Only real friends should be your wedding guests

Couples who have been married only a few years often remark how there were so many people at their wedding, or even bridal party, who they no longer speak to. They have fallen off the face of the Earth since the wedding. Maybe life shifts, attentions divert, people move away. For the most part, included in this group are people with which your bonds may have been superficial. 

Do not invite certain people to look good. Do not fear you will look less than if this or that person does not attend your wedding too. So what if they were in your fraternity - be the cool discerning outlier and do not invite everyone. There are other innovative people in your alumni association that will accomplish more and be a better contact for life, and they do not care about being invited to your wedding. Similarly, do not invite people that will attend your wedding just because they too have FOMO. Your wedding day is too meaningful for that. 

Do not invite work friends that are not going to be friends after you change your job. Invite no one for work. If anyone asks say it was your in-laws rule. Just think how much less annoying it will be if you plan on keeping your job. No endless stories for years to come about your gross cake (joking) or the time Timmy decided to use the bushes to relieve himself and your grandma saw. Joking again or maybe not. Additionally, your parents should not be allowed to invite their work friends either, and that goes for both sets of parents.

Lastly, in the New York City and surrounding suburban areas it is really hard to find many attractive venues that have a guest count at or exceeding 250 people. There are enough venues that push their max capacity to be more attractive to more couples. If you doubt how comfortable their max capacity would be for you and your guests, then you may want to ask your coordinator to tell it like it is - is your guest count pushing it? Maybe ask for some photos of past weddings with a higher guest count or stalk instagram.

Having problems with your guest count? Ask yourselves who really will be there for you in five years. Those who are there for you for the long run do not need an event or milestone to take place in order to stay in touch and vice versa on your end as well. Plus, a smaller wedding makes for a more intimate wedding, which often times equates to a more relaxed atmosphere.

True friends = wedding guests

Instagram Obsessed vs Smart Consumers

Social Media is a part of our lives now like Netflix and brushing our teeth. We are use to being turned on and inspired by pictures wherever and whenever...harmless of course. However, small bits of information, photos and the non regulated flow of information on most sites, such as Instagram, is just that, a random unregulated flow of information.

When many people become engaged, such as maybe yourself, they become obsessed with all of it. And you make assumptions and draw opinions about choices and vendors, and everything under the sun because of what you have gleamed from these sites or photos. The thing is if this cumulative impression of a vendor's quality, as taken from social media and press alone, is a driving force in your decision making, you are bound to come up short a noticeable portion of the time. You are being sold

Photos are not indicative of a job well done, nor is press, nor are followers. We know our social media presence and press is not a direct by product of our success with our clients, neither is it our definition of success and it should not be yours either.  Having a consistently exciting social media presence takes time and attention, perhaps away from clients. If you are a blog or a product like a bridal gown designer that is different - social media may actually be your job, your money-maker and passion. If a company wants to be huge they will bring on additional personelle, an expense that only increases the cost of a vendor or planner or that company's volume increases. Granted we have gotten substantially better with social media so it takes significantly less brain space and time. Also, companies can purchase followers and likes, and do not think that they do not. Lastly, when some attend industry seminars, they whip out manuals, programs and brochures and follow each and every person that is also in attendance or speaking. There is nothing wrong with being wonderful with PR, in fact it is smart. A good first impression is irreplaceable but there is a mountain more to be putting above what little you gleamed from a vendors social media presence. 

Why do we post this blog when we hardly blog at all? It is because talking with clients about why they should hire some vendors over others has become a larger part of the conversation since social media, in particular Instagram, has become more prominent in our every day life.  We are all susceptible to being sold - gather information and make educated choices but do not believe everything you read or view.

You may be thinking we are hypocrites because since January we have been in print twice and had four blog posts on national sites. We also have three more weddings for print to come out prior to September of this year and three more blog posts on the horizon. Well, some of this is luck, the fact that these weddings were enough "on-trend", those clients' hired great photographs that are popular on their own, and the fact that many of these time demanding submissions were handled by those appointed to do so at the photographer studios or the photographers themselves. Oh and did I mention luck?

Some ideas to ponder...

A luxury wedding client is not looking at the larger industry media outlet listings of vendors so they are significantly less inclined to go online and review a vendor because they never joined such and such a site in the first place - the process is much ore annoying to begin with a profile you otherwise would not have made. Many would prefer to write a hand written note, perhaps send a gift, as a thank you rather than go onto a website. They also don't want to reveal their identity on such sites and don't want more spam!  Furthermore, the luxury market puts more stock in referrals than reviews, made by random people, whose taste may be different than their own. The volume of reviews online should also not be a deciding factor. 

Maybe a vendor does a kick back to the past client once they review them with five stars? Maybe if they do so a bouquet will show up at their door or another person's door, so they save reviewing the vendor until the day of their BFF's birthday so their BFF gets fresh flowers delivered to their door for free. These are all realities we have heard about and know to be a fact. You are smart - do not be sold but fluff! 

There are photos out there that are lies. Planners posting as the full planner and designer on weddings they worked on starting three or four weeks out - this is a super common one we see all the time. 

There are photos of events posted by various vendors that are not even weddings or events they have worked on. Make sure posts are very clear about what they did on such and such an event, and who did what. Taste does have value but not misleading posts, those are lies. 

Hire vendors you know in your gut are straight shooters, have engaging conversation with you rather than just ask you what you want from them because they should already know the job and be asking you thought provoking logical questions.

Do not purchase a price tag or a package - Hire a person you want to be around that is highly passionate, experienced and competent, and with whom you feel heard.  

This concludes our Saturday afternoon-wine-blog-chat. Happy Spring. 

{Insert clever photo}  Ha! 

 

 

JORDAN + ERIC | Westchester Country Club | Rye, New York | June 2017

This wedding appeared in the pages of The Knot in January 2018, on Inside Weddings, inside Westport Magazine, on Carats & Cake, Style Me Pretty and Westchester/Hudson Valley Wedding Magazine. 

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.  

Masarek Inspo 1 JPEG.jpg
Masarek Inspo 2 JPEG.jpg

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 

The Knot 2018 SSNY Jordan Eric 1.jpg
The Knot 2018 SSNY Jordan Eric Melani Lust Ashley Douglass.jpg

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 | Hudson Valley | June 2017

Check back late Spring/early Summer as this wedding will appear in the pages of a national magazine. To be continued....

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