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

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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
Other Places to Find Wadsworth Mansion:
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And The Bride Wore Denim | CT’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

This weekend, my older sister got married to a great guy. This was not their first trip down the aisle, in fact this time there was no aisle. There was my mom’s living room, their kids, our immediate family, 4 friends, and a justice of the peace.

The planner in me cringed, the sister in me beamed with pride that my sister was marrying a wonderful man that makes her happy. The planner in me arrived early to get tables set up and to make sure there were something that resembled a centerpiece on each one; the sister in me sat on the floor with tears in my eyes while I tried to snap pictures. The planner in me wore black pants and a silk blouse, the sister in me wore flip flops with said outfit.

As you may have noticed, my sister and I are very different. Her original plan was a trip to a courthouse. Thankfully, their children wanting to be there won out and my mom was more than thrilled to be the mother of the bride once again. I insisted on invitations and was vetoed. I harped on and on to my parents to move all the furniture out of the living to make it seem more like a reception and the couch was there and used for ceremony seating. I had dreams of my sister in a simple dress…the bride wore jeans…and I would not have had it any other way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love you both!

 

~ Dee Dee

Wedding Vendor Wednesday | No Eye Has Seen Photography | CT’s Premiere Wedding & Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

We are so excited to feature Alicia Candelora from No Eye Has Seen Photography!  We’ve loved Alicia since we met her several years ago. Her style is amazing, her personality is awesome, and her photographic eye is unbelievable.  She is so talented and absolutely loves what she does.  I’m always amazed when a photographer can shoot an entire wedding in stilettos!

Not only is Alicia an amazing photographer, she is a beautiful person. She spends considerable time helping those that are less fortunate, traveling to Haiti to work with children and raising money to provide clean water to those in need all over the world. Alicia’s impact is felt word-wide.  She is truly an amazing woman and we hope that you get the chance to at least meet her if not include her in your wedding day….

Without further ado….Meet Alicia

I am so thrilled and honored to be featured on Always and Forever blog today because I absolutely adore these gals! I started my wedding photography business in Europe about 7 years ago and when I decided to relocate back to the USA, I knew it would be important to network with other vendors who were like-minded. When I first met Heidi and Dee Dee I knew immediately that I would love them and work well with them. For me it is super important to not only give clients an exceptional product and quality service, but to also create an experience for them that is unforgettable. Heidi and Dee Dee get this, as they also run their business in a way that compels their clients to brag about them. 🙂 If you are a client who is looking for more than just cookie cutter wedding photography and event coordination, then you have come to the right spot and I hope you don’t leave disappointed 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicia Candelora, Lead Photographer

No Eye Has Seen

203.980.7968

http://www.NoEyeHasSeen.com

www.facebook.com/NoEyeHasSeenPhotography

http://www.twitter.com/noeyehasseen

 

It’s Good To Always Have A Plan | Connecticut’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners, Always and Forever, LLC

It was just about 9 years ago when I decided to create Always and Forever, LLC.  Having done event planning for years for corporate clients and non-profit organizations, it seemed only natural to make the leap into weddings.  While they may seem completely different, they are pretty similar.  There is always a customer (bride/groom), always a venue, menu choices, hotel concerns, décor needed, and day-of logistics.

Nine years and two kids later, I use my planner knowledge to throw some pretty amazing birthday parties for my kids.  My son’s first birthday was an army inspired party complete with matching family camouflage gear, a face-painting station with none other than camo, an army tank cake that my husband and I created, and an army tank piñata with close to 125 guests!  Guests really got into it showing up in full-camo gear, and that one year old boy sure loved that tank cake.

A few years later it was time for my daughter’s Diva themed 1st birthday party….perfect for her little attitude.  Zebra goodie bags filled with rock star sunglasses, lip gloss, bling rings, and , of course,  hot pink and black feather boas.  She embraced her inner diva that day…and has done so ever since!

As the kids get older, the parties have been combined.  There was Sponge Bob with a homemade Krabby Patty Cake, jellyfish scavenger hunt and handrawn art. Then the Circus party with carnival games, face painters, cotton candy, snowcones and “popcorn” cupcakes.

Fast forward to this year……..the theme will be Slither and Swim!!  After several years of my daughter begging for a princess party, I had to give in.  Little does she know that “Ariel” will arrive with The Little Mermaid music, singing a song, telling stories and posing for photos (to me the best part).  And then there is Slither! We have hired an amazing animal entertainer who has assured me every child (who wants to ) will be able to touch the snakes, lizards and hopefully a baby alligator (my favorite).  Now I get to plan all the little details…that is what I like, the details. The little things that make an ordinary birthday party, extraordinary.

It is good to have a plan…and I am never without one!

~ Heidi

Being A Wedding Planner | CT’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planning Company, Always and Forever, LLC

Someone asked me a few weeks ago if I liked being a wedding planner. I simply replied “Of course!”

After that short exchange I thought for a minute about my journey that brought me to where I am today.

I will never forget my first big wedding. I was nervous and stressed and the couple was excited and stressed. I was filled with my own internal questions. Was I really good enough to do this on my own? Was I the right person to ensure that they had the wedding of their dreams? What if something went wrong and I could not fix it? What if? What if? What if?

What I did not realize, in that moment of self-doubt, was that I had everything I needed within me.

When there we speed bumps, I slowed down and maneuvered them. When things did not go exactly as planned on paper, I threw away the paper and made it work.  When the questions never stopped, I never stopped having answers.

As I drove home after a day and a half of wedding festivities at 2:00 am on  a long stretch of dark highway, I thought back on all the stress I held, but  never showed, before that day. I laughed at my foolishness and never looked back at those feelings.

I am not the best wedding planner out there, but I am a darn good one. I have a passion for it. Not just the happy sweet parts, but every part, even the parts that are not glamorous. I believe that this is what I am supposed to do. I did not wake up one day and decide I wanted to plan weddings and events.  Planning weddings and events has been part of me since the day I was born. Just ask my mom!

The next time I am asked if I like being a wedding planner, I will have a new answer.

“Planning weddings is who I am, and I really love being me”

~ Dee Dee