Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Keep Up with the Joneses

I often have clients asking me how they can make their wedding stand out.  Each client wants their wedding to be unique, special, and of course, memorable. So, what advice to do I give them?


Your wedding should be reflective of YOU as a couple.  Don't choose things just because you think you are supposed to or because someone else did it.  Make decisions that you can both stand behind.  Choose to do something because you both love it and you can't imagine your wedding day without it.  

When it comes to picking a location you not only want to consider logistics, but you should also get tingles when you imagine yourself standing there with the love of your life!  Choose details that make sense for the location, and for you.  If you envision family and friends laughing together over a hearty meal, opt for farm tables and bottles of shared wine.  If you want to make sure that your guests dance the night away, choose a space with an ample dance floor and a lounge or outdoor space where they can go to cool down.  

Most of all, make sure that you and your partner agree, especially on the big points.  Often, a marriage is about compromise. Planning your wedding is a great way to exercise that muscle.  No matter what, remember to be authentic.  Your wedding should feel natural and personal.  Your smiles will be bigger, your laughter will come more easily, and your guests will walk away saying things like "that was so perfectly THEM."  

Here are a few of my favorite couple shots from some of the most "unique" weddings I have had the pleasure of coordinating!

 Photo courtesy of Kelly Schatz Photography
A sweet family wedding in the woods where the bride grew up. This was a true "family and friends" experience where even the neighbors pitched in!  One of the most unique elements had to be the handcrafted wedding rings produced by a friend of the couple.
Photo Courtesy of Kelly Schatz Photography & DonyaFaith Photography

Nature met architecture in this beautiful and simple Rhode Island wedding.  I remember the bride and groom telling me that they wanted guests to feel as if they had come over for an elegant meal at the bride & groom's home.  On the menu... some of their favorite recipes!
Photo Courtesy of O'Brien Photo 

This was a gorgeous wedding set in the mountains of the Berkshires.  This bride and groom chose their favorite weekend hideway for a reception, inviting guests into a world they wouldn't have otherwise experienced. Their wedding was chock full of eclectic decor, an amazing gourmet menu (with fish fresh of the families' boat!), and a music room that didn't stop!
Photo Courtesy of Jenny Moloney Photography

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I cannot believe it's been over a year since my last post!  So much has transpired in the last 12+ months that I wanted to "start fresh" and begin posting regularly again.  I love to write and I also love sharing stories and experiences with my followers.  I am vowing to do more of that in 2014 and I hope you will join me on the journey!

2013 was a year of enormous growth for me personally and professionally.  My small wedding and event planning business has blossomed into so much more than I expected when I first set out to start this venture.  Events by Jackie M continues to grow and evolve in the wedding market, and I am still learning so much.

Last year brought me many new adventures and each one presented new challenges but boy, were they exciting!  I met (and continue to meet) dynamic couples, their family and friends, and more than a handful of amazingly talented professionals.  I am always so humbled by the way these people embrace me and allow me to play such a big part in their lives.  My clients have welcomed me into their homes, their lives, and relied on me to orchestrate the production that is their love story.  It has simply been... incredible.

I look forward to the new challenges 2014 has in store and I cannot wait to share some of the very special love stories that are unfolding.  I hope that the stories I share with you take your breath away.  I hope that you are wowed by romantic details, amazing scenery, and secret moments caught between my clients. I know I am wowed... every day.  I hope that each of you (clients and pros alike!) knows how very special you are to me and how much I depend on you to make these events happen.  Here is to a fantastic wedding season and to sharing the love!!

This beautiful image is one of my favorites from 2013. 

Jackie M

Monday, November 12, 2012

Customizing Your Wedding or Event

Hi there!

It's clear that I am not great at blogging very frequently, but I promise I have a good excuse!  Events by Jackie M has been very busy growing over the last several months.  I've expanded my business not only through new Wedding and Event clients, but through custom detail work as well.  Earlier this year, I decided to open an account on Etsy and I'm happy to report that sales have been great!  I have been able to extend my reach beyond Western MA (and the surrounding areas) to a more global community.  It's a very exciting time for me and for the business!  I love creating custom details for all of my clients.  There is just something about adding those personal touches that is so rewarding!

One thing that has been very clear through all of this additional work is that people want to find a way to make their wedding or event stand out!  I can't tell you how many clients have reached out to me with a small idea... just a nugget of a thought... which then grows into a full blown theme for their special event!

A big theme that has been trending is the idea of travel.  Many of my clients want to create an event where guests truly feel transported to a different time and place.  The best thing about this theme is that the possibilities are limitless!  I've created everything from wedding invitations disguised as airline tickets to menus printed on a postcard. I've customized tables named after Italian cities and even invited guests to pack their bags for a Hawaiian wedding escape!  Color palettes have ranged from antique ivory to bright pinks and purples.  Each and every one of these events has been unique and special in it's own way....the common theme being the idea of travel and escape from the ordinary. 

While I get to create all of these exciting elements, I do caution my clients to make sure they carry their theme through their event.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, themes are great... but only when they are done well.  For instance, if you like the idea of an airline ticket for an invitation, don't stop there.  Your guests will be excited at the idea of getting a boarding pass but that excitement will quickly fade if they walk into a sparsely decorated banquet hall with a few travel signs hanging by the bar.  You MUST carry such a theme throughout your event.  If you pick a specific location (like Italy), make sure that the room feels like Italy.  Make sure there is plenty of wine and plates full of olives, cheese, meat, and fruit.  Use wine bottles bursting with wild flowers as centerpieces.  Display pictures of Italy.... especially if you took photos from a trip there. Make sure that your lighting is soft.  Use your imagination!  Travel themes can be fun and exciting...they provide a great excuse to get creative.  :)

Until next time... happy planning!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To Theme or Not to Theme

Ok, well, it's clear from my last post that I am not great at keeping resolutions!  What I AM great at is Wedding and Event Planning and boy... have I been non-stop the last several months!  I love having my own business and it's so amazing to me every day how I've been able to grow it with patience, time, and effort.  Believe me... it takes a good dose of all three for this machine to run effectively!

Today I want to talk about themes for your Wedding.  Many clients ask me "Do I have to have a theme?"  My answer: YES!!  Now, let's be clear about what a "THEME" actually is. 

To me, having an event theme does not necessarily mean that you have to have a wedding day that's set in the Roaring 20's or an Intergalactic Spaceship.  No, no, no.  A theme is having a cohesive feel throughout your event that ties all of those little moments together to create one big beautiful picture.  A hint for those of you who still aren't clear on this:  for your wedding, the big picture is (drumroll, please):  YOU!!  Your wedding or event theme should reflect you.  It should showcase elements of you both as individuals AND as a couple.  A theme isn't just about colors-- it's about styles and details that tell your guests a story about your personalities and your love for each other. 

Here's a "for instance:"  Let's say you love the outdoors.  Maybe you take long hikes together or throw together picnics in the park when you have free time to share.  Perhaps you like taking long drives and going on spontaneous trips to the beach or the vineyards.  He proposed on top of a mountain at sunset.Your sense of style at home is simple:  you like bright colors, you love natural light, you are attracted to country and traditional furniture styles when you flip through magazines.  When you have friends and family over for dinner, you all sit at one long table and food is served family style over lots of laughter and mismatched plates and glasses.

Now that we've painted that picture, let's be clear:  YOU ARE NOT A CANDIDATE FOR AN "OLD HOLLYWOOD" or "BLACK TIE SLEEK AND MODERN" THEMED WEDDING!  Those wouldn't reflect your style at all!  Your wedding should have elements that speak your language.  You should be choosing a venue that reflects your love for nature. Perhaps an outdoor ceremony and a tented space would be ideal for a venue.  A barn space would even do.... long exposed wooden beams and white lighting.  Choose a caterer who will provide elegant food in abundance.  Lots of passed hors d'ouevres and perhaps a stationed or family style dinner service.  Make carafes of wine available on the tables or create a specialty drink like a " Lemon Love Cooler".  Choose light colors for your flowers, dresses, and linens:  whites, yellows, light blues, creams, lavenders, etc. Display pictures of you and your love in rustic frames on the tables and in the entry way. Tell your story- make copies of love notes you have exchanged during your time together.  Give back:  in lieu of favors, let your guests know that you have made a donation to your favorite charity or conservation group.  Incorporate something unique..... have your guests hold sparklers to light the way to your awaiting limo at the end of the reception.  Or surprise your groom with a groom's cake that reflects something special about him.  You want your guests to walk away from your wedding thinking that every element really reflected YOU.  You want to keep your day elegant but relevant. 

No matter what your budget, you can pull off a fabulous theme for your wedding or event!  Now it's your turn:  what have been some of your favorite elements at a Wedding?