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Wedding planning Tips Archive

Boston Engagement Shoot Inspiration

We know many of you 2016/2017 brides are currently spending the last bits of winter dreaming up ideas for your spring engagement session. So we had to share this garden inspired beauty from Deborah Zoe Photography.  The couple, Liz & Andy, had an intimate garden picnic in the exact spot where Andy proposed. (Oh, learn about his awesome surprise proposal here!) A landscaper, Andy had a big appreciation for greenery, plants and florals, so when Deb asked us to make bouquets and pretty floral accents for this session, we jumped on it.  Moira filled bouquets with fern, helleborus, garden roses and jasmine to create a wild and overflowing garden-picked look. And literally, how amazing does it all look with Liz’s dress? We loved the session so much that it begged us to ask the question, shouldn’t everyone have flowers for their e-session? 😉 Enjoy!

Boston Wedding Trends: Whim Events on Boston.com

We are so honored to be featured on Boston.com this weekend, along with several of our amazing industry colleagues!  The article titled, “7 Local Wedding Experts on What Will Be Trending this Season in Boston,” is a great resource for newly engaged couples. We would love to send a huge thank you to Charlotte from The Wilder Things for coming to ‪The B List and interviewing some amazing vendors for this article, including Your Dream Bridal, Deborah Zoe Photography StopGoLove , Forklift Catering and Hive. Enjoy!

(ps. All those beautiful florals are Moira Thompson’s work, too! :::she’s secretly blushing:::)wedding trendsjoy!
wedding trends
wedding trends

Designing the Details Workshop 4.3.16

Consider our next workshop Wedding Planning 201! We’re teaming up with Bash Studio and the Urban Grape on 4.3.16 for a Sunday brunch class engaged couples will love. If you attended Wedding 101, you learned Stage 1 of planning: Making a Plan and Booking the Big stuff. Now we are on to Stage 2: Making it Pretty ( ie; the details!) We will be sharing just how important it is to design your wedding with details that will go far beyond the wedding day.  Plus, cocktails, wine, donuts and soooo many giveaways! Click below to register. See you soon!! xoxox

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Wedding Planning 101 Workshop Boston 2.3.16

Engagement season is here and it has been a blast to chat with new couples beginning to plan their Boston weddings! But honestly, the biggest complaint we hear (almost on a daily basis) is that couples are stressed to the max. Why? Because they have no idea where to start and no idea how to set up realistic wedding budget. Here’s the thing. With the right tools, wedding planning can actually be fun. Whhhhaaat??? Yes, really.

Enter our 2nd annual Wedding Planning 101 workshop! Chock full of budget and timeline tips, fantastic local vendor recommendations and ways to negotiate contracts, it is an event you will not want to miss. Last years Wedding 101 was a huge success and a total blast. Our couples-to-be loved it, sharing their experiences, frustrations, questions and more. This year, we are giving out the same (massive) amount of insider tips, plus we’ve added the “Bride Panel,” time for you to chat with past brides and hear advice from their perspective. Oh! And did we mention we have like a zillion vases and decor items to sell for next to nothing?! So bring your fiance, your mom, or your besties and be prepared to have all your burning wedding questions answered! (plus, you will get some tasty snacks and beverages out of it, too!).

2016 Update! We’ll be planning 2016’s event in the coming months. Contact Us and we’ll make sure you’re in the loop on this years plan!

Wedding 101 (5)
The Bride-to-Be Series: Part 3

Our friend, Julie DiGiovine of The Stylish One shares helpful hints throughout her real-life journey to “I do!”

Julie Bride Desk
This is it! Next week, I’ll be walking down the aisle. It’s been an incredible journey and given me such a sense of appreciation for the effort it takes for brides to balance life, work, and wedding planning. I can’t emphasize how much the support of family, friends, and an amazing team of vendors can really mean.

For my last post of the series, I wanted highlight a few things that you don’t want to forget to do before you say, “I do!” Here we go:

1. Insure your rings
Before you pack up for that honeymoon, make sure your new bling is protected. If you’ve been procrastinating and haven’t insured your engagement ring, do it! The last thing you want is to be snorkeling for your wedding rings.

2. Clean up
This one goes for both brides and grooms. Get those eyebrows waxed a week or two ahead of time so you don’t have any redness or chance of breakouts. Need a trim? Go 2-3 weeks prior so your hair can settle. If you’re planning on getting a spray tan, have your nails done first to avoid streaking.

Grooms, get a fresh cut early in the week and don’t forget to shave… or at least trim your beard. Clean and cut your nails and don’t forget to choose a nice, subtle cologne for the Big Day. Just be sure that whatever look you choose is one you’ll love years from now.

3. Get your marriage license
This may sound like an obvious one, but don’t forget to get your marriage license before the wedding. You can’t make it official without one. Keep in mind, it takes a bit of time for your local city hall to process the paperwork before you can pick it up, so give yourself some time. You also want to make sure that you know the expiration timeline. Most are valid between 30 and 90 days after the issue date.

Moira and Julie

4. Touch base with your team
I was fortunate enough to visit the flower market with my friend, Whim Co-founder and Aesthetics Director & Floral Designer, Moira Thompson, which is something she does with many of her floral clients. It was so inspiring and a perfect time to make sure we were ready to go on the Big Day.

Although not all of your vendors will require an in-person meeting, or offer special time like this, you should definitely be in communication with each of them so everyone is aware of the timeline. You’ll also want to take care of any remaining balances and confirm all of the details… that’s where having a planner comes in handy!

5. Pick an after-party meeting place
If you plan on partying into the wee hours, pick a place to meet and let people know. If you’re getting married at a hotel, chances are there may be a bar for you all to gather at. If not, consider a spot near the venue that’s open late. That will avoid any stress, confusion, or hurt feelings the night of the wedding. PS. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes, unless you want to rock that dress all night, which you have every right to!

6. Power on
This may seem like a silly one, but don’t forget to bring chargers with you while getting ready for the Big Day. Although you shouldn’t be spending too much time on your phone, you will most likely want to snap a few selfies with your girls while you’re getting glam and you definitely want to have a way to call vendors and bridal party members if need be.

7. Write a love letter
There’s nothing better than reading a love letter from your sweetheart before walking down the aisle. Take the time to write something special that you can each read while getting ready. It will be a wonderful way to express your feelings on a more intimate level and to let your bride or groom know just how excited you are to be marrying one another.

Julie Mrs. Glass

As stressful as the last few days can be, take in all the special moments. Have a blast on your bachelorette party, go on a date night, hug and thank everyone who has been helping you along the way, and don’t forget to use the word “fiancé” as much as you can.

We’d love to hear some of your Big Day tips and tricks. Tweet me and be sure to follow @TheStylishOne_ and @WhimEvents on Instagram for inspiration and a look behind the scenes. I can’t wait to share Moira’s work and some special wedding photos with you all. Love and best wishes to the brides and grooms out there!

5 Insider Wedding Planning Tips from Behind the Scenes

From starting day one at my internship for Whim Events making the floral centerpieces, arranging the styling details, and packing up the essentials for the wedding… there have been several things I have quickly learned about the wedding industry.  And as an event management major in college, these lessons are insights to the industry that I don’t think any textbook could cover or bridal magazine would highlight. Which is why I came up with the 5 tips anyone planning their own wedding will want to think about from a rookie herself!

1.) You have to be flexible (and able to come up) with change

One of the first things I quickly learned is that many last minute details or issues pop up on the day of the wedding. Everything from forgetting to order the flowers for the cake or having the wrong quantity of rentals delivered; mistakes happen all the time and your wedding day is no exception. Being flexible to think up of solutions quickly that address the problem even if it is not exactly what you envisioned is vital in planning any event because ideally, if you hired a planner you would have never even know these issues existed!

 

2.) Invest in a “planning or tool kit”

The second thing I found to be important is to invest in an emergency kit- specifically for the unplanned problems mentioned in tip #1. Signage for the wedding may need to be strapped down because of the wind or “reserved” signs have to be stuck onto chairs, so having tools to make those things possible will make the set up process a lot easier (And take some very unneeded stress off)!

Some helpful items to keep in the kits include:

  • Scissors or wire cutters

  • Fishing Line

  • Safety Pins

  • Tape (an arrangements of sorts)

  • Wire

  • Tool Box

  • Mini Stool

 

3.) Treat your vendors with respect

This might seem obvious, but you have to treat all your vendors with respect and understand their point of view. Everyone knows that your wedding day is very important and a lot of time and money went into the planning of it. However the same amount of time, effort, and money was also invested by the businesses you hired so understanding that certain prices cannot change or regulations ignored just because it is your wedding day. Treating vendors with respect will also make them more apt to pull strings to help complete your vision.

 

4.) Less is more…really

Most brides think that the more they put in the styling and floral arrangements of their wedding, the better it will look. However, too much decoration can become overwhelming and split the attention of the guest. Yet having fewer elements will keep the theme cohesive and allow each decoration to be highlighted and remembered after the wedding is over.

 

5.) Make sure your heart is in it

And lastly, the 5th tip I learned my first experience working in the wedding industry is that if you don’t have both the time and more importantly, passion for what you are doing, then it is best to hire a planner. A lot of details go into planning a wedding and it is important to stay on top of them. Your big day should also be as stress free as possible, so sometimes it might be worth sharing the reasonability of organizing your big day in order to truly focus on what’s important; starting the next chapter of your life with someone you love endlessly!

xo Vanessa

The Bride-to-Be Series: Part 2

Our friend, Julie DiGiovine of The Stylish One shares helpful hints throughout her real-life journey to “I do!”

Planner on Desk by Julie DiGiovine

Let the final countdown commence! With just two months until our wedding, we’re definitely feeling the pressure of final details and finishing touches. From the color of the bouquet wrap to deciding what the girls and I will wear while getting ready, it’s become clear that I need to tighten up my organizational skills. In this second installment of our series, I’m sharing more helpful hints you can use to simplify your planning process and navigate your fittings, too!

1. Stay organized
I’m the worst when it comes to using my iPhone calendar. I should make better use of it, but for some reason, I’ve always preferred an old-fashioned planner or calendar. I found a really pretty gold one from PaperSource.com that I use for everything. It’s the only thing that’s kept me focused these past few months. From fittings to vendor meetings and dinners with friends, it’s the best way to keep track of all we have going on.

2. Make lists and check them more than twice
I live by my checklist. From thank you cards to wedding jewelry it helps me to see everything written out in front of me. There are apps on your smartphone or you can use the notes section of your planner, too. I have a big blush notebook that I use, but again… that’s probably just the English major in me who prefers to write everything down. Check your list at least every other day to ensure you are staying ahead of the game and accomplishing everything on time.

3. Carve out time
I quickly realized that planning your own wedding is a second full-time job. As the days are winding down, I have to start carving out time during the week and on weekends to get wedding tasks done. After all, those DIY wedding signs aren’t going to design and print themselves! Try your best to make time for date nights and fun with friends so you enjoy each wedding planning moment that much more.

Bride Tote by Julie DiGiovine4. Don’t be afraid to ask
When it comes to finding a tailor for your gown, ask the team who sold you your dress who they recommend to do the alterations. If they don’t have someone in mind, call other boutiques, ask friends, and check online. As you’re contacting tailors, ask if they’ve worked with dresses made by your designer before and make sure you provide your wedding date to ensure they can get all the work done in time. Look at reviews and meet in advance so you are comfortable with the person who is doing this very important work. Before even one piece of fabric is cut, you’ll also want to get a quote for how much alterations are going to cost. It’s important that you understand each part of what will be done to the dress and how much it will be.

Quick tip: One thing I didn’t ask is if they will press and stuff my dress before the wedding. I made the mistake of assuming that every tailor does. There’s something about having the whole experience, and a fully prepared gown, that makes a difference. If your tailor does not offer this service, purchase a cardboard bust form like the one seen here, to ensure your dress is perfect for the Big Day.

5. Keep it together
As the wedding gets closer you’re going to be ordering items, receiving gifts, and trying to organize a lot of different pieces of the puzzle. I suggest getting a cute tote like the one above from Dream State to keep all of your items for your fittings in one place. Keep your shoes, accessories, and undergarments together to avoid last minute panic or losing key pieces. Designate a spot in your home for all of your décor items, thank you gifts, and additional wedding pieces. I have a closet in our back room that has officially become “the wedding closet.” It makes things much easier when you have a system and one place to keep everything.

6. Focus on what truly matters
People may miss the RSVP date, wear white to your wedding, or not show up for you in the way you hoped they would. All I can say is, you have to let it go. You can’t control other people’s actions, reactions, or behavior. The people who truly love you are going to be there for you and be excited for you. Try your best to ignore any negativity and focus on what’s important… you are marrying the love of your life. Nothing matters more than that.

The next time I write to all of you will be just one month before my wedding!  I’d love to hear how you are doing with your planning and if you have any questions. Tweet me and be sure to follow @TheStylishOne_ and @WhimEvents on Instagram for inspiration and a look behind the scenes. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Wedding Planning Advice: Who to Invite to Your Rehearsal Dinner

When it comes to planning your rehearsal Dinner there are so many options and there really are no “rights” or “wrongs” – some people keep it small while others invite everyone attending the wedding.   As you plan, here are some helpful hints:

  1. First things first, decide on the size and style of your rehearsal – choosing a venue and knowing the formality will help with this a lot.  If you’re having a sit down meal at a fancy restaurant, you’ll want to keep things small but if you’re taking over a casual restaurant or planning a yard party, inviting everyone isn’t so tough!  It was important to me and my family to invite the majority of our wedding guests to the rehearsal – so we knew a small, formal restaurant wasn’t in the cards!
  2. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your guest list, it’s helpful to think of people in groups:  Bridal Party, immediate family and grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, close friends, distant friends, and beyond.  It’s hard not to be able to invite everyone – but by grouping people this way no one gets singled out.  My husband and I have over 20 cousins which was more than our venue could accommodate.  We made the tough choice not to invite them but they all went out to dinner together and got to catch up so everyone had a great time!
  3. If you’re planning on having a smaller rehearsal dinner –but still want to see everyone the night before your wedding – pick a local restaurant or bar and let all your wedding guests know that you’ll be heading that way once your rehearsal dinner wraps up.  A great place to put these details is on your wedding website.   This way you can still see everyone and relax with friends and family before any wedding jitters set in!
  4. If you want to invite everyone but you’re daunted by the thought, don’t worry!  You can plan a pot-luck, cocktail party, or backyard BBQ.  Get your guests involved!  If you have friends who loves to bake, ask them to bring dessert – delegate different dishes to different trusted people – there will be plenty of food and your guests will feel like they were a part of your big day!  A casual rehearsal is a great way for everyone to relax and break the ice at an event that’s fun and doesn’t break the bank.   My own rehearsal was very casual and I loved getting to mingle with all my friends and family rather than feeling like I was stuck in one seat all night.
  5. If you aren’t able to invite all of your wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner, you should definitely give them a list of great restaurants in the area they can check out on their own!  You can include this on your wedding website, in hotel welcome bags, or both!  This way anyone arriving the day before your wedding will have a list of places they can go that are approved by you guys – the people they trust to show them a great time!

No matter the size and no matter the style, your rehearsal should be one more thing you love every minute of so remember to relax and enjoy it!

The Bride-to-Be Series: Part 1

Our friend, Julie DiGiovine of The Stylish One shares helpful hints throughout her real-life journey to “I do!”

Sweet Lady Jane Photography

Photo: Sweet Lady Jane Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a world of Instagram glam and blogging beauty, brides are put under an intense amount of pressure to have a perfect wedding. We are made to feel like we need to stroll through the planning process effortlessly, all while balancing our personal and professional lives. Oh, and did I mention the strict exercise and diet routine we’re all supposed to be following? The truth is, planning your wedding is a juggling act that requires love and patience.

Years ago, I started working in the wedding industry for Vera Wang in Boston. After I had moved on from Vera Wang, I continued following my passion through my blog, TheStylishOne.com, contributing to BostonMagazine.com, and collaborating with the talented ladies of Whim Events.  Needless to say, I like weddings.  Then, on January 4, 2014, I became a fiancé! I was thrilled to be marrying the love of my life.

At first, I thought we had plenty of time, and since I was a wedding pro, I could handle it. We chose our date and our venue, put a team of vendors together, picked dresses, flowers… I thought we were good to go. However, I quickly realized that working and balancing a personal life during the last leg of the wedding tour is tricky. That’s why, for the next few months leading up to my wedding, I’m going to be sharing some “bride-to-bride” insight and tips with all of you!

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Bridal Event with the Girls

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Hire a professional
There are many details you don’t think of initially. Some are big, like contract negotiations with your vendors, and some are small, such as what time you should cut your cake. If you work full-time or haven’t had much experience planning a wedding, I suggest getting help from the pros. Whether you opt for a full-on planner or a month-of coordinator, you won’t believe just how much time, stress, and money they can save you. Attending DIY and planning workshops, like Whim provides, is also helpful.

2. Say “yes” and “thank you”
I’m not very good when it comes to asking for help. I’m afraid people will feel burdened or bothered. What I’ve come to realize is that family and friends really do want to be a part of your journey. So, if your mom or Maid of Honor is asking if she can help with your favors, say “yes.” If it’s a DIY, provide her with the items she’ll need and print a photo of your ideal finished product. Or, do the first few together so you’re on the same page. Just be sure to accept the help and remember to say “thank you.”

3.  Go with your gut and then let it go
Being a perfectionist has its perks, but it can also drive you a little bit crazy. For example, I’ve spent the past month trying to decide what type of stamp I should choose for some of my paper items. This may sound silly, but typography and design are really important to me. You probably have certain things that are important to you and your fiancé, too. One thing I’ve learned is to go with your gut and then let it go. Whatever you choose will be beautiful, especially if it speaks to both of you.

Photo 3 Our Engagement Party

Our Engagement Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Choose local or try Etsy
From paper to accessories, there are a vast number of talented artists ready to help make your dream come true in a personalized, affordable way. Look for a local calligrapher to do your place cards, or search Etsy for custom gifts and decor. You won’t believe what you’ll find! You and your guests will treasure the personal details of your day and you’ll meet some great people along the way. Just be sure you’re keeping track of the small ticket items so you don’t go over budget.

5. Do you
Some people may be expecting you to get married in a church wearing a white gown as you toss your bouquet to the masses. That doesn’t mean you have to… especially, the bouquet part. Incorporate ideas and opinions from loved ones, but stay true to your vision. The great thing about weddings today is that anything goes. From towers of cupcakes to mismatched maids, there are plenty of ways to write your own love story.

6. Don’t forget to breathe
As our wedding approaches, I’ve realized that I only have a few months left as a fiancé and that this planning stage isn’t going to last forever. It’s time to embrace the chaos and soak in the love that surrounds us. So, whenever things get stressful, remember that this will be the day you marry your favorite person in the entire world. Then, you get to have a ton of fun with all the people you love!

Stay with me on my journey and check in next month to learn how I navigate my first fitting, make some final Big Day decisions, and more. Have a question? Tweet me and be sure to follow @TheStylishOne_ and @WhimEvents on Instagram. You can also leave comments below. We hope to hear from you!

How to Stay Organized For Your Wedding

If you need an extra boost of organization with your up-and-coming wedding, try these scheduling tips. I love to stay organized and keep a tight schedule; these are my favorite ways to stay on top of what I have to get done!

1. Try the multi-platform Google Calendar. Google Calendar is great for sharing consultations, tastings, and dues dates with your hubby. You can access your account via the Internet, or download the app for easy viewing on your phone or tablet.

2. Get fancy with washi tape and color-coding.  Who can resist the colors, patterns, and endless organization possibilities of washi tape?! I certainly can not. Try color-coding your calendars with tape or even colored pens. You can easily keep track of all your tasks if you begin to associate each color with a different vendor or task.

3. Stay organized with hard-copies of papers in a Binder. If you feel more secure with pieces of paper in your hand, print off all of your forms, receipts, and emails. You can use tabs to separate each vendor or category, such as receipts, design ideas, or logistics.

4. Stick to one good ole “To-do List.” If you are in the slightest bit Type A, like me, making a list and crossing tasks off will make you feel so much more accomplished.

5. Don’t forget to take a break. Even the most organized of organizers can feel overwhelmed. Take some time to walk away from what you are doing. When you return to your work, you will feel better with a clear head.

 

Do you have any tips that help you stay organized?

 

Good Luck!

Shannon