Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Fall 2008 Martha's Vineyard Wedding

We had SUCH a great time on MV and Chappy for our clients Serena and Ted. Although this wedding involved more planning than any other wedding we have ever coordinated- especially in the realm of transportation- we had a blast with both their families and friends and were so happy to be a part of their wedding week.

The wedding events really started on Wednesday, and we have photos of Thursday's Welcome Lobster Bake and the Wedding on Saturday. Here are the fabulous vendors we worked with on MV:

Planning: KPW
Floral and Event Design for the wedding: KPW
Florals for the Welcome Clambake: Flowers on the Vineyard
Event Design for the Welcome Clambake: KPW
Photography: Nelson Hancock Photography
Catering: Jaime Hamlin and Sons Catering
Tents: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals
Lighting: ProtekMV
Rentals: Be Our Guest available through KPW
Linens: Indigo Moon available through KPW
Ceremony and Cocktail Music: High Range available through CREA
Reception Music: Pete Saunders Orchestra available through Hank Lane Music and Productions and Ryan Parker, DJ
Wedding Cake: Val's Cakes
Favors: Truffles for a Cause
Restroom Trailers: C&S Portable Restrooms

A festive yet casual themed Lobster Bake. Custom stained picnic tables and benches adorned with nautical striped runners completed with multiple colored star lanterns.

Corn Hole- a game I was unfamiliar with until this wedding, is hysterically fun and very addictive!

All of the adirondack furniture was custom stained and created for this wedding by Be Our Guest.  Custom cushions were made from Indigo Moon Linens.

The Wedding Ceremony and Reception- All white ceremony flowers followed by all white linens at the reception with orange, magenta and red flowers.

Serena and Ted created a few of these adorable wooden signs throughout the property.

Staying with the theme, we ordered pink and orange parasols for the ceremony.

High Range- FABULOUS blue grass band serenading guests prior to the ceremony.

Our famous Flip Flop Valets!

We brought out the flooring used in the dining tent to create a platform and aisle for the bride and groom.  Simple white-washed planters filled with all white hydrangea, larkspur and beach grass completed the ceremony design.

Bride's bouquet consisted of pink mokara orchids, poison roses, orange mini callas, black baccara roses, dark milva roses.  The bridesmaids bouquets consisted of white garden roses, white dendrobium orchids, white spray roses, white hydrangea, and white mini callas.

The wedding cake was covered in orange and pink mokara orchids with a chocolate branch effect on the bottom of each tier.

Custom orange titan silk napkin ring with a covered button.

Truffles for a cause favors were placed on a bed of pink hydrangea.

The dining tent prior to guests arriving.

The centerpieces varied from a single multi-colored arrangement to three separate vases containing one color and type of flower.  All vases were double banded in orange and pink taffeta ribbon.

KPW classic paper lantern installation complete with pink uplighting on the tent ceiling.

Luminaria bags were placed to help lead guests to the restroom trailers.

A view from outside the two dinner tents in the evening.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Podcast Episode 1 -- The Guest Experience

Take a listen to the first of many podcasts! Today we're discussing the many ways to enhance your wedding guests experience.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why should brides hire professionals...

Photo by John Santerre for David Murray Weddings

I know this sounds like an obvious subject, but there are many brides who do not understand the importance of hiring professional wedding vendors and how each vendor should be treated once they've been hired. I thought I would explain why brides should hire professional vendors and what the BRIDE's role should be once she's hired them.

1. You are hiring professionals because as a bride, you are NOT a part of the wedding industry. We understand how everything works, what things should cost, how to schedule our services, what to expect and how to deal with the unexpected... the list goes on and on. If you take the time to find the right vendor for your style, price range, and overall esthetic, you will create a fantastic team of individual to help guide you through an often difficult and stressful wedding planning process.

2. With all of this being said, I want to reiterate again, you are NOT a part of the wedding industry. If you decide to hire a vendor after doing your research, please let them do their jobs. Please TRUST your vendors judgement and their insights as we have worked with hundreds of brides before and we know what we are doing. We are here to HELP and ASSIST you, providing our expertise and advice from our many experiences prior to your event.

3. Second guessing your vendors all the time doesn't make any sense at all, and it begs the question as to why you hired them in the first place. You hired each vendor for their merit and talents and you should listen to what they have to say. This doesn't mean that your opinions shouldn't be voiced and heard. Your opinions are the MOST important opinions throughout the planning process. I'm just suggesting that once you decide on something you stick to it. There is SO much information available to brides on the internet that I feel as if they worry that they are going to miss the next best idea if they aren't constantly searching for new designs, signature drinks, bouquet wraps, photo booths, etc. Once you select your theme and overall style, embrace it and run with the concept.

4. Please also understand that as much as we want to make you the center of our attention as much as possible, you are most likely not the ONLY client your vendors are dealing with. Vendors should respond to your questions in a very timely manner, and should be as accommodating as possible when it comes to meetings etc, but there are probably up to 80 other brides they are juggling at the same time and that is certainly not an easy task.

5. Please respect your vendors. Their time is as valuable as yours and they are available to help you. Asking for unreasonable price reductions, especially in this economy, is not appropriate. EVERYONE has been affected by the economy so if you have less money in the bank, your vendors have less money too. They still have to pay their employees, cover their travel expenses, and work with their personal vendors who all need to be paid according. Most vendors are very aware of the economy and how it is affecting the wedding industry, but now is not the time to take advantage. Don't forget, your wedding would not be taking place without their hard work and dedication!

Finally, perspective is ALWAYS important when planning your wedding. Things will go wrong, you might need to use your rain plan, and drama will arise. Something always happens throughout the planning process that makes a bride feel like the world is coming to an end and the wedding is going to be ruined. Coming from personal experience- Type 1 Diabetes, Thyroid Cancer, and a new baby, I have gained new perspective on life. You are getting married to someone you are (hopefully) madly in love with and you want to celebrate that love with your friends and family. Your wedding should reflect that and you should plan it according. Worrying about the color of the napkins and how they might clash with the bridesmaids dresses is probably not the best use of your time and will only stress you out. Enjoy the planning process, let the professionals help make it fun an stress-free, and always remember why you are planning this big party in the first place!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Out of the office- St. John wedding

We will not be blogging from Thursday April 23rd to Tuesday, April 28th. We will return with lots to post, including some exciting podcasts!


Vendor Series Interview No. 14, Maine Seasons Events

Meagan Gilpatrick might be one of the nicest wedding planners I've ever spoken to. Her clients love her, vendors enjoy working with her, and with her taste in design- I completely understand why. Take a look at her website for more information and enjoy the interview!

Maine Seasons Events

Meagan Gilpatrick

Image by Sharyn Peavey

Some examples of Meagan's work!

Image by Cunningham Photography

Image by Sharyn Peavey

Image by Samantha Warren

Image by Sharyn Peavey

KP: What is your favorite part of the wedding process?

MG: My favorite part of the planning process is when the vision for the event design is solidified-when the colors, the dishes, the tables, flowers, location and other design and decor elements have been selected. For me, being able to show my client what their event will look and feel like, is when the event comes alive and when everyone gets excited about the tasks ahead to make the vision reality.

KP: What do you love most about your job in the wedding industry?

MG: I love helping people enjoy the wedding planning process, of making the seemingly insurmountable task of planning a wedding feel easy and fun. I enjoy getting to know each client, hearing about their story and then translating the idea of their wedding into a real life experience.

KP: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?

MG: There is a misconception that wedding planners are for celebrities and are not a financial option for most people. In reality, there are planners for every client's style, budget and personality. Hiring a great wedding planner will save clients countless hours of research and frustration, while managing the overall wedding budget, therefore saving money and time.

KP: How did you get into the wedding industry?

MG: Nine years ago when I was planning my own wedding, I encountered so many obstacles that took some of the fun out of the process. It occurred to me that I would love to use my background in management, customer service, design and hospitality to help others create visionary weddings on a realistic budget. I planned weddings for several friends, and word spread. After a few years of planning events on the side, I left the corporate world to focus full time on the one profession that never felt like a job to me.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor other than in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

MG: This is what I do for a living! I think it is critical for wedding planners to recommend vendors who best suit the needs, budget and individual style of each unique client. There are many talented, passionate and professional service providers in the wedding industry-assembling the right team of vendors for each client is a critical part of the wedding planning process.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

MG: There are many excellent wedding planners, and each of their different personalities better suit different clients, it would be difficult to recommend one over another without knowing a client and their needs first. Different planners have different trademark styles, and best-at talents, aside from the organizational skills necessary to be effective planners. I recommend that clients interview a few wedding planners before making their choice. I advise clients that they will know when they have met the right planner, "the one"-it will just feel right.

KP: Favorite wedding story- funny or serious

MG: There are so many noteworthy stories...One that has always stuck with me was a September wedding that took place at the bride's parents' waterfront house. The mother of the bride is quite possibly one of the sweetest and kindest women I have ever met and the bride and groom are as well-likely the reason this family is still in my thoughts even years after the wedding.
I knew there would be some sort of weather that evening, it was just a matter of when. I snuck away several times to check the weather radar, to estimate the time of the storm's arrival. Experience with many outdoor and tented weddings and being a Maine native has given me a sixth sense about the weather here. The afternoon of the wedding was beautiful, and the ceremony on a cliff overlooking the ocean, went just as planned. All the while, clouds were moving in off the water and the leaves on the trees were turned upside down in the wind. I call it the "sour-sweet wind", the kind that comes just before a significant storm here in Maine. Guests mingled on the point for the cocktail hour before they were to be escorted into the dinner tent to begin the reception. I had to make the silent decision to move the guests into the tent a few minutes before the scheduled cocktail hour conclusion. Just as the bride's grandmother and the last few guests made it safely under the tent, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain drenched most of the floor of the tent. The thunder was so loud that the music wasn't audible-so everyone sat in awe and silence and watched the lightning storm-it was a beautiful, candle lit, 20 minute pause. The cupcake table began to sink into the ground and the photographer and I grabbed the table just as it was about to topple over and tip -toed through the tent carrying the desserts to higher ground. Weather that could have caused a disaster was gracefully and humorously accepted by the family and their guests. The Mason jars hanging from the tent ceiling, illuminated with candles, created a warm glow, it was cozy and intimate-just what the couple had wanted. When the rain stopped a fun, festive and perfect reception continued. This event reminded me of the importance of having an attitude of gratitude and acceptance for the things you can't control.

KP: What other part of the industry would you not want to work in? Why?

MG: Catering to me, is the ultimate difficult profession in this industry. How caterers manage to prepare, cook and serve delicious, proper temperature food, for sometimes hundreds of people, who may have different dietary needs, outside in a tent, on a typical Maine weather day, is amazing to me, every time I witness it. I actually did work in a past life in the catering and restaurant industry-I have a lot of respect for those who have the passion to provide such an integral part of most wedding celebrations.

KP: What differentiates you from the rest of your industry peers?

MG: Clients should choose a wedding planner whom they feel comfortable with, whose personal style reflects their own and whose experience encompasses the type of event the client is planning. Maine Seasons Events' wedding planning services are designed to be customized to the needs of each unique client. For one client, the service that best suits their needs could be full event planning, and for another client, hourly consultation and day of event coordination services. Offering the flexibility to choose different levels of customized service has been an important feature for our clients. After planning, coordinating and executing over 100 weddings, one of the things I hear the most from our clients, is that we brought order and calm to what would have otherwise been a stressful day. Our attention to detail, caring about our clients, a true understanding of the importance of a wedding, diligence and consistent professionalism are some of the fundamental elements of our client's experience when working with us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Pledge Blog Post- Who I admire in the Wedding Industry

What a difficult question to answer: "Who do you admire in the wedding industry?" I have so many wonderful vendors that I work with on a regular basis, I feel like I'm picking the last person for the kickball team in elementary school. I guess if I had to pick one I would go with a photographer who has been supporting Kate Parker Weddings from the first time we met, Liesl Clark of Claris Photography. Actually, it's sort of a funny story. I remember driving to their studio in Milford, NH as a brand new planner- I don't know if I had even planned a wedding yet. I sat down with Liesl and Richard and looked at all of their portfolios, their work was as incredible then as it is now, and I was overly impressed with their funky loft-like studio atmosphere and relaxed attitudes about brides and how to shoot a wedding. I was soaking all of their information up like a sponge, learning about their craft. At the end of the meeting I think I said something along the lines of "I know I haven't done a lot of weddings, and my company isn't known YET, but it will be." Six years later we have a full wedding coordination firm with national editorial exposure and we still work with Claris on a regular basis. I guess they saw something in us like we saw in them.

There are so many reasons why we suggest Claris Photography to our clients. Here are a few reasons why we love Liesl and why our clients couldn't agree more:

- Liesl is all about getting great unexpected moments- the grandmother watching the bride walk down the aisle, the expression on the bride's face while she's dancing with her girlfriends from college. Such incredible emotion... just fabulous.

- Formal shots don't take that much time.. Everyone needs a few photos of parents and family members, but Liesl gets through the formals quickly and keeps them really organic and natural so people don't feel posed.

- Selecting locations- Liesl will come to the venue early to scout the perfect locations- sometimes a day early. She checks out the light during the same time you would taking your photos to make sure she has just the right information she will need. If you are interested in seeing your groom early- and we suggest you do- Liesl will find the most beautiful and intimate location for you to see each other for the first time and she makes sure you have ample time to spend together alone to take the day in before the ceremony.

-Attitude- I cannot explain how relaxed Liesl makes my clients- even those who are usually pretty up-tight. She is so easy to work with, from the getting ready photos through the dancing shots at the end of the night. She's completely unobtrusive and always gets the perfect shots without you even knowing she's there.

If that wasn't enough of a soapbox shouting props to Claris Photography, I'll let her images do the rest of the explanation:

Claris Photography

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vendor Series Interview No. 13, Relive Photography

I had the pleasure of working with Laura on a small and intimate wedding last fall in NH and she was just a DOLL to work with! Her photos were wonderful as you will see below. Check out her website and enjoy the interview!

Relive Photography

Laura Parent

Her beautiful photography!

Vendor Interview Questions:

KP: What is your favorite part of the wedding process?

LP: I totally love seeing the bride and groom interact and seeing each other for the first time. It is rare that I don’t cry during the ceremony and fall in love with the couple after spending so much time with them. I also just really appreciate the opportunity to get to know so many awesome people within the wedding party.

KP: What do you love most about your job in the wedding industry?

LP: I was an artist growing up and went to college for fashion design. I am very in tuned to fashion and details of the day. I truly find it exciting to find the unique details that become and bride and grooms day. I am always pleasantly surprised and love the way these items can get my artistic juices flowing.

KP: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?

LP: I think that digital photography which is so much a part of our industry now has not always received enough credit. I think that it has opened the door to so many new photographers that are extremely artistic since digital is here. I don’t think that people realize how unique their imagery can be due to the new digital age.

KP: How did you get into the wedding industry?

LP: I was traveling in Europe with some friends and took a ton of images with my Canon camera. After seeing the pictures that I took there, one of the girls I had traveled with asked me to shoot her wedding. First I told her she was crazy and did not agree. After her consistent pushing I did shoot her wedding and have not turned back since. I was already involved in graphic work and it just fell in place and made so much sense. I absolutely have found the art that moves me.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor other than in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

LP: Wow, there are so many. I would have to say that as far as a high level of talent I would recommend Around Town Entertainment. They are located in New York City and I have worked with them many times. NYC is my home town and I do a lot of work there so I know who I love and don’t. Why? This band is amazing and what is the best is that they are not just a huge talent but also down to earth and so pleasant to work with. Their reputation has grown in a big way in the last few years.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

LP: I took a workshop with David Beckstead this year and loved every minute of it. He is an terrific artist and a great person to learn from. His business is very successful and for a very good reason. His work is very artistic and not just photographs but pieces of art. That is what I strive for.

KP: Favorite wedding story- funny or serious

LP: I worked at a wedding last summer and the groom was without much family present. I had found out that his family had died in a fire when he was a young boy. What moved me the most was that the folks that raised him were his grandmother and aunts. Their speeches to him at his wedding made me cry so much that I could barely see through my camera lens. They touched on how wonderful of a man he had turned out with such diversity against him. They were amazing and did a great job raising this boy into a sweetheart of a guy. They just had such kind hearts.

KP: What other part of the industry would you not want to work in? Why?

LP: I really love what I do so much that I would not want to do anything else in this industry. I have my dream job.

KP: What differentiates you from the rest of your industry peers

LP: I think that there are so many talented photographers out there. What I hope differentiates me is my knack of communicating with all ages extremely well. I have found that my personality is a huge bonus and I receive so many compliments regarding that. I treat everyone equally with respect and have fun with them and enjoy knowing my clients. I also take the time to do a workshop once a year with a highly regarded photographer (such as David Beckstead) to keep my photography fresh and artistic.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cookie Creatives favors

We work with Michelle Bohigian from Something Sweet by Michelle for our wedding cakes as often as we can. She came to our studio yesterday with a little bag of cookie favors from Cookie Creatives and wow were they beautiful! All hand-crafted and packaged, customized to fit your style and color scheme. I took a few photos of some of the samples she brought, but make sure you check out Jennifer's website to get a complete look at her fabulous favor options!

Cookie Creatives by Jennifer

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Farm-themed weddings inspirations

We just had a great meeting with one of our June brides who is having her reception at a farm in Southern Maine called Laudholm Farm. We are creating an earthy and organic style with a muted color palate, naturally composed floral arrangements and touches of burlap. The flowers we will be incorporating are: white hydrangea, mini green hydrangea, white peonies, cream garden roses, white and purple anemones, white and green ranunculus, star of Bethlehem, and fresh lavender. We are custom staining and distressing two different sizes of wooden boxes for the flower vessels. We'll be using wide-mouthed mason jars with dahlias and anemones for the cocktail hour as well. Take a look at the images below to get an idea of the reception centerpieces and table design! Something Sweet by Michelle will be creating the cake, a linen hemstitched themed design, complete with her incredible and impossible to copy sugar flowers. The reception tent is provide by Sperry Tents Seacoast so we know if will look fantastic! We'll post more inspirations from our other weddings as we get closer to them!

Kate Parker Weddings
Kate Parker Flowers