Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On to 2011!

With the 2010 wedding season winding down, I am looking forward to new adventures for 2011. Already I am working with a great couple, Ed and Chad, from New York to plan their wedding on an island off the coast of Woods Hole next September.

Looking back, I am hoping to get some photos soon from this summer's weddings and show you some of the wonderful details couples incorporated into their weddings. I had a wide range of weddings from intimate 25 person weekend retreat at the Wequassett Resort in Chatham, to a large backyard wedding in Milton. Both were wonderful and expressed the couple's unique style.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Finding that perfect gown

Every bride envisions herself radiant and gorgeous in that perfect gown. Of course, what that means varies from person to person, sometimes dramatically. The trick is finding what you're looking for. And, as many past brides can tell you, what you think you want at the beginning of your search doesn't always end up being what you fall in love with on your body.

A few years ago, one of my roles with a client was to go gown shopping with her. I think part of the reason was to get an objective opinion from someone she trusted but who wasn't emotionally invested in the wedding. But also to run interference with those who were emotionally invested in the decision who might also be along for an expedition. We visited at least six bridal salons together and I saw her try on more than a hundred gowns without ever finding "The One." This was proving to be harder than finding "The One" to marry!

Finally, on a second visit to a shop in Arlington to revisit the narrowed down choices with her mother and sister and niece in tow, she asked to try on a gown that had just been added to the window display. It was a stunning strapless A-line gown in diamond white with tiny crystals scattered across the bodice and skirt. This was a bride who was going to wear a simple gown, no crystals allowed, pure white, with a mermaid skirt. But she tried it on on a whim and loved it. None of us could believe it, least of all the bride. She was absolutely stunning and you could see then and on the wedding day how that gown made her feel like the most gorgeous woman in the world.

My good friend Polly Koczalka recently wrote this article that appeared in New England Bride Magazine. It has some wonderful tips on how to avoid common pitfalls when searching for your perfect gown. Check it out before you set off on your next gown finding adventure!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To the Mothers

I want to say thank you to all the mothers out there planning weddings for their daughters. Often when I am contacted by a new client, it is the mother of the bride who calls me. She is the one I meet with throughout the planning process and she is the one making decision on all the details that can make planning a wedding a chore rather than a joy. There have been times when I've met the bride and groom for the first time at the rehearsal because mothers have taken on the bulk of the planning. So, thank you, mothers, for all your hard work and for making my job so gratifying!

On another note, I'd like to congratulate the new mothers. A Warm Reception clients have had a bit of a baby boom this year. Congratulations go out to Jack and Erin on the birth of baby John in March. Well wishes go to Lynette and John who are expecting in July. It always fun to hear news from past clients, so if you have any, please send it along.

And of course, I need to thank my own wonderful family: my beautiful children, fantastic husband, and last but not least my own mother. Without you I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wedding venue in Duxbury

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the new Duxbury Bay Maritime School building with Linda Herrick, the events and volunteer coordinator. It is a gorgeous, brand new facility right on Duxbury Bay and, best of all, it can be rented for events! It is so great to have a place to host larger events here in town and to have it be such a fantastic building is icing on the cake.

There is a large room on the second floor, open to the rafters with huge windows looking out in all directions and gorgeous blond hardwood flooring. There is also a large deck overlooking the bay The space and accommodate 160 for dinner and 100 for dinner and dancing with a DJ. There are tables and white garden chairs available to rent for a reasonable fee.

In addition to this room, the boathouse can be rented if you have a larger group. Then cocktails can spill out onto the lawn. I know of one wedding happening in this space over the summer, and I can't wait to see how they transform it from functional to fabulous!

Thank you, Linda, for showing Marianne and me around the building!

The DBMS also has their annual Opening of the Bay coming up on Memorial Day weekend. And A Warm Reception will be making a donation to the silent auction on Friday night. We are excited to support this valuable community asset and hope that the event is a great success. I know they have a gorgeous location for it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Your registry is a garden

I was browsing through a Crate & Barrel catalog this afternoon and thinking about wedding registries. I always encourage brides to register for a wide range of gifts in various prices and to check back frequently to make sure that there are still plenty of items for guests to choose from. And maybe eliminate things you have decided you don't want or need. You don't want to get a bunch of gifts which are not to your taste and (worse!) that you can't return. If you don't maintain your registry, that is exactly what you'll end up with.

On another note, when I got married years ago, I made some mistakes in my own registry, and I wanted all of you to benefit from my missteps.

First, I don't think I have ever used the martini glasses I received. It sounded great at the time, but I just don't sit around my house sipping a delicious, icy cold Cosmo. I love to indulge in one when I'm out on the town, but at home? Seriously? It just doesn't happen.

Second, my margarita glasses and fondue pot are neck in neck for second place in the least-used-registry-items race. I've had a couple of fun parties where margaritas have been served, but four glasses isn't enough for everyone and we're usually on the beach or wandering around the yard. Not exactly conducive to long-stemmed glassware. And the fondue pot. Again, seriously?

In place of all of this glassware, I should have gotten 12 or 16 wine glasses. Those would be well used at a cocktail or dinner party. And some champagne glasses, too. I only registered for crystal flutes and at $85 each I usually don't want those out for an evening heavy on the cocktails. And Prosecco is a frequent visitor to my house for book group and other ladies' nights.

My other major registry mistake was with linens. I got some really cute stuff, which I still love. Several sets of matching place mats and napkins in both spring/summer and winter/fall colors. The problem is that I only got 4 of each. So, there's me, my husband and now our three kids. That's not even enough for our family, let alone any guests. So, my advice: go ahead and get 8-12 of any linen you like.

I was thinking about this all at a dinner party I had a week or so ago with my godmother and her husband and we were talking about bridal showers. Looking around my own dinner table, many of the dishes, serving pieces and glassware were registry items that we still love and use. Some on a daily basis. So, plan your registry carefully, tend to it like a garden throughout your engagement, and it will bring you many wonderful things you can treasure for years to come.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome to the South Shore!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Allison DeLorenzo, owner and chef at The Plated Gourmet. She just relocated her catering business from Arlington to Norwell. Renovations are nearing completion in the little cape in Queen Anne's Corner where the business will now make its home.

Allison was great to meet. She describes the food as Mediterranean with a French influence. All I can say is YUM! Check out her website at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bachelor Wedding

I tuned in eagerly to watch Jason and Molly's wedding last night. It was spectacular.The flowers! The gown! The ballroom with lighting and trees decked with flowering branches! Too bad about the rain.

Can you imagine standing out in the pouring rain, your hair and gown getting soaked (not to mention your guests!) while you exchange vows? Ugh. What happened? Why didn't they have a rain plan?

An outdoor wedding can be wonderful. And there is nothing more personal than having your wedding at your home. I've coordinated beach weddings, garden weddings and weddings on lawns overlooking the ocean. I've also had to move weddings inside or set up a last minute rain tent. What I have not done is sent a bride and groom out into the rain for their ceremony. We always have a backup plan. You just cannot plan an outdoor wedding without one. It's asking for trouble.

There are always unforeseen hiccups in a wedding. And that's why you work with a planner: so that someone else can handle these problems as they arise and you, the bride, groom or family of the happy couple, can enjoy your special day.

The moral of the story: plan for the unexpected.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And now presenting...

A Warm Reception's new website is live! Visit to check it out.

We have lots of fabulous new photos from Pamela Price, Darlene DeVita and Paige Brown. The site was designed by the fabulous Paula Cooney. Thank you, Paula, for all your hard work!

Serving the South Shore of Massachusetts, A Warm Reception strives to be great. This fresh, new design is huge toward achieving that end.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Candy buffets

Candy buffets seem to be all the rage these days. I've seen it done well and I've seen it done not so well, so I wanted to go over a few tips so that yours can be spectacular.

First and foremost, think of this as a visual display. Where will you put it so that people know it is there and can easily access it? Maybe your planner can switch over the table that was used for place cards during dinner to create the candy buffet.

What containers will you use? Clear glass is a good choice because it is readily available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and heights. Also, with clear glass, the candy itself can be the color in the display. You can use the shape of the containers or even cardboard boxed covered with a table cloth to add height. Or use a mix of clear glass and ceramic or a metal like silver.

Then have fun with the candy! Choose your favorites, or colors that match your wedding (visit to shop by color, theme, size or shape of candy). The possibilities here are endless.

From a more practical standpoint, consider how much candy you will need to fill your containers and how guests will get the candy out of the containers. If the container is tall and narrow, a small stainless steel ladle may be your best choice. If the candy is sticky, like gummi bears, perhaps tongs are a better option. If the candies are individually wrapped like bull's eyes or Peppermint Patties, maybe guests can just reach in with their hands.

Finally, what will your guests put the candy in? You can provide plain paper bags (like an old-fashioned penny candy store) or something more in theme like toile printed boxes if that is an element of your decor. This is an aspect where you can really have fun and express your personal style too!

Have your wedding coordinator set out the display and keep it well stocked so that it doesn't look like you're running out. Think of a dinner buffet or stationary hors d'oeuvre: no one wants to see a nearly empty tray. The same goes for your candy. Be sure to purchase enough of each variety to keep the containers at least half full. It's a sweet end to the night and a great take-home!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am excited to begin blogging about the exciting business of wedding planning. I've been thinking of all the things I can write about as we launch into the 2010 wedding season. There is so much! Let's start with some great ideas for favors and accessories.

I'm sure you all are familiar with (what an amazing resource!). Check out Dolci Fini. She has great accessories, stationery items and cute bags for favors. And everything is customizable!

This is a gorgeous hair piece made of shimmery organza and lace.

And these bags are great for your candy buffet. (More on candy buffets another time...)

Visit Dolci Fini at