Each year, Cape Cod Celebrations brings on talented, passionate college students to learn from and support our planners. This year we have a returning intern from 2019!! Vicky returns to us as a rising junior at Cornell with a calm, cool and collected demeanor that keeps us on task in the office and on site. A hotel administration major, Vicky took the time this season to put her experience into words. Enjoy the journey below!
My favorite wedding happened in late June. I worked a 13 hour day and I loved every minute of it. The bride and groom and their families were so nice and funny and absolutely amazing to work with. The private residence where the wedding took place was beautiful. We were nervous about the weather, as it was looking like rain at the ceremony time, and the bride really wanted the ceremony to take place in a beautiful hedged section of the garden. We set up an alternate ceremony location but we were determined to make the original location work. As guests were arriving it started to sprinkle, and I was running all over the place to get umbrellas. The bride wanted to go ahead so Stephanie and I fixed her train and sent her out and as soon as she stepped into the aisle the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was such a beautiful and magical moment that I still talk about. Later in the evening, we stole the bride and groom from the dance floor to make sure they saw the surprise fireworks display the mother of the groom organized. Stephanie and I were on site until 1 in the morning, as the afterparty was in full swing. It was the most amazing wedding I had ever witnessed, and I felt so proud and fulfilled to be even a small part of such an incredible day. The whole summer was a dream come true for me.
This year, my internship is looking different. I started the season working virtually, instead of the barn at 358 Main Street. Via Zoom Calls and shared Google docs, I worked with Jamie and Stephanie to help process all the postponements and changes to our wedding season. It was different from the normal working atmosphere we had last year, all together talking and enjoying coffee and feeling like a team, but I was focused on filling out spreadsheets to help manage the logistics. After a few months of working remotely, Jamie emailed all the interns giving us an update on what the season would look like, and giving us the option to back out of the internship since it would be very different to how it was described to us. Despite the changes, I never hesitated to come back as an intern. I love working with and learning from Jamie and Stephanie and even though the summer won’t be exactly like we thought it would be, I still want to be involved in every way I can. And so far, we’ve been finding many reasons to celebrate and be optimistic. I recently helped set up an intimate wedding in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home. For me, it felt good to get back to some sort of normalcy. I enjoyed doing everything I would normally do at a wedding, putting linens and centerpieces on the tables, setting up the welcome table, and talking to the caterer.
We are so excited to launch our new collaborative series today — Gather Around the Table - an inside look at some of our favorite local Cape Cod wedding vendors. Today we kick it off by gathering around the table with us - Jamie and Stephanie - answering fun questions about weddings, Cape Cod and our favorite things! Tune in every other Tuesday for a new episode featuring local Cape Cod vendors! Do you have a Cape Cod vendor you want to see featured? Email us!
Back in 2017 we started a "Cape Cod Couples Tell All" series with Scott and Leonora and continued it last year with Annie and Brian. This year we are kicking it back in to gear with Jen & Patrick who were married June 27, 2015 at Nauticus Marina, Osterville - 4 years ago!
1. What made you choose Cape Cod for your wedding?
Patrick was looking for an excuse to wear pink and navy, which wouldn’t cut it in Vermont. But really, we enjoy visiting the Cape and both of us have family ties there. We were also looking for a venue that was elegant, but casual and had a nautical theme, since Pat loves all things boat related.
2.Why would you tell future brides and grooms to get married on Cape Cod?
The Cape is beautiful any time of year and there are a number of different types of venues to choose from depending on your desired look, whether it be nautical, beachy, farm/field, artsy or traditional.
1. In a three words, how would you describe your wedding?
Elegant, relaxed, heartfelt
2. Was your wedding exactly what you had envisioned?
It was so much better than what we envisioned.
3. What was your biggest concern in planning your wedding?
Making sure all the bases were covered. There’s a lot of details associated with planning a wedding ranging from the catering, to music, to equipment set up and break down, scheduling, seating, etc.
4. What was your favorite part of the planning process? What was the most difficult part?
We enjoyed DIY-ing centerpieces/decorations with family. The most difficult part was creating the guest list.
5.What was your favorite part of the wedding?
The raw bar and the flyover congratulatory banner..
6.Looking back, would you change anything about your wedding? If so, what and why?
Asking if we could keep the party going later than 9 - everyone was having a great time!
7. Who was your favorite vendor?
Cotuit Oyster Company!
8. What do you think your guests would say their favorite part of your wedding was?
People still rave about the food - there were a lot of appetizers. Also people really liked Nauticus Marina with its lighthouse and location right on the water.
9.How would you title your wedding? (e.g. The wedding with the best food and dancing!)
1.Why did you decide to hire a wedding planner?
It made a lot of sense to hire a planner to help us coordinate all the pieces. We didn’t live in the area, and the venue was a blank slate. We wanted someone to fret about the details during the wedding, so we didn’t have to and could focus on each other, having fun and spending time with our family and friends.
2.How did having a planner contribute to the success of your wedding?
We probably wouldn’t have had a wedding if it wasn’t for Stephanie! She was there along the way to advise us of what to do and when and save us from any mishaps!
3.For upcoming brides, why do you think it is important for them to consider hiring a planner?
They’re professionals and have intimate knowledge of venues, vendors, timelines, and all sorts of tips and tricks to help you pull off a successful wedding. They can also help you narrow down your choices and focus on what’s really important. Decision fatigue can happen really quickly - they’re there to help!
4.What was it like working with a planner? What was your overall experience like?
Stephanie was awesome. She was really responsive, insightful, thoughtful, and made the experience really enjoyable.
5.Why would you recommend Cape Cod Celebrations over other companies?
Stephanie was super knowledgeable and helped us make the most of our wedding day. CCC is small enough to give that personal touch and big enough to have all the necessary connections.
1.What advice would you give other brides about planning a wedding?
Get professional help and don’t be afraid to enlist your friends and family. Also, don’t spend too much time on Pinterest!
2.What was most helpful to you in the planning process?
Having Stephanie there to help with decisions and provide advice. She was there to keep us on track.
3.What do you wish you would have known before planning your wedding?
How much goes into planning one!
1.What do you think will be the next big trend for weddings? What do you think weddings will be like 20 years from now?
Unique weddings with a lot of details to reflect couples personalized/individual styles and identities
2.How’s married life!?
We’re skiers and will draw a metaphor like all of life experiences - there are peaks and valleys, but each of moment high or low, is better with someone by your side. We got a puppy about a month ago and are enjoying being dog parents. We get to the Cape several times a year, and enjoy boating by Nauticus Marina to see if anyone is celebrating their special day.
Is your wedding going to be affected by our current world crisis -as optimistic wedding planners we want to say NO! - but as hopeful realists, we are not sure. What we are sure of is developing back up plans just in case you need to make a decision quickly. We have outlined examples of different plans you can consider putting in place for your wedding, in case this pandemic inches too close to your wedding date.
Plan A - Party On
We all really hope that your original plans for your wedding are able to happen and as always, Plan A is the best case scenario. At this point though, if you think that Plan A is not likely, you need to start considering multiple back up plans.
Plan B - Smaller Guest Count & Precautionary Measures
Be prepared. Start thinking about if the state of Massachusetts does not allow for gatherings over 50ppl or over 100ppl and your guest list has to be cut down or your venue can only safely accomodate your full guest count due to distancing rules. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would your guest list look like?
- Would you want to still have your wedding if you had to cut your guest list?
- Would you want to have your wedding if there were rules in place like no dancing, guests have to wear masks, etc?
These are all very personal questions that we do not have the answers for, but it is for you to discuss with your fiancé and family.
If you are to move ahead, think of other things that may need to be in place such as:
- Guests social distancing at tables
- Your buffet dinner turning in to a plated meal to limit exposure
- Hand-washing or hand sanitizer stations for guests and staff
It is all going come down to what the state mandates and what the CDC will recommend, so be sure to follow all updates as close as possible. (We know we will be!)
Plan C - Put a date on hold
Start thinking about new dates. Reach out to your venue to see what dates they may have available late fall/winter 2020 or in 2021. Ask what their postponement policy is - will they allow for your deposit to be transferred or is it considered a cancellation? If they have a date that you think may work, vet that date past key attendees - family, wedding party, etc. then ask the venue to hold the date for you while you reach out to your vendors. Once you know who can move to the new date with you, decide when you want to make the final call. Once you have made the official decision to postpone make sure to have the new date in writing from all vendors. We know the decision to postpone your wedding is not an easy one, so if you feel you need assistance please contact us about how we can help.
Plan D - Out of Options
If you feel like there are not any good options for new dates you and your fiancé and you are just not sure what do to right now, the final plan would be to cancel. Before you make this final decision, be sure to review all of your vendor contracts to see what losses you may have from non-refundable deposits. Most vendors are being flexible, but please also consider that this pandemic was not your fault or theirs, so work with them to come up with a fair solution for both of you.
I've Postponed My Wedding...Now What? 5 Tips on what to do now that your date has officially changed
1. Communication is key!
Now it is time to officially let your guests know of the change. Here are a couple of options based on where you are in your invitation process:
If your wedding invites have already been mailed: Contact your guests ASAP. Start with those that RSVPd YES and ask them to update their RSVP with you. After you have a revised headcount of the YES list, you can then extend to those that said NO to see if they can make it on the new date. We recommend emailing or texting your guests to get the word out asap. Update your website as well. You could even create a cute graphic of you and your fiancé to attach to the email and keep the JOY in this new plan!
If your wedding invitations have been printed: You can work with your stationer on options for re-printing or sending a new piece to update your guests. You can also do this digitally to get the word out asap - an email works with a link to your updated wedding website or if you prefer to mail something, our friend from Els cards has some great FREE options available!
If you have designed your invites, or are working on your design, but have yet to print: Ask your stationer for their recommendations for sending out invitations during this time. Seeing that your guests already received a save the date, you may want to alert them via email first and then send out your invites with the new date.
Here is an example of an email that one of our clients sent to their guests:
Dear Family and Friends,
In light of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and with an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone our wedding to NEW DATE. Many details are still in the process of being worked out and will be updated on our website as soon as they are available.
If you have any information about hotels add it here!
Needless to say we are so sad that our country is facing this horrible crisis and are praying that we all come through this as quickly as possible. So please take care of yourselves, stay safe. We love you all and can’t wait to celebrate!
2. Review Your Wedding Vision
If your new wedding date is a different season, do you need to change your entire wedding vision?? We understand the urge to change with season or if you feel a new direction is what you need to “move on” from your original date. However, we believe that your wedding should still emulate you and your other half and if that means spring colors in fall, then go for it! Anything goes this year - we can’t wait to see bright colors in October!
If you still feel you need to make a change, there are small ways to adjust the wedding, like considering new flowers that are in season for your new date or adding a color to your color palette that can add a new layer to your wedding design without starting from scratch!
Either way, we know your wedding plans may look different but will still have the most important parts...you and your other half!
3. Revisit Important Planning Dates and Appointments
During this process you may have also had some important dates on your calendar that revolve around your wedding planning, like tastings, hair and makeup trials or dress fittings. Review your calendar and see if you still have appointments that need to be updated and contact your vendors to change the date. Also, if you have scheduled any in person meetings between now and mid May, you may want to connect with that vendor to see if they would rather do a video call instead #stayhome
4. Shifting Stays
If your guests have booked their accommodations and you had a room block in place, check in with your hotels about shifting your block and the current reservations to your new date. If your guests have yet to make their reservations, update your wedding website with new room block information and we recommend suggesting they secure trip insurance for peace of mind!
Honeymoon plans in place? We recommend reaching out to a pro to help with your options, Susan Peavey Travel.
5. Celebrate Your Original Wedding Date
You have had your original wedding date set with a heart around it on your calendar for a long time, so why not find a way to still celebrate together! Here are some ideas we have on how you can still make this day special while you are home. #alonetogether
The month of March 2020 has reminded us the importance of our job as wedding planners. We have spent hours with our couples listening to their fears and feeling their heartbreak that their wedding plans are or may be shifting. As we have guided our couples through the postponement process, we wanted to share some helpful tips that we have found keep our couples staying positive through this unprecedented time. #alonetogether
So you just watched the news and learned that your wedding date could be affected by a travel ban or stay at home order...yea, it's natural to feel a little stuck! Uncertainty can be uncomfortable and scary. It’s okay to have these feelings and when you do, we recommend finding your way to feel those feelings and then rally! Whether it’s yoga, meditation, screaming into a pillow, dancing it out or taking a couple of days to unplug and binge watch that show on Netflix. (Tiger King... what?!) Take care of yourself and take advantage of some extra time to reconnect with your future husband or wife! Your wedding planning may look a little different but you always have a reason to celebrate!
Ask for help!
After you have danced it out...turn to your wedding planner for guidance on the first steps to take if you are considering postponing your wedding day. If you don’t have a wedding planner, connect with your venue or catering manager about your potential options. Chances are they have had this conversation with other couples as well. Remember, there may be couples whose wedding dates are before yours and may be first in line but you picked your vendor team for a reason and we (and they) are all hoping to continue working with you in the future.
(Extra tip here: If you would like to stay in the year of 2020, consider “off” dates like Fridays, Sundays or even Mondays! You may have a better chance of moving your entire vendor team to your new wedding date.)
“It was incredibly reassuring knowing that Jamie was by our side, helping us through this difficult time, so much more than a planner, but a friend and a comforter.
Huddle Up! (Virtually)
We are lucky enough to have so many virtual ways to connect with our loved ones today… remember when there was no internet? (You may not but, we promise there was a time!) Schedule a Facetime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp call with your core group and fill them in on how you are feeling and that your plans may be changing. Ask for positive vibes only and ask for extra help as you navigate the postponement process.
Vendor Survey Says!
Touch base with all of your vendors. (Including your attire providers and accommodations!) If you are considering a plan B, it can feel like a little daunting to reach out to all of your vendors at once. Your planner can assist here! If not, try sending an email to yourself and bcc your vendors for a quick check in about your alternate date(s) or try an online poll if you have multiple dates you are considering! (Tip: Doodle polls)
Take a moment to review your contracts before you contact your vendors and have an idea of additional questions you may want to ask when they respond about your potential new date.
Friendly reminder, this is an unprecedented situation for everyone but, we are #allinittogether!
“Working with Cape Cod celebrations is by far one of the best decisions we’ve made while wedding planning. Stephanie has been an absolute life saver and truly a pleasure to work with. I’m SO incredibly grateful for all of her help, expertise and guidance.
Last but not least!
From bridal showers & engagement parties to rehearsal dinners & brunches...There are many events that are part of your wedding planning. Here’s your opportunity to lean on your community for sure! Whether you can re-schedule or need to find a new venue for a future date... throw a virtual party on the original date of your event. We all need reasons to celebrate right now!
Reframing your hopes and expectations of your wedding day is likely the last thing you thought you would be doing. We are with you there!! But we take heart in the amazing ways our couples and all of the couples out there have found ways to move forward with love, with humor, with light and with joy! Wedding days will return and we can’t wait to celebrate!
Looking for more tips for staying sane and on task with your wedding plans while at home? Pop over to our most recent blog post and check out our tips, with other wedding vendors, on Loverly.
These are definitely some interesting times we are living in right now, but the last thing we want is for all of this to take the joy out of planning your wedding. So while you are stuck at home, grab a glass of wine, or beverage of your choice, and focus on these 5 things (fun and serious) that you can be doing for your wedding while you have the time on your hands.
As another engagement season comes to a close, we have been chatting with many couples about their wedding plans and helping them decide if they want a wedding planner. Check out the top 12 questions we have answered for our potential couples. We hope it helps you with starting your wedding planning off right!
Question #3: Do you handle more than one wedding at a time?
We believe that each wedding weekend requires your planner’s full attention...especially for any last minute changes or unexpected weather that requires some extra consideration. We plan one wedding per planner per weekend!
Question #4: What are some Do’s and Don’ts of wedding planning?
Some Do’s and Dont’s we like to share with our couples include:
DO: Personalize it!
Set a budget!
Ask questions. We are here to answer!
Have a plan to eat something during the day while you are getting ready.
Have a rain plan.
DON’T: Forget to remember why you are getting married.
Let wedding planning take over all of your trips to the Cape - make time to still enjoy the Cape for the reason you picked it for your wedding!
Stress too much about where people will stay - they will figure it out!
Forget to stop and take it all in!
Question #5: How involved will you be in the wedding planning?
We at Cape Cod Celebrations are fortunate to create relationships with our couples that last long after their wedding weekend. As for the planning process, we can be as hands on and involved or as behind-the-scenes as you would like for us to be! Each couple has different priorities and strengths when it comes to the part of their wedding they take the most ownership of. We recommend setting your budget and take a deep look at your schedules to know where your wedding planner can help you most!
Question #6: What are the best means of staying in contact with you?
Question #7: I have a dog and would love to have him in the ceremony, have you worked with dogs in the past?
Question #8: What are the different wedding packages you offer?
Cape Cod Celebrations offers everything from day of coordination to full service planning. We like to make sure that our planning suits your needs - so even though we offer four main packages, we can customize any of them to ensure you get the assistance that works for you and for your budget. Also, our “day of package” starts a month before your wedding to ensure we have time to learn every little detail you planned so we can execute it perfectly the day of!
Question #9: For most weddings where does the majority of the budget go?
Question #10: I would love an outdoor wedding, any things I should keep in mind?
Question #11: I want to get married on Cape Cod. Where do I start?
Question #12: What is the difference between a wedding planner & a venue or catering manager?
When putting together your vendor team, this is a question that comes up for many couples. It can be a challenge to know if your a wedding planner can fit into your wedding budget and your wedding plans. As wedding planners, we take pride in working side by side with your venue and caterer seamlessly to bring your wedding vision to life. So to answer this one more fully, we turn to some past Cape Cod Celebrations brides to tell you their experience! Follow this link!
Happy New Year and New Decade!
We love to take a minute after the holidays and festivities settle, to reflect on all the wonderful things we accomplished in 2019. It was such an amazing year for us here at Cape Cod Celebrations and once again we cannot express how grateful we are for the support and love we receive from friends, family and vendors in the industry.
Here is a look back at some of the fabulous things that happened in 2019!
In one of our busiest wedding seasons yet...We continue with more from our intern, Maeve!
Once upon a time, on a sunny, ninety degree day on Cape Cod, there was a wedding…and for weeks there had been towers of boxes full of favors, stationary, and Christmas decorations stored away in the office (yes, Christmas in the summer). We were all excited, a little nervous, but still counting down the days til we could see it all come together. What I learned from this experience is it truly takes a village.
We were working in the strongest sun, alongside our team as well as the catering staff, florists, and we were all juggling a million tasks. My biggest takeaway from this experience is knowing what tools will help you be the most successful. There were so many moving parts to this wedding, and in order to keep track of every event and every item, there had to be a way to catalog and organize. I am so grateful for the organization because being able to complete tasks as soon as possible was great for the entire team. Not only were there detailed write-ups of each day, but production schedules mapped out on excel, along with lists of decorations with what they were for, where they were, where they needed to go and if they were to be used again. Utilizing what we already had for different days was a challenge to keep in order. Whether it was frames for signature drinks that changed from day to day, banners with the wedding crest, or lanterns, it was important to re-incorporate decorations and get more than one use out of all these great purchases.
Another learning experience: heat is a challenge. After a while of moving tables, setting up ceremony chairs, and setting decorations - dehydration is easily achieved. Keeping a clear head can be a major problem when you’re working in such intense heat. I definitely was trying to keep track of who was doing what, making sure I was on task and helping to the best of my capabilities. Shout out to Jamie, who a couple hours in to the heat stroke brought a cooler full of Gatorade. That truly felt like Christmas in the summer.
I think it’s important to know what your strengths are, but even more so what your weaknesses are so that you can acknowledge them and hopefully grow. So far, my biggest challenges have been small, tedious projects such as setting up an escort card table: Alphabetizing, the shaky hands pinning them into place, it’s something I didn’t expect to struggle with, but always do. I’m going to set the goal for myself to specifically work on time management and efficiency. I have noticed that with the women I’ve been lucky enough to work with and learn from there is no ego, there is only competence, strength, intelligence, kindness, and a real spirit for wanting to do their job justice. I am so grateful to be working with a team of incredible women. They problem solve calmly and logically, they support one another, they take care of each other. It was truly all hands on deck for this event, making sure that our lead planner, Stephanie, knew she had our full support and could depend on each of us. By watching the women who make up Cape Cod Celebrations, I’m learning how to be a supportive and effective team member, multitask efficiently, and also how to keep a calm, cool, and collected presence when I’m working through the motions of a wedding.
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.