Backyard Wedding Ideas – Hiring a Wedding Planner//April 30, 2017

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but planning a backyard or tented wedding adds new levels of thought and stress. On the plus side, you will be able to plan every last detail to fit your own style, wants and needs. But you will also have to make a lot more decisions and coordinate the details both beforehand and on the day of the wedding. CT wedding photographers know the importance of hiring a professional wedding planner because we’ve seen it all. Most importantly, however, we know how much less stressful the wedding day will be when you have someone else designated to handle things if they go awry. I recently had the opportunity to interview Diana Chouinard from Jubilee Events and talk about some of the benefits and misconceptions of hiring a wedding planner. A big thanks to Diana for sharing her expertise and insider tips!

What are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?

When you hire a wedding planner, you have someone who has your best interests at heart. They become a confidant, a trusted advisor, and even a friend. One of my favorite things I hear from our families when initially speaking with them is that planning weddings today is nothing like it used to be, and that’s absolutely true. There is so much inspiration available to us and professionals in the event industry. It can be like taking on a full time job just to determine what we want. We believe the planning process should be a fun and collaborative experience, leaving you more and more excited as you get closer to your big day. We want to know what matters most to you and your families, guide you along the process together, and bring that vision to life.

What are the biggest misconceptions about hiring a wedding planner? 

Often times couples might like to save and take on a greater role in planning, which is wonderful! It may help them more in the long run, though, to have a planning partner guiding them through each step, helping to avoid any mistakes that could arise along the way. This helps in making the final month much smoother and more relaxed for all parties involved. Having a professional collaborate with you on your wedding and advise you is always best! Even though the role of a planner is a leadership one, we aim to work alongside our creative partners on the wedding day. Our common goal is to make sure our client has a beautiful and wonderful day– while also having fun– and part of our job is to make things easier and more seamless for all parties present that day. We are there to answer any and all questions you have beforehand so they can arrive to do what it is they do best. We want every individual to shine at their craft and have fun while doing it!  

What are some of the problems couples can come across on a wedding day that could be prevented by having a wedding planner? 

It is safe to say that we’ve seen it all, though I don’t want to jinx ourselves. As a planner, our instinct is to consider everything. We come with an experience and knowledge that naturally lends to the success of your event and helps to avoid any hiccups or issues. Having a planner on your side aides in avoiding any unforeseen or unnecessary costs. The biggest hurdle we see is weather — while we can plan for it, we can never control it and it’s especially beneficial to have someone to take care of any changes to your original plan in the event of undesirable weather. We have coordinated weddings in hurricanes, blizzards, and even tornados but the wedding has always gone off without a hitch. Without a planner, there would be a great deal of direction needed and questions to manage while you should be getting pampered and relaxing during the morning of your day. 

How much should a couple expect to spend on a wedding planner? What is a realistic budget? 

Costs of planners will range, especially based on the target area you are planning your wedding, their years of experience within our industry, and the level of service you are looking into. We strongly believe every professional in our industry sets their pricing to reflect the value of their services and the work they put forth for their clients.  

Are there ways couples can save money in other areas of the wedding day by hiring a wedding planner?

Absolutely! Having a planner helps avoid any unnecessary or undesirable costs as they know how to guide you to working with those who are best for your budget, style, and peace of mind. They come with the experience of knowing the appropriate questions to ask and how each decision you make contributes to a larger picture in the end. They also know where costs tend to rise and how to avoid that during planning. We always adopt your budget as our own and carefully maintain it as spending can be very easy on a day that’s so fun!

Can a wedding planner service a wedding of any size, big or small?

They certainly can and absolutely should! No wedding is alike and a planner should customize the planning process to your day and most importantly, your story. We have planned weddings for as little as 8 people all the way up to 350 and have loved every single moment because it was so personal and true to the couple.

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Mystic Coastal CT Wedding//February 25, 2017

Katie and Sean’s Latitude 41 Mystic CT wedding was fall perfection, with a sunset that took my breath away. They both love Mystic, a coastal CT town, so it was an easy choice for them when deciding where they would get married. With the help from Jenna Landon from Coastal Gourmet Catering they planned a romantic and warm wedding day bursting with hues of blush, gold, navy, eggplant and mahogany.  Katie looked stunning in her Hailey Paige dress from The White Dress by the Shore. Mystic Seaport was the perfect backdrop for the portraits with their family and friends. All the beautiful details, and the energy of the wedding, made a magical day.

Coordinator – Jenna Landon, Coastal Gourmet Catering

Makeup – Mercedes McCoy Makeup Artistry and Aesthetics

Hair – Crop Salon, Mystic

Flowers – The Beautiful Bouquet, Milford CT

DJ – Neil from Spin Enterprises

Videographer – Allison from Dubbed Studios

Dress: The White Dress by the ShoreAllegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_3 Allegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_176 Allegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_108 Allegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_109 Allegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_115 Allegra_Anderson_Photography_Connecticut_Wedding_Photographer_Mystic_Latitude_41_2016_Katie_Sean_134
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Manchester Bath and Tennis Club Wedding : Chelsea and Dave//February 15, 2017

Get ready to be wowed by the most beautiful wedding you’ve ever seen. Chelsea and Dave wed on the most lovely Saturday in September at the Manchester Bath and Tennis Club in Manchester, MA. Their wedding was the perfect combination of whimsical and romantic, with a touch of nautical. The hues of blue, white and a splash of yellow were a tasteful nod to the groom’s Swedish roots. I especially loved how they added Swedish tradition to their big day during the buffet dinner. The groomsmen passed out Swedish nips to the guests and sang a traditonal celebratory song as they toasted to the bride and groom. All of the details tied into their family roots. It’s so clear that these two are meant to be by the way they smile at each other. It was such a marvelous wedding and I’m so lucky to have been a part of it.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Manchester Bath and Tennis Club

Bridal Shop: Ceremony Bridal Shop

Dress: Rosa Clara

Earrings and Rings: Hearts On Fire

Bridesmaid Dresses: Red Dress Boutique

Caterer: Chrissi’s Cafe & Fish Market

Florals: Sage Floral Studio

Cupcakes: Cakes for Occasions

Hair: Jennifer Elizabeth Weddings

Makeup: Makeup by Molly G

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Laura and Nick Society Room Hartford Wedding//January 29, 2017

Laura and Nick were married on a late fall day at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, followed by an elegant and energetic reception at the Society Room in Hartford. After they exchanged their vows, we headed to the Connecticut State Capitol to take portraits of the newly married couple and their wedding party. The plum bridesmaids dresses and black tuxedo’s looked stunning against the architecture of the building, as did Laura in her Allure Couture dress. I knew this was sure to be a wonderfully emotional and celebratory evening because Laura and Nick are the most fun-loving couple. They are down to earth, always laughing and smiling, and make a room light up. Their reception exceeded my expectations as their family and friends danced the night away. It meant so much to be a part of their day as a friend and their photographer!

Dress: Allure Couture, Mariella’s Creations

Shoes: Badgley Mishka

Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung

Suits: Calvin Klein

Flowers: Power Station Events

DJ: Power Station Events

Hair and Makeup: Larissa Lake and Co.

Cake: Kim’s Cottage Confections

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Elizabeth and Sam Trinity College and New Britain Museum of American Art//January 3, 2017

Elizabeth and Samuel were married at the beautiful Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Having met at Trinity while attending school, it was the perfect place to exchange their vows before their family and friends. Elizabeth’s mother and father were also married there, so it was an extra special place for them. Knowing how important this location is, we spent quality time taking portraits of them on the grounds, and incorporated the architecture into it. Elizabeth and Sam knew they wanted a unique venue to host their reception, and the New Britain Museum of American Art was just that. All the details at the reception were spectacularly planned by Diana Chouinard at Jubilee Events. From the beautiful place cards, fall gourds and pumpkins to the stunning flowers and table decorations, the reception could not have been more perfect. The evening ended sweetly with cake, apple cider donuts and hot apple cider, a perfect fall spread.

Wedding Coordinator: Diana Chouinard, Jubilee Events

Flowers: Stems Flower Design
Music: Suite Occasions
Caterer: Riverhouse Catering
Cake Designer: Creative Cakes by Donna
Caricature Artists: PowerStation Events
Hair: Capelli Salon

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