I just wanted to share some images from my Ribbon Cutting ceremony and business after hours last night. I am honored to be a new member of the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce! A very special thank you to Nick Cinea Photography for providing the professional photography for the night and to Luna Photo Lounge for providing some fun entertainment! Thank you to everyone who attended and those who were there in spirit! I have such an amazing support system, it's crazy! I'm so lucky!
5 Things Women Really Want for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air! Valentines Day is just 2 days away. Have you gotten your girlfriend/fiancé/wife a gift yet? If not, you’re in luck. Flowers and chocolates are nice, but find out what she REALLY wants this Valentine's Day. A Spa Treatment. Us women are usually running around doing a million things during the day, especially if we have kids. All we want is a little “me time”. Go to her favorite salon or spa and treat her to a massage, makeup application, facial, or mani/pedi. When we feel good, we’re in a good mood. It's a win-win. Wine. Wine is always a good option. What’s her favorite kind? Find the best one out there and buy it. I’m sure she’ll appreciate “the good stuff” as opposed to her usual “every day” wine. A Night Off. Make #2 extra special by pairing it with a home cooked dinner that she didn’t have to make. Get in the kitchen and surprise her with her favorite meal. We would all love a “night off” from cooking and other household duties. Comfy Sweats/Socks/Slippers. When we’re home and relaxing, we want to be comfy. There’s nothing better than getting home from work on a cold day and slipping into a warm, soft pair of sweats and curling up on the couch with a good book or Netflix. A Quick Getaway. Everyone could use a few days of downtime to escape reality. Take a quick road trip for the day or even a long weekend if you can swing it. Make it even more special by surprising her and making plans along the way (favorite restaurants, flowers or champagne waiting in the room). Guys, trust me, if you do any of these things, you’ll have a very happy girl on Valentine’s Day! No matter what you do, make sure that you show her you love her all year long, not just one day of the year.
Tim & Bria's Love Story
How We Met I met Tim almost four years ago through work, and we were friends for about a year and a half before we started dating. We both work retail and, at the time, for the same company. We were both chosen to open up a new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (important detail for the proposal) and he was the first person I met that day as I walked up to the store. We very quickly became friends – he can make me laugh like no one else – and we started hanging out outside of work, eventually growing even closer. At the time, I had given up on my dream of singing opera and was trying to decide if I should give it another shot. Tim pushed me to try again and has been one of the biggest supporters of my musical journey! Soon after Tim and I started hanging out, I was talking with my sister, contemplating life, and said, “Why can’t I just date someone like Tim?” Meanwhile, Tim was talking with his friends and they asked him what he was looking for in a girlfriend, and he said, “Literally, Bria.” I’m happy to say, shortly after, we started dating. Right after I met his parents for the first time, he was super cute and asked, “If I would be his girlfriend?” Tim also likes to say that the minute he asked me that question, he knew we would be getting married. Fast-forward three years, different jobs, pursuing opera singing, tons of travel, and countless laughs, he finally asked me to spend our lives together! Engagement We had a planned trip back to Connecticut for that weekend and were planning on leaving on a Friday, but had taken the day off before to spend time together. Tim woke up SUPER early on Thursday, and started running around, tidying up the apartment, and packing. I have no idea what was really going on that day and was trying to figure out why he was packing when we weren’t leaving for another day. I slowly got up, made coffee, and jumped in the shower, under the assumption we were “going out to lunch” as he had said. When I got out, Tim had packed a bag for me and was super quiet. We finally get into the car and head to Brooklyn’s waterfront, where the “restaurant” is. Once we get to DUMBO, he’s on his phone “trying to find the restaurant” and we start walking towards the water, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. We finally we hit a point where there are no restaurants, it’s just Manhattan’s beautiful skyline and a small patch of grass. I started to realize what was about to happen and immediately felt excited even though I could tell how nervous he was. Tim grabs my hand and brings me to the middle of the grass, takes off my sunglasses, and asks me, “Are you ready?” He pulls out a piece of paper and tells me the sweetest things I’ve ever heard, but most importantly finished with, “Bria, will you marry me?” Of course, I say, “Yes!” and as he’s putting on the ring, I hear the clicking of a camera. I turn around, and Jess, a photographer who I’ve worked with professionally before, was there. This immediately made us feel at ease having worked with her because she is so great to work with. We ended up spending the next couple of hours all over Brooklyn doing a surprise engagement shoot, which was amazing. Our families do not live in NYC, so it was a thoughtful way of making sure they could see the day and be a part of it. Tim actually tried to propose to me THREE times! It’s like they say, third time’s the charm. The first time, was July 13, 2018, which would have marked 1,000 days of our dating. The second time was October 17, 2018, which marked our three-year anniversary. And the third and final time, was October 25, 2018. The issue all three times was the ring. I apparently was kind of vague, but somehow super specific, at the same time. I told him that I disliked the majority of diamond shapes, but that I wanted a solitaire, and it had to be on a gold band. He totally underestimated the amount of time it would take to locate the stone and kept having to move the proposal. Thankfully, one of his best friends’ family is a well-known jeweler in Connecticut, Michaels Jewelers, and once the stone was found, they were able to rush to have the ring set and ready for the big day. Tim absolutely nailed the ring and ended up finding the most perfect kite diamond. At the end of the day, this is the ring I never knew I wanted, but it fits me perfectly… exactly as Tim knew it would. At this point, I think the day is over, but Tim has us rushing back to the apartment to pick up our bags, and we’re back in a car, heading towards Williamsburg, the place we first met and fell in love. I’m still in shock and am not really processing things, but we pulled up to The William Vale, which is a few blocks from where we originally had met. We had the most beautiful room (with the most gorgeous floral arrangement from Rosehip Social (another important detail for later), looking at the Manhattan skyline, and had some time to ourselves to enjoy the moment and also call our family + close friends to tell them the news. Tim also had coordinated our absolute favorite sandwiches from Depanneur in Williamsburg to be delivered to the room, which was such a sweet touch since we went there all the time when we first met. That night, we continued the celebration at a restaurant Tim had set up for dinner. After we were done, we headed back to the hotel and I asked him if we should stop somewhere for a glass of champagne to celebrate. He suggested we go to Westlight, the roof bar at The William Vale. We walked in, and low and behold, all of our close friends were there and we had a mini-engagement party. The next morning, I tried to take a few flowers from the floral arrangement with us, and Tim was insistent that we leave them all in the room. I was devastated that we were losing the gorgeous, meaningful floral arrangement. Tim finally told me that he had arranged the hotel to bring the arrangement downstairs and it was going over to our friend, Lacie, at Framed Florals! Lacie makes the most incredible pieces of art, by using pressed flowers from floral arrangements. I had been dying to work with her on something and I was blown away that he incorporated it into the proposal. Tim literally thought of every single detail of things I love, had mentioned wanting, and things he knew I would want. The whole day was uniquely us and I couldn’t have planned it better myself. It was the most magical day I’ve had so far, and I can’t wait for our wedding! All photos by Jessica Osber Photography
What's Your Love Story?
Hey clients - past, present and future! I'm working on some social media and blog posts for the month of February and would love if you would contribute your love story to us in writing. How did you meet? Fall in love? Get engaged? We want to hear all the sweet deets! If I get enough stories, maybe I'll create a contest out of it! Photo credit: Kevin Kelley Photography Stories can be emailed to me at email@example.com. Photos are welcome, in fact they're encouraged, but I ask that if they are from a professional photographer that they're credited accordingly.
At Work: Cheshire Wedding Planner
About 2 weeks ago, I received an email from Ashley at the Record Journal asking if I would be interested in being interviewed for their "At Work" segment. It would be an article in the Record Journal as well as a short video for their online viewers and social media. Normally, I don't like to be in front of the camera, but I thought this was an opportunity too good to pass up! I get to talk about doing what I love!It needed to take place pretty quickly (it would be published the following Sunday), so Ashley and I set up a time for her to come to my office on Tuesday. She set up a video camera and we sat down to chat about everything I love doing! Take a look! Thank you for this feature, Ashley! It was so fun to better explain what it is a Wedding Planner actually does. I hope it brought some insight to those considering hiring one!
Guide to Wedding Planners, Designers, Coordinators, and On-Site Coordinators
What's the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator? Do I need to hire a Wedding Coordinator if my venue has one on-site? Many think that these titles are interchangeable, however, they would be vaery wrong. Read on to find out the differences and when you should hire which? Wedding Planners: What they do: Wedding planners are all about the logistics and planning. Some may also provide design services or styling services that will help with the creative specifics of your wedding day. Typical duties: Put in the most hours helping you plan. Provides vendor referrals and negotiates contracts, schedules and attends all vendor meetings. Creates detailed timelines, floor plans and schedules. Helps determine and manage your budget. Attends site tours and menu tastings. Brainstorms style ideas and coordinates design details. Coordinates hotel room blocks and transportation. Manages the rehearsal. Oversees everything on the big day (makes sure everyone sticks to the timeline, handles issues, manages all the vendors, and executes your wedding vision on-site). Hire if: You have the budget for it. You want the smallest amount of wedding-related stress possible. You have no free time because of a demanding job. You have no clue where to start and your organizational skills aren't the best. You have a very short timeframe for planning and executing. You're hosting your wedding in an unusual venue (not in a hotel, restaurant or banquet hall). Wedding Designers/Wedding Stylist/Wedding Architect: What they do: A wedding designers job is purely aesthetic. They work on the overall style and design for your wedding day. Typical duties: Creates the wedding's design concept. Provides color scheme or palette guidance. Oversees the décor budget and vendors (your florist, rentals and lighting). Sources special props and equipment. Attends a site visit to visualize where you want everything to go, devise a layout and identify potential problems with the décor. Creates detailed floor plans. Ensures all of the décor elements are in place on-site for the wedding. Hire if: The décor is the most important element of the wedding for you. You're confident in your organizational and logistical skills, but your creative skills are lacking. You're trying to pull off a very specific theme or you have a million weddings style ideas that you can't narrow down. Wedding Coordinators: What they do: Wedding coordinators as like wedding planners, but on a shorter timeline. They usually come in and help you a month or so before the wedding as well as functioning as the point person on the big day. Typical duties: Meets with you 4-8 weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you've planned thus far. Checks in with your vendors to review the signed contracts and confirm logistics. Creates detailed timelines and floor plans. Completes a final walkthrough of the ceremony and reception sites. Addresses any overlooked details (like forgetting to hire a coat check attendant or a tent rental). Manages the rehearsal. Oversees everything on the big day. Hire if: You want to play an active role in planning your wedding but would like someone to take care of the last minute details and make sure you haven't missed anything. You're extremely organized and detail oriented. You don't have the budget for a full service wedding planner. On-Site Coordinators: What they do: On-Site Coordinators are responsible for everything that specifically deals with the venues. They are not wedding planners or designers or coordinators, they will not help you plan your wedding. They are there to ensure that the venue is doing what the contract says. Typical duties: If the venue provides catering, make sure there are kitchen and wait staff scheduled to fit the needs. Will possibly provide you with a list of preferred vendors. If catering is provided, they will create a timeline for the catering staff. Be there during your wedding to make sure that venue provides what was contracted for. Happy planning! xo
Why Would I Work with a Travel Advisor for my Honeymoon?
No doubt working with a travel advisor saves precious time both during the planning process and during your journey. But that's hardly the extent of the value that a good travel advisor adds to your trip. In many cases, booking with us actually saves money in addition to providing you with amenities you can't get on your own or through an online travel agency. And, when planning this very special once in a lifetime trip, why wouldn't you want all of the extra attention and amenities you can get!!! If you've worked with me before, you know about my affiliation with the Virtuoso network, which makes me a preferred partner with the best hotels, tour operators and cruise lines in the world and provides exclusive benefits to our clients such as room upgrades, resort credits and breakfast included when you stay at a Virtuoso hotel. More than that, however, I cultivate strong relationships with my partners so that when I send my clients out into the world, I am placing you in the care of trusted friends. When my clients arrive, they are greeted as VIP guests and doted on by my partners. And if my clients do not receive exceptional service, I will find out the reason why and take steps to correct any issues while you're in travel. Good luck getting that from an online travel agency. When you work with a travel advisor, especially me....you should see a noticeable difference. The difference goes beyond Virtuoso, as we are members of just about every elite hotel amenity program there is. With Belmond's Bellini Club, you'll receive extra benefits on Belmond luxury trains and in their hotels. Membership in the Dorchester Collection's Diamond Club gives our clients gives our clients guaranteed upgrades at such hotels and the Plaza Athénée in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and The Beverly Hills Hotel. As preferred partners of Fairmont and Four Seasons, our clients receive VIP treatment at some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in the world. Staying with such fine hotel chains as Mandarin Oriental, Jumeirah, Rosewood, Ritz-Carlton, Rocco Forte and Starwood, you'll enjoy complimentary breakfast, credits for use in spas or restaurants along with upgraded rooms and personalized welcomes from management. The same goes for collections such as Small Luxury Hotels and the Relais & Chateaux network of properties famed for their culinary quality and unique charm. You simply cannot reproduce the quality of experience that working with a Memorable Moments Travel, an affiliate of Largay Travel by booking on your own or through an online travel agency. Every step of the way, from planning to traveling to memorializing the trip of a lifetime, you are in good hands with real live people who are dedicated to making sure your experience is one you'll want to relive over and over. With my help, you'll be so thrilled with your vacation, you'll already be thinking about your next one by the time you get home.
What DOES a Wedding Planner Do?
There seems to be some misconceptions or confusion about what a wedding planner (coordinator, consultant) actually does. Yes, I plan weddings, but I do so much more than that. I can't even count the number of times I've heard "I don't need a planner, I'm doing it myself". That's great! Of course we don't want to take away the joys and excitement of planning your wedding. But everyone needs a little help now and then. For starters, did you know that Pink Olive Events offers rehearsal and day-of wedding coordination? This allows you to plan your own wedding, but about one month before the big day, I come in and take care of those final details. I confirm with your vendors and create a detailed timeline for all to follow. I take charge on the night of the rehearsal to make sure that the bridal party processional and recessional flow and that everyone knows their place. Anything that needs to be set up on the day of the wedding is collected at this time so that you are not to worry about a thing that day! Once the big day arrives, I coordinate with all your vendors to make sure everything runs smoothly and I serve as that "go-to" person should any issues arise. For that couple who needs a bit more direction than this, I have a variety of services that can be customized just for you. I NEVER confine you to a package or make you pay for something you just don't need. Every couple is different and I realize this, so I am only as involved as you'd like me to be. If you are recently engaged or just don't know where to begin, I can help with this too! The full planning wedding services cover everything from soup to nuts. I will recommend and tour wedding venues with you, set you on the right track with your budgeting, recommend and meet with vendors with you, assist you with your invitations, and so much more! Speaking of vendors, did you know that I can help you save money in your planning? Many of the vendors that I work with on a regular basis offer my clients discounts on their services. In addition the all of the above, I also serve as that "go-to" person for you, your family, and your vendors. I act as that neutral third party when there are decisions to be made that family disagree on. And most of all, I like to think that we are a friend to many of our clients. They can call/text/email me at any time for anything! I ALWAYS offer free consultations, so it doesn't hurt just to come in to sit and chat! Relax with a cup of coffee and come tell us about your dream wedding! And yes, that is me, pinning the groom with his boutonnière because very rarely does anyone actually now how to do this!