First things first: how is 2016 over!? It feels like just yesterday we were gearing up for our first wedding of the year, and from there, the year has gone by in a flash. And what a year it’s been! I couldn’t be more grateful for everything 2016 brought for The Little Things – first and foremost, couples who were not only fun, but who wanted to throw down for their weddings in epic fashion; who trusted us wholeheartedly to carry out their vision and to handle the nuances of the biggest day of their lives (so they could enjoy the party); who were kind, generous, lighthearted, and spirited; and many who have become friends, supporters, referrers, and cheerleaders. Second, colleagues who are more like friends than coworkers; who understand how nuts life in the wedding industry can be, who don’t take themselves too seriously, who are flexible, and who work their asses off for their clients, too. Third, my little team – small but mighty – who were as enthusiastic and dedicated to our very last wedding, when our feet were sore, our bodies tired, and our (read: my) brains were fried, as they were to our first one, when we were fresh and ready after coming off of a long off season.
Sarah Jayne Photography // Amanda McCarthy Beauty
As I do every year, I started 2016 with a little getaway with my dear friends Sarah from Sarah Jayne Photography and Katie from Sweet Annie Floral Design. We planned our first Get Fresh Getaway during our very first wedding season as something to look forward to once the madness subsided, and knowing this little weekend is waiting for me at the end of every wedding season is something that still helps me to push through when things get busy!
This year, we headed out to the tip of the cape and spent three snowy days in Provincetown reflecting on our past wedding season, sharing tips and tricks for running a successful business, playing with flowers and watercolors, drinking a decent amount of champagne, holding the world’s coldest portrait session, learning from each other, and laughing for what felt like three days straight. We all left refreshed and inspired to tackle the busy year ahead.
In February, I hosted a stationery and floral styling workshop with the one and only Joy Thigpen at Ceremony.
Our attendees got in-depth instruction from Joy on how she lays out stationery for an editorial image, a centerpiece tutorial, and a lesson on how to style and shoot florals for editorial layouts.
It was a wonderful day, and everyone left with invaluable knowledge on styling florals and stationery for editorial-style photos, newfound connections, and goals to take their skills to the next level.
In April, I had the unbelievable opportunity to travel to Seattle to attend a workshop hosted by Steve from Sinclair and Moore. The workshop was a floral design intensive with a side of business focus. I learned so much about the business of flowers – ordering them, caring for them, composing them, transporting them, and arranging them and setting them up onsite.
On the first day, we learned about the business of flowers and created a garden-style centerpiece using whatever blooms we wished from the amazing product Steve sourced for us. The little kumquats and the droopy parrot tulips at the bottom of my arrangement were my favorite part!
On the second day, we created another centerpiece – this time with different florals and using a different palette, with the intention of creating a bouquet to go with it the next day. I went pretty dark and moody with mine, but I loved all the different texture I managed to sneak in there.
On the last day, we created a large-scale design and the bouquet to compliment the previous day’s centerpiece. Shooting all of our bouquets with a model in beautiful Seattle was a highlight of the trip, for sure.
There were so many highlights of this trip that it’s almost impossible to pick one favorite part… but I have to say, spending three days learning from someone I so greatly admire in the company of 17 other women who are hustling just as hard as I am to make their dreams come true was pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime. Eight months later, I’m still reflecting on what I learned from Steve and the other attendees, and it remains the most inspiring piece of my year!
We kicked off our 2016 wedding season in a historic waterfront mansion in beautiful Rhode Island! Shannon and Chris are a beautiful couple both inside and out. We had an absolute blast working together, I fell in love with them and their wonderful families, and they didn’t let a little rain get in the way of an awesome day with 230 (!) of their closest friends and family.
A couple weekends later we rolled up to Strafford, New Hampshire to celebrate Elise and Dan. It was the first (and very much hoping the last!) wedding we’ve done where a baby was born onsite during the wedding, but it was a wonderful day nonetheless!
Lindsey Ocker Photography // Sweet Annie Floral Design
Next, we traveled to the beautiful French’s Point in Stockton Springs, ME, for a three-day celebration with Ryan and Arianna.
We worked together for 18 months on every single aspect of this wedding, and it was awesome to see the entire weekend come together just as we imagined it! The party began on Friday with a rehearsal dinner for 90 of their closest friends and family, and lasted all night as they welcomed everyone who had traveled for the wedding (so… everyone) to the property for welcome cocktails, a bonfire, a s’mores bar, and some acoustic tunes.
On Saturday, Ryan and some of their guests warmed up with a little Saturday morning slip and slide while Arianna and her friends got ready in the mansion just a short walk away.
When it was go time, a bagpiper welcomed guests onto the property (a nod to Ryan’s Scottish heritage) and guests grabbed spiked or virgin lemonade on the way to their oceanfront seats for a short but very sweet ceremony.
After the ceremony, the party was. on. Guests enjoyed an amazing cocktail hour before heading into the four post sailcloth tent for dinner and the most epic dance party I’ve seen… and that is saying a lot. Even I was out there for a minute! Bearfight kept 260 guests on the dance floor for three hours straight… and then the after party started.
Mikhail Glabets Photography // Bearfight // Sweet Annie Floral Design
In August, Geoff and Jordan hosted an awesome celebration on the Boston Harbor and at Trade Restaurant. This couple lives in San Francisco and even though our meeting on the week of the wedding was only the 2nd time we met in person, we felt like old friends by the wedding day! Kind, considerate, laid back, and filled with love for one another – this couple and this wedding was something special, for sure.
In September, we did the flowers for a friend’s wedding – super simple and super sweet. The studio was filled with flowers, and the team and I drank champagne and had a blast putting the flowers together…. that Saturday was for the girls, for sure.
In October, we headed to the Cape to celebrate Jodie and Caitlin. They brought their family and friends together at the Overbrook House, a super charming venue with lots of open and wooded outdoor space, a (tented) patio, and a dance hall. It rained intermittently throughout the day, but luckily we snuck the ceremony in during a brief lull in the storm…. and immediately after the ceremony was over, it began raining again. I don’t think it was coincidence that the clouds parted for literally the half hour we planned for the ceremony to take place. Good things happen to good people, and these two are some of the best you’ll meet!
We finished out our season with Meaghen and Tim, who we worked with for just 7 short months to pull off a beautiful evening at the Boston Public Library. Meaghen and Tim live in San Francisco and wanted their wedding to reflect their clean and minimal design sense while still representing iconic Boston, where they both grew up. We took a risk and planned an outdoor evening ceremony – on November 5th, in Boston – and it worked out beautifully! Guests were welcomed with warm apple cider and hot chocolate and barely needed their coats in the 50 degree weather. It was perfect.
In addition to the having the privilege of producing one-of-a-kind events for the most awesome and deserving couples, we were humbled and extremely grateful to be recognized this year as a top 10 wedding planner in New England by My Wedding Magazine and as a top 20 wedding planner in Boston by Expertise.com (link to the article here).
We were also grateful to be invited and accepted to Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book – a vendor directory that features vendors who are vetted through SMP using a series of interviews (they spoke with us and with a number of vendors we’ve worked with) and other criteria that guarantee a high-quality experience for couples who are using the Little Black Book to seek out wedding vendors.
We were thrilled to see our work featured in a number of places this year: Elise and Dan’s wonderful wedding day was featured on Style Me Pretty, and two of our 2015 weddings received beautiful features on SMP this year as well: Kathryn and Jake’s 4th of July wedding in Newport, and Liz and Dan’s beautiful Wellfleet Wedding.
Inspired By This featured our studio space, which we designed alongside the super talented Alissa from Lenore Design, and it was so fun seeing so many folks responding positively to the space we work so hard in!
Though 2016 will surely be hard to beat, we couldn’t be more excited for what 2017 has in store: a Get Fresh Getaway to Nantucket with other lady bosses to start the year, and another season full of awesome weddings for incredible couples that will take us from Portland, ME to Portsmouth, NH to Stowe, VT to Newport, RI to Falmouth, MA to Rockland, ME to Plymouth, MA to Pittsfield, VT to Wellesley, MA and yes… we’ll be in Boston… once.
This world – both the wedding world and the business of being in business for myself – can be so challenging. But being able to look back on 2016 an compile a year full of incredible highlights is an immeasurable gift. To our couples, our colleagues, my team, and everyone who supports us and cheers us on from the sidelines: you. are. everything. Thank you.
2017: we’re ready!