Welcome to Wedding Planning

Banner Photo - Bruce Plotkin Photography 2012
Banner Photo - Bruce Plotkin Photography 2012

ADE provides all of our couples with a copy of "Welcome to Wedding Planning". This booklet provides you with many helpful hints and suggestions on things like negotiating your own venue contracts, selecting a photographer and more. Consider it an added value, especially if you are only hiring us for Design and the Coordination of Design or for Day of Coordination.

INTRODUCTION

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

Wedding planning is super exciting, creative and fun! However the sheer number of details to be decided upon can at times be daunting. There are no rules; you do not need assigned seating, couples do not need to make a grand entrance into their reception, Brides do not need to wear white, she does not need to walk down the aisle with her father, nor does the Groom need to be waiting at the alter – you can walk down the aisle together if this choice feels right. Religious or not, green, grey, blue or black, cupcakes or cake, every choice is yours to make.

Most likely you will juggle making choices that please your parents, grandparents and social spheres, while also attempting to please yourselves. Sometimes there are appropriate compromises to be made, such as choosing a venue relatively close to an acceptable hotel if many guests are from out of town. Certainly we will be arranging for a weekend, if not an entire week, where your family and friends feel taken care of, however our hope is for you to initially put aside your desire to please others.

Weddings are community events where people come together to celebrate you as individuals and as a couple, and the roles you have played in one another’s lives. After we have booked a venue and gotten on track in terms of budget, atmosphere and décor, we will create appropriate instances for those that are closest to you to contribute to this special occasion.

Wedding design is in some ways similar to designing your own home. When guests arrive to your wedding, you are welcoming them into your space, taking care of them and also defining yourselves. This is one of your finest hours; who will we be? People are there to celebrate but they are also there to learn more about you both. The more choices you personalize and hand select with care, the more interesting, engaging and memorable your wedding day will be.

I like to think that you have already lived the most important day of your life and it was the day you proposed and the day you said yes. This milestone, your wedding day, is a celebration, so you want to be comfortable no matter how long or religious your ceremony, how beautiful your gown, and no matter how simple or ornate your design. It should feel familiar to you; all the while it surprises you upon entering because it is everything you were expecting and more.

Many times great designs begin spontaneously with a passing idea that you have stumbled upon unexpectedly. Great designs also come together because the right questions are asked. A design that is great for one couple is not always great for another, even if it looks great in a magazine. Great design also takes wedding coordination into consideration: budget, logistics, and timing. You may be a couple or a Bride that has had a fixed idea of what you want your wedding to look and feel like. We will of course honor these dreams while also asking many questions along the way!

Why should you hire a wedding planner and more importantly, why should you hire ADE? We have years of experience in both design and coordination. A fabulous wedding that goes off without a hitch really does have great coordination and a great staff both in the front of the house and the back of the house. It also has great entertainment, from the content of the ceremony, the first moment the bride enters, the presentation and choice of food, the personalization the couple adds to the details and of course the actual entertainment. We really do take our time with couples so that your wedding day does feel like your own. Above all, planning a wedding takes a lot of time that most people simply do not have.

Ashley Douglass has a background in film and theater, as a writer and as an actor, having performed at the most reputable professional theaters in New York City and regionally. She has also worked as a catering manager, staff trainer and restaurant consultant opening new businesses for the best of the best in New York, Los Angeles, and Connecticut. In addition, while in the above roles she has focused on every piece to the event planning puzzle, knowing that this was the path she was going to take. First and foremost, even before being a hopeless romantic, Ashley is a visual person driven by the joy of having a detail oriented imagination. Lastly, her mother was a wedding, bar and bat mitzvah planner when she was a child. She has seen every side of the puzzle up and close. She is great at vetting potential vendors and also helping them to prepare for your big day to the best of their abilities.

A wedding is the opening night of a theatrical production with a one night run. It’s your one shot to tell this story well. All of the moments are like dominoes lined up to bring about the next moment, as expected. If everyone on board for this wedding is not tremendously passionate about reaching our shared goals, they will be if ADE is on board.

Transparency is very important to us as well. One of the main reasons someone chooses to go into business for themselves is so that they can enjoy their work life just as much as the rest of their life. This means that we want to limit stress and value the quality of our relationships with both vendors and clients. We do not want our clients to have any surprises in regards to our business dealings. We exist almost completely on word of mouth and repeat business. A planner does not work on behalf of a larger company nor is a business with ‘real estate’. We do not have any exclusivity contracts with any vendors. We are only interested in finding the right details to paint the larger picture; we are not going to make more money from steering you towards a different flower or say Halibut over Salmon.

There are many beautiful and inspiring books available about wedding planning. Pick them up and have fun! Most are catered towards the ten million dollar bride, then there are some that are catered towards Middle America, the $20,000 and under bride, and not many that realistically speak to the average or even the above average bride in the tri-state area. The following pages are not meant to be scare tactics but to educate you on some of the thoughts that go through our heads when planning and the things I have learned over the years, some the hard way.

When you hire ADE solely for Design and the Orchestration of Design, or for Day of Coordination, we extend a copy of our wedding planning booklet. Consider this an added value of free consulting. If you hire us for full wedding planning, you also receive a copy. Again, wedding planning takes a lot of time! If I were in your shoes, I would hire some help – whoever that may end up being.

There are those couples that do not want to make a fuss over their wedding and simply want help planning it because everyone’s lives are so busy, and that is okay too. Some couples would prefer to save for a down payment on a new home – this makes sense as well! Furthermore, no matter how ready you are for marriage, entering it is a shift. Planning your wedding along with a planner gives you the time and space to process everything new that is happening in your life. We are happy to help in any way that you see fit.

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!

Let the planning begin!!!

Ashley Douglass Events is a boutique events company, planning weddings, mitzvahs, social and corporate events throughout Connecticut and New York.  Years of experience in both design & coordination, ADE is the right wedding planner for detailed oriented couples. We are your project managers with a heaping dose of creativity thrown in the mix. Learn more by contacting us today at 917.748.6281 or click here for our short form.