Vendor turned Bride: The Wedding Cake

Ahhhh the cake!!! Who doesn’t love dessert? Yummy yummy for your tummy! I was so thrilled that I finally found something that I knew Dan would enjoy doing with me. I had learned quickly that wedding planning was no fun for the groom to be, so I was very happy to finally be able to do something that I knew he would enjoy. But, unfortunately for him, it only took two tastings to find the baker we loved… The Icing on the Cake.


When Paula entered the room, I knew right away I wanted to work with her! She was bubbly, cheery and spoke in detail about our cake. Helped determine what we were looking for, what options we had, and most importantly, ways to SAVE MONEY!!! She gave us idea’s like having cupcakes for the kids, having a small cake and a sheet cake in the back that they would serve, etc… things that another bakers never mentioned. That’s what I call customer service. Then we got to taste five different types of cakes and OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME, these cakes were delicious! The vanilla tasted like vanilla, the chocolate tasted like chocolate, the cakes were moist and very light. We knew right away we wanted to hire her. We signed the contract and made the deposit on the spot! It was so exciting to check this off the “list of things to do”.

During our conversation, I mentioned to her that I was a makeup artist and she was so giving that she offered to me to give her some of my business cards to hand out to clients. What a nice gesture, now I knew I was working with good people!

Stay tuned…

Vendor turned Bride: Taking a Time Out

After our engagement party in September, the following weekend was my 40th birthday. I knew exactly what I wanted to do… I wanted to relax, have a massage and have a nice dinner. We took a three day/two night getaway to Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit Maine.  A beautiful resort, “Luxury by the Sea”, set close to downtown, but far enough away that you don’t hear all the noise. They have lots of pools, hot tub and a roman spa. Just what the Dr. ordered! We spent my birthday just being together, after my massage of course. We spent a gorgeous afternoon walking  Marginal Way, a simply perfect day.  To end the day, we went for a romantic dinner at Jonathon’s Restaurant. The food, service and my company made my 40th birthday unforgettable.


One of the best parts of the day is when my phone rang at around 6pm and I heard the familiar voice that I’d heard all my life. It was my dad calling me to wish me a happy birthday. It was a quick call, but it meant so much to me. What I didn’t know was that this was the last birthday phone call he would have ever made to me. Just over a month later, on Halloween, he died. It was a very difficult time and my emotions were all over the place. I’m so very thankful for my good friends, and you know who you are, who took me under their wing, cared for me and loved me during what was a very difficult time. I so appreciate all that you did for me.

In Loving Memory of Domenic DiClemente

Vendor turned Bride: The Engagement Party

Shortly after we got engaged, my sister had offered to throw us an engagement party. I rallied up a list of invitees and sent them along her way and anxiously waited to celebrate with friends and family.

Our biggest priority was to make sure Dan’s parents were here from Florida. After working around scheduling with kids activities, school vacations, summer camp etc, we set a date towards the end of September. I am thrilled it all worked out, it just wouldn’t have been complete without them.

I was told by several people that I had to register for gifts before the engagement party. WOW, I wasn’t ready for this! But I knew right away where I was going to register. I love Crate&Barrel and knew that one day I would finally be able to register there. But, Dan’s family is from Maine, and I learned very quickly that there isn’t a Crate&Barrel store in Maine!!! Or in Portsmouth, NH!!! What’s up with that? There’s an outlet in Kittery, but unfortunately the items I registered for were not sold at the store! By also registering at Target, another store that both of us love, we were able to offer a solution for those guests. We also have registered at Liberty Travel so people can help us go on a honeymoon.

Registering was fun, but also stressful. Getting married during a recession makes you think a lot about what you register for. We had to think more so about “what we need” vs “what we want”. Sure we did put a few things of “want” on our registries, but mostly what we need. For example, instead of registering for formal dishes and everyday dishes, we registered for something in between. The Essential dishes at Crate& Barrel, they are all white settings, so they can dress up or dress down. It just takes a little table linens and décor to make it work!


Where are you registering?

Vendor turned Bride: The Caterer

I was asked the question “Are you going to do your own makeup for your wedding?” It’s quite comical to see people’s reaction when I respond “No, I’m not.”  With all the stress, anxiety and excitement on my wedding day I can’t imagine I will have the steady hand to apply my own makeup. There is no way I would want added stress on my own wedding day”. This is the same recommendation that I give to every bride to be! Think about it, if a chef were to get married, do you really think that they would cook their own food for their wedding reception?

Speaking of food, it was time to pick a caterer. The Sandy Burr had given me names of three caterers, which I had requested menus and estimates. I knew this expense was a HUGE factor in my budget and I had to be very careful with my decision.  Having the right food is a critical part of the reception especially for my guests. In order to get started I needed to decide on the dinner style; sit down, family style or food stations.  After long deliberation, I decided on food stations by Primavera.


When I first contacted Primavera, Jane Gibson got back to me right away. We began discuss details of my budget and she was most accepting and accommodating when I responded “let’s start at zero, I need you to create a budget for me”! We worked together to create an affordable package that meet all of my needs. This was quite a relief. But I still knew I needed to work hard to make it happen!

Getting married at the age of 40, means a majority of my wedding guests are either much older than me, or, very much younger than me. I knew that I needed to have a very identifiable menu that people of all ages would enjoy. I wanted to ensure my guests are comfortable with the food choices they were going to be offered. I was able to incorporate options that would appeal to all. Hor dourves will include pigs in a blanket; a favorite for the young at heart, and scallops wrapped in bacon for the more mature palettes. Dinner will feature a variety of choices offered in a food station setting. The food will be prepared with an Italian flavor, a Primavera’s specialty and a personal favorite of the bride and groom!


I recently stopped in Primavera  to put in a deposit and I couldn’t help but order some take out for Dan and I. While I waited for the food, I couldn’t help but think that the food must be really good as the place was filled with people dining out . Dan’s work schedule makes it difficult to attend a tasting because he works Sun – Thurs nights and Primavera doesn’t do tastings on Friday and Saturday or any daytimes. This is one thing that I did find a little discouraging. Therefore, I brought the food to Maine (where Dan lives) and we enjoyed a delicious chicken marsala dinner for me and chicken parmesan dinner for him while sitting on the couch, watching a movie, all relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.

Vendor turned Bride: The Venue

After I came down from my high of getting engaged and setting the date, a little panic set in, how am I going to afford the wedding of my dreams?

When searching for a venue, I knew I needed to go with a place that was pretty and affordable as well as handicap accessible for my disabled father. I was so surprised to find out that there were so many places that were still not 100% handicap compliant. They all had elevators, but the floors had steps up and down to get to the dance floors and food stations/buffets tables. I’m so glad that I had the knowledge to ask these questions on accessibility with wheelchairs, it saved me a lot of time going to see places.

While searching though venues on MAWeddingGuide I found Sandy Burr Counrty Club in Wayland. There facility and pricing was a perfect fit. I was so relieved there was a place that meet all of my wedding needs.


Dan & I spent an afternoon checking out the facility and loved the warm, cozy atmosphere.  It featured a beautiful deck to hold an outdoor ceremony and a gorgeous fireplace inside for the reception. I absolutely loved the option of indoors or outdoor. It’s great for a plan b in case of bad weather.

The dining area and dance floor were all on one level, and that was very important to me.  I later took one of my sister’s to see it as well and we all agreed that it was the place for our wedding! Ahhhh it was a CHECK off the list of things to do. I now needed to chose my caterer.  Sandy Burr allows one of 3 Caterers to try and it most certainly was a tough decision to make!

More to come…

Vendor Turned Bride: The Proposal

When I first became a professional makeup artist {Makeup by Nancy}, I had no one special in my life with no wedding plans anywhere in sight. I would go to different homes, hotels or venues to apply makeup for brides and their bridal parties. I’d always make sure everyone looked perfect and the bride looked like a more glowing version of herself. I would leave each job satisfied and thrilled that I was able to be part of making someone’s extra special day a little bit brighter. With sore feet and a smile on my face, I would drive home thinking at that very moment the bride was walking down the aisle. By the time I got home, I imagined the couple had said their “I Do’s” and were off together taking pictures and having fun. One thing I never knew that by being in the room during the fruition of bride’s planning; it would someday prepare me to plan my own wedding.

April 4, 2009 has now become the first day of the rest of my life. My boyfriend Dan and I went for a walk to the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill. While he strolled into Borders, I visited MAC. About twenty minutes later I stumbled upon Dan in Borders and I couldn’t help but notice that he was a little surprised to see me. He quickly said, “Oh wait, I want to show you something.” I followed him to the next aisle, he got down on one knee with a book in his hand, and said; “I found the best story ever”. He lifted the book to reveal a little box, “the best story ever is about me and you, and will you spend the rest of your life with me?” I stood there for a minute in what I now know was shock, and uttered a single word “what?” Without warning we were both laughing as my answer was not what was expected. I had to have him ask me again, and I of course my answer was YES! Later on that night, I asked if he could just one more time say those four little words that I had waited my whole life to hear. Being such an incredible guy, he did… “Will You Marry Me?!?!


That night I didn’t sleep a wink, maybe all of three hours. Problem was I had to leave by 5am for a wedding in Worcester at 6am. I was so tired, but I think I did some of my best work that morning. I didn’t immediately announce I had gotten engaged the night before as I didn’t want to steal the thunder from Becky’s wedding day. I tried to keep it on the down low, but it was hard to hide the ring!

During the ride home that morning, my mind started racing, I began thinking about who I wanted as my wedding photographer. Even though I had worked with so many wonderful photographers and had seen so many beautiful wedding photos, I instantly knew right away who I wanted to capture my memories. It was then that the wedding planning began…

Stay tuned…more from Nancy soon!