Sunday, June 22, 2008

Colleen and Jon

When Colleen first contacted us for her upcoming nuptials, she was not certain whether or not to hold her reception in Connecticut or Virginia. We are so happy that she and Jon chose Connecticut and we had the lovely pleasure of working with them both and their families.
May 24th was a beautiful spring day, a bit brisk, but clean and crisp for the oceanfront wedding at the The Eolia Mansion at Harkness with a soft color palette of varied pinks accented with cream and green. It is only fitting that Colleen and Jon chose such a gorgeous and fairy tale location with rich history and beauty, as they have been together since their teenage years, long time sweethearts.

All of the beautiful pictures below were taken by Dru Nadler who was so nice to work with and did a fantastic job.

Colleen and Jon were married in the amphitheatre, admist their closest family and friends. Following the ceremony, guests were treated to a delectable spread during cocktail hour and dined family style in the various candle-lit rooms of the mansion, all fabulously catered by Cloud Nine Catering.

The cocktail hour took place on the patio behind the mansion, overlooking the expansive lawn and ocean. Guests enjoyed playing croquet on the lawn, which is a favorite pastime in Jon's family. A family gathering without it just wouldn't have been complete!

Colleen had the most gorgeous bouquet of peonies, the table arrangements were sweet and sublte spring tulips, and elegant glads filled the nooks and crannies of the mansion as well as made quite the statement on the fireplace. The flowers were executed to Colleen and her mother Sandra's vision with perfection. Garden, spring, flowing and Pink! Debra at Bakes and Baldwin did an incredible job.

Colleen and Jon had practiced their first dance, taken lessons and, naturally did a beautiful job together. They danced to "Dream a Little, Dream" and you could feel the love under that tent!

Following their first dance, Colleen's sister gave a touching toast to the couple, reminiscing of their childhood days, and sharing a bedroom as little girls. It was very sweet. Then Jon's three brother's got up together to toast their brother and Colleen and talked about how Colleen and Jon had been together for so long that of course she was already family! It was also quite touching.

After dinner guests danced the night away to the tune of the Modern Manners who really read their crowd well and played to the tastes of Colleen and Jon to prefection.

We wish Colleen and Jon years and years of love and happiness together and are thrilled that they included us in such a special way on their wedding day.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Unique Venues

Unique Venues . . . . Love 'em? Hate 'em? Regardless of opinion, almost all the couples and vendors we meet with have something to say about them.

It's true, Talia and I work at a lot of unique venues for the most obvious reason that often there is more of a need to have a coordinator to serve as the main contact for the venue, caterer, rentals and all other vendors running around. What truly sparked this post were two back to back weddings at unique venues we worked this May: Eolia Mansion at Harkness Park (our first of two weddings there this year) and Branford House Mansion (our fourth and still loving it). Holy moly, these places are gorgeous and we had such a blast executing both of their events. Here is a photo courtesy of Steve DePino from a Branford House Mansion wedding we worked this past October . . sigh.

I, for one, absolutely adore unique venues, especially since I was married at one. More work? Absolutely! More expensive? More likely than not (ugh, I know). The ability to make the day 100% yours? You betcha.

To us, a unique venue can be defined as any location whether backyard, farm, mansion, castle, museum or other facility in which you pay a fee to use the property (unless it is yours, of course) and then either erect a tent or have exclusive use of the space and then bring in everything including but not limited to tables, chairs, dance floor, lighting,decorations, food, bar, music . . .The list can be simple or endless, all depending on what the couple envisions for their day and of course what the budget allows. See below for a gorgeous tent shot from one our weddings last summer, credit Toby Morris:

Pros: The ability to design your day as you please from menu to decorations. If it is a tent, it can be anything you want it to be. If it is a mansion, your wedding can be like hosting a fancy dinner party. Working with a caterer allows you 100% customization of menus, which is fabulous for foodies. Guests often love unique venues because it gives them the opportunity to walk around and explore the property or perhaps peruse an art gallery. With unique venues, you are not constrained by requirements set at standard banquet facilities, such as your reception must be from 6 pm until midnight, your vendors only have one hour to decorate, and you need to garantee a minimum of a certain number of guests, which may not work with your guest list. These alone make unique venues extremely appealing.

Cons: Price is a large consideration, and cannot be taken lightly. For weddings of similar guest list, unique venues can often cost double to price. While we always say that the weather is one thing you just don't have control over, this becomes even more critical for unique venue or tented receptions. Relying solely on outdoor spaces, or the combination of indoor and outdoor spaces, plans can change drastically in an instant when faced with inclimate weather. Of course, much of the inclimate weather "cons" can be resolved with additional tenting, , flooring, tent sides, etc, all of which add to the elusive price factor. One make or break con that we see all the time is the Separation of Guests. Some really like the idea of separate and unique rooms, where groups of guests can be joined, each space decorated specifically for those guests or that space. It can be quite lovely, but at the same time, needs real buy in from everyone involved. It is true, not all guests can sit at their tables and watch your important dances or traditions, not all can be in viewing distance of the band or dj, and not all will be seated in the same room as the bride and groom.

Whether your venue of choice is a farm, a historic mansion, an art gallery, a classic tent, or chic loft space, there is bound to be the perfect solution to your unique wedding venue needs. Leave your guests with a lasting impression by choosing a venue that speaks to who you are, and your wedding will surely be one not to be forgotten! With these last words, I'll sign off with our most delicious head table yet at the Wadsworth Mansion, photo credit: Kiernan Photography



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary Heidi and Ed!

On May 17th, we celebrated the 35th Wedding Anniversary of my in-laws, Heidi and Ed, at the Mill on the River in South Windsor. Their actual anniversary wasn't until the 26th of May, but it was a surprise and we didn't want them to catch on to anything! We had a fanastic day, they were over the moon, and we couldn't be happier for them. They are amazing parents, set an incredible example of love and happiness and we would do anything to let them know how much they mean to us.

It all started with a simple idea, invite their friends and family to a gathering in their honor, and being the wedding planner that I am, turned into quite the affair. We invited 90 of their nearest and dearest to celebrate the occassion with pomp and pizazz!

The day arrived and we were busy. Running to pick up the centerpieces from the florist, Just For You who did such a beautiful job with the creams and corals. We arrived early to set up the room with all of our personal touches in coral, the symbol of the 35th Anniversary. Honey in jars labeled "Love is Sweet", mini "lamps" in with a coral glow, wedding pictures from 1973!, a coral topped card box, a coral cake, (which didn't quite hold up to the humidity, albeit, coral) and a shadow box frame with their invitation emsemble.

Here are a few pictures of the room as we decorated:

The food was delicious, everyone was thrilled, the appetizer display was stunning, and entrees left my mouth watering.

The cake, made by Audra Weisel was absolutely delicious as well, an almond confection with a raspberry-peach compote filling.

Guests danced til their hearts were content to the Jazz band from The Wildwood Groups They were the perfect size, at five pieces for our party and the perfect style too!

Here are a couple more pictures, one of my father-in-law, Ed and I, and one of my husband, Ed and his mom Heidi. Sadly, I didn't get any good pictures of them as they walked into the room. I was with them, so of course, that would have been tricky.

Happy Anniversary Heidi and Ed! Wishing you many more years of happiness together!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Amy and Jeremy

Despite an overcast and brisk day, Amy and Jeremy's May 3, 2008 wedding was nothing but sparkles and sunshine.

With a spunky pallette of pink, orange and black, accented by butterflies here and there, it was the unique touches that made their day so memorable and adorable to look at in every possible way.

Amy and Jeremy were married at 6:00 pm on the serene grounds of the Farmington Club with a personalized and touching civil ceremony, following by the breaking of the glass in the Jewish tradition. Tara of Heavenly Elegance accompanied the ceremony and her gorgeous harp performance was just chilling.

Following the ceremony, the guests were greeted to an incredibly fun willow arrangement adorned by butterfly escort cards Amy's mom Sharon made herself. They were a hit!

Cocktail hour took place under the covered patio. The Wildwood Group provided a jazz ensemble that was the just the right touch to get the crowd mingling and in the mood to party.

The ballroom was decorated to the nines, with each table adorned with ribbons (a great way to dress up tables at a fraction of the price of a custom linen!). Jane of Just For You in Middlefield, did a stupendous job on all of the flowers. Here is a close up of the centerpiece:

And a shot of the tables:

There was a fun lolli centerpiece for all the kiddies -Yum-o! The wonderful staff at Farmington Club were kind enough to provide white drawing paper on top of the table so that the young lords and ladies could doodle to their little heart's desires.

Ever so creative, a banner for the sweetheart table really made a statement and showed the bride's personality through and through!

Each couple was treated to a favor that included two bottles of champagne. The sticker on the bag says "L'Chaim," which is the most common Jewish drink toast "To life."

Creative Cakes by Donna designed a fabulous fondant cake decorated with pink butterflies, ribbons and pearls.

Of all the weddings I have worked, Amy and Jeremy's first dance was the most moving I have ever witnessed. They picked "Love Song" by 311 and while I am not a great photographer by any means, this photo of them (albeit blury, taken by yours truly) twirling on the dance floor and the expression on Amy's mother face in the background sends a pang right through my heart.

I love it when couples pick songs that are what I call out of the wedding box and as I am married to a die hard 311 fan, I can't get over how I had never thought of this song for a wedding. Kudos, guys!

Amy's tulle dress couldn't have been more perfect match for her event or her incredibly sweet and cheery disposition.

The food was so good, I decided we needed a photo of it :).

They used The Pros for DJ, photographer and videography. DJ Kevin did a great job keeping the dance floor packed all night long and Jake Koteen got some great pictures.

Amy and Jeremy, we wish you all the happiness in the world! L'Chaim.