Five Tips For a Gorgeous Rainy Wedding Day

It's the week of your wedding, and you've just opened your weather app to see that the forecast went from sunshine to showers for your Wedding Day. First, take a deep breath and try not to panic -- please know that everything will work out just fine, believe me. You've come to the right place, and this post is devoted to providing you with steps you can take to ensure that your Wedding Day is just as gorgeous and spectacular despite the rain's inconvenient RSVP.

As a wedding planner and designer based in New England, a region of the US where rain is always a possibility on any given day, I've had to execute a fair share of rain plans over the last nine years. In fact, in the Summer of 2016 alone AYE had to execute three rain plans! Since AYE's specialty is private estate and tented weddings, it's imperative that I create two plans for my couples from the very beginning: a main plan and a rain plan. To ensure that my couples' weddings are just as magical and gorgeous when rain strikes, I've put in place procedures to help a wedding plan adapt to an unfavorable forecast in the days leading up to the wedding. And today I'm sharing with you my top five rain plan tips for hosting a gorgeous wedding when Mother Nature isn't cooperating!

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1. Assess Your Umbrella Needs

As soon as you believe rain might show it's face on your Wedding Day, swiftly put that Amazon Prime subscription to work and purchase umbrellas for you, your bridal party and your guests. My biggest tip here is to purchase pretty, large and matching umbrellas for yourself and your bridal party. Dreamy portraits and formal photos can be created even in rainstorms with the right umbrellas! I highly recommend these Totes Clear Bubble Umbrellas (link below) for the bride, groom and bridal party! Or if you would like something solid, consider this classic and sophisticated option with a wooden handle (link below). 

For your guests, consider a smaller, compact umbrella or these white umbrellas (links below). Ask your wedding planner or a friend to place them in large woven baskets at the entrance to your ceremony, cocktail reception, dinner reception (and restrooms if they are accessed from outside) for easy access by all of your guests at all times. This hospitable gesture goes a long way in the eyes of your guests, and will keep them dry and comfortable throughout the evening.

Your Umbrella Shopping List:

For extra comfort, inquire with your rental company to add coat racks and hangers, and have your them placed at the front entrance to the venue or tent.

2. Reconsider Having a First Look

This is sometimes requires some convincing, but I promise you that it will save you quite a bit of anxiety and stress! I LOVE the tradition of the groom not seeing his bride until she walks down the aisle, but this beautiful practice doesn't allow for all formal photos to take place prior to the ceremony. While this might not be a concern on a sunny day, when rain clouds roll in your sunlight diminishes. As you head into the evening on your Wedding Day, it becomes a race to squeeze in all the photos on your list before the sun sets and light is completely lost. On a rainy afternoon/evening, visible sunset will not take place, you will skip over twilight and it will be darker earlier than usual. To streamline your day and ensure that you capture all those gorgeous photos of your family and bridal party, consider having a First Look followed by formal photos about 2 hours prior to the ceremony at a pretty, predetermined location such as an open and airy bridal suite, light filled covered patio, or an indoor space with lots of windows. 

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3. Find a Indoor Location for Ceremony, Cocktail Reception and Formal Photos

If you're getting married at a venue with an indoor space, moving any outdoor aspects of the day such as the ceremony and cocktail reception should be pretty painless -- call your wedding planner and venue coordinator 4-5 days prior to the wedding and request the relocation of these events indoors! If you're hosting a tented wedding, consider calling your tent company and adding an additional rain plan ceremony tent. Many tent companies will recommend you place a deposit on a rain plan ceremony tent upon booking the dinner tent, so you may already have one reserved and at the ready! Then relocate your outdoor cocktail reception to the dinner tent by moving the cocktail tables and placing them around the bars and dance floor in the dinner tent, which will encourage guests to continue mingling until first course is served!

To ensure your Formal Photos aren't compromised by the rain, I would highly recommend finding a light and airy indoor location that you can take pre-ceremony and post ceremony formal photos in. Call your planner and/or bridesmaids and exercise "divide and conquer" for this tip! Have each person call a local space within close proximity to your wedding venue where you can take newlywed photos and formal photos during the Wedding Day.  Look for museums, galleries, public pavilions, greenhouses, hotels, historic homes and even other wedding venues with lots of windows, natural light and simple decor. Some locations may require a minimal fee for wedding photography to take place. In this case I say that if you love the location and it's convenient, pay the fee -- it will be worth the peace of mind! Once you find your Formal Photo Location, update your timeline and contact your photographer as well as the bridal party members and family on the formal photos list and provide them with the address.

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blush and navy and green cape cod chatham wedding
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4. Keep Your Vendors In the Loop

This step is key. If you don't have a wedding planner already handling this aspect, contact every vendor on your Wedding Vendor Team to let them know your rain plan, even if the changes are very minor. A simple quick phone call to each to chat through the flow of the day will keep everyone on the same page as well as address any questions ahead of time, and it will allow your vendors to adjust their own plans if need be. Keeping your team informed and working off the same plan as you are will set them up for success, and as a result keep the event seamless even in inclement weather.

5. Embrace the Rain

This final tip might be the most important one. Try not to let the rain dictate your emotions on your big day. Reframe your mind to see rain as "no big deal" and you will be much more likely to enjoy the celebration from start to finish. One of my most magical weddings to date took place in the rain -- with the pitter patter of raindrops overhead the candlelit reception under a clear top tent felt like a little piece of romantic heaven to guests! Some of the BEST newlywed photos have been those taken in rain. When the ceremony is over, grab your pretty umbrellas, hold onto your other half and head for the outdoors for a few minutes with your photographer. Laugh, smile, dance, hug and kiss for some stunning and epic photos of you as newlyweds in the rain.

gorgeous rainy day wedding on cape cod

Bonus Tip: Add Flowers

I couldn't resist adding just one more! Because many of my couples' host at least one part of their wedding outdoors, often times we are moving that piece of the day indoors. And when doing so, sometimes you need to bring the outside in to maintain the aesthetic and keep the design you've worked so hard to create in tact. Flowers can really help to transform a space into a romantic setting and add brightness to an indoor venue. Consider adding more blooms to your ceremony's flower arch to make it more impactful and "wow" guests as they walk into the ceremony space. Soften hard surfaces such as mantels and 

And there you have it! Friends, I hope this post has been helpful and calmed any nerves you might be having about the chance of inclement weather on your wedding day! For anyone who has experienced rain on their wedding day, I would love for you to comment below and share your umbrella photos with me! 

Until next time!

xo, Keri

Photography by Carly Michelle Photography

A Nautical Chic AYE Wedding {Brittany and Casey}

Drumroll please. Brittany and Casey's wedding photos have arrived, and guys, they are gorgeous. When Brittany and I had our first consultation, she had plans for a much larger wedding. But as the planning process began, the couple decided that an intimate affair of just close family and close friends on the ocean at Wequasset Resort and Golf Club was truly their cup of tea.

"Subtle Nautical Chic," is how Brittany described her vision for her wedding day. While that might sound a wordy, I knew exactly what she meant. On Cape Cod, couples can sometimes feel like they need to have the quintessential Cape Cod wedding with hurricane lanterns and beachy elements, blue hydrangeas and a beachside ceremony. But Brittany and Casey preferred Cape Cod as the backdrop, and less the central theme.

We selected the Wequasset Resort and Golf Club to host their 60 close family and friends for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. The weather on May 30th was absolutely gorgeous, with just the appropriate amount of clouds and sun, which were the makings for some truly stunning photos. 

The ceremony was held at the cozy Lawn Cove nestled in the center of Wequasset and against the harbor which served as the most gorgeous backdrop. Brittany and Casey read their own written vows to each other, focusing on the growth of their love throughout the years. 

One of the major focal points of Brittany and Casey's weddings were the florals. With May being the season of peonies, Coral Charms and Tree Peonies made an appearance in all of the bouquets and guest table centerpieces. In an effort to tie in nautical hints throughout the design, we selected navy and white striped ribbon wraps for the bouquets, and pops of creamy white Dutch hydrangea (the iconic Cape Cod bloom). The guest tables featured navy and gold menu cards snuggly tucked into navy napkins and the centerpieces were comprised of hydrangea, peonies and coral roses in hammered gold vessels, which played perfectly into the navy, coral, white and gold color palette.

And the newlyweds spent the rest of their evening dancing the night away with their friends and family on a reclaimed wood dance floor on a deck that overlooked the ocean. You cannot top that!

Congratulations to the newlyweds, and cheers to the Bretts! 

XOXO

Planning and Design by Always Yours Events, Photography by Tico and Red Photography, Ceremony and Reception Venue is Wequasset Resort and Golf Club, Florals by Jacqueline Albanese Floral, Cake Design by Montilio's Bakery, Hair by Brenda Wilson, Makeup by Mae Michienzie

Anthropologie Inspired Wedding {Wedding Design Inspiration}

Do not quench your inspiration and imagination; do not become the slave of your model.
— Vincent van Gogh

In the recent few weeks, I have had the pleasure of delving into Anthroplogie-inspired designs for some of AYE's upcoming 2015 weddings, and I have to say that I am over the moon incorporating the gorgeous look and feel into the scope of these weddings. Vintage mismatched china, gold dipped accents, soft shades punctuated with bold colors, watercolor, lots of textures including velvet and natural linen, reclaimed wood, indie upholstery and a plethora of unique pieces that complete the big picture. As a creative wedding designer, what I love so much about the Anthropologie-look is that every little mismatched, unconventional piece actually impeccably contributes to a perfectly chic overall look and design.

Brides, once you establish that this is the wedding style and aesthetic you are leaning towards, a great way to start on the right foot is by defining a color palette. For an Anthropologie-inspired wedding, you will want to pick approximately four to five colors that range from soft hues to eye-catching colors. Substitute stark and true white shades with ivory, cream, ecru or even champagne. Add in a soft hue such as mauve, blush, butter, taupe, etc. Add one or two colors that pack an impact, such as indigo, burnt orange, emerald, marigold or even fuchsia. Finally, add a metallic accent, such as gold, antique gold, platinum, etc. This color palette will create a guide for you to continually use as you place your rental orders, work with your floral designer to create floral recipes, select china, silver, glassware, linens, and purchase additional decor and accent pieces.

The overall aesthetic for an Anthropologie-inspired wedding is a combination of al fresco, vintage, a touch of boho chic and whimsy. When speaking with your floral designer, consider designs that have a "wave" to the shape of the arrangement, featuring greens and big colorful blooms with some whimsical blooms "popping out" of the arrangement in certain areas. Think of hand-tied bouquets filled with natural greens and statement blooms with textured wraps such as velvet, lace, raw silk, etc (think opposite of grosgrain). For table decor, consider skipping the linen and selecting a rustic walnut farm table with cross back napa chairs. Think mismatched china or china rimmed with the metallic you have selected for your color palette. Selecting a napkin in the bold hue from your color palette can create an statement and pull all of the elements of the table together. For place cards and escort cards, consider watercolor in the softer shades of your color palette.

Finally, no Anthropologie-inspired wedding would be complete without a chic, completely styled lounge area that feels like that "spot" where everyone wants to relax with a fun cocktail. Think vintage rental furniture such as tufted couches and chairs, colorful moroccan poufs, an indie tapestry rug or even a white shag area rug, a wide and long wood coffee table, lots of votives in various styles, a plethora of textured, colorful throw pillows and fun metallic accent pieces for the table. 

What do you think, lovelies? Are you feeling inspired to begin applying some of these ideas to your wedding design plans? If you do, I would LOVE to see what you create. Upload your photograph on IG and tag @alwaysyoursevents so that we can see all the prettiness you have created! 

XOXO, Keri


Photo Sources: Colin Cowie Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Burnett's Boards, Casa de Perrin 




Over Sunday Morning Coffee: Lovely Client Gifts

Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving.
— Dr. Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages

Gifting is a love language.  It is a way to express thoughtfulness, that there is a special place in your heart for someone, and even more simply… that you care.  And it just so happens that gifting is my primary love language.  Is it your birthday?  Great, I got you a gift!  You're having a baby?  Perfect, because I found this onesie that coordinates with your mint green nursery!  It's your second anniversary?  Here is a cotton blossom wreath for your new home! You're having a bad day?  These sprinkle donuts I baked you will definitely be the cure.  You just booked me as your wedding planner?  Just you wait and see all the lovely pretties in store.

The Always Yours Events business model truly emphasizes the client experience.  It is our differentiation factor.  It is what makes what we do so personal.  And one of the ways we enhance the client experience is through gifting. I absolutely love giving gifts as a part of the Always Yours client experience, and as 2015 approaches I am looking for some really thoughtful pretties to gift to each of my brides throughout our planning journey together.  

I already have a few goodies up my sleeve, but I thought maybe our readers might have a little bit of insight too! If you were an AYE bride, what little gift would you be over-the-moon to open from us?  If you have a spare moment, I would love for you to comment below and share your thoughts!

xoxo
Keri


Ring boxes from The Mrs. Box, floral arrangement from Hey Gorgeous Events, cotton voille robe from Plum Pretty Sugar and rose pate de fruits from Cupcakes and Cashmere.