These days it is so easy to hop online and order things at the touch of a button for your wedding day. While ease can certainly play a factor in less stress, there is great value in supporting the local businesses around you when selecting vendors and services for your big day. Not only are you supporting your local community, but you are also able to meet with these people face to face to touch base, see what they’re creating for you, and make changes as needed. This can help with making sure you are getting exactly what you paid for, but it also allows you to build a relationship that you can trust will support you on your wedding day.
Most people, outside of wedding professionals, only plan a wedding once, so the guess work of which vendors to choose from and who to trust can be a challenging, timely and research-filled one. If you’re planning a western MA wedding and have found yourself reading this blog post, read on for recommendations for some of the best of the best for local and talented vendors in the western Mass region and beyond!
Forget Me Not Florist
Photographers & Videographers
Love & Perry
Leah Freeman Photography
Cara Totman Photography
Melaine Zacek Photography
Frosted Swirl Cupcakes
Cakes By Amanda
Crooked Stick Pops
Steve G Productions
Blue Door Gathering
Hamels Creative catering
Events by Pamela Joy
Invitations, Save The Dates, Thank Yous:
Big Wheel Press
The Borrowed Teacup
Tuxes, suits, and dresses:
Jackson and Connor
Don Muller Gallery
AG Ambroult Elemental Design
Michelle Ann Hair Design
Calligraphy, Custom Event Decor, & Floral Preservation
Love Always, Tanya
Garden Treasures Design
Are you thinking about favors? If you’re looking for a Massachusetts-style favor to send each of your guests home with, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will connect you with the very best maple syrup, honey, chocolate, soap, popcorn, etc. businesses!
There’s something special in collaboration, especially for a day that holds so much value. Those relationships and that collaboration lacks when outsourced through the internet or less expensive mail-order companies. Consider your local community’s population of wedding vendors, and you wont be disappointed in the incredible gems that you find!
Nobody wants rain on their wedding day! Unfortunately, we cant control Mother Nature’s plans. So your big day is looming ahead and it’s looking like rain, now what?
Communicate! First things first, communicate with the major supports of your day. If you have a wedding planner or venue coordinator, be in touch with them about the best next steps. Reach out to bridal party or delegate to a best man/maid of honor to have them prepare themselves with umbrellas and proper clothing.
If your wedding is scheduled to be outside, ceremony or reception, it’s a great time to start seeking out a rental company that can provide you with a tent. Some rental companies may ask you to pay a deposit ahead of time to secure your tent, while be able to provide this the week of. Some things to consider when selecting a tent:
If just your ceremony is to be outside and you are not crazy about tents- there ways to navigate what to do! Call your venue or the person who owns/is in charge of the location you're to be married and ask if they have an alternative room for the ceremony. Some bigger venues are able to shift things around to accommodate for your wedding and the weather. If there is an extra charge to hold an indoor space in the chance of rain, it is highly recommended to bite the bullet and eat the added cost. Better to play it safe than to be left scrambling!
If there is not an indoor alternative option there are two trains of thought.
ii.Be prepared with changes of shoes, maybe a pair of rain boots for your ceremony, a blanket or warm shawl or jacket in case it is chilly, and a pair of dry clothing for after your wedding to change into if need be
iii.Ladies- be ready with hair spray and make up touch up kits. With summer rain comes humidity, and an umbrella can’t protect you from that!
ii.Think about keeping it light and purchase ponchos for all your girls and guys up front to wear while you tie the knot
iii.Warn them of pending rain, and suggest they bring changes in shoes, an extra jacket, and maybe a hair dryer
ii.Incorporate some rain gear in your ceremony décor such as:
Lastly! Give yourself a 15-20 minute window of time to be disappointed, and then take action. It can be a huge bummer when you find out the weather for your big day is going to be less than ideal. You are allowed to be sad and upset. Don’t let it ruin your day! Remember the key most important pieces to your big day, and that a little rain will only add to the story!
You’ve nailed down your venue and your guest list. Your décor. Your vendors. Your details. The RSVPs are in (mostly)…so now…the seating chart!
First things first, having a floor plan to look at can be helpful. Reach out to your venue coordinator or wedding planner to see if they have a blueprint or floor plan made up. Do you want round or long tables? Or both? Are you planning on a buffet or plated style meal? Stations or family style? Where is your dance floor and where are guest tables in proximity to that? A floor plan helps with all of that! If you are not working with a professional - create your own! It will give you a sense of space and table location when deciding how to place your guests. It’s always a good idea to seat older guests further from the band or DJ so that the sound isn’t too loud and for easy access to and from the restrooms, bar, buffet line, etc. Seating younger friends and guests who are likely to be up and dancing near the source of sound can be both convenient and efficient as they’re unlikely to stay in their seats much past dinner anyways!
Next, decide between a sweetheart table or a head table! Work from the inside out. You want to keep your dearest family and/or friends closest to the action – and to you! If you decide on a sweetheart table, it might be worth surrounding yourself with your bridal party and their dates and friends. Or your parents and family placed closest, with your bridal party seated throughout the room with their dates and in the respective category of family and friends. In short: compile your nearest and dearest at the tables closest to you, whoever that may be!
Parental and guardian configurations can vary greatly from family to family- and you know your family dynamics the best! Typically parents are seated at tables closest to you and within the best sightlines. It can be hard to know who to seat at family tables – parents and grandparents are a great start. From there? Do you have any guests that are close friends to the family or your parents? It may be worth asking your folks to see if there is a friend they’d love to have at their table for encouraging smiles or a quick hand squeeze! Of course, not all families have just one set of parents in which case, you can always seat them together, unless this is uncomfortable. If this is a tense or unhappy dynamic its suggested to place them at the two nearest tables, so no one feels like they’re being short changed for their chance to watch you.
Once you have seated your bridal party and parents, it is time to seat your friends and remaining guests without an assigned seat yet! Categorizing your guests into tables or at least people who know each other or who are from a similar part of your life, prior to creating the seating chart can be helpful on this one! This can help you categorize your brain. If a group is too big for one table, consider creating a mix of guests that ensures everyone has someone familiar, even if it means sitting with mostly new faces! It can be nice to also take into consideration the dynamic of your single friends versus your married friends. It’s suggested to skip the “singles” table as that can create uncomfortable pressure, but it’s important to be thoughtful not to seat 1 single friend at a table of married couples.
Assign seats or just assign tables?
We have seen it done all ways! If you have a headache trying to decide who sits next to who, simply decide who sits WITH who! Create a table of guests and let them do the rest!
Are you concerned certain family members or friends might try and sit in a place that could be an issue? Don’t’ be afraid to assign seats so that you can rest assured it is all handled. If guests question why, simply answer it was easier for you this way!
Allowing folks to sit wherever they would like and with whoever they would like certainly takes a lot of pressure off of you, but can create stress amongst the room. It can be a great way to switch things up and put power back into your guests’ self-sovereign hands, but here are a few ideas to boost your success.
At the end of the day, as long as everyone has a physical seat at a table in the space, it will all work out. Most people remain seated through formalities and dinner, and after that they generally move to visit with whoever they’d like! So grab a bottle of wine, a cup of tea or cocoa, some popcorn, and a friend or your fiancé, and get to work!
Selecting the venue for your wedding day is a big decision, and often it is one of the first ones you make. It can also be one of the most difficult ones! So when selecting a venue, what kind of questions should you ask? First and foremost, you want to try and get a feel for what type of wedding or what kind of vibe you are hoping for. The possibilities are endless these days with barns, golf courses, hotels, wineries, industrial buildings, tents, historical landmarks, theaters, and more. When you envision your day, where do you best see it happening?
It can be so overwhelming when researching and visiting different venues to keep everything straight. Who wants to get stressed out when you’re doing research for one of the most exciting days of your life?! Here are a few tips:
Great things to ask before prior to touring:
-What is the cost to get married at this venue?
-What additional costs can come up outside of the venue fee?
*If you prepare your entire budget prior to touring, then you will know just how much you have to spend on the venue alone!
-If you have your heart set on a date, do they have it available?
-Is there a place to get ready onsite?
It can be a good idea to ask questions about the things you feel strongly for your wedding day and that you’re unwilling to sacrifice! The deal-breakers or day-makers. This will help you weed out venues that may not be worth the trip to see or boost ones that are a perfect fit!
So, you have narrowed your search to a list of venues that, based off of your research, contain none of your deal breakers. What’s important to ask or make sure they answer?
Capacity? – Know your rough guest list before going out on tours!
What’s included in the venue fee?
Do they have recommended vendors? – and are you limited to this list?
Who handles set up and break down?
Where is the ceremony space in respect to the reception space?
-If it’s within the same venue, who handles that transition between ceremony and reception and how long does it take?
Does the site have a wedding suite? For both sides of your party?
Can you hold a date while you make the final decision?
How do you officially book a date?
What form of payment do they take?
Is there a structured payment plan?
What happens if it rains?
Are there onsite accommodations? If not, where do you suggest we get room blocks?
A few more complicated questions:
How does the flow of the day work?
Do they provide day-of coordination or is that someone that would need to be hired?
How does the bar work and who handles that?
-Can you bring our own alcohol?
-Do you hire bartenders or does the venue provide them?
How long is the event time package?
Is there flexibility in the hours of the wedding?
Can you extend the hours of a package?
Is there adequate parking for your guest count?
Are there any restrictions on décor that can be brought in?
Can there be a DJ or a band?
-Are there any sound ordinances involved with the venue?
Do you need any special permits or insurance for the wedding?
Often it seems like nailing down a venue can then lay the ground work for the other vendors that will need to be hired. Don’t overthink it! While planning your questions ahead of time can be helpful, don’t negate that gut feeling you get when viewing or touring a location. Just like when you fall in love- sometimes, you just know! And then, the rest falls into place.
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