Tips & Trends


Solutions to make your big day the best ever

TIP: Not All Tents Are Created Equally

When choosing a tent for your event, look beyond the bottom line. Two tents may be equal in size but not the same. “Ask your vendor for images of what they’re supplying for your event,” says John Hutchins IV, vice president of Leavitt & Parris in Portland, ME. “Get references on the quality and condition of their products and check out their facilities. The way they present themselves at their home base is a huge indication of the equipment they’ll deliver to your event site.” You have one chance to make your event a success. Make your decision based on value and relationships, not just the bottom line.

TREND: Clear Top Structures for Outdoor Weddings

Unpredictable New England weather can wreak havoc on outdoor weddings. A clear top structure, or tent, shelters guests from the elements while allowing in the beauty of the venue’s natural surroundings. “This is an option that was once typically reserved for clients who wanted to go the extra mile to secure what we believe is the perfect option for a true outdoor event,” says John Hutchins IV, vice president of Leavitt & Parris. The cost is higher than a white tent but the added value is beyond compare.

TIP: Book Early

Spare yourself last-minute stress by planning ahead and booking vendors early. Tables, chairs, place-settings – even your makeup sessions – can be booked now. “Call companies and ask when it’s the best time to reserve,” suggests Laura Tromp, event rental consultant at Exeter Events and Tents in Exeter, NH. She recommends booking nine to ten months out. Anne Loomis of Making Faces suggests meeting with a makeup consultant at least a month before the wedding. “You’ll have peace of mind,” she says.

TREND: Wardrobe “Quick Changes”

More brides are performing quick changes during their wedding celebrations, wearing a traditional longer gown for the ceremony, then switching to a shorter gown for the reception. “It’s popular for brides to want two distinctly different dresses,” says Renee Bouchard of Madeleine’s Daughter, Portsmouth, NH. One way to do this is to purchase a longer gown that converts into a shorter dress. For example, a sheath dress with a fuller skirt over it that you can take off after the ceremony or a flare gown with a detachable skirt that reveals a party dress; another option is a simple dress with a lace overlay that can be removed and dressed up with jewelry and a belt.


TIP: Grooming the Groom

Good grooming isn’t just for brides on their wedding day. It’s time grooms got their due, says Anne Loomis of Making Faces. Her groom checklist includes: a haircut several days before the wedding (a style that he’s gotten before, she recommends); an eyebrow shaping and shave; teeth whitening a month before the ceremony; and managing skin break-outs. Loomis also suggests using a mattifying lotion on the wedding day to avoid a shiny face in wedding photos.


TREND: Old Windows as Centerpieces

What’s old is new again, especially in wedding design. The rough-hewn barn look has been popular for a while, but Fausto Pifferrer of Blue Elephant Catering in Saco, ME, layers weathered windows to add contrast to formal tablescapes. He places windows on glass cylinders or other stable objects (even apples); floral arrangements on top of each window complete the rustic chic look. Fruit or other items can be added underneath for visual interest. “It brings something new to your table without breaking the budget,” says Pifferrer.


TIP: Creating a Vision with Your Wedding Planner

A good wedding planner helps create a vision for your wedding. “If a bride knows she needs help with a vision for her wedding, she should work with someone who has a sense of design,” says Kate Martin of Beautiful Days of South Berwick, ME. “There are planners and then there are designers, and there are planners who are designers.” Martin says there’s a difference. “A designer can find the different parts and pieces that make your wedding special,” she says. A good planner works with your ideas to help represent who you are as a bride and groom; make sure their work shows both good organizational and design skills.


TREND: Wedding Gowns–it’s All in The Back

Brides are thinking about the full silhouette when selecting a wedding gown. On-trend wedding gowns include those with low backs and illusion backs – lace over nude fabric, creating an almost tattooed look. “Brides are thinking about the 360-degree look, not just the front of the gown,” says Renee Bouchard. These looks are often found in more tight-fitting silhouette dresses, creating a sexier look.


TREND: The Facebook & Instagram Wedding

Whether it’s inspiration from your own Pinterest board or a quick Google search of wedding vendors, social media puts wedding planning information at your fingertips. “All of our clients use social media for inspiration,” says Samantha Finigan, co-owner of Gus & Ruby Letterpress in Portsmouth, NH. Photos on Instagram can tell your wedding story. A quick status on Facebook, Finigan says, can generate instant vendor recommendations, even advice on how to relieve stress. Having your own #hashtag creates one place to access wedding information. However, Finigan warns, “You run the risk of having people learn about a wedding they might not necessarily be invited to.” In this case, traditional invitations are a better bet.


TREND: Show Flash with Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos aren’t just for kids. Flash tattoos, made of metallic foil, add a pop of color to wedding attire. “It’s a great way to experiment and accessorize,” says Anne Loomis. The jewelry-inspired tattoos, which last less than a week, can be placed anywhere on the body and are a fun, unexpected surprise, especially at summer beach weddings.