New Year’s State of Mind 2018

Every year I give books as gifts and below are this year’s picks. 

Waking Up by Sam Harris

Oh and download the app too. Harris’ book is an exploration of spirituality for those of you that are as interested as I am in the nature of reality.  Both knowledge of and the experience of reality come about by way of our minds. I’ll leave it at that. Headspace is also a great app too and I have heard of some other great meditation apps. Try them all!

Thirst by Scott Harrison 

The biography of charity: Water’s founder Scott Harrison. I adore this organization as many of you do I am sure. Not just because of its mission but because of its transparency. Harris is someone who has truly thought outside the box and gone far. He is truly an inspiration. 

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris

I am a Tim Ferris fan. Pick up Four Hour Work Week too if you have not already and do not poo poo it because of its catchy title. In Tribe of Mentors, Ferris asks a bunch of successful people questions such as; ‘what is the book, or books, you’ve given most as a gift and why?’ Or ‘what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?’ ‘What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months, or recent memory?’ For me, that would be the app Waking Up. Headspace is both a great read and purchase because you can read one of these entries before bed say without needing the added concentration a novel calls for. 

Happy Reading! 

Enough of that….

Each year I do this New Years end blog. Unbeknownst to me, my year-end blog post has really resonated with those who read it. A few vendors and friends have asked about this years post. A few of you also know that this past year has personally been a noteworthy one, which for us all here is the same thing as a professionally noteworthy year. I am sure many of you are probably thinking ‘something went horribly wrong; or ‘something really good happened.’ Well, both inclinations are entirely wrong. It is this year that I have grown the most and subsequently ADE has grown the most.

I did have a health scare earlier this year, but this noteworthy of a year began well before that.

Each year I ask myself where I want to go and how I’m going to start down this renewed path. This is why I love the New Year - Planning! To drive this idea home, more often than not I will only have one glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve! New Years is the most religious of holidays for me.

About a year ago, I began to take a good inventory of my life. I literally wrote a mini pamphlet for myself on living my own life. No, you will never see this. It went through revisions, discoveries and more revisions. I can narrow it down to this………

I have three words: Simplicity, Intimacy and Wealth. If you fancy the word abundance more you can replace it with that.

I greatly value Time. Our mind is the primarily tool for making use of that time. Time looses its value if our mind cannot show up to meet it. Time is all we have.

Do not look at your emails on your phone and perhaps include in this list your texts as well, until after you are ready to show up for the day. For me it is after having had my morning coffee, some water and meditation.

What is most important to us here on a day-by-day basis is productivity. I am a recovering perfectionist that has resolved herself to excellence instead. As technology is designed to distract us, I do not let technology take control of my time or productivity.  If we allow each bell, whistle, prompt, text and alarm to take our attention there will be nothing left of us. We will loose ourselves and our ability to create whatever we have to offer. 

I have been meditating for well over a year now, every single day, sometimes twice a day. Just try meditation. I promise you, after some time, you will “get it” and not know how you ever went without it! Maybe I will write another blog post on this soon.

I also write in a journal every day and have been writing pretty much my whole life. I think you should too.

I work out at least five days a week. I always have and if I do not, I am not ‘normal Ashley.’ 

I read every day. I think you should too, and social media does not count. 

Nothing is ever about you. I repeat, nothing is ever about you.

Show up more and do less.

You really do feel, look and think better if you predominantly eat veggies. And living longer is worth it. 

We crave authenticity and we hope you do too.

Struggling is a habit. You can stop struggling and still accomplish as much, maybe even more!

Most days I commit to tackling the hardest thing first and move on from there.

We schedule time in the office because the more time we spend outside of the office; the less work we get done.

Everything that happens to you, happens for you. This is my life motto. 

You really have to take care of you first to take care of others. Doing otherwise is not a badge of honor but a selfish cry for attention, its you making it about you. 

That is all folks! Until next year! xo

NICOLE + ROSS | Blue Hill Stone Barns | Tarrytown, New York | October 2017

This wedding was a joy to plan. During the planning process, Nicole and her mother had somewhat different tastes in aesthetics. However, it was their combined love for the beautiful venue at Stone Barns coupled with our own ability to be not only diplomatic but also showcase ideas that they would both love which, in the end, set them up for success.

One element of their design that was different than most of our weddings is that they both favored paper that had considerable detail. They both moved forward with intricately designed invitations and save the dates a bit on their own and had good renderings early so the over all design fit into the paper details.

Being cohesive was super important to them both and, in particular, the Mother of the Bride. The family entertains enough at home and had learned from past experience that they love consistency. There are many details you cannot see in their photography. Details such as the ribbon and name tags on the flip flops and blankets. Other details like their specialty coffee and hot cocoa station, their enormous and cool outdoor lounge with plenty of games for those less inclined to dance.

You never know what is going to stick after a wedding. The couple’s adorable and memorable first dance, well rehearsed after months of classes, made the whole room tear up. Then the best man speech had so much love you wanted to hug your neighbor. The surprise, albeit less emotional, was the guest’s love for their linens and napkins. Multiple guests asked the Mother of the Bride where their beautiful La Tavola linens came from and they also asked about the dinner napkins, which also came from La Tavola. In fact, two ladies called us separately asking where to purchase their velvet ecru linen lined napkin!

We anxiously await July of 2019 when we will be back at the one-and-only charming Blue Hill at Stone Barns for another buyout!

Happy venue shopping and congratulations again to Nicole + Ross.

Photography by Craig Warga Weddings

Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events

Venue | Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Band | FAZE 4 Orchesteras LTD “Scott Yunney Band”

Photographer | Craig Warga Weddings

Videographer | 15 Minutes of Frame

Florist | Blade NYC

Photobooth | New England Selfie

Lighting | Pegasus Productions

Hair | Indulge Salon

Make Up | Hope Landry

Bridal Attire | A Little Something White

Rental Company | Nuage Designs

Rental Company II | Party Rental LTD

Rental Company III | La Tavola


AILEEN + SHAI | The Liberty Warehouse | Red Hook, Brooklyn | January 2018

Aileen and Shai had a ton going on during the time of their engagement and wedding planning process. For one, they were pregnant! The couple was super happy and over the moon. On top of this, they were already renovating Shai’s loft for Aileen to move in and had to incorporate a new design into the renovation to accommodate their baby. If any of you have renovated any place of your own you know that renovations alone can be like giving birth to a baby with joy and pains along the way. All on top of renovations, preparing for a baby and careers of their own, the couple was still eager to plan a beautiful wedding.

Aileen is very feminine and did not imagine that one day she would get married in a place with any sort of industrial feel. However, in the end the Liberty Warehouse was a perfect fit! The couple did not have a long time to search out a venue so it was a good thing they came to a planning before signing. As their wedding was close to the holidays they were competing very much with holiday parties and events that venues had already booked and were still booking. We started, I think, in early November and this wedding took place in January! Aileen loved how the industrial details in the space were highlighted by the twinkle lights and chandeliers that were provided by Pegasus Lighting.

This wedding is a great example of an end result that is JUST what the clients dreamed of, which always makes our job worthwhile. We have the imagination and experience to put ourselves not just emotionally but visually into the shoes of our clients and we happily do so. Variety is what makes our role more fun! I can appreciate that this wedding was beautiful and we did a good job balancing the different elements that were needed to make Aileen and Shai’s dream come true!

Happy bees they all are now with a beautiful, happy baby boy! Mazel Tov to Aileen and Shai and their new family!

XO

Ashley + Team

Photography by Forged in the North

Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events

Florals + Design | Fleurs NYC

Photography | Forged in the North

Venue | Liberty Warehouse

Band | Hank Lane Productions, “ Pete Saunders Band”

Cake | Betty Bakery

Lighting | Pegasus Productions

Hair | Betsy Elisa

Makeup | Every Hue Makeup

Dress | Monique Lhuillier

Stationary | Katie Fischer Design

Rentals | BBJ Rentals

Rentals II | Party Rental LTD

Gather Greene | Catskill Mountains

Thank you for your patience as we refocus our attention on blogging! It is not as high on our list as doing the actual work of planning a fabulous event is! One thing we do LOVE is to share new venues. Discovering a new venue is such an exciting thing for a planner. Working at a venue we have never worked at before is like being given a blank canvas and a brand new palette of paint.

There are so many wonderful venues in New York City, old and new, that the list would be too long and the blog endless, so we have decided to focus more on those great venues outside of the city. We are going to share a few new venues over the coming weeks in New York State, at least two in Connecticut and perhaps a few more in Newport or Vermont, as well as a new destination location. It can be hard for couples to find the time to visit every venue, so it is great that we as planners can give an overview so that you do not have to take time off from work to travel around here and there only to potentially strike out! There are many details about a venue that effect both your wedding experience as well as your budget. It can be hard for a client to discern all these details if you have not been doing this for forever and a day.

For now, we set our thoughts and starry eyes on Gather Greene, a stunning venue located at the start of the Catskill Mountains. The passionate and smart friends Amna and Jackie began rounding out their vision of an organic resort where nature was the primary decor starting a good four years ago, maybe more. Before officially owning the land, they reached out to ADE about wedding and event planning in general and particularly in the New York State area. Questions were addressed like ‘what features do couples and planners look for most’ and ‘what are the drawbacks that prevent someone from booking a venue they love.’

Many clients are looking for that weekend away experience where everyone can spend quality time together away from their everyday grind. A weekend wedding is not just more intimate but it is also more memorable, with guests departing feeling more connected than when they arrived. There is something magical about a special event being hosted away from it all. Similar to the theater, when people arrive to a location that they have never been before their attention immediately peeks. This really does set the tone for a weekend of little to no distraction.

Amna and Jackie’s venue site is modern and organic in design. The accommodations are dressed with the conveniences of every day life. The outside comes inside, with floor to ceiling window views of the mountains, and sunsets, for each guest to enjoy while getting cozy in bed with a book.

Another problem they have solved is that this beautiful venue has upwards of 17 cabins. It is not often that a weekend long wedding site can house both the immediate family and the bridal party. Additionally, with the town of Hudson New York so close by, there are many extra options for accommodations. From the standard chain hotels, to The Wick and The Rivertown Lodge in the heart of Hudson, and more. Not to mention the plethora of Air B & Bs in the Hudson and Columbia County area.

The Pavilion is where you will most likely host your main event or multiple events at Gather Greene. Again, the outside is brought inside, while maintaining sophistication. The structure is beautiful all on its own without too much adornment yet built with the potential to become more creative. The cement wall at one end of the pavilion is perfect to dress with floral, anything hanging or even a pattern to be projected. The beams above, modern and smart in feel, can also be used to hang decor. Weatherizing options for the sides of the pavilion are in development and the venue is fully prepared to accommodate any off-site caterer in their kitchen. No cook tent needed at Gather Greene, nor restroom trailers.

We have been so excited about this venue from day one and cannot be more excited for these two ladies and the opportunity to work at this one of a kind spot.

The first photo below was taken by a staff cell phone and the succeeding photos were taken by Kelsey Ann Rose.

IMG_6953 Gather Green.jpg
Photo by kelsey ann rose

Photo by kelsey ann rose

PHOTO BY KELSEY ANN ROSE

PHOTO BY KELSEY ANN ROSE

Photo by kelsey ann rose

Photo by kelsey ann rose