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THE JOURNAL

2012 Year in Review

2012 was a banner year for Wedding Planning Plus and we cannot believe how fortunate we were and can’t thank all of our supporters and fans enough for your love and good wishes.  As we reflect back on what 2012 was we felt it was only fitting to hold the first of what we hope are many ‘Year in Review’s. So take a walk with us down memory lane and revisit all of the best moments we shared in 2012…

Most Beautiful View – Ashley and Mike, September 1, 2012.
Ashley and Mike were married at St Mary’s Church in Albany and celebrated their reception at the New York State Museum downtown.  If you are not familiar with the NYS Museum you should know that their special events space is located on the 4th floor overlooking the Empire State Plaza, The Egg, and The New York State Capital.  I mean yeah.  Not only was the natural scenery great but Ashley and Mike were doubly blessed with the most amazing last summer weather an Upstate New Yorker can ask for – warm summer sunshine, low humidity, and a gorgeous light breeze.  Oh wait did I mention it was also a super special full moon that night?  Yeah no biggie.  This event was so amazing and definitely memorable from this year.  I mean, check out this uber delicious photo – what could be better than this?

Best Wedding Hair – Sarah and Eddie, November 3, 2012.
What do you get when you mix a super stunning bride, fabulous hair and makeup artists, and a god given head of long brown hair – you get Sarah here and her amazing wedding day look.  To top that off Sarah also rocked a ridiculous dress which just made her completely model-worthy on her big day.  Ok Eddie, your hair looked great that day, too, but you and I know that Sarah pretty much stole the show.  Swoon!
Photo by Ali Kaukas

Best Beer – Pam and Joe, August 11, 2012.
At WPP we love themes, especially the ones that are carried out well between multiple levels of the event.  And have universal appeal.  And involve beer.  So none were we more pleased than to hear of Pam and Joe’s wedding theme (and personal love) of craft beer, and sharing that love with their family and friends at their wedding.  The chose to build their cocktail hour around a beer tasting, pairing the Black Diamond Catering’s food morsels with the microbrewed beers from the area that they loved so much.  Then as their guests took to their seats at the reception they sat at tables where the centerpieces were ceramic mugs with ice holding a unique bottle of cold crisp beer.  Surrounding those mugs were 2 oz glasses where guests served up tasting samples to the bride and groom as they made their way around to each table, enjoying in a special toast for each table of guests in their reception.  As a microbrew fan myself I fully supported the concept and execution of their microbrewery experience, even if I was not able to partake in the revelry myself.  πŸ˜‰
Photo by Genevieve Fridley

Most Unique Cake – Rebecca and Dave, June 23, 2012.
Rebecca and Dave met at Colgate University and both were members of the college crew team.  So when they decided to hold their wedding back on the campus of their alma mater it only made sense to include details that tied in to the school and their history there.  One of the best Colgate elements at their wedding was their custom made wedding cake that was a 3D replica of the college’s boat house, including the bride and groom and their bridal party as little miniature rowers.  It was a huge hit, and a cake not soon to be forgotten.
Best Reception Surprise – Kristin and Andy, January 7, 2012.
I love it when couples surprise their guests and I love it even more when the surprise is so secret that not even the parents know it’s happening.  Such was the case at Kristin and Andy’s wedding where the bride and groom treated their guests to a surprise fireworks display that had everyone talking.  Now if you noticed their wedding date it was January and very cold out.  Glen Sanders Mansion was the venue for their reception and without a wall of windows it meant having to somehow convince 100+ guests that they should get up out of their warm seats and go stand outside…  Not necessarily the easiest task.  But with the help of their DJ Greg Frasier we had the bride and groom start a conga line and insisted every guest needed to be a participant in the long train.  After Kristin and Andy circled through the ballroom they headed outdoors and, well, their guests followed.  Once everyone was in place the first fireworks went off and everyone let out some serious ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.  My favorite comment that night came from a guest who was standing outside enjoying the show.  “How do you pull something like this off?” one guest asked another.  “You hire a wedding planner.”
Best Photobooth Props – Betsey and Brian, December 8, 2012.
I’ve seen my fair share of photobooth props but Betsey and Brian’s wedding by far outshines all others. Instead of a traditional enclosed photobooth that holds just a few people, Betsey and Brian used their photographer’s open air photobooth at their reception.  With a fun backdrop and room to fit dozens of people, the Bailly Photography photo booth was the hit of the night.  Making it all the more interesting were the holiday props like giant plastic candy canes and Santa hats, as well as word bubble signs with some pretty funny expressions written on them.  But even with that there was the creme de la creme of props there – two enormous cut outs of the bride and groom’s face.  I’m pretty sure that every single photo taken that night had Brian and Betsey in them, either in person or just by prop, like the photo above of all of their wedding vendors (and Brian and Betsey’s heads).  
Best Use Of Space – Kristen and Roberto, October 6, 2012.
Kristen and Roberto were married at the Historic Barns of Nipmoose this past fall.  The Nipmoose property consists of three barns all adjacent to one another – a tiny corn crib, a medium sized barn, and one larger barn where most receptions take place.  In order to fit all of their guests into the reception barn it took some careful planning as space was certainly limited for what they were trying to fit in there.  With the use of long farm tables all technically mapped to scale, the couple was able to fit not only their guests for dinner service but also room for a band, a dance floor, a bar and their buffet tables. And it didn’t look too shabby either.

Photo by Gallery 9 North

Best Wedding Planning Plus “Family” Wedding – Mikala and Ryan – May 11, 2012
I have known Mikala and Ryan separately long before I was called to assist them with their wedding.  Mikala is the younger sister of one of my grooms from 2010, and also the big sister of my 2012 intern, Erin.  And Ryan happens to be the younger brother of a personal friend of mine and someone I’ve run into at social functions over the past few years.  So when I found out they were about the married I was excited, and when I was asked to help with the coordination of their wedding I was ecstatic.  Thanks for including me, guys!  I can’t wait for our next “family” wedding!!

Most Disney Couple – Alex and Vinny, November 7, 2012.
Alex and Vinnie is the American couple who dreams of princesses and castles and magic and happily ever after.  That’s because these two are Disney fanatics who think in Disney terms, dream in Disney terms, and of course go to the Most Magical Place On Earth regularly, as well as for their honeymoon.  Not surprisingly they rounded their vendor team out with Bailly Photography whose husband and wife (and two baby daughter) team are Disney nuts themselves.  Thank you so much Alex and Vinnie for sending your final payment on a Disney check.  I’ll support your passion because you are supporting mine!!  πŸ˜‰  PS my first marathon was the Disney Marathon in Orlando so I am secretly as much of a fan as you are.  And almost as much as the Baillys…  πŸ˜‰
Photo by Hendrickson Photography

Best Use of Personal Touches – Macrina and Tyson, September 21, 2012
Macrina and Tyson were married in Lake Placid and WPP planner Ginny had the pleasure of working with them on their event.  This couple incorporated so many fun personal details into their wedding day, such as a memory box that they had as part of their ceremony.  They each took a bottle of wine and a letter to one another and placed it into the box, nailed it, and plan to open it on their 5 year anniversary. As big sports fans they skipped the traditional place card and table number idea and instead named all of their tables a different sporting arena and gave their guests actual event tickets to show which arena/table they were seated at.  And they even had custom Chuck Taylors worn by the bridal party!  So fun!
Photo by Harlowe Studio

Most Adaptable Couple – Alycia and Everett – September 8, 2012
Every bride is told throughout her planning process that she needs to expect at least one thing to go wrong at her wedding.  This does hold true, as even the best laid plans are subject to human error, emotional dynamics, and of course the influence of Mother Nature.  But over my 6+ years of doing weddings I have seen few couples who were forced to deal with as much Mother Nature as Alycia and Everett did.  With a ceremony originally planned to be lakeside at The Inn at Erlowest, an impending rain storm caused us to make the last minute switch to holding the ceremony under the tent on property.  All seemed right with that plan until just as the ceremony was about the begin the storm turned from just heavy rain into a terrible thunderstorm.  There was no way we wanted to risk anyone’s safety by keeping the ceremony under a metal framed tent so the plan was changed yet again and all guests were moved into the restaurant in front of the fireplace.  Only a special few brides and grooms would be patient and flexible enough to tolerate such drastic change on their wedding day but these two took it in stride and truly made the best of the situation at hand.  And in the end Alycia remarked that getting married in a small space with all of her guests all around her was a magical experience and she wouldn’t have wanted to have her ceremony any other way.
Photo by Janis Konons

Best Ceremony Distraction (of the funny kind) – Kate and Shawn, June 9, 2012
Speaking of adaptable couples, Kate and Shawn rank up there on my list because of the patience and humor they showed as there were not just one but two major distractions during their ceremony.  The couple was married outdoors at Birch Hill with a lovely natural backdrop behind them – a pond, trees, a fountain – all beautiful things to look at.  But when you have nature you also have nature’s animals, and at Birch Hill you are likely to spot quite a range of bird species all calling the property home.  Well through the ceremony there was a peacock (yes there are several peacocks who live there) who not only opened their tail feathers and showed their beautiful feathers, but also chose to squawk loudly and often as the officiant was trying to perform the ceremony.  As if that wasn’t enough, a certain pair of, shall we say ‘frisky’ ducks found a comfortable spot to ‘be frisky’ just to the left of the bridesmaids.  It wasn’t until Kate and Shawn heard their guests laughing that they turned and saw what was happening.  And laughed right along with everyone.  I mean, come on, it was funny!
Best Reception (For Us!!) – Taylor and Rory, August 31, 2012
Although all of our packages are custom built, I rarely adjust our day-of wedding coordination packages to anything smaller than a standard ceremony and reception coverage.  However when Taylor called me last spring and asked me if she could have me coordinate just the ceremony only there was no way I could tell her no.  As the wedding date approached the couple offered to have us stay as guests for their reception and again, no was not an option.  So for this wedding we worked at the ceremony and celebrated at the reception.  Not a bad gig!
Best Rehearsal Dinner Location – Andi and Greg, October 20, 2012
Andi and Greg chose the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown as their wedding location.  This is a stunning venue with lots of outdoor space and even a carousel on site.  But the fun didn’t start there, as the couple chose to use another local hot spot as their rehearsal dinner venue.  As a microbrew beer fan myself I couldn’t help but swoon a little when I heard they were hosting their rehearsal dinner at Ommegang Brewery.  Ginny was the coordinator for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding and said the Ommegang night was pretty freaking awesome.  And, as the good friend she is, she brought me back a bottle of their delicious beer so I didn’t feel I missed out on a thing.  Thanks Ginny!!
Photo by Beltrami Studios

Best Use Of Fabrics – Shawna and Scott, June 30, 2012
Every couple has a different design esthetic and brings something unique in design elements to their wedding day.  Of all the couples I’ve worked with I have to say that Shawna and Scott had such a vision for their day and were so keenly tapped in to what was really going to pop at their wedding, and the results show.  Their use of specialty fabrics was amazing, from the linens on the guest tables to the sparkly linen on the cake table to the swirly fabrics that adorned the chuppah table and the backs of the chairs at the ceremony.  Each of their choices in fabrics were unique but because of the styling help of David Michael Schmidt they all pulled together and flowed with their event perfectly.  This bride has some good taste.
Best Dressed – A + B, December 1, 2012
I see a lot of snazzy brides and dapper grooms but for A + B I think these guys top my list of best dressed couple of the year.  The groom wore a traditional black tux and black bow tie, a very classic look which matched their historic wedding venue very well.  And not to say he wasn’t impressive on his own, but let’s be honest, his bride stole the show.  Decked out in a gorgeous designer wedding dress in a champagne color to compliment her perfect peach tones skin and a shoulder wrap of faux fur that fit perfectly with the winter wedding, she was a knock out.  It was impossible not to look at her and have your breath literally taken away, and that means a lot coming from a wedding planner who sees countless stunning brides and grooms.  I mean, check out the photo for yourself, aren’t they stunning??
Best Use Of Space –  Allison and Ed, October 20, 2012
Some wedding venues offer a limited number of options in terms of using the space indoors and around their property, but this was not the case for the wedding venue of Allison and Ed.  They got married at The Mansion in Saratoga which is a historic Victorian mansion with an impressive garden and lawn space, an expansive deck, and a barn at the back of the property.  Allison and Ed used all of the spaces available to them to give their guests unique settings for each of their wedding events – the indoor front sitting room was the space for their ceremony, guests mingled among the first floor of the mansion and out on the back deck during cocktail hour, and for their reception the barn was transformed into a twinkling rustic space where everyone enjoyed dinner, drinks, and a whole lot of dancing.  They even got me out on the dance floor for a song and that NEVER happens!
Photo by Tracey Buyce

Most Beautiful Couple – Niki and Chris, September 22, 2012
Let me start off by saying that all of my couples are beautiful, but some are so much so that it warrants mentioning.  Such was the case for Niki and Chris who were married this fall in Lake George.  Besides being two of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and two of the most connected and in love couples I’ve ever worked with, these two were just stunning beauties that could adorn the cover of just about any bridal magazine.  I mean, look at this photo, aren’t they gorgeous?  Not gonna lie, I can’t wait to see what their kids look like!
Best Use Of Natural Elements – Amy and Stephen, June 16, 2012
I have a soft spot in my heart for any couple who uses natural elements or incorporates green practices to their wedding, so arriving at Amy and Stephen’s reception and seeing the details of their design really piqued my interest.  For centerpieces the couple used potted herbs, bud vases and glass containers filled with lemons.  Instead of traditional table numbers they placed a number card into a slit in a lemon, and for their cake topper they had candied fruits and other natural accents.  For an early summer wedding the bright greens and yellows not only popped but felt so right for the season.  I loved it!
Most Elegant Wedding – Anna and Andy, April 28, 2012
Anna and Andy wanted a wedding that felt elegant, classic and timeless – and that’s exactly what they got.  I started working with this couple a year before their wedding date and planned every detail of the event with them.  From the custom made wedding dress, the use of whites and blush tones in their flowers, the black tuxedos and black bow ties, and wedding location as classic and timeless as the Canfield Casino, it didn’t get much more elegant than this.  It’s funny too because during the planning process I remember Anna being worried that she didn’t have the right design elements or that her wedding wouldn’t have anything that stood out to people, but in the end all of the small details blended and meshed so well that the overall result was a completely beautiful wedding, and my pick for most elegant of the year.
Smallest Guest Count – Jolene and Bob, May 26, 2012.
After being in business for 6, going on 7, years there are very few things that can come up as a first for me.  But when Jolene reached out to me I was facing a new horizon – the planning of an elopement.  Jolene and Brad live in Connecticut and were looking to marry discretely in an area they heard was nice but had never really spent much time in – Saratoga Springs.  After contacting me I put all of the fine touches together for their special day – a ceremony venue, an officiant, a photographer, and a lovely spot for the two of them to enjoy a romantic dinner as newlyweds.  Admittedly I only had the chance to spend a few moments with these two on their wedding day but their love, joy, and appreciation will stay with me for a lifetime.  Thank you so much for reaching out to me and allowing me to be a small part of your big day!
Most Cultural Wedding (for me) – Preeti and Japbir, May 12, 2012
I love doing weddings where I learn something new, and in the case of this wedding it was experiencing my first Indian wedding.  An Indian wedding is very different from a traditional Western wedding in some many aspects, and it was really interesting to see and work with new vendors and in a brand new format.  And for a curry fan like me, oooh their reception food was good!
 Best Gift From A Best Man – Becky and Justin, April 27, 2012
For most weddings there is a lot of gift giving to the happy couple, but in the case of Becky and Justin’s wedding it was their best man who, well at least in my opinion, gave them the best gift of all – ME!  πŸ™‚  As best man he has been in and around enough weddings to know that they can be very stressful occasions for the bride and groom and he wanted nothing more than to help his best friend and his soon-to-be wife have a wedding that was not bogged down in worry and stress.  Which is why he called me and hired me to be the day-of coordinator for Becky and Justin’s wedding day.  Not a bad gift…  in my opinion.
Best Reception Entertainment (of the home made variety) – Shawna and Matt, September 22, 2012
Shawna and Matt live in California where Matt works in the Hollywood movie industry.  They chose to be married here at the Historic Barns of Nipmoose and Ginny had the pleasure of working with them as their day-of coordinator.  During their reception they presented a movie for their guests to watch which was a video montage of their life together, created by the couple themselves.  Not only was this a unique way to incorporate their past and their history together, but a great way to utilize their talents in movie making.  And, according to Ginny, it was a smashing success.
Thank you for taking a walk down memory lane with me!  Cheers to a new year for all and a WEDDING YEAR for some!!

comments +

  1. AC says:

    So many talents are required to make it look this easy. Well done, Shannon!

  2. Dubrovnik Wedding Planner says:

    Hi Shannon, I'm a wedding planner myself. I'm getting in touch from the other side of the world (Dubrovnik, Croatia – where I live and work). After a very exciting wedding planning season back in 2012 I was looking for a bit of inspiration on how to look back at all those nice events.
    Your post with the "best of" selection gave me a few ideas. Thanks, great work.
    Kike

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