Engagement Celebration Success and Wrap-Up

Photography By: Bharat Parmar

We’re still glowing with the great success of our 2016 Engagement Celebration, and we’d like to thank all of our newly engaged guests and esteemed vendors who took part in this wonderful event. We would like to share some more gorgeous imagery that captured the fun and beauty of the day, courtesy of award-winning Bharat Parmar Photography.

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Photograpgy By: Bharat Parmar

Our sophisticated garden party open house was a unique opportunity for engaged couples to experience the lavish elegance that is Hampshire House. They became acquainted with our beautiful mansion, our dedicated staff and the area’s finest wedding vendors while enjoying our delicious food, cocktails and traditional New England hospitality.

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Photography By: Bharat Parmar

With our online, always connected world, one can research and learn about wedding professionals by visiting websites. But to be able to personally meet, in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, all those who contribute to make a special day magical — that is a rare occasion indeed. Our guests mingled with our specially selected wedding officiants, florists, performers, photographers, designers, bakers, make-up artists and other vendors, and were able to check some items off their wedding planning lists. We were honored to host this event to assist future brides and grooms in bringing their wedding dreams to life.

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Setting Up a Personalized Wedding Website for the Big Day

Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married! There’s a lot of exciting information that you need to share with family and friends, but the logistics of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. With all those details and everyone’s busy schedules, calling everyone with every piece of information just isn’t practical. The Internet to the rescue! Keep your invited guests up-to-date with a personalized wedding website.

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The Do-It-Yourself Wedding Website
These days, you don’t have to be a professional web developer to have a great looking website. There are many online tools that you can use to easily design a wedding website. Some of them are completely free! Here are some to consider:

  • NearlyWeds – offers templates that match their wedding stationery, unlimited photos, online RSVP, online registry linking, blog, guest comments, music, video and more.
  • WeddingWire – free tablet and mobile friendly wedding websites, with a choice of styles to match your wedding invitations. Guests can post photos from their mobile device.
  • The Knot Free Wedding Website – free easy-to-build wedding website, personalized URL, hashtags and streaming from Instagram and Facebook.
  • AppyCouple – wedding website and mobile app. Features include instant messaging and RSVP, many different designs and easy-to-use widgets.

But What Do I Put On There?
If you think you don’t have enough wedding information and items of interest for your guests to fill a website, think again! The style and content of a wedding website will vary greatly from couple to couple, but here are some ideas:

  • About Us – the story of how you met and fell in love, shared interests, goals and dreams.
  • Meet the Bridal Party – photographs and brief biographies of everyone in the bridal party, including the mother and father of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, maid of honor, groomsmen, best man, flower child, officiant, pages, ring bearer, and ushers.
  • What, Where and When – all the details of the wedding ceremony and the reception, including directions.
  • Gift Guide – the shops and websites where you are registered.
  • Photo Gallery – this can include engagement photos, trips the two of you have taken, family outings, pets and much more.
  • Guest Book – so everyone can write their personalized messages.

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For an out-of-town destination wedding, you might include information about accommodations, restaurants, things to do and other details about the location.

Delight your wedding guests, keep them in-the-loop and have a lasting online remembrance of your special day with a wedding website!

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12 Month Wedding-Planning Checklist

checklist photo
Photo by o.tacke

If you’ve just become engaged and are imagining your dream wedding, your head may be spinning with all that you need to do. This 12-month wedding checklist calendar will ensure that everything comes together beautifully.

12-plus months before your wedding day:

□ Choose a date and time, with several options.

□ Visualize your ideal wedding and plan the budget.

□ Check date and time with venues, special guests and hired help.

□ Research and book ceremony and reception sites.

□ Assemble a planning team.

□ Begin your guest list.

□ Ask relatives and friends to be in your wedding party.

At 8-10 months:

□ Shop for and order a wedding gown.

□ Decide on reception entertainment.

□ Plan reception food.

□ Select décor and floral arrangements.

□ Interview and hire vendors (musicians, DJ, florist, videographer and photographer).

□ Reserve hotel accommodations for guests.

□ Contact rental companies for chairs, tables, tents, etc.

□ Join a gift registry.

At 6-8 months:

□ Order bridesmaid dresses.

□ Book musicians.

□ Send out save-the-date cards (for a holiday or destination wedding).

□ Plan your honeymoon.

At 4-6 months:checklist photo

□ Order wedding rings and wedding invitations.

□ Research wedding cakes and hire a cake designer.

□ Purchase formal wear.

□ Acquire passports, if needed.

At 3 months:

□ Address invitations (or hire a calligrapher).

□ Order the wedding cake.

□ Rent men’s formal wear.

□ Book transport (cars, limousines).

At 2 months:

□ Write wedding vows.

□ Mail invitations.

□ Purchase gifts for your wedding party.

□ Book hair stylist and makeup artist.

At 1 month:

□ Apply for marriage license.

□ Have final bridal gown fitting and bring it home.

□ Confirm with bridesmaids that their gowns are ready.

□ Confirm arrangements with vendors.

□ Create a wedding program for guests.

□ Order in-room welcome baskets for guests.

At 2 weeks:

□ Review RSVPs and call anyone who hasn’t responded.

□ Check in with wedding vendors.

□ Go to beauty salon for wedding haircut.

□ Send song list to band or DJ.

□ Deliver instructions to photographer and videographer.

At 1 week:

□ Give caterer and reception site final head count.

□ Give vendor requests to ceremony and reception sites.

□ Give site managers a schedule of deliveries and setup times with contact numbers.

□ Contact vendors to confirm details and make any necessary changes.

□ Create reception seating chart and print table and place cards.

A few days before:

□ Pick up men’s formal wear.

□ Plan wedding party positions and processional.

□ Give table cards, place cards menus, favors and centerpieces to site manager or caterer.

□ Connect with wedding vendors for final confirmation.

□ Make arrangements to pick up guests, if needed.

□ Deliver welcome baskets for guests to hotel.

□ Give locations and pickup times to car rental or limousine company.

The day before:

□ Give photographer, band and others an emergency phone number for wedding day.

□ Write checks for wedding services; confirm any final balances with hosts.

The night before:

□ Meet with officiant, wedding party, family and other participants at ceremony site and review/rehearse ceremony. Bring necessary accessories.

□ Give marriage license to officiant.

□ Attend the rehearsal dinner and present gifts.

On your wedding day:

□ Give each other and your parents their gifts.

□ Give wedding bands to the maid of honor and best man to present during the ceremony.

□ Give officiant’s payment to the best man.

□ Introduce reception site manager to a contact person for any issues that arise.

□ Assign someone to assist the photographer.

After the wedding:

□ Arrange for rentals to be returned and for bridal gown to be cleaned.

□ Send thank you notes for gifts that arrived on the wedding day.

It’s a long list, but being well-organized will make the best day of your life run smoothly, so everyone can concentrate on having a wonderful time!

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Celebrating The Hampshire House Awards

We’re proud to announce that Hampshire House was chosen for WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice Award and The Knot’s Best of Weddings for 2016.

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Photography by Celine: Old State House – Boston

WeddingWire is the most trusted and largest online marketplaces for engaged couples, wedding planners and local merchants. The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® are given to the top 5 percent of wedding professionals that have demonstrated excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism, determined by recent reviews from more than a million newlyweds.

As the nation’s largest source of wedding-related news, ideas and inspiration, The Knot is the leading authority on everything to do with weddings. The Knot Best of Weddings distinctions are awarded to the most frequently mentioned and highest-rated wedding vendors in all categories and regions of their extensive listings.

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We’re delighted to be honored by such prestigious organizations, and we are especially pleased that these awards were not just voted upon by a committee, but were bestowed by the heartfelt words of appreciation from our wonderful guests. To those of you who have shared your special day with us, it is you who are the true stars of this wonderful story. From all of us at Hampshire House, we thank you!

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How to Pick Wedding Invitations Your Whole Guest List Will be Talking About

A wedding is an extraordinary event in one’s life, and most couples spend considerable time ensuring that everything is perfect. Careful planning is the key to a successful and beautiful day, as there are so many details to consider. But this should be a pleasurable experience as it gives the bride and groom the opportunity to imprint their unique personality on the occasion, sharing the love they have for each other with family and friends. The wedding invitation, as the first public announcement of their joining, is a beautiful and sentimental keepsake.

traditional wedding invitation photo
Photo by mynameisharsha

Define Your Wedding Style
A wedding invitation isn’t just about letting people know the location and date. It sets the tone of the entire affair and indicates the formalness of the event. Is the wedding to be traditional, classic and elegant or modern, glamorous and stylish? Do you have a special theme, such as a wedding on the beach, a gathering in a wooded area, a traditional Irish ceremony or a Medieval affair? The invitations introduce the personality of the occasion. Visit stationary designers’ websites and online photos of invitations for inspiration and ideas so you have a clear vision of what you’re looking for.

Theme, Colors, Shape and Size
For colors, white, cream or ivory with a black or gold font is classic if your wedding is formal, but for less formal occasions, there are no set rules. You can select more colorful or metallic type, paper, envelopes and liners for greater visual appeal. Just make sure the type style is not overly ornate, and that the ink and background colors are adequately contrasted so that the invitation can be easily read. Stay away from light text on light backgrounds and dark text on dark backgrounds. The standard size and shape of wedding invitations is 6.25 inches by 4.5 inches and rectangular. However, you’re certainly not beholden to that and other invitation shapes are available.

circle wedding invitation photo
Photo by mandolin invitations

The One-of-a-Kind Wedding Invitation
There are many variables to create your own unique wedding invitations, such as the design, the type of paper, ink color, typeface and special printing techniques such as engraving and letterpress. You can also use a custom design and include decorative touches such as enclosures and envelope liners. Hiring a calligrapher to address the envelopes adds an exquisite, personalized touch.

wedding calligraphy photo
Photo by nparekhcards

Many varieties of paper stock are available. A heavier paper feels more luxurious, but you can also choose linen paper with a textured surface. Do you prefer a matte finish or metallic paper? You’ll also find natural paper stock such as bamboo, imported papers and rustic recycled papers.

Deciding on the typeface (font) can be a dizzying adventure in itself. There are many to choose from, so narrow it down by your wedding theme. Is the affair to be casual or formal? Traditional or modern? Are you being married on the beach or in a formal and elegant cathedral? There are typefaces that are formal and traditional, informal and whimsical, contemporary, high-tech and retro. Choose a font that will capture the personality of the couple and the occasion.

Once you’ve selected the paper and the typeface, what type of printing would you prefer? There’s offset (flat) printing, thermography, letterpress and engraving. Thermography gives you raised print using special inks and heat. In the letterpress technique, letters are pressed into the paper. Engraved print is raised from the paper.

save the date photo
Photo by Lalaland Chelsey

Keeping the Information Basic and Beautiful
Although there’s key information you must convey, a printed wedding invitation is a work of art, so placement of text and a balance of white space is important. Not only will the invitation look better if it isn’t jam-packed with non-essential information; it will also be far more legible. Include the location, date and time of the ceremony; the hosts’ and couple’s names, the dress code for the occasion (if there is one) and RSVP details. Any directions and information about the reception should be either on separate cards enclosed with the invitation.

With all the choices for unique and beautiful wedding invitations, you can create a stunning masterpiece of your very own.

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Photography Feature: Amanda Ambrose Photography

As part of our featured photographer series, we’d like to introduce you to the stunning wedding portraits of Amanda Ambrose Photography. Her portfolio of distinctive New England weddings includes a recent wedding ceremony and reception at Hampshire House, exquisitely captured. This collection features posed portraits of the bride and groom, wedding party and guests as well as pre-wedding preparations, a romantic stroll thru the Boston Public Garden, located just across the street from Hampshire House, and a celebration at the legendary Cheers bar, formerly the Bull & Finch, popularized in the “Cheers” television series and located on the bottom floor of the Hampshire House. There are candid moments as well where the love and joy of the couple and their family shine through.

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This artistic and lavish photographic series offers not just a close, intimate account of a couple’s most wonderful day, but also an artistic glimpse inside the historic, warm and richly appointed Hampshire House. There’s the carved oak paneling, Italian marble fireplace and elegant chandeliers of the library, which makes the ideal setting for an intimate wedding ceremony. The upscale New England pub atmosphere of the Cheers bar is a cozy place for celebratory cocktails in the grand Boston Brahmin tradition. A formal wedding reception dinner is then set in the library for the happy couple and their guests, wonderfully luxurious and romantic.

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These sensational photographs capture all the majesty and joy of this beautiful wedding, which we were honored to host here at Hampshire House. Kudos, Amanda Ambrose Photography!

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All Photos courtesy of Amanda Ambrose Photography

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Easter Brunch at Hampshire House

On a day that’s rich in family traditions, our Hampshire House family would like to welcome yours to relax and dine in sumptuous luxury in our turn-of-the-century Georgian revival townhouse located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill.

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Join us at Hampshire House for our special Easter Brunch! Sunday, March 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., we will be serving our three-course brunch featuring delectable selections created by Markus Ripperger, Hampshire House’s Executive Chef. His special menu for the day includes Gulf Shrimp Martini, Smoked Salmon and Spinach Benedict, Grilled Beef Tenderloin Medallions, Wood-Grilled Lamb Chops and New England Lobster Omelet. The Hampshire House menu fuses old New England home-cooked classics with innovative dishes and upscale, modern dining.

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Experience the warmth, comfort and old world elegance of a distinguished Boston residence. When you enjoy a meal at Hampshire House, you step back to a time of carved oak paneling, crystal chandeliers, Italian marble fireplaces and leisurely gracious dining.

The cost is for Easter Brunch is $70 per person including tax and gratuity, beverages excluded. For reservations, please call 617–227–9600. Download the full menu.

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