Thursday, May 26, 2011

Belle Turned Bride: The Ceremony Location

As a child, Sunday mornings were not days to sleep in. The Griffin clan was up by 7:30 and out by 9 to attend mass as a family. Dressed in our Sunday’s best we shuffled into the pew and my sister and I listened (or tried to listen) attentively to the priest for an hour before scurrying off to Sunday school. I made an appearance in the Christmas Nativity play year after year as a lamb, a shepherd, a star, a wise man and even once, in the most coveted role, as the Virgin Mary; who gets to proudly recess down the aisle with a Cabbage Patch baby Jesus for the congregation to rejoice and admire.

As a result, at a very young age I knew that I would not be able to say my vows on a beach at sunset. As the years have gone by getting married in a church has become increasingly important to me as well. The grand cathedral style church that I grew up in reminds me of many I saw in Italy; breathtakingly beautiful and certainly the perfect location for our nuptials. Unfortunately it was too far from our reception site for guests to travel between the two. So once again we were on to plan B. We ultimately chose the church that Spencer attended as a child, and we couldn’t be more pleased. The icing on the cake is the pastor from my church will traveling down and saying the mass.

Similar to the reception site it is the perfect blank slate with just enough character for the Wedding Belle to transform into something amazing! Check back in a few months to see our design and a church full of friends and family. I can’t wait to meet Spencer at the end of that aisle!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brilliant Bride

Of course I am partial...I love my Brides and think they are the best! But what I love even more is when they come up with brilliant ideas that inspire me! Lindsay, our May 28th Bride, came up with a clever concept for her seating chart/place cards.

The place cards go hand in hand with the idea of the "Granite State", as she has chosen rocks as her place cards. Alright, you have heard of that before, I agree, but keep reading. Besides the Granite State tie-in, these are the reasons that Lindsay chose rocks for her place cards:

"They won't blow away. They add a tactile element when you hold them in your hand, you feel the "weight" of being at the wedding and the smooth texture (referencing our "smooth friends") LOL! I love the natural element they bring and by choosing river rocks, it ties in the Piscataqua River. But above all, they were simple and easy to make!"

The Brilliant Part: She, as most brides do, had trouble laying out her table assignments. When we ask clients after the wedding date has past, this is one aspect that is the most stressful and time consuming for them. She made the task much more simple! Lindsay took the rocks with each guest name printed on them and used them to create "piles" for each table. This allowed them to cover their kitchen table (representing the tent floor) and move the rocks around until they found the perfect seating arrangement!

Lindsay said, "They were so wonderful when trying to figure out our seating. It felt like playing a strange ancient wedding planning game, moving the rocks around and trading with Steve's (the Groom) tables and such." No erasing, no back space button, no frustration...simply, simple!! We love Simplicity!

Great Job Lindsay! We can't wait for the wedding on May 28th...

Vendor Highlight: Sperry Tents

Being in the wedding industry, we are privileged to work with some absolutely amazing vendors. Vendors that go above and beyond in what they do and their products. As part of a new series on this blog, we are going to highlight some of those vendors we feel take your wedding to the next level! Today, we are featuring Sperry Tents! Speaking personally, I have asked Sperry to create tents elevated 8 feet off the ground, custom lighting over every table and everything in between. Their answer is always YES! :)

Sperry’s journey began in 1980 when accomplished sail-maker Steve Sperry was faced with the challenge of hosting a family gathering. Applying his creative eye and knowledge of fabrics, Steve hatched the plan to design the first ever Sperry Tent for the occasion. Using hand-sewn panels of waterproof sailcloth and hand-milled spruce pine for center poles and perimeter poles, Sperry Tents was born. The same lightweight, waterproof sailcloth canvas has proven strong enough to stand up to the seas for decades. With sizes ranging from as large as a 66ft x 126ft oval tent to as small as a 16ft round tent, Sperry aims to accommodate any event size.

In addition to sailcloth tents, they offer an array of wedding and event amenities. Their versatile flooring options offer limitless potential for event ideas and venue locations. Sperry also offers a wide variety of lighting options providing the signature Sperry glow of aesthetic ambiance and elegant d├ęcor. Their representatives work closely with clients throughout the entire booking and planning process to ensure satisfaction. Installation and breakdown appointments are fitted to work around the clients schedule, and an onsite attendant is always available at each event to answer any questions or offer suggestions.

The Wedding Belle loves working with Sperry every chance we get because we know that our clients are getting the best in product and in service! Well done Sperry!

Robert's Maine Grill

Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting with Deb over at Robert's Maine Grill in the heart of the Outlets in Kittery, Maine. While the space has been there since 2005, this was the first time I had been upstairs to fully enjoy what they have to offer.

When my clients come to me asking for a New England Style Rehearsal Dinner, my first thought is immediately a lobster bake! You can't get more "New England" than that! Usually then we end up talking about an outdoor venue, tenting, catering, rentals, etc. They either love it or hate it. I am so excited that now I can offer them an indoor, private space for a lobster bake. Upstairs at Roberts you get a fantastic view of the water and more fish than you could ever eat. It is Maine at it's best...classic, local and fresh.

The day I visited was your typical New England overcast day, but not inside the Grill. The large windows, pale paint and dark wood tables create the perfect atmosphere. It has a very clean, modern feel to it, however the artwork that covers the walls not only completes the New England experience, they tell a story of the behind-the-scenes details making Robert's...well...Robert's! Coming from someone who loves to bring in specialty rentals, I can honestly say, in this space you don't need to. Linens would hide the character of the tables as well as the combination of the on-site chairs they offer.

Deb is the on-site Event Director and she couldn't be better suited for the job. She has worked at Robert's since it opened it's doors and done everything from hosting to waitressing to managing. Now she gets to sit down with each client and customize their menu and feel for their party. This space is perfect for any type of event really - Anniversary, Birthday, Rehearsal Dinner, name it, and you can create it!

Thanks Deb for introducing us to your space and we can't wait to work together with you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Belle Turned Bride: Location Reveal

The Red Lion Inn

Once the possibility of a backyard wedding had been ruled out, Spencer and I decided to check out a few venues. Being in the industry I had done quite a bit of research on my own and had narrowed down the list of potential venues to three options.

We made an appointment to visit our first choice of the three and fell in love with it on the spot. We signed our contract the very next day.

The Red Lion Inn is a charming historic inn nestled in the center of seaside Cohasset, Massachusetts. With only two Saturdays in 2011 available we decided to have a fall wedding and after taking a tour I truly can’t imagine a better time of year to have an event there. On that October afternoon the cozy, rustic inn could have been a postcard of autumn in New England. With the tree-lined streets full of vibrant colors and the aroma of butternut squash bisque emanating from the tavern I was sold.

The barn in the back is a blank slate with so much character I couldn’t wait to start planning the details. Here is a sneak peek, but you will have to wait until the fall to see how The Wedding Belle transforms the space!

Up Next...Ceremony Site Selection!!!!

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