Honestly, our wedding was everything that I had hoped it would be. It was a perfect balance of elegance and New England charm, coupled with a fun, enthusiastic crowd dancing the night away! Doing it the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend gave us all day Saturday to enjoy with our guests, and we were incredibly fortunate to have such perfect fall weather all weekend.
Oh, and Wedding Mapper was a tremendously helpful resource to share with our guests and make my planning easier. I don't know what I would have done without the guest manager tools. Five stars to Wedding Mapper!
Nancy's arrangements were definitely works of art! She was able to create bouquets and arrangements that perfectly met my desired balance of elegant and yet not overly formal. I wanted the flowers to feel very "fall-y" and "New England-y" and that's exactly what we got. She was easy to work with and offered a creative approach without being too cutting-edge.
Tastings was wonderful! We actually used them for both the big rehearsal lunch on Saturday and the wedding reception on Sunday, and the food received rave reviews all weekend. (The butternut squash ravioli was lauded in the guest book not once but twice, believe it or not!) Sue and Eileen were great to work with -- flexible, creative, organized, and experienced. In addition to serving delicious food, Tastings also helped me to coordinate the table linens, chairs, etc.
We originally heard about Night Rhythm on Wedding Mapper, and the recommendation definitely did not lead us astray. The band was amazing. Their rendition of our first dance song ("If I Can't Have You" by Etta James and Harvey Fuqua) was fabulous, and their playing kept the dance floor packed all evening long.
We love the photos that Liz took for our wedding! She had a great combination of classic must-have shots with some creative settings and poses. Liz is organized and responsive, and she and her assistant photographer, Jenna, were a pleasure to work with. They are based in San Francisco but are in Massachusetts periodically and were able to cover our wedding for us, which we were so grateful for.
Michael from Blue Vintage Spa is the best updo hairstylist I've ever used. I was really skeptical about finding someone who could do what I wanted for my hair, which was to pull it back loosely and romantically and to allow the natural wave to show through. My sister recommended him after he did the bridal party for a wedding she was in, and I'm really happy that we hired him. The bridesmaids all loved their updos, and each one was unique, interesting, and flattering.
Mike from Come Rain Or Shine was recommended by the property manager at the Pierce House, and it worked out really well. The tent looked great, and Mike was flexible with pricing, which we appreciated, of course. We were able to share the costs of the tent and some associated items with the wedding reception that took place at the Pierce House the day before us.
Gordon's Liquors was recommended by our caterer, and they worked out well. Our contact person was less responsive than we'd prefer, but in the end we got wine and liquors that worked well for our budget and our guests both.
We loved having a trolley to bring the wedding party from the ceremony to the reception. It was really nice to have a large and comfortable vehicle but I'm glad that it could also have some character and charm. We used the trolley again at the end of the night to ferry guests who had been enjoying our open bar a little too much from the reception to the hotels and after-party. The driver was an angel to put up with our horrific singing during that ride!
If it were possible to give Jenny at Trends & Traditions six stars, I would have! I knew that I was going to be able to put together most of the big vendor items myself and was happy to make all the decisions. But we hired Jenny to help us in the months leading up to the wedding, and we are so glad that we did. Jenny met with my mother and me a few months in advance of the big day to go through all the vendors, our plans and expectations, the schedule for the weekend, etc. It was incredibly helpful -- and reassuring -- to know that every detail and logistic had been though and that Jenny and her assistant would be on site for the event to handle any issues that popped up. The wedding went totally smoothly for our families and our guests, and we were able to relax and just enjoy the joyous moment.
We ordered the bridesmaids' dresses through the Bella Bridesmaid store in San Francisco. They were really pleasant to work with, and we especially liked the fact that my bridesmaids living in different cities were able to visit their local boutiques to try on the dress, see the fabric swatch in person, and get measured for sizing. They represent a number of different designers so we were able to consider many options, but the Lula Kate dresses were a favorite from the beginning.
The bridesmaid dresses are by Lula Kate, but we ordered them through Bella Bridesmaid. My sister (MOH) chose a dress with a more fun, ruffled collar, but the other bridesmaids wore classic boat-neck, A-line, knee-length dresses. All of the dresses were cinnamon-colored silk dupioni, which worked perfectly for the fall setting, and they were accented with colored silk scarves which I gave as gifts at the bridesmaid brunch.
My mom found perfect little chocolate oak leaf and acorn favors from The Chocolate Vault. The company was able to print customized labels to tie on to each of the little gift bags.
Marjorie hand-made my wedding gown, using my grandmother's original dress pattern as a guide for the remade top and adding two other layers of fabric over the original satin skirt on the bottom. Marjorie's attention to detail and technical abilities had me feeling like I was in good hands the whole time. And her finished product was stunning!
Both Jared and I grew up going to this church, so although we live in San Francisco now, it was natural for us to have our marriage ceremony here. Architecturally, it is a classic New England Protestant church, and the setting was great for our wedding. The minister encouraged us to customize the ceremony as much as we'd like but also kept it traditional. The church was accommodating with our logistical planning requests. It's worth noting that they don't allow photos during the actual wedding ceremony, just the processional and recessional but not the service itself.
I heard about the Pierce House from a friend and I'm so glad that she tipped me off to this gorgeous property! The estate is really beautiful with expansive lawns, mature trees, and an stately old mansion. It's loaded with charm and is elegant but not overly formal. We had the cocktail hour inside, and the food buffets and bar were set up in there all evening. We put up a big tent on the back patio for the dining tables and dance floor, and the spaces all flowed together really well.
Richard, the property manager, was great to work with. He made some vendor suggestions early on (the caterer, florist, and tent company) that all worked out fantastically. And he was organized and helpful as the big day approached.
The hotel was just fine for our guests. It's not a five-star inn, but they were accommodating for our wedding block. The room decor is a little tired, but the inn has loads of charm and a great location on the town green.
The Best Western was very accommodating with our wedding block, and it was easily accessible for our guests (located just off of Rt. 2).
We didn't have an official wedding block here, but a number of guests appreciated this moderately-priced but slightly more upscale and modern option.
Click on each tool to see a sample.