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

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Thirst Quenching!

Want a little extra special touch to add to your wedding? Why not come up with your own signature cocktail or cocktails for your wedding? Maybe you have given this some thought or maybe you have no ideas, and have need some help deciding! Take a look at some of our favorite drinks of the season!

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Via Etsy

First Up…Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail                                                                Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                For the Blackberry Syrup                                                                                                                                                               1/3 cup blackberries, plus 8 more for garnish                                                                                          1/3 cup water                                                                                                                                                    1/3 cup sugar

For the Cocktail                                                                                                                                                      1 Bottle Prosecco or champagne

For the Garnish                                                                                                                                                   4 sprigs of thyme

Instructions                                                                                                                                                         In a small saucepan, bring the blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain blackberries and let syrup cool.

Add 2 tbsp of syrup to the bottom of each glass. Top with champagne and add in a spring of thyme and 2 blackberries!

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Lark and Linen via Style Me Pretty

Next Up…Pear Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                          4 oz Pear Juice                                                                                                                                                        6 oz Vodka                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup water                                                                                                                                                      7 oz Ginger Ale                                                                                                                                                   Fresh Rosemary

Instructions                                                                                                                                                        In a small saucepan, mix the water with the sugar. Smash the leaves of 1-2 rosemary stems and sprinkle in the pan. Bring to a boil, cook until the sugar is fully dissolved in the water. Remove from the heat and strain out the rosemary leaves, set aside your rosemary-infused simple syrup.

Mix the pear juice, 4 oz of the simple syrup, and vodka in a pitcher. Add in the Ginger Ale and pour into cocktail glasses. Garnish with a stem of rosemary.

 

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Photography: White Loft Studio Via Style Me Pretty

Why not a Blueberry Moscow Mule?

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                   Blueberry Syrup (Prepare in advance)                                                                                                         1 1/2 cups of blueberries                                                                                                                                   1/2 cup of sugar                                                                                                                                                              1 1/2 cup of water                                                                                                                                                            Combine blueberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for 8 minutes, lower heart and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain syrup and allow to completely cool

Vodka                                                                                                                                                                          Ginger Beer                                                                                                                                                              Lime Juice

In a cocktail shaker combine:                                                                                                                          2-3 jiggers of vodka                                                                                                                                               2 jiggers of blueberry simple syrup                                                                                                                  12-14 ounces ginger beer                                                                                                                                  Dash of lime juice

Shake and serve over ice!

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Lip Gloss and Crayons Blog

Have fun with creating your own cocktail! Think about what you love, what your crowd will enjoy and top it off with a fun name and you’ve got your own drink that will be remembered!

Happy Planning, and as always we are happy to help!

Until next time!

Your Team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee, & Meg

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

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

 

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