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Real Wedding: Ocean House, R.I.

NECR recently had the great honor of being a part of creating a beautiful wedding at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. 

The gorgeous setting was highlighted by simple furnishings with a pastel color palette. The main focus was on the gorgeous beach scene. 

The stunning table was set with simplicity flatware, rattan chargers and french countryside china. All of which helped to capture the natural beauty of the surroundings. 

The evening came to a close under the stars, magically surrounded by the beautiful Ocean House and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Check out the full post on Style Me Pretty

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Wedding Planner: Yes or No?

One of the first steps when planning your wedding is deciding whether or not you want to hire a wedding planner to give expert advice and help you through the process. We are here to help decide if this is an additional expense that makes sense to spend or not.

There are a few types of couples when planning a wedding. Some, who are relatively knowledgable about different aspects of the planning process and already know the kind of wedding they want. Then there are those who haven’g got a clue about what to do or where to start. This will start to determine whether you can figure it out yourselves or if you may need a helping hand to get you to your perfect day.83b106e0-f052-11e5-8d16-12313d2529c5-rs_729

If you are the type of couple that has an exact vision for your day, a Day of Coordinator may be the best option, this way you can do all the planning yourself but get to enjoy a stress
free wedding day for a much smaller price than having a planner to help you with all the decisions you already know the answer to.

If you are the couple who is completely overwhelmed by all aspects of wedding planning from picking a venue, to color scheme, to dress, to food and drink, a planner may be the best option for you. This expert can guide you through all the decisions to give you the wedding you couldn’t have even dreamed of. However, this will come with a pretty high price tag if you want someone who will do a good job. The expense may be worth it if you don;t have the time, effort or desire to devote to planning your special day, but if not you can become your own wedding planner by doing some research and reaching out to knowledgable friends and family.

Any of your friends married? Ask for help!! Ask parents and cousins and family friends, between all of their combined info you could have enough to at least get started. From there just take the decisions one day at a time and use a wedding planning guide which you can find anywhere! Here’s a couple great wedding planning checklists we found to help you out! From Real Simple, Here Comes the Guide, Pinterest, and even a whole printable binder with guide from Botanical Paper Works!

Even if you know exactly how you want your wedding, these guides and checklists will help to ensure you don’t miss any of the little details and give you a better idea off a wedding planning timeline which is the most difficult aspect of the wedding planning process.

So what it comes down to in determining whether you want to hire a wedding planner or not, the real question is whether you have the time and ability as well as the desire to do it yourself or if you are content with spending the money to get professional help.

If you do, great! They will help you to find the best venue, food, dress shops, music, florists and photographers because they know the market and who and what the best options are in your budget. They will do the grunt work and you just have to give opinions and say necr-oh-lovely-day-ashley-therese-photography_12816060334_owhat you like better. They will deal with the stress and put in the time and effort, because that is their job. The day of you get to enjoy yourself and have a wonderful wedding that
you didn’t have to stress over too much to plan. However, it is key to find  planner who you will work well with and who will be as detail oriented or as lax about the process as you will. You will have to give up control so make sure you will be okay with this because it could cause problems down the line when things don’t go exactly as you wanted but you aren’t in complete control. You do have to let the planner do their job and figure out some situations while you sit back and just hope they are great at what they do!

If the answer is no and you decide to give it a whirl yourself, that’s also great! You’ll save a lot of money that can be spent on elements of your actual wedding. You get to be 100% involved and feel accomplished when it all comes together the day of. You also get to be in the driver’s seat the entire time and don’t have to worry about working with anyone but your significant other and anyone else you want assistance from. It’s time consuming and will  be stressful at times but can save you a lot of money and may be worth it in the end when you get to enjoy your day knowing you made it happen!

Either way, you can use planning guides and our good friend Pinterest to help you through it all and when you need help from friends and family, don’t be afraid to ask because we guarantee they want to help in any way, shape or form that they can!

 

 

 

 

How To: Place Setting

One of the most important parts of any event is the place setting. It may seem small and unimportant but that could not be any farther from the truth. This is where we sit down to eat, have conversations and share memories. Most memories involve food (at least ours do) in some way.

There are several ways to create the perfect place setting. Basically, follow the theme of your party. Your place settings act as another form of decoration at your event. They add interest to your tables. Guests will spend a lot of time at these tables, so why not make them beautiful.

To make sure that we got it right we consulted Emily Post on what the proper table setting rules are. Here they are:

Basic Table Setting

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In this setting one needs: a plate in the center, a knife and spoon on the right, fork and napkin to the left. In the upper left corner is the bread and butter plate with butter knife. The upper right is where the glasses are placed.  

Informal Table Setting 

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This illustration is setup for a meal the includes a soup course, salad or first course, entree and finally dessert. The dinner plate should be set where the napkin is. Two forks are placed to the left of the plate. The dinner knife is set immediately to the right of the dinner plate.  Spoons go to the right of the knife, soup spoon on the outside and the dessert spoon on the inside. Any kind of glasses are placed in the upper right corner above knives and spoons. Other optional dishes and utensils are: a salad plate, bread and butter plate with butter knife and coffee cup and saucer. 

 

Formal Table Setting

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(a) Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an under-plate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains in place for any other courses, such as a soup course, until the plate holding the entrée is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger may serve as the under-plate for several courses which precede the entrée.

(b) Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish Knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

(h) Salad Knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration): If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster Fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. Note: It is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate. 

(k) Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

(l) Glasses: These are placed on the right, above the knives and spoons. They can number up to five and are placed in the order they will be used. When there are more than three glasses, they can be arranged with smaller glasses in front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right are placed a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass. A sherry glass or champagne flute (le), to accompany a first course or for an opening toast, go to the right of the wine glasses. Glasses used for a particular course are removed at the end of the course.

(m) Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate. It can also go to the left of the forks, or under the forks if space is tight.

However formal or informal your event is, your tables should look organized and interesting and go with the theme. Keep your centerpieces fun and creative and keep with the color scheme of your event. You can keep it as simple or dress it up as much as you like. Table settings are a great way to add color and interest to your even space so take advantage and use a table as a blank canvas!

 

Non-Floral Centerpieces

When it comes to the centerpieces at your wedding or event you have to decide if you want to go big and bold or simple and toned down. A big part of this decision will be based on the style of your wedding: whether it’s traditional, boho, modern, rustic, vintage or glamorous will play into the type of centerpiece you have. That being said, you can have whatever sort of centerpiece you want and make it work for your style and theme.

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Floral centerpieces are beautiful and can be classic, extravagant or simple. They tie a table together and you can’t go wrong. However, floral centerpieces are expensive and they don’t last more than a few days. We have some ideas on how to create centerpieces that are just as gorgeous, but a little more creative and can hopefully help you save some money!

There are so many other ways to fill the void in the middle of your tables! Some of our favorites are to use candles and lanterns. This is great for an indoor or outdoor wedding and gives the table a warm and inviting feel while creating the perfect mood lighting (no dimming lights required) for your event.

Another option is to use moss and greenery almost as a runner for your table. You can add in a few flowers or candles if desired but it looks gorgeous with just the greens as well.

Fun lettering with a cute table runner is great for a more casual or corporate event and can be dressed up for a wedding or formal event.

If you’re going for a glamorous styled wedding you can always incorporate feathers and jewels or crystals. You can use large vases and fill them with beads or crystals and feathers. Or decorate a candelabra with strands of crystals  for a real show stopper!

If you want a more natural or rustic feel, a great option is to use a basket or bowl filled with fresh fruits and veggies (people can also take these home as favors! 2 birds, 1 stone!). Herb plants or other small potted plants also can make for great centerpieces. You can also pick or find lavender or other wild plants of the sort and put them in mason jars or vases for a beautiful earthy centerpiece.

When it comes to non-floral centerpieces, the options are unlimited and you can do anything you can think of! Be creative, do it yourself or ask for help from friends and family. Stick to your theme and take ideas from the time of year. You can make almost anything into a centerpiece whether its something natural or you are great at crafts! Whatever you choose, keep it you and don’t stress!

 

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Real Wedding

 

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Shelby and Zack planned the most beautiful wedding at Lange Farm in Dade City, Florida which they accurately described to be Natural Chic. The couple used Shelby’s stunning rose gold engagement ring as their inspiration for their special day.

To bring their natural yet chic theme to life they had their ceremony under a giant oak tree draped with flowing white fabric. The theme continued throughout the evening with DIY gold leaf place-cards and pears for wedding favors.

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Their color scheme represented the fall season well with plums, burgundy, burnt orange and lots of gold accents.

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The bridesmaid’s dresses in various colors to match the palate and bold colorful flowers made their color scheme pop throughout the wedding.

 

 

Hits of lace and flowing fabrics kept the event romantic and whimsical while all the gold accents made for a chic and slightly boho feel. We are obsessed with Shelby’s shoes and bouquet which bring the whole theme of the wedding together.

Simple table-scapes and the perfect naked cake draped in caramel kept the wedding feeling relaxed and natural on this beautiful autumn day.

As gorgeous as the couple’s sweetheart table is, the best part about it? Shelby and her dad made the table entirely by hand for the wedding! We can’t think of a better way to have some father daughter bonding before this big day in any father’s life.

We love everything about Zack and Shelby’s wedding. They perfectly captured the fall theme without going overboard and went for a unique theme that turned out as perfectly as they could have ever hoped for.

 

See more from Shelby and Zack’s wedding here

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Signature Cocktails

A trend that is worth exploring for any event one may have is creating a signature cocktail. These are specialty drinks that you create and name yourself.  We are here to give you some guidelines for creating your signature drinks as well as share some recipes with you for inspiration!

When creating your signature drink, it is important that the drink is representative of the event. If it is a wedding shower, make sure the drink represents you. For me that is Prosecco and lemonade with fresh raspberries in a mason jar with a sugar rim topped off with a paper straw. Your guests should be able to recognize you as the inspiration behind the drink.

A wedding should have drinks that represent the couple together or a signature drink for each of you if you’re feeling extra creative (or have totally different taste in cocktails). We like the idea of having two different drinks because it’s more fun and it gives your guests more options. Serve them at cocktail hour along with appetizers. People will enjoy the fun aspect before heading into dinner. One of your signature drinks could become your guests new favorite!

When creating the perfect drink for your event make sure it connects back to the theme. For example if you are having a Halloween party you can create an orange drink with a black straw, a pumpkin flavored drink or even take advantage of the vessel you serve it and use a cauldron or skull.

The idea of a signature drink is to give guests something fun and give them the chance to try a drink they may not normally go for. At a wedding it is a cute touch that brings guests together during cocktail hour and will be memorable (or maybe not!) as that amazing drink you tried at your wedding.

 

Creating a signature drink name is also key to the perfect cocktail. It should be cute and fitting or funny or go along with your theme!

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Now the good part: Recipes!!

Blushing Bride: 

  • Peach Schnapps
  • Champagne
  • Drop of grenadine

Golden Groom:

  • Bourbon
  • Triple Sec
  • Fresh Lemon Juice

Something Blue:

  • Malibu Rum
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Soda Water
  • Blue Curacao

“Tom” Lovins (insert his/her name instead of Tom):

  • Gin
  • Simple Syrup
  • Soda Water
  • Lemon juice

Blue Eyed Bride:

  • Blueberry Vodka
  • Lemonade
  • Fresh Blueberries

Some other options for combined drinks would be a signature drink from the town you met in, or pick your favorite drink and name it after your first date restaurant/town etc…

You could also do a signature beer or wine from someplace meaningful to you!

For kids parties or non-alcoholic beverages you can do a fun lemonade or punch to give kids something fun that they could even help with!

Whatever your event and whatever your theme, you can always count on a killer signature cocktail to take your event to the next level and keep it fun!

 

Budgeting your Wedding

Getting engaged and planning a wedding is something most people look forward to their whole lives. You finally find the man or woman that makes you feel like no one else does and you are lucky enough that they feel the same about you! Once they propose you are over the moon and can’t wait to start planning your wedding so you can start your lives together as a married couple!

It’s all fun and games until you are faced with the reality of creating a budget, and worse, sticking to that budget. We have found some tips and tricks on how to create your budget and plan a wedding that fits within that budget.

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Creating a Budget:

The first step to budgeting your wedding is to sit down and crunch the numbers to actually determine how much you are willing and comfortable spending on your big day. This can include whatever you and your partner can contribute as well as what each of your parents are willing to contribute, if any.

This should be a realistic conversation as a couple and may be difficult as it is probably one of the first big conversations about money that the two of you will have. So work it out together and be patient because it is a difficult subject but with a positive attitude and realistic idea you can figure out how to compromise between the wedding you want with the wedding you can afford.

The two most important things to consider when determining your budget are first that you have a wedding that you will be able to enjoy that takes into account a few key things that are non-negotiable for you and your partner. We recommend each making a list of 3 things you really want at your wedding that you don’t really want to compromise on. Once you each have your 3 things, take each of your first choices and try and combine your last two to create a combined list of 3 things you must have at your wedding. Second, create a budget that won’t put too much added stress on you because then the planning process becomes stressful rather than fun and exciting. Your budget should be manageable to start so that if you do go over it won’t put you into a panic.

Managing your budget:

The budget is set (YAY!) but now comes the time where you have to plan your big day based on this. There’s no exact formula to figure out how much to spend on everything, there are too many variables to take into account. But we recommend creating an excel spreadsheet with every element you want at your wedding that will be an expense. Everything from venue and food to the smallest thing like your marriage license and favors. Put everything on this list, even the things you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to afford so that you can see where you are with your budget with everything then you can start eliminating the non-necessities from the list if need be.

You can also look up a budget planner which will give you lots of examples of a budget breakdown with percentages of what to spend your budget on. For example 50% on reception including venue, food, alcohol and service fees; 10 % on attire; 10% on decor; 10% on photography; 10% on music; and the other 10% split between the little things and smaller expenses like invites, favors, ceremony, rings etc… We definitely suggest using one of the many budget planners online, it will save you some stress and number crunching!

How To Save Money:

There are a million ways to save money for your wedding. Everything from DIY to a backyard reception, to getting friends and family to help out. Some of the easiest ways to save is to pick a venue that is low-cost or even free. Whether this means a backyard wedding or beach wedding there are so many unique options that can save you thousands! Ask around friends and family for suggestions and out of the box ideas. If this is one of your non-negotiables, there are plenty of other ways to save! If food isn’t overly important to you and your honey, have buffet style or even potluck!

Another easy way to cut costs is to have a smaller wedding. The more people you invite, the higher the food and alcohol cost. Some other options are to get help from friends or family with things like music, photography, the cake, DIY stuff etc… Hiring non-professionals could also save you a lot. College students or people just starting out are some great options. Go for DIY centerpieces rather than flowers. Some venues offer some great deals if you do an all in one package with food, drink and decor all provided which could save you a lot on rentals or catering. Hire a day-of coordinator rather than a full wedding planner. E-vites rather than sending invites by mail.

These are all pretty common sense but one option you may not have considered is to look at wedding dates. Getting married during a month outside of peak wedding season could save you a lot. Another option is to have your wedding on a Friday, Sunday or in the morning. Since these are less popular times they will be less expensive!

Remember It’s YOUR Wedding:

As we said before, spend the money and splurge on the things that are the most important to you and save on things less important to you. Decide as a couple. If you want a small wedding but your parents want to invite all their friends, politely explain that you want a small wedding and that will save you money that you could spend on the important things and if they want all those people there then they will need to contribute more because it doesn’t fit in your budget plan. Stand up for the wedding you want. Prioritizing is one of the most important parts of planning your budget.

Take a deep breath and relax because even though planning and budgeting a wedding is stressful, there are tons of tips and tools to help you figure out a way to create the perfect wedding to match your budget. Work together with your partner and just focus on what is most important to the two of you to create the special day you will remember for the rest of your lives.

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Monthly Overview: “What’s Hot”

It’s (almost) Fall Y’all! In September’s issue of the Monthly Update we are talking about all things Fall. We know everyone is excited for pumpkin spice lattes, leggings and sweaters, and the crunch of leaves under our adorable boots.

Fall is the official start of the apple season. Incorporate this fun and versatile fruit into your event in several ways: Serve cider donuts, warm apple cider in copper mugs. Dress up a rustic walnut farm table by adding mason jars, burlap runners and lanterns. Add twinkly lights and lanterns to create a warm glow, that brings warmth to a crisp fall day.

Continuing with a fall theme, there are several other aspects that can help to pull together the perfect autumn event. 

Create a cozy bonfire area at your event. Gather a bunch of chairs (or hay bales) around a bonfire or fire pit. Add a s’mores station, so people can make these tasty treats at their leisure. Provide warm comfy blankets to combat any chill in the air. 

Choose darker colors: Burgundy, Dark Green, Oranges, Yellow and add pops of white. Add copper and gold as metal accents to pull the theme together and keep your color palette warm and inviting.

Fall Color Palette

 

 

 

 

 

Choose in season flowers. This seems like a pretty obvious statement but often times people don’t know what flowers are in season and then pay more for flowers. Flowers in season in fall are:  Calla Lilies, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Gerber Daisies, Marigolds, Roses, Sunflowers, and Zinnias. Notice that most of these flowers fall right in line with the fall color scheme so they will be perfect to keep your colors flowing throughout.

Seating areas with lounge furniture and vintage settees are a great way to give the outdoors a warm and inviting feel without having an indoor reception. It’s still warm enough outside to be comfortable, so take advantage of that while it lasts! Add custom pillows or blankets to take it to the next level and really impress your guests. Twinkly lights and lanterns with candles are the perfect way to create a cozy, homey outdoor reception space for the early fall months, not to mention they make a super cool backdrop for pictures!

Of course the food is an essential part of any September or autumn wedding because serving your entree in a mini pumpkin is completely acceptable and should be a more regular occurrence in all of our lives. In addition to the cutest “bowls” ever, there are also endless amounts of pie and our personal favorite, the donut wall! Yes, as of September donut walls are real and happening and you definitely need one at your next event.

Lastly, ladies we are talking hair and beauty. For autumn brides, go simple and whimsical. Loose, messy curls with maybe half up or just the front pieces twisted back is the ideal look for this month and it is stunning. Keep your jewelry simple and focus more on an intricate dress with beaded or lace detail. Let your natural beauty shine through in September.

Now you have all the tips you need for the perfect autumn event, so go curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy the sweater weather while you plan.

Real Wedding: Love Everlasting

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Considering we are in high summer and currently so hot we can’t move, we thought that sharing this cool, Valentine’s Day inspired wedding could be a breath of cold air. On February 14th Allison and Beth Anne got married in a ceremony that was inspired by OK Cupid, the site on which they met. 

The ceremony and reception took place in an urban loft. The cool clean lines of the space helped to elevate the soft romantic touches that the two added. Simple, sweet accents such as vintage valentines day cards and pops of red, white and pink help to capture the overall romance theme. 

Allison and Beth Anne did it right by keeping it simple so they could put in the personal elements and accent colors to spruce it up and let their personality as a couple shine through. Their V-Day theme came across and sweet and romantic rather that corny and overly cutesy. A simple white tiered cake is so aesthetically pleasing, especially next to the bold reds and pinks of their floral arrangements.

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Valentine’s Day is the day of the year completely devoted to love and sharing joy with the person you love. It is pretty clear that these two beauties have captured the meaning of love and found the best way to celebrate and embrace Valentine’s Day .

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Of course you can’t forget the hot chocolate station! What better way to warm up in the below freezing weather than with liquid gold (and by gold we are referring to the delicious kind: chocolate). And just to put the cherry on top of this perfect winter wedding- personalized travel mugs as the favor! Doesn’t get any better than that if you ask us.

Check out the full Post on the Knot

 

NECR Boutique

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT. NECR has a boutique where you can buy all different kinds of custom curtains, pillows,fabric and many other fun pieces. To visit our Boutique click here.

Pillows: You think it, we can make it. These pillows come in various sizes and can be customized however you want. Choose from a variety of fabrics or create a pillow to commemorate a special day.

 

Curtains: Make a statement in any room by adding some unique curtains. You can choose from many different patterns. Find the curtains that are perfect for your space.

 

Fabric: Can’t find the fabric you are looking forward. Check out our wide range of custom printed fabrics. We design and print all of your fabrics ourselves, so you can feel like you are getting a totally unique product.