Unofficial Start to Summer | Always and Forever Wedding Planning and Coordination in Connecticut and Beyond

Well I know it has been feeling like summer lately, and with Memorial Day coming up it technically is the unofficial kick off to summer, so it has me smitten for summer and all the amazing weddings we have coming up this summer.  It got me to thinking of all the things I absolutely love.  Entertaining in our backyard, playing with the kids, going to the beach, fun colors and yeah amazing cocktails!  

Here’s to summer…..

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An AMAYzing Month is in Store | Always and Forever Wedding Planning and Coordination

This year is really flying by, we can hardly believe it is may already!  This month marks a huge milestone for Always and Forever, it is our 12th season planning and coordinating weddings and events in Connecticut, NYC and the MA areas.  It also so happens that we have some AMAYzing initiatives that we get to announce as well!!

This month we will be rolling out our new website – FINALLY!!  It is so close, and with yesterday’s fabulous photo shoot with the talented ladies of Alicia Ann Couture and Simply Gorgeous by Erin we will have the final piece we were missing our head shots which make us look larger than life :)  Huge thank you to them again for making us look fantabulous!!  Just a few more weeks and that baby is ready to give birth!!

Another amazing thing we will be announcing next week – not so top secret but a great thing we are working on with the talented Emily’s Catering Group….more to come on that.

Have you ever had a question you were dying to ask a wedding planner?  Well now is your chance!  We’ll be introducting our #weddingplannerwednesdays where you get to ask the expert a wedding planner/coordination question you have been dying to know the answer too! More details coming next week so stay tuned.

Until then my friends,  enjoy this awesome photo of the two of us at yesterday’s photo shoot  

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Christine and Nick’s Webb Barn Wedding | Always and Forever Wedding Planning & Coordination

I absolutely loved working with Christine and Nick, they were such a fun couple from NYC.  They wanted a rustic, yet elegant feel for their wedding day.  When I first spoke with them they wanted to do a an all included reception and ceremony site and definitely wanted a rustic feel so I knew right away they would love the Webb Barn and boy did they ever.  Even though they lived in NYC, planning went so smooth with the two of them.  We knew right away that timing would be hard given their high-demanding jobs, so we gave easy timelines and banged out lots of planning during the summer/break times (because Christine is a teacher).

We had such fun colors to work with I loved everything about this wedding and this couple, they were so laid back and so much fun. All of our in-person and phone planning sessions lasted for hours.  I am definitely going to miss working with them.

Here was their amazing color palette

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Working with peach, pink, gold and mint we were able to weave them into Christine and Nick’s wedding design.

 

Here are just a few photos that we managed to grab that day, professional photos coming soon.

 

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We created this fun background for the behind the head table – would would double for backdrop of Plan B should it rain. However the weather was amazing! Unique sizes and shapes were collected from numerous stores and then spray painted with metallic gold. The K was a wooden letter spray painted and then got a dash of modpodge and finished with sparkly Martha Stewart gold glitter.

 

 

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These old shutters were spray painted with white and used to display the escort cards which were handwritten.

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Up close photo of the cute escort cards in mint with the pop of gold.

 

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Amazing floral centerpieces  of garden and spray roses and hydrangea created by Azalea. Wooden slabs with two larger centerpieces, one single stem and then beautiful gold numbers.

 

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The card table with these amazing gold chevron boxes and peach tissue pom help to bring everything together.

 

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Family photos adorned the tree outside the barn. They were clipped on twin and beautiful globe lights, which kept the crowd coming up to them all night long.

Venue – Webb Barn Wethersfield, CT

Photography – Alyson Hickey

Florist – Azalea Floral

Entertainment – Atmosphere Productions

Rentals – Connecticut Rental Center

Planning and Month-of Coordination – Always and Forever, LLC

 

2013 in review – Not great, so we will work on it for 2014 |Always and Forever Wedding Planners

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Becky & Tets Married | Always and Forever Wedding Planning

When I first met with Becky and Tets I instantly loved them and knew their wedding was going to rock!  They were so untraditional and so much fun!  Planning their wedding from afar (they lived in Boston) wasn’t going to be the challenge, the challenge was that they were both architects and they wanted a heaven and hell them – for food (i.e. heaven for vegetarian and hell for the carnivores)…the concept amazing…the challenge – pulling it all together.

However that’s where we came in!  I knew right away that La Cuisine would be the caterer to pull it all together.  And given the uniqueness of them both being architects and the specifics they wanted in their tent that Durkin Party and Tent Rental was the perfect tent vendor for them.

Both the ceremony and reception was held at Edgarton Park in New Haven.  Which was a perfect venue for their pre-ceremony, lawn games party.  The bride and groom hand made and painted their very own corn hole boards-one with the Boston skyline (where they live) and one with the Seattle skyline (where Tets is from).  They also hand picked (aka drank) whisky bottles to use as their ring toss game and had bocce to round out their lawn game pre-ceremony party.

This was definitely one of our favorite weddings, not because we absolutely adored the Becky and Tets, or because their accent color was orange (Heidi’s favorite color), or because they had all of our favorite vendors, but probably because we got to do so much fun detail work!

Becky and Tets loved wooden accents, so we recommended doing distressed wooden signs to mark all the fun game areas, as well as signs to indicate how to get around the park, bathrooms and the wedding day schedule.  So we broke down a few pallets and after several trips to Home Depot, we found the right wood and then distressed it with apple cider vinegar and steel wool (magic).  It was the perfect amount of distressed and then we stenciled, so much fun!

Here are some amazing photos from their amazingly talented photographer Alicia from No Eye Has Seen

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Wine barrels rented from General Eclectic helped to finish off the wooden theme

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We grabbed these wooden frames from a house that was installing new windows and hung them from the tent to showcase family photos and photos of the couple – one of our favorite ideas yet!

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Rentals from Party Rental Ltd. helped finish the look we were going for with the pop of persimmon

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One of our awesome distressed, hand-made signs :)

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Our awesome couple – and cannot forget the insanely talented Christine from Azalea Floral Design

A Wedding Planned in Two Days Congratulations Aileen and Steve | Always and Forever Wedding Planning & Coordination

Friday started as an ordinary day. By mid afternoon I was planning a wedding for Monday for people I had never met and I was doing it for free.

I was asked by a friend for the name of a JP. Her sister’s fiancé was terminally ill, the prognosis was not good, and they wanted to get married at their home on Monday.

What happened next is a bit cloudy, as it happened so quickly. I was on the phone and the Iphone and Facebook. In 1 hour I had a JP, a photographer, hair and makeup, flowers, and a caterer. I was inches from finding a dress. All for free.

Our vendor partners are the best out there and we can not thank you enough.

On Saturday, the news came that the groom could not leave the hospital. We would have to have the wedding there. A few quick shifts and we were on for Monday at 6pm.

I will not lie. Yesterday was a rough day emotionally for me. My heart was breaking for a couple I had never met. I had no idea what to expect or how I would handle myself in the face of what I thought would be such sadness. What I did not expect was all the laughter. Of course, there were tears but there were more smiles than sobs and more chuckles than cries and I am a better person for being there.

Thank you to Heidi Hanson Photography, Harvest Café and Bakery, Exquisite Designs Floral, and Michelle Hebert. Emily’s Catering and Beauty Entourage deserve to be recognized for stepping up without hesitation on Friday. Although our plans changed, your offers should not go unnoticed.

I usually wish my couples many years of happiness, but I think I have changed my mind on that wish. This couple will not have many years but they still have much happiness. May your love at this moment be enough for all of your days. Congratulations Steve and Aileen

Aileen and Steve Married-145

 

 

 

 

 

~ Dee Dee

 

Focus On A Giveaway | Always and Forever Wedding Planning & Coordination

It is funny how you can focus so strongly on something and then completely loose focus on other things.

We have severely neglected our blog lately. It is not that we have been too busy.

It is the off season. That means that we still work pretty darn hard.

There are weddings to plan but when there is a month or two without an actual wedding, we seem to shift focus. We work behind the computer screen a lot. It is just differnt.

With this shift of focus, we increased our Facebook link to out page activity.

Our daily 1 vs. 2 has been a hit with some of the posts getting viewed by over 1000 people. That is great for a small CT company and we are thrilled with all the new attention. I have been stalking our page, wondering how many hits we will get on each day’s post. The numbers are still good but our LIKES are not.

In all of the fun of the voting, I lost focus on getting more people to LIKE our page. It seems silly really. The more LIKES that you have, the more people that our posts will reach and the more people you reach, the more business you can generate. So it is time to Re-Focus and you can benefit from that. If you are reading this blog post it is probably because you have liked our Facebook page. So head over to our page  and follow these instructions. Share our page and get your friends to like our page. Have your friend post on our wall saying that you referred them. Once we reach 400, we will randomly choose one new LIKE and you and your friend will each win a $25 visa gift card.

DeeDee

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS | CT PREMIERE WEDDING PLANNER ALWAYS AND FOREVER

We know that the bliggity blog has been a little vacant lately.  Well we’re busy!  Really, really, uber ridiculously busy!  Just a little taste of what’s been going on…

Last week we were working with three of our current clients to get things done, crossed off, checked, to move on to the next big thing.  So one couple getting married next March, needed some assistance with finding a rabbi to do an interfaith wedding, had to get their STD’s out, needed to book a florist appointment, had to decide on having a ceremony in a tent due to the number of guests not fitting in the room of their venue…..All the while keeping mom and daughter from not trying to kill each other!

During the same time, we had a graphic designer working on an invitation for our lovely London couple, changing it to be more Scottish without full-fledge Scottish flair, revising a florist quote, getting out-of-town guest hotel room information and pricing,  and figuring out how many hair and makeup appointments….

During that same week we coordinated an engagement shoot at a local vineyard in Granby, Lost Acres.  Wow it is gorgeous!  (more to come on that will be blogging).  The whole shoot was based on this amazing etsy.com find, of a banner for the couple to use for their STD…well the couple was a little scattered that morning and forgot their banner!  Well, thanks to Dee Dee, she happened to have all the right things (in the trunk of her car) to make a STD banner…it was awesome…another reason why I love her so much…seriously who has a roll of burlap, yarn and fabric paint in their trunk???? (stay tuned for photos)….

During that same week, we picked up a new wedding, yes for this year 2012….Yes for August 25th to be more accurate.  7 Weeks, 7 weeks to plan these awesome folks’ wedding, who live in Canada, won’t meet them officially until two days before their wedding.  So fast forward to tent appointments, catering appointments, florist appointments, invitation wording, STD wording, all that while they are planning a separate Canadian event for last weekend…

So just a little taste of last week…this week of course is a little quieter, just a little….happy July 4th everyone!

Your (insert wedding vendor) is not a wedding planner! | Always and Forever, CT’s Premiere Wedding Planning Company

We sure have been quiet on the blog lately and we apologize. The planning season is in full swing and between appointments, design meetings, and contracts the blog has been neglected.

I have something that I would like to say and I hope that all of you that read this will pass this along to anyone you know that is getting married and may get married in the future.

I was told by a potential client that she no longer needed a planner since her caterer and DJ both said that they offer wedding planning as a part of their fee. I will be honest that this is something that I hear about more and more and as a planner, it bugs the heck out of me.

I will not go off on a rant about the many reasons that this is wrong in my mind but I will offer, any potential client for any wedding planner,  a list of questions to ask themselves when in this position

  1. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> talk you through your guest list dilemma and help you figure out if Aunt Emily needs to be invited?
  2. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> take your call at 9pm when your bridesmaid has told you that she shortened her dress 4 inches?
  3. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> work through your competing dream themes and color palettes and help you find that look that is perfect?
  4. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> call the other wedding vendors to discuss changes or additions to the contract?
  5. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> review all the other vendor contracts for you?
  6. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> be at your ceremony rehearsal to walk everyone through where to stand and when, all while calming your nerves the night before your wedding?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I am convinced your DJ is a wedding planner! If you answered No to just one, you may want to consider hiring an actual planner.

~ Dee Dee

REMEMBERING | ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LLC CT’S PREMIERE WEDDING PLANNERS

This afternoon I get to do one of my favorite things. I am getting together with past clients. It is strange to call them clients. Since their wedding we have stayed in touch; through email and Facebook. We get together when they are in town visiting family. They are no longer clients, they are friends.

The best part about today is that I get to meet their daughter. It is funny to me that a few years ago I was planning their wedding and now they are parents.

I LOVED planning their wedding. It was so much fun, and a little stressful, but mostly fun. Through the planning process we discovered that we all had a mutual love for the same movie, The Princess Bride. Tent cards with their favorite quotes decorated cocktail hour and they presented me with my favorite t-shirt with a quote from the movie. Every time I watch the movie, and I do often, I always think of their wedding.

As a planner, you don’t forget a wedding. You may forget the menu, the vendor that made things interesting, the guest that made things even more interesting, and some of the small details that made it individual. But what you don’t forget is the look on the bride’s face right before walking down the aisle and the groom’s look of excitement as he waits for his bride.  You don’t forget the people. The couple, and sometimes the parents, that you spend so much time with are forever part of you. Even if you do not keep in touch or see each other, you always think of them.

When I think of Jenn and Shawn, this is how I will always remember them….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(photo courtesy of No Eye has Seen)

I suspect this afternoon, there will be jeans and sneakers and the bouquet will be substituted with a diaper bag and as friends, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

~Dee Dee