Last week marked the end of my 2020 internship with Cape Cod Celebrations. While this summer was unlike any other, I still had an amazing time working with Jamie and Stephanie and all the other interns. One thing that remains constant at 358 Main Street is a great comradery between everyone who's there. I loved meeting in the office every Tuesday to work in the same space with everyone else and to still feel like part of the team even with very little events going on.
I was lucky enough to work at another micro wedding in the beginning of August at a private home in Yarmouth. It was a perfect day, weather wise, and because of how small the wedding was we had a lot of flexibility with the timeline and execution of the event. For example, the bride was able to change into a cocktail dress after the formal portraits were done to enjoy a pre-ceremony cocktail hour with her small group of guests, and we waited to start the ceremony until the sun was just starting to go down and the lighting was perfect. While the smaller event was very different from the couple’s original vision, the small size allowed for more flexibility which can be a benefit for other couples making tough wedding decisions.
As sad as we all are to not have our normal slate of events going, we’ve all been trying to make the most of our surprising free time. Jamie, Stephanie, and I took a mini road trip the other week to create content for our new email newsletter! SIGN UP HERE! Over the summer I’ve been working on craft cocktail recipes to share in the newsletters and I wanted pictures of the drinks from all over the Cape, so the three of us took a trip to P-Town and worked our way back, stopping and taking pictures along the way. It was a really fun day, and one that we normally wouldn’t be able to do.
Overall I’ve loved my second year of interning at Cape Cod Celebrations. It was very different from last year, but amazing in its own way. Working closely with a few couples to do small events was very fulfilling and allowed for amazing and unique events. Having more time to create fun content has been amazing. I’m so grateful to Jamie and Stephanie and the whole team for adding some fun to my summer.
This week on Gather Around the Table meet Kelly Cronin Bicknell, owner of Kelly Cronin Photography. Kelly is an amazing wedding and family photographer based in Harwich - we love working with her - Jamie has even had her take her family pics! Check out her video and get to know more about Kelly - including what she does to stay sane (with 4 kids and one on the way!) and her favorite Disney movie!
This week on Gather Around the Table meet Sarah Mason, owner of Cape Cod Nail Co. which offers mobile nail services for parties & weddings, as well as Cape Cod themed nail polishes. Sarah is also opening her own salon in Mashpee Commons this year where you can go for your regular, monthly nail appointments! Check out her video and get to know more about Sarah - more than just the facts that she is an amazing entrepreneur, mom and human!
This week on Gather Around the Table meet Hillary Peavey - AKA Hill the Hair Painter - who is an amazing hair stylist and balayage specialist. She has a kick ass instagram account - so be sure to follow her - and watch the video below to get to know more about her, her love for coffee and donuts and more!
On the next episode of Gather Around the Table meet Charlene and two of her kids, Linden & Neely, of True North Event Rentals. Charlene and her husband Rich started True North Event Rentals back in 2013. All of their tables are hand made in Dennis and are stunning! Check out their website for a peek at all of their great inventory and watch their video below to learn more about what they do and what they love!
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
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.