B & B: In order to help couples understand what it takes to plan a wedding, Borrowed & Blue, the online resource for Hamptons weddings, approached Ashley Douglass Events to ask all about event planning.
“After Ashley Douglass snagged the award for Best Wedding Planner in the Hamptons, we knew that we had a lot to learn from her. That’s why we’ve teamed up with them for a Q&A all about event planning and how to create a truly unforgettable Hamptons wedding!” – Stephanie, Borrowed & Blue’s Hamptons Market Specialist
Here’s our Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:
If you could possibly narrow it down, what would be your favorite moment of a wedding day? There are a few, all very different, all full of emotion. The first is right before the bride, or groom walking, walks down the aisle. I am usually the person that tells them to walk, their father (or mother or significant friend) is there holding their arm, and the ‘this is it’ moment happens. It’s hard to put into words but I cry every ceremony. The second is when I bring them into their reception space before guests enter after cocktail hour. They have just been married so they are full of emotions and the happiness on their faces says it all. Lastly, I am a real sap for speeches. I love a great speech!
Describe your event aesthetic in three words. Smart, custom, understated, or at least this is my goal. I also want to point out that on many weddings, not all though, I work very collaboratively with the florist on board. Some florists are much more accustomed than others to thinking about the big picture rather than just the flowers.
The first thing you ask when you sit down with a couple? What's most important to you both as a couple and as individuals? Another good one is, what would your wedding day be like if you have no budget?
What will be the biggest wedding design trend of 2016? Overall I think people have seen so much the last few years and are saturated with images online. Most couples, regardless of budgets, don’t want to look like they are following a trend or trying just a little too hard. That being said, metallics are still in style and I love them. Additionally, I am always trying to push clients to some lighting fixtures and patterns that are unexpected, especially for tented affairs. Certainly gowns that are not traditional white or ivory, maybe a pattern or a veil with a pattern which is very hard to find. We have one client this year with a veil that has a pattern on special order that will be tying in with the drum lamp shade’s fabric. Another one is flower arrangements that are asymmetrical. On the planning front, many clients are having wedding parties that are not all men and women on either side, even though they may be a heterosexual couple.
Top three pieces of advice for couples who just got engaged? 1 - Take a deep breath and center yourself. For awhile be happy just being engaged. Start planning and for sure finding your venue, when you feel your heart is in the right place instead of attacking your wedding in a frenzy because you got engaged yesterday. A frenzy is never a good thing! 2 - Starting off with a planner from the beginning is so helpful for you in the long run. You will save yourself mistakes and disappointment later on. You will also have a better idea of what is possible with your budget and be better able to use what you have wisely. Also, there are vendors that will go not just the extra mile but then some when a planner that gives them repeat business brings them on board. 3 - Listen to yourself before you listen to other people. Don’t be swayed easily by friends opinions and magazines. If your choices come from the right place, you’re making the right choice.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? In this line of work you get to become very close with clients. Much of the satisfaction of the job is an extension of "quality over quantity".
Your favorite wedding color combo? Oh I do love grey. And you may be able to see that in my portfolio. Its clean, sharp, and makes other colors pop. The word grey sounds so drab but you have to use it correctly. That being said I also love amber to gold, strong charcoal to silver. I am most loving the mixture of gold and silver being on trend right now. (I do have a bride this year who specifically stated “no grey” LOL!)
The most important detail of wedding decor? Cohesiveness.
The celebrity wedding you wished you planned? Ha! Hard one and good question. Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie. I imagine they’d be up for anything.
Your thoughts on DIY weddings? This can be a slippery slope but sometimes okay. DIY is both an aesthetic these days, an adjective people use to describe their design, and also a reality of planning. 'I am having a DIY wedding' might mean that the bride is attempting to do it all or she wants a 'rustic-meets-Anthro' look let's say. If your DIY wedding is not attempting to do anything too far out of the box, it can be okay or great! When things are time consuming or hard to execute, you really should leave the task up to a professional. If this is about budget, then consult with a planner. A good example of DIY working is when a mother and/or friends make it their mission to find mismatched plates for the entire wedding. At the end of the wedding the plates are washed and the guests takes plates with them or they resell them all on ebay. They may also do this with tea cups, or cake plates, etc. I have seen this and it works out just fine. I have had clients start WAY beforehand and pick up vintage furniture that they revive for their lounge and take these items home with them—a reminder of their special day to have forever.
What would your ideal tablescape look like? Oh gosh. I love beautiful flowers and love flowers up above hanging and lower on the dining tables. Our Sept 4th wedding this year has flowers hanging from lighting fixtures hovering above their rectangle tables. I also love a beautiful linen. It changes the game and takes playing around with things in person for some clients to warm up and then they love the idea. Many people are scared to deviate from solid colored linen at first. One thing I do know, I don’t favor having too many colors all at once.
What’s your favorite of all the gorgeous Hamptons wedding venues? Why? I will always love a venue that can be akin to having your wedding at home. Open field with a tent to do what you want with it. I also favor fabulous food too. Right now I have a crush on the Crow’s Nest in Montauk. It’s not a wedding venue per say but they do allow a few each year. The food at Crow’s Nest is excellent as well. Beyond that Gurneys because of the tented site overlooking the ocean - its stunning! They all score because they have great food and luxurious accommodations on site.
Describe your dream wedding. My dream wedding has a glorious ceremony site and ocean in the distance, but not too close so that its hard to hear. A full symphony and a great deal of the service would include time for guests to enjoy live music. I favor long ceremonies. It’s the whole point you are having a wedding, to get married. One doesn’t need to add in more religion, either. Take this ceremony and make it your story, share yourselves and give appreciation to those that helped get you to this monumental special occasion. If you have stage fright then work on that but try not to use that as a way to run from the ceremony. Everyone has stage fright—you can’t do or say anything wrong up there. Trust me! Beyond this, I like longer weddings. Many are just over too fast! I for sure would want stunning tablescapes and flowers and to add in more entertainment: the best and largest band with great sound that money can buy and leave plenty of dancing time!
That’s all! A special thanks to Borrowed & Blue for reaching out. We are so appreciative to have been acknowledged by you all! Have a wonderful start to the Spring/Summer/Fall busy season!