, photos. In addition to taking advantage of the beautifully landscaped floral garden, literally steps away you can have a waterfront shoot. Best of both worlds!
Larz Anderson Park is a gorgeous option for anyone looking for a peaceful outdoor ceremony. The location options within the park are endless and you can't pick a bad spot for a bad backdrop.
Associated Costs: Permit, Chair Rentals (if needed)
Transportation: Free Parking Lot
Bonus Selling Points:
- Swans, SWANS! There are swans that live in the park. People pay extra for that!
- Photos, photos, photos. The park covers 5+ acres and includes natural options for you and your partner to venture off with your photographer and photos of a lifetime.
When Kaiyi and Haodong came to me and told me what they were looking for, I instantly knew Belle Mer was the venue for them. Although it was a small wedding of 30 people, the Water Salon is versatile and can be functional for just about any occasion and any size. Not to mention, the views of the water and Newport bridge are spectacular.
Starting with the ceremony, the main word they used to describe what they wanted was "floral". In partnership with Fleurishing Florals, we dressed the entire ceremony space in pink, peach and white florals.
Following the ceremony, the opted from a traditional cocktail hour, and guests boarded a harbor cruise that took then around the bay providing up close views of Belle Mer and the Newport Bridge.
Guests then returned to Belle Mer for a delicious 3 course meal in front of a golden sunset. Friends and family shared their favorite memories of the newlyweds, before wrapping up the evening with impromptu karaoke party. I think it's safe to say we covered all bases :)
Enjoy some of our favorite tips, tricks and select event highlights!