Blog - Cristen & Co. | A New England, Cohasset, Boston and Cape Cod Wedding and Event Planner

Eliza and Ben’s Private Estate Cape Cod Tented Wedding was certainly one for the books! Each one of my couples are special to me but there was an extra special bond that I had with Eliza, Ben and their family. And, it all started with a phone call from Eliza’s mother, Nancy on July 3, 2016 on the hunt for a wedding planner! Crazy, how I can remember that, right? That was the thing, I had the best conversations with this family, ones I will always remember. It almost felt like I had known them for a bit already. Through genuine conversations a wonderful bond and friendship was formed and that’s how one EPIC wedding celebration was planned for Eliza and Ben!

Their wedding was about the authenticity and the foundations they built together  – the traditions, the memories with their family and friends and also as a couple too. This wedding was not only about the overall aesthetic they wanted to achieve but about the feeling they wanted to embrace and see on their loved ones faces – laughter, love, happiness and excitement! It was a foundation that we built together to bring all their dreams and visions to life. Through the craziness (because we all know what life brings sometimes), they always knew that I was there for them; a shoulder to lean on, a friend, their planner guiding them through all the big wedding decisions.

With strong New England roots – Eliza spending much quality time on the Cape and Ben growing up in Maine, we knew we had to tie all their favorite summer memories together. We incorporated elements from their families’ summer homes into the design, Events by B.H baked up some of their favorite family dessert recipes passed down through the generations (hello deliciousness!!) along with the style of dinner service created a homey feel – memories are made when gathered around a table. Their overall wedding design was an Eclectic Refined Farmhouse Tented Wedding with a color palette of midnight and dusty blues, a pop of mustard yellow mixed with softer hues of vanilla whites and beiges.

Needless to say it was one gorgeous September Saturday on the Cape! The ceremony was perfectly sentimental, the cocktails were flowing, the food was delicious and the dance floor was literally packed (not even exaggerating – every single guest was dancing!). We ended a perfect day with an amazing late-night sparkler send off! It truly was a day that none of us will forget – so incredibly happy for Eliza and Ben!

We couldn’t have done it without one fabulous wedding team:

Planning & Design: Cristen & Co. | Photography: The Foxes Photography | Ceremony Venue: Yarmouth New Church Preservation Foundation | Reception Venue: Private Estate – Barnstable, Cape Cod | Caterers: Events by B.H | Florist: Nectar Floral Design | Invitation and Stationary: The Paper Perfectionist | Event Rentals: American Tent & Table, Vim + Vigor and Peak Event Services | Farm Table Rentals: Lighthouse Woodworks | Linen Rentals: BBJ Linen | Eclectic Details & Decor: Cristen & Co. Collection | Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Musicians: Speechless | DJ: Crown Special Events | Hair Stylist: Hair by Isabel | Make-up: Ashley Breen

Everyone has expectations and wishes of what they want in life however, I think we all know that it sometimes isn’t or can’t be reality! Recently, when chatting with our Cristen & Co. couples and listening to my friends who are recently engaged share all their ideas and inspiration on what they want their wedding to be; they quickly realize that some of their thoughts are simply not realistic which brought me to the idea of this post – Wedding Planning Expectations vs. Reality!

But, first let me introduce myself, my name is Sarah, I am Cristen’s newest Design and Planning Assistant. I’m excited to be sharing my first post as part of the Cristen & Co. team and have many more planned for the future! Being a newbie to the industry I am already well on my way of getting my certificate in Event Management from Bryant University! Shockingly, one of my favorite parts about this industry is seeing all the hours of planning and organizing a wedding/event how they come to life! Here’s a little bit more about me –

  • When I’m not in the studio helping Cristen and Marissa, I’m obsessing over all things makeup. I’m constantly watching YouTube videos following my favorite Gurus, expanding my collection (which many tell me is not necessary), and pretending I’m a makeup artist doing my friends make-up.
  • Growing up in New England, I’ve grown to be a huge sports fan, specifically the Bruins! I try to attend games when I can and when I can’t, watching the games on TV.
  • And finally, the quickest way to my heart is through cheese! If you offer me cheese, chances are you found your new best friend!

Don’t forget to follow all my event planning fun on Instagram at @cristenandcosarah

Venues

Couples Expectations: As couples consider what their wedding day is going to look like overall,  the venue becomes their most important aspect of the booking process. When asking engaged couples currently in the planning process of their wedding they seemed to have one major concern as soon as they get engaged, “I need to book a venue at least a year out or I’ll get stuck with limited options or a venue not as nice as what we hoped for.”

Industry Truths: As industry professionals we prefer to book a venue earlier rather than later, but this does not necessarily mean there will be limited options with a shorter timeline. Many times there are venues that have the look couples are going for that are not as advertised as others or simply we get creative when researching for spaces, think outside that “cookie cutter” box! When working with brides on shorter timelines getting creative with your venue is essential in planning the perfect day with a quick timeline.

 

Photography by: Move Mountains Co.

Budget

Couples Expectations: Every event that you plan begins with a budget in mind (even those with “unlimited” budgets). You have to start somewhere when planning your wedding. Speaking to brides in the planning process many came back and say, “Everything I come across on Pinterest is what my vendors will be able to recreate for my wedding”.

Industry Truths: Many times couples will begin planning the wedding of their dreams, with many expectations of the overall look in mind because of the world of social media and all its inspirational images. However, what many couples don’t realize is as they create their pinterest boards full of ideas, much of the inspirations they are seeing and pinning come with a hefty price tag. As industry professionals we understand what the cost averages look like based on the location of a wedding and what your guest count is. Often times the reality of how quickly each aspect of the day can add up can become a surprise to many couples. We love to get creative as much as possible but some costs can’t change. We are simply realistic and upfront with our couples about what their realistic wedding of their dreams will be and honestly, it ends up being amazing because we take the time to understand where and how to best spend your money.

Planning Process

Couples Expectations: I’ll be able to plan the entire day without needing extra help.

Industry Truths: While it is possible for a couple to plan the entire day without extra help, often times couples will find out that it becomes very challenging. Using a planner can help the couple keep everything organized along with bringing the knowledge and expertise a couple doesn’t have within the wedding industry! It can be extremely daunting and stressful for a couple that has never planned anything like this before and simply doesn’t have the time as they work full time jobs. There’s a lot of details that go into the planning of a wedding – we can spend upwards to 300 – 500 hours planning and designing a couples wedding. And – let’s be real, who wants to manage the day-of their wedding anyways? Give up some control and anxiety and source a wedding planner that can be your bestie throughout the process!

Photography by: Amy Spirito Photography

Décor

Couples Expectations: Many couples think they are the DIY type or want to be involved in crafting or creating décor for their wedding day to save money but sometimes it ends up costing more or you end up overwhelmed with no time to spare and in a crafting mess. Remember DIY or backyard wedding doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper!

Industry Truths: When it comes to décor options for the wedding getting creative is one of the fun parts of planning but leave it up to the crafting professionals to do it! A planner can help a couple bring their vision to life that requires less crafting and DIY time for a bride. A planner and designer will also ensure that every decorative detail is cohesive with the overall wedding design and vibe of your day.

Looking for an excuse to have a drink? We certainly are, especially with this Gin Cider Cocktail!! So, I have one for you with this delightful new holiday-inspired cocktail recipe! Happy Cocktail Friday, friends!

But, first I want to introduce myself! My name is Marissa and I am Cristen’s Lead Event Planner (something you might already know if Cristen ever get’s around to adding me to the website). This is my first, but don’t worry not my last guest post! For a little bit of fun, here’s some facts about me –  

  • I love to bake in my freetime, if there’s a dog around you can find me on the floor playing with them anywhere I go. It’s safe to assume I follow more dogs on instagram then I do human beings.
  • Weekend’s are spent with friends finding the best cocktails and charcuterie boards in every town we adventure too.
  • And, if you ever want a recommendation in just about any city you ever go to for the best Mac & Cheese give me a call (Seriously, I know!!). I even have my own famous secret recipe that Cristen and Sheila (our Business Director and Cristen’s mom) often bribe me with wine and the Bachelor to make for them!
  • I may be the only Event Planner in the industry that doesn’t completely run on coffee. But, you will find me at Starbucks every morning grabbing my caffeinated Venti Strawberry Acaí Refresher (with lemonade of course, who needs water anyways).

For more tid-bits and fun, don’t forget to follow along my journey with the Cristen & Co. team on Instagram @cristenandcomarissa

 Cristen and Co. Wedding Planner

One thing many of our clients already know about is our hand-crafted signature cocktails that we create for their weddings and events! Yes, we have a fully stocked bar-cart in the studio! So, we are getting back into the swing of things and sharing some of our favorite cocktails and bringing back Cocktail Fridays! YAY!

I am sharing one of my recently favorite cocktails that I mixed up in the studio – simply a perfect cocktail for all occasions this winter no matter what you are celebrating!

With the holidays right around the corner and lots of fun activities on the books this is the perfect cocktail to impress your friends, family and maybe even your co-workers (This one’s been tested and approved by the ladies of the Cristen & Co. team themselves).

Being a gin lover myself, I knew exactly where I wanted to start! However, the best part about this cocktail is no matter what liquor preference you have, you can easily switch it up and add in your favorite vodka, whiskey, bourbon or so many more (Again, it has been tested and approved by the Cristen & Co. ladies).

As I began brainstorming all my favorite flavors from fall and winter. I quickly realized that fall is my favorite time of year and any excuse to carry those flavors into the holidays is a must!

Gin Cider Cocktail

Gin Cider with a Twist

Ingredients:

2 ounces Gin

3 ounces Fresh Apple Cider

½ ounce maple syrup

Cinnamon sticks

Red apples

Rosemary

Gin Cider Cocktail Ingredients

Instructions:

For the cocktail: combine gin, fresh apple cider, maple syrup, and red apple pieces.
Stir together.  Garnish: top off your drink with a couple cinnamon sticks and a piece of fresh rosemary.
Change it up: Add your favorite liquor as the base and keep the rest the same!

Gin Cider Cocktail Recipe

  1. Dawn Peters said:
    Sounds delicious! We will have to try the vodka version of this
    December 8, 2017  8:28 pm
    Reply

Where do I even begin?! Let’s start from the beginning, Sarah and Chris modeled in one of my editorial shoots last August, August 20th to be exact! Little did I know that day was the beginning of not only a fabulous wedding planning process but a friendship! It was that editorial shoot that inspired Sarah and Chris’ wedding aesthetic.  We even replicated the sweetheart table in the shoot on their wedding day!

This was by far one of the most emotional weddings I have planned to this date because of the friendship I built with Sarah, Chris and her son Camden! All the happy tears, friends!!! It was such an honor to bring to life their dream wedding celebration at the Custom House – Maritime Museum in Newburyport! A setting that had so much meaning to couple – Sarah growing up on the water, sailing with her father and Chris’ passion for history. The Maritime Museum embraced them as a couple.

I couldn’t help but tear up as Sarah walked down the aisle with her father to marry her best friend, Chris! They were both surrounded by SO much love, love I have never felt or seen before! Sarah and Chris’ love is the kind of love that is magnetic, the kind you feel when you are around them. As I listened to their sweet vows, more tears fell from my eyes because it was my friends, getting married, taking that next step and starting a new chapter in their lives. And, then Chris got down on one knee and vowed to sweet Camden that he would be there for him forever and love him forever. I think everyone’s hearts were filled with love in that very moment.

It was honestly an incredible day full of personal details, love, endless dancing, fireworks and late night pizza because who doesn’t want late night snacks! There were so many memories of that night and it will forever hold a special place in my heart!

And, can we just talk about Camden for a sec – DJ Camden to be exact (that was his wedding day “role”)… He is one intelligent and funny kid and he definitely has some killer dance moves!!

Thanks to a more than wonderful team of vendors:

Planning & Design: Cristen & Co. | Photographer: Analog Wedding | Videographer: Well Spun | Venue: Custom House | Florist: Bloom Floral Design | Stationary: The Paper Perfectionist | Event Rentals: Special Events of New England and Peterson Party Center | Catering: Starboard Galley | DJ: Musicbox Entertainment | Hair: Callie Hefferan for Blush Boutique | Make-up: Make-up By Katelyn | Wedding Cake: Cakes for Occasions | Cookies: Baked Cohasset | Apple Cider Donuts: Cider Hill Farm | Cupcakes: Cupcakes by Jenna | Alcohol: Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits | Bridal Boutique: Pure Bliss Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Jack Rogers | Late Night Pizza: Anchor Stone Deck Pizza 

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Happy Friday, Friends! Who’s ready for a Jägermeister Mule Cocktail?! We are incredibly honored and excited to have Jägermeister – Boston part of the Cristen & Co. clientele! We recently planned and designed their first Stammtisch Dinner Party at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts to showcase the all new premium cocktail brand. It was such a fabulous event full of delicious custom Jägermeister cocktails carefully crafted by Curtis and a Jäger infused menu of smoke salmon and venison prepared by Chef Josh. We can’t wait until the next dinner party in May!

It has been amazing to see this brand turn into a super high end product and able to mentor local influential bartenders and restaurants on how to create some seriously creative and innovative cocktails that taste amazing. If you have been following along on social media, you know that I am quite the cocktail connoisseur and I am always eager to try something new.  I’m now mapping out the local restaurants and bars that have started using Jäger in a new light, I will keep you posted on my cocktail journey!!

We can’t wait to share more on Monday’s post!! So stay tuned! But, anyways let’s get back to the point… it’s Cocktail Friday and Jägermeister – Boston told us they have a signature Moscow Mule… You know I was on top of that! It’s definitely a new favorite infused mule of mine and I wanted to share the recipe with you!

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Recipe:

Ingredients

30ml Jägermeister

100ml Goslings Ginger Beer

 ½ of a lime

2 sprig of fresh mint

1 copper mug, of course!

Directions

First, muddle your mint and lime in your copper mug until fragrant. Then, mix Jäger and Goslings Ginger Beer into your copper mug, fill with ice and give it a quick stir. Serve with a mint sprig and a straw!

Cheers, Friends!

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Wedding Planner Myths — Don’t believe everything you hear or think because wedding planners are super beneficial to you and your wedding.

Here are a couple myths about wedding planners and I wanted to share a couple of them with you and explain why they are false:

  1. Wedding Planners take over your entire wedding and don’t involve you in the planning process! Absolutely not true! We take away all the pesky logistics so you won’t have to worry about a full inbox of vendor emails, we actually become your point-of contact. But, we always involve you in the process, we certainly give you advice on vendors to ensure you are making the best decisions but we will always consult with our clients before booking anything or anyone! And, we can’t forget about the all the fun meetings we have in store, crafting nights and signature drink tastings just to name a few! We make the planning fun and always expect our client’s involvement!
  2. The cost of hiring a wedding planner is too expensive. Not true, every planner is different with various packages you just have to consult with the right one! We actually save you money in the long run by keeping you on budget!! If you find one that is right they are worth every penny, in the grand scheme of things they are not that expensive for the overwhelming amount of things they do for you.

Alisha & Lucas definitely hold a special place in our hearts over here at Cristen & Co.. Alisha called me up on January 21, 2016 while I was going to pick up my birthday cake from Sweet Indulgence – yes, I remember the exact date and what I was doing. She told me they loved one another so much and they wanted to spend this year accomplishing life goals together as a married couple… And, then she told me they wanted to get married on Leap Day in just 5 weeks at Warehouse XI in Somerville, Massachusetts. YES, 5 weeks!!! Well, of course I said heck yes, let’s plan this fabulous wedding!

After planning a 7 week wedding, I knew I could handle it. I enjoyed my Skype calls with Alisha and Lucas almost every day (since they lived in Chicago) and I was able to get to know these two on such a personal level; they both are very intelligent, kind, generous and full of goofiness and laughter, I knew these two were perfect for one another.

They both met in Japan on study abroad so we decided to go with a Wabi Sabi Brunch Wedding tailored to their personalities and the Wabi Sabi aesthetic; calming, simple, natural and organic. And, their wedding day was full of love, laughter and fun! Their closest friends and families flew in from all over to Boston to celebrate the love these two have for each other. I am so thankful they allowed me to come into their lives and plan such a special day.

I couldn’t have pulled it off without a fabulous team of friends and wedding pros:

Photographer: Zac Wolf Photography | Planning & Design: Cristen & Co. | Floral Design: Nectar Venue: Warehouse XI | Caterers: Forklift Catering | Cocktails: Wanderlush | Wedding Cake: Sweet Indulgence | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Musicians: Speechless Music

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There has been a lot of buzz around the new wedding and event venue, Warehouse XI in Somerville, MA! And, of course I wanted to see what this space had to offer… When I met with the ladies of Warehouse XI it was an instant friendship. In the past couple months we have planned and designed 2 styled shoots, hosted our New England Wedding Collective’s Engagement Bash and a 5 week, Leap Day Wedding. You can pretty much say we have been in and out of the space a lot lately!

What I LOVE about Warehouse XI is that it is a blank canvas!! You can literally create your dream wedding or event! You’re able to bring in all the fabulous vendors you truly love including food and beverage! And — the white walls… yes, please!

We have been pretty busy in the Cristen & Co. studio as you probably can tell from following us along on our Instagram (don’t forget to search our hashtag #CristenandCo). Our blog has been put on the back burner, sadly but, we are getting back on the bandwagon again! Here’s our fabulous Industrial Wedding editorial shoot at Warehouse XI that was featured on Style Me Pretty back in February.

With an all white color palette, pops of pewter and metallic antique gold we brought spring into the space with tons of greenery and a few white blooms hung on the gold diamond geo shapes above the wooden farm table.

Every detail was carefully curated from the light bulb calligraphy place cards, custom invitation suite with splatters of gold ink, sweet pea spring daiquiri, mini textured cakes adorned with fresh flowers and a hand torn chiffon ribbon ceremony backdrop.

We teamed up with a huge group of beyond talented friendors, I can’t thank them enough!!

Event Planning + Design: Cristen & Co | Photography: Kim Lyn Photography | Floral Design: Sweet Annie Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Astrid & Mercedes – Charming Gown | Cake: Sweet Indulgence | Invitations: The Paper Perfectionist | Bride’s Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Catering: Forklift Catering | Hair + Makeup: Ali Lomazzo Beauty | Calligraphy: Extras By Alaina | Groom’s Attire: Xedo | Venue: Warehouse XI | Bartending: Wanderlush | Capalet: Minaree Finery | Rentals: Peterson Party Center

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Industrial Wedding, Warehouse XI

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

  1. Adriana Tallman said:
    I am dying over this cake stand! Any idea where it came from?
    February 27, 2017  6:57 pm
    Reply

Do you really know the benefits of hiring a wedding planner? You might be pleasantly surprised to know all the fabulous benefits of having a wedding planner by your side throughout the entire planning process. Wedding planners believe it is extremely important for couples to not only enjoy their engagement but also be stress-free and relaxed on their wedding day. Wouldn’t you want that too?

Here are some benefits of hiring a wedding planner:

  1. Wedding Planners take the stress away and create a seamless planning process for you! Weddings are extremely involved, especially tented weddings and they are highly detailed today that there is a lot more time and stress in organizing your big day. Wedding Planning is a full-time job; that is why there are wedding planners. I am sure you have thousands of other things to cross off your to-do list and meetings to attend at your own job that you don’t need to add another full time job on top of it. Every bride deserves a planner!!
  2. Wedding Planners are experts in this industry!! I personally have a Bachelor’s Degree in Event Management while many other planners do not. I know the in’s and out’s of this industry, all the rules and regulations for weddings and events. I will make sure you are making all the best decisions while maximizing your wedding budget.
  3. Wedding Planners have some amazing contacts in the industry! I have worked with some amazing vendors and creatives. These creativepreneurs are people I know, recommend, work well with and 100% trust to ensure you have the most fabulous wedding! These recommendations will help you be put at ease knowing that your wedding is in all the right hands.
  4. Another perk is Wedding Planners get some discounts! I extend those discounts to our clients especially from those event rental companies! And, I’m sure you didn’t know or realize that other planners, caterers and venues take those discounts as kickbacks… Having us set up and coordinate all of your rental orders we will make sure you receive the discount you deserve. I want you to put that extra money you saved into other wedding details that mean a lot to you!
  5. Wedding Planners can also be designers! I am not only a wedding planner but I have an eye for design and will be able to transform any blank canvas or create your dream ballroom estate wedding. Not only will your wedding be perfectly planned but also aesthetically beautiful!

 

  1. It really great post. I agree that hiring an occasion planner can assist you have got less stress to the touch upon. i will be able to see that finding someone trust and who has the connections to help build your event undefeated will take time and dedication.
    June 16, 2017  2:38 am
    Reply

Creating your wedding design!

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Are you a bride that just can’t put all your thoughts and wedding dreams into reality?

Are you indecisive when it comes to making decisions?

Are you a bride that thinks you can DIY everything but know you don’t have the creativity to do so?

Then you need to hire a Wedding Planner and Designer! We will take all your ideas and create an aesthetically perfect wedding design tailored to your personality and likes! And, help you make all the best design decisions that fit into your wedding budget.

Here’s a little bit about our process:

  1. We really dig deep and really get to know as individuals and as couples! We have you fill out a fun questionnaire asking you things like, where’s your favorite restaurant, what’s your favorite cocktail, your ideal color palette and much more. This helps us channel into your personalities and likes so we can start creating a wedding style that resembles you both as a couple.
  2. Based on many design discussions and brainstorming sessions with our clients we reveal your Inspiration Board and color scheme. During our design meeting we will be able to place with place settings and create mock-ups. We will also bring real-life ideas of what your wedding will look and feel like! And, we of course have an amazing collection of various décor and props that will create some show stopping and unique displays for your wedding. Our collection is solely rented to our Cristen & Co. couples only!
  3. We will always be the ones putting your designs into action on your wedding day, with each piece placed perfectly we can assure you that your dream wedding will become a reality. We truly care about where your dollar is spent and want to make sure that your wedding design is exactly how you imagined.
  1. I noticed your comment about Wanderlush and her amazing cocktails! I work For the distillery who makes the Cape Cod Great White Rum Crystal used to make the snow pea daiquiri at the recent photo shoot. We are hoping to be the choice for signature wedding cocktails for all Boston and Cape Cod lovers getting married.
    January 23, 2016  1:53 am
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