Weekend Weddings

A trend that is growing in popularity is the Weekend Wedding! A Weekend Wedding extends the traditional wedding of ceremony, cocktail, dinner and dancing into a weekend long celebration! Not to be confused with a destination wedding that requires guests to travel far, a weekend wedding could be a location not far from where you live or work. Generally 1-3 hours away; an easy escape for friends and family.

Weekend Wedding venues, like at Essex Conference and Retreat Center in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, offers everything – from sleeping accommodations and games to wedding ceremony and reception area.

Essex Conference Center & Retreat, Cape Ann MA

Essex Conference Center & Retreat

Reasons to have a Wedding Weekend:

  • Ease stress of traveling the day of your wedding. You can wake up, feeling refreshed and not have to spend time traveling anywhere! Plus, your guests can enjoy the night without worries of driving.
  • More time to spend with family and friends. You don’t have to worry about greeting everyone in a short period during the reception – you have all weekend to talk to everyone!
  • Celebration is longer and more enjoyable, allowing you to bond with family and friends.


Discover more and ideas for planning your weekend wedding >

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.

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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.

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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!

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target

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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

Sponsored Post: Dressing your Body Type

Aimee Guthinger, Owner of Bedroom I’s Boutique joins us today to give us all {especially brides} some helpful tips on how to prepare ourselves with the right foundations!

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We begin with the pear shaped gals, meaning your shaping needs are mainly in your hips, rear end and thighs. You can easily choose a pretty bra coupled with a shaping bottom because your mid-section is rarely a problem area for you. Many shaping bottoms now come with decorative, but subtle designs to appear pretty to the eye, but lay flat under clothing. One of our favorites at Bedroom I’s Boutique is the Vintage Lace collection from CJ Grenier. This collection offers a brief and a long leg white bottom that shapes the body with a light pink contrast lace appearance. This collection also includes nude and black color choices, both with white contrast detail.

For the apple shape girl, meaning that you hold most of your weight in the mid-section, you will likely want to utilize a one piece foundation or a long line bustier if your needs include a strapless top. And because you likely have less to worry about in the hip, rear end and thigh areas, you may easily couple a long line garment with a pretty bottom of your choice. Thongs and panties are both great styles, but we see many girls opting for the lace boy short style these days. The bottom you select will be entirely determined by your personal preference and the style that makes you feel your best. This 2-piece option will also offer the added bonus of convenience when visiting the ladies room.

Full Figured Ladies: If you have some extra smoothing needs in these bottom areas, as well as the middle, you can easily utilize a long leg bodysuit, body shaping slip or a hi-waist long leg smoother that will smooth from just under the bust to either the mid-thigh or the mid-shin in the Capri length. The key is to get the right size. If you wear these garments too small thinking they will make you appear thinner, they will likely roll and if worn too big for those who do not care for a tight fit, they are likely to slowly inch down on you throughout the day or evening.

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Read more about Bedroom I’s Boutique and their Fittings!

Vendor Turned Bride: The Photographer

From the moment I met Photographer Kim Calakoutis, she was an absolute delight, both professional and fun to be around. We had worked a wedding together back in 2008. I had been applying mascara onto the bride’s lashes when I stepped back and nearly knocked Kim over! She had been leaning over my shoulder snapping candid photos of the bride. That’s how quiet and professional she is! Her work simply speaks for itself; visit her blog or K-C Photo.

So of course after Dan popped the question I contacted Kim. But before I could book her, we obviously had to set a date. Since my favorite time of year was Fall, it was no surprise I wanted to have an Autumn wedding. We knew that we couldn’t pull off a 2009 wedding, given that we both lived in two different states; Dan from Maine and myself from Massachusetts. More time was needed to consider relocation, so we decided on the fall of 2010!

I contacted Kim to see if there were any dates that I needed to steer away from, get this people, I was actually planning my wedding around Kim’s availability. After throwing around some dates I noticed 2010 was going to have a 10-10-10 date! I was so super thrilled about this that I immediately asked Kim availability. Unfortunately for me, some other lucky bride had her booked for a destination wedding. I was crushed; my world felt like it had just come crashing down. Could it be; my first steps in planning and I have already had a speed bump?

I spent weeks trying to decide what to do. Do I have our wedding with Kim, or on 10/10/10 with another photographer? I paced a lot, weighed out pro’s and con’s, posted on Facebook for help on what to do, emailed my close friends and family for advice and even still I found no solution. The responses were 50/50. Facebook friends said go with the 10/10/10 novelty, while my family and close friends said not to dictate the day around the date’s novelty.

Finally, after being a little crazed for about a month, I had an epiphany. I reminded myself of what I preach to my clients and prospects. I always tell them to think about the day after the wedding or the years after the wedding, the only other thing other than yourselves that you have to remember that day by, are your photos. The key elements in assuring you have great photos are; to hire a talented photographer (like Kim, someone who does great work and makes you feel comfortable!), incorporate gorgeous flowers that show your unique style and personality, enhance your beauty with help from a professional makeup artist, and wear the perfect style gown that flatters you. Everything else will be quickly forgotten so be sure you have these four things. My decision was instantly made; our wedding is set for 10/03/10 with Kim as my photographer.

Dan & I went for our “official meeting” to discuss our plans for the wedding and have our engagement photo’s taken. Unfortunately the day was a wet wintery mix which restricted us to indoors for our photo shoot. This certainly didn’t stop Kim from making a day fun and memorable.

Kim stood on the top of a hope chest to set up the perfect angle. I laughed as I thought it was so funny she chose a hope chest. She says the hope chest was just the right size. It was indeed a little thing, but it was just so cute. She began by snapping some solo photos of me {which I have now used to update Makeup by Nancy} and then asked Dan to join in. We had never posed for professional photographs before so after a few awkward moments, we began to let loose, have fun laughed our way through the shoot. Kim captured some really great moments and I am so happy to share a few with you all today.
I’ve become so excited about our wedding now, I just can’t wait for our big day!

Be sure to check out Kim’s past weddings, they are great!
Kim also does a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot too if you are looking for that, inquire!!!

Next thing on the docket, finding a venue!

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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?!?!

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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!