New York Wedding Venue Spotlight: Historic Barns of Nipmoose

Why I love it:

Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough good things about this wedding venue.  When I first heard about it from Kristina and Phillip, I was so excited.  They had planned an outdoor ceremony underneath some old birch trees, and a reception that flowed from inside the barns to in front of the fire.  I love the versatility that this venue offers, with multiple barns, the couple can plan different stations and have a reception that encourages their guests to be outside and sit in front of the firepit roasting marshmallows and dancing under the setting sun.  The coordinator there is so helpful, and she goes above and beyond to work with her clients and create their vision.  If you are love mountain views and beautiful barns, check out Historic Barns of Nipmoose.  
What makes your venue unique?

The fully restored Historic Barns of Nipmoose are superb examples of America’s rich agricultural heritage. They are positioned in the center of a 123 acre farm with spectacular views of an agricultural landscape. Besides the beauty of the barns and their location in the upper Hudson River Valley, what is most unique is that all three of the barns are included in a single event.

The German Barn serves initially as the reception and bar site, and later in the evening, as the dance hall. Dinner is held in the Scottish Barn, while the little Corn Crib can be used for memorabilia, gifts, seating cards or coffee and desserts. The most popular location for ceremonies is in front of the aspen grove, but you have a number of other options for where your ceremony could be held. In case of rain, it could be held in the German Barn.

What amenities do you offer?

Three guest bathrooms, one of which is handi-cap accessible.

A bridal suite.

Two gardens and a pond complement the expansive courtyard area.

A parking lot large enough to hold over 40 cars with room for buses.

Staff of generally three men on hand throughout the 5 hour pre-wedding Set-Up period and the wedding to help with parking, vendors and decorations.

Close to 100 oil lanterns hanging from shepherds hooks are placed throughout the site.

Barcelona hanging lights in all three barns.

Rustic furniture for decoration (tables and chairs for dinner are not included)

What advice would you give brides and grooms?

We would recommend that couples visit us because our site is even more beautiful than in the photos. Also, we encourage our couples to be creative with their vision of how to use our barns.

Looking for a photographer for your Historic Barns of Nipmoose Wedding, email me at brooke@brookeellen.com to chat!

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Five Tips For Choosing The Perfect Engagement Photo Location

Your engagement photos are more than just a special way to show off your ring or get a nice shot for the newspaper or your Save The Date cards. They’re an opportunity to capture exactly who you are as a couple in your everyday life, before you get all glamourous for the wedding day.

It can be easy to get so caught up in the wedding photography that you don’t put as much thought into your engagement session. However, I strongly encourage you to you take some time to think about the story you want to tell with these photos. It’s the perfect opportunity to incorporate your passions and your history together to share the journey you’ve taken as a couple… a journey that will soon culminate in a walk down the aisle and a promise of forever.

Choosing a Location For Your Engagement Photos

The location for your engagement photo session should be something that speaks to you. It’s fairly common for couples to ask me to suggest locations, but really, I think the photos work so much better when it encompasses part of the life you’ve built together.

So, rather than just trying to recreate something you feel in love with on Pinterest, think about approaching your engagement photo location in one of these five ways:

Tell Your Story

Call me sentimental, but I love when couples choose a location where they experienced one of their “firsts” like their first date, where they first met, or their first kiss. The moment we reach the location, I can see the love and magic in their eyes, and I just know the photos are going to be amazing.

A while ago, I did an engagement session for a couple at UCONN where they met and were finishing up their degrees and it turned out so great! Get creative and think about the locations that help tell your love story, even if it’s not a traditionally romantic place.

Capture Your Passions

What are you passionate about? If you love relaxing on your boat in the summertime, think about including that in your photos. Do you love hiking in national parks? I can’t think of anything more more beautiful than a golden hour shot on the top of a mountain peak.

Don’t rule out an incredible indoor location, like among the shelves of your favorite library or inside a quaint ice cream shop. I know there’s some bookworms and foodies out there that would be perfect candidates for fun photo locations like these!

Paint a Picture

The thing about choosing a location for your engagement photos is the fact that most locations (the outdoor ones specifically) look different throughout the year. Are you more drawn to the beautiful bright colors of summer or the muted, rustic colors of autumn? Don’t rule out winter, either! If you’re game to stand outside in colder temperatures, you’ll definitely be rewarded with some stunning shots.

When choosing the time of year for your photos, think about the colors and the features of the seasons. Will they tie into your wedding theme and colors? You also want to make an effort to choose clothes that compliment the season, as well as any accessories that you’re going to use, like blankets. In my opinion, there’s nothing like a splash of mustard yellow in the fall or bright red in the winter.

Family First

Getting engaged is such a monumental occasion because it signifies the beginning of your new family. That’s why I love engagement sessions that highlight the theme of family. You might not think about taking photos in your home at first (because you spend all of your time there), but that’s exactly why they work! Couples are so relaxed and natural when they’re at home, cuddling on the couch or lounging in bed being silly.

If you are set on doing something outside your home, consider a location like the family cabin, a beautiful spot in the backyard, or a favorite vacation spot. And since you’re making your photos all about family, don’t forget to incorporate your furry best friend into some of the shots!

Bucket List

If you want to go big with your engagement photos (and honestly, who doesn’t?) consider checking something off your bucket list at the same time! Travel to a dream destination, rent a hot air balloon, or splurge on that fancy champagne you’ve always wanted to try. This is a really big deal and the perfect time to go all out!

When you want your engagement photos to tell a story, think about what makes you unique as a couple. Whether it’s your love for adventure, the outdoors, or cuddling at home with your pups, let your photographer know and they will be happy to brainstorm some ideas with you! Think about the stories you want to tell with these photos, both today and down the road to your kids and grandkids!

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Winter Wedding Inspiration: The Retreat at Norwich Lake

Tucked away just outside the edge of the Berkshires, this lakeside Christian Retreat is the perfect space to host a variety of functions.  From weddings to showers to reunions, the recently renovated hall and endless trails provide the perfect backdrop for your unique event.  Not only do they offer the space to host your function, they also have accommodations for all of your guests.  Spacious lodge rooms and cabins are available on site!

For our winter inspiration, we started with a palette of charcoal, rich mahogany, silver, and pops of red. Our head table remained the same wooden farm table, except now it was adorned with a pale gray chiffon runner and a stunning winter floral centerpiece set in a gray stone container.

Silver chargers were the base for white china, khaki napkins, kraft paper menus, and touches of buffalo plaid ribbon. Our guest tables were dressed in a lovely pewter gray. Centerpieces were a combination of stemmed mercury glass candle holders and winter greens. Dark wooden chiavari chairs completed the look but for added interest, our head table was flanked with white chiavari chairs and a blanketed wooden bench.

The grand mantle was still covered in winter greens, to which we added birch logs and candles. A soft purple lighting offered a new hue of winter that accented the room perfectly. Our bride cozied up to her groom by the fire in a perfect periwinkle dress from Addy Elizabeth Boutique. When they were warm enough, they moved to the gorgeous wrap around porch to overlook the beautiful lake and take in the quiet comfort of this wonderful retreat.

Venue
Planning/Design Concept/Styling/Coordination
Jackie Martucci & Kellsey Sullivan of Events by Jackie M
Rentals/Styling
Melissa Sullivan of Michael’s Party Rentals
Hair & Makeup
Crystal Vazquez & Shelby Dufour of Crystal Vazquez & Company
Bridal Wardrobe 
Crystal Vazquez of AddyElizabeth Boutique
Floral Design
Rebecca Lashway Fitzgerald of Forget Me Not Florist (Northampton)
Lighting
Cake
Amanda McHugh of Cakes by Amanda
 Models
Apollonia Nunez
Ken Tavernier

 

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Berkshires Wedding : Spring Blush Wedding Inspiration

Recently, we had the pleasure of working on a special photo shoot for the Retreat at Norwich Lake.

Tucked away just outside the edge of the Berkshires, this lakeside Christian Retreat is the perfect space to host a variety of functions.  From weddings to showers to reunions, the recently renovated hall and endless trails provide the perfect backdrop for your unique event.  Not only do they offer the space to host your function, they also have accommodations for all of your guests.  Spacious lodge rooms and cabins are available on site!

The inspiration for the spring looks started with a palette of pinks and blues, golds and champagnes.  We chose a beautiful wooden farm table to act as the “head table” for our couple of honor.  Set just in front of the magnificent fireplace, and just beneath a custom chandelier, this head table was adorned with a champagne chiffon runner and a stunning floral centerpiece (thank you Forget Me Not Florist!) in beautiful tones of spring.

Place settings were a combination of gold flatware, white china, and ivory napkins. We chose linens in a light café color to dress the round guest tables, and upgraded the entire look with gold chiavari chairs.  Cocktail tables were dressed in a rich patterned linen in tones of ivory and blush.  This cloth was just perfect for showing off the incredible cake creation from Cakes by Amanda, and it added another dimension of soft color to the entire room.

The grand mantle was accented in beautiful spring greens, dotted with pink flowers & rose gold votives.  Soft amber uplighting from Rob Alberti enhanced the feel and brought a warm element to the room.  Our blushing bride was dressed in a gorgeous blush pink dress from Addy Elizabeth Boutique.  Her dress was the perfect compliment to her heirloom ring of diamond and opal.  We also think it looked so sweet paired with her spring bouquet!

To provide another option for spring, we switched out the guest chairs to a white padded garden chair.  This look created a slightly more casual feel for an event and looked great when paired with the café colored linens.

Venue
Planning/Design Concept/Styling/Coordination
Jackie Martucci & Kellsey Sullivan of Events by Jackie M
Rentals/Styling
Melissa Sullivan of Michael’s Party Rentals
Hair & Makeup
Crystal Vazquez & Shelby Dufour of Crystal Vazquez & Company
Bridal Wardrobe 
Crystal Vazquez of AddyElizabeth Boutique
Floral Design
Rebecca Lashway Fitzgerald of Forget Me Not Florist (Northampton)
Lighting
Cake
Amanda McHugh of Cakes by Amanda
 Models
Apollonia Nunez
Ken Tavernier
no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Wedding Planning Timeline: A Guide to Booking Your Vendors

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – Winnie-the-Pooh, by A A Milne

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind! I remember it firsthand, and let me just say, I was impressed at how organized I became when the occasion called for it. I truly believe that organization is the number one asset couples must have to succeed. Without it, you’re going to feel like a mess, and you’re going to feel like your wedding day was a mess, even if none of your guests feel that way.

Booking your vendors is the most important part of wedding planning because you’re in competition with everyone else that’s getting married at the same time you are. Vendors are limited in their availability, so knowing who you want to work with and getting yourself on their schedule early is key.

I put together an easy-to-follow timeline so you know what steps you should be taking when it comes to finding and booking your vendors, plus a few other tips I have for making the process go smoothly for both you and your “team” on your special day.

Your Stress-Free Wedding Planning Timeline

18+ Months From Your Wedding Day

The first thing you want to lock in is your venue. Depending on what you like (rustic barn, stunning chapel, country club, etc.) you’re going to have maybe a handful of options to choose from. You want to claim your spot before they fill up, and honestly, most of them book more than a year out. So, if you can, you really want to get in touch with your first choice as soon as you get engaged.

In addition to the reception venue, you might want a separate ceremony venue, like a church or chapel. If you are going to be working with a wedding coordinator, consider booking them first so they can help you decide on the venues and negotiate add-ons and amenities.

12-18 Months From Your Wedding Day

This is when you’re going to book a majority of your other vendors. You’ll want to find your dream photographer as close to the 12 month mark as possible (trust us, our calendars fill up fast, too… especially during the popular wedding months). Once you book your photographer, you should immediately start planning your engagement session with them, since you’ll need to send out your Save The Date announcements six to eight months before the wedding day.

During this time period, you also want to book your florist, your entertainment (DJ or live band), your caterer, and your officiant. Depending on the venues you choose for your reception, the catering may be included. Likewise, if you’re getting married in a church, you likely won’t need to find your own officiant. However, these are important aspects to consider and your wedding coordinator can help you with these details. Oh, and don’t forget to reserve a block of rooms at a nearby hotel for out-of-town guests!

During this time, you’re also going to be doing a lot of dress shopping! Don’t forget that you’ll probably need a professional tailor to make sure your dress is a perfect fit. Some boutiques have a tailor on staff, so don’t forget to ask and compare their rates with other local options.

6-9 Months From Your Wedding Day

Okay, this is probably the most fun period of wedding planning because you get to lock in the cake and the honeymoon! What could be more fun than that! Choose a few cakeries you love and try some samples. Remember, you don’t have to go the traditional route if you don’t want to. Lots of couples are doing fun things like doughnuts, brownies, macaroons, or pies instead of the standard tiered cake.

When it comes to booking your honeymoon, you may want to work with a travel agent so you don’t have to worry about anything. However, you can totally DIY it. There’s lots of online tools to help, and you can even consider registering for your honeymoon using sites like honeyfund.com.

3-6 Months From Your Wedding Day

It’s starting to get real now. You’re pretty much going to be booking everything else during this time period: hair stylist, makeup artist, a calligrapher for your invitations and decor, tuxes for the guys, and your transportation. You’ll also want to find out what steps you need to take to get your marriage license so there’s no last minute hiccups.

At about three months out, you’ll want to touch base with all of your vendors to make sure everything is settled and everyone is clear on your expectations and timeline. Again, a wedding coordinator can make this a breeze, but if you’re handling everything yourself, you can simply call or email them to go over anything that still needs to be done.

Wedding planning is a big job but in the end, it will all be worth it. Stay organized, stay on schedule, and you’ll be perfectly fine. When your wedding day comes, remember to take a moment to appreciate your hard work. All the smiles on your guest’s faces will make the months of planning totally worth it!

Need more help planning your big day, head over HERE to receive your free Brooke Ellen Photography wedding planning guide.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Menu