Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wedding Weather

Alanna Scully Photography
If you did not know already, the only thing that you cannot control at your wedding is the weather.  Everything else can be timed out and planned to a T, but the rain or sun or snow or hurricane is something you will not know until about 3 days before, if not even the day of.  That is why we recommend taking the following actions to be as best prepared for any type of weather that may come your way on your wedding day.

Weather Forecasts
Take it from a pro who has three weather apps on her phone and checks them frantically leading up to every weekend, that no matter how many apps you have, they are all going to be different.  I highly recommend not looking at your weather forecast until at least 5 days out, as in my experience the 10 day forecast is always wrong.  At three days you are going to be rather close as to what is going to happen and even up until the day of it could change.  Why you ask?  Mostly because you are getting married on Cape Cod where it may be raining in Brewster but sunny in Dennis!

Backup Plans
No matter what you need to have a backup plan in place for at least rain, if not worse if it is a time of year that is prone to snow or nor’easters.  For any of my clients planning on a tented event, outdoor ceremony and/or cocktail hour, we always have a rain plan at the bottom of our time line.  That way we can hop over to that plan if we need to the day of the wedding and be ready to go with indoor options.   If your ceremony is supposed to be on the beach and the backup plan is a conference room with no windows, you have to make sure that you can envision that happening.  Granted, it is the worst case scenario, but if you do not think it all through you could be super sad when you’re inside instead of out.

Tented Events
If you are planning to have a tented event, this post is really for you.  One thing that you have to be 100% okay with is that it could potentially downpour on your wedding day.  If you are not okay with that, then you need to find a ceremony and reception location that is indoors or at least have a  backup plan that you are okay with.  For tents, you can also talk to your tent company about rain tent options.  This is where you reserve a tent for your ceremony or cocktail hour backup and then at the three day out mark you can decide if you want to put it up or not.  If you decide not to, the tent company will only charge you half the cost of the tent.  To me that is pretty great rain insurance!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fun Wedding Add Ons!

When you get into the last couple of months of your planning process and you have some extra wiggle room in the budget, it is a good time to look into fun wedding add ons to your party.  There are so many new ideas out there, way more than I can list here, but we have come up with a list of great wedding add ons that would work well at any Cape Cod wedding.

Food Truck
Food Trucks are so much fun and make a great late night snack option!  Food Trucks have been all over the big cities for a while now and the trend has finally hit Cape Cod.  There are a number of different food truck vendors on Cape Cod from Wellfleet to Falmouth that you can book for your wedding.  Fiddlesticks, DPM and CDogs to name a few!

Photo Booth
Photo booths are a great way to entertain guests, act as a favor and make memories!  There are not many specific photo booth vendors on the Cape, but there are many photographers that offer the photo booth as an option to their packages.  Most booths do take up some space, so be sure you have the room in your venue before you book.

Flip Book Booth
Similar to a photo booth, but with a bit more action, you will find a Flip Book Booth.  Here is where your guests can get dressed up in fun attire and make a mini 8-second video that is instantly turned into a flip book to take home.  Personalize the cover with your wedding colors, names, etc.  It is one of our favorites!

Poetry Booth
This one has not yet officially made it to Cape Cod, but I was fortunate enough to have fun with one while I was at The NotWedding in NYC this past April.  The company is called The Haiku Guys and is definitely a topic conversation.  Give the Haiku writer a topic of your choice and come back later for your very own personalized Haiku.  Super fun and they will travel!

Live Wedding Painter
Your wedding photos are one thing and are definitely worth splurging on, but how cool would it be to have someone there painting your ceremony or your first dance or your reception live?!  Many local artists offer this service, just ask!  It is very interesting for your guests to watch, but also serves as an amazing keepsake from your day!

There are so many other fun options to add into your wedding from little details like straws and personalized pint glasses to candy buffets and sundae bars!  If you want to add in something clever, think about what best reflects you, your family and your party!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

SCORE Small Business Owner of the Year 2014

Recently I was honored by the Cape Cod SCORE chapter as their Small Business Owner of the Year!  It was completely unexpected and I was extremely honored to receive the award amongst other wonderful small businesses on Cape Cod.  Due to the honor, I was also asked to be on the cover of Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine!  I had so much fun shooting the cover with Julia Cumes and am so grateful for Lisa George and her team for doing my hair and makeup last minute as well as Designers Touch for pulling together a beautiful bouquet for the shoot.  And it was great going back to Chatham Bars Inn, where I got my start, to pull it all together.  Thank you so much for everyone who has supported me along the way and here is to many more years of event planning!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Wedding Pintervention

Most brides nowadays are taking advantage of the brilliant website Pinterest to collect ideas and find their colors, flowers, cakes, photo ideas, invitations, you name it.  I mean, let’s be honest, it is a wonderful tool that allows you to collect inspiring ideas all in one place.  But after a certain point in your planning process you will need to cave to the Pintervention.  Yes I said it - You need a Pintervention.

Pinterest is a blessing and a curse when it comes to planning your wedding.  There are millions of ideas on the internet and there is no better tool that I know of than Pinterest to collect those ideas as you plan.  But when it comes to the final months of your planning process, and as you start to really decide what you want for your wedding, you need to revisit your wedding board and clean it up.  Delete those ideas that you thought were amazing the day you got engaged and narrow it all down to what you will be actually using for your wedding.  Make it really reflect your personality, your colors, your plan.

Once you realize you need a Pintervention and you complete your clean-up process, then you need to start restricting yourself on things that you look for or that you pin onto your board.  When you reach the 6 month out mark from your wedding day, you need to be sure you have your colors and major ideas decided on, so there is no need to keep looking for other color schemes or themes or dresses!  When you get to 2 months out you are going to limit your pinning to just final details and fun things you may want to add, such as escort cards, guest book ideas, cocktail napkins, signage, etc.  

Don’t get me wrong, as I said, it is a wonderful tool for brides to use - I even share boards with my brides so that I can watch what they pin and I can add pins I see that reflect their plans - but it is smart to realize when you need to slow down and reign everything in.  The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a totally new idea only a couple of months before your wedding!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wedding Paper - Save the Dates, Invites, Menus, Oh My!

When it comes to your wedding, there can be a lot of different types of paper products you may need to get your guests the details they need and make sure everything goes smoothly.  From the save the dates and invitations to the escort cards and thank you notes, the options are endless.  If you are a paper and design person like myself, it can be even harder to make your selections and pick your favorites.  Below we have come up with a list of the paper products you may, or may not, need for your wedding, but it is good to review the list and see if you want to add anything!

Save the Dates
For a destination wedding, save the dates are usually sent out anywhere from a year to 6 months before the wedding date.  I believe that it is better to get them out on the earlier side so that your guests have time to find hotels and decide on their plans.  Save the dates can be anything from a postcard to magnets.  The basic information your guests need would be the date, location and a link to your wedding website.

Invitations - RSVP cards, Maps, Information
The most important part of your wedding paper is most likely going to be your invitation suites.  There are so many options when it comes to your invites!  I highly recommend meeting with a stationer to go over options so that you can get a good idea on pricing and what fits your budget.  Don’t forget to include an RSVP card and envelope, a map of the area if needed and an information card that may include things like other festivities taking place, lodging suggestions or your wedding website.

Welcome Letters
Welcome letters are what you would provide to your guests upon arrival to their hotel.  Sometimes this letter comes along with a welcome bag of some sort, but if you want to skip the bag, you should atleast provide a letter.  This can include things like a “thank you for coming” note, things to do in the area, reminder of event times (welcome party, ceremony, brunch), parking information, etc.  If you are not sure where all of your guests are staying, you could also send this in an email the week leading up to your wedding.

Ceremony Programs
If you are having a church ceremony, you are most likely going to want to have a ceremony program.  If you are having an outdoor ceremony, a program of the service is not required (especially if is rather basic), but it can be nice for your guests to have something to look at while they wait.  You will want to include things like the bridal party and family names, order of service and maybe a thank you to your friends and family.  

Escort Cards & Place Cards
What is the difference you ask? Escort cards are what the guests pick up and “escort” them to their seat.  Place cards are what assign your “place” at the table.  Most brides will do escort cards and not place cards, as it can be tedious to assign each seat at the table for your guests.  There are many options for escort cards ranging from tented, seating charts, starfish, etc.

Menu Cards
If you are having a plated meal with or without a choice, it is always a good idea to include a menu card on the table.  You can either do one per table or you can do one per place setting.  If you are doing stations or buffet, a menu is not needed, but you may need catering cards to identify what each food is.  Check with your caterer first to see if they provide them or not.

Signage
There are always places throughout your wedding where you will want to include some signage.  Some examples of this would be for your signature drinks, directing guests to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, guest book details, bride and groom signs, and more.

Thank You Notes
Don’t forget your thank you notes!  You can talk to your stationer about having them match your invitation suite, or you can also talk with your photographer about doing a “Thank You” photo to use on your cards.

Learn from the expert!
Jen from Dulce Press in Mashpee says, “When choosing wedding invitations, be sure to go with something that sets the tone for the wedding.  Whether it's casual, formal, backyard BBQ, your wedding invitation style will show your guests what you're planning.  It doesn't mean that if it's a casual wedding, the invitations have to be flimsy! Just go with a fun, fresh design over a traditional format.” 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Receiving Line...and other ideas

In some way, shape or form at your wedding you are going to want to be sure to say hi and thank each person that was able to join you in the celebration.  The receiving line used to be the most popular way to do this, but here are some ideas as to how you can take care of this task, depending on your wedding day schedule.

Receiving Line
The receiving line is a bit old fashioned, but it does come in rather handy from time to time.  If you are getting married at a church and/or you have a lot of time to kill in between your ceremony and reception, I would highly recommend thee receiving line. This way you are able to greet all of your guests, with your parents, immediately after the ceremony, go for photos and meet them at the reception. I typically recommend this for my clients that have more than enough time in between their ceremony and reception.  

Greeting Guests at the Tables
If you do not have time for a receiving line, or think it is too old fashioned, then the fall back would be to greet your guests at the tables after you have finished each course of your meal. It is always nice to have someone in charge of making sure you get back to your seats when each course is brought out so that you do not miss a course. This is a great option, but remember to keep it short and sweet at each table - keep it movong!  I would also recommend that you choose to sit at a sweetheart style table so that you are not leaving your guests at your table each time you get up.

The Cocktail Hour
If you are having a less formal affair, and you are having all of your photos done before the ceremony, then it is perfectly fine to mingle at cocktail hour and visit with all of your guests.  That way you can enjoy your meal without interruption and converse with those at your head table.

On The Dance Floor
If you don't like those options, and would rather keep it super casual, then just thank your guests by dancing the night away with them!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meet Olivia - Our Awesome Intern and Admin!

Cape Cod Celebrations has been fortunate enough to have an amazing young woman interning with us for the past 2 years and who will be joining us again this summer, but not only as our intern, but also our new admin!
Olivia has been studying event planning at UMASS Amherst and will be graduating a semester early this fall - smarty pants!

Words cannot express how grateful I am that Olivia found us.  Her drive and attention to detail is well beyond her years.  And in her 2+ years with us she has been on site with me to trouble shoot events with no air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year, but also to be thankful for beautiful days like the one above at Chequesset Golf Club.

We love you Olivia!  Thank you for being so awesome!