Valentine’s Day ~ Up Your Game <3

So today is Valentine’s Day…whether you will be celebrating alone or with a special someone we put together some fun ideas to up your game  that we think you will love

Herb, flower and fruit enhanced ice cubes – can make any drink super pretty.

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Beautiful ice cubes – so sexy and fun!

 

Perfect for the little kids in your life, these thumb print heart mason jars are sure to put a smile on your Valentine’s face….and so easy to make.

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Show the love with these Thumbprint Mason Jars

 

Celebrating with a group?  Why not have a mimosa bar?  This is super easy and a great way to Up Your Game. Super easy what you’ll need:

Champagne, Variety of juices, Fruit, Glasses and Jars/Carafes

And don’t forget some cute decor….like this one from TomKatStudio.com

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If baking is your thing, try these amazing Red Velvet Brownies, pretty, festive and yummy from AverieCooks.com

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Another kid-friendly idea from b-inspiredmama.com Heart-Shaped Pizza!  We love this idea, many of us have kids and with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the week it’s hard to get out and celebrate.  So your kids (and you) will love this simple and easy dinner.

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Celebrating your last Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple? Love coffee?  These mugs are perfect!  From Etsy.

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Whether you are celebrating alone, with your kids, with your significant other or however you celebrate we want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.  We hope that everyone gets some yummy chocolate, coffee or whatever your little heart desires.

Until next time

Heidi, Meg, Grace, and Dee Dee

Wedding Planning is it for you?

So you just finished planning your wedding, you are coming off that huge high!  Everything was so pretty and perfect.  Down to the most intricate detail, everyone raved about the food, the decor and your beautiful DRESS!!  You did all of your centerpieces by yourself, you are so talented (well Aunt Bettie said so)!  Your mom agrees, she tells everyone that day that you should be an event planner you’ve already planned one wedding  – YOURS….so you know what to do, right?

wedding-forward

WRONG

So yes, you’ve planned one wedding, yours and that’s great.  Kudos!  Great job!  It takes approximately 250 hours to plan a wedding. That’s a lot of work. All of your evening and weekends are gone.  Being a wedding planner means you don’t have a 9-5 schedule.  Your schedule needs to be flexible, because your clients, most likely are working 9-5 so you will be meeting with them after hours. Plus 95% of weddings happen on the weekends.

Working on the wedding day is HARD work. Spending 10-15 hours on your feet and being mentally “on” is exhausting no matter how good of shape you are in. And it gets harder the older you get.

THE WEDDING HANGOVER – how you feel the day after a wedding. It’s like you ran a race then went out drinking all night. In reality, you are dehydrated, sore, and tired from working a wedding.

Working with clients means making THEIR dream and vision come true. This can be a challenge for some event planners who want to keep recreating their own wedding or imposing their vision on clients. You will end up planning a wedding that doesn’t fit your style or taste and you have to be okay with that.

It is NOT GLAMOUROUS.  I’ve been on my hands and knees, sweating. I sometimes have to count the napkins and linens before they go back to the rental company. One wedding a guest had a little too much to drink and threw up all over the most gorgeous silk table linen.  We had to wash them out into the sink…the stench, alone was enough to make us want to puke! Talk about gross!  And do you know how many port-o-potties we’ve had to unclog….way too many.

etsy

You wear a lot of hats!  Therapist, bouncer, friend, tough guy, parent, an artist, mediator etc.  With so many family dynamics you will have to be on your toes, always!  But remember who your client is, the couple. You have to be tough, thorough, organized and so many more traits. A wedding planned needs to be adaptable and often wear several hats at a time.

It is very different from planning your own wedding and moving to making it a career. Not every wedding is the same and it will become your job to personalize the event for your clients. This requires a lot of research and education. Taking some business management and marketing courses. Also hospitality courses will prove to be very valuable. In addition to understanding the details of planning the actual wedding, the many elements of starting and running your own business also require consideration. Aside from having the correct licenses and insurance, you’ll also need to market your business, determine pricing, invoice and bill clients, attend networking events, balance your books, advertise, hire staff and much, much more.

Regardless of whether you decide a career in wedding planning is for you, reach out to area wedding planners like Always and Forever to learn more about our internship and training programs.  Remember everyone has to start somewhere, even we did!

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Until next time,

Heidi, Meg, Grace & Dee Dee

 

Images: Wedding ForwardEtsyEtsyHi Miss Puff

Ditch or Keep in 2017?!

2017 will be here before we know it!! Hard to believe it is already December! BRIDES recently chatted with David Tutera who is an amazing Celebrity wedding planner and he weighed in on what should be staying and what should be going for our 2017 couples!! Do you agree or disagree? What do you think will be trending in 2017??

While many couples have an after party after the party, David says the party should stay put! Keep the vibes up and keep the party going at the same location! You can keep the party up too with bringing in special late night bites or sweet treats!! You can even make them to go for your guests to keep them talking!

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Via Inside Weddings

With regards to colors and textures David had mentioned a mix of whites and metallics! The golds and silvers are out and the softer mix of color and metallic will give you a refreshing feel that is still hip and on trend!! Try using these as a mix with your chairs up to your lighting and extra decor details!

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Via Bridal Guide

Receiving line no more! This 2016 we were seeing less and less receiving lines as couples feel that it is too formal and would like to be able to use cocktail hour and see everyone in a more casual environment! David is on the same page with us and definitely thinks it is a trend to lose this season!

One thing to keep for sure are first looks! These are here to stay! A perfect way to enjoy that intimate moment and capture those photos that are ones to cherish for a life time!!

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 Marianne Wilson Photography 

The last trend that we totally think is here to stay are the DIY unique special touches that our couples find to incorporate into their wedding! Wether it be including something that is special just between your spouse and you or if it is something special to give to your guests as way to never forget your wedding! We had a couple this year give our guests homemade moonshine that was made by them and we also had another couple use a SMORE’s bar for their guests to enjoy rather than having a wedding cake! Just be you. Make it special. And you will be sure to have the time of your life!

As always Always & Forever Weddings is always here to help  and guide you with whatever wedding planning needs you may have!

Until next time,

Heidi, Meg & Grace

 

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

WADSWORTH MANSION MIDDLETOWN, CT | CT’S PREMIERE WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNERS ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LLC

The Wadsworth Mansion is a 20,000 square foot Beaux Art mansion located on  103 acres of Olmsted designed landscape in central Connecticut. The Mansion is dedicated to providing a beautiful setting and creating unique, customized weddings and celebrations. Only one celebration is held each day and brides select a caterer to create the day of their dreams.  Ceremonies and cocktails can be held on the terrace or on the expansive manicured grounds. Many brides and grooms have danced their first dance under the stars.   Ballrooms exemplifying the Gilded-Age with marble fireplaces and coffered ceilings can accommodate 200 guests.  For larger events the terrace and lawn can be tented.

Wadsworth Mansion is absolutely stunning and one of our favorite venues for weddings.  The grounds are perfectly groomed and offer many opportunities to have both your ceremony and reception at one location, which is perfect for your guests.  We love the ladies of the Wadsworth as well. Easy to work with and a lot of fun, too! If you choose Wadsworth Mansion you are sure to have an amazing experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

421 Wadsworth Street
Middletown, Connecticut 06457

Phone:
860.347.1064

Fax:
860.343.5475

Email:
events@wadsworthmansion.com
Other Places to Find Wadsworth Mansion:
Blog
Facebook
E-Brochure

Wedding Vendor Wednesday | Party Pyro | CT’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

Would you like to have that fairytale wedding just like Cinderella with all the fireworks? Well, now you can. Imagine, just as your officiant pronounces you as husband and wife and you kiss for the very first time, a flurry of sparklers ignite and create a majestic background. Or perhaps you are enjoying your first dance and at the very end as your husband dips you and goes in for a kiss a splash of sparklers fill the windows with an array of excitement. Another romantic idea is doing a sky lantern release. Gather your bridal party and have each of them hold a sky lantern. Once it is lit and filled with hot air, have everyone release it into to sky. It makes for emotional and colorful photos. How about having every centerpiece ignite with sparklers at the exact same time just as the bride and groom are introduced into the ballroom? What a way to surprise everyone. Of course nothing is more exciting than a full fireworks display in the sky.  Everyone loves fireworks and is watched more by more people on the 4th of July than any other single event throughout the year. Now you can have that incredible moment during your wedding.  These are just a few examples of ways to make your wedding special and to create a moment that your guests will talk about years down the road.

Contact Party Pyro if you’re looking for a little (or a lot) of sparkle for your event!

Party Pyro

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF US | CT’S PREMIERE WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNERS, ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LLC

This week has been a crazy one, but we love crazy!   Many people ask us how our days are spent, so here’s a little sneak peek into the life of planner during a week:

Monday – Prep for a 2013 meeting, design two inspiration boards, confirm meeting, get mom and bride’s cell phone numbers in case something comes up.

Tuesday – Prepare all documentation for March 2013 couple, meet with mom and bride for over two hours, talk about  what they like, don’t like, budget, venues, decor, wedding style, theme development, dresses and everything wedding related.

After meeting speak with DJ about another 2013 wedding to confirm details and secure contract.  Send three emails to another client and florist to confirm Skype meeting.

Wednesday – Respond to several emails, schedule a Friday morning appointment.  Continue to work on scheduling venue appointments for new March 2013 couple we met on Tuesday. Speak with a June 2012 couple and provide quote.

Thursday – Rework inspiration board for March 2013 couple, respond to more emails, and prep for Friday morning meeting.  Confirm rentals for a corporate event in June, blog

Friday – Early morning client meeting, blogging, prepare two quotes for client, prepare weekend to-do list, confirm venue meeting for the following week

Saturday – Try to accomplish some of the things on the to-do list, get organized for the next coming week, volunteer at a new winery, website updates

Sunday – Relax? Ha we never relax!