Q&A with Boston Wedding & Event Planner Nicole Farnsworth
We asked one of Boston’s top wedding planners, BG’s Nicole Farnsworth, to share some insights into what makes for great Boston weddings. Below you’ll hear what she has to say about planning a wedding in Boston. This includes some of our most frequently asked questions, best tips and great places to start your Boston wedding planning process.
What are your biggest tips for the newly engaged when it comes to planning their Boston wedding?
Make sure you book the vendors that simply cannot double book on your chosen date! For example, these would definitely include the venue, photographer and Justice of the Peace—and those, likewise, should be three of the first things you book.
TIP: Especially if you are getting married during the peak season (summers), you should give yourselves about a year in advance to ensure planning goes smoothly.
What wedding themes/details have helped make your favorite outdoor weddings?
We did a beautiful outdoor wedding with a rustic, shabby-chic theme. It had gorgeous details, including:
- Large wine barrels
- Tons of baby’s breath
- Mason jars
- Strung Edison light bulbs on trees
Everything worked together so well. The reception was so romantic and special, and I think I loved it just as much as the couple did.
What have been some of your favorite menu concepts for a Boston wedding?
Oh, we have had some fun with a lot of wedding menus here. Some of the ones that stick out the most are:
- Brunch for dinner
- New England seafood extravaganza
- His + Hers hors d’oeuvres tables with wine and beer pairings
- Chinese and Italian-style food stations
- Cultural food fusions combining the couple’s unique ethnic backgrounds into the food selections
What are some of the most unique things you’ve helped couples put into their weddings?
One wedding, the bride had an heirloom china set that had been in her family for over 100 years. We used pieces of that china set as her dinnerware. The personal touch was so sweet and memorable for the bride and her family—and for me, I suppose, too, since I remember the emotions that that particular detail evoked to this day!
What kind of food service can Boston couples plan for their wedding?
Anything! We have done them all, from cocktail-style dinners to full plated meals and everything in between. Some of the trendiest wedding receptions we’ve done have been food stations or vignettes. Some popular service styles include buffets. We have even catered family-style at each table. It always comes down to the couple’s preferences. Many times a couple won’t know that they really want independent food stations (or whatever they choose) because they didn’t know that was an option.
TIP: Ask your caterer for some food service ideas based on your visions. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your menus, too. Unique food service definitely makes for a memorable reception!
What other services should couples think about when asking their caterer to help plan their wedding?
Keep in mind that most venues requiring outside catering will not have much in terms of rentals. You will need to think about tables, chairs, linens, china and glassware, flowers and staffing.
TIP: The very best way to get all of your wedding vendors and details hired, planned and organized is by working with an all-inclusive partner. When you are not utilizing an all-inclusive venue, that responsibility should fall to the caterer/event company. Lean on your biggest partner for as much as you need; it’s their job to make it special!
What should all couples ask their contending venues before booking?
The obvious first question would be the date. Make sure that your date is open at each of the contending venues. Then, you’ll want to ask what is required to hold your date while you look around (deposit or otherwise). You’ll also need to ask about capacity vs. guest count and think about the level of comfort you’d like your guests to experience. Some venues can hold a large number of guests, but sometimes with larger table counts comes less room for place settings. Don’t forget to ask the basics, too, like admin fees, room fees and on-site ceremony fees.
TIP: Wedding dates are very competitive in New England, and Boston is no exception. You really don’t want to let yours slip away, so we recommend holding the date on the venues in which you’re most interested!
What is something that many couples do not think about when planning a wedding that they should definitely try to keep in mind?
Compare everything when shopping around. Every single vendor will charge for their services in different ways, as well as include different things in each of their packages or proposals. Try to compare apples-to-apples as best as you can to make the most comfortable decision. For example, BG does not add gratuity or service charges, while many other vendors include those charges in their contracts.
TIP: Be sure to ask about corkage fees if you are providing your own alcohol and a cake cutting fee if you are getting your wedding cake from an outside vendor.
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Bio coming soon.