After you Book your Wedding Venue

Hooray you survived the venue search process! You schlepped through countless search sites (The Knot, Wedding Wire and who knows how many others!) You listened to countless opinions from family, friends and even your coworker Margaret. You set up several venue viewing appointments and met with professional after professional. You swirled dates and timeframes around and finally nailed one down and signed the contract! Great! You’re well on your way to your wedding day! …Now what?!?

After you have secured your wedding venue, stay in touch with your venue’s Banquet Manager or Wedding Planner to:

        1. Schedule a Meeting Time
        2. Discuss Decorations
        3. Choose a Menu
        4. Know your Bar and Beverage Options
        5. Create your Wedding Day Timeline
        6. And discuss many more details that will help to personalize your day! Ask your venue’s Banquet Manager or your Wedding Planner what you should be doing/planning/asking for questions and what they will need from you next. They have a lot of insight and knowledge to help you!

Schedule a Meeting

Finding a time to sit down and go over all details and information with your Wedding Venue Coordinator is beneficial for both you and your venue. This gives you a chance to discuss your ideas and thoughts and make sure it will work with your venue’s dimensions, time frame, and if they will need extra staff to help with some of your plans. This is also a good time to get information that you may need to pass along to your other vendors for their planning purposes.

Discuss Decorations

In the meeting, make sure to talk about what you think you’ll be doing for decorations. You should be open in discussing this with the venue because they have so much experience in weddings and they can even give you some ideas to work off of!

Also be aware that you may need to alter some of your decoration choices, for example some venues may not allow open flame candles but if they do, they may ask you to fully enclose the flame. For example by placing the candle in a hurricane vase or lantern.

Photos by Cheetah Design Studio

Choosing a Menu

Now, this can be one of the best parts of planning a wedding! Choosing your menu personally adds the perfect tailored touch to your special day! ! We suggest that you sit down with the Chef and/or Wedding Venue Coordinator at your venueto review all of your options and their recommendations. It is also helpful to have the Chef’s suggestions as to what will pair well together, what will complement the taste of an entrée or side dish and they can also make suggestions as to the time of year and what ingredients are in season. Don’t forget to ask about special dietary needs, most venues will accommodate those with allergies and vegetarians/vegans.

Know your Bar and Beverage Options

Some venues offer a variety of choices for your bar including an open bar, a cash bar, drink tickets, punch bowls, or even a specialty drink item at your wedding! If you are planning a brunch menu, think Mimosa or Bloody Mary bar to celebrate with! If you or your fiancé have a certain drink that the venue doesn’t currently offer or have on tap, ask them what it might take to bring it in. (Keep in mind there may be an extra fee for certain options, be sure to ask so that you are well aware.) The bar is another great place to add your personal touch so have some fun with it!

Create Your Wedding Day Timeline

Make sure you work with your wedding venue to schedule out your day. This helps your Wedding Venue Coordinator to know what you want your wedding day to look like. They can help you to arrange the order of events or make suggestions as to when formalities should take place.  At Pats Peak we like to start with a suggested timeline and make the changes that our couples like to create their perfect day! Here is a blank copy of our timeline and worksheet to show you a typical order of a reception: Pats Peak Timeline Worksheet.

timelinepp

You can plan every single detail down to the military minute, but one thing to keep in mind is that “things happen.” Rely on your day-of coordinator to help make that adjustments as necessary. Be prepared to enjoy your day no matter what comes your way, you’ve planned everything out and it will result in an amazing memory!

Photos by Gallant Photography

Authentically New Hampshire Rustic

It’s no secret that our brides have typically gone for the more rustic themes on their wedding day, and we can’t blame them! We are located in beautiful New Hampshire surrounded by the mountains, the foliage, and the ideal country life. That’s why we find it important to showcase all the ways we can celebrate love while appreciating the beauty that surrounds us.

Wedding Venue

Each couple always needs to take into consideration where they want their wedding to be. Start thinking about your guest count, your wedding theme, the policy for unpredictable weather, the food choices, and if your date is available. You may have a couple locations that will work so make sure you are looking at venues in those areas.

If you even spend just a few hours here in New Hampshire, you’ll start to see the many options to choose from if you are looking for that rustic style! From our mountain ranges to our lakes, you will have the perfect backdrop for all of your photos! We even have several venues (including us, Pats Peak Banquet Center!) that are positioned on a mountain and offer summit weddings. What’s not to love about feeling like you’re on top of the world as you look out beyond yourself?

Wedding Décor

Having a rustic wedding doesn’t always mean burlap and mason jars, even though we will always love them! You can utilize everything that reminds you of sitting outside at a bonfire on a summer evening, the smell of s’mores roasting in the fire and leaves falling all around.

Think about utilizing that small tree that needs to come down on your property and all those gorgeous maple leaves and pine cones falling around you and turning them into the perfect wedding favors!

Taking a look at our real New Hampshire brides, they have unique rustic weddings ideas that fit them perfectly!

Food & Drink

The food and drink you choose for your wedding should be what you want to eat and drink! Think about creating a seasonal menu and suggestions from the chef, but ultimately choose based off of your pallet. You should also consider creating a customized cocktail or drink for both the bride and the groom!

Start by thinking what is your go-to drink along with what’s trending or in-season and make it your own! Put a spin on old favorites; instead of just a Jack and Ginger, take a nice bottle of Jack Daniels, add in half teaspoon of honey with some fresh ginger and top the drink off with soda water.

Beat the Heat on your Wedding Day

If your wedding is planned to be in the midst of the summer months, it’s important to keep in mind ways for you and your guests to stay cool. From your outdoor ceremony to dancing all night long, we want everyone safe and prevent any overheating!

Ceremony

The hottest time of day is around 3:00 pm in the summertime, to avoid this, schedule an evening ceremony for a gorgeous sunset wedding.

Hose it down! Take a hose to any concrete, stone, or brick walking areas to cool it down.

Keep the ceremony quick and simple, no more than 30 minutes. At least while you’re outside, you can always bring readings into the air-conditioned reception area!

Water stations! This adorable station even has wedding programs transformed into fans and cute parasols to keep everyone cool and hydrated.

Wedding Day Look

Buy a dress in breathable fabrics! The fabrics that will keep you cooler are chiffon, natural silk dupion, organza, and tulle.

Beware of SPF! It may sound crazy but SPF on can make your face look very pale in photos so make sure to try out your SPF foundation in a quick photo shoot before your wedding day!

Guest dress codes should also be breathable! Tell your guests to dress in light cotton shirts, sundresses, and even to bring a sunhat!

Food and Drink

Keep the water flowing throughout the reception! Even after it cools off, the dancing will call for lots of water!

Include frozen treats. Think about a popsicle, Hawaiian Ice, or ice cream station!

A signature iced drink. Ask the bar if they can create your favorite adult iced beverage. Think about a twist on your favorite beverages like a spiked punch, blueberry lemonade, or something more creative like a spiked sherbert!

 

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

Many of us have become eco-conscientious over the years and for a good reason. According to research, New Hampshire is the 9th most eco-friendly state but our two neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts are numbers 1 and 2 on that list respectively.

How can you stay eco-friendly? Let’s start with…

The Dress

Wearing a wedding dress for the first time can feel unreal, after all of those childhood wedding dreams it is finally becoming a reality! Many brides do have a problem with only being able to wear their wedding dress once then off to a sealed bag for the remainder of its life. Instead, try these options:

Wearing mom’s/grandma’s/auntie’s dress. This could be the same for any special person in your life. If you don’t love the dress exactly as it is, ask for a local seamstress to help modify the dress to your wants.

Renting a dress. Now, this option is becoming more popular as wedding dress prices have increased over the years. Look at a site like:

Tradesy.com– Buy direct from other brides selling their gowns.

Buying from an eco-friendly designer. You can use a local designer or shop at up and coming sustainable designer Reformation.

The Invitations

Use recycled paper. Now, this is a must for an eco-friendly person but keep in mind that not only the paper should be recycled, but you could have a drop box at the wedding for those invitations.

Use seed paper. Everything from your save the dates to thank you cards can be made with seed paper from Bloomin.

At Bloomin our Seed Paper is made by hand in Boulder, CO. We take un-dyed, 100% post-consumer/ post-industrial recycled paper, break it down into paper pulp that started as FSC paper. We use old-school paper making techniques and handmade molds and deckles to handcraft each sheet. Bloomin Paper is packed with flower, vegetable, herb, grass, tree and many other varieties of seeds. Its easy to grow and cultivate! For consumers who receive seed paper, just soak the paper in water, plant under a thin layer of soil, and watch our seed paper take root and sprout in a few short days!

The Night

Make sure the flowers are organic. Ask your florist for all organic flowers that are in season.

Team up with another bride to share all decorations. This can be tricky since you both have to compromise, but you can help save the environment and costs with this option!