31 Maclarnon Rd
Salem, NH 03079


March 9, 2018

The difference between a Wedding Planner & Venue Coordinator

You’re planning for the biggest day of your life, your wedding. Imagine all the details it will take to execute the event that you have always dreamed of. You may be considering engaging someone to help with all planning, coordination and execution. Will the venue coordinator at your reception site be suitable for this role? Maybe. Let’s consider the differences between a wedding planner and venue coordinator to help make the decision easier.

Venue Coordinators (VC) can certainly be a valuable connection when scheduling items related to your reception, such as selecting the tables, chairs and linens kept on-site, as well as, meal selections and food counts. Their job, after all, is to act on behalf of the venue to make your affair run seamlessly while on premise. Note – if special colors or styles for linens or décor items are needed, the couple may need to order them separately through a party rental company and arrange for delivery to venue.

A Wedding Planner (WP) will be by your side long before the wedding day and stays tuned-in to your needs throughout the ceremony and reception. They are with you until the last guest has departed and all of your décor, personal belongings and gifts have been packed. Count on your wedding planner to be your right-hand for everything important in the flawless execution of your entire day. Not only will a WP collaborate with a VC to ensure correct placement of guests, gifts, entertainers and receiving lines, she is also available to help out if anything unexpected happens during the day.


As you might expect, VCs handle items having to do with the venue. Tables, chairs, linens, food. If the venue is handling the catering, the VC will manage the staff, servers and timing of meal, as well as the set-up and breakdown of the tables & chairs. A VC will typically stay on-site until the event has kicked off, or sometimes through the meal, leaving for the day early into the event.

In addition to handling all the items at the venue (either with support of the VC or without), the WP will also handle all coordination of pre-wedding tasks, event flow and scheduling. Managing each element ensures that all details are accounted for and scheduled. Additionally, reviewing needed items periodically to be sure they are correct in number, and in line with event style and theme is also part of the service. Most importantly for day-of flow, WPs will also direct vendors on where and when to arrive, keep them informed of event time-frame and advise on logistical changes, as well as performance execution.


A VC will likely provide a list of preferred vendors but typically do not manage any of the coordination with them. Meeting with, selecting and managing the vendors, in addition to coordinating their performance throughout the wedding will fall on the shoulders of the couple and/or the other vendors.

With a WP, the couple can rest assured that every aspect of the entire day will be accounted for and managed providing them with peace of mind. WPs also help select vendors, attend planning meetings leading up to the wedding, assist in reviewing the contracts and become the point of contact for the entire day of the wedding until the last guest departs. Best of all, they move your plan forward assuring that every detail falls into place perfectly the day of the wedding. If the DJ or any other vendor is running late, the WP will devise a plan to cover the gap. If your caterer falls ill and is short staffed for delivery and service, the WP will call in a team to assist.


A VC will provide time-frames for doors opening, food service, clean-up and breakdown of tables and chairs. They have been hired by the venue to manage all the logistics required to move events through the site, and they are great at managing these items. They are not, however, fully responsible for your other wedding day plans and special elements or timelines outside of food service. It is not a VCs job to coordinate with outside vendors, inform of any logistical changes (outside of food and beverage) or manage your wedding party. If you are unsure about what your venue will assist with – just ask for an itemized list of services.

When you hire a WP, they work for you – not the venue. So, they will work with the couple prior to the event to map out the happenings of the day creating a smooth event. During the wedding day the WP will coordinate vendor arrivals and drop-offs, devise a detailed plan for and with the photographer, all formal dances, cake cutting, etc.

Direct Access

While you may have worked with one specific VC throughout your pre-wedding preparations, it is possible that you may have someone completely different running the day of events. It’s true the venue will have staff to assist in items included in the contracted agreement, but it might be someone unfamiliar with you and your wedding details.

Reversely, WPs get to know your desires, preferences and expectations prior to the wedding day, and will take control of the details to manage a flawless experience for you and your guests. This includes handing out their cell phone numbers to vendors and the wedding party and answering calls and texts on the fly and executing the detailed timeline they created with your vendor team. They are knowledgeable of the wedding plans and can put out any last-minute fires.


VCs are not equipped for, nor are they compensated by the venue to, help design your perfect wedding. The VCs are overseers of the reception location and may be limited in their knowledge of outside suppliers and opportunities for the couple.

In contrast, WPs assist with the planning and design of your entire wedding. From invitations and floral design, to color schemes and music selections, they act as trusted advisors and hands-on assistants so that the happy couple can enjoy their big day. Beyond the planning, WPs also assist in decorating the ceremony and reception area, cueing the DJ and coordinating all the vendors including any make-up touch-ups for the bridal party prior to the ceremony.

The Bottom-Line

Both a venue coordinator and a wedding planner can be valuable assets to a couple on their wedding day. When they are working together, and fulfilling all their responsibilities as outlined, it produces a smooth and effortless event.

The most important factor influencing your decision to hire an outside wedding planner should be your expectations. If it is important to you that your wedding and the planning process be stress-free and the wedding day is professionally managed by someone who has your best interest in mind, then you may favor a WP, as they will act on your behalf, providing an extra set of eyes, ears and hands throughout the entire process. Essentially, their job includes anything the couple needs, and does not end until the event is over.

As professional wedding planners, we love to work with great venue coordinators. With both a strong VC and a professional WP, it ensures the best experience for our clients.

Labels: blog series, venue coordinator, wedding planner

February 4, 2018

Floral designs & tips for choosing the perfect wedding flowers

Flowers are an important part of the wedding ceremony and a thoughtful addition to the décor at the reception location. From boutonnieres and bouquets, to seasonal arrangements and petals down the aisles, flowers add color, mood and flair to your special day. How do you choose the floral elements that provide just the right mood, expression and style for your event? See below for tips when making your selections:

Establish a budget

The floral budget will surely influence the flowers used, and the arrangements created {in both size and quantity}, so establish your spending amount early on and share it with your florist. While it is not necessary to over-spend, its important to determine the number of arrangements needed and the types of flowers you wish to include. Often, the larger the budget the more elaborate the design can be. Adding greenery can be a beautiful alternative to pricier floral options.

Pay attention to the venue

Its likely that you have already considered the set-up and décor of the wedding venue when establishing your style, but re-visit it briefly prior to selecting your floral pieces especially if your chosen florist is unfamiliar with the space. Aside from the overall style and the colors that are permanent to the site, stop and review the options for tables, chairs and place settings, as well as any non-moveable decorative or architectural elements within the space. An historic mansion with burgundy and gold-leafed wall coverings may not play well with your dream of pale blue and lavender colored centerpieces. Consider the look and feel of the finished product before committing to a certain flower.

Consider the style of your wedding

Rustic. Traditional. Beachy. Glamorous. Modern. Elegant. What style are you aiming for with your wedding? Flower selections, and the displays used should complement the intended overall style of the wedding. For example, calla lilies provide an aura of time-honored elegance, while a bouquet of hand-tied daisies may reflect a more relaxed tone. If you are going for a “toes in the sand” & wind-swept feel, allow your flowers to reflect that. Your florist can be the best guide in selecting theme appropriate flowers while sticking to the budget.

Incorporate color scheme

Choosing a flower that comes in a variety of colors, such as roses, mums and tulips, means you are more likely to find just the right match for your color-scheme. Of course, your flowers do not have to be an exact color match, but they should complement the theme of the wedding. Consider bridesmaids dresses, table linens, and the internal decor of the wedding venue to avoid negatively contrasting elements.

Embrace the season

While some flowers such as roses and carnations are easily retrieved year-round, others are much more seasonal in nature. Though tulips, daffodils and hyacinths may be plentiful for a spring wedding, they can be nearly impossible to come by later in the year.  A late fall wedding may best utilize hydrangeas and dahlias, as they are plentiful during autumn. While your favorite spring bloom may be available in October, it’s likely that it will be harder to get, which in-turn raises the price tag. Meet with your florist to discuss in-season options that meet both your color requirements and your budget.

Floral traits and meanings

If you are sensitive to smells, do consider the fragrance of the bloom. For example, you may want to avoid lilacs, lilies, jasmine, and gardenias as they are some of the most perfumed flowers. When selecting items for both bouquets and centerpieces you might ask your florist if particular flowers have traditional meanings behind them that may have a significance to you or your fiancé.

25 popular flowers and the meaning they carry:

    1. Alstroemeria – Friendship and devotion
    2. Amaryllis – Splendid beauty
    3. Apple Blossom – Better things to come
    4. Aster – Love and Daintiness
    5. Carnation – Pure Deep Love
    6. Chrysanthemum – Fidelity, optimism, joy and long life
    7. Clematis – Love Vine
    8. Daffodil – Regard and chivalry
    9. Daisy – Innocence, purity and loyal love
    10. Freesia – Trust
    11. Gardenia – Purity and sweetness
    12. Hydrangea – Heartfelt emotions
    13. Iris – Wisdom and Hope
    14. Ivy – Marriage
    15. Jasmine – Amiability
    16. Lily – Purity
    17. Orchid – Exotic beauty
    18. Poppy – Imagination
    19. Rose –  Love
    20. Red Rose – Passionate Love
    21. White Rose – Innocence and Pure Love
    22. Red and White Rose – Unity
    23. Tulip – Perfect Lover
    24. Red Tulip – Declaration of Love
    25. Yellow Tulip – Hopeless Love

Whether or not you are a flower enthusiast, remember incorporating a few blooms into your event will not only soften the space, but also provide visual attraction to the important aspects of the day. For example, the bouquet and boutonniere will highlight the bride and groom, and an arrangement placed at the alter or near the ceremony allows for the “framing” of the honored couple. The bottom-line in choosing just the right options for you is – do your homework prior to engaging a florist, then rely on their expertise & guidance once you do.

Labels: blog series, event planning, floral design, flower ideas, flowers

January 7, 2018

5 Tips on What to Look for in a Wedding Makeup Artist

The process of booking a wedding makeup artist can be quite the exciting experience for some, while for others, it can be very daunting. Many of today’s brides aren’t very big makeup wearers and are worried about looking too overdone up. Therefore, it’s very important for the bride to do their homework before just booking any makeup artist.

New England Professional Makeup Artist, Nancy Gorman of Makeup by Nancy gives her thoughts on what she feels every bride should know while starting the process of booking a makeup artist. Photo Credit: Ebacher Photography

1. Do your research
Even if a makeup artist is referred to you by a friend and/or another wedding pro, you want to do your due diligence and make sure he/she is the right one for you. Be sure to read reviews, look at their website and portfolio. Make sure that their style is something you like and resonate with.

2. Book a consult
Make sure they offer a pre-wedding consult prior to booking as an option. The last thing you want to do is book an artist without trying them out first. Think about it, would you purchase a car without giving it a test drive?

One of our fabulous brides, Colleen getting even more gorgeous on her wedding day! Photo credit: Casey Durgin Photography

3. Personality Check
You will be spending the hours right before your wedding with your beauty team. You want to be sure you have a good relationship with your makeup artist. This doesn’t mean we need to become best friends, not that it hasn’t happened before, as I have become super good friends with many of my past brides and bridal parties. Having a sense of comfort with your beauty team during a nervous time right before your wedding is super helpful since they will help soothe your nerves and get you through them right up until you put your gown on.

4. Written Agreement
Never book a wedding vendor based on a verbal agreement. Be sure there is a contract in place and you read all the small print. You want to have a full understanding of all the terms and conditions, as well as if there are any hidden fees.

5. Quality Check
Find out what products are used, have an awareness ahead of time of any sensitivities you may have to something. This is also why it’s good to have a pre-wedding consult, so that you will know ahead of time if something irritates your skin or eyes. You certainly don’t want to be itchy on your wedding day! If the artist uses professional grade makeup, most irritations can be avoided.

Always get proof of education! Nowadays, anyone can learn to be a makeup artist just by watching YouTube, but there’s SO much more to learn than what you see in a video. For example, what makeup is suitable for wedding photography and how to correctly apply makeup for black and white photography. There is so much to consider, hopefully, this is a helpful step in the right direction for you.

Happy Wedding Planning!

Labels: event planner, event planner in New England, event planner NH, guest blog post, New England event planner, New England wedding planner, New Hampshire event planner, New Hampshire wedding planner, New Hampshire weddings, nh wedding planner, NH wedding planner, NH weddings, wedding coordinator in NH, wedding planner in New England, wedding planner NH

December 17, 2017

8 Considerations When Creating the Wedding Guest List

Committed to each other, and to making your wedding day a special event, you have likely begun to assemble a short list of attendees for your event. Many couples find themselves arguing over the appropriate number of guests, or the control that parents try to have over the invitation list. You and your significant other are in complete control over the guest list, and will likely want to approach the task with a little know-how in your back pocket. Before you let emotion take over, consider the following points.


Before doing anything else with your guest list decide on your overall wedding budget. While it might seem nice to invite friends from kindergarten you haven’t seen in a decade, or family members who you know by name only, it may not be practical or feasible. Venue costs and catered food are charged on a per person basis. In addition, wedding favors and wedding party welcome bags are costly and may put a dent in your anticipated budget. Set your maximum budget for the festivities and begin your list accordingly.

Vision & Style

You and your partner likely have a vision for your wedding day. When you think of your ceremony and reception, how do you picture it? Longing for a small intimate soiree? Hoping for a family affair? Desperately longing for a large dance floor and plenty of space to cut loose? It’s your special day, so incorporate all of the elements that speak to who you and your partner are as individuals and as a couple. The key is to plan ahead for a successful event.

Venue Restrictions and Capacity

Whether you choose a traditional venue (such as a hotel or country club), a restored barn, treasured historical building, have it beachside or in the backyard under a tent, be mindful of the maximum capacity. Confirm that capacity will not change with the addition of a dance floor, live entertainment, custom decorative elements (such as an arbor) or photo booth. Adding large scale items may decrease the number of people the space can hold.

Target Guest Count

Once you know your limit for the venue or tent size, you can determine your invitee number. If you are seriously limited in capacity, you may choose to only invite immediate family and close friends. If you have more leeway then it may be appropriate to include more extended family, college roommates and co-workers. The best thing to do is for each of you to make a list of the “must-haves”, then the “nice-to-haves” and spend time paring the list down to meet your target number.  Do not invite more people than you have room for based on the venue regulations or the tent size. This can backfire and leave you scrambling just weeks before the wedding.

Parental Rules

Often, parents want input on the guest list. Unless your parents are paying for the entire wedding and reception, you will need to set some ground rules. You may decide to limit the number of guests that parents can request to a fraction of the total invited. Have a conversation with each set of parents and set the expectation. Perhaps you are only inviting people that you keep in touch with on an annual basis. Decide what is right for you as the guests of honor, and stick to the rules that will keep you on track.

Children included

This can be a difficult decision. Do you allow children at the ceremony, the reception or both? Many couples fear the potential disruption and chaos that the addition of kids may cause. Perhaps a compromise is to allow older children, twelve to eighteen years of age as an example, but exclude the younger ones as they tend to have a shorter attention span and may need more direction from parents and other adults. Keep in mind that some people may view a wedding as a family affair and take offense to the “no child” rule. Still others may simply have babysitting challenges that keep them from attending. Whatever you decide, stick to the final decision, as making even one exception to the rule will certainly upset those that were on the wrong side of that omission.

Family, Friends & Co-workers

Assuming you have already planned to include extended family, casual friends and colleagues, you will inevitably need to draw the proverbial line somewhere. Choosing those that make the cut is often harder than it seems.  Unlike your decision to rule the attendance of children in or out, the rest of your guest list should be considered on a situational basis. For example, you may have a great aunt who is extremely important to you, while your significant other has 30 first-cousins that they haven’t visited in years. You may both opt to leave out the cousins and invite a set of close friends instead. Just remember, this is your special day and you will want those people who have held significant roles in your life to be present. It’s perfectly fine to trim the list to meet this need.


The addition of plus-one guests can really skew your number quickly. Make it clear from the beginning what the expectation is with add-ons. If you have invitees who have been serious with their significant other for years, or rely on an aid for mobility and transportation, then you would include their names on the invitation. A tip to ensure no write-ins are added to the return card is to have them pre-printed with the expected invitees’ names. This helps to eliminate the guess work, and allows you to track the reply card, since ultimately several guests will forget to write their names in.

Make sure when creating your guest list, that you remember it should be a collaborative effort between the two of you. The bottom line is, both you and your significant other need to feel happy and confident in those you have selected to attend. Do not make it about family politics or one-up-man ship. Instead focus on those people who have an impact on you or your significant other individually, and those that have supported you as a couple. This day is about your commitment to each other, and that is what matters most!

Labels: blog series

December 4, 2017

Highly Rated Local Wedding Events Company Aligns with Southern Based Corporate/Non-Profit Event Planner

For Immediate Release

Salem, NH ~ Inked Events, a Salem (NH) based full service wedding & event planning company is joining forces with DYV (Dream Your Vision) Events, a corporate and non-profit event planning company currently based out of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Working as “sister” companies, the duo will continue to provide high-quality wedding services, while incorporating a strong corporate and non-profit event planning component. Under the partnership, they will cover events all over the east coast, with specific focus on Boston, New Hampshire and other New England regions.

“Our goal is to reach clients that we have not been able to focus on for the past four years. By partnering with DYV Events, we are able to use their six years of industry experience to do that and still be able to continue to provide specialized Wedding Day Management (aka Day-of Coordination) services along with design, full and partial wedding planning,” says Inked Events owner, Tracy Dapp.

“Inked Events is well established in the New England region and we are really excited about the opportunity to bring what we have done in the south with our corporate and non-profit clients such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas and Pinnacle Pointe Hospital to New England, ” says DYV Events owner, Michelle Stewart.

Inked Events and DYV Events are both award winning wedding and event companies. Inked Events has won several awards NH A-List Best Wedding Planner Award from 2015-2017, Wedding Wire’s Couple Choice Awards 2016 & 2017 and commands a 5-star rating on WeddingBee.com, TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com. DYV Events has also won AR A-List Best Wedding Planner Award in both 2014 & 2017, Wedding Wire’s Couple Choice Awards from 2015-2017, and the Bronze 2017 Best Planner Vendor Award from Borrowed & Blue.

To learn more about booking a private social event or wedding please visit www.inked-events.com, or contact Tracy at info@inked-events.com or 603-401-9938. To learn more about booking a corporate, conference or non-profit event please visit www.dyvevents.com or contact Michelle at dyvevents@gmail.com or 617-863-2398.

Labels: Uncategorized