November 21, 2019

Moody, New England Fall Wedding in New Hampshire

Time to share that story I promised ya! Having a professional and talented vendor team is integral in having an amazing wedding as well as an amazing wedding experience.

Lauren and Jacob LOVE the fall and winter. They met while both working at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and knew they wanted their wedding in the late fall / early winter months.

Plan A was for an outdoor ceremony at Prescott Park in Portsmouth and we had communicated all the details to all 160 guests using the invite and website for them to be dressed appropriately. Plan B was to hold the ceremony at the reception venue – The Rivermill in Dover.

On Friday, the day before we wedding, weather predictions were showing 20-30 mph winds with gusts up to 40. The “feels like” temperature would be in the 30’s (not ideal when half of the guests are coming from South Carolina). Temps aside, it was the wind that concerned me the most. Having never made a Plan B call due to winds, I was under serious pressure to make the right call as the bride really wanted to be married outside and the last thing I wanted was disappoint her.

On Friday, I contacted the venue to discuss logistics and time frame on making the Plan B call so they had sufficient time to switch the layout and setup the ceremony chairs as well as call staff in early. I contacted the band to discuss if it was even a possibility that they could play in these weather conditions. Contractually, the answer was no, but because they are such rock stars and we have such a good relationship, they were comfortable letting me make the call for our couple and they would do their best to make it happen. I then contacted the officiant, the photographer, videographer, and transportation company to let them know the situation and that a decision would be made by the afternoon.

Major concerns were: the mics being completely useless / picking up on all the winds, guests being super uncomfortable, the ceremony moon gate being unusable because of the wind, the musicians being unable to play because of cold hands, the bride’s hair and makeup getting ruined, and just everyone being miserable. Not the way to start a marriage, for sure.

I called the bride to share my opinions and suggest that we move the ceremony indoors. She was, of course, disappointed. It was hard to understand what the weather would truly be like when, on Friday, we had a sunny, mild fall day with only a slight breeze. It wasn’t like there was going to be a thunderstorm or rain so having “winds” as the reason was be a little harder to understand.

The couple and the bride’s parents made their way to the ceremony site to discuss and ended up telling me that I could make the final decision. No pressure, right? 😉

New England is wild when it comes to weather forecasting and sometimes completely wrong. So if I made the call to move everything indoors, I would not be able to revert that decision on Saturday – even if the weather ended up looking fine.

I waited as long as I could and we held the ceremony rehearsal at Rivermill so they could envision their day as Plan B. The weather forecast hadn’t changed for a few hours and vendors were contacting me for the final decision. I decided to move it indoors. We sent out a mass email to all 160 guests via their wedding website and updated the website as well as delegated some family members to text guests to make sure they received the information.

Saturday morning came and the weather prediction was the same. Super windy with “feels-like” temps in the 30s. I contacted all the vendors again to confirm Plan B including the bus drivers and all of the hotels so if a guest asked the front desk what was happening, they could be up to date with the info and advice accordingly.

I assigned a NMWE team member to be at Prescott Park in case any guests showed up not knowing we moved to Plan B. Side note – no one showed up which means everyone got the message! =)

We definitely made the right call – some trees had come down, signs were blowing everywhere, we couldn’t set up the decor we had planned outside because it was too windy, and one of the propane heaters at the venue blew over in the wind and started leaking gas! That was not a fun last minute project to clean up during wedding prep.

Anyway – the wedding turned out amazing. Guests were cold walking from the bus to the venue so I was happy we made the right choice. They were comfortable inside for the ceremony and the room was quickly transitioned to cocktail hour before they made their way into the reception. Also, the bride ended the celebration with a bad a$$ rendition of Gangsta’s Paradise, so, all was well. 😉

All of this to say – the couple did not get a lot of outdoor photo time. They got the basics done, with wedding party and family but the gorgeous, intimate couple photos that Jess Jolin is known for were not able to happen because of the weather.

This crushed me.

Jess and I decided we wanted a “re-do” of their day so we could get some epic photos for them. After the wedding, I contacted Christine from The Crown Boutique, Jenn from JMC Weddings, and Mary from Lotus Floral and they both agreed to offer services (hair and makeup and a new bridal bouquet) at no cost for Lauren to be able to re-do her wedding. I was so beyond thankful.

We told Lauren we’d like to plan a “do-over” for their couples photos and scheduled it about a month after her wedding day. She was psyched!

On the day of the photo shoot, I drove to Bedford to pickup the insanely gorgeous bouquet from Lotus Floral while Lauren was getting her hair and makeup down by The Crown Boutique and JMC Weddings. Jess Jolin then took Jacob and Lauren on a photo shoot adventure to multiple locations to capture the most epic photos.

Picking your vendor team is K E Y to creating an unforgettable experience. These vendors are some of my very favorites and always create magic for our couples. I am so, so thankful to each and every one of them for rolling with the punches and being such team players to make the wedding day beautiful. Extra shout out to Jess, Christine, Jenn, and Mary for going way above and beyond and offering your talents so Lauren and Jacob can have these memories forever. Thank you all!

Vendor Team:
Photography: Jess Jolin Photography
Venue: Rivermill at Dover Landing
Florals: Lotus Floral Designs
Makeup: Crown Boutique
Hair: JMC Weddings
Caterer: Liberty Lane Catering
Band: East Coast Soul
Stationery: AMR Calligraphy
Desserts: Cakes For All Seasons
Rentals: Exeter Events and Tents /
One Stop Tent and Events
A Family Affair
Maine Event Design and Decor