Large or small; every event should be a Memorable Event!

2017 Wedding Trends

As 2016 winds down…

It’s a chance to look back over an amazing year filled with love, romance, elegance and a whole lot of fun! 2016 was a transitional year from rustic to a more vintage and timeless look, but with a millennial twist! So contemporary vintage? Is that a thing? Well it should be!

We are keeping what we love from rustic like farm tables and less over the top floral arrangements but trading mason jars for old bottles. Burlap is making way for flowing fabric and lace. Color pallets are a bit more muted. Oh and CANDLES!! Yes, we know, many venues will only allow battery operated candles, but there is something super romantic about the real deal flickering of an actual flame.

I am in freaking love with personalizing weddings. I am not talking about monogramming everything in sight, but for the decor to be chosen thoughtfully and with meaning. I often have couples that will collect decor items by going to yard sales and antique shops through out the months leading up to their wedding which makes each item a bit more unique to them. Oh and keeping it fun for the guests! Lawn games during cocktail hour, yes please! And great music to dance the night away.

Let’s take a second to talk about food. In NH, we are so blessed to have an abundance of fresh, local, delicious foods at our finger tips. Farm to table is amazing. But unique is great too. Are you a fan of Asian food? Incorporate it! We are seeing food stations taking over the traditional buffet, whereas family style seems more popular than a plated meal. Whatever and however you decide to serve, quality ingredients is the key!

Cutting cakes and dessert buffets will continue to be a big hit, but maybe an interesting twist on fresh, made to order ice cream? Why not we say!

 

At Memorable Events, we are huge fans of tented weddings. You can make it your own, but it does create a bit more work (insert subtle hint to work with us to take care of it all for you!) but when done well, it is nothing short of spectacular. From sailcloth, to frame tents, pole tents and clear top tents…whichever you chose dress it up for your big day with what works for you.

2017 is going to be supremely amazing! We say bring it on!!

Adventure camp wedding

Summer camp is a fond memory of swimming, adventure, campfire and friends. What better place to have a wonderful, woodsie wedding? I am lucky enough to be involved with the weddings at Camp Takodah in Richmond, NH. It is a place to go and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where life is simpler and there are less distractions. It’s the perfect location for a destination wedding!

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If you are interested in having a weekend long wedding with your closest 150 friends and family (though the dining hall holds more than that!), they’ve got your covered. The cabins on the property are yours to use along with the fire pit, the walking trails, adventure courses, waterfront and more!

Dress it up, or dress it down but your guests will appreciate taking time to smell the roses, hear the birds sing and dip their toes in the water. When it comes to rustic, they’ve got it covered from rocking chairs on the front porch, exposed wood everywhere, fireplaces galore and acres and acres of property to explore. A gorgeous waterside ceremony site complete with log benches for your guests completes the package.

Camps are quietly replacing barns as the hot new wedding venue. Camp Takodah only hosts a few weddings a year, so each one is treated as special and you are given full attention! So bring back the memories of childhood, when catching fireflies and making smore’s was the hardest work you had to do.

These pictures are from a stylized photo shoot done in collaboration with so many awesome wedding professionals. First, I would like to thank K. Lenox Photography for capturing everything so stunningly. While Memorable Events styled the shoot, without Kris’s talent, it would have all been for not. Then there are the flowers! Holly at Naturally Elegant Designs did an awesome job.

Hair and make up was done by One Design Hair Salon in Keene, NH. The cake, as delicious as it was beautiful, was crafted by Simply Sweet Confections in Marlborough, NH. Our models Alexis and Gwen were decked out in gowns provided by Country Bridals in Jaffrey, NH and we were joined later in the day by Alexis’s beau John.

For more information visit http://camptakodah.org

On 11/11/11 I was lucky enough to work with Beth and Rama on their gorgeous rusticly elegant wedding.

Enjoying the (albeit cool) break in the rain!

The day started off gray and misty, but just as the ceremony was about to begin the sun put in an appearance.

The sun broke just before the ceremony began!

The ceremony took place at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Keene, NH and the reception at Alyson’s Orchard. (http://www.alysonsorchard.com)

Over my years in business I have been lucky enough to work at Alyson’s Orchard dozens of times. It is a lovely venue for a rustic wedding. Beth was a wonderfully creative bride and was able to really transform the space into something extra special.

Sharing a quiet moment

Birch, which is the NH state tree, is often a popular choice for decor.  There were some really fun elements including this log we used for the escort cards.

By wood burning the table numbers into birch wood, the theme was continued.

However, real show stopper was this amazing cake with a three-dimensional birch tree climbing up the side. Beth worked extensively with Denise from Tastefully Wright Cakes  to bring her vision to life, and what a vision it was!

Lovely birch wedding cake

This birch style cake was as delicious as it was lovely!

Not only was the decor wonderful, but Beth and Rama were such a great couple to work with. Fun, enthusiastic and totally and completely in love. Their families were excited to be sharing the day with them and the wonderful team of wedding professionals that we assembled for this day brought everything together perfectly.

These lovely images were captured by Anne Skidmore Photography (http://www.asweddings.com)

Contact Jennifer Matthews at Memorable Events for a free consultation! jennifer@memorableevents.ws or by phone at 603-762-4264. Remember, large or small; every event should be a Memorable Event! Be sure to view more photos at http://www.memorableevents.ws!

The first step in the planning process of a wedding or big event is figuring out the budget. From there, it’s about setting priorities and finding ways to bring all of the elements you want to create your vision within your budget. More and more couples that come to work with me are paying for at least part, if not all of their wedding, so keeping a tight rein on the budget is very important.

It’s often tempting to do this by becoming a DIY (do it yourself) bride or asking friends and family to help out. While this is a great idea in theory, I urge caution when moving forward with this idea. It may sound like a nice idea to have your friend who just bought a really nice camera take all of your pictures, but if you have been visualizing your photos you need to know that the caliber will not be the same with a “friendor” as it will with a real wedding vendor. However, if you really are OK with snap shot style photography then this might be an area you could cut back. Keep in mind that even though someone might have equipment, this doesn’t mean they know how to take pictures from the most flattering angles, using lighting correctly or how to do so without being intrusive.

When you hire a pro, you also have the contract which ensures they will deliver what you are paying them for. I recently had a wedding where the bride was working with a lot of friends and family to help out with different elements, a few of them backed out at the last-minute (including the friend that was going to make the cake! Backed out three days before!). This is an unknown, and nobody thinks it will happen to them but I’ve seen it all. It’s just another thing to keep in mind when setting those priorities.

It all comes down to priorities. DIY may save you money (and I say MAY because this is not always the case. Just ask the bride who had to buy DIY invitations three times over because she didn’t print them correctly or realized a spelling mistake or didn’t like the font!) but the offset is that it will take a lot of time and probably cause you stress. I usually recommend to my couples that they really think hard what is most important to them. Are gorgeous fragrant flowers the element you have always held important, but maybe cake is not as important to you? Or maybe having your day photographed perfectly is a top priority but that limo isn’t really a necessity. Is a live band what you’ve always dreamed of? If so then an “i-pod wedding” might not be your ideal.

The photos from the wedding below illustrate such a point. This chocolate loving couple was all about the cake, but flowers from the local farmers market were just fine for the centerpieces.

No DIY on the cake for this couple! It was all about the chocolate 🙂

Flowers from the farmers market made a lovely centerpiece

Because I am a wedding planner, I have an obvious biased towards the importance of hiring one. But I also want you to consider this. Hiring a professional to help you with your planning should not ultimately ad money to your budget. I work with wedding pros in all budgets, many of whom will give my couples a discount or added value so my fee is absorbed that way. It also saves you time and stress. This is one area where you don’t want a “newbie” or a friend to help you out. They don’t have the experience and professional contacts to do this for you.

And your budget doesn’t have to be big to work with Memorable Events. I have worked with couples with budgets of a few thousand to tens of thousands and all were equally happy. It’s just a matter of working with the budget you have and deciding where it is best spent.

Call for a free consultation 603-762-4264, email jennifer@memorableevents.ws or visit http://www.memorableevents.ws to find out more!

Shabby chic, eclectic, vintage, rustic; these are all words we hear associated with weddings. What does it really mean though? It means making your wedding unique to you, with special touches that keep the celebration from being a “wedding in a box”.

Lovely antique blue jars give a nice touch to this table

New England is the perfect place with farms, orchards, barns, historic buildings or a lovely tent there are many options to create that perfect mix of rustic and elegant.  We are seeing some trends over the last few seasons that are continuing on now. Mixing and matching centerpieces is a great way to bring some fun to the decor. Why not shop around at garage sales and thrift stores for vases and containers that speak to you? Varying heights and widths can help make a space look more interesting.

 For the last few years cupcakes have been popular to serve as an alternative to traditional wedding cake, but how about individual cakes for each table that also serve as a centerpiece? Guests could have a fun time mingling at other tables to see what flavors are served there!

Unique wedding cake centerpieces

 

Keep your eyes open for pieces that speak to you and you’ll soon be on your way to creating a unique wedding theme that will reflect your tastes! Contact Memorable Events for a free consultation! http://www.MemorableEvents.ws or email jennifer@memorableevents.ws

With the royal wedding just days away, there is a lot of talk going on in the wedding industry as to what new trends will be set. From all reports, it seems that the wedding celebration will be a blend of tradition and contemporary practices. Though many people I have talked to don’t seem to be all that interested (at least here in the U.S.) in the wedding, I believe we will see some trends set and it would be unwise to discount the importance of historical Royal Weddings!

I thought it would be fun to delve into some common wedding traditions, so here it goes:

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her shoe (did you know that last line??)

Something old: Symbolizes the bride maintaining relationships with her family and friends from her pre-married life.

Something new: Symbolizes hope and optimism for the future

Something borrowed: This should be an item borrowed from a happily married lady and some of that happiness and joy should spread to your new married life!

Something blue: Traditional wedding dress color prior to the mid 19th century, symbolizes love, modesty and fidelity. The Virgin Mary is often depicted in blue for these same reasons.

Silver Six pence in her shoe: optimal placement for good financial luck is in the left shoe. Don’t have a sixpence handy? Substitute with a penny or a dime and you’ll be fine 🙂

The Veil: Believe it or not, there was a time when weddings were really just contracts between two families, and the bride and groom didn’t even see each other until the ceremony. The veil kept the bridehidden from her future husband. Veils were also used to ward off evil spirits in ancient times and often shrouded the bride from head to toe.

Double ring ceremony: Have you heard that Prince William won’t be wearing a wedding ring? That’s the rumor anyway, and before you think too harshly of him keep in mind that it is only since the 1940’s brilliant marketing ploy of American jewelry companies that men have worn rings.  Historically rings were worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because ancient Egyptians believed there was a vein from that finger directly to the heart. It was also a symbol of the husbands pledge to keep his bride financially secure, hence it was made of gold.

A white wedding gown: Up until the 1840 wedding of Queen Victoria brides wore gowns of all colors, something practical that they would wear again. The wealthy would have a new dress made for the occasion, but most people would just wear their finest dress. Queen Victoria changed that by wearing a white satin gown (her 12 bridesmaids all wore white too, she started the tradition of bridesmaids all matching as well!) and a lace veil. White gowns took off like crazy and became the color to wear from there on out.

Queen Vicotoria's 1840 wedding portrait

So, for those of you that aren’t interested in the royal wedding…this “trend” has been around for almost 200 years!

Please visit Memorable Events website at http://www.MemorableEvents.ws !

Last week I talked about when to hire a wedding planner, now I am going to give you my top 10 reasons to work with an experienced wedding planner and how it can make your wedding planning experience amazing!

#10: Someone is as truly into your wedding as you are

Yes, your friends and family are excited about your coming wedding, but they are not living and breathing it the way you are. They may not want to hear about every little detail you think of, and they might not get as excited as you about the cute little center piece you found, or the fact that you are maybe thinking of changing your colors, or your cake flavor, or your vows…your wedding planner will want to hear everything! In fact, she’ll be giving you some great ideas to mull over too.

#9: Someone to help guide you through the etiquette

So you don’t want kids at the reception? Second marriage? Divorced parents? Vendor tipping? Invitation wording (is an email RSVP OK?) Is a cash bar tacky? When to send thank you notes?

OK, you get it, the list goes on and on. There are so many etiquette questions, it’s nice to have someone to guide you through the process ensuring that you won’t make a major blunder!

#8: Someone to help keep things in perspective

Weddings involve a lot of emotion and it’s easy to get caught up in drama that can go along with any wedding. A good wedding planner is there to help you keep it real. They are an unbiased party whose goal is to help you get down the aisle with as little stress as possible. She’ll base her advice to you on years of experience and countless weddings, rather than emotion and sometimes this is exactly what you’ll need to hear to keep you grounded.

#7: Established vendor relationships

A good wedding planner has been working with the area vendors for a long time. She’ll know the best fit for your wants/needs, vision and budget. She’ll recommend the vendor that will be a good fit for your particular event. She’ll know the work ethic and quality of the product or service offered by a particular vendor and can steer you in the right direction. Some preferred vendors may offer discounts or added value for brides working with her, which will help reduce your overall budget.

This being said, always ask your potential wedding planner if she takes kickbacks (payments from vendors to bring them business). This is a shaky ethical practice, your wedding planner should be passing discounts along to you and ensuring you have the best fit for your wedding, not the biggest kickback.

#6: Takes on the stuff you don’t enjoy

So you enjoy picking out flowers and coming up with your color scheme. You’re having a great time finding your gown and talking with the photographer about what shots you really want. But finding hotels for your guests and getting the RSVP’s are not so much fun? Figuring out the timeline is boggling your mind? Most wedding planners offer a custom package where you can do the parts you enjoy and hand the rest off. Sound like a dream come true…well it is! Your dream wedding come true.

#5: Experience, experience, experience!

I would never say we’ve seen it all, that’s just asking for trouble, but we’ve seen a lot! Every wedding is unique but there is potential for many of the same issues at each event but a good wedding planner will recognize them and act upon her experience to avoid them.  This is probably your first time planning a wedding (assuming it’s your first wedding, and if it’s not you probably don’t want a mirror image of your last one…) and your wedding planner has worked with countless couples to bring their wedding vision to life, so trust her. She’s there for you, to make your wedding special so she will use that experience to help guide you and give you ideas. And avoid the pitfalls!

#4: Saves you time

I’ve seen estimates that weddings can take 250 hours to plan! That’s a lot of time. Time, if you are like most people, is something of a commodity and a rare one at that. One of the biggest time vacuums is researching the vendors. You will get great vendor recommendations and even quotes from your wedding planner. You can also have her do other time-consuming tasks like addressing envelopes, keep track of the RSVP’s, follow-up with those you haven’t heard from-and that’s just on the invitations! Imagine taking every task involved with the wedding and streamlining the process to take out the wasted hours. It would make the whole thing much more enjoyable!

#3 You are a DIY bride

So you’ve made a lot of the plans and along the way these plans included many statements like “well I could just…” or “it would be easy to…” or “my friend can…” but now that the big day is coming up, you are realizing that somebody has to pull all of these DIY elements together.  If you haven’t hired wedding pros to do things like  the centerpiece or the decorating then it’s up to you. Is this what you want to be doing the morning of your wedding? Setting up tables?A trend I am seeing right now is to have a friend or family member officiate the wedding. Getting ordained online or becoming a JP doesn’t include a how to guidebook  for actually running a wedding so you’ll need someone to help guide your wedding party through the ceremony.

#2: Keeps you on budget

This was discussed in an earlier post, but it warrants repeating. Hiring a wedding planner early on in the planning process is the easiest way to keep you on budget. They will recommend the best venue and wedding pros to bring your dream wedding to reality, while staying on the budget of your reality. At the initial consultation you should leave feeling like you have a good idea of how much you’ll need for your wedding. She’ll help you to prioritize your budget and help you to make choices to ensure you stay within your budget. She’ll have an overall picture of where you are in terms of expenses already made, and what you still have coming up. It’s often the small hidden costs that can add up, and if you aren’t taking them into account then it can be a real budget buster.

Wedding planning firms often negotiate preferred rates for their clients with vendors that they bring repeat business to. This savings is passed along to the client and can result in significant savings allowing you to stretch your budget a bit further.

#1: Stress reduction!

The number one reason I am told by couples that they decided to hire Memorable Events  is just an overall reduction in the stress! All of the above reasons add up to stress. By working with a wedding planner the wedding planning process will be an enjoyable one and will allow you to appreciate the time you have together as an engaged couple. 

Even if you are the type of couple that enjoy the planning process, the weekend of your wedding is going to be a time that you will want to enjoy your friends and family. You aren’t going to want to be bombarded with questions about the timeline or have issues brought to your attention. You aren’t going to want your family to have to take on that role either. Many people who have done the planning themselves decide they want someone to help out for the day of coordination. This frees them up to be a “guest” at their own wedding, rather than having all of the hosting duties.

Please consider calling or emailing Memorable Events for a free consultation to find out how we can help you with any or all of the above reasons!

Photo courtesy of www.mccalisterweddings.com

Anne and Bayard a wonderful couple I worked last summer.

 

above photo courtesy of  http://www.mccallisterphoto.com 

(visit Anne’s wedding photography website at http://www.asweddings.com)

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