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On Uniqueness

MichelleGirardPhotography189-(ZF-7163-86976-1-001) Here at the Wadsworth Mansion, uniqueness is our delight.  Each event is it’s own celebration, standing solo on our calendar for that day and befitting the design of the host’s individual vision.  Our mansion and grounds are merely a (beautiful) blank slate, leaving any and all details  — food, decor, flowers, floor plan, and more — up to the thrower of said party.

When my husband and I were married here almost one year ago, we loved that we weren’t forced into hiring a specific DJ or caterer or florist; the absolute last thing we wanted was a “wedding factory,” where we would just be shoehorned into a pre-set model like afterthoughts and hurried through our wedding to make way for the next one.  The a la carte manner in which the Mansion goes about it’s events allowed our big day to actually reflected us as a couple.  We had the wedding we intended from top to bottom (which, incidentally, you can get a taste of here, just scroll down a bit).

And since then, now that I am employed by the Mansion, I have seen many more weddings and parties here and none are alike.  Even among weddings with similar teams of vendors, the celebrations are unique representations of the hosts.

And all that freedom of choice isn’t for everyone.  I certainly give tours where our historic mansion and it’s one-of-a-kind, symmetrical footprint throws people off.  It does take some creativity to think outside of the same old, single ballroom box.  And that’s okay — coloring outside the lines is great for some and uncomfortable for others.  Plenty of people like to stick to safe, tried-and-true ways of doing things because the enormity of hosting a big event can be stressful enough.

But I can promise that if you’re willing to be intrepid in your party throwing you will reap so much more than if you copy the majority just to stick to the norm.  I recently overheard a comment by a guest at an event (who was late, and purposefully hanging back): “…if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.”  Yikes.  To be honest, the host didn’t deserve such an assessment at all. However, if that’s the general perspective you’re up against, wouldn’t you want to blow that thought out of the water?

Don’t worry so much about how everyone else did it, or does it, or will do it.  What makes these things so special and noteworthy is how personal they are.

Be uniquely you and your wedding will be extraordinary.

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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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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Old Hollywood Glam Photo Shoot at The Wadsworth Mansion

Beautiful Old Hollywood Photo shoot, set on the grounds of the Wadsworth Mansion.

Even on a chilly day in April, with rain in the forecast this photo shoot was bound to be amazing. With the colors, the design, and the setting, the shoot was both exciting and inspirational.

Beginning with a color scheme of Gold, Black and Purple the scene was set by Stephanie Carmody of Tres Chic Events.  With a mix of Old Hollywood elegance and classic touches, every element of this shoot was a perfect compliment to the mansion and grounds.   Dining was staged among the trees where the beauty of nature meets sophistication. The tablescape was accentuated with a suspended chandelier of purple flowers and bouquets by Dragonfly Event. Gold chargers and glassware brought dimension to the display.

The bride exuded elegance in a lace gown that blended flawlessly with the Beaux Art style of the mansion and Dana Bartone and Company gave her the classic Hollywood look. We love it when talented vendors come together to create new and stunningly unique ideas in this space.

We were thrilled to  have this photo shoot take place at the mansion.  It was originally featured on Reverie Gallery and now we are happy share it with all of our readers, enjoy!

To see the Reverie Gallery blog click here

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Old Hollywood Glamour – A Styled Shoot {Reverie Gallery}

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A gorgeous styled shoot happened here last year with some very talented vendors from Connecticut.  They transformed the grounds at the mansion into a dreamy outdoor dining space, complete with a suspended floral chandelier. Check out a wonderful write up by Reverie Gallery and enjoy the photos of this stunning collaboration.

Old Hollywood Glamour Photoshoot – Reverie Gallery

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Featured Wedding – DeAnna and James 5/31/14

DeAnna and James hosted a spectacular vintage themed wedding here at the end of May with so many stunning details; from the pewter vases adorned with gorgeous flower hues of violet and green to the wine bar with hand picked selections from DeAnna.  Every aspect had glamour and elegance (and we loved DeAnnas dress!)

The love and commitment shared by the bride and groom while exchanging the vows they wrote during their ceremony on the vista was so moving to all who were in attendance and their party was one not easily forgotten.  Congratulations to the happy couple and we wish you years and years of happiness!

Thanks to Eric Foley Photography for the amazing pictures!

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Photographers – Eric Foley, Krystal McNerney

Hair & Makeup – Larissa Lake & Co.
Florist – Michelle Duthrie
Catering/Cake – David Alan Catering
Shoes – Menbur
Dress – Lazaro
Stationery – Michelle Dowling Calligraphy
DJ – Jeff Ladd

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Be Bride Beautiful – The Men

Let’s face it, nothing beats a man looking sharp in a suit or tux at a formal event.  Or, for that matter, what better accessory to a woman in a beautiful gown than a handsome man on her arm?  In a continuation of posting about the amazing Be Bride Beautiful fashion show, we want to pay homage to the gentleman.  Often times, the mens ensemble is overlooked but we want to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing menswear fashion Formals by Antonio provided for the Be Bride Beautiful fashion show.  We love the looks of all the men, both when they escorted the beautiful ladies or when they walked themselves down the runway.  The tuxes and suits were modeled by three fantastic guys who, as you can see, had a lot of fun walking the runway.

 

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

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