JORDAN + ERIC | Westchester Country Club, Rye, NY | June 2017

This wedding was a class act filled with creativity and smart choices! We LOVE the vendors we love and cannot say enough about how hard they worked with us on this wedding to make everything come together on point. And the spirit and love at this wedding equaled its beauty! 

As most wedding decor, we started off with an inspiration board that came out of Ashley Douglass's first conversation with the beautiful and fun Bride Jordan. We both shared our love for home design, kitchens in particular, marble, mixed metals and pillows. You can see a screenshot of a portion of the first design inspiration board Ashley Douglass sent on to Jordan below. As you can see the wedding in the end did reflect some of these initial ideas, which is not always the case.  

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Then somewhere down the line, once we have the florist contracted and in this case the lovely KDJ Botanica who we adore collaborating with, will get more specific on details and arrange a decor rehearsal day, the most fun you will have while planning!  KDJ and us have the same taste and could at times finish each other's sentences and I think she would say the same. Not to mention how stunning her arrangements are and the quality of the flowers she is able to procure time and time again! 

We played around with adding marble as an element or adding more grey/blue chiffon like runners and a zillion linens. In the end the result was a bit less romantic and more bright and a more refreshing take on modern for a wedding while still being happy and soft. The marble sealed the deal, as did the linens and then which shade of candle to be used. We love colored candles - so many options! 

This crowd was a super passionate, loving and happy a crowd, and clearly knew how to bust a move on the dance flower with fabulous tunes and endless amounts of time on preparation by Starlight Music NYC. 

We can't thank the Bride, Groom, and family enough for being open to ideas and having fun playing around until we got everything just right. It was a super fun night and thank you to the team at Westchester Country Club for accepting our endless back and forth with logistical ideas and details, and helping to make the planning perfect for both entire families. 

This wedding was featured in PRINT in The Knot New York. Check out the fabulous (and large) three page spread below and on newsstands all throughout New York! Vendor credits below as well! Thank you, thank you! XO 

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Thank you to the fabulous team, including our own! Thank you Paige, Julia, Rachel, Page, Sarah and all! 

Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events

Florals + Design | KDJ Botanica

Photography | Melani Lust Photography

Venue | Westchester Country Club

Gown | Caroline Castigliano from The Plumed Serpent Bridal, Westport, CT

Bridesmaids | Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids

Band | Starlight Music NYC

Cinematographer | Seaglass Studios

Lighting | Social Decor

Make up | Truly Happy Beauty

Tent | NY Tent

Rings | Diamond Cellar

Invitations | Bella Figura 

Poster Sketch of Dog | Social Alchemy Design

Day of Stationery | GCD Weddings

Lounge Rentals | Gather and Lounge 

Rentals | Borrowed + Blue

Rentals | Party Rental LTD. 

NICOLE + TERRY | Glenmere Mansion | June 2017

Nicole and Terry's wedding has made our blog or shall I say our "comeback to blogging"! We use to love blogging but over time it began to only take us away from our clients and real work. Yet, you've all asked, so we are responding! Besides 2017 was just a KILLER YEAR for our weddings and other events, how can we not share the love - the beautiful pictures, the stories of sentiment, the fun, the camaraderie and also, our great appreciation for the work that we do!

Nicole and Terry's wedding was off the charts, not because of its beautiful design, stellar vendor roster and exquisite venue (okay the venue is pretty stellar), but truly because of how much love and time Ashley and the staff put into this wedding with the mother of the Bride, Anita Donofrio. 

Anita came to us after meeting with seven other planners which she reminded us of very often! We don't state this to not be classy but in doing so she emphasized that our skill set was apparent at our first meeting and also, more importantly, she felt that Ashley listened to her well. That is the take way and the biggest compliment on many levels. Anita, Ashley, and Julia, truly got on like best buds and major kudos to her daughter, Bride to be, Nicole, for letting go of the reigns in order to have a less stressful year as a full time professor and let her mother have fun! She gave into the element of surprise and in the end, happy she was! It did help some that Nicole and Anita have similar tastes in terms of aesthetics. We'd say Nicole only intimately knew about a good 25% of the wedding details, as they pertained to music and her own bridal preparations. In the end Nicole, Terry, and their children had a blast. It was irrelevant that this wedding was black tie and high end. The love was felt by all and the atmosphere was relaxed, warm and magical! 

Thank you to all our wonderful vendors who are listed at the bottom of this blog post. First however, take a look at a look at the gorgeous photos below. To see more on this wedding you can also visit the Blog of The Day, formerly named Ira Lippke Studios. Photography of this Wedding + Reception was taken by Nathan Smith of The Day. 

Event Planning & Design |Ashley Douglass Events

Photography | Nathan Smith, The Day

Videography | Clark & Walker

Venue | Glenmere Mansion

Catering | Laurence Craig Catering

Florist | Fleurs NYC

Tent | The Greenwich Tent Company

Band | Ground Control from Elan Artists

Cake | Lulu Cake Boutique

Lighting | Social Event Decor

Hair & Makeup | Arleigh Cole Hair and Makeup

Gown | A Little Something White

Invitations & Day-of Paper | Social Alchemy 

Rentals | Party Rental LTD

Rentals | Nuage Designs

Rentals | La Tavola


MEGAN + TIM | Montauk Lake Club, Montauk, New York

Megan and Tim came to us pretty far in advance. In fact, they were the first to book for 2017 about 23.5 months out from their date and wisely so because they wanted to get married in Montauk. When they first booked they didn’t have a venue which is perhaps the hardest choice you will make. They are as familiar with the area as we are so in that regard making this choice wasn’t hard but pulling the trigger (or price tag) was. The variance of price amongst some venues out East is great. Learning where your priorities lay can take some time or change once you really delve into planning. In the end they chose the Montauk Lake Club because it was quiet, private, available over more preferred dates, and one of the more favorable options financially. It’s also a tented site so you can certainly do whatever you want inside the tent! The staff is very nice as well. ;-)

Megan and Tim both work a ton. I know everyone can say that these days but let me explain…..Ashley would have calls with Megan while she was in the middle of overnights. In other words, a night where she would sleep on her desk, in her office, at the law firm. YUP! Tim simultaneously worked full time while earning his MBA at Columbia University. Got enough on your plate? To add to the pot, the summer before their own wedding and the summer of their wedding, they attended more weddings than ADE planned. Now think about that…Working all the time and between the 18 or so weeks from Memorial Day to just past Labor Day, they attended more weddings than there are almost weekends. On top are the engagement parties for the year after, bachelor and bachlorette parties, not to mention their own parties! They are one of our couples that we refer to as ‘professional wedding attendees’!

Laid back and fun was most important for this weekend. Nothing stuffy, nothing formal and nothing that is truly not needed. Invites that made them excited, linens that popped with indigo, with lots of greenery and a great band! They booked their band just a week out from booking us! As I always do, I talked about music when I first met them. Very fast I knew they’d love this band and low and behold they were the same band a friend of theirs used that they loved and had forgotten the name of. Good thing we moved fast because often enough the Marcus Reid Band books upwards of two years out or more. They were a wild crowd that danced more than most, ties on heads, people on friends shoulders, you get the picture! This wedding was one of the most fun - hands down!

Photography below by Craig Warga Weddings 

Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events

Florals + Design | Blade NYC

Photography | Craig Warga Weddings

Venue | Montauk Lake Club

Gown | Vera Wang

Band | Marcus Reid Band from Hank Lane

Cinematographer | Orange Films

Hair & Make up | Blushington

Tent | Sperry Tents Hamptons

Invitations | Katie Fischer Design

Cake | Momofuku Milk Bar

Rentals | La Tavola Linen

Rentals | Party Rental LTD

Goodbye to Page Soper | Summer Intern 2017

 Photo by Julia D'Agostino Photography

Photo by Julia D'Agostino Photography

10 Little Lessons from an ADE Intern
We hope you find this as entertaining as our staff did! 

After a summer jam packed with weddings, an engagement party and numerous client meetings I could write a novel. But instead I will give you the concise version of my summer as an intern at Ashley Douglass Events by telling you ten little lessons I learned from following around the Energizer Bunny that is my boss. Before I start, however, I will tell you this: an event planned by Ashley epitomizes a true balance of orchestration and aesthetics with great care and energy put into creating a uniquely personalized celebration. 

1) The Client comes first. It is their event after all. As event planners we need to be readily available for the client to help ensure that their day is exactly as they pictured it. On wedding days we are there to hold the bride’s bouquet as she takes pictures, or instruct the members of the band where to set up their instruments for the ceremony. We are there to ensure that everything runs smoothly while the client is enjoying the special day. If we need to drive to a Stop & Shop at 11pm down the road to get bread and cheese so the caterer can make the five-year-old ring bearer a grilled cheese, we will do it. Trust me, I know from first hand experience. I am the intern. The bond that we form with our clients is close-nit and the smile on their face at the end of the night is priceless. Nothing is more humbling than watching the clients enjoy the event they so eagerly anticipated. 

2) Don’t leave home without THE binder. I think the last time I used a binder was in middle school, when all my classwork was compiled into one large, bright pink, well-ordered binder. I had no idea that a binder would come back into my life in a day and age when technology has completely consumed us. But trust me, an organized binder is crucial in this field. Now, each event gets its own binder complete with protective sleeves for each piece of paper that relates to that particular event - ya know in case you spill on it or need multiple copies of each piece of paper. From emails with clients and vendors to a list of contacts for the event, these binders have it all. And of course Ashley knows the contents of all of these binders without even looking at them. This is what OCD looks like. For someone, like myself, who cannot rattle off the names of the entire bridal party of one wedding, I rely heavily on the binder and its contents to provide me with all the information I need. Now if you think that is organization than you have never seen a timeline. 

3) No time like the timeline. In my mind, timelines are the saving grace of weddings. Every hour of the day planned and compiled onto one piece of paper, nothing gets much better than that. Timelines help keep us alert and aware of what is happening on wedding days, from when the photographer will begin shooting to when the band arrives and needs to do sound check by. In the event that one of the guests asks “what time do I have to be at family photography and where” we can immediately flip through the timeline and tell them “3:10pm at the entrance of the tent.” After entrees are removed, move this table to position C, then flag the smaller bus, then roll out the cake, alert the firework man of the cake cutting five minutes before its rolled out and cut the cake ten minutes after its rolled, and the fireworks will begin seven minutes after its rolled out, etc. Honestly I’m going to start organizing my days into neatly planned timelines. LOL! With events having so many moving parts, organization is key to maintaining a smooth event. 

4) Napkin folding is an art. Need I say more. 

5) The Devil is in the Details, large and small: A Wedding day is similar to collecting hundreds of loose ribbons and tying them together into a neat bow. There are so many elements that make up an intricately designed event, whether it is something as large as the venue or as small as the guest book and the linen it sits on top. Everything done at an event planned by Ashley is done thoroughly; nothing can slip through the cracks. Each table setting must be arranged precisely, escort cards lined up symmetrically, chairs tucked into the table with just the right spacing. While these details may seem small, they add up to WOW. When you see a client walk into their reception room or tent for the first time when its all set up, its well worth the sleepless nights!

6) You can’t have enough hands. The day before my first wedding of the season Ashley told me, “wear a black dress, bring a phone charger and don't forget to print the day of papers.” So that night I packed my bag with a portable phone charger my brother happened to have and printed out the timeline and all of the necessary papers for the day of the event. Little did I know that I would need to carry around those papers all day long with a pen in hand to jot down notes or make necessary changes. So after fumbling around with all of my belongings and having no free hands, I decided to invest in a folder to hold the papers and a black blazer with pockets of course. As a wedding planner you are constantly on the move, checking in with vendors or assisting the bride and groom. There are times when you wish you could grow a few more limbs on the spot. Not only do you have to carry your own belongings but you might have to carry the mother of the bride’s bag of shoes, the bride’s bouquet, the maid of honor’s bouquet and a spare bottle of water all at the same time. It becomes a juggling act but as wedding planners we are great at juggling. And you must also invest in a cross body bag - Ashley has about ten.

7) Expect the Unexpected. It is inevitable. 

8) Get a little Creative. Now as someone who took art throughout high-school and college I embraced the crafty tasks that were thrown my way. Write names on magnolia leaves to make escort cards? Bring it on! And the crafts did not stop there, I found myself creating escort cards out of driftwood and writing on chalkboards to make welcome signs for a lakeside engagement party. I was excited to find that events are not just the niddy griddy of securing a venue and vendors but also have many elements of craft and design as well.  However, this summer I learned I have the handwriting of a calligrapher and Ashley says there should be a new font named “The Soaper”.

9) Be There. This is probably the most important lesson I learned as an intern. And it is as simple as that. Making yourself available for clients, vendors and the rest of your team is crucial as a wedding planner. So many different people are counting on you to answer their questions or provide them with a little more insight into their event, you need to be there for them to help guide them through the day. One of the busiest people I know, Ashley is constantly on the move, traveling from client meetings to vendor meetings to site inspections, the woman does not stop. When I go to sleep at 10:30 pm I know that Ashley will be up for several more hours responding to emails or re-organizing the timeline. If I can lighten her load by making calls or picking up samples from a vendor consider it done.  

I cannot begin to thank Ashley and the rest of the team for such an incredible learning opportunity and summer. Never in a million years did I think I would get out of bed every morning excited to go to work. This is a field that never slows down, but luckily Ashley has rechargeable batteries; this little bunny isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Initially I told you there were 10 lessons I learned as an ADE intern, but there is actually one more. That lesson is this: 10) ADE Rocks! After months of watching her events unfold I have realized that with Ashley behind the wheel any celebration can be as beautifully managed as it is artfully designed. 

RACHEL + DAVID | Ritz Carlton, Westchester, New York

Every wedding is different as every family is different, let alone each couple and venue. Planning a wedding for a couple that has been together for over a decade has its own special characteristics too. Also, this is a second marriage for them both. The inclusion of children became most important, and sweet, and honoring both family members and friends that have been by their side through thick and thin, for decades. 

While most couples today want their ceremony to be over as soon as possible, it’s the ceremony we talked about most while planning this wedding. For one, limiting the bridal party was hard! Does the Bride and Groom keep it to friends or to family because having them both was just too many people! In the end we got very creative which made for a more personal, goose bump worthy ceremony. 

First in the processional came the Bride’s closest friends, some of which have become the Groom’s as well. These friends were coined “the flower friends”. They walked first and to assigned seats, which lined the ceremony aisle. Once they got to their assigned seats, they stood by their chair until it was time for them to sit. In their hands they carried a portion of Rachel’s bridal bouquet. Then came her closer family members - her niece, the Groom’s niece, siblings and then last, the Bride’s two daughters, all of which stood under the Chuppha with the Bride and Groom, and Rabbi. Rachel then walked the aisle by herself making her way from one flower friend to the next, building her bridal bouquet as she walked. Each piece was wrapped in ribbon with a heavy duty magnet inside to help keep the pieces together. Once she got to the Chuppha her long time friend and mentor, who sat in the front row, met her by the Chuppha. This friend has been in her life since they met at Summer camp when he was just a few years older and her CIT - “Counselor in training” for those of you who never went to camp! He helped her tie the pieces of her bouquet into one, and lifted her veil over her face as a father would, and helped her walk up to the Chuppha to meet her Groom. It was a tear jerker to say the least. Guests hummed to Do Di Lee along with the musicians.  

When it came to design, she would use the words such as lush, feminine and romantic. While she loved the pictures she accumulated that were more traditional for a ballroom or hotel setting, she also loved more modern weddings and couldn’t really make up her mind what direction she wanted to move. In the end she felt if she went too modern then she may regret it later on, so the sense of modern was minimal, such as chairs we chose. This is a common conversation that comes up with wedding gowns more often but for venue design as well. If I really express myself and how I feel today, will I regret not having been more traditional in design twenty years from now? For her the answer was yes.

The venue was chosen for a host of reasons and in the end, the main ingredient they wanted in a venue, which was to be by the ocean, was not possible. The couple resides in Westchester and needed the venue to be rather local to accommodate all the people they hoped to attend - more important than the ocean. Having hotel accommodations on-site to make the weekend easy for all far away family members, many of which have children, and to be close to the city, close to LaGuardia and close to their home. The Ritz in Westchester is located near metro north and there is another hotel that is brand new as of 2016 right around the corner for those that wanted to spend a bit less on accommodations.  The weekend started with dinner at a near by restaurant and ended on Sunday with guests being shuttled to the couples brand new home in nearby Rye, New York - something that was very important to them both. 

We got lucky that day on traffic. As sometimes is the case we watched WAZE like a hawk and all roads were clear, so the couple, along with their fabulous photographer we love so much, Roey Yohair, traveled to Greenwich to get in some waterfront photos.  Then on the way back they also managed to take a quick pit stop at their home in Rye, NY to include Ackerman, their family dog in the festivities. Then back to the Ritz in time for the Ketubah signing and ceremony. All roads where clear and gosh are we thankful. The risk was worth the reward said the bride and I was happy to oblige as long we the risks were understood. Thank you to the traffic gods!

Thank you to all the vendors that made this wedding exactly what the couple wanted it to be! They waited a awful long time for this day to come and they couldn’t have been more thrilled. I will never forget the look at Rachel’s face when she entered the reception room during cocktail hour and her jaw fell. She screamed, “My white dance floor, my big white dance floor” and began to dance as the band, The Carlos Estrella Band, warmed up. They were fabulous by the way and nailed the very much rehearsed first dance the couple had prepared with them for weeks beforehand. 

Photography below by Roey Yohair 

Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events

Florals + Design | Fleurs NYC

Photography | Roey Yohai Photography

Venue | Ritz Carlton

Gown | Austin Scarlett

Band | Carlos Estrella Band from Hank Lane

Cinematographer | First Day Films

Lighting | Social Event Decor

Make up | Amanda Shakleton

Gown Dresser | The Stylish Dresser

Invitations | Bella Figura

Caligraphy & Design | Sarah Hanna

Rentals | Nuage Designs

Rentals | Party Rental LTD