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.

ice-cubes
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.

mason-jar
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

simply-juice-tomkat_0015

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

Why I Love Winter Weddings | Always and Forever – NYC and CT Wedding Planning

We often meet a lot of couples that are afraid to have their wedding in the winter. Due to the weather, the loss of light, their guests not being able to get to their venue because of the weather. However, there are a lot of positives of getting married in NYC and CT in the winter. Venues are not as booked as they are during peak times, so they will be more flexible with the timing of your big day; they also may offer discounts. Other vendors may also offer discounts as well because they are not booked either. Plus how awesome will your photos look in the snow!

Here are some of the awesome looks that we’ve come up with for winter weddings.

Love this photo with the snow.
Love this photo with the snow.
A great option for the chilly winter - this beautiful fur. #Pinterest
A great option for the chilly winter – this beautiful fur. #Pinterest
Beautiful Ceremony Details.  From Bridal Guide
Beautiful Ceremony Details. From Bridal Guide
Love this beautiful draping from Colin Cowie.
Love this beautiful draping from Colin Cowie.
This beautiful sparkle linen is perfect for a winter wedding. #bridalguide
This beautiful sparkle linen is perfect for a winter wedding. #bridalguide
Cannot do without a hot chocolate bar on a winter day.
Cannot do without a hot chocolate bar on a winter day.
Awesome idea for a favor.
Awesome idea for a favor.
Love these gorgeous berries for your winter wedding. #pinterest
Love these gorgeous berries for your winter wedding. #pinterest
Loving this cake with sugared cranberries - very wintery.  #pinterest
Loving this cake with sugared cranberries – very wintery. #pinterest
How cute are these white chocolate covered cherries.  #pinterest
How cute are these white chocolate covered cherries. #pinterest
How cute are these little fur heels - perfect for your winter wedding!  #pinterest
How cute are these little fur heels – perfect for your winter wedding! #pinterest