Chive Sustainable Event Design & Catering

There are many great caterers in the New England area, but Chive Sustainable Event Design and Catering is unique for many reasons.   Not only is their food delicious and their presentation outstanding, but Chive provides local, seasonal and organic products by working hand and hand with Northshore farmers.  All of their food is prepared in their commissary in Beverly, MA.  We had the opportunity to interview Jen, Event Designer and Founder of Chive, to get to know her better as owner, as well as learn more about the company directly from her.  Chive is a full service event company that is 100% ZERO WASTE.  As their website states, “food waste is the number one contributor to our landfills, and traditional catering is a big part of the problem.  But our clients can be proud that their event was zero-waste: EVERYTHING was composted or recycled.”

There is a progressive movement towards quality, organic, sustainable, home cooked, high end food.  But that is only part of the equation.  We can all do something to minimize waste and support our local farms.  Chive has committed all facets of this.   Between using locally farmed foods and sorting food for their compost onsite at events, they are certainly doing their part for our environment.  With catering, they need to come overly prepared, and in some cases, that can mean waste.  But with Chive, there is never any waste.  Jen shared that “saying that you own and contribute to a sustainable company is the most rewarding career path.  We get to wake up everyday with lots of challenges but solving these problems is very rewarding.  We are creating moments in peoples lives that are so meaningful, then when you take a look back to see how special and thought out the practices were that went along with those moments, it make it even better.”  Hear more from Jen in our interview below.

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Photography provided by Zev Fisher.


 

~What inspired you to open Chive?

Jen: “We started Chive because there was a great deal waste in the industry; there wasn’t the option of the local food and doing it in zero waste system.”

Jen continued to explain how design is something that people are universally attracted to,  so to add well thought out designs with good local food and zero waste,  it a rewarding way to help highlight the special moments in people’s lives.

~What do you think is the number one thing that makes your company stand out in this industry?

Jen: ” We are progressive thinkers. We are not settling into just one way, so we are always shifting and evolving our practices.”

 ~Why do you think there are so few sustainable companies like yourself?

Jen: “ It seems difficult for existing companies to do these practices in an already comfortable environment.  Especially people that are not familiar with the idea.  Rather than a new company that will dedicate themselves by more research and to follow through with what they are saying you are going to do.”

What stuck out to me the most while I was listening to Jen’s answer is that in order to become or to continue to be a sustainable company, “it takes will power”.  Existing companies need to place leaders in their business that are passionate about this movement, and to be motivated to make a change. These leaders need to be doing this for their own moral reasons, not just because they are being told to.  What I concluded about this part of the interview, is that passion is KEY.  Jen and her team clearly have a firing passion about their company everyday, and if other companies do not have that, they ultimately will fail in being a sustainable, zero waste company.

~What is your favorite type of event to plan?
Jen: “Each kind of event for its own reasons.  But when they have an education meets networking event, creating an environment with food, design, floral, to build a creative mood where people want to learn more, it is very exciting for me to set the tone for people to want to talk and ask questions.” 

~Do you find it more time consuming when you are preparing meals and/or coordinating an event, because everything you do is zero waste?

Jen: “Internally we do not know any other way.  We make things from scratch, we are not bringing in frozen goods. Therefore it takes more time to break down more chicken (it is better than not knowing where the ingredients came from).  It does not take more time for the event itself.  That is because we set up a clearing and breakdown stations.  The pre-event is where the majority of the time comes in.”

 

 

Melanie + Benjamin – Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, MA

We always love working at the Four Seasons, so of course I was thrilled when Melanie and Ben told me they were getting married there.  And while each couple is near and dear to me, Melanie and Ben were already special.  I knew them, as well as Melanie’s family, because I coordinated her sister Heidi’s wedding just two years before.  Besides this wonderful, sweet, adorable couple getting married, there were so many touches that made their day so incredibly special.

October 5th was a gorgeous Fall day.  The bridal party used function space on the second floor to get ready, the girls in the Phillips Room, the guys in the Winthrop Room.   The couple met in the Public Garden for their first look.  I loved that their bridal party was part of this special moment (look at them peeking in the background!).  Soon after the couple photos were complete, the bridal party and family photos began.   Once photos were complete, they arrived back at the hotel for their Ketubah signing.  They were surrounded by their immediate family, witnesses and Rabbi Kudan.   For anyone who hasn’t heard the story, Heidi and Dan’s Rabbi was unable to make it to the wedding. Unfortunately, nobody knew or expected this.  We were fortunate enough to call on Rabbi Kudan and he was able to marry them!  For very OBVIOUS reasons, Rabbi Kudan is very special to the family, as well as ME!  And of course there were lots of jokes and nods of appreciation when he arrived to Melanie and Ben’s wedding!

Immediately following the Ketubah signing, their ceremony took place in the Governors Room. The space was beautifully transformed into a ceremony in the round.  Their birch branch Chuppah was set on a riser and was adorned with delicate glass globes, filled with simple florals, set a romantic tone for the rest of the evening.  They were joined under the Chuppah by their parents, Melanie’s sister and Matron of Honor Heidi and Ben’s Best Man Neil.  In addition to beautiful traditions such as Melanie circling Ben seven times before entering the Chuppah and the breaking of the glass, they thoughtfully incorporated many family heirlooms.  One of Ben’s grandfathers’ tallit was used as the Chuppah covering while the tallit belonging to his other grandfather was used to wrap the bride and groom.  The two Kiddush cups belonged to Melanie’s grandfather and Ben’s great-grandfather.  For Melanie and Ben, I cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor, cherish and remember where you came from.

Immediately following the ceremony, Melanie and Ben went to the Yichud Room while their guests were invited to cocktail hour in Aujourd’hui .  The ceremony musicians continued to play and  their beautiful Ketubah was on display for everyone to appreciate.  Just before guests were invited into the Ballroom, Melanie, Ben and their parents enjoyed a private room reveal.  It is always so exciting to see their reactions to their wedding reception space.

The room was set with both rectangular and round tables while the florals were warm tones of ivory, peach and pink, lending to a  romantic, organic feel.  The centerpieces and dance floor were lit for ambiance and to highlight the florals.  And the linens and sultry beige chivari chairs were just the right thing to tie it all together.

Followed by their first dance was the much anticipated HORA!  Throughout the rest of the night there were heartfelt speeches, dance sets, their cake cutting and of course more dancing! Their after party took place back in the Governors Room, where the DJ was setup for some late night fun!  Fast forward to October 3,  just two days shy of their one year wedding anniversary, Melanie and Ben welcomed their son Noah to the world.  What better way to celebrate than to welcome and celebrate his new life?  Mazel Tov on these many blessings!

 

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Event Coordinator: The Day Of

Hair: Patrice Vinci Salon

Makeup: Dani Wagener Beauty

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Officiant: Rabbi David Kudan

Cake: Delicious Desserts

Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Keros Entertainment

Reception Music: Soho

Photographer: Melissa Coe Photography

Videographer: Buzz Media Company

Florist: Winston Flowers

Lighting: Suzanne B. Lowell Lighting Design

Meishan + David – Lyman Estate, Waltham, MA

On a beautiful evening in September, Meishan and David were married at the historic Lyman Estate in Waltham.   The bridal party got ready at the estate but it wasn’t until the couples emotional first look, that they first saw each other.   Meishan’s dress was absolutely stunning, and the look on David’s face when he was her was priceless!  Their family and bridal party joined them for photos and soon after their first look they were married on the lawn of the estate in a beautifully intimate ceremony.

Ceremony musicians were positioned on the porch and played as guests arrived as well as for the ceremony and cocktail hour.   Their intimate group of family and friends were seated in white garden chairs, and the landscape of the estate served as the backdrop of  their very beautiful, warm ceremony.    And because they wouldn’t have it any other way,  their precious pooches, took on the roles of ring bearer and flower girl! Cuteness!

With weather in their favor, cocktail hour took place on the porch.  To take advantage of all that the beautiful estate had to offer, their reception, bar, formalities, dancing and dessert were inside the various rooms, lending to the intimacy of their day.  The ballroom was set for an elegant dinner comprised of long tables and gorgeous florals in various shades of pink.   The bridal party was introduced into the ballroom followed by the bride and groom for their first dance.  Before dinner was served a heartfelt welcome and gracious thank you was given by Meishan and David, to their guests, for being part of their very special day.

After dinner, guests were invited in the the Oval Room for some fun, traditional formalities including their cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter removal and toss.  Simultaneously, the ballroom was being transformed into a dance floor by moving the dinner tables aside, turning down the lights and the DJ turning his lights UP!  When guests were invited back into the ballroom, the party really began, dessert was served in the Dining Room and their guests favors of Tea Forte were set out.

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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Hair and Makeup: Vanessa Bridal and Image

Venue: Lyman Estate

Caterer: Swartz Catering

Cake: Konditor Meister

Photographer: Maureen Ford Photography

Ceremony Music: Riverview Chamber Players

Reception Music and Lighting: ECF Entertainment

Videographer: Boston Wedding Films

Florist: Blue Guava

Ceremony Sound: Cool City Entertainment

Natalie + Doug – Nathan Tuft Park and Flatbread Pizza, Somerville, MA

We have had some pretty fabulous couples over the years, but when Natalie explained her reception was going to be in a bowling alley…I thought this couple has to be fun! The Flatbread Company is a rustic, meets vintage, meets whimsical bowling spot, which was a perfect fit for Natalie and Doug…but even better because their first date was at this very place!

Before all of the “real fun” happened, this happy couple officially became husband and wife at Nathan Tuft Park in Somerville, MA. It turned out there was not one cloud in the sky that day, so their ceremony, under the shaded oaks and beautiful driftwood arbor, was a picture perfect day.  Rain or shine this ceremony was designed to be intimate and laid back.  There were mason jars with flowers hanging on the aisle chairs (which came from their friend’s farm), paper-wheels adorning the arbor and beautiful handmade programs.  Guests arrived by trolley and another very nice touch, which we LOVED (quite frankly, so did their guests), was that they were greeted with delicious treats upon arrival to their morning ceremony…cider donuts, iced tea, lemonade and coffee!  Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture!

Once the ceremony was over, the trolley’s transported the guests over to Flatbread Company, formerly Sacco’s Bowl Haven.  Guests were greeted at the welcome table with a guest book, a “seat yourself” sign, a box for guests to leave their Mad Libs (which were custom made and found at each placesetting with a bowling pencil) and an adorable, rustic suitcase for cards.

Then as they entered the bowling area there were custom score sheets and socks for the ladies so everyone  could start bowling, mingling, and celebrating the new couple!  Guest tables were very thoughtfully arranged as well.  Each table had a gray chevron table square, bowling pins, paper wheels on a dowel in a bud vase.

When the guests were starting to get full from Flatbread’s organic dishes, the newlyweds asked everyone to, “grab a prop and strike a pose” at their photo booth. These snapshots were destined for success with mustaches, glasses, chalkboards, chalk and eraser, paper flowers, paper ampersand, and an all you need is love sign.  No detail was left unturned. This couple was the epidemy of “do it yourself” and they did it in a fun, creative, colorful, thoughtful way, playing on the fun factor all the way.

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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Ceremony: Nathan Tufts Park

Reception: Flatbread Pizza

Rentals: New England Country Rentals

Hair: Lindsay Griffin Boston Hairstylist 

Makeup: Kerri Herlihy

Photography: Katie Noble Photo

Transportation: A Formal Affair Limousine, Inc

 

Invitations,Invitations,Invitations

I know you have a lot to think about besides invitations, but if you are able to relax and imagine what you truly want them to look like, you will be able to create invitations that are original and compatible with your wedding. You want your invitations to be something that you CAN NOT WAIT for your loved ones to receive and be proud of.

1. Does your wedding have a symbol, theme, or color palette ?

Invitations are the perfect way to introduce your guests to the theme of your wedding. If you are going to have a specific symbol or “logo” you can use it to create a consistent look with your wedding materials.  Something to keep in mind when selecting your palette…pastel or yellow text colors are difficult to read, so try to work with contrasting colors between the invitation and text you choose to use.

2. Are you including all of the costs?

You are in good standing if your invitations take up 4%, maybe 7% of your wedding budget.  Depending on your expectations and last minute details, you might have to add in some unexpected costs.  It is important to be knowledgeable about the costs associated with particular typefaces, pocket folds, or multiple layers.  Just those three additions alone will be an additional cost to your invitations.  Oh, and the heavier and more details that you choose, the heavier the envelope is going to be, which adds costs to your postage.  We know that you probably can’t wait to drop your wedding invitations at the post office, but weighing a sample invitation (enclosures and all) is a MUST!  This could save you less “to-dos” and headaches later on in your planning.  Trust us, the last thing you want is deal with return mail and having to put rush orders on your invites, as we know, it is important that guests can RSVP on time.

3. What do you include on the invitation?

Keep the information simple for your guests. Who, what, when and where!  If you prefer specific attire at your wedding, you can include a dress code in the lower right-hand corner of the invitation or on a reception card; “black-tie,” “cocktail attire” or “casual attire”.  Since your invitation sets the tone of your wedding, it is another hint for your guests on how they should dress.  You may want to consider an information page where there will be directions, local hotels, or even great coffee shops in the area.  Lastly, if you plan to provide transportation for your guests, this is a good time to find out who will be using it and will help you with the planning and contracting of the transportation.

4. Do you care about paper texture, or thickness?

There are many different textures and thicknesses that you can choose from. The better the quality, the higher the price point. Determining the importance of the paper quality ahead of time will help keep your decision making and budgeting on track.

Bamboo paper: An eco-friendly paper made from bamboo. It’s very soft and thick, and ideal for letterpress printing.

Beveled edge: The slanted edge of heavier stocks that shows the thickness and dimension of the invitation; oftentimes, it’s edge-painted.

Corrugated: Thick wrinkles, ridges and grooves that give paper a cardboard look.

Cotton fiber: A type of paper most often made from 100 percent cotton.  It’s arguably the most traditional option for wedding invitations.

Glassine: A very thin, waxy paper similar to vellum (see below), with a slick, shiny surface. It’s best suited for envelopes or liners rather than actual invitations because of its delicate nature.

Industrial papers: Often made from recycled fibers, industrial papers have a rugged, hip look. Corrugated cardboard and brown kraft paper are examples.

Jacquard: Screen-printed paper that creates an illusion of layering (think: paper that looks like it’s overlaid with a swatch of lace).

Linen finish: A paper type with a surface that’s grainier than pure cotton stocks and resembles the look and feel of cloth linens. Another classic choice for wedding invitations.

Marbled paper: Decorative paper (you can use it for your liner) marked with swirling patterns, similar to the surface of marble.

Rice paper: A thin, soft paper that isn’t actually made from rice but from other fibers, including mulberry and hemp.  Stick to letterpress (see Printing Techniques and Terms) with this paper.

Variegated: A term that describes the look of certain paper that has discreet hints of different colors (almost like a paper with watercolor swirls all over it).

Vellum: Paper made from a cotton blend, with a translucent, frosted appearance and a smooth finish (feels like plastic). Vellum is sturdy enough to be printed on and can be used for the actual invitation.

Watermark: A translucent emblem in fine paper that’s visible only when the paper is held up to light. A watermark denotes superb quality, signifying the exclusivity of the paper company or boutique.

 ~The Knot

4 1/2. What type of printing method do you prefer?

Types of Printing:

Digital: Digital printing refers to a printing method where a computer controls a color or laser copier or inkjet printer. The resulting product is flat printed and the quality varies due the different output devices used.

Offset/Lithography: Offset printing/Lithography is a high quality printing technique in which the ink is used to transfer the image on to the paper using a printing press. The result is a flat printed image. The advantage is that very specific colors can be used and duplicated

Engraving: In engraving, a metal die with an impression cut into the surface is filled with an opaque engraving ink then pressed against paper creating raised areas of the paper coated with ink. Engraving creates the raised surface on the front of the paper while also inking it. This method is of the highest quality and is in the high price range.

Thermography: A printing technique similar in looks to engraving, at a more moderate price. The result is a raised ink image with a shiny texture.

Hot Stamping: Hot Stamping is a dry printing method in which a heated die and foil are used to apply graphics to a surface.

Foil Imprinting: Foil stamping is a special kind of printing procedure where heat, pressure, and a metallic paper (foil) is used to create different shiny designs and graphics on your invitations.

Embossing: Plates are pressed against the surface of the paper to leave an impression of text and/or decoration on the invitation. The pressure raises the surface adding a new dimension to the paper.

~The Knot

5. Do you hire a calligrapher?

In my opinion, if it is in your budget I say GO FOR IT! You spend months upon months putting all of these special details into your wedding that your guests will see eventually.

Pros:

Invitations written by a calligrapher will really present elegance to your wedding, and set a personalized tone. If this represents the spirit of your wedding, then calligraphy may just be the way to go. There are calligraphers out there whose script is so artful and unique quality that it would be impossible to achieve on a computer. And let’s face it, how many occasions do you have the pleasure of using the art of calligraphy?

Cons:

Overall, calligraphy is more time sensitive and more expensive.  You will need to prepare more spare envelopes for the calligrapher to allow for mistakes. After all, human error is a reality when doing calligraphy.  Skilled calligraphers may charge anywhere from $2 to $10 per piece, and this can add up quickly depending on the number of people invited. Time is another reason. Calligraphers can only work so fast!  You also need to book them well in advance during high wedding season.  Also you are going to want to double and triple check the invitations, because like I have said before, we are only human. Even though they are highly skilled at what they do, you still want to make sure all of your information is correct.

6. How far in advance do I contact one?

AT LEAST 10 weeks prior to your wedding. Please take note that I capitalized, underlined, colored and put a bold font on AT LEAST.  You will find with calligraphers that if you give them your orders after that 10 week period, it will be considered a rush order, along with additional fees.

61/2. Are there ways around calligraphy?

In order to balance the cost and the quality of a calligraphy wedding invitation, you can consider hiring a calligrapher to write one card for you. You can then hire a printer to scan the writings for you and have it printed. In this case you can still get a real calligraphy with a lower cost.  If you don’t want to hire one period, we all have that one really artsy cousin or friend who can write one out for you then you can scan/print that from there.

7. How many invitations do you order?

Keep in mind that the amount you order is not the number of guests that you’d like to invite. The number is actually the number of households to which the invitations will be sent, so this may or may not cut down your number.  In addition to the 15% extra envelopes for any errors in addressing if you decide to use a calligrapher, order an extra 10-12% in case you decide to have B-List guest.  Most importantly you are going to want to send them to your vendors, so they can have another idea of the feel of your wedding and so your photographer can grab some early shots!

8. When do you send them?

Wedding invite etiquette tells us that you should have your invites in the mail 6 weeks prior to your ceremony, and it is best if you give 8 weeks for your long distance guests.

9.  Did you review one last time?

I don’t think I mentioned double checking your information, so I figured I should list it as my last step (slight sarcastic voice). It is very easy when you are looking at hundreds of invitations at a time to overlook a misspelled word or an incorrect address. After a while no matter how much you adore your invitations they are all going to look the same.

 The best words of advice that I can send all of you brides to be off with is: Be Knowledgeable…Be Realistic…TRIPLE CHECK…And remember once they are sent out there is no turning back, so trust your decisions and BE HAPPY with your designs!

Some vocab that you might hear while designing your invitations:

Tooth: Refers to the paper’s feel — the more tooth a paper has, the rougher and more textured it is.

Motif: A reoccurring theme, image or design used throughout your wedding details, including your invitations and other wedding paper (it’s sometimes referred to as a “dingbat”).

Initial cap: A term for the exaggerated, oversize first letter of a word you’ll sometimes see used in lavish calligraphy or as a decorative typeface. Also known as a “drop cap.”

 

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Olivia + Brian – Ocean Cliff, Newport, RI

We talk a lot about how weddings today are so unique.  BUT…the traditional girl in me still loves a classically styled wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the trends, but I LOVE an elegant wedding. This wedding was the perfect balance of traditional and modern with a classic feel.

Olivia and Brian were married at the beautiful Ocean Cliff in Newport, RI.  It turned out to be a perfect day, so thank goodness we were able to take full advantage of the breathtaking property and ocean views. They also utilized the entire estate for the weekends festivities, as they were looking for a private venue that felt homey and personal.  They also held their rehearsal dinner and Sunday morning brunch there as well.   Olivia and her bridesmaids got ready on the second floor of the estate, overlooking the breathtaking views of the ocean and landscape, where she would soon be married.  The guys also got ready on site at the Gatehouse. Olivia looked incredible in her wedding gown and birdcage veil. Pure elegance. Just LOOK at her! And isn’t that train just to DIE for?

To say that the ceremony and its setting were dreamy would be an understatement. It was intimate, yet so grand.  The bridal party walked down the aisle on a runner, secured on flooring, lavished with flower petals (not an easy feat but well designed by Toni and her team). The bridal party was accompanied by the music of a string quartet and the bride and groom were married under a beautiful canopy, with the ocean as their backdrop. And together they drank from the beautiful silver chalice.

Following the ceremony, cocktail hour was set outside. Each guest was greeted with mint julep cocktails in mint julep cups.  The cups were also their favor. And forget Facebook, Instagram and Twitter…this couple went old, OLD school. They set out a typewriter for guests to compose their best wishes to the newlyweds. I loved this because unlike the internet posts, these everlasting sentiments will remain with them.

The decor for this wedding was completely and utterly GORGEOUS and reflected the look and feel of the entire day. The tables were set with ivory damask linens, gold beaded glass chargers and gold chivari chairs, all setting the tone for a most graceful atmosphere. Olivia and Brian kept their floral palate simple with tones of white and hints of color, to create the perfect look. They had different tones of white along with hints of Celosia Orange (#4 color of the year, in case you were wondering), as well as bright greens to really make the whites pop for that touch of elegance.

Once all of the formalities were complete, the Mark Greel Band was in full force, the photobooth  opened, and the delicious dessert table filled with cupcakes, ice-cream and it’s accoutrements, was ready to go (by the way, I love the surprise choice of a tiered cupcake stand with a cake at the top). To end the night, Olivia and Brian danced one of their last dances, surrounded by their friends and family, to Frank Sinatras “All of the Way”.  A perfectly classic way to end a perfectly classic wedding.

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Event Coordination: The Day Of 

Venue: Ocean Cliff

Officiant: Reverend Stephen Kendrick

Florist: Toni Chandler Flowers and Events

Photography: Armor and Martel

Transportation: Leisure Limousine

Music: Music Performance Service & The Mark Greel Band

Cake: Scrumptions 

Photobooth: Photobooth Planet

Hair: Stacey Frasca

Creative Table + Name Cards

Place cards and table numbers are yet another way that brides and grooms are making their events unique and personalized.  Maybe you will find these ideas useful or perhaps they will spark an idea of your own!

Bells at a wedding is an idea that you can TAKE AND RUN WITH! There are so many captivating ways to have bells at your wedding.  So here is the first idea: if you are having an outside wedding, place bells either on your guest’s chairs or beneath, so when you and your groom are recessing, everybody can ring the bells.  If you attach ribbons to the bells, this will create beautiful pictures as you both are exiting! This will make your ceremony feel MAGICAL and it’s a wonderful way to have your guests involved. You can also use this idea for your table numbers and seating arrangements. You can use it in a simple way and just have their name and table number attached to the bell on a ribbon or card. Another idea, is to possibly use an even smaller bell, so the noise will sound very gentle instead of overwhelming. Make it known that every time your guests ring these bells, that you and your groom kiss. This is stepping outside of the traditional tapping of the glass!

If you like to have things with meaning during your wedding, the wedding bells have a great meaning behind them. Ringing of bells at weddings is a long tradition that can be found in many parts of the world. In Scotland, while married couples exit the church, wedding bells are rung at the conclusion. Though the tradition of getting married in the church is slowly starting to reduce, outside weddings in the summer are becoming more popular. No matter where the ceremony is taking place, the tradition of using bells in weddings have survived. Ringing of bells both small and large is viewed as a symbol of happiness and the celebration of the couple’s new life together.

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Sharing fun facts on your table numbers is a great way for your side of the family to get to know your groom on a more personal level, if they have not had too much time to spend with him yet. For example, at table four you could put four of his favorite athletes and teams. If you really want to get into this idea, consider putting specific facts on tables that you know the guests that are seated there will enjoy.  Then of course you can put facts about yourself at the groom’s family tables. This can be a fun project that you and your groom can do together, and during the process you may start learning a little more about his distant family. Another idea for table numbers, instead of separating facts about you and the groom, put facts about you both as a couple. At table 12, “12 months until (groom’s name) got me the puppy I always wanted” You can make these facts as lengthy as you wish, your guests will appreciate learning something new!

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This next idea stems from our previous idea of sharing FUN FACTS that are relevant to the table number at your rehearsal dinner. Using tables names instead of numbers is untraditional and fun! You can put the name of the street where you first lived together, or the restaurant where he proposed. With this idea you can make it simple with decorative paper, or make it part of your centerpiece just like how the oak street table name uses it.

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I absolutely LOVE the idea of incorporating wine bottles into your wedding. There are so many different ways to use wine bottles, that even if another wedding uses it as well, it will not be used the same way that you did. You can start off with using wine bottles as your table numbers. You can use any shape, size, design, paint them, or add details to these bottles. Maybe even leave a message in the bottle (that can easily be taken out) for the guests seated at each table. These bottles will blend nicely with any flower centerpiece and it will add a winsome rustic look to your tables. Now with seating arrangements, you can use a wine stopper with a place cards attached with ribbon. These stoppers would also be their thank you gift and something that many of your guest will continuously use.  Okay, I’m not done with this idea yet! Use wine corks as your place card holders. This is an easy DIY; all you need is a razor and construction paper. Last but not least, you can use a larger wine jug to have your guests write advice, best wishes; anything they want on a small colored paper. Then have your guests tie it in a thin ribbon of your choice and drop it into the wine jug. This jug can be a decorative addition to your home, filled with positive energy, and a perpetual reminder of the love that each side of your families have for the both of you.

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If you are looking for something that is a little more on the simple side, all you need is a decorative holder and a appealing font. It is still going to look like you put a great deal of time and attention to detail with these table numbers and/or place cards.  All of the other ideas that we brought up involve some type of object, but what about just adding pops of color? The picture to the bottom left is very simple, yet it looks AMAZING! Find a print that compliments your wedding theme and a vibrant color(s). A place card setup like this will photograph well, and will have all of your engaged friends wanting to do something just as unique.

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Overall, there are so many ideas out there for you to choose from. Table numbers and name cards are great ways to let you and your fiance’s personalities really shine. Other great websites for inspiration are weddingpaperdivas.com, weddingstar.com, and of course marthastewartweddings.com.

Jennifer + Scott – Boston Park Plaza, Boston, MA

The feeling you get when you listen to Christina Perri’s, A Thousand Years perfectly describes the atmosphere of Jennifer and Scott’s wedding; magical and romantic. This song also so happens to be their choice for their first dance.

Jennifer and Scott got married in the Fall on a beautiful Sunday evening at the Boston Park Plaza. They observed many Jewish Orthodox traditions in order to honor their families’ traditional backgrounds. The groom’s Tisch and bride’s Bedeken took place right after the couples first look in the public garden. The bridal party and groomsmen were able to witness the couples first look from afar! Following that special moment the couple and their bridal party gathered together for some stunning pictures, and my favorite shots were the ones from under the willow tree. What I think made these pictures even better is the symbolism behind a willow tree. Many say that a willow tree represents powerful energy and love. Some also look at this tree like no other; the willow is flexible and can bend, but continues to grow stronger with every year that passes, without breaking; unlike any other tree. So what is better than having pictures under a tree that has such a powerful meaning and can be related back to what marriage is all about.

While Scott was in the Clarendon room at the Boston Park Plaza, he was being greeted by his male guests, the Ketubah was signed and both mothers broke the plate. Simultaneously, Jennifer was being greeted by the women, as she sat on an over-sized, grand red chair. During their actual ceremony Jennifer followed the Jewish tradition of circling her groom seven times. Seven is the number of days of creation, and the wedding ceremony is the creation of a new household. To represent both families coming together as one, while Jennifer was circling Scott, both mothers held her veil to be part of this tradition. Jennifer was not the only one partaking in Jewish traditions during their ceremony, Scott wore a tallit.  Traditionally a tallit is worn during a Jewish wedding; this is something that a bride gives to her groom that is never worn until he is married. The tallit has four corners on it with specially knotted fringes, called tzitzits; worn as a reminder to live a mitzvah-centered life.

After the ceremony all 273 guest enjoyed a cocktail hour, while Jennifer had a quick change. She bustled her gown and changed her hair style from loose curls to a low bun. Finally their guests started filling the Imperial ballroom where uplights enhanced the many columns, and the Kahootz was playing on the stage.  The rest of the night consisted of AMAZING music, a beautiful first dance, the traditional 30 min Hora, and the classic cutting of the cake.

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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Hair and Makeup: The Makeup Artists

Ceremony and Reception: Boston Park Plaza

Music: Kahootz

Photographer: Zev Fisher Photography

Videographer: Long Haul Films

Florist: Blue Guava

Officiant: Rabi JP Katz

Cake: World of Chantilly

In Fitness and In Health

This week’s blog we will be talking about what you can do to not only look and feel healthy on your BIG DAY, but you will be saying “in fitness and in health” instead!

  Diet   Make healthy choices: My first tip to lead you on your way to a healthy wedding and life is to never use the word diet again. Instead try to start using the term Healthy CHOICES. Diet is just a dreadful four letter word. Whenever we say that we are on the “D” word, we sometimes take it almost as a punishment and we can not wait for it to be over with. Now, when we decide to make healthy choices, we are prone to stick to better choices and turn healthy eating into a lifestyle, instead of just a two week desperate attempt before your wedding day. Some of the ways to start off your healthy lifestyle is to eat breakfast every morning. By eating breakfast you are kick-starting your body’s metabolism after a night of rest, which means you will burn off your breakfast faster. Eating breakfast can also help you make healthier food choices for the rest of the day, as you are then less likely to overeat at lunch, dinner, or in between. Here is another helpful idea, prepare smoothies either the night before or the morning before work to keep in your office fridge throughout the day. These smoothies are going to be like liquid gold to you. Now you can politely decline the offer from one of your co-workers who offered to “grab you something” on that 2 o’clock coffee/snack run. Instead you can walk over to your fridge with your shoulders back and head held high, and revive your energy with that light, refreshing, natural vitamin packed smoothie that you made. Just by making simple lifestyle adjustments like this, will guarantee you to be a on a steady, healthy path towards your wedding day.  You will feel refreshed/energized and on your way to a healthy life with your new partner.

Instead of : Substitute with:
Cooking oil in baking Applesauce
Sour cream on baked potatoes Fat-free yogurt
Whole milk Skim Milk
Ice-cream Fat-free frozen yogurt
Salad dressing Red wine vinegar
Soda Chilled tea
Croutons Almonds
Rice Quinoa

 

Powerhouse Smoothie
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1 Tbsp chia seed
1 Tbsp almond butter Ice (about 1/2 cup)
1 banana 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c kale or spinach leaves *Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth

Exercise anyway that you can: When you exercise you help flush toxins out of your body, that you are already trying to get rid of, by changing your eating habits.  You also improve your circulation, by bringing more blood to the surface of the skin. This not only gives you a healthy glow for your wedding day, but it also keeps your skin cells healthier in the long run, so you have a natural glow. To stay active, besides going to the gym, try yoga, hiking, biking, running—whatever feels best for your body! Do something that you love so you’ll feel as if exercise is something you get to do, rather than one more thing on your “to do” list.  If your wedding is stressing you out, (which it shouldn’t because WE ARE HERE TO HELP) exercise is a great way to release some of that anxiety. The results? Glowing skin, a better mood, and more clarity.  All of these things will help you look beautiful, calm, and happy on your wedding day (plus of course the fact that we are there making sure everything runs smoothly). You can also get your new hubby to be involved with this as well. High five to you if you can get him into a hot yoga class, but if he is just not all for laying in 104 degree room for an hour, try rock climbing, kayaking, an early spin class (so you both can start off your day in a healthy way), or even wash your car together followed by a quick jog or walk with your dog.  There are many ways to stay active, outside of going to the gym, and it is going to be a great chance to spend time with your husband to be, too!

WATER,water and you guessed it, More WATERYour body needs plenty of water to function well, and though you want to make sure you’re drinking enough so that you’re not dehydrated, you should try to eat fruits with high water content too! Being dehydrated can cause your energy meter to go past empty.  If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms. Simple water is also a huge factor that will help you achieve every brides to be goal: healthy skin. Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water.  Now ladies, it won’t happen overnight, of course, but just a couple of weeks of drinking a healthy amount of water can have noticeable effects on your skin. Carry around an 8 oz water bottle or start filling your “healthy choice” snacks with cucumbers, pineapples, zucchini and grapefruit (all four examples are made-up of over 84% water).

Facials and exfoliants: Facials are a great to enhance your skin’s clarity and tone, but trust me the last thing you want to do is get a facial a week or week and a half before your wedding day. You want to allow pimples and toxins that are just underneath the epidermis layer to have time to come up and clear. When it comes facials, not all products and treatments are meant for all skin types.  Microderm abrasion has been a popular topic lately and this blog really walks you through the ins and outs…http://skintighteningsage.com/fantastic-world-microdermabrasion-skin-treatment/

♦Dry skin? Dry skin has a range of treatments. Dry skin lacks natural oils, making it prone to dehydration. Because of this lack of water in your skin, your bodies natural exfoliating cycle slows down. Facials that include gentle exfoliation or a plant stem facial are a great way to take your skin from dried out to gleaming, take a picture of me skin!

♦Oily skin? Oily skin becomes…well oily…because it produces more oil than it actually needs. Oil on your face can act like a magnet for skin cells and pollution which can cause unwanted clogging inside your pores. For your skin type look for facials that include a chemical exfoliant, which have key ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid. Oily skin also needs extractions to remove any hardened debris within the pores; aka get rid of those despised blackheads. When an extractions is needed, a couple weeks before your wedding is a perfect time to stop by your dermatologist’s office. If you do not have time to setup an appointment there are plenty of products that you can find at your local CVS for a quick fix. Charcoal is great for removing excess oil, deep cleaning your pores, plus preventing and clearing up blackheads. Check out the Clean and Clear charcoal masks. Apparently, this is the up and coming “new treatment” to use that sucks out all blackheads and excessive oils with just one use.

♦Combination of BOTH? Microdermabrasion exfoliants work very well with this type of skin. Before I continue, some of you may be wondering what a microdermabrasion is exactly; it is a general term for the application of tiny rough grains to buff away the surface layer of skin, so your new layer of skin will be baby skin soft and healthy. Extractions is another option that will most likely be used on your t-zone to remove congestion. Now, to treat the other part of your skin (the dry parts) a professional treatment mask, such as freeze-dried collagen will replenish lost water and soothe the skin with just one treatment.

Body Scrub: A full body scrub is something great to do a few days before your wedding to have totally touchable honeymoon skin. A good salt scrub uses organic products and should feel abrasive on the body. It’s the easiest and best way to invigorate the body as it shifts dead skin cells, increases circulation and oxygenates the blood for super glowing skin. Just a hint when it comes to using at home body scrubs…do not over do it. Frequent scrubbing can damage the new layer of skin since you already scrubbed off the old skin cells. For everyone that would classify themselves under the dry skin category, select gentle scrubs. Rough body scrubs, even if you had a lot of dead skin cells, will cause you to have even dryer and irritated skin.

Homemade body scrub
  1.  ½ cup + 2 tablespoons Epsom salt or coarse salt crystals
  2. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. Juice of one lemon or lime
Scrub in shower and rinse with warm water.
Will scrub off dead skin cells, leave your skin glowing, and with a lingering fresh scent

 

Fun Health FACT: NOTHING is better than Red Wine!  
Grapes contain resveratrol, which is one of the most powerful anti-ageing antioxidants yet discovered. Studies suggest it can help maintain a youthful complexion by fighting damaging free radicals. A small glass of red wine every other day will boost your intake. Don’t overdo it though, for obvious reasons. So pour yourself a glass, relax, put your feet up, and read some more of our blogs.

-Daily Mirror

  

 

   

 

   

References:

Everyday Health

Time

HubPages

DietDeepDish

WebMD

The Times of India

This blog should be used to help you generate ideas for living a healthy lifestyle, but not to go against anything that a doctor has recommended. We are not doctors, nor are we trying to be. This advice should be taken into possible consideration, and discussed further more with a doctor if need be.

 

 

 

Cecile + Ehud – Temple Emanuel, Newton, MA

Cecile and Ehud were married on a Sunday afternoon, at Temple Emanuel in Newton, in an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony.

The wedding formalities began with the Kabbalat Panim which is the opening reception. This is the time when the groom’s Tisch and the bride’s Bedeken take place.  During the Groom’s Tisch, he is greeted by his male guests and the Ketubah (the formal marriage contract) is signed.  This is also the time when, together, Cecile and Ehud’s mothers broke a plate.   This tradition symbolizes the seriousness of the commitment between the two families.  While the men are gathering, the women are with the bride who is treated like a Queen seated for her guests to greet her.  It is also a very important tradition when the groom enters the room with all of the men, singing and celebrating as he is about to see his bride for the first time.  Once he confirms that he is marrying his intended bride, he carefully places the veil over her face.  Once this was over, guests were seated in the sanctuary and the ceremony with all of their guests began!

During the ceremony, each song sung was handed picked for the loved ones who walked down the aisle.  Ahava Me Mabat Rishon was sung while Ehud was escorted by his parents Hanna and Uri and Cecile, escorted by her parents, walked down the aisle to Erev shel Shoshanim.

Their Chuppah was beautifully decorated with flowers and a tallis as their canopy.  The Chuppah represents the first roof the bride and groom share together symbolizing that there are no walls in this new home of theirs.

For the reception guests were entertained with both a Mariachi and Jewish band.  Diverse music was a perfect way to intertwine both their culture and religion.  Simcha dancing was a must for this group as was the 30 minute hora!   In Jewish Orthodox religion it is considered a good deed to entertain their bride and groom, and guest will go to great lengths to do so.  The reception also consisted of MORE Simcha dancing, secular dancing , a surprise video, and cute “munchies” that were served for the remainder of the wedding.

Cecile’s mother came to us 2 weeks before the wedding and I am so glad she did.  The fact that there was so much to do in the days leading up to the wedding, and so many details to the day, never presented any challenges and it was just such a joy to work with them and be part of such a beautiful celebration!

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Event Coordination:  The Day Of

Ceremony: Temple Emanuel 

Officiant: Rabbi Klapper

Hair: Anna Marie Angelucci-Cedrone and Franco Cedrone Dellaria Salon – Newton Center

Makeup: Jamie Cullity

Band: Mariachi Internacional

Photography: Grazier Photography 

Florist: Sarah’s Garden

Caterer: Catering By Andrew