Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December is upon us

By: Jessica Robinson

December brings cold, glistening snow falling from the New England sky and family time.  I love this time of year!  Almost every night, I haul in firewood from out back and enjoy some quiet time near the warm glow of the fireplace. 

Right now, I'm working on making my proposal for The New England Kitchen perfect in order for it to be shown to publishers.  It's a wonderful book filled with heirloom recipes from our families and many recipes created right in our own kitchen.  Writing a book is a huge task!  I decided to write the wedding book first, then had this bright idea (with Scott's help) to write the kitchen book.  So with the winter, we have less weddings and I have more time to write.  I love being completely lost in my thoughts, with my toes in cozy fuzzy socks resting on the coffee table and the fireplace a glow.  I write at night, so my day is filled with the normal tasks of the business.  Of course, right now... we've been fixing walls, getting ready to paint and trying to get electricians to hang chandeliers, etc. at the new studio space.  More to come soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Caramel Chocolate apples

By: Jessica Robinson

Every winter we dip hundreds of granny smith apples into homemade caramel and then dark chocolate.  While the chocolate is still wet we roll some of them into toasted coconut and even add a few M&M's.  I love adding a little detail with white chocolate drizzled all over them.  Not only are they made from the heart they are absolutely delicious!  Every ingredient in our apples is natural goodness, no preservatives and nothing artificial. 

We start by making a huge batch of homemade caramel.  Then, dipping hundreds of apples into the caramel.  While the caramel sets the chocolate temper machine is melting and stirring dark chocolate into sweet heaven.  My mother usually sends over a tray of pure maple candies for me to dip into the chocolate as well.  Luckily, the Snyders pretzel rep lives right around the corner from us and is always willing to drop off pretzels to dip.  (I love the taste of salty and sweet)  If you're looking for the perfect holiday gift, people are really going to enjoy order them from us. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Real wedding at the Fairmont Hotel, Boston, MA

Back in October we had the pleasure of designing Lindsay and Alex's wedding.  The day could not of been more perfect.  I am absolutely in LOVE with Boston.  It's like breathing in the clear ocean breezes, you just soak in the surroundings and fall in love.  Head over heels.
Over the years, I've developed a taste for the finest things in the wedding industry.  My designs are only as good as the photographer who captures the creativity.  Allegro Photography completely BLEW me away with the images they took of the wedding!  I couldn't stop looking at the images, just soaking in all the fabulous details they captured (and we designed)!  Take a look at the wedding.

The Fairmont Hotel is a stunning location.  Rich with history and architectural beauty.  Fizz Paperie created their invitations and they could not have been more beautiful.  Real wood.  How different and so very original.  I'm looking forward to showing you more of the details to this wedding!

Wedding in Vermont

We've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to design weddings far beyond Connecticut.  I love Connecticut, but traveling is SO much fun and gives us the chance to think outside the box even more (with a new venue and location). 

Next summer we're heading to Vermont to design a really, just plain cool wedding!  The location: The West Monitor Barn.  The colors: Red, magenta and deep raspberry.  Very vibrant colors to make a splash that really strikes a statement!  We'll be hanging tons of flower blooms from the rafters in glass bottles.  These are some of the inspirations the bride gave to us.  I'm really happy to be working with Ryan Designs and cannot wait to see what kind of lighting they come up with!  Their company makes all sorts of custom lounge pieces, farmhouse style tables and the most incredibly gorgeous chandeliers anyone's ever laid eyes on!  All of the details will be photographed by Craig Paulson Photography out of New York City.

Since nearly all of the guests are from out of town, we'll be making up some pretty fabulous out of town guest boxes.  Brown kraft boxes filled overflowing with made in Vermont and New England goodies and tied up with a red/white thin string with a 'thank you' tag.  Goodies include treats from the sugar house and maybe some Vermont made wooden spoons or something.  I'm surely going to check out the Newfane Country Store for some inspiration and local fare.

Cooperstown, New York wedding

In August our design team headed up to the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York to design Caitlin and Mike's wedding.  (They are one of our 2010 deserving couple winners)  The Farmer's Museum is an absolutely stunning property!

Caitlin was extremely lucky to get a stunning wedding gown from The White Dress by the Shore and Modern Trousseau.  What can I say.... except that the gown raised the bar for the look and feel of the wedding!

I believe that your guests should be wowed as they enter your reception with a great entrance piece.  Which is usually the escort card table/display or a wonderful hors d'oeuvre table. (or both)

We hung green oxidized metal lanterns from the earthy wood beams of the barn for her reception and lots of candles to her tables.  Low centerpieces, were overflowing with lavender dahlias, mini green hydrangea, 'cool water' roses, 'super green' cabbage roses and unripe raspberries.  We used several different containers, which included rustic wooden crates with moss sides and lovely footed chocolate/bronze color metal urn. Mason jars of fresh mint and colorful summer blooms were abundant.  Sweet sophistication and romance will fill this wedding!

ABC cakes designed a great cake for the couple.  We are teamed up with Cookie creatives to create a fabulous candy station with touches of vintage charm and candies handmade right in New England (including rock candy and fruit slices).  I stopped by Ocean State Job Lot for some incredible glass jars with wooden tops for displaying the candies.  (they have wonderful bargains on things like that!) Honestly, it's kind of hit or miss.... so I tend to stop a few times a week when I'm in the search for something.  I also picked up a few rolls of natural twine.  (to twist around the stems of bouquets and adding that touch of country rustic charm to boutonnieres)

I'm completely in LOVE with all the details of this wedding!  We are so very fortunate that Justin and Mary Marantz will be capturing every little gorgeous detail. 

She along with a friend designed a simple and very pretty wedding invitation.  With deep sky blue writing and flower motif at the bottom... I'm in love!  She's going to create DIY menu cards to match that will be tucked into every guests napkin.

The wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty.  Take a look at the FABULOUS images Justin & Mary captured of the entire event!  Cooperstown, NY wedding at the Farmer's Museum.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bouquet ideas

By: Jessica Robinson
It's always nice to see a bride carrying a really stunning bouquet!  The attention will be on you as you glide down the aisle to the love of your life. 

(Steve Depino Photography)

Remember, when selecting what type of flowers and the color of the bouquet make sure your floral designer has a photo of your gown.  That will help them determine what to recommend to you for flowers.  If you have a gorgeous and very elaborate ball gown, lots of detailing... you may want to consider a simplistic bouquet.  Look through images online and in magazines, but give some creative freedom to your florist.  They'll be able to recommend the appropriate types of flowers and colors for the season.

Even if you absolutely LOVE peonies or tulips and we can ship them from Holland for your July wedding.  As a designer, I might suggest we move in another direction based on the possibility of the weather being SO hot.  Incorporating herbs and seasonal berries is a great idea.  This will add texture and a little hint of sweet smells.  We certainly don't want you to carry something that is too over powering with smells either. 

Detail, detail, detail... on the stems of your bouquet.  I love to accent the stems of a bouquet with pearls, rhinestones, French knots, twisted wire or other creative ideas to add interest.  Even a piece of your mother's gown for something old.  Search on Ebay, Etsy or in consignment shops for vintage jewelry to add to the stems of your bouquet. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend of events

This weekend we had the absolute pleasure to have met one of our clients for October 2011.  They are planning a wedding at La Cupola Ristorante & Inn in Litchfield, Connecticut.  Christina & Dustin are amazing and so sweet!!  La Cupola has four very intimate suites, so we were all able to stay.  It's like you become a family member to Frank and the staff at La Cupola when you become a client. (Scott and I have been close friends with him for over 10 years now!)

Gayle joined us from AriaDress and brought the most lovely gowns for the bride to try on.  That was SO fun!  How fun is it to try on a wedding gown and realize it's actually happening!  Amy from Chandelier Events joined us on Saturday to discuss all of the decor ideas, from the invitations to the flowers and beyond!  Amy is just fabulous and has worked in the wedding industry for many years.  We put our heads together to come up with some really pretty decor ideas.  With the layout of La Cupola, we'll be inviting guests for cocktail hour downstairs then dinner upstairs (which is really different, since La Cupola's dining room has booths) and family style tables in the center of the room.  After a really tasty lunch at La Cupola we shared some cupcakes of possible cake flavors from Kelly's Sweet Rewards.  One of my favorites was her red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting.  Oh my goodness!  Just divine!

We'll be adding a pop of color with orange mokara orchid and milva rose centerpieces.  Lots of warmth will fill the dining room with beeswax candles.  A touch of rustic New England will be added by using old barn boards down the length of each booth table.  The dinner that we tasted at La Cupola was incredible!  You do not find reception venues like this often.  Such hospitality, phenomenal food and wonderful wines.  We had the opportunity to do a wine tasting at Sunset Meadow Vineyards.  It was really fun and their wines are wonderful!  We're hoping to serve their wines for Christina and Dustin's wedding (what better thing to offer to your guests than something locally produced!)

For their guests attending, we'll be putting together some pretty amazing out of town guest bags.  They'll be filled with all sorts of local goodies and maps of area attractions. We'll probably include one of the cookie mixes from Lamothe's Sugar House.  It's a really nice touch for an added thank you for making the trip for your wedding (especially when the guests are coming so far as their guests).  Along with the help of Amy from Chandelier Events, we'll be putting together a really yummy candy station (filled with handmade chocolates, caramel/chocolate apples and many wonderful treats!)  We are really looking forward to this couple's wedding, which includes a romantic outdoor ceremony overlooking the pond.  Purely romantic in New England!