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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.

 

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!

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.

Venue

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.

Vendors

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.

Timeline

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.

Design

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.

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!

Selecting the Right Musical Entertainment for Your Wedding

The pros and cons of Live Music versus Disc Jockey for your reception

Before you choose a DJ or select that perfect band for your wedding celebration, reflect on the thoughts and visions you have for the ceremony, reception and beyond. Specific consideration to your own musical tastes, theme or style of the wedding and of course your budget are critical first thoughts. Once you have that figured out Consider the following:

Atmosphere

The type of music you select should complement the intended ambiance of your wedding. For example, if you want a subtle, yet romantic atmosphere, then a harpist or string quartet might be a consideration. Maybe you are having a toes-in-the-sand beach-side wedding where a calypso band would fit right in! Whatever your intention, set the mood with the right kind of music, but remember this is one of the things most people will remember about your reception.

Audience

Everyone is there to help you celebrate your big day, but they have expectations too! Carefully review your guest list to better understand who will be in attendance for your wedding. Based on the demographic, you will want to consider the type of music that will keep them entertained and enjoying the festivities. If your affair will be mostly family, with a high number of them being over 50 then the latest alternative rock band may not be the best choice.

Space

There are some very unique spaces which make great venues for your special day. Consider the space you have available to work with. If the space is segmented and chopped up, or if there is not ample space to house a band then a DJ may be the best way to go.

Variety

When your wedding guests are multi-generational assume that music requests will be wide and deep. Assuring that a vast selection across genres and time-periods are available. If your attendees are all similar in age and musical taste, then you can consider a music selection more targeted for those expected to be in attendance.

Bands

Pros

  • Live music is entertaining, even to non-dancers.
  • Great bands can bring a lot of energy and excitement to an event

Cons

  • Bands tend to be more expensive than DJs.
  • Bands are also unable to provide the variety of music you receive with a DJ.
  • If space is limited it might be tough to squeeze the entire band into one area.

DJs

Pros

  • DJs tend to be more budget friendly
  • DJs come prepared with special requests and can have all your favorite songs in queue.
  • Charismatic DJs can also act as emcee and keep the event rolling along
  • DJs require less space for set-up and performance than most bands.

Cons

  • For guests who don’t dance a DJ can be a bit underwhelming
  • A DJ with little personality, or who fails to click with the vibe of the audience, can bring the event down quickly.

Guest Blog: Have you tried Arbonne yet?

I love when I have the opportunity to help & support a fellow boss lady, who also happens to be one of my past brides & is now a very close friend of my mine! So, of course, when she asked me if my clients would be interested in a product that she loves, I thought having her write a guest blog post to tell you all about it would be a great idea! I hope you enjoy….

Meet Darci Flynn … 

I am so excited to be guest blogging for Inked Events & my dear friend, Tracy. I met Tracy like many of you probably did (or will) — she was our rock star wedding coordinator extraordinaire for our Portsmouth wedding in September 2015. We live in Chicago, so having a wedding coordinator in NH that was helping us, was a LIFE SAVER.

Image courtesy of William Tangorra Photography 

We still may be 1,000 miles apart but Tracy has remained a friend. We catch up every time we’re home for the holidays and of course, chat in between. If you’re new to the Inked Events family and have heard her say “you’re a friend for life,” she means it and it’s oh so worth it.

So, my wedding is over and you’re probably wondering why is this girl blogging? Aside from my full time job as a social worker in Chicago, I run my own health and wellness business through a company called Arbonne. I launched my business in 2014 as I was in the middle of planning my wedding and thinking about my future. Having residual income to put towards our wedding, honeymoon, future plans of having children (someday!) and buying a home (purchased July 2016!) was something that really intrigued me. Three years later, I am loving having this financial freedom and get to work alongside some amazing people…. PLUS I still get to partner with Tracy! Great life, right?

So what is Arbonne? We are a botanically based health and wellness company that has fostered pure, healthy lifestyles for over 35 years. From skincare to cosmetics to a whole nutrition line including Sports nutrition, Arbonne has something for everyone. Whether you are planning your wedding, attending a wedding or recently married, there are dozens of ways to utilize Arbonne’s products. They make great gifts (for bridal parties, Mother’s/Father’s Day, graduation presents or simply a birthday) and of course, there are must-haves for yourself. But, this is a wedding blog, after all, so let me share some of my favorites that I swear by for your big day!

Glowing Skin

On my wedding day, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much and I was overwhelmed by the cameras — professional and friends/family snapping photos. Of course, you want your skin looking its best for the hundreds of photos you’ll be in, not just on your wedding day but at your bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor party and rehearsal dinner. Arbonne’s skincare lines are free from harsh chemicals and we have a variety of formulas for each skin type.

My personal favorite is the anti-aging RE9 line but if you have super sensitive skin, I would recommend the Calm line. Don’t worry guys, we have an RE9 Advanced skincare line for you too!

Eyes, Cheeks, Lips, Oh My!

Celebrating marriage and a lifetime of love goes far beyond the big day. Engagement photos, celebratory parties, bridal shower, bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, and of course your wedding day. The following three products are my go-to’s that quickly make me feel pretty without going over the “simple” look I want to maintain. These also make for GREAT gifts for your bridal party, mother/mother-in-law, or even for the brides in your life to gift for their upcoming festivities.

It’s a Long Story® Mascara

I have tried a variety of mascaras and always found my disappointment was due to clumping, not lasting all day or irritation of my eyes. But then I discovered Arbonne’s It’s A Long Story Mascara® and it was love at first try. It elongates my lashes, making them look full and my eyes pop plus it doesn’t irritate my eyes despite staying on all day.

Glow On Bronzer

A few dabs on the cheeks and I was looking sun-kissed and ready. Doesn’t cake on, doesn’t look like I was trying out for a Jersey Shore remake, and it stays on all day!

Smoothed Over Lipstick

Our newly formulated lipstick was not just a must-have on my wedding day, but it is in my purse every day! These lipsticks glide on so smooth and stay on! They are botanically based so you don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals every time you lick your lips or eat/drink something.

Healthy life is a happy wife

I know, I know, probably not the saying you’re used to hearing. But health and wellness is something I am passionate about and starting my business three years ago really opened my eyes to what we put in and on our bodies. Arbonne’s vegan, gluten free nutritional line has some of the best products that prepared me to fit into my wedding dress and to feel comfortable and beautiful.

Our plant-based protein comes in vanilla or chocolate and it is my go-to for a quick and easy breakfast. I love mixing it with almond milk, berries, a banana and any greens that I have in the fridge (spinach and kale are always plentiful in our household). Arbonne’s Fizz Sticks are a great substitute for coffee or if you are like me and cannot live without one cup o’ joe in the morning, it’s a perfect pick me up without the caffeine crash at 2pm. They’re delicious, easy (pour one packet into water, stir and enjoy!), and will give you energy to get you to 5pm. After we got engaged, the champagne was popping and the wine kept pouring — everyone wants to celebrate! However, my body was often left feeling run down, so I would turn to Arbonne’s detox tea to fill up on nutrients and re-boost my body.

With over 400 products, I truly could go on and on here, but here are a few more of my favorites: the Liquid Sunshine mineral sunscreen is perfect for your honeymoon in the sun. Our Rescue and Renew detox spa line is a necessity for stressful days of seating charts and picking out linens. Our ABC Baby Care line is perfect once you get the weddings out of the way and your friends start to announce they’re expecting (so fun!).

Intrigued by these products? Contact me about our 30-day healthy living program that will leave you feeling super energized, your skin glowing, improve your sleep and help you to shed a few pounds! I’m here to meet your needs — whatever they may be — and I am so excited to help! Check out my business website anytime, anywhere! These products will arrive on your doorstep in 3-5 days after you order.

Questions? Curious? I’d love to tell you more about why I love Arbonne, feel free to contact me here so we can begin our conversation!

May your life be filled with pure joy. I cannot wait to hear from you.

Exciting News…We’re Expanding!

To kick off my birthday and yes, today is my ACTUAL birthday, I thought it was fitting to make a very exciting announcement…

WE’RE EXPANDING OUR SERVICES!!!

I’m so excited that I can finally reveal the secrets that have been in the works for oh, the last year or so! 🙂

Secret #1

I’m pleased to introduce you to my new Director of Design, Jason Goodall.

Image courtesy of Leise Jones Photography

He might look vaguely familiar to you since he’s been part of my team for the last few years as my Lead Assistant/Designer and (previous) Owner of OUTBloom Floral Design. I finally convinced him that bringing his talents for floral & event design to Inked Events would make us a killer partnership!

With that being said, we will now offer our clients the option of in-house floral design!!

Image courtesy of Person & Killian Photography

This is where I get super blunt & honest….I want to make sure that it is also very clear that this partnership will not effect the fantastic relationships with other floral designers that I’ve worked hard to build because as I always say, our style may not ‘fit’ everyone’s vision.  We will continue and welcome the opportunity to work with other amazing floral designers when it arises. What this does mean, this service is only for our planning clients and we will not be accepting “floral design only” clients.

Secret #2

While weddings will always be our true love and passion, we’ve decided to bring our talents for logistics & event management to the corporate world!

If you’re a business, non-profit organization or educational institute, we’d love to chat with you about how we can streamline & design your next event. Contact us here to start the conversation.

Stay tuned for more secrets that are up my sleeve….

Cheers!

~Tracy

2016 Business Recap

How is it the end of January already?! Oy-vey…

One of my many goals this year is to provide valuable information through our blogs and share what I know about all things wedding & events. Quite honestly, I’m not sure how three weeks has already passed since I wrote about the fabulous wedding season we had….time passes way too quickly! I certainly have a lot in my brain that I want to share with you, so I promise that I will work on blogging on a more regular basis. 🙂

With that being said, I wanted to share some of the exciting things that happened at Inked Events from a business perspective in 2016.

Settle in, here we go…

I swear, I don’t lie when I say it truly humbles me whenever I receive any type of award or nomination. I love what I do and the couples I have the pleasure of working with certainly make my job super easy. So, when I received word that we won the “2016 Wedding Wire’s Couples Choice Award” for the second year in a row, I was very humbled. This award is truly based on what my couples say about their experience working with us!

I also received word a few weeks later that I received the “Best of Salem” award in the Event Planner category. I was floored when I got the notification for this one. This award recognized us as a local small business in our community for all our hard work and dedication.

OH wait….not done in the award category yet…

I was beyond ecstatic when I learned I was nominated for “NH’s A-List Best Wedding Planner” for the second year in a row … and even more excited when I WON it again! Yep, I was doing the happy dance for that one. I devote so much time and energy to making sure my couples have a stress/worry free wedding that I wear this title proudly.

And then the real shocker came…

When I went to go vote for a fellow planner friend for the “Best of North Shore (BONS) Magazine Best Wedding Planner” only to find out that we were nominated for it as well! Sadly, we didn’t win, but man, that was an honor to have been initially nominated!

I swear winning these awards never goes to my head because I really am humbled by them and work hard to earn them.

It’s not all about the awards….

In the off-season, I like to let the creativity flow and do a few styled shoots with my fellow wedding professionals. I love doing them because it’s a time when I can create something purely for inspirational purposes. They are so much fun too when the creative juices start flowing!

I was excited when one of our styled shoots “Bohemian Chic” was featured in Seacoast Weddings Magazine!

And even though not all the styled shoots I create get into publications, I still have fun doing them….this “Steampunk” shoot had been swirling around in my brain for 2 years before I finally found the right team/time to bring it all together.

Keeping up with my education & connecting with my fellow planner friends….

Did I mentioned I love what I do?! Every year I attend the Association of Bridal Consultants Business of Brides conference to stay up to date on trends, learn new styles and business techniques, meet new planner friends, and especially connect with planner friends I’ve met over the years.

This year’s conference took me to Dallas, Texas where I went solo {left the hubby at home this time} and shared a room with one those planner friends, Michelle of DYV Events, who is a planner in Little Rock Arkansas. Michelle is in the middle and my other longtime planner friend, Jen of Knot Your Average Events from North Carolina is on the right.

Michelle & I also had the opportunity to play tourist in Dallas before the conference started and we saw some interesting things along the way….

Now, to kick off the conference, the ABC planned a spectacular Black & White Masquerade Ball…where we rocked the night away with an amazing band, food, and friends.

After my first full day of learning and being inspired, I attended one of the off-site events at one of the most luxurious hotels in Dallas. I enjoyed a 3 course dinner, the skyline and danced the night away. The “Wizard of Oz” was the theme and everything was quite stunning. Who knew Dallas is considered the “Emerald City”?!

I had an absolute blast all around despite the early mornings & late nights! This was by far the best ABC Conference that I have attended so far. I learned so much as a business owner and planner. The content, decor and overall vibe was so inspiring and emphasized just why I love what I do.

I’m looking forward to heading to the Riviera Maya, Mexico this year!

Last thoughts….

After a few curves in the road from when I first began my wedding planning business journey, I started Inked Events in 2013 with the goal of bringing couples exceptional, fun, professional and pleasant service that would allow them to enjoy their wedding day to the fullest. I also wanted Inked Events to be able to support me financially where I did not have to also work a non-wedding related day job.

I’m extremely proud and excited to say that at the end of 2016 I worked my last day as an employee. I kicked off 2017 as the “Boss Lady” and I’m solely focusing my energies and time on Inked Events!!

I couldn’t have done it with the support from my family, friends, fellow wedding professionals and especially, to the couples who entrust one of the most important days of their lives to me that allowed me the ability to take the leap.

I will continue to build a strong, honest reputation for myself and Inked Events. I will always provide our couples with the same exceptional, fun and professional service that I started with.

Here’s to an amazing 2017 and the few surprises already up my sleeve…stay tuned!

Cheers!

~Tracy

2016 Wedding Recap

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know, I’m about a week or so behind with recapping our 2016 wedding season….better late than never! And you know me, I always beat to my own drum anyways!

While 2016 was a quieter year with the number of weddings, we had a lot of internal growth as a business. I certainly cannot complain about it since we still had the pleasure of meeting and working with some truly amazing couples. We also were very selective on the couples we wanted to work with. For us, it’s never about quantity, it’s always about quality.

Now, enough of my blah, blah, blah … onto seeing some of my favorite images!

BEST CLIENTS EVER!

Sasha & Brian were married in June on the lovely Laudholm Farm, located in Wells, ME. We started off the day sunny and warm, but as the day progressed on, the fog rolled in and the chill along with it. Thankfully, we were fully prepared with heaters for the tent and the chilly weather didn’t stop them from having the time of their lives with their friends and families.

Sasha & Brian wanted a bohemian chic style wedding using a neutral color palette and lots of greenery. Sasha is super talented in calligraphy and created all the signs herself. You could feel the love that was just bursting out of them when you were around them. Brian is a fellow wedding musician and had secretly {I’m so good at keeping secrets!} planned to serenade Sasha with a song he wrote.

Images courtesy of Clara Rice Photography

Caitlyn & ReyDel were married in the middle of June at the gorgeous ViewPoint Hotel in York, ME. They had the added benefit of having the Nubble Lighthouse as their ceremony and reception backdrop. Sadly, the weather was not 100% in our favor on their wedding day, however, we were able to get the ceremony and some of the pictures done before the heavy rain fell. Despite the weather, the rain didn’t dampen their spirits and the dance floor was packed all night long. The rain let up later in the evening and the guests were able to enjoy the scenery and the lawn games.

One of the biggest highlights was their first dance… it had to be the most amazing choreographed first dance I’ve ever witnessed. It was also one of the biggest kept secrets {I’m very good at keeping secrets!} that had their guests surprised and in awe by it.

Caitlyn & Rey wanted a nautical themed wedding using navy, gray & yellow as their color palette. Everything looked gorgeous and the details they created were absolutely stunning.

Images courtesy of NH Images

Kristin & Brian were married at the end of June in a Catholic ceremony at St. John the Evangelist Church. The reception was held under a tent in the backyard of Kristin’s parents home. I couldn’t have ordered up better weather day for them if I tried! It was a nice, sunny day and some may say a bit warm since a few of the {younger} guests took a dip in the pool!

Kristin & Brian wanted a simple, yet fun wedding…they certainly had it. They used a light blue and ivory color palette and added burlap squares to the centerpieces to give that rustic feel. The guests enjoyed the simplicity of a backyard feeling with great food, great music and lots of laughter.

Images courtesy of Logan Miller

Meaghan & Justin were married in the middle of August on Lake Winnipesaukee at the Wolfeboro Inn. We definitely had the gorgeous, sunny weather on their wedding day unlike the day/night before where it rained heavily. What you don’t see in the pictures is that it was extremely humid on their wedding day! With the temperatures & heat index, I can honestly say it was about 100 degrees under that tent! You’d never have known it was that hot by the packed dance floor all day long! And boy, do I have to give a huge kudos to my friend over at Spinner Music Productions for that!

Meaghan & Justin wanted to keep the decor simple and focused on the relaxed, laid back feeling you have when you’re by the lake. They used navy, yellow and pink as their color palette. It was an emotional day for them in many ways with heartfelt speeches from Meaghan’s sister, Caitlin, Justin’s Dad and his Best Man, Alex plus one of Meaghan’s bridesmaids, Sarah played a special song to them on her acoustic guitar.

Images courtesy of Callan Photo

Caitlin & Cameron were married Labor Day weekend at the stunning Wentworth by the Sea. I couldn’t have ordered up any better of a day for them if I tried. We literally had a picture perfect day for their wedding. The flowers were in full bloom, the weather was cool & warm, the ceremony music was played by one of the groomsmen, the officiate was a close friend and to cap it off, the ceremony was extremely heartfelt and emotional…there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Caitlin & Cam wanted a wedding with bright colors {navy, white and coral}, nautical elements and of course, that was fun for their guests. They had all three! The details were amazingly thought out…from the shells used as escort cards, having a presidential style served dinner {this by far is amazing to see}, changing the colors of the uplighting in the ballroom to create a romantic feel during dinner than using a bold color to create a party atmosphere for dancing…and boy, that dance floor was packed all night long!

Images courtesy of NH Images

LisaAnn & Matthew’s wedding was our last wedding of the season. They were married on a sunny, semi-warm late September day. LisaAnn is a fellow wedding professional, whom I had the pleasure of working with last season. So, when LisaAnn contacted me to help her with her wedding details, I was more than happy to say yes!

LisaAnn & Matthew wanted a simple, laid back, BBQ, elegant wedding that was surrounded by their friends and family …. and that’s exactly what they had. Good food, good music and creating heartfelt memories!

I say, it was the best way for us to end an amazing season full of love and laughter!

Images courtesy of Happy Gatherings

LAST THOUGHTS…

I truly am always excited to be part of someone’s wedding day, I do feel it’s a honor to be part of it. It’s one of the most important days in a couple’s life and when a couple trusts me enough to make sure they enjoy it, well, I take that very seriously. The day goes by so quickly, I don’t want them to have to worry about anything except having a great time.

I am blessed by the couples I meet and now, can call them friends. Thank you to all my couples for being the best clients a girl could ask for. You make what I love to do so much better!

I’m looking forward to an amazing 2017 filled with more amazing couples and details.

Cheers!
~Tracy

New England Weddings – Bohemian Wedding Inspiration

I’m always excited when a vendor asks to collaborate on a styled shoot, so when my friend Nancy of Makeup by Nancy reached out to ask if I was interested in collaborating on a styled shoot, of course I said yes! It’s always a pleasure to work with some of my friends to create a bohemian inspiration wedding styled shoot that was featured in Seacoast Wedding Magazine.

If you don’t know me {yet} I like to beat to my own drum and do things a wee-bit differently. So, when Nancy approached me to help design this styled shoot, she wanted me to put my stamp on it. I did my research on what this style represented and how I can add my twist to it.

The traditional bohemian theme focuses mostly on neutral, cream and pink color palettes. During my research and diving deeper into it, I found descriptions such as “eclectic mix of hippie, nomad & gypsy lifestyle with an artistic flair”, whimsical, mix and match flowers and dish-ware. Now, we’re talking about what speaks to me. I decided to go with the artistic flair and brought in that pop of color to the natural element.

I went with a purple, white and cranberry color palette. For the decor, I wanted to focus on arrows, wood, vintage and soft, romantic feel. All images are courtesy of the amazingly, talented, fun guys at Black Thumb Studio.

I absolutely fell in love with the purple ‘leafy’ and textured linens from Peterson Party Rentals when I saw them, so when I spoke with my new found friends at Free Range Floral about what I was envisioning for the florals, they fit right in. I told them I wanted a woodsy, colorful and flowy feel…boy, they did not disappoint and captured what I was looking for.

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I did the stationery in-house since my one of my assistants, Maureen is super talented with graphic design!

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We had to have a gorgeous bouquet to go with the stunning dress from Pure Bliss

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..and a little something for him too!

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When the florists mentioned they wanted to “try” out a floral wall as a nice background, who am I to say no?!

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And it looks so pretty with the hairpiece….and check out Makeup by Nancy’s amazing job on the makeup!

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Can’t have a styled shoot without a pretty venue to show off. We had the pleasure of the Ferncroft Country Club allowing us the use of their newly renovated space to capture these details! It was such a gorgeous venue and the grounds were absolutely stunning for pictures!

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You can’t have a styled shoot without some yummy dessert. The cupcakes were graciously made by Nicole Locke at Bucciarelli’s Butcher Shop & Deli. Yes, they are more than just a butcher shop!

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Lastly, when you think of “hippie”, you instantly think of a VW Bus. So, when Nancy found out that one of her past clients had just restored one, she immediately called Bud at Salem Five to see if we could use it! He graciously said yes….

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OH WAIT, there’s one more thing….as with the weddings I am part of, I’m always about it being personalized. Nancy & I both wanted to use our family china to bring in the personal element.

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I had a blast working with my vendor friends before the craziness of wedding season began and it’s always a good way to get the creative juices flowing! Allow all of us to be part of your wedding and you won’t be disappointed either!

Want to see what else we’ve done? Check out some of our work in our gallery.

Cheers,
~Tracy