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The Devil’s In The Details (or, Tips For Planning The Best Event Ever)

Coming from the latin word for flat, the word plan is a much-used root word defined as:  a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance.

Some people have a natural knack for masterminding things while others… well, not so much.  If you fall into the latter category, don’t fret — you’re not doomed to having a less-than stunning party.  The key is creating a detailed plan, which will become the foundation of your event.  So get out your Excel spreadsheet or Eventbrite‘s event planning software or regular old pen and paper because the first thing you should do is…

  1. Write it down.  There is a lot to keep track of — vendors, guests, timelines, budgets, shopping lists, etc. etc.  You won’t be able to keep it all straight in your brain, so don’t even try.  Professional party planners keep detailed notes, and so should you.
  2. Create a total budget. (and put aside an emergency reserve.)  Set these as early in the process as possible.  Beautiful weddings can be thoughtfully designed on any budget, but blindly spending is a good way to add unnecessary stress to the process.  Use the reserve as your safety net or to add extra finishing details in the day or so before the event.  Or save it for the next big thing!
  3. Dream up a vision.  Close your eyes and put yourself at your venue, say, The Wadsworth Mansion.  Imagine the portico’s stately columns rising to the sky, imagine the late afternoon sunlight streaming through the loggia windows, imagine the long expanse of our lush, green vista framed by rows of cedar trees stretching from the terrace… Now pick an adjective or two that describes the atmosphere you’d like to create here for your guests.  Keep your ideal atmosphere in mind as you select vendors and decide on details throughout the planning process.
  4. Photograph & label everything.  If you want your details to look cohesive and reflect your vision, do a test run; when your mock-up looks to your liking, put your smart phone to work and snap some pictures.  Label liberally — what is obvious to you may not be so clear to vendors during set up. This will save precious time on the day-of, earning you extra moments to deal with any last-minute hiccups.
  5. Communicate.  Save the surprises for your guests. Talk to your vendors. Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page. A quick phone call to confirm plans or specific details the day before can be the subtle difference between seamlessly smooth and stressful disaster.
  6. Walk in your guests shoes.  From arrival through any activities to the exit, step your way through from a guest’s perspective, which will help with 2 things: assessing if you’ve overlooked any details and making sure your festivities are fluid. If you throw a party for yourself and invite people, that’s exactly what it will feel like to your guests. If, however, you keep the invitee’s experience at the forefront of your planning, the likelihood of “Best Event Ever” status exponentially rises.

Photo by: Alicia Ann Photographers

Stay tuned for future editions of posts on event planning…  In the meantime share comments, experiences, thoughts, and questions below in our comments section.

 

Happy Planning!
Natalie

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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Celebrating Spring

Although the weather has been a little rainy and gloomy as of late here at the Mansion, it was nothing short of perfection for our annual Daffodil Day event on Sunday, April 24, 2016. We had quite the turn out of visitors and volunteers alike, who enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine with historical tours, guided hikes, and food truck picnicking. Our 1st Annual Daffodil Dash was excellent fun for the teams and spectators alike, with smiling faces, elevated heart rates, and good sportsmanship abounding. Cash Lane Slim’s smooth vocals and guitar wafted through the mansion while Mr. Bungles’ bubbles drifted across the terrace, delighting attendees of all ages. A grand time was had by all, so much so that we almost can’t wait to host Daffodil Day again next year! (But first…wedding season…)

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Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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It’s Wedding Season (…well, almost!)

With April just around the corner, we here at the mansion are eagerly anticipating our hosting duties for what should be one of our busiest wedding seasons yet!  Now is the time when our spring couples are excitedly discussing their event details with us and feeling the final days of their engagements rapidly approaching.  While each couple is different, they all have visions about what their perfect day will be like.

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When planning a wedding (as those of you who have done it can attest), there are always surprises between the popping of the question and retiring to the bridal suite on the wedding night.  It may stem from an unseasoned vendor, an overzealous family member, an unplanned weather event, or accidental wardrobe malfunctions… but every wedding has something happen that you just can’t plan.

Sometimes they are happy accidents — like lucking into the world’s best DJ when your budget didn’t allow for a live band.  And sometimes they’re really not — like a groomsman bowing out mere hours before the ceremony.  Regardless of the outcome, or how much you try to prepare or overthink each possible outcome, something will catch you off guard.  And when it does, just keep moving forward!  It might be the best thing that could’ve happened.

 

Any wedding pros or married readers care to share their experiences with the unexpected?  Please regale us with your stories and how you handled the surprise in the comments section below!

Happy Planning!
Natalie

 

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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joy and brian

Featured Wedding: Joy and Brian, May 23, 2015

Joy was one of those brides who knew what she wanted. She came to tour the Mansion, loved it, and booked us (and her caterer) practically on the spot!  On the day of her wedding she was exactly as her name, so joyful and excited to marry Brian. This lovely couple had a beautiful ceremony on our vista on a bright and sunny May day.

Her color scheme was pinks of all shades, corals, oranges,and white. The colors were represented in the rose petals on the aisle, in the bouquets her girls carried, and in the place setting on the tables. She also had some really fun personal touches like a special draft beer as a favor for every guest, and a pizza bar for a late night snack.  Yum!  Congratulations to the happy couple!

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Caterer: CT Wedding Group

Florist: Earth Blossoms

DJ: Jock in the Box
 

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