Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

Signing Off

May 27, 2010

Ok, so obviously I am the worst blogger in the history of blogs.

This seemed like the best idea when I first got engaged.  I was spending hours a day looking at all things wedding.  I had such grand plans to neatly compile everything here in a charming, entertaining way.  It so totally did not happen.

About half way through the engagement, I got completely sick of looking at photos of other people’s perfect weddings; dreading the inevitable imperfection of my own.  I thought wedding blogs were the solution to the over-the-top, completely unattainable image bridal magazines promote, but in fact, it was quite the opposite for me.  I was way more jealous about some fabulous hipster bride’s DIY save-the-dates than I was about a designer wedding dress I could never afford.  I stopped reading blogs (with the sole exception of the lovely and real Cupcake Wedding) and stopped writing my own.  Instead, I focused on planning my wedding without the influence of way-too-pretty pictures and way-too-perfect projects.

So here I am, about two weeks away from the big day.  I randomly checked good old Whoa Wedding to see that I still had a decent number of people dropping in here, and even a few comments to keep it up.  I figured I should at least explain myself.

In conclusion (unless I become overwhelmed with the desire to post recaps), here are all of the location details that I strangely never revealed.  I hope they might be helpful to some other budget-minded Boston bride.

Rehearsal/Welcome Party (night before): private event room at Tavern in the Square, Central Square
Ceremony: MIT Chapel (mid-century awesomeness pictured above)
Lunch Reception (family only): Oleana
Party that night (friends only): Gallery 263

The decision to split our celebration into two separate events was a big one, and I hope everyone understands.  It saved us GOBS of money, which was a very important factor.

So far we’ve spent just under $7000, and when all is said and done, I hope we’ll be under $15,000.  That includes all four events listed above.  My original budget of $10,000 was only for the ceremony/lunch reception, so I can deal with this.

If I’m ambitious, I’ll tell you how it all goes.

| photo from Viejito’s Flickr |

Attention Boston Brides!

January 31, 2010

Pearl Art in Central Square is going out of business and everything in the store is 75% off!  While hoards of people are scrambling to grab the last of the fancy paint brushes, stationary and craft supplies remained plentiful as of this morning.  I’ve already made two trips and scored bulletin boards for our escort cards, enough Scotch tape to last me until I’m 50 years old, handfuls of really nice pens and markers, and my favorite, three different shape punchers.  And who knew Pearl Art had an aisle devoted to wedding stuff?!  There are tons of bubbles, bells, and other kitschy lovliness up for grabs… if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am.

Go now!  But be prepared to stand in the check-out line for up to an hour.

|photo from wayneandwax|

A Courthouse Wedding

January 21, 2010

Fellow Boston wedding blogger Abby of Peaches by Plums recently posted photos of her super sweet courthouse wedding.  She and her husband tied the knot in Pennsylvania and will have a larger celebration in Ireland later this year.  I love small weddings, and I love love love courthouse weddings.

These are a few of my favorite pictures — check out the rest here.  Abby uses Poladroid to give her images this neat effect.

| all images from Peaches by Plums |

Engagement Photos

October 19, 2009

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Last week, on a perfect fall day, my beloved and I got all dolled up and hit the historic streets of Boston for our engagement photos.  The lovely Lisa Rigby calmed our nerves and made the afternoon fun and natural.  I still can’t believe the results.  See more on Lisa’s blog – which totally made me blush!

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Brimfield Antique Show

July 22, 2009

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Last Sunday me and my beloved made our virgin trek to the Brimfield Antique Show.  The experience wasn’t quite as overwhelming or frenzied as I had imagined, but we were told by several dealers that the July show is extremely tame in comparison to May.  That being said, we exited our Zip Car at 8:30 AM and did not return until 4:00 PM.  With only a few short food and bathroom breaks, we managed to visit all but one field (a sneaky field we didn’t even see until driving away, at which point my fiancé – clearly on a mission to conquer this mammoth event – pulled off the road in search of parking.  But parking was not free and it was obvious that the dealers were already packing up.  With quite a bit of regret, we accepted that we had not seen everything there was to see and vowed to return next spring).

As I expected, Brimfield turned out to be heaven for a bride-to-be, with quirky inspiration at every turn.  I purchased a few wedding surprises, but it was difficult since our colors are not set in stone.  We are also the proud new owners of a vintage Christmas ornament and a creepy turn-of-the-century glass negative.

The items that got away?  A mid-19th century plantation chair in fabulous shape with newly restored caning.  The price – $200 – seemed like a deal, but there was no conceivable way we could fit the beast in our tiny apartment without sacrificing another piece of furniture.  And – the one that will really haunt us – a vintage Bertoia diamond chair, also $200.  We could probably find a home for this one, but it was in sad shape.  The combination of rust and too many bad paint jobs created countless sharp edges – I feared for my dress when I did a test-sit.  And upon closer inspection, it was obvious that someone had taken it apart at some point in time and the base didn’t quite match up with the seat on the left side.  Finally, it was sans cushion.  It was still hard to walk away!

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Needless to say, I was too busy treasure hunting to photographically document our day, so I’ve found some fabulous pictures online that really capture the essence of the show.

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|Colored Pots: Apartment Therapy, Plantation Chair: Ralph Lauren Home, Bertoia Chair: Retro Home Decor, Snow Shoes: Apartment Therapy, Trombones: Negative Space, Letterpress Letters: Working Class Magazine, Sexy Tiles: Tasting Life Twice, Utensils: In-Vision, Vintage Gags: Rotating Corpse |

SoWa Open Market

July 14, 2009

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I finally made it to the SoWa Open Market this past Sunday.  The open air event featuring artisans, antiques, and organic produce did not disappoint.  I found some great local stationers and jewelers, and the old trolley barn full of antiques offered tons of wedding décor inspiration.

If you live in the Boston area make sure to check it out.  The market is open every Sunday 10am – 4pm,  May through October.

| Image via ChromaLab |

Budget Boston Wedding Venue #3

July 13, 2009

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I know it’s been awhile, so I’m very happy to present another fabulous and affordable Boston wedding venue!

Budget Boston Wedding Venue #3
The Shirley-Eustis House

Ok, this one might be a stretch, but if you’re in the mood for a big project and a super personalized Boston wedding the Shirley-Eustis House might be for you.  When I was newly engaged and starry eyed, I seriously considered taking on this historic estate.

Built in Roxbury around 1750, the Shirley-Eustis House was home to the Royal Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.  The home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, and today the estate is open for guided tours and event rentals.

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PROS:

  • The entire estate – house, carriage house, and gardens – can be yours for $250 an hour
  • Great excuse for an intimate wedding – the house can only accommodate 50, and the carriage house 99
  • Best of both worlds – have a classy sophisticated dinner in the mansion, and fun, country-style dancing in the carriage house (not to mention a gorgeous ceremony somewhere on the landscaped grounds)
  • Choose your own caterer (no red foods allowed) and bring your own alcohol (no hard liquor or red wine allowed)

CONS

  • No stiletto heels allowed in any of the estate’s buildings
  • There is very little electric lighting in the main house, so evening events can be tricky
  • Dancing is only permitted in the carriage house
  • I’ve personally had some trouble contacting someone at the property – which might make planning and coordinating a little stressful

Check out the estate’s site rental page and their rules and regulations. And… watch a staff member give Bob Vila a tour of the main house here!

| Image 1: WWOwens 2 & 3: Shirley-Eustis House |

Wedding Photographer – check!

June 30, 2009

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Today we signed the contract and put down the deposit for an absolutely amazing wedding photographer.  Unlike my previous post, our meeting with Lisa Rigby went off without a hitch.  We sat and drank coffee like old friends while she explained her services and style.  She was so warm and genuinely excited for us that we left the meeting feeling totally giddy and newly excited about our wedding.  We figured if she’s this talented, and she made us feel this good, we had to have her there on our big day.  Visit Lisa’s blog for more romance and loveliness.  I am thrilled beyond description!

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Wedding Favor: Burdick’s Chocolate Mice

June 10, 2009

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Might seem strange, but the wedding detail I’m most looking forward to is the favors.  I love anything small and exquisitely wrapped.  Favors are totally my thing.

I didn’t think much about wedding planning before I was engaged, but I admit that I had a few favor ideas well in advance — which means I’ve got a nice list to share with you!

First off, L. A. Burdick’s super irresistible chocolate mice.  If you’re from New England, chances are you’ve probably had the good fortune to sample one of these delicious cuties.  And Burdick’s totally respects brides’ painstakingly chosen color palettes by offering to customize not only the boxes and bows, but the silk tails, as well!

Budget Boston Wedding Venue #2

June 8, 2009

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When we first got engaged we were pretty set on doing the smallest wedding possible.  By inviting our parents, grandparents, siblings, and one best friend each, we had a guest list of about 30.  With this number in mind, I started my initial hunt for a venue, which ultimately gave birth to the idea of a restaurant reception.

Think about it: no linen, tableware or furniture rentals; no hiring a bartender or paying exorbitant fees for wait staff; and in many cases, there’s very little need for additional decorations.  So smart and stress-free.  Plus, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a delicious meal.

I was amazed to find a huge number of Boston restaurants that could accommodate this number of people (and more, as you’ll see!).

Budget Boston Wedding Venue #2
The Wine Cellar at Mooo…

Ok, so being a vegetarian I am loath to put the word “Mooo…” on my wedding invitation, but one look at this private and totally romantic space made me reconsider.

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Built into the foundation of a 1722 Beacon Hill mansion, The Wine Cellar feels masculine and sophisticated.  The cozy space – with amazing vaulted ceilings – can accommodate 36 for seated meal and 75 for a standing reception.  Dinner prices per person range from $75 to $125 (before alcohol).  This might seem steep, but with the maximum number of guests and the most basic menu you still come in under $3000 for a gorgeous meal.  Just remember all of the money you saved on ugly folding chairs and crazy expensive centerpieces!

As for non-offensive invitations:  you can always just call it “The Wine Cellar.”

| Photos: xvbeacon.com |