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Why You SHOULD Hire a Wedding Planner – from a Client’s Perspective

One our recent couples wanted to share their experience working with us and wrote this lovely post. I hope it helps you understand the importance of how a wedding planner can allow you to enjoy your day and what makes us stand out. Enjoy!

Written by Meaghan & Justin Williams

All images courtesy of their {fabulous, amazingly talented} photographer, Callan Photo

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What made you choose to look for a wedding planner?

We didn’t start this process thinking we would need a wedding planner. We were confident and even excited to do all the planning on our own, so whenever the idea of a wedding planner came up we more or less brushed it off as an unnecessary expense. In addition, our venue came with a wedding coordinator, so we felt like we were well supported in terms of planning.

What we learned, however, is that wedding planners – or at least Tracy – provide so much more than just “planning.” Tracy describes herself as a Wedding Fairy Godmother, but what she doesn’t say is that she is a Fairy Godmother, therapist, friend, confidant, peacemaker, strategist, and event planner extraordinaire. We initially reached out to Tracy after spending a weekend talking through the details of the wedding. We had all the big pieces down – the vendors were hired, the venue set, the colors chosen, but it suddenly occurred to us that there were a million little details that built off of each other and tied the larger pieces together and someone had to be responsible for being the glue that held them all in place. We wanted to enjoy our day, not be worried about orchestrating it – so that’s when we started looking.

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But if you already had a venue coordinator, why do you need a wedding planner?

Our venue coordinator ended up not being there on the day of our wedding, which, as it turns out, is a common situation at venues. If we hadn’t had Tracy with us, we would have been trusting the biggest day of our lives to someone whom we had never met. Hiring a wedding planner ensures that you have a consistent point of contact throughout the process – no matter what!

In addition, our venue coordinator’s priority was making sure that catering, bar, tent, tables and chairs were all in place. Tracy prioritized these things too, but her main priority was us. Our meetings with her were always full of personal details and she truly took the time to listen to our feelings and concerns and helped us build the best wedding for us. Tracy also has experience with multiple venues and vendors, so she isn’t stuck in the bubble of one venue and was able to provide suggestions that she had seen from multiple venues.

What were the most important factors to you when you were looking for a wedding planner?

Budget and availability were the initial eliminating factors, but most important to us was the reviews from prior clients, which we found via The Knot and Wedding Wire, and the initial interaction we had with them. We wanted someone who could empathize with the excitement and the nerves, while still being calm and in control of the big day. If you read Tracy’s reviews, you’ll see glowing after glowing review of the impact she has had on her couples and we can only echo those!

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How did you decide on a wedding planner?

We reached out to a total of six planners and talked to four of them. We found that every wedding planner had a different personality and way of introducing themselves to us. What stood out to us about Tracy amongst all the others was how personalized her response was to us. Where other coordinators had an automated email response with pricing, Tracy had clearly written a personalized message in response to our inquiry. In addition, she was extremely transparent about her services and pricing and wanted to schedule a consultation call and meeting with us before either of us made a decision to move forward.

On our initial consultation call, Tracy truly took the time to just listen to us. She wasn’t interested in pushing our plans in any particular direction, she just wanted to know what our needs were, why were we reaching out, what we wanted to feel like on our wedding day and why. She explained her services but never pressured us and was the only wedding planner that made us feel like we were hiring a person – a person who could understand, listen, empathize, negotiate, and consult – and not just a “service” that would make sure the flowers were in place on the big day.

After our call, we agreed to meet Tracy for a drink to discuss further details. We were shocked when we got there to see that Tracy had a binder already made for us with every detail we had mentioned on our call. What we really loved, however, was that our meeting was a conversation. It was clear that Tracy knew what she was doing, she asked questions that we never would have thought of – and she truly listened to our answers. She didn’t run us through a checklist of standard questions, she took the time to let us tell our story and ramble about little things that we were anxious about, all the while taking notes on everything from what kind of water we like to drink to our plans for the honeymoon.

So you hired her?

Heck yes we hired her! We weren’t pressured or sold into her services – but rather by the time we were done with our in-person meeting with her, we were basically begging her to work with us. Since the day we hired her, she’s truly become our go-to when it comes to wedding planning and moreover, she’s become an incredible, thoughtful friend.

How often do you meet with Tracy?

Ultimately we will have five in-person meetings before the big day. However, we can’t even begin to count the emails and texts that have taken place in between those meetings. Our communication ranges from long, planning focused emails to quick panic texts “I can’t remember if I told you this, but…” Our communication with Tracy allowed us to sleep at night knowing that every detail was being managed by an expert.

What advice do you have for other couples in the planning stages?

Well, first, obviously hire Tracy – you’ll thank us later! Secondly, be willing to admit how you’re feeling and know that it’s okay to ask for help. Do you really want to spend an extra thousand dollars on chairs? Do it. Do you not care about flowers? Don’t have them. Are you stuck between two songs for your entrance? That’s okay! Tracy has made us realize that there are no rules, just plans. No matter how absurd our ideas have gotten, Tracy takes them in stride and works them into the plan. When we’re stuck on an idea, we email her and ask for her opinion because we know that it will be honest, unbiased, and coming from someone with experience.

How do you think the planning process has changed now that you have a wedding planner?

It’s so much more enjoyable! Knowing that we have Tracy on our team allows us to let go of fretting over every detail and wondering if we’ve forgotten something. Tracy keeps us in check and reminds us what we still need to do and when we need to do it by. Having someone take the reins on the logistical pieces has allowed us to focus on the more meaningful pieces – we can think about writing our vows and practicing our first dance rather than trying to figure out a backup plan if we’re running late and it starts raining during the first look.

In addition, Tracy has provided multiple recommendations, she makes us laugh when we’re panicking, she keeps us organized, and she’s really been a neutral voice of reason that has helped us stay grounded during the planning process. Tracy is more than willing to help us incorporate anything into our wedding, but she’s also ready to give her honest opinion and the pros and cons of an idea when we ask her. We trust her judgment and experience more than anyone else in this process and she has yet to steer us wrong!

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How do your vendors feel about having a wedding planner involved?

Everyone we’ve ever met that has worked with Tracy loves her. One of our vendors even emailed us to thank us for introducing him to Tracy because she’s been so great to work with. Ultimately, working with Tracy means that all of the vendors receive the same coordinated, perfected timeline, they all have a point of contact that is guaranteed not to be emotional that day, and they all have the opportunity to work with a professional, which allows them to focus on doing their best work as well.

What does a wedding planner do on the day of the wedding?

Apparently everything, but the most important thing that Tracy did was allow us to enjoy ourselves. Tracy was on site by the time we woke up making sure everything was in place. She unpacked our car, set up the décor, checked in with all of our vendors, made sure the venue looked exactly the way we envisioned, managed the timeline, kept our wedding party on schedule, and, most importantly, kept us calm! Throughout the wedding, she was remembered every small detail and managed every curve ball that came her way. When we wanted to make a change last minute, we simply told Tracy and she communicated with the rest of the vendors to make it happen so that we could get back to enjoying our day.

Are wedding planners really worth the money?

We literally laugh every time we hear this question. What’s the price you would pay to feel calm on your wedding day? How much would you spend to hear someone tell you, “you don’t need to wear a watch on your wedding day?” How much is your sleep worth? We can’t speak for every wedding planner, but we can speak for Tracy. She has made our engagement enjoyable, organized, and stress-free; that is worth every penny and so much more.

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Thank you Meaghan & Justin for this heartfelt & informative post from your perspective on how I helped you enjoy your wedding. I truly put so much time, love & work into all my couples wedding day. This made me blush when I read how much it helped you both really enjoy your day and the months leading up to it. I was honored to be part of it and so happy to witness your love and the next chapter of your lives, but especially can now call you both friends.

Want us by your side at your wedding & enjoy your wedding? Visit our website to check us out.

Cheers!
~Tracy

Inked Events Receives 2016 Best of Salem Award

Salem Award Program Honors the Achievement

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SALEM March 1, 2016 — Inked Events has been selected for the 2016 Best of Salem Award in the Event Planner category by the Salem Award Program.

Each year, the Salem Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Salem area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Salem Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Salem Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Salem Award Program

The Salem Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Salem area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Salem Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Salem Award Program

CONTACT:
Salem Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@awardconnections.org
URL: http://www.awardconnections.org

Voted NH’s A-List BEST WEDDING PLANNER!!

We WON
NH’s A-List BEST WEDDING PLANNER!!

I’m pretty excited to say that we recently won the title of NH’s A-List Best Wedding Planner and can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me. I promise it won’t go to my head, but I certainly will bask in the glory of it while I can! 🙂

All the love and hard work we put into each & every one of our couples and also maintaining wonderful relationships with our vendors helped us reach this amazing goal. The support of my couples, friends, colleagues and especially my family is what drives me to succeed.

I take great pride in having built a business that is based on strong work ethics, honestly, loyalty and integrity.

Thank you for the support and love helping us reach another level of success!

XOXO

Much love,
~Tracy

How to Obtain a Marriage License in Massachusetts & New Hampshire

Check out what we found out about How to obtain a Marriage License in both Massachusetts & New Hampshire.

Massachusetts:

All couples who wish to be married in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and you do not need to be a residence of the state to get married here. If a person is in the military, a marriage license may be filed by either party, providing one is a Massachusetts resident.

Massachusetts recognizes same sex marriages, however, with legal challenges to the Massachusetts state law, some local jurisdictions may have residency requirements and/or not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Check with the local authorities to see how they are handling this issue. Both the Bride{s} and Groom{s} must be present a valid drivers license, social security card and possibly a birth certificate when applying. There is a 3 day waiting period before you are issued a marriage license and  is valid for 60 days. Check with the town clerk to determine whether you must pick it up in person, or if it can be mailed to you. The fee can range from $25.00 – $100.00, depending on the town.

New Hampshire:

To obtain a marriage license in New Hampshire is slightly different then Massachusetts. Same sex marriages are also legal in New Hampshire and the requirements are the same.The Bride{s} and Groom{s} do not have to be residence of New Hampshire, but must appear at the City or Town Clerk office together. Exceptions may be made for individuals enlisted in the United States military. However, if both the bride{s} and groom{s} are not residents of the City or Town they plan to be married in, their marriage license must be filed with the appropriate clerk in the same town or city the marriage is to take place. If one of the applicants is a resident of New Hampshire, the marriage license must be filed in the same town or city he or she resides in. If both applicants reside in New Hampshire, but in different towns or cities, the marriage license can be filed in either location.

The fee for a marriage license is $45-60 and be prepared to pay for with cash. You may use a drivers license, military card, original/certified birth certificate or a valid passport for identification. However, unlike Massachusetts there is no waiting period for your license, you will receive it immediately but it will not become valid until after 3 days receiving it. A marriage license is only good for three months {90 days} after the issue date.

We keep up with all the information you need to know about getting married. Want to learn more about who we are? Check us out here.

Happy Planning! ☺

~Taylor

5 Unique Wedding Venues in NH

Happy Wednesday!

I just love that I have a team to help me with the blog writing and see what they find in the research! Samantha’s up this time writing her first blog post for me and she did an amazing job in her research!
She decided to take us on a little tour of some unique venues to have a wedding that happen to be located here in NH.

Check out what she found! 
~Tracy

This week I decided to take a look at AMAZING and unique wedding venues, that aren’t like your traditional hotel or country club venues. Each of these unique locations all have their own special charm, and character…take a look!

1. Stonehurst Manor, North Conway, NH

Stonehurst Manor is the first one on our tour. Stonehurst Manor is located in North Conway, NH, it’s a beautiful boutique hotel located in the breathtaking White Mountains. This secluded 33 acre property with spectacular views, is sure to catch your attention. This venue has a luxurious and elegant Victorian feel, it takes you back in time with all of its history. Stonehurst Manor has the capacity for up to 150 guests including tent weddings.  





2. Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

The Currier Museum of Art  is definitely what I would call a unique and artistic venue. I had no idea they even allowed private events let alone weddings! I know that Tracy has coordinated a few weddings here before and raves about this venue! The museum accommodates everything from day to evening events, and guests are able to enjoy the galleries and exhibits of the museum during the event which is a cool bonus!  

Thanks to Chris Saunders Photography for the gorgeous picture!


Thanks to M Studios for these stunners!

3. Zorvino Vineyards, Sandown, NH

Zorvino is a charming winery located in Sandown, NH. Zorvino’s is “not just a winery but a destination”. The location has a very rustic feel, with beautiful landscaping including ponds and waterfalls. This venue accommodates to events of all types and sizes, with their “beautiful rustic post and beam manor house with a huge fireplace”. This cozy and relaxing atmosphere is great a wedding or even a rehearsal dinner! 

 

Image courtesy of Leah Haydock Photography


4. Anchorage at the Lake, Tilton, NH

Anchorage at the Lake is the perfect lakeside location for your next wedding! Located on the shores of Lake Winnisquam, this facility offers unique lakefront cabins and houses for “cabin-style camping”. Anchorage at the Lake is easy on your budget and is definitely a great spot for those who love the great outdoors! Ceremonies can take place on the beach or on their large deck overlooking Lake Winnisquam.

Images courtesy of Derek Franco Photography.

5. Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH

Right now a popular wedding trend is a rustic themes. Anytime you search weddings on Pinterest everything is RUSTIC from mason jars, to barns, and large scenic fields. This venue is a perfect location if you’re aiming to achieve an elegant rustic wedding! This 3 story venue contains a spiral staircase and a magnificent 30 ft tall stone fireplace. If you’re looking for a large venue this one is awesome and can accommodate up to 150 guests!

Image courtesy of Kendal J. Bush Photography.

Image courtesy of Steve Holmes Photography.

Make you’re wedding unique and don’t forget to add your own special touch! Consider taking a further look into these awesome NH venues for you’re wedding!

We love to travel & see new places! Check out the services we offer here.

Truly yours!
Sam

Pantone 2014 Color of the Year–Radiant Orchid

Happy Tuesday!
The sun is shining and it’s a bit brisk outside today, so what better way for me to stay warm than to look at all the pretty ways the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year can be incorporated into a wedding. If purple is your favorite color {like me} you’ll be ecstatic about this year’s color & all the selections you’ll have!

Here a jumpstart for you to see just how you can use it.

Check out this gorgeous cake via Pinterest

Or this stunning ombre look from Maggie Austin Cakes via Pinterest

A pretty tea-length from dessy.com style 6687…

Or this full length halter/grecian looking one from dessy.com as well, Style 2908

Love these bouquets! Image courtesy of Pinterest.

I just love how the colors of this stunning bridal bouquet pop. Image courtesy via Pinterest es.weddbook.com

Can’t forget about the boutonniere’s…check out this radiant orchid colored hydrangea. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

And, who would I be if I didn’t include shoes….check out these beauties. Image courtesy of Megan Lynn Photography.

All good things have to come to an end, so what better than to look at these pretty Jimmy Choo’s.

Hope this gives you some inspiration! I can’t wait to see how this gorgeous color will be trending this year.

~Cheers!

Reflecting 2013 {Personal}

Happy Monday! And, what some may consider New Year’s Eve Eve….

I’m actually going to take a few days “off” this week to enjoy some time with my hubby & my family since without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

This blog is definitely a bit different for me since I’m not one who likes to talk about myself, but I also wanted share a little bit about my journey in the past year.

So, here goes….

What an exceptional year 2013 has been for me in many ways! After taking a leap of faith in 2012 {yes, I know that’s a little further back, but that’s where it all begin} by leaving what I call my “corporate” job to go to work for another wedding planning company, only to get laid off two months later, was heart-wrenching. It really took a toll on me emotionally & of course, financially, but instead of it letting it get me down, I embraced the opportunity. After some serious soul searching & the amazing support I have from friends & family, I looked at it as the Universe taking away, what were my two biggest fears; my stable, but boring corporate job & my need to think I had work for someone else in the wedding industry. It sure was a wake up call that I didn’t think would have a happy ending. To keep myself occupied as I searched for another job, I decided to jump into having my own business with both feet & not a care in the world.

The name Inked Events came to me in a dream {I know, crazy cliche!} and it really resonate with me, on so many levels because it really is true to who I am. I absolutely love tattoos and the beauty & story they represent. All mine {yep, have quite a few} reflect the story of my life, so what better way than to name my business that reflects me & truly makes it unique to me. It truly reflects my brand, that’s for sure. It has a classic, edgy look & feel to it.

I felt that 2013 was going to be MY year and boy, it sure has been. I have been building a solid name & reputation for myself as Inked Events and meeting some amazing people along the way. I’ve been so humbled by the experiences that I’ve gone through, in order to get to where I am today, that at this moment, I can’t even begin to describe it. I have learned from both the good & bad ones about who am I, what I want to achieve & especially, who is part of a very small circle of trusted friends. I am a strong believer that there are some people that will be there through thick & thin, while others, will only be there for a short time. I won’t lie and say that it’s all been a bed of roses since at one point, I felt like throwing in the towel. But, instead, on a hot July day sitting on the beach with one of those trusted friends, I felt re-energized by our conversation and set out to continue on building a kick ass business! I will be forever in debt to her for really, truly being there that day & many other days since then.

From that moment, I’ve been so focused on building a fun, solid & exciting business that my clients & vendor friends will be excited right along side me. I learn something from every person that I meet & I’m truly forging the path I am meant to be on. I couldn’t be happier with where it’s leading me.

One of my biggest achievements this year is being a mentor to my assistant, Natalie, who wanted to follow her passion for designing, but didn’t know where to start. The email she sent to me has changed us both for the better. She brings out my creative side even more while I’m teaching her the industry ropes. Exciting things are on the horizon for us!

On top of building a business from the ground up, I am ambitious enough that I wanted to give back to my fellow colleagues, so what do I do…. I launched a networking group {Vendors 4 Vendors} in March for them. It allows us to learn, network, relax and of course, have fun among our peers. With every event, the positive feedback about the group & what it stands for is so energizing that it’ll only continue to grow.

I will continue to learn my craft & be passionate about bringing my clients the fun, easy-going, positive, professional dedication that I stand for. I have a lot to be thankful from my journey in 2013 & I can’t wait to take on 2014 at high speed!

So, here’s to an amazing 2014….

…. because I’m taking it by storm!!! I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me by sticking around on all my social media platforms… click away to follow me…. Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!

May you have a Safe & Happy New Year!

~Cheers!

You’re Engaged….Now What?!

They proposed, you said yes…now you’re wondering what the hell to do. Yes, I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the ideas that are running through your mind since I’m sure you’re looking at all the wedding related sites out there! Don’t fair, it will get easier!

I wanted to give you a few tips that I think will help:

1. RELAX
Yes, you read that correctly & I didn’t hit my head on the wall. Take some time for yourself to relish in the amazing feeling of being engaged. Go have a manicure, pedicure, massage or facial {or whatever activity helps you relax} to help take your mind off all the planning details. Once you get your mind & feelings in balance, it won’t seem so overwhelming.

2. SET A BUDGET
I’d say this is probably the most important one because it will help you focus on what’s important and where you want to spend your money. A beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost a lot and you don’t have to have everything that is trendy. Make it your own and do what you feel represents you & your fiancé.

3. SET A DATE
A no-brainer, I know, but you’d be surprised that couples really don’t have any dates or at least timeframe in mind when they get engaged. It’ll be much easier to have a set date when you begin your search for venues & vendors.

If your still feeling overwhelmed with what do to, I’d love to help you with the details of planning you’re wedding & be your “other best friend” during this time. Check out our services here to see how we can help you relax and enjoy the planning process.

Happy Planning!

~Cheers!

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a day of love, family, friends & holiday cheer!

Congrats to all the newly engaged couples that found a little “sparkle” under the tree this morning! I can’t WAIT to hear about the details!!

I’m “Your Coordinator Extraordinaire” that will help you with you’re wedding day details…email me here to schedule a time to chat about your day & how I can help you!!

~Cheers!

Vendor Love — MLMart

Happy Monday!

I had a fabulous weekend of relaxation & helping out my friend/colleague Detailed Engagements with her table design for a great fundraising event, CHaD (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock), to help raise money at their Storybook Ball. We designed our table based on the book, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and it looked spectactular & yummy! I’m looking forward to the pictures since I completely forgot my camera to take pretty pictures of it!

Anyway, now onto the main event of this blog…spreading the vendor love!

If you could’ve seen my expression and awe when I came across MLMart in my Facebook newsfeed, you’d think I was nuts! A friend of mine posted one of his pictures on her wall & I was just so captivated by his talent. So, being a bit obsessive about some things, I just stalked his page scrolling down and down looking at his work because I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

Here’s a little sneak peak of what he does….

Isn’t it just unbelievable!! How does he do it, you ask? Simple, really, or it is to him at least! He takes a high resolution digital photo, blows it up to really see the details & replicates it on paper with a pencil.
Before
After
Did I mention he is AMAZING!? If you hadn’t figured out by now, I’m pretty passionate about his work. I just absolutely love it and want to share it with the everyone I can!
So, in my excitement, I just HAD to have one! I decided for my upcoming anniversary, I would have him do one for me. The hardest part was picking the picture, but I think I picked the right one. Mind you, I LOVED the digital picture that my other BFF Jeff Turner @ Black Thumb Studio took to begin with…..
So, when I saw this, I was COMPLETELY blown away by it…. 
This really is just raw talent that you don’t come across everyday! Let me tell you, it looks even more striking in person & I was a very happy girl when I saw it!! 🙂
As I mentioned before, I’m VERY excited about his talents, that I’ve decided to add this unbelievable talent as free gift to my clients when they book my Luxury Coordination service. It’s such a unique & personalized way for me to say thank you to my couples. 
If you haven’t already, check out his work here! Even if you’re not one of my clients & want one, I’m happy to share and he’d be happy to have you as one of his clients!
~Cheers!