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

Donut Worry, Be Happy!

Calling all donut lovers!!

Chocolate, Vanilla, Funfetti, whatever your pleasure we’ve got them! Well your wedding could have them!! The latest and greatest craze which we can’t get enough of, Donut Walls!! This just brings the desert bar idea to a whole new level!! Take a look please at a few of our favorite ways to do up your donut wall!

Donuts on Shelves!

Donut Wall Shelves
Photo by Troy Grover via The Knot 

Treat yourself with some of these!!

Treat yourself
Via The Bored Panda

This just melts our hearts!

Wedding donuts
Via The Bored Panda

Donuts for Days!

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Via The Bored Panda

We just can’t get enough of these new treats! There are endless ways to bring that extra little bit of sweet into your special day! Keep it unique. Keep it you. Keep it fun! Enjoy every  second of the planning process! As always we are here to help and help you make your wedding day a day never to forget!

Until next time,

Heidi, Meg, Taylor & Grace

 

A Double Wedding Weekend A&F Style| Always and Forever Wedding & Event Planning

This past weekend (8/6 and 8/7) we had the pleasure of having an awesome wedding for Megan and Mike at The Hangar at Candlelight Farms in New Milford and then we jetted up to Boston for Kyla and Richard’s big day at the Codman Estate.

To give you a glimpse of our Wild Wedding Weekend here are some stats:

  • Two weddings plus 3 pre-wedding meetings with 3 other couples
  • One couple from CT
  • One couple from Brooklyn
  • 38,554 steps walked
  • 469 miles driven
  • A gaggle of witches
  • A handleful of vendors
  • 325 guests
  • 4 swollen feet
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Our feet the end of night 1…stuffed piggies
  • 2 dirty and smelly feet
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The dirt in our ankles; no Photoshop here…day #2
  • One scrapped knuckle (not bad for us)
  • 350 gallons of water in the luxury potty
  • 2 Milky Way Darks (yes the only kind now that we are addicted to)
  • 70 – the number of times I lost of my phone
  • 1 sip of terrible tea
  • 18 Diet Cokes
  • 73 Gallons of Water
  • 2 Episodes of Naked and Afraid (Meg how have you not seen this before)
  • 21 – the number of times I couldn’t find my keys
  • 6lbs lost via sweat
  • 6lbs gained via junk food consumed at 11pm
  • 17 – the number of # we came up with during this epic weekend
  • 0 – the number of seconds it took Meg to fall asleep (seriously, not fair)
  • 1 Radio Flyer Wagon
  • LOTS and LOTS of LAUGHS……
  • And we did it all again the next weekend……

Until Next time your team (and we will have prettier photos we promise)

Heidi, Meg, Taylor and Grace

Affordable Wedding Gowns | Always and Forever Wedding Planning & Coordination

Getting married, but don’t have $3000, $5,000 or even $10,000 for that Vera Wang you are in love with that you’ve dreamed about since you were a little girl?  No need to worry.  There are plenty of affordable and BEAUTIFUL options out there ladies.  These gowns are sure to make him (or her) love you just as much and make you feel super glamorous as that Maggie Sottero.

We start with a brand new collection the the 2016 Conscious Exclusive from H and M.  Click on each photo to see pricing and a little bit more info 🙂

 

We are loving these simple, but stunning and affordable options from JCrew.

Regardless of where you get your dress, be sure that you try enough on to be sure that you found the one that you are absolutely in LOVE with!

As always we are here to help, styling you is another service that we offer.  We love shopping and helping you pick out the best gown for you is one of the more fun things we get to do!

Until next time,

xoxo

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Dee Dee and Meg

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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~ Dee Dee