Summers on the Cape fly by, we cannot believe we are saying goodbye to our interns! We can't imagine this summer without them. Check out the final installment of Rachel's Intern Blog!
In the words of Rachel Ayotte...
Watching my internship with Cape Cod Celebrations come to a close is not bittersweet, because quite frankly, there really is nothing sweet about it. This summer I was challenged, inspired and exposed to an entirely new profession. Trading in my summer of champagne glasses, rehearsals, beaches and brides for
textbooks and term papers is somewhat cruel. If it weren’t obvious enough, I am not
ready to return to my normal life just yet.
Over the past few months, Jamie and her team have accepted me into their Cape Cod Celebrations family with open arms. From the very beginning, they have allowed me to become a part of a family that finds success in mutual support, encouragement of growth and a fostering of diversity of thought and creativity. Their ability to effortlessly extend their family to interns like me is only a small reflection of the
true foundation of their company, and just a fraction of their integrity. Jamie and her planners are professional, “down to business” women, but they are also unwavering sources of comfort and warmth. Though my experiences throughout the summer aided me in developing new skills and honing others, as well as have pushed me to pursue opportunities outside of my comfort zone, their ability to make professional relationships more than a handshake and a signature is what separates them from
others within the industry and is what made this internship unforgettable.
At my first wedding, I assisted Stephanie. Throughout all of the new things I was learning and absorbing, I will never forget her standing beside me as the bride made her way down the aisle. I noticed Stephanie tearing up, a long sigh filling her lungs. It took me by surprise, quite frankly, to see her well up. I figured she had executed so many weddings in the past that by now, she was more than accustom to the
sound of the processional and the sight of a weepy-eyed, love-struck groom. But as the summer flew by, and every bride found herself at the altar, I noticed that each planner had a similar reaction at each wedding. Despite the countless “I do’s”, veils and vows, the emotional investment that each planner had in their clients was one that I would not consider professional. In fact, it far surpassed the bounds of business and delved into a relationship beyond the confines of contracts or professional formalities.
When Cape Cod Celebrations planners execute a wedding, they welcome you into their family and extend themselves into yours. It was a privilege to feel at home with their company, and I will sorely miss their warmth. I encourage anyone planning a wedding, or looking to intern or become a part of their team to not to be a stranger to them and the work that they do, because they will, without hesitation, take you in
as their own.
We are so excited to start our "Cape Cod Couples Tell All" series today with one of Jamie's first ever Cape Cod Celebrations clients - Scott & Leonora. Scott & Leonora were married 9 years ago today on the lawn at Chatham Bars Inn and had their reception inside the Main Inn restaurant - now called STARS. We caught up with Scott and Leonora and they were so great to answer questions for us to share with couples looking to get married on Cape Cod today.
Here at Cape Cod Celebrations we have worked with over 275 couples since we started planning in 2007, so we thought it would would be fun to follow up with our past couples years after they said "I Do" to ask fun questions about their wedding and planning process.
We will be starting this series on October 4th with one of Jamie's first couples in from 2007 - Leonora and Scott - who will be celebrating their 9 year anniversary - so fun!
Check back in with us on our blog from month to month to get the inside scoop from real Cape Cod couples as they look back on their wedding day and share great tips on what they loved, who their favorite vendors were and what they would have done differently.
Can't wait to share!
Are you a past client of Cape Cod Celebrations and want to share your story? Contact us!
After 3 months, Rachel fills us in on her experience with Cape Cod Celebrations! Might be a little different than you expect!
In the words of Rachel Ayotte...
Interning for Cape Cod Celebrations has been, as one might imagine, a fabulous flurry of dresses, tuxes, flowers and cake. It has been both exciting and educational, fun and informative. In the past few months, I have gone from a starstruck intern, drooling over pastel bridesmaids gowns and hydrangea arbors, to assisting with wedding rehearsals, managing bridal parties and collaborating with professional vendors. To say that this internship has been unforgettable would be an understatement.
Though I had expected to learn the “ins and outs” of planning a wedding and see, as I have, the bride and groom’s vision come to fruition, I have learned so much more. I expected to simply accompany Jamie and her team on site, listen in on phone calls and meetings, but they have allowed me to explore their business far beyond that, outside of the confines of a typical internship.
When I began in May, I anticipated that I would just be a useful set of hands helping to execute the summer weddings that Cape Cod Celebrations had been planning for months.The idea of being an assistant on site was enough for me, the exposure alone was of tremendous value. I would be fortunate enough to observe the team in their element and shadow them in their orchestration. I was more than thrilled to hold on to bundles of extra linens and organize escort cards if it meant I got to watch a Cape Cod Celebrations planner make a bride’s dream come true.
However, my internship has been so much more than that. Just in this past month they have allowed me to fully understand the inner workings of the business. From the very beginning stages of the process to the very end, Jamie and her team have ensured that their interns are anything but just on-site help. I have had the opportunity to explore any facet of Cape Cod Celebrations that I have been interested in learning about, from administration, to social media to understanding what it’s really like to be both a mom and kick-ass business woman at the same time (it’s a hard but rewarding balancing act, in case you were wondering). Because they have been so open and encouraging of questions as well as welcoming of curiosity in the business, I have gained knowledge from a myriad of different areas that will be applicable to any and all professional pursuits. Who else can say they learned about bustling dresses AND marketing, operations and networking within the same internship? (I can!!)
This summer I would have been more than happy to fetch coffee and fulfill an archetypical intern role, but the experience I have had thus far has surpassed that in so many regards. It is clear to anyone sitting in on our meetings or observing us on site at weddings that the Cape Cod Celebrations planners care about their interns personally as well as what they will leave with professionally once the final bride of the season has made her way down the aisle.
Every year Cape Cod Celebrations is lucky to work with current college students who are interested event and wedding planning. They bring an energy, enthusiasm and awesome support to our team! Our new intern this year, Rachel Ayotte, is a current student at UMass Amherst who's focus is journalism and is the Lifestyle Editor for the Amherst Wire. She is poised, organized, calm under pressure and a has a flare for writing. You may have seen some of her creative posts on our Instagram account! We asked Rachel to apply her writing skills to chronicle her experience as an intern with Cape Cod Celebrations. Check out her first installment!
In the words of Rachel Ayotte:
When I accepted the summer position with Cape Cod Celebrations as an events and wedding intern, my eagerness far outweighed any anxiety. I had been to weddings before and ogled over their beauty and successes, shamelessly scrolled through dozens of wedding inspiration pages and watched ”Say Yes to the Dress” quite religiously. I thought I was confident and outspoken enough to assist in the orchestration of such an event and believed my past experiences had well prepared me for such an opportunity. I could adjust a bow tie, bustle a dress and fetch the bride a flute of champagne all while overseeing that everything was running smoothly, why couldn’t I?
I have perhaps never been so wrong in my entire life. At my first wedding of the summer I shadowed and assisted Stephanie, absorbing everything I possibly could. On the day of the event, it seemed there wasn’t a moment in which she caught her breath, paused or remained still for more than half a second. She seamlessly transitioned from positioning tables, moving chairs and coordinating with vendors to pinning boutonnieres on the groomsmen and bringing tissues to the bride just as she as tears formed in the corner of her eyes. As I watched Stephanie that weekend in May, I watched her with confidence and grace, become each and every person’s center of gravity. Any questions, concerns or potential missteps that often accompany planning and executing a wedding, were all thrown at her. They were often ugly, torn and frayed, and frankly, made me shudder in anxiety. Things that seemed completely out of her control, like the uncooperative direction of the wind, or an enormous red wine stain on a wedding dress, were dropped in her lap. But without even a lapse in her composure, she repaired each one, sewed the frayed edges back together and made them new. She patched the holes of minor problems, seemingly irreparable ones and everything in between. She was the electrician, the DJ’s right hand woman, the bride and groom’s shoulder to lean on and their most trusted advisor.
For a month I have had the privilege of assisting the planners at Cape Cod Celebrations and the amazing opportunity of learning from some of the most skilled event planners in the business. Not only have they exposed me to all the “ins and outs” of event planning, they have also taught me very valuable life lessons. Most internships, like this one, intend to expose aspiring professionals to potential careers and work related paths. But unlike Cape Cod Celebrations, these internships are often very black and white and their exposure is frequently dry or lacks a certain richness. Aside from beginning to learn and understand the world of event planning, the planners have shown me how to be a confident and assertive woman in all of my professional passions and pursuits. Though watching such multitasking, organization and overall mastery of the business carried out with grace and elegance has been immensely inspiring, I have been equally taken by the determination and confidence each planner has in ensuring the success of each and every event. Their model of ambition and drive will remain with me long after the wedding season has come to a close.
Though I was incredibly naive at the start of this opportunity to think that I knew exactly what this internship would entail, I am just beginning to learn. At each wedding I assist with, I again and again watch as the planners ensure that every note plays together in tune; a flurry of tents, chairs, cocktails, dresses and ties enmeshing together in perfect harmony.
I am ecstatic to continue taking part in helping with many more weddings as the New England summer has finally fallen on Cape Cod. Throughout the next few months I know I will never be desensitized to the work that the planners at Cape Cod Celebrations do. Every wedding sings a new tune, and I will never not be amazed by the harmony that Jamie and her team so beautifully compose time and time again.
Whether you are having a backyard clambake or a black tie affair, arranging seating for your guests can be time consuming. Believe it or not, the process begins as early as the invitation planning if your wedding menu is a choice. Here are answers to some common questions about making seating choices and tips to help make sure you have all of the information you need!
Do I need to assign seating?
Assigned seating is a big assist in sticking to a timeline. Your guests only have to find their escort card and table number, and possibly a place card to know where they should end up for dinner. If you are planning a station style party, hosting a small event (30 or less) or have lots extra time in your wedding timeline, you can choose to forgo assigning seating but, if you do we recommend having extra chairs and place settings if you are having a buffet, family style or sit down dinner. This way, parties that know each other won’t have to split up if there aren't enough chairs available at a particular table.
What information should I have for my seating?
Your reply card will have all of the information you need...not just the number and names of the guests attending your wedding! For sit down dinners with a choice, requesting your guests initial their dinner selection is a simple and clear way to capture the information you need. For all other dinner styles, requesting any dietary restrictions on your reply card can be helpful for your caterer and listing this information on the escort card for these guests can alert the server of any guests with special requests. Remember, double check with your planner about how many guests comfortably fit at the style tables you are planning.
What is the difference between an "escort card" and a "place card"?
A lot of our clients ask us the difference between an escort card and a place card and if they need both. An "escort card" is something that your guest pick up on their way into the reception with their name and table assignment on it - "Jamie Bohlin, Table 2". You can also use a table chart in lieu of escort cards (see below). "Place cards" are used to show the guests place at the table. So when your guest arrives to the table they have an assigned seat. Place cards are typically used at more formal weddings, but also come in handy to help the catering staff identify meal choices and dietary restrictions if they already know where the guest is seated. You definitely need an escort card or table chart, but place cards are optional.
Escort Cards or Table Chart?
We love a fun escort card display or a statement making table chart! Choosing one or the other is usually dictated by the size of your wedding and the style of your wedding. Planning a very large wedding? A table chart can save on budget and it’s also a great way to show off your wedding style by using a mirror, chalkboard, acrylic, window pane, frame or wine bottles. Bonus, your guests won’t have to keep track of a small piece of paper or carry an item with them. Extra tip, table charts that are alphabetical versus by table make it easier for your guests to locate their names so they can get back to the party! If you have a choice menu, escort cards or a table chart with place cards at the table are great options! Escort cards tell the guest the table number where they are seated and remind the guest of their meal choice. They are also a great way to quickly inform the server of the guest’s choice by color coding or a letter or icon on them. They can also act as or be attached to favors for your guests.
Should I use place cards?
Place cards can be used along with a table chart for extra elegance at a black tie affair and assist the catering staff with food service. We also LOVE personalized menu cards. A beautiful option to greet your guest at their table and functional as well! (This saves on budget by eliminating the place card!)
There many ways to design your seating and ways to make them work for the size and style of your wedding. Your planner can help point you in the right direction!
As you begin to plan your Cape Cod wedding and start to pull together your guest list, one question will arise - do you invite kids to your wedding? For some couples the answer is an easy yes or no, but below we will review some of the ways to handle the question of having kids at your wedding as well as ways to entertain them if they stick around.
Should We Invite Kids?
So there are a couple of factors to consider right off the bat when you ask this question.
Now to throw another option into the mix - you can always include some kids and not others. If you really want to have a flower girl and ring bearer, those kids can attend and you don't have to invite everyone else's kids. You can also set an age limit on kids attending - for example, only kids 12 and over are able to attend.
We do also realize that this kid question can become very political, so at some point this blog post will become useless to you as you will have to deal with your friends and family members and what works best for them.....or not.
No Kids - How to Help Your Guests with Kids
If you have decided not to have any kids at your wedding, here are some ideas for those with kids to be able to attend:
Yes Kids - How to Entertain the Kids at the Wedding
If you have decided to invite kids to the wedding, here are some ideas on how to entertain them while at the wedding:
My Honest Opinion
In my honest opinion, a wedding is not really a place for kids under 12. I have seen it in action and it is not pretty. Parents can't enjoy themselves and the kids (although cute!) can take over the spotlight. I am a mother of a 9 year old boy and the weddings where he was invited (as the ring bearer) we hired a sitter for during the wedding so we could enjoy, but the weddings were he was not invited we were totally fine with it and looked forward to a night out!
In the last weeks of your wedding planning you will have the fun job of assigning seats to your guests based on your floor plan. For some people this job is easy, but for others it can be more difficult. Today we will share with you some pointers for creating your floor plan and for some basic rules of thumb to seating your guests in your space.
Step One - Create the Floor Plan
I actually love creating floor plans! They are so much fun to play around with!. If you are working with a venue, they most likely have a floor plan that they will provide and it will show you what fits where best. If you are going to be under a tent, the space is really flexible - minus poles if you are in a pole tent. We love using allseated.com - a free online tool that will allow for you to play within the dimensions of the space with tables and chairs to scale. You can even upload your guest list and assign guests to tables - it is pretty easy to use as well! If you are deciding between round tables and long tables - first see what fits best in the space you have, but don't worry about which table allows for better conversation as it is really six one, half dozen the other.
Seating Your Guests
Now when it comes to assigning your guests to tables, we can only really give you some pointers as we do not know your friends and family as well as you do! First you will need to decide where you are sitting. Are you going to do a sweetheart table, sit with other guests or with family? Then you can move on from there to family tables, bridal party tables, etc. We always recommend that grandparents or older guests are seated away from the band or DJ speakers so that they can have better conversations and putting your dancing friends closer to the dance floor. And if you have any family issues, be sure to seat everyone appropriately!
Other Tables in the Space
Here is a quick list of other tables that are typically in the space and where we recommend them:
So since everyone has been raving over Ann & Matt's mini margaritas from last years wedding at the Pelham House, we reached out to Ann for the details and she was more than willing to share her super fun DIY element! Thanks Ann!
DIY Mini Margaritas
Make up the margaritas the day before (or day of), pour them back into the bottles using a funnel, and then seal 'em back up with the lids. Keep them refrigerated until you need them.
These mini bottles took some work, but they're the thing people (still) talk about the most. Plus, having them ready to go and off to the side where people could grab them helped alleviate some of the post-ceremony rush to the bar ;)
CHEERS TO ANN & MATT!
Thanks for sharing!
Earlier this month we explored exciting surprises to add to your wedding plans and leave your guests saying, “wow.” If you missed it, check out the blog here!
In wedding planning we focus on the guest experience but, some of our favorite surprises are the personal surprises between bride & groom. We love when the couple takes a little extra time to find an extra special way to say I love you on the wedding day.
Here are some ideas that might inspire you to surprise your other half!
Something that "Blings"
There are so many directions a couple can follow to add a sentimental surprise to their wedding day. Pass heartfelt letters to each other, take a moment alone during the wedding. We loved the story of the groom who flew in his bride’s childhood friend who wouldn’t have been able to make the wedding. One groom who travels often for work monogrammed their favorite quote into a keepsake for his bride to have whenever he was away.
Hire a skywriter over your cocktail hour. Perform his or her favorite song at the wedding. Bring in your college mascots. Or pimp out your room for the evening of the wedding with all of your favorite drinks and snacks. Show off your personality. A little extra effort will mean so much to your soon to be wife or husband!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.