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Ronnie Got Engaged!

Growing up, most girls envision a picture-perfect moment…the marriage proposal!  I never really had something specific in mind, but knew that when I met Joe, things were different. We understood each other’s jokes, had similar interests, and awkwardly (or awesomely) operated on the same wave length the majority of the time. Here’s a summary of what has happened on our adventure, and where it all stands today.

The Engagement

Joe was gearing up for his graduation from business school at Boston College in 2017. Little did I know, Joe called my parents (who live across the country) ahead of time and asked for my hand in marriage. After receiving my father’s blessing, Joe began the process of secretly getting a ring made that was reflective of who I am. Always a fan of the fabled “two-for-one” deal, Joe was planning on proposing to me right after his graduation ceremony. I had no idea, but his mom, my parents, and a couple of his close friends knew what I was in for.


After the ceremony, Joe dragged me around campus to take pictures together. I grew a bit frustrated and annoyed (it was cold out!) and wanted to just get in the car and to warm up. Finally, as I began to walk to one of the dozens of locations, Joe instead grabbed my hand as I was walking away and when I turned around, he was on his knee in his cap and gown!

Moving In

Moving in was a crazy concept to us….and finding a place in Boston in June is difficult! Joe went to see an apartment in Quincy, MA, and before I knew it, he had locked us into a two-bedroom apartment near the red line in a brand-new building. We love our new apartment!

Venue Shopping

The hardest part about venue shopping is figuring out what type of experience we want our friends and family to have. Given the size of my family, we knew the wedding would be in Seattle to make it as easy as possible for everyone. We flew out to the West Coast figuring we would end up at the winery that we had a soft hold on. But little did we know that the “wildcard” venues we threw in would actually win us over! We still have a bit of discussing to do, but are getting close to a decision. We are so excited to plan our wedding and have the time of our lives!  Stay tuned for updates on our journey.


The Big Day – June 20th, 2015

A final post from our in house Bride…

A little over 3 months ago all of the planning and hard work culminated into literally the wedding of my dreams. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figured I’d share some of my favorite shots from the day…

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Our vision was a romantic and classy estate wedding.  If you read any of my prior posts, you’ll remember that we settled on The Bradley Estate in Canton, MA, a red brick Gregorian-style mansion with an amazing brick edged parterre garden, romantically set behind the house and a large side lawn for a tented reception.

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For our ceremony we kept it mostly traditional, though we added in our own vows and a special sand blending ceremony with sand from both coasts to highlight our commitment to combine our two lives. To top it all off, we had one of our closest friends, Kate Baker, officiate the ceremony.

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We wanted cocktail hour to be classy yet fun, so guests sipped cocktails while they roamed the property and played games like corn hole and washers personally built and monogrammed by Tom.

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   The reception of course went by all too fast but what I remember most is being so in awe at all of the people who came to one place for us.  Our perfect day was made possible by our family, friends and of course our vendors who worked tirelessly to make everything perfect for us.  Gourmet Caterers did an outstanding job with the food, presentation and service.  And our DJ, Adam Conrad did an amazing job of keeping the night (and our guests) moving.

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Sperry Tents provided a wistful and light sailcloth tent with bamboo poles and candelabras.  I loved how it made the reception on grass still feel both upscale and intimate.

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We wanted our wedding to be romantic and classic with a little bit of sparkle. We worked with Peterson’s Party Center to accomplish this look with traditional fruitwood chivari chairs for both the ceremony and reception and alternated champagne and blush linens on our guest tables.  One of my pet peeves is when guest tables are too crammed, so we simplified the tables to include only rose petals, votives and centerpieces of gorgeous pink, cream and ivory roses from LauraJean Floral Design

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The table numbers were kept simple too, though each was placed in its own beautiful frame, which I had begun collecting from the moment we became engaged! I loved how this gave the tables a unique yet cohesive look.

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And for the sparkle, I scattered a few rose gold sequin linens (from Rentals Unlimited) throughout cocktails and of course on our sweetheart table.

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Our menu cards, along with the ceremony program and other various signage was beautifully designed by Mr. Tom Boates himself!

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In the end, everything turned out just exactly as we had envisioned it.  Perfect weather, the love of family and friends from across the country and Tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!   

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                                                                                                                                        – Mrs. Boates signing off!

Venue: The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate
Tent: Sperry Tents
Caterer: Gourmet Caterers
Cake: Konditor Meister
Floral: LauraJean Floral & Event Design
Rentals: Petersons Party Center
Rose Gold Sequined Linens: Rentals Unlimited
Photography: George Street Photography
DJ: Adam Conrad
Officiant: Kate Baker
The Dress:  Mori Lee by Madeline Gardiner
Hair: Janet Rodriguez
Makeup: Danielle Austin


From the Desk of Christine…

Marriage…what a great year to win Boston magazine’s Best of Boston ® 2015 -Best Wedding Coordinator.  With the news of equality and marriage for all, this makes the honor of “Best of” even better!

I thought back on when I first began planning weddings…it was the 80’s!  Weddings were so different then, in fact most of the planning was with the mother.  However, it was in the 80’s that the wedding couple started to have a bigger part in the actual planning, since often they were paying for part of the wedding and wanted to break with some of the old traditions.  During this time, I had the opportunity to work at The Great Hall in Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  As I was spending so much time in this beautiful old building, I thought “what a great space for a wedding.”  My sales team thought I was crazy, but within two years, we were hosting over 30 weddings a year.  This was the start of designing weddings that were just a little different, and not always in a hotel.

I started to think about the trends then, and with the help of Google, decided to share the “wedding styles of the 1980’s.”  When I googled 1980 Wedding Style, the word “vintage” came up, and I nearly choked!  Really, I started doing weddings in a period that is now considered vintage!  I toyed with the idea of tossing my own wedding photo from 1988 in this blog (Laura Ashley dress, large draping floral bouquet and all), but after I dusted off the wedding album and stopped laughing, I determined it might be best to put that picture back in the album where it belonged!  I was a trendsetter in my day…my bridesmaids got their dresses off the racks at Neiman’s and each one was different.  But just so you can create your own visual, these are some of the dresses I had to choose from.

 

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Of course I was also attending many friends’ weddings at that time, and being a part of their wedding parties.  I did have the opportunity to wear lots of chiffon and satin…more then anyone should ever have to wear.  My favorite trend was the Rainbow Wedding Party (not to be confused with the first Same Sex wedding), in which each the bridesmaids wore a dress a different color of the rainbow.  Somehow I always ended up in orange.

(This is a Google photo, not the actual wedding shot!)

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Oh, and of course…we all wanted to be just like Diana!

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There are so many great memories that I have from weddings from the 80’s through today. Styles change, trends change…but the purpose behind each wedding does not.  It is about two people wanting to share their lives together, to build a foundation that they will recreate, grow and change for hopefully years to come.  I look forward to planning many more memories for many more couples, and feel privileged to have this honor.

 – Christine

 

 


2015: Be Engaged

Happy New Year and Congratulations to the newly engaged!  The holidays are a season of giving and receiving.  We’ve found that a lot of those gifts include giving an engagement ring and receiving love to last a lifetime!

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Image courtesy of Zev Fisher Photography – to see the full photo and more – go here!

In celebration of all that lies ahead for you and yours, here are a few websites that we like to check out when looking for new or unique wedding ideas (or just fall in love with Love!).

Dorfman Jewelers – If you don’t have the ring (but know there’s a promise), be sure to have one of their specialists help you with the Art of Engagement. Discover the newly renovated Dorfman’s when shopping for your wedding rings as well! (and fiances of the world – have your sig-other keep a running list of things they like here – it will make future gift giving easy!)

How He Asked – a website dedicated to marriage proposals, with thoughtful words, photos and even video.  If you’re in the mood to cry out of joy and all things good in the world – go here.  If you’re in the mood to share your story of love – go here.

BHLDN – vintage, delicate, ethereal are all words that describe the dresses, accessories and other beautiful things you can find on this wedding website from Anthropologie.  Sometimes all you need to complete the look is that one perfect thing…

Vows – searching for your wedding dress can be fun, exciting and overwhelming.  The staff at Vows in Watertown, MA will help you find that perfect look. This bridal outlet offers high-end designer wedding gown samples and overstocks from famous designers.  You are one of a kind, maybe the dress should be too!

Style Me Pretty – See what other real couples have done for their weddings – great for inspiration and current trends. We love to see what wedding trends are happening around the country.

Squarespace – thinking of designing a personal website for the Big Day? Check this out – they have wedding templates and make it easy to customize to suit you and your fiance’s style.

Recycle Your Wedding – figured out your wedding style and feeling a little DIY?  We do our best to help our brides find ways to save some dollars here and there.  Sometimes this means buying accents (votive holders, lanterns, and other little tidbits) which can be hard to store.  From the Ruffled Blog – here are some classifieds to buy and sell your wedding goods!

Congratulations again on your recent engagment!  AE Events is here to help you create a beautiful and magical day for you and your family – give us a call or email us to inquire about our services and how we can help you go from Ms. to Mrs.!

 


#9 – Say Cheese!

It’s Wedding Wednesday and time for our monthly check-in with bride-to-be, Elizabeth…

Say Cheese! No, not that kind of cheese, though I must admit I’m a little obsessed with the Deep Fried Truffle Mac n’ Cheese that will be served during cocktail hour on the big day… but I digress…

As I mentioned before, Tom and I decided early on that there were three things that were undoubtedly more important than any of the other aspects of the wedding: Venue and Food  – which I’ve covered in past posts – and today’s topic: Photography.

Making a decision on photography (and videography for that matter) was another difficult task for us.  Not only does Tom have several fantastic photographer friends but we at AE Events work with many very talented photographers as well!  However, I was intrigued by an advertisement I kept seeing from George Street Photography.  And while I was timid to go with a corporate company vs. an independent photographer – we found that what George Street offered for the price we could afford, was hard to pass up.

Some of the things in our awesome package that sealed the deal:

– Lead Photographer for 10 hours
– Assistant Photographer for 6 hours
– 90-minute Engagement Session with our Lead Photographer
– Online Proofing and Ordering
– Digital Negatives
– Leather bound Wedding Album + Two 6×6 Albums
– Videographer for 8 hours
– Wireless mic for the Ceremony
– High Def Blu-Ray DVD Master Copy of all footage + 5-7 Minute Highlight Reel
– Professionally Certified Video Editors
– Online Portal where you can manage the look of your day, prints, scheduling and have an event coordinator on hand to confirm your photographer the day before and the day of

I’ll save my final review of them for after the wedding, however I can say that so far I am very pleased with their service as well as the photographer that we selected from their network: Colleen Moore McCarthy.

Speaking of which… two weeks ago Tom and I took a day off to meet with Colleen at the Boston Public Garden (the scene of our engagement 9 months ago) for our 90-minute Engagement Session.  And we just so happened to get our shots back last night… Enjoy!

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Happy Anniversary Joanna and Bryan!

It’s Wedding Wednesday and while we can’t believe this lovely wedding is already a year behind us, we are still basking in it’s beauty!  Set at a gorgeous private estate, we brought some amazing vendors together to create the perfect wedding day for Joanna and Bryan on September 21, 2013.  They wanted a classic wedding, with elegant, romantic touches. It started with an outdoor ceremony (perfect weather), cocktails in the house (lots of bubbly), then dinner and dancing (Moroccan spiced lamb, yum!).  Happy Anniversary, you two!

We leave you now to enjoy the beauty of it all from the start of the day to the end – courtesy of Sarah Bastille Photography!

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Flowers by the talented Benjamin Newbold at Winston Flowers

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Joanna made such a beautiful bride!!!

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The Happy Couple! Congratulations all over again!

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Alternative to a traditional guest book – hand typed (or written) notes from guests offering “wishes and wisdom”.

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Many thanks to the vendors that made this wedding possible:

Photographer: Sarah Bastille Photography ¦ Flowers: Winston Flowers ¦ Linens & Rentals: Be Our Guest ¦ Audio & Lighting: High Output ¦ Tenting: Peterson Party Center ¦ Catering: Max Ultimate Food ¦ Videographer: Heirloom Pictures


#8 – Simple and Affordable Ways To Make Your Wedding Stand Out

As you know, we’ve been following the adventures of our in-house bride, Elizabeth as she plans her wedding next Spring.  This week she shares with us some of her struggles with DIY projects and what she’s learned thus far.

In a bride’s world of Pinterest and endless DIY projects floating around out there, it’s easy to get carried away with ideas you’d like to incorporate into your big day. But it can be a potential nightmare: you find yourself a few days away from the wedding, running errands and staying up till all hours of the night with your (reluctant) bridesmaids, making hundreds of paper flowers or gluing lace onto dozens of mason jars instead of getting your nails done at the spa and relaxing!  So where do those of us, determined to make our own wedding stand out with personal touches, draw the line?

Fear not!  Here are 10 simple and affordable ways to make your day memorable and give your wedding that extra personal touch… And my guests may just see some of these ideas on our big day next year!

1) Outdoor Amenities – Having been a guest at many weddings, I can say from experience that it really stands out when a couple shows that they have thought about their guests experience.  One small way to do that if you’re having an outdoor wedding or reception is to create a small basket of amenities to ward off sunburn and bug bites.  Similar to an amenities basket typically provided in the restroom, you don’t need to spend a lot and you can even stick to travel sizes from your local drugstore.  Just throw a few SPF 30’s and OFF bug spray’s into a cute basket that matches your theme and you’re all set. If you want to take things to the next level, give your guests a break from the sun with a few parasol’s lining the ceremony aisle (you can find them online for as low as $8 each) or go with a basket of pashmina’s for when the sun goes down (which can also be found at low cost when purchased in bulk online).

2) Something To Stand On – …for those standing up for you. Bridesmaids’ lives were made easier with the invention of the “heel protector” which stops the stiletto from slipping into the grass all day. Highly recommended for the bride and your bridesmaids will love you for getting them a pair too.  I personally like the SoulMates brand – they’re affordable and have different heel sizing options.  If your ceremony is outside on the grass (like mine) you can also purchase small cement stepping stones for your girls to stand on during the ceremony.  These can be found at Home Depot for as little as $2 each.

50e5c1cd2e079c3449b6b2d243e42afb3) Wish Toss Bar – I stumbled upon this awesome idea from wedding extraordinaire Mindy Weiss. Instead of having guests shower the happy couple with the same thing (like rice), let guests chose from different options such as rose petals, confetti, feathers and other toss-able items. Take it one step further and re-create Mindy’s vision with vintage drawers to store the different items — perfect for a rustic, outdoor wedding.

4) Personalized Bathroom Signs – If you’re at a unique venue such as an estate or farmhouse, you may find the bathroom situation to be a bit drab.  In addition to the usual bathroom amenities basket that most people create you can also spruce up the bathroom door, by hanging cute “MEN” and “WOMEN” signs, complete with a picture of each of you as a child in the background (because who doesn’t love baby pictures?).  Even better, find that super embarrassing (but super cute) photo of you wearing a diaper or tangled up in a toilet paper mess.

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5) Advice for the married couple – I love all the different ideas I’ve seen people come up with for their “Advice for the Bride and Groom” element… my favorite though was at a friends wedding where they offered “Mad Libs” cards at the bar, customized with a story that included the bride and groom. You’re bound to get some fun answers once the champagne starts flowing and I’m sure the couple had some great laughs when reading through them over the next few days.

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6) A New Spin On Old Photos – I absolutely love when couples display pictures of their parents and grandparents weddings, or honor a loved one who is no longer with us.  For a new spin on it, however, consider inserting black and white versions of the pictures into different sized glass hurricane vases.  Simply print the pictures onto vellum paper and then mod podge to the inside of the vase.  Once dry, add one or two tea lights at the bottom and place on a mantle, piano top, bar or anywhere else that needs some décor.

 

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7) Spice Up Your Ice  – This one works particularly well if you plan on having chilled champagne or wine displayed by the bars or any of the tables. Flower buds and petals can be purchased from a flower market or online distributer and then frozen into ice cubes. Boil water and let it cool to room temperate before filling the ice tray to allow for the most clear ice cubes.  And if you’d like to include the ice cubes in actual drinks, make sure to wash the petals thoroughly before adding them to the ice tray.

 

 

 

8) Engagement Photobook as a Guestbook – If you’re sick of the traditional and sometimes boring guestbook – which I honestly don’t think anyone even signs anymore – consider this alternative.  Create a high quality photo book of your engagement photos (or even your own photos of you both as a couple) to have guests sign instead.  Guests will want to look through it at the wedding, guaranteeing you more signatures and you also end up with something you can actually put on a coffee table at home to look through frequently!  Snapfish and Shutterfly are two great and affordable online resources but don’t forget that the photo department at your local drugstore can usually do them too now!

 

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9) Table Numbers – As a fellow dog lover – I had to include the cutest idea we saw from our bride and groom this weekend: Annie and Matt took pictures of their beloved dog Lucky, each one with a different number hanging around her neck, and then inserted the pictures into pretty white frames for their table numbers. It was easy, affordable, and gave a personal (and adorable) touch to each table! (Photo Credit: Stacey Hedman Photography)

 

 

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10) Traditional Wedding Cake With A Twist – Hate to break it to you ladies, but it’s just as much his day as it is yours! (See, I’m getting better honey!) So, surprise your groom with something he likes (sports mascot, band logo, Yoda, anything really) at the bottom of the cake and show him how special he is to you!

 

 

Join us next month when Elizabeth fills us in on her upcoming Engagement shoot and hopefully a sneak peak at the pictures!


#7 – Drum Roll Please… The Dress.

Not so fast… stop reading now if you are expecting to catch a glimpse of arguably the most touted part of a wedding – the dress.  Unfortunately for my guests, the big reveal will be June 20th, 2015, right around 4 o’clock pm.  However, I thought it would be useful for those of you who may be newly engaged or soon to be engaged, to share what I learned during the dress shopping process.  And I’m going to tell you up front – it’s not at all like you envisioned when your Barbie got married….

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10 Things I’ve Learned About Wedding Dress Shopping

1) The Myth of Dress Shopping – It’s NOT an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”: I will admit to watching endless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” and “I Found the Gown” with my Saturday/Sunday morning coffee… And even though a lot of professionals will tell you the “this is the one!” moment is a myth perpetuated by such shows, I was so excited for my own “Say Yes to the Dress” moment that I went shopping just five days after getting engaged!  Boy was I knocked off my feet.  Even though I went into the shop knowing I wouldn’t leave with a dress, the pressure of having an opinion (and trying to gauge what my mom and sister thought) was overwhelming.  I wish I could say I came home from that first visit glowing, but truthfully I was so exhausted I needed a nap.  My shopping visits over the next months were just as exhausting, though I will admit I did finally have my “this is the one” moment. Bottom line: Be prepared to be frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed and let the experience run it’s course.  I still believe everyone gets their moment.

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2) Knowledge is Power: After that first overwhelming experience, I knew the key to my success was to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible.  I credit theknot.com and their amazing directory of designers.  I was able to go through and see not only what styles I was interested in, but also what designers I liked.  I then weeded out the ones which were out of my price range, found out what shops in my area carried the designers I liked and went from there.  I’ve gone dress shopping now 6 times and at 4 different stores (Miss Ruby, Chryssie’s Bridal, Manhattan Bridal and of course the famous Vows Bridal Outlet), all of which offered an amazing selection and even more amazing customer service!  With the help of the associates at the stores and my friends and family, I was able to fine tune exactly which style and designer I liked the most.

3) A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: With all that “Say Yes to the Dress” watching, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you need to spend thousands of dollars on a dress.  And I am here to tell you – as a fellow dress enthusiast – it’s very easy to find a dress you love that’s well within your budget.  Believe it or not, “The average price of a wedding dress is $1,355” according to a recent survey in Brides.com. Use your resources to find designers within your price range, find the stores that carry them, and do not try on a dress that is outside your budget… Which brings me to my next point…

4) DO NOT TRY ON A DRESS THAT IS OUTSIDE YOUR BUDGET:  I wrote that in caps for a reason.  It’s undoubtedly the worst thing you can do…In my opinion anyway.  Yes, there is a chance that you could try on a dress, outside your budget, and end up hating it.  But we all know the reality is that you probably will love it – and then you’re in trouble.  If you really have your heart set on a specific dress or designer that you cannot afford, try finding a sample that the store will sell you off the rack, or find a store like VOWS (From the popular TV show “I Found the Gown”).  Vows scours stores all around the US for designer samples – from Lazaro and Monique Lhuillier to Vera Wang and Oscar de la Renta – they then purchase them on sale, fix them up and resell them at a discounted rate.  Definitely worth a visit if you are in the Boston area – though be sure to make an appointment in advance!

5) Keep Calm and Carry On:  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the craziness when a sales associate tells you they can give you a discount if you buy the dress today. Or at a store like Vows, where dresses are off the rack, you risk losing the dress altogether if you leave the store without it.  I found myself really struggling with putting a deposit down on a dress at Vows to essentially hold it for 5 days while I thought about it.  I left the store, grabbed some lunch, took a deep breath and realized that if someone else bought that dress I wouldn’t be devastated – that was my answer. My advice…don’t make a monetary move unless you can’t live without the dress…I ended up not getting any of the dresses I almost put a deposit down on at Vows.

6) The Extra’s: Don’t forget to add in any likely alterations and accessories.  Most brides need shapewear (which isn’t cheap), shoes, and a veil or headpiece.  Either have these items built into your budget separately or include them in your dress number. Most likely you will need some sort of alterations, even if it’s just a bustle.  Keep in mind that some dresses will require more alterations than others.

7) That’s Classified:  Keep that dress under wraps!  I know it’s hard – I wanted to show off my dress to just about every stranger I ran into.  But the more people I told, the less special my dress started to feel.  Leave the big reveal for the big day… good things come to those who wait!

8) Sit IN it for Awhile and Sit on it for Awhile Literally, sit in the dress.  Walk around in it, jump up and down in it, and sit in it.  Is it comfortable?  You’re going be wearing it for 8+ hours so it better be!  Then sit on it… the decision that is.  I technically found my dress 2 ½ months ago but only recently made my decision that it was definitely the one. Unless you are under a time crunch there is nothing wrong with sitting on your decision for a while.  It gave me time to really envision the dress with our wedding and with a clearer head I felt more confident in my decision. Plus, if you have more than a year before your wedding, you also risk finding another dress you love even more!

9) Does it Match?: I personally had a tough time making a decision on a dress because of my extreme appreciation for all dresses.  I loved almost everything I tried on because I love everything about weddings!  The decision was made easier by reminding myself that the dress needed to fit with the rest of our wedding.  And while I think there are brides who can pull off any dress in any environment, I think most of us agree that the design of the dress worn for an art gallery wedding is much different from the one a bride wears for a beach wedding.

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10) Make sure it’s YOU: In the end, there were two dresses left.  There was the dress I had always envisioned myself wearing.  A very traditional look I had dreamed of and dressed my Barbie in.   But then there was the one I had envisioned in the last 6 months since being engaged… The one that matched everything else in our wedding… The one that gave me butterflies… The one that was the most like ME.  And while it’s hard to describe what this means without giving away what it looks like – everyone will know what I’m talking about when they see it next June…

…It’s the one. 

That’s all for this month!  Tune in next month for more wedding planning adventures!


After the party… let’s party?

Recently, AE Partner, Christine Altieri, and one of our brides, Liz, (Hi Liz!) were quoted in the Boston Globe style section commenting on wedding after parties.  Which leads us to continue the conversation – Are After Parties worth it?

After Parties are the new excuse for brides and grooms to continue the celebration into the wee hours of the night (ahem… morning).  For some, I’d say it’s truly worth it.  When else will you have this kind of love and attention from close family and friends?  When else will you have a chance to party like this?  Graduation? (nah, that’s expected) Baby? (Duh, you have a baby! Stay home!)  Major birthday milestone? Okay, maybe that last one, but it’s unlikely all of your nearest and dearest will make it to the festivities.  Yes, a wedding is an important part of your life and those closest to you make an effort to be there – and an After Party, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

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Wedding dress still on, bowtie askew… It’s totally worth it if you have a smaller group of close friends and family and you head somewhere for some post wedding drinks, snacks and chatter.  I’d recommend the Hawthorne for this! Actually, I did go there after my wedding and there were two other brides wandering around in their dresses as well.  We all hugged.  Dressed down to comfy clothes… It’s totally worth it to go sit around a bonfire and make s’mores and mellow out with your peeps. Within Boston itself, I’m not sure you’ll find a bonfire, but I do know the Chatham Bars Inn offers one.  Hair a mess, weren’t you wearing a tie?…  It’s totally worth it to head back to a friend’s suite with your BFFs to drink the last of the champagne and muse upon the times ‘before you were married’.

After Parties aren’t just for weddings anymore.   Now fundraisers and galas are hosting APs as well.  Sometimes it’s to keep the fun, lively atmosphere going and sometimes it’s to introduce a new set of future donors. It’s an easy way to get them in, excited about the cause, introduced to some key people and they get to have fun.  We’ve found the most successful fundraising/non-profit/gala APs have an existing young professional group that they can invite.  Typically this group is invited to arrive as the program and seated dinner that the bigger patrons have paid for is winding down.  Their ticket price is lower and includes dessert, drinks (up to the organization if it’s 2, unlimited drinks, or perhaps you switch to a wine and beer bar) – and of course dancing with the band or DJ alongside the other guests.  It’s a great way to bring some new energy to the room, to the group, to the cause!

To read the Globe article about Wedding APs – follow this link!
Many thanks to Liz Linder Photography for the bonfire AP photo taken in Truro last September.


#6 – Adventures in Catering and Cake

Our latest installment of Elizabeth and Thomas’ wedding planning focuses on their search for the perfect caterer.  Let’s face it, these people aren’t going to feed themselves!

Well here we are, less than 1 year away from the big day… and I must admit that Thomas and I are starting to feel the pressure of our awesome (yet sometimes annoying) Wedding Timeline. (Ok fine, he’s not, but I am!) And what better way to relieve some of that stress than to cross some items off my list, right?! Catering and Cake, here we go…

When we began our planning we discussed right away what each of us felt were some of the most important aspects of our special day. This is something that I think is really important to do before you are off and running because surprisingly enough, a lot of grooms do actually care about their wedding day! Luckily we both agreed that amazing food was an absolute requirement and one of our top 3 priorities (along with photography and venue).  Soon after we found our venue, I put my feelers out there to caterers for menus and quotes and together, Thomas and I reviewed everything.  We asked a lot of questions: Did we want to offer a choice of entrée or a duet? Did we want to offer chicken and steak or chicken and fish?  What kind of appetizers would compliment our meal? Were we duplicating anything? I noticed that our choices were a lot of the same thing…Beef Satay and Beef Sliders for appetizers and then Beef again  for the entrée…  Everything looks so great on the menu, that you sometimes forget that it’s your job to plan an eclectic meal for your guests!

Then came the fun part – the tasting!  A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to have my Mom and Sister visit for a weekend full of dress shopping (more on that later) food and cake tasting!

desserts

Chocolate and Strawberry and Buttercream, Oh My!

And while I can’t reveal just yet who my vendors are or what we settled on for the menu, I must say we could not be more happy with our choices!

Also, for those of you perhaps planning your own wedding, I found this list from The Knot to be really helpful to me as well (in addition to all the helpful advice from my colleague – thanks Mindy!):

– The Knot: 17 Questions to Ask Your Caterer: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-reception-planning/articles/17-questions-to-ask-your-wedding-caterer.aspx

 No caterer named?! No cake flavors hinted at?!  No!!!!  Stay tuned for more wedding updates in August!

 

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