One of the biggest pieces of wedding advice that I can give is RESEARCH THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR VENDORS. These are the people who are going to bring your big day to life. And you should have wicked high standards, especially with how much money you end up shelling out for each vendor. Fortunately, most vendors expect and exceed brides high expectations. Mine certainly did! I spent hours and hours and hours and hours (X1000) researching vendors on every wedding website that I possibly could. I had a lot of fun researching, but that’s not everyone’s thing. So I thought I would put together a mini review of our vendors for anyone who is in the New England area!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Breakfast on the Connecticut
I fell in love with this little B&B the moment I saw it. It’s a gorgeous yellow house sitting on a stunning piece of property overlooking the Connecticut River. It’s also on the same road where Max’s family used to live which also sold me on the venue. It’s where our love story started! One of the best parts was that we could host every part of the wedding at the same site. Which meant less travel and more fun. The initial get up and go was a little challenging… The owners of the inn are retired and went through a serious of unfortunate events which lead them to go through three sets of inn keepers between the time we booked the wedding and the actual wedding weekend. But once they found Elise… man did things turn around. Elise was FABULOUS. She was so sweet and helpful. She even cooked special dairy free, gluten free meals for my maid of honor and step sister throughout the weekend. The inn was super accommodating and even let us have a big campfire that ran until about 1:30am. It was the perfect venue!
Catering, Rentals, Booze: Bloods Catering & Party Rentals
These three items tend to have the biggest price tags which makes it really stressful to shop for vendors. But Bloods has the best reputation in town with reasonable prices. We met with Sara who was fabulous through the entire process. We met with her 4 times to go over various details and she answered all my crazy questions in a flash! Being able to count on one company to take care of three major portions of the wedding felt GREAT. Everything leading up was fabulous, but when I got to our venue after Bloods had dropped off all of the rentals I discovered that they hadn’t actually set anything up. Everything had just been dumped in the tent. I was totally fine putting everything where it needed to go, but it was not expressed to me that I was responsible for the set up. So that was a bit of a bummer. Things started off a little rocky the day of the wedding as well. The team arrived but did not have what they needed to power the tent! Luckily my cousin took over managing that for me and made sure that everything was up and running before guests arrived. Once we got through that everything was smooth sailing with the Bloods team. The food was fabulous and everyone was really helpful during dinner. The quality of the tables, tent, dance floor, and other rental items was great! Their farm tables really helped pull together the entire look of the wedding. Sara had set a very high standard and unfortunately she wasn’t there to run the show the day of… but I think if she had been then everything would have gone a little bit more smoothly.
Florist: Robert Jensen Floral Design
I can not say enough wonderful things about this man. We had a very small budget for flowers so we decided to use potted flowers (that my mom and I planted ourselves), but I really wanted a florist to take on the arbor and the bouquets. I met Robert by chance when wondering through his flower shop with a coworker who was looking for an arrangement to bring his finance. We got to chatting and before I knew it I had my florist! We met several times over the course of a year and a half, and every time I left his shop I was more excited about the wedding than I was walking in. Robert completely understood my vision and ran with it. He knew all of my favorite flowers, and the flowers that I didn’t want anywhere near my wedding. His prices were so reasonable and he allowed me to pay a bit at a time which was so helpful. The day of the wedding couldn’t have gone better. Robert got to the venue right on time and had all the groomsmen watching him (totally mesmerized) create a masterpiece on the arbor. I was absolutely blown away. He is truly an artist. It also helps that he is quite literally the kindest person on the planet.
Photographer: Blue Locket Studios
Being the most awkward person on the planet, having someone in my face with a camera really freaked me out. I was so nervous walking into our engagement shoot, but Alyssa totally put me at ease. I originally found her on The Knot and was blown away by her photos. But actually working with her was the best part of the experience. She is so sweet and funny and Max and I were completely comfortable with her during the wedding and engagement shoot. One of my biggest wedding pet peeves is an overly invasive photographer. I have been to so many weddings where the photographers were right in the way, and didn’t take the guests into consideration what so ever. But Alyssa and her assistant didn’t miss a single photo opportunity and managed to stay on the sidelines. Although I would have been very happy to have them join the party! Alyssa also had THOUSANDS of photos back to us in less than 3 weeks. 3 freaking weeks. And they exceeded every expectation that I had.
Band: Brooks Hubbard
I was so excited when Brooks agreed to play at our wedding! The Hubbard’s have been family friends for a long time. They play at all of our family events and have played at every family wedding for 2 generations. It’s so freaking special. Brooks is just unbelievably talented. He’s been living in Nashville and is currently touring the country. He drove back all the way from Nashville to be at our wedding! Not only did he make sure that not a single person was left in their seat, but he also stayed after the wedding ended and played for everyone around the campfire until 1:30am. That was one of the best parts of the entire wedding. Brooks played while everyone who stayed late sang and made s’mores. It was so magical.
Stylist: Brittany Davis
Brittany has been doing my hair for 2 years now. She completely brought my hair back to life. After years of at home dye sessions, and waiting way too long between cuts, Brittany swooped in saved the day. So I totally trusted her to style my wedding. And she totally killed it. Everyone looked amazing! Everyone was all dolled up but no one looked crazy formal either, which was perfect. Brittany and her assistant also had everyone done WAY ahead of schedule. In fact, we had over an hour of time to kill! It was the best!
Videographer: Something Blue Creative
Something Blue Creative has a very special place in my heart because the owner, and creative director of the company is my cousin, Alex! Alex was one of Max’s best men but he some how some way managed to to create the most special wedding video for us while being in the wedding. He filmed the entire morning of the wedding, set up special cameras for the ceremony (including a Go Pro hidden in the flowers on our arbor), filmed all the formal dances, and took any footage that our guests filmed on their phones and compiled it into an absolute masterpiece. Max and I were totally floored and have watched the video like a million times. He is incredibly creative and the amount of love and energy that he put into our wedding video means the world.
Talk about the easiest dressing shopping experience ever. I happened to be in New York City with my mom, aunt, and my cousin who was also one of my maids of honor. We wondered into BHLDN just to peak. But they were able to get me in for an appointment the very next day! I had a dress in mind that I really wanted to try on, but we came to find that it was no longer in stock. So the stylist pulled dresses that were similar, and I ended up finding the perfect dress after only trying on 4. I made an attempt at trying dresses after finding the one, but I went to put a different dress on, got it about half way onto my body, and said screw it I want the other one back on. All I had to do was call their ordering center and the dress was on my front porch in less than a week!!! So freaking easy. I was so comfortable in my dress and I felt like a total princess.
Suits: The Black Tux
Talk about easy! If your groom isn’t one for going out and shopping or getting poked at by sales guys in department stores, The Back Tux is for you. This is the best website of all time. You put in your measurements and they’ll send you a free try on suit! Once you figure out what fits best, you send back the original, make the changes online, and they’ll send you the new suit 2 weeks before the wedding. Then once the wedding is over you pop it back in the box it came in and ship it back. It’s super budget friendly and really low maintenance.
Cake: A to Z Cakes
What an incredible decision this was. I had seen Abby’s cakes all over the place. She’s grew up in the Upper Valley, and was part of the dance world too! So living in such a small area I of course knew all about her cakes. But my jaw literally dropped the day of the wedding when I saw our cake. It was GORGEOUS. First of all it was massive. Like way bigger than I could have ever imagined. And the sugar flowers looked like they were cut out of a garden. I was so impressed, and I had people telling me all night that they had no idea the flowers on the cake were made us sugar. Not only was it beautiful but it was DELICIOUS. There was quite a bit of cake left over (we had 120 people at the wedding and I think that thing could have fed 300) so we took the rest on our honeymoon and ate it all week. I was pretty heart broken when the last pieces was eaten.
Favors: Mac’s Maple
WOAH BABY was this the best choice I ever made in my life. Mac’s Maple is a local stop that carries all things maple. We tried their maple kettle corn at a wedding expo and we were sold. It was so flipping good. The process to book them was also the easiest ever, and their prices seriously could not be beat. I just shot them a Facebook message and that was it! I picked up the bags (which were WAY bigger than I expected) a few days before the wedding and added our own personalized stickers that we bought on Amazon. They were one of the easiest vendors ever, and I would recommend them to any and everyone.