Summer Wedding Photos

October 31st, 2016

I was fortunate to coordinate a wedding this summer that not only was one of the nicest couples I’ve worked with but also allowed me to work with some of my favorite vendors:  the venue was the Kenilworth Club, Four Finches was the florist, and the cake came from Bittersweet Bakery.  There were also some wonderful vendors I hadn’t worked with before:  Catered by Design, Martini Lunch, which is my new favorite swing band, Celestial Strings string quartet, and Studio Finch for photographers.  Studio Finch very kindly shared some of their photos with me.  Take a look at this very fun, very personal wedding:

The ceremony was outdoors at the Kenilworth Club. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The ceremony was outdoors at the Kenilworth Club. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Celestial Strings played for the ceremony. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Celestial Strings played for the ceremony. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

These beautiful floral urns were created for the ceremony by Four Finches, and then used indoors on the stage. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

These beautiful floral urns were created for the ceremony by Four Finches, and then used indoors on the stage. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Both of the bride's parents walked her down the aisle.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Both of the bride’s parents walked her down the aisle. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Here's the wedding party during the ceremony. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Here’s the wedding party during the ceremony. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Meanwhile, indoors the hall was set up for the reception.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Meanwhile, indoors the hall was set up for the reception. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Here's a close-up of one of Four Finch's beautiful centerpieces. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Here’s a close-up of one of Four Finch’s beautiful centerpieces. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

And the sweetheart table.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

And the sweetheart table. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

There was a lovely cake from Bittersweet Bakery. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

There was a lovely cake from Bittersweet Bakery. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The bride, a talented potter, made the ceramic bowls for the centerpieces. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The bride, a talented potter, made the ceramic bowls for the centerpieces. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

She also made the vases for the bridesmaids' bouquets. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

She also made the vases for the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The tables were all named after local landmarks, with photos to help guests find their seats. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The tables were all named after local landmarks, with photos to help guests find their seats. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

You can see how they match the place cards.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

You can see how they match the place cards. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Look how adorable the bride and groom are.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Look how adorable the bride and groom are. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Cocktail hour featured a huge, festive table of local cheese by Catered by Design. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Cocktail hour featured a huge, festive table of local cheese by Catered by Design. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Four Finches also provided a quaint lantern as a card box. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Four Finches also provided a quaint lantern as a card box. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The bride's father led the guests in singing "That's Amore" as part of his toast. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The bride’s father led the guests in singing “That’s Amore” as part of his toast. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

You can see how much they enjoyed their first dance. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

You can see how much they enjoyed their first dance. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Martini Lunch kept the dance floor swinging.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Martini Lunch kept the dance floor swinging. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

There was some good, old-fashioned jitterbugging going on.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

There was some good, old-fashioned jitterbugging going on. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The guests enjoyed themselves.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

The guests enjoyed themselves. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Finally, the guests all saw the bride and groom off on their honeymoon.  Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

Finally, the guests all saw the bride and groom off on their honeymoon. Photo by Studio Finch Photography, www.studiofinch.com

More on Catering vs. Full-Service Catering

October 24th, 2016
Full-service caterers can set out a beautiful buffet.

Full-service caterers can set out a beautiful buffet.

I’ve written in the past about the difference between “catering” and “full-service catering.”  After working with a couple of not-full-service caterers recently, I have a few more thoughts.

As I’ve said before, any restaurant, chef, or catering company can do “catering.”  That might be as simple as bringing big foil pans of food to your location and dropping it off–along with paper plates and plastic forks.  Especially when restaurants say that they do “catering,” often they mean only that they can make quantities of food for a crowd and bring the food to you.

There are also companies that cater parties–and some even bill themselves as “full-service”–that will cook, bring the food to you, serve it, and even do some of the clean-up.  They are almost always less expensive than the real full-service caterers.  The reason they can afford to cater for so much less is that they agree to be at your location for a specified amount of time–just enough to set out the food, serve, clean up, and go.

If you hire a full-service caterer at full price, in addition to taking care of the food, they will also show up early enough to set up the furniture (for both the ceremony and the reception, if it is a wedding); put the tablecloths on the tables; set the tables; move furniture, as needed; and stay until the very end of the party to clean up the room and put everything away.  Another advantage of a full-service caterer is that they will take care of rentals, including dishes.  You don’t have to have paper plates at your party or wedding.

Another thing I like about full-service caterers is that the bartenders are also their staff, and that means that there are no miscommunications between the caterer and the bartending staff.  It means that all the necessities for bartending will be available (ice, lemons, limes, and so on) without any last-minute trips to the store.

While I prefer to work with full-service caterers, I do understand that sometimes it makes sense to use a caterer who offers fewer services.  The best way to handle a caterer who doesn’t offer all the needed services is to facilitate communication between your caterer, your bartender, and your planner or coordinator to make sure that nothing is missed.

May Wedding Photos

October 17th, 2016

Here are a few more photos from the wedding I planned last May.  It was sweet, simple, and a lot of fun.

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Non-Traditional Weddings: At the Races

October 10th, 2016
Horse racing, anyone?

Horse racing, anyone?

A friend of mine told me recently about a wedding that her daughter had attended:  It was at the race track.  She said it was a nice, relaxed day.  They had the ceremony in one of the party rooms available for rent.  After that, there was  a very nice reception, and the guests could also watch the races.

Looking at the website of the race track nearest to me, I see that they have done quite a few weddings.  It seems to be an all-inclusive package:  They provide the rooms, the catering, and a great many extras, including tables, chairs, linens, and parking.  And racing provides the entertainment.  (Who knew you could place bets at a wedding?)

Best of all, it looks like a very affordable option that is also easy to plan.  Sometimes, you can do something a little different and not have it break the bank.