2011 Year in Review

/ / Real Weddings

I cannot believe that we’re only hours away from 2012! This has been an exciting year for Inspired Occasions and for the many couples who tied the knot in 2011. I thought it only fitting to take a moment to reminisce a little. So here are some of our highlights from this fantastic year:

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We kicked off the height of our wedding season by teaming up with a radio station and some of our favorite vendors to give away a dream wedding to one lucky couple. We got lucky too, because Erin and Matt were great to work with. They had a beautiful vision and made decisions quickly so despite a short 6 week planning period, their pretty-in-pink inspired wedding at The Old Daley Inn on Crooked Lake went off without a hitch. Their luck didn’t end there though. The happy newlyweds just announced that they are expecting their first baby next summer!




Joanie and John’s destination nuptials brought Inspired Occasions to the sunny shores of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ironically, this is the only wedding of 2011 that was disrupted by rain. Despite the menacing skies, we managed to get the bride down her white sand aisle in time to enjoy a beautiful beachside ceremony. Although the beach lounge and dance floor was rained out, we were fortunate to have an indoor dinner already planned and a backup dance floor ready to go. Flowing margaritas and a relaxed island feel kept guests partying into the wee hours despite the raindrops.


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After seeing photographs of a wedding Inspired Occasions planned at The Palace Theatre in Albany, Tehra and Juan hired us to do the same for them and we were thrilled to return to this unique venue. Their old Hollywood inspired décor, Cuban and Soul Food inspired menu and their dance ‘till you drop spirit kept guests in awe. The highlight of the evening for me? A surprise flash mob dance by the bridal party and guests. The look on Tehra’s face was priceless!









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Francesca and Adam brought us to the most gorgeous venue of the year  . . . The Elm Court Estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. This 55,000 square foot mansion was the backdrop to a magical wedding weekend for their

100 out of town guests. Other than the location, what thrilled me about this wedding was the bride’s restraint when planning décor. The simplicity of her décor choices allowed the breathtaking venue and mountain

views be the focal point. The other highlight was the band (City Rhythms). The bride decided to skip the cake cutting so that they could spend every last minute of their party tearing it up on the dance floor!






Back to 11 North Pearl we go! We always love working with Classe 0808Catering so we were thrilled to coordinate Krystina and Nevin’s August 27th wedding. Although we were originally hired for day-of coordination, Krystina and Nevin took advantage of my expertise throughout their planning so I had the opportunity to get to know them quite well before the big day. What a fantastic team they make! They are great friends and on their wedding day their love and affection for one another was obvious. They truly glowed! Best moment of the night . . . the father-daughter dance that turned into an impromptu father/daughter and brother dance. It looked completely choreographed but I later found out, it wasn’t!




September was an insane month for us. Four weddings over the span of two weekends was a record for us, but the team rose to the challenge.


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Labor Day weekend started with the wedding of Kristin and Jason at The Hall of Springs in Saratoga. I worked with Kristin and Jason for well over a year planning every detail and enjoyed every minute of it. Favorite things . . . Sex in the City inspired inscription on the cake (“Forever Mine, Forever Thine, Forever Ours”) and a choreographed wedding party dance that featured the groom. It was spot on!





The next day my crew changed gears from the vintage elegance of Hall of Springs to the vintage charm of The Pruyn House at the wedding of Kate and Shawn. Mother Nature was watching over us that day. Despite huge storms looming all around us, we managed to pull off an outdoor country ceremony and cocktail hour complete with a blue grass band. Once the guests were in the barn, the skies opened up! But it didn’t matter. Guests were under cover for a night of “stick to your ribs” comfort classics and the couple’s unique play list that even featured 80’s sitcom theme songs. The amazing sense of humor of this couple made this wedding an absolute blast for the guests and our staff too!

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September 17th was a busy night in the Lake George area for Inspired Occasions. Split into two crews, half of us spent the day pulling off an extraordinary outdoor farm wedding for Alicia and Bob and the other half coordinated Megan and Kevin’s Sagamore wedding and reception.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been more exhausted after a wedding as I was after Alicia and Bob’s and yet I’m not sure I have ever been as proud of our work either. The sheer size of the property, logistics of the outdoor setting and number of homegrown details meant we didn’t stop moving for nearly 14 hours, but it was worth every minute! This event was personal, warm and full of the spirit of this wonderful couple. The hay bale seating for the ceremony, surprise grand entrance of the bride and groom on an antique tractor and their bunny decked out in a bow tie are just a few of the highlights from this incredible evening.




We wrapped up our season with Jackie and Jason who just happened to get married at my church, Shenendehowa United Methodist Church. After that, they celebrated with a reception at Pat’s Barn at RPI. Their décor featuring traditional fall favorites of pumpkins, leaves, mums and apples were a perfect fit in the barn. However, it was the homemade and huge cookie and cider bar that stole the show!





As I reflect on this year full of beautiful couples, great vendors and magical events, I cannot help but to feel blessed. I have the pleasure of working with talented vendors and friends everyday and I’m supported by the very best team of women I could ask for: Katelyn, Julie, Sarah, Jeanna, Melissa, Michaela, Eleanor, Leah and Kate. Most importantly, I get to do what I love and be surrounded by love for a living!

Now bring on 2012! Happy New Year everyone.

Photo credits (top to bottom): Scott Kretschmann Photography, Clark + Walker Studio, Scott Kretschmann photography, Elizabeth Leitzell Photography, Niki Rossi Photography, Mitch Wojnarowicz, Tiffany Wayne Photography, Yvette Wilson Photography.