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July 6, 2018

Sun, Sand and Shoreline – Nuptials Worth Planning For…

Whether local ocean side or island destination wedding, beach nuptials are increasingly popular for a variety of reasons.

“Dress” the Part

Keep it simple. If you have your heart set on a ballgown or other ornate dress, a beach wedding may not be the best choice for you. Simple lines, with a hemline high enough to avoid dragging in the sand is the preferred dress style for this type of wedding. Ruffles and lace can pick up sand and other debris that are part of the beach backdrop.

Skip the Veil & Opt for an “Up Do”

While getting married on the beach can provide stunning views and tranquil sounds of nature, it is typically breezy. To keep your guests (and the photographer) from struggling to capture a full view of you, avoid a veil which may be blowing into your face, or your groom’s. For these same reasons, it is typically better to have an updo that will stay put in the wind.

Toes in the Sand

No heels for sure, unless you want to fight your way through the sand. The best choices for your feet during a beach wedding are flat sandals or going bare foot. Depending on where you are getting married, the temperature of the sand may be a factor. It can get quite hot! Once you decide on sandals or bare feet, have your dress hemmed accordingly.

Keep the Guys Casual

While tuxedos or suits work very well in many indoor venues, the beach calls for something less formal. Depending on your specific taste, linen suit or lightweight slacks and shirt can be less formal but still “dressy,” or you might even consider going for a completely casual look with a pair of Bermuda shorts and bare feet.

Public or Private

Unless you want to invite the general public to witness your vows, you may want to consider the level of beach access the public will have to your wedding spot. There are private beaches that may be available for such an event. Another great alternative is to secure a waterfront rental property, which will also serve as a relaxing refuge in the days and hours before the wedding.

Protect your guests

The sunshine and sea breezes are the reason so many people choose to have their wedding on the beach. Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming or sometimes even harmful. Remember, the elements can be brutal, so prepare welcome bags or stations for guests to pick up the essentials in sun protection. You can include items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, personal misters or mini-fans, and tropical themed hats or visors. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water! You may also consider setting up a water station for guests to grab a cold beverage before and/or after the ceremony.

Maximize Local Resources
This is especially important when planning a destination wedding. Research the local businesses and community to find out what resources are available to you: the local entertainment and accommodations, traditions, customs and holidays (as they may impact availability of certain items, including staff) and the native cuisine. As much as possible, plan your wedding around what will be available and will not require you to import or over-pack. Local caterers, musicians and more may be just the right elements for an authentic island wedding.

Plan for the unexpected

Since outdoor weddings of any kind are always at risk of weather fluctuations, it is important to plan for the worst. It is impossible to predict “Mother Nature” and even the sunniest of beaches and warmest islands can experience unseasonable weather. Unplanned rain storms, hurricanes, wild fires, and even flooding could severely impact your ceremony. Work with your event planner and the venue to come up with an alternate plan should anything unexpected occur.

The biggest thing to remember is that traditional wedding and reception techniques may not be appropriate for the beach. In addition, being one with nature often means that anything can happen, and therefore probably will. For the best tips, ideas and cautionary tales, it is best to consult with a wedding planner or coordinator to avoid mishaps and eliminate the worry of the unknown.

Labels: Uncategorized

May 30, 2018

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting, and taxing times of your life. Making sure that every detail has been researched and planned for, you attempt to create the special day that has been the subject of your dreams. As you prepare for this momentous occasion take extra time in selecting the photographer just right for your style and personality, as your wedding photos will be the one item you can look back at years from now. When you gaze at portraits of that special day you should be taken right back to that moment in time and remember fondly the events of that day.

When selecting the right photographer for your event keep the following 5 Tips in mind.

Style & Quality

A thorough review of the photographer’s portfolio will tell you if you like their photographs. You should understand the style and approach of your photographer by reviewing their collection. Do you like how he/she is telling the “story”? You can ask yourself a few questions to help better understand what you are looking for: Do I like the overall feel of these images? Does the lighting seem appropriate and appealing? Do the people in the images look happy, natural and relaxed? Can I pick out the special elements of the day or event, as seen through the photographer’s eyes?

Once you have narrowed your choice to a couple of professionals, ask to review a sampling of their work representative of their various specialties and skill-sets. Often websites are not up to date with gallery posts, or may not truly be representative of the actual images offered. This allows you to gauge the consistency of their work, so you know exactly what to expect.

Personality

Once you have chosen a few photographers whose work you like, and their style seems to fit your wants and needs, it’s important to conduct an in-person interview. Not only should you enjoy their art, but also their company. A professional trust and genuine likeability factor should be present, allowing you to feel comfortable working with them and relaxed in their presence. A good working rapport with the person behind the camera makes it easier to capture the best pictures, especially the unanticipated moments. Beautiful and inspired wedding photography is mainly a result of having a great relationship with your photographer.

One last thought here, consider your guests as well. The photographer will better capture your family and friends in photos if they are personable and friendly. Assuring they are approachable and down-to-earth allows for candid shots captured throughout the day as it naturally unfolds, rather than forced poses and fake smiles.

Value (Cost vs. Product)

Think of your wedding photographs as an investment. They are expensive, but you get what you pay for – right? These images are meant to last a lifetime, and as such, you want to plan (financially) for something you absolutely love. Though budget may dictate your selection to a degree, be sure that you do not sacrifice cost for quality.

Likely your photographer has a variety of packages and is flexible on what can and cannot be included. Be sure to review options to get what you really want in the end. Do NOT neglect to ask about “hidden extras.” It’s better to know the cost associated with add-ons and upgrades well before the day of the event.

Experience

If you are planning any part of your wedding in a dark or dimly lit venue, or you’re having an evening wedding reception outdoors, you need a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Review their portfolio for weddings shot in similar lighting environments and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation.

When possible, interview photographers who have a lot of experience working at the venue at which you will be married. This eliminates a lot of the guess-work for both of you. Length of experience does not always mean that you will get the photos you were hoping for. If you are selecting a very seasoned photographer, keep a watchful eye while reviewing their collection of works to understand how their style has evolved and modernized over time. Most couples do not want their photos to look like they came from a bygone era.

Recommendations

It’s safe to say that merely asking for a list of references or testimonials is not going to give you an accurate summary of the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses. As you’re interviewing various photographers keep in mind the “must-haves,” the “wish list,” and the “deal-breakers”. Just like all of us, your photographer won’t be perfect, but they can be right for you. Ask up-front what their weaknesses are, as well as what their expectations are for you.

Then ask for a short list of past clients who would be willing to speak with you candidly about their experiences: the flow of their wedding day, the images captured and delivery of the final product. Don’t be afraid to ask them about challenges or disappointments when working with a particular photographer. Whatever their answer, remember that personality is probably partly at play here, yet the information gives you plenty of opportunity to review the total experience.

Closing Thoughts

When you have selected the right photographer for you, be sure to book them as soon as possible. Most in-demand photographers book out well in advance. For a small deposit you can secure them before anyone else does. If you really want to experience what it is like to work with your photographer before the big day, secure them to shoot an engagement session for you. Some photographers may include this in the package, while others may offer it as an add-on or upgrade. Regardless, this precursor to your wedding day will provide a “sneak peek” at the working relationship you can expect, allowing insight into the working style, creativity and personality of the photographer, while you still have time to make a different selection.

Most importantly, remember that quality photographs are one thing you will not likely regret purchasing. They should be the kind of images that will transport you back in time to your wedding day, each and every time you look at them.

 

Labels: blog series, nh wedding, nh wedding planner, photography

May 3, 2018

Wedding Shower Notes – 5 Hacks for Prompt Effortless Thank-You’s

Between showers with family and friends, pre-nuptial gifts from co-workers and wedding presents sent from afar, it can be a challenge to remember who gave what. With the big day approaching, the last thing any bride-to-be needs to worry about is making a mistake in thanking her well-wishers.

Keeping track of the gift givers and their offerings can be hard to do. It is not always effective or reasonable to rely on the matron/maid of honor for keeping notes. Planning strategies for tracking items ahead of time, means more opportunity to enjoy the festivities of the day without the post event P.I. work. Here are some strategies for making it happen.

DIGITAL RECORDINGS

Use smartphones or tablets to capture audio dictation of gifts. This allows you (or someone close to you) to create an itemized list by simply speaking into the device. This method cuts out the deciphering of typos and poor penmanship.

PICTURE THIS

Capture each present as it’s being opened using your photo or video option in your smartphone. This is also a great time to snap a picture with the guest presenting the gift. This make a very nice addition to a handwritten thank you.

PRIORITIZE YOUR RESPONSE

Whether you are a last-minute task maker, or a check-it off the list type of person, sending thank-you notes should be a priority. Instead of procrastinating on a response, answering each person’s offering with a short, but personalized, handwritten note is much easier to carry out when the event (and the gifts) are fresh in your mind. Purchasing thank you cards prior to wedding showers and other events makes this task effortless to begin.

SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES

Just as you do not enter into marriage alone, so should you not respond to well-wishers unaided. Recruit your partner to help in the process, making light work of the task. If your future mother-in-law wants to be part of the wedding planning, this is a perfect task to engage her participation.

LABEL IT

Prepare “make ahead” labels with guest names and addresses are an easy way to quickly track items opened at your bridal shower. Recruit a member of your wedding party to locate the correct label and stick it safely to the gift given by that person. An extra set of labels also means you can quickly address the thank you note envelope simplifying the process of thanking your guests even more.

While sending out notes of gratitude to shower guests and other gift-givers should be done within three months of receiving a gift, it is most important to remember that it is necessary to do it. Sending a note of thanks not only conveys your appreciation for the gifts, it also sends a message to the giver that their efforts were appreciated and added to the specialness of the day. This simple act of sending a thank you elevates your reputation with all of those who took part in your celebration. Don’t tarnish it!

Labels: blog series, brides, event planner in New England, event planner NH, NH wedding planner, personal, wedding coordinator in NH, Wedding Planner checklist NH, wedding planner in New England, wedding planner NH

April 24, 2018

Three Great Ideas for Nontraditional Groomsmen Outfits

Most couples get hitched in a traditional white wedding. The bride wears a white gown and tennis bracelet, while the groom complements her outfit with his black tux and sleek accessories. The entourage and the guests may conform to the theme, depending on the couple’s request.

Some may use a variation, like a peach or pink palette, but they still follow the traditional pattern. For most couples that is enough planning for a lifetime.

However, more people are finding the idea of nontraditional weddings attractive. Not only do they make weddings unique, but nontraditional themes may typically cost less than the usual white does, because the materials they use can sometimes be re-purposed from ordinary clothes.

If you want an exquisite yet one-of-a-kind wedding that you and your partner can fondly remember even when you’re well into old age, consider being creative in your themes. Explore some of these ideas for non-traditional groomsmen outfits.

White Casual

White isn’t just connected with traditional white. White signifies purity and perfection, so a plain white shirt can work in a wedding. Despite this being casual, you can pull this off if it’s consistently done throughout your entourage. That includes having matching pants and accessories.

The good thing is, it’s easy to do that with white. White, being a neutral color, suits anything, so any piece of clothing, even jeans, khakis, or slacks, can be paired with a white shirt to form a decent wedding outfit.

And if you’re planning to get personalized groomsmen gifts like custom-made caricatures or bobblehead dolls of your gang in white shirts, they’ll look really neat and stand out from the usual black tuxes.

Beach Palette

Maybe you also want to drift further away from tradition. Maybe you want to take your wedding out of the church and to somewhere calmer instead. Maybe you just want a relaxing ambience for your special day.

A wedding on a secluded beach can be a great idea, especially for outgoing couples. A beach wedding is both tranquil and adventurous. You may want outfits that will channel the mood.

White shirts coupled with light beige pants are the norm, but you can also be bold and pick shorts over pants. You can even go barefoot if the sand is fine enough.

BOHO outfits can be great too. They’re laid-back and can fit any beach function, even weddings.

Patterned Clothes

Most groomsmen wear plain jackets and shirts. However, clothes with patterns are acceptable too as long as they are stylish and not too kitsch. Patterns add personality to one’s overall appearance, but groomsmen should still be careful not to override their groom’s outfit.

Sticking to patterned ties can be a safe and moderate choice. For the grooms who want their entourage to go avant-garde, there are many stylish patterned suits for groomsmen to choose from.

Pick patterns wisely and be careful not to go overboard.

One Last Thing to Keep in Mind

Weddings always revolve around the united couple. However, a groom’s outfit usually functions as a supplement to the bride’s wedding dress and brings out the beauty of the dress and the bride. In turn, the groomsmen’s garments do the same to the groom.

Whatever outfit you choose for your groomsmen, remember to keep it suitable for the other parts of the wedding.

Photo URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/CLD1i8hp008

Labels: blog series, guest blog post

April 17, 2018

Engage the Groomsmen – Providing More Groom Time for You

Moving away from the days when the bride handled all of the wedding details, more grooms are getting involved in the planning process. There are a variety of ways for involvement of, not only the groom, but the groomsmen as well. The best way to collaborate on the planning is by first sitting down with your groom and asking him which ways he might like to contribute, rather than randomly assigning him tasks.

When essential tasks can be completed by bridal attendants and groomsmen, the wedding couple is free to focus on the details of the day, and each other. Reducing the stress prior to marriage is a gift in itself.

Below are five suggested ways of engaging the guys – including the groom!

Family Matters

The best approach to building your guest list is working together. The first part of this can be done separately, however, by assigning the groom to take charge of his side of the family (creating the list, determining those needing a special role during the ceremony or reception, family needing special accommodations, etc.). Before you send him off on his own, work together to select the target number of guests and the parameters by which you will invite. Once the guidelines are set, the bride and groom can each take responsibility for their respective side of the family. Then you can then compare lists, strategize together and developing seating assignments.

Team-Building

The groom’s right-hand, the Best Man, can play a vital role in building a “team approach” to getting the groom down the aisle. This begins with building camaraderie between all of the groomsmen, so when the big day arrives each is working in coordination with the other. This can be accomplished through pre-wedding events, such as the bachelor party or other small group outings. When the big day finally comes, the team is ready to make sure that the “boys” are dressed, well groomed and on time for the ceremony! Other duties may apply!

Managing the Checklist

The best man can be a constant reminder to the groom, making sure that the marriage certificate is picked up and brought to the service or assigned to one of the groomsmen for safe keeping during preparation. Other logistical tasks that might be on the groomsmen’s to-do list is delivering the bride’s ring to the best man on the wedding day; ensuring the gratuity for the officiant has been prepared and ready to be handed off following the vows; equipping the wedding party with plenty of tissues for distribution in the event many happy tears are being shed; and transporting guests to and from the venue as needed.

Dressing the Part

Many modern grooms are very willing and interested in selecting their own wedding attire and that of their entourage. A special emphasis should be placed on the groom, as standing out apart from the rest of his groomsmen is particularly important for him. This can be achieved with embellishments to his dress including: pinning on a more sophisticated flower, displaying a more elaborate tie knot, or sporting bolder items such as shoes or vest. Additional accessories might also include patterned socks, glossy lapels, bright pocket squares, or personalized cuff-links. For ideas on non-traditional groomsmen attire click here.

Salute the Happy Couple

Most importantly, BEST MAN – make sure your speech is ready to go!

Labels: blog series, friends, groomsmens gift ideas