Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Have a wedding weekend like Sofia and Joe!

I don’t know about you, but my news feeds this weekend were filled with all the fun of Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s wedding weekend. From beachside welcome parties to the big event itself, the celebrity couple looked like they had a fabulous time in Florida.

But you don’t have to go to Florida to plan a wedding weekend like a celebrity! Here at the Heritage, we can help you plan a weekend getaway to remember with a rustic, elegant New England feel.

We can start your weekend with a welcome reception in any of our banquet rooms. For fall and winter weddings, you can choose a room with a fireplace or for warmer-weather occasions, enjoy the firepit on the patio near our Adirondack chairs!

If you’ve got the time, schedule tee times on our golf course; get pampered at our day spa; or spend the afternoon in one of our two salt-water swimming pools!

After your rehearsal, let us handle all the details of your rehearsal dinner. Then you and your guests can take the elevator to your newly-renovated guest rooms to rest and relax before your big day!

For your wedding day itself, your ceremony can take place in our stunning Stone Garden, followed by a reception to remember in our Timbers room, a spectacular space featuring cathedral ceilings, a massive stone fireplace, and wall-to-wall windows. Timbers, a warm and inviting room with our dark wood walls and beams overhead, is the perfect place to show your guests the best of what New England has to offer any time of year.

Plan an after-party in the Tavern, our comfortable pub and restaurant and let your guests enjoy our hospitality for one more night in their comfortable guest rooms!

The next morning, enjoy our post-wedding brunch. You and your guests can take one last dip in the pool or spin on the exercise bikes before they head home and you head off on that fabulous honeymoon! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It’s wedding fashion week!

It’s that time of year again, when the models who come down the New York runways are all in wedding gowns! While we all may not be able to afford a couture gown, the trends that hit the runways this weekend will shape what brides will see as they shop for dresses.

Designers will show their visions in everything from gowns to jewelry to shoes and more! With Zac Posen for David’s Bridal and Dennis Basso for Kleinfeld presenting already, it’s been a great start to the show!

A gown from the Dennis Basso collection

Tell us: Do you pay attention to Bridal Fashion Week or do you follow your own style for your wedding dress?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

We love fall weddings!

Fall in New England. Weddings in New England – what could we possibly love more than a fall wedding here in Connecticut? The leaves are turning, the days are (usually) bright and crisp and fall food themes are fun! If you’re planning a fall wedding, there are so many ways to incorporate the season into your big day!

You can make your whole theme of the wedding fall, using burnt oranges, bright reds and warm browns as your color scheme. Or, if you have different ideas, but still want to celebrate the season, you can choose just one fall-flavored focus!

You can use a cider- or pumpkin-based drink as your signature cocktail or choose hors d’oeuvres that include those flavors.

If your venue allows it, you can use potted mums as decorations throughout the ceremony and reception space.

If you want to celebrate a little bit of Halloween, you can always use carved pumpkins as decorations or have a Halloween candy buffet!

If there are outdoor elements to your ceremony or reception, just remember that fall weather can be fickle! You may want to be prepared with small blankets or shawls for your guests and wedding party if it’s chilly; and prepare for the opposite – an unusually warm day in late October.  

Do you have fall wedding favorites? Share them with us!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Celebrating 10 years

It’s amazing how time flies -- somehow, I turned around and it’s been 10 years I’ve been here at the Heritage Hotel and Conference Center! While it seems like just yesterday, a lot has changed in wedding planning in the last decade!

Pinterest: Almost every bride (and even some grooms!) uses Pinterest as a place to get ideas and put them in one place. Whether your wedding is formal or relaxed, quirky or traditional, you can find inspiration there.

Social media: Facebook existed in 2005, but was still just for students. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat? Weren’t even on our radar! Hashtags with cute couple names like #ChrisAndPat2015? Nope! Now, you can see all your friends’ pictures of your wedding in real time! (Unless of course, you are having an unplugged wedding!)

Same-sex weddings: While Connecticut had a civil union law on the books in 2005, it wasn’t until 2008 that the state recognized same-sex marriage. Now, of course, it’s the law across the country!

Of course, for the Heritage, our biggest change has been a major renovation throughout the resort: with a new entrance, updated guest rooms, a brand-new hospitality room and more!

It’s been a fun ten years of celebrating weddings… here’s looking to ten more!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Formal or fun, on paper or electronically, how to get those RSVPs in!

You’re getting close to your big day – you know what you’re wearing, who’s in the wedding party, and where it’s going to be. Your Save-the-Dates and then your official invitations went out. But only half your guest list has returned their RSVP cards and the deadline for your caterer is coming fast! What do you do?

The first thing is make sure you gave yourself some “wiggle room.” Make your response card deadline at least a few weeks before your deadline with the caterer. That way, you have time to hunt down the guests who have not responded.

How do you get your guests to return these? Sample response card from our friends at Respond if You Please.
Make it easy for your guests to RSVP. Yes, the traditional form is to print a response card with your invitation suite and supply a self-addressed, stamped envelope; that’s never wrong. But if you have a less formal wedding, or you just want to give your guests options, there are plenty of electronic ways to get RSVPs, too! If you have a wedding website, create a section for people to RSVP. Send out emails, and accept RSVPs that way, too. You can even make a closed Facebook event to get people to respond.

Get help. If the guests who haven’t responded are from one side of the family or another, ask family members to help. Perhaps your mother-in-law-to-be can get her cousin on the phone for you! (It’s also a great way to direct the energies of a person who wants to help, but doesn’t know how!)

What ways have you gotten your guests to RSVP? Share them in the comments!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tips on shaking that wedding planning overload!

You are as excited as ever to be marrying your sweetheart, but there comes a point in planning most weddings when you start to feel more than a little overwhelmed. We have some tips to help you get through the stress and re-energize yourself!

Organize. Use a wedding binder or an app to keep yourself on track, and make good lists. That way, you won’t get too sidetracked as the planning progresses.

Take a break. Really! Take an evening and go out with friends, or have dinner with your sweetheart. Make a promise to yourself that you won’t talk about the wedding. Just enjoy a dinner, music or movie without letting wedding planning enter the conversation. Your seating arrangement chart will still be there in the morning, but you’ll be more refreshed and ready to attack it!

Stop looking at Pinterest. Once you’ve made your decisions, give Pinterest a break too. Every idea looks fantastic and you can only do so many different things. At some point, you have to tell yourself it’s okay to stop looking. The themes, colors and favors you choose will be perfect for your wedding, so don’t let yourself get caught up in “Pinterest regret.”

Delegate. Let your future mother-in-law pick up the flowers, if she wants to. Or give the task of alphabetizing the escort cards to a member of your wedding party. People will want to help – let them!

Enjoy. Yes, the two of you are planning a very important event. And yes, you have a lot to balance. But take time to remember why it’s such an important day and step back and enjoy the process.

What tips do you have to make the wedding planning process easier?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Start spreading the news!

When you’re newly engaged, you want to tell the world! With social media, it seems like you can with just a push of a button. But that’s not the only way to get the news out – don’t forget the traditional engagement and wedding announcement in your local newspaper.

Newspaper clippings of your engagement and wedding announcements are a great keepsake to tuck into a scrapbook. It’s also a great way to tell your entire hometown that you’re engaged – even the people you’ve lost touch with! While not every couple can get their wedding announced in the New York Times,that doesn’t mean you can’t contact your local paper!

Each newspaper is going to have a slightly different format. Your best bet is to visit your local paper’s website. Most papers will have a “contact us” link on their site so you can call their news department.

Once you find out who to talk to, ask if they have a specific form they wish you to fill out. If there is a form, print neatly and carefully to save yourself from spelling errors! If you want to attach a photo, ask for their photo guidelines. While most papers’ guidelines aren’t as strict as the New York Times’, each newspaper does have them.

Which newspapers should you choose? If you and your sweetheart are from different hometowns, you’ll want the papers for each of you, as well as the newspaper where you live now. Include both your daily and your local weekly newspapers, too!

Also, since you’re going to want to print your engagement and wedding in the same newspapers, ask for the guidelines for both announcements when you call for the engagement form. That way, you won’t have to make a second round of phone calls! Even if you’re planning a lengthy engagement, you can put the wedding announcement form in your wedding planning book to fill out later. 

Lastly, engagement and wedding announcements usually run when the editor has space for them; make sure you follow the newspapers' deadlines so you have the best chance of your announcement getting printed as quickly as possible!