Saturday, February 8, 2014

Let's Get This Party Started!

Heya Nesters!

FOREWARNING:  I'm going to write about the wedding.  I promise I won't turn this into strictly a wedding blog, but it's a big honkin' piece of whats going on in Ginaland... that's what we're here for right?  Sharing our day-to-day to feel a little more sane about our crazy lives, no?  So, if weddings aren't your thing, feel free to skip today… otherwise enjoy the wedded bliss! 

We've already done a TON of planning.  I always imagined a summer garden wedding in a clear top tent under the stars, with what felt like candle hanging from the sky and branches growing over your head.  I wanted it to feel like our wedding was in the secret garden that was frozen in time.  Kind of sort of like this...

via Pinterest
While Matt didn't hate the idea, he also wasn't as excited about it as I was. And one day I threw out the idea of having a New Years wedding.  His ears perked up and for the first time he said, "THAT would be cool!" And in the following weeks {mind you, this was before we were engaged…} he went ahead and polled his friends to see if they also would think it was cool, or if it was a bad idea to have a wedding on a holiday.

The consensus? COOL- SUPER COOL.  And it. was. on.


First on the list to find was a venue.  I must admit, I was doing my fair share of research before we were even engaged.  I am lucky to work in the event industry and being a part of several groups that attend events at different venues once or twice a week.  This helped me narrow down what I liked right off the bat.  I decided to stick to the idea of a vintage feeling, and geared my search towards the Historic Mansions in New England.

To make it easier, three of the biggest are within walking distance from our house.

The Gore Place.  It's a gorgeous mansion literally 2 blocks from our house on a working farm with rolling hills, flanked with a carriage house and encapsulated by an old world stone wall, lined with trees.  Matt used to catch frogs here as a child, which made him not find it "special" anymore.  Sadly, scratched from our list.

The Commanders Mansion.  This second gorgeous Watertown mansion, is again perfect for an outdoor tented wedding using the indoor space as a cocktail hour or smaller weddings that want to utilize the space indoors.  They have a great team running the show here and anyone that gets married here would be lucky!  Being that we can't keep a tented area warm enough in December, and we just attended our friends wedding here last summer, this one was also off the list.

The Lyman Estate.  Another gorgeous mansion about a 5 minute drive from us, in Waltham.  Set even further back from the public eye than the Gore Place.  They have a stunning wrap around porch in the back, that meets up with the seasonal tent.  There are several hotels in varying price ranges a short drive down the street, making it easy to get guests bussed back to hotels instead of having anyone drive. The only thing that crossed this venue off the list for me is that the rooms wouldn't be able to hold our entire guest list in one space, which is important to me.  Again, sadly scratched off the list.

The Willowdale Estate.  Further North than the other three, in Topsfield, you'll find this amazing stone mansion hidden in the Bradley Palmer State Park.  I had every intention of getting married here.  I adore the team, the food is exquisite, the mansion is gorgeous in every nook and cranny. But the capacity inside the mansion is 130 people, and we are inviting 150.  I wouldn't want the fire marshall to shut us down because more people showed up than we anticipated!  And then I was told that they booked New Years.  *sad face*

And then there was Tupper Manor.  Further North- in Beverly- right on the water, you will find Tupper Manor at Endicott College.  After talking to more industry friends about what I was looking for, I was encouraged to check it out.  I was originally anxious about the distance for all of our guests, particularly a 45 minute drive on New Years Eve.  However, the biggest selling point for us {aside from being gorgeous} was that they have their own hotel attached. Thats right- there is a hotel with an enclosed walkway that leads directly into the mansion.  That removes the need for us to rent any kind of transportation for the guests yet still ensures their safety and everyone can enjoy their night.  Ah-mazing.

The other part that sold me was the view.  Standing outside the front door, waiting for our tour, we could see straight through the mansion to the ocean.  Matt is a big water kind of guy.  So he loved that aspect.

These windows in the conservatory, look our over the cliff, to the Atlantic.  This also gave me that similar feeling I was looking for in my original garden wedding. Surrounded by trees and not feeling so "inside."

Another big selling point- the groomsmen's room is the Billiards room. Matt could not have been more excited.  This is the only point on the tour, where Matt took a picture.  'Nough said.

And the sweetest part of the venue is the ballroom and its fireplace. There are several fireplaces throughout the space, but this one is often used as the backdrop for the ceremony.

It's a far cry from the garden wedding I originally envisioned but, I could not be more happy with Tupper Manor.  Needless to say, we loved about Tupper and SO much more that I haven't even mentioned.  So….. we booked it!!  Tupper Manor 12/31/14.

Jeez, all this New Years talk makes me want some bubbly…. Cheers, Nesters!!


PS: Happy NYMBFW!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Gina, Tupper Manor is absolutely perfect in every way. I'm so excited for you and Matt. I do hope you'll keep us filled in on all the details of the planning.

    My daughter and son-in-law played hooky from work one day and got married by a judge (who even turned on music so they could have their "first dance"), but we had a huge party a month or so later so all their friends could celebrate with them. My daughter has a friend who is a party planner, and that was his gift to her. It was so much fun choosing a venue and food and decorations! It will be great to follow your decision-making.


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3