Wedding Planner (24)
Live plants and flowers add a special kind of magic to your wedding day but even a simple bouquet can cause major sticker shock.
Sarah Osborne, owner of Everwood Flowers, has eight years of floral design experience and is well-versed in how to help you stretch your budget while still sticking to your unique vision.
A trend growing in popularity is the signature wedding cocktail and it is easy to see why! By having their own special drink, a wedding couple can add an element of fun as well as personalize their celebration even more.
Most people will list public speaking as being among their biggest fears, so the thought of expressing their deepest feelings in front of a room full of family and friends on their wedding day feels down right terrifying.
Yet, more couples are doing just that with the help of people like Maria Pelton. Maria is a certified non-denominational minister and the Director of Ceremony Services at Carissa Ceremonies, which was started by her sister, Jessica Rowell, fifteen years ago.
“We come from a long line of entrepreneurs, and we love talking to people, being with people, and are natural presenters,” said Maria. She is now Carissa Ceremonies lead officiant (Jessica has gone on to pursue other interests) and has made it her business to ensure your wedding is tailored to your unique vision.
“I write all the ceremonies from scratch. They’re never cookie cutter.”
The Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge is a comfortable place where neighbors gather together. Now, the home-cooked goodness of food prepared by Maura Pulver and her team is being added to the menu.
Gary Stevens, the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge’s long-time caterer and owner of Waterford Banquets and Catering, will be transitioning into retirement and Maura Pulver will take over as his replacement.
“It’s a natural progression from where I was already going,” said Maura. “Every skill set I have has been leading me towards here. This is right where I need to be.”
Floral design is constantly in a state of growth and has come a long way from its early periods.
In 1910, when The Posie Peddler first sprouted up in Saratoga (it was called Schrade’s Flowers back then) flower arrangements were inspired by the remnants of the Victorian period and the curves of the Art Nouveau style. As America changed, The Posie Peddler, and the arrangements emerging from within it, did too.
2020 certainly did not turn out the way that any of us expected. It has been a challenging year for everyone, but we need to remember first and foremost, the loved ones that we have lost, those who continue to fight, and that this is far from over. We both believe strongly that couples should continue to celebrate their love and get married/elope and go on local mini-moons. If there were ever a time to ‘seize the day,’ it would be right now.
Our roles when hired is that of advocates and advisors of our couples, so while we do not recommend delaying your actual marriage or celebrating that special day together as a couple, we are suggesting that you do indefinitely postpone the much larger celebration/party/reception/ceremony along with the big dream honeymoon. The best part is that you can have it both ways, and we are both here to help you figure out how. None of you are alone, and it even holds in the wedding business right now, “we are all in this together!”
Tonya’s Wedding Advice:
When couples get engaged to be married and start planning their wedding, it’s such a happy time. This year those couples were halted. As a planner, I have had many conversations with my clients about how to proceed.
Postpone, punt the date or get hitched, and tackle the big celebration later.
My advice has been to get married; after all, that’s why you were engaged in the first place. These are emotional and tough decisions to make as a couple when you envision your family and friends to be with you. It’s also hard to have your wedding date on the calendar and not have your wedding on that day.
One of my clients, Bill and Rachel, was scheduled to have their wedding on June 6th, 2020, at Universal Preservation Hall, but COVID altered their plans like many others. We had many discussions about what they could do; in the end, they could not sit back, and watch June 6th go by and not have a wedding. They decided to be married on their date at UPH with just the two of them.
How does this work to make it as unique and memorable as possible?
We worked with Samantha Nass Floral Design to make an intimate romantic space in the building with florals and candlelight, a beautiful bouquet, and a boutonniere in the original color scheme. We also had a photographer, Kevin DeMassio, and videographer, Lauren Caldwell, come to document the event.
The ceremony was so intimate and beautiful, but they didn’t stop there. Following the service, Bill and Rachel had photos and went to The Adelphi Hotel for a private dinner in a suite and were served the actual menu from their wedding. During dinner, they watched well wishes sent in by a loved one on a large-screen TV. The following day they packed up and hit the road for a mini-moon. They are so happy they decided not to wait. Bill and Rachel are still planning on having a massive celebration when all friends and family can attend along with a real honeymoon.
Anne’s Honeymoon Advice:
Live Life Travel is not booking any International travel at this time. I feel that there are too many unknowns and that our clients’ money is better protected in their own pockets until we know more. We are booking local travel and are highly recommending private ceremonies, wellness travel, and mini-moons. We are working closely with several of the very best local hotels and resorts to customize special celebration packages for our clients to guarantee an elevated experience beyond what one would traditionally get. To reserve your special celebration with Live Life Travel, simply go to our website (www.livelifetravel.world) and click “Let’s Start Planning” and we’ll take care of everything from there, completely stress-free for you. As with every trip that we plan, everything is customized based on your preferences and “must-haves.”
We are also launching a 6-month webinar series this Fall with the purpose being to support both the wedding and travel communities. These will not be “boring sales webinars” (no way!). They will be live and interactive and meant to answer all of your unanswered questions. They will feature exciting guests, including wedding planners, destination specialists, wellness specialists, local wedding vendors, and 5-star hoteliers, all focusing on different aspects of the wedding and honeymoon planning process. We’ll have lots of fun prizes, including a honeymoon sweepstakes for all who register.
We intend to remind everyone that we are all in this together, that you all have many resources (when you are ready), that there is no rush, and that you have a community of other couples in the same boat. We will also be providing a platform for you all to connect outside of the webinar series.
Hang in there, everyone. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear your masks, stay safe, and be grateful for all of the love in your life. The best is yet to come.
Just because the big “C” (COVID) changed your plans this year, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise your amazing wedding day – you just have to get creative.
Charming Cherub Cupid
You never know when Cupid’s arrow will strike or what’s coming your way.
The last six months have carried with them countless challenges - but even with all the changes and uncertainty, the experts at Katie O’ Weddings & Events told concerned couples to always keep one thing in mind.
“Don’t look at it as compromising. You get to marry the love of your life and ultimately, you will celebrate,” said event coordinator Katie O’Malley Maloney.
Cheerful, Confident & Caring
In March, when everything was unknown, Katie and Senior Event Planner Casey Benson began moving, adjusting, and rescheduling weddings for more than 30 couples.
“It was a roller coaster but that’s our job as planners, confidants and trusted vendors,” said Katie.
There were tears, stress and anxiety from brides who were feeling different levels of heartbreak and loss, but Katie O’ Weddings strived to be a sounding board and a source of support during every stage of the process while also looking ahead with hope.
This was something Katie and her husband, Nate Maloney, did at home with their two children, Grace, 4, and Charlie, nearly 2. Staying positive meant moving ahead with the opening of their new venue, the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany.
Nate is the Chief Operating Officer of With Grace Management, which has slated the newly renovated Kenmore, which was originally built in 1878, to hold its first event this fall.
Celebrations Can Continue
When challenges come along, the Katie O’ team combines a winning attitude with creative solutions.
“We know that this is now and will not be forever. Celebrations can happen. We’ll do what we can with what we’ve been dealt and it’ll be awesome,” said Katie.
Keys to Can-Do Celebrations
Commit to Candid Conversations – Discuss what’s most important for you. Choosing to change up the date, venue, or number of guests can put your mind at ease.
Most of Katie O’ clients are keeping their original plan but celebrating on alternate dates in 2021, she said.
“I want nothing more than to do those weddings but it’s with an abundance of caution that I look towards 2021,” said Katie.
Churches & Contract Considerations – Guidelines are different for churches – they adhere to capacity restrictions, so you might want to consider the option of having a larger church ceremony followed by a smaller reception.
If you’ve already committed to a contract at a large venue but have decreased the total number of guests you’ll be having, consider setting up separate spaces for the ceremony, cocktails and reception.
Clever Customizations - Some couples are opting for “Mini-monies” – a simple, intimate, and less expensive ceremony now, followed by a big ceremony and reception later.
For those concerned about social distancing, meetings through Zoom and the Event Live Apps, virtual make-up, video and photo shoots have provided links to creating unforgettable memories.
Compassionate Connections – Above all, plan “C” stands for connection and communication. It’s those people that support and lift you up that will keep you feeling “sparkly” no matter what comes your way.
Everyone loves a love story! The romantic idea of having your loved one waiting at the altar or blissfully floating down the aisle is an image many swoon over.
Some may deem these ideas too dreamy or too big. Not for Brandy Farber.
Farber runs her own wedding planning company P.S. Events out of Saratoga Springs, New York, and Chicago.
“At P.S. Events we LOVE a love story,” said Farber. “We want to know not only what our couples envision for their dream wedding, but also who they are as a couple. We truly believe it so important that we have an authentic connection with our couples, and they feel the same about us.”
P.S. Events was the result of hours of hard work, determination, and big dreams.
“When I dream, I dream big,” said Farber. “I spent a lot of time doing personal development and deciding what I wanted my life and future to look like. I spent years working in a non-profit, although I worked for some organizations who do amazing work, it was not the career path that would get me the goals I had set for myself.”
Farber attributes her success to years of training and hands on experience. “More than anything I wanted to have the freedom to live life on my own terms,” said Farber. “Be present with my children and do what I am passionate about; cultivating one of a kind experiences while making the process seamless and enjoyable.”
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak in March, New York began to shut down and social distance from romantic gatherings. Many young couples had to put their wedding plans on hold.
“The pandemic has caused an enormous amount of uncertainty,” said Farber. “From everything shutting down, then opening up with ever changing guidelines; the industry itself has to continuously adjust.”
However, this did not stop everyone. Many couples have scaled down their original wedding plans to have a more intimate ceremony. Other people will have virtual ceremonies.
“Love is not cancelled!” said Farber. “First, sit down with your partner and discuss what is most important to each of you. Second, find a wedding planner. This is not just a shameless plug. We help you navigate the “new normal” of weddings during this time and ensure your event transitions seamlessly.”
Farber also mentions everyone has options.
“Marry now, celebrate later is one of my personal favorites,” said Farber. “We have been working with our couples to keep their original wedding date by having a small ceremony while planning their reception for a later time. Many photographers are now offering live streaming as part of their packages.”
Someone once noted, love conquers all. Brandy Farber and P.S. Events could not agree more.
Bigger isn’t always better. If you were planning on having a bigger party but are now having a smaller wedding, don’t worry, it will still be special.
“Don’t skip anything. You can have your wedding with the people you love. We’ll rescale your wedding to make it your new size and into a more intimate boutique affair,” said Geriann Eddy, President of Fine Affairs.
Tips for creating an incredible intimate wedding:
Lesser Known Locations - Having fewer guests means that you can consider a more unusual locale that your celebration wouldn’t fit in when it was planned as a larger to-do. Think outdoors, barns, or separate locations for the ceremony and reception. If you’ve already committed to a large space, use draperies to divide it into smaller sections.
Each Area, Amazing! – Welcome the wonder in with a special entrance or unique archway filled with color, natural elements, soft fabrics, and lots of light.
Smaller Tables with Amazing Tablescapes – Small, 4 to 6-person tables leave plenty of room for delightful décor and details. Load up on drama with large candles and rich color schemes featuring deep blues, burgundies, and golds for fall.
Get Your Game On - Move over dancing. Smaller weddings give guests an opportunity to relax with more casual entertainment options. Enjoy the outdoors with games of croquet or cornhole and set up a s’mores station so guests can toast marshmallows while reveling in the warmth of a bonfire. Then, end the night with an awesome firework show.
Resave the Date - When time is not a factor, options abound. Postpone the big party by retaking engagement photos (maybe with the couple wearing masks), then send out another announcement with your new date. Here’s an idea that doubles the fun– have an intimate wedding this year while planning to host a big party next year.
For more intimate wedding inspiration, go to http://fineaffairs.com
I have sat down a few times to write this article, well, versions of it anyway. The previous versions were all about the impact of COVID-19 on the wedding industry as well as brides and grooms.
So you just got engaged?! OMG, how exciting!! I bet you ran out and bought a few wedding magazines, started asking google “how to plan a wedding,” visited some wedding blogs looking over their planning checklists, and budget recommendations. Immediately you developed the sinking feeling that you need to check off all the things, RIGHT NOW!