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?

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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.

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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

Sucker for Seersucker | Always and Forever Wedding Coordination | CT and NYC Wedding and Event Planners

There’s no denying we are suckers for seersucker especially for weddings!  We love the inspiration it invokes, the softness, the elegance and the overall beauty!  Perfect for Spring, Summer or a Fall wedding. Check out these images to inspire your own seersucker wedding.

Image from two delighted.com
Image from two delighted.com
Beautiful Dresses Image from Pinterest.com
Beautiful Dresses Image from Pinterest.com
Always a classic with a pop of pink. Image from pinterest.com
Always a classic with a pop of pink. Image from pinterest.com
Classic blue and yellow.  Image from Lemonseed and Co.
Classic blue and yellow. Image from Lemonseed and Co.
Fun favors. Image from Marthastewartweddings.com
Fun favors. Image from Marthastewartweddings.com
Fun and flirty bridesmaid dress from Pinterest.com
Fun and flirty bridesmaid dress from Pinterest.com
Beautiful details image from interest.com
Beautiful details image from interest.com
We love the groom in pants and the groomsmen in shorts, super fun contrast for a more laid back wedding.  Image from Ruffledblog.com
We love the groom in pants and the groomsmen in shorts, super fun contrast for a more laid back wedding. Image from Ruffledblog.com
Love the texture on this cake. Image from Pinterest.com
Love the texture on this cake. Image from Pinterest.com
Just a pop of seersucker on the envelope is perfect for this invite. Image from brides.com
Just a pop of seersucker on the envelope is perfect for this invite. Image from brides.com

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

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

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
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