3 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Reception


Image by Nicole Chan Photography.

By the time you are preparing for your wedding, you’ve probably had some party-planning experience already. You might have thrown a shower, birthday party, or had a hand in another type of event. You’ve gotten your feet wet a little. However, while reception planning is, in essence, no different, it typically involves a large group of invitees and requires some extra attention for ceremonial and traditional details.

Plan a Great Venue.

Once you know the date and general location of your ceremony, you can choose a wedding reception site. Unless the reception and wedding are being held at the same location, your venue choice should be fairly close, for everyone’s convenience. An excellent reception venue:

  • Has inviting ambiance and attractive grounds — the Hampshire House is a grand, turn-of-the-century Georgian Revival mansion, situated across the street from Boston Public Garden and offers sweeping views of this magnificent green. Inside, the classic Victorian décor — Italian marble throughout, carved oak panels, Palladian windows and fireplaces on each level—conveys a sense of history and grandness. Guests will be awed and immediately know that they can relax and enjoy a superb experience.
  • Provides stellar service — respectful, courteous, and friendly reception servers go a long way in making each guest feel welcome. Servers should be able and willing to greet guests upon arrival and graciously assist them.
  • Has plenty of secure parking available — for a Boston wedding reception at the Hampshire House, guests can obtain validated parking at nearby Boston Common Garage. It’s an easy walk to the Hampshire House and an opportunity to get a glimpse of the historical elegance of Beacon Street.

Plan an Outstanding Menu.

After an exciting day of travel, preparation, and attending the beautiful ceremony, your guests will likely be as famished as you are. Drinks and appetizers should be served or available as soon as guests are seated. This facilitates relaxed socializing because everyone has what they need. Of course, your menu should be thoughtfully chosen and excellently prepared, with consideration for people who have special dietary needs. Work with your caterer or venue staff to plan food that is fresh and tasty, with enough variety to please a large group.

At the Hampshire House, our executive chef Markus Ripperger’s life passion has been to create a wide variety of innovative, sustainable, locally-sourced and gourmet-cooked cuisine with many GMO-free options. Just reading a few of his menu selections is often enough to make anyone hungry.

Be sure to let the drinks flow freely. Even if you opt for a cash-only bar, allow your guests to order alcoholic drinks if they wish. And don’t hold back on desserts, either. Be sure to offer sweets other than the wedding cake. For many people, dessert is their favorite part of a meal.

Plan to Have Fun.

With all your guests’ food and drink needs satisfied due to your skillful wedding reception planning, they will also be clamoring for entertainment. Hiring a band or DJ for dancing is a tried-and-true form of energetic fun. Some other more unique ideas might include:

  • Hiring a dancer to perform for guests or an acrobat to amaze the audience with their dexterity.
  • Renting a video booth where guests can create special personalized videos to memorialize the event.
  • Doing a balloon drop, with lots of confetti and glitter.
  • Laying out a puzzle challenge at each table, crafting each puzzle yourself by clipping pictures of you and your spouse, your parents and in-laws, the two of you with your pets, etc.
  • Delighting guests with a magician, a comedian or a psychic reader.

Planning entertainment will keep guests laughing and interacting, sustaining the joyous mood of your celebration. It will be good to have a photographer on hand to capture these moments of fun. But no matter the entertainer, the real stars of the show will be you and your new spouse as the both of you embark on your wonderful new life together.

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Planning a Successful Quarterly Business Meeting

As a foremost event destination, the Hampshire House specializes in making every gathering, whether for a private celebration or corporate meeting, a seamlessly run and pleasurable occasion. Although the process of off-site business meeting planning — especially finding a suitable venue — can feel overwhelming, it becomes simpler if you keep in mind what we call the Three A’s of meeting preparation:

  1. Affordability: The first consideration when searching for an off-site business meeting venue is your company’s budget for the event. Adhering to a budget will assist in narrowing down venue options and allow you to realistically explore what is available. Look for locations that will provide the best value for your firm’s money. Ask plenty of questions — things like audiovisual fees, taxes and surcharges, and food or drink minimums will affect your bottom line.

Event sites that offer all-inclusive pricing will make the comparison of meeting venues much easier, but you should always find out what all-inclusive actually includes beforehand.

  1. Accommodations: Within this broadest category of event planning, you should consider the following key issues of guest servicing:
  • Accessibility — Is the venue conveniently centrally located for most attendees? For local company gatherings, a meeting place close to the office demonstrates a business’s consideration of its employees. Is sufficient parking available? Are suitable overnight accommodations available nearby for out-of-town guests?
  • Space — Can the venue accommodate the number of employees attending? Aside from a large banquet or conference room, are there smaller rooms for break-out discussion groups? Is the space itself suitable for the type of meeting or activity that will be taking place? Remember to not overlook the importance of proper acoustics in keeping attendees attentive and receptive.
  • Special Amenities — Does the business meeting venue have the capability to meet any special needs your company may require for its meeting, such as audiovisual equipment, WiFi, notepads/pens, microphones and screens, or projectors?
  • Food & Beverages — What are the site’s options for providing food and drink? If your meeting will include a meal, does the venue offer a sufficient variety of high-quality dining choices? Is water, coffee, and/or snacks provided? Can the location accommodate special dietary restrictions? Does the venue provide alcohol?
  • Staffing — Will there be sufficient, well-trained staff on-hand to promptly assist guests? Do members of the staff dress neatly and appropriately, and address all guests with friendliness and deference? Can the staff facilitate guest registration check-in, and seating? Ideally, a site’s staff should anticipate any and all needs of the parties being hosted.
  1. Ambience: The overall atmosphere of a venue should never be underestimated. Ambiance extends beyond the meeting rooms, and includes the maintenance and appearance of the site’s grounds, the safety and attractiveness of the surrounding area or neighborhood, and the aesthetic of the interior décor. Truly premier meeting venues like the Hampshire House have earned their outstanding reputations based on longevity, tradition of quality event hosting, and unique cultural or historical associations.

As the success of any off-site business meeting is largely dependent on attendees feeling comfortable, relaxed, and well-accommodated, choosing the right business meeting venue is critical. At the Hampshire House, we understand the importance of a smoothly run business meeting, and we consider it our privilege to provide a superior and unforgettable experience to every single one of our corporate patrons.

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How to Plan Your Dream Engagement Party

The love of your life has just proposed, and you’re on cloud nine as you gaze at the brilliant ring on your finger. This amazing feeling is one you want to share with everyone. Once you can focus again, it’s time to begin planning an engagement party so that the most important people in your life and in your partner’s can meet and get to know each other.

Pick a Party Location: Location is critical when it comes to an engagement party, as it can set the tone for the coming reception and ceremony. Moreover, it is the place that many people in you and your partner’s lives will be meeting for the first time. Envision a location that will be both intimate and upscale, welcoming and sophisticated. Be sure to ask the appropriate questions at prospective venues to ensure that your party will be well-serviced by a helpful host or hostess and a sufficient number of waitstaff. Things to consider include the centrality of the location for your guests, parking availability, the popularity of the location at certain times (to avoid overcrowding), etc.

Invite Your Guests: Depending on your style and the tone you wish to set for the event, you can spread the word with paper invitations or even send e-vites. To avoid the awkwardness and potential hurt feelings of excluding anyone, come up with your wedding guest list (or at least an initial approximation) and use it to select your engagement party attendees. Of course, make sure the venue has room for everyone.

Plan the Menu: With your guest list in hand, it’s time to choose the menu for your engagement party. The menu can be based on the number of guests, the time of day, or your personal preferences. Some couples offer cocktails and appetizers only, while others prefer a full-course meal. Keep in mind that you don’t want to upstage your wedding reception. The primary aim of an engagement party is to provide a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere to allow the people you and your partner care about to meet and get acquainted.

Whether serving only hors d’oeuvres or a full meal, make sure to have enough to satisfy everyone. This is especially important if you plan to include alcohol. Also carefully consider the diversity of your menu and the dietary needs of your guests. Whether for personal, health, or religious reasons, you want to ensure that all of your guests can dine with ease.

Decorate: To help personalize this special gathering, you might decorate the tables with something that you and your partner like, such as lovely floral arrangements, personalized candies (e.g. M&M’s with your initials or even photos), a tasteful runner, etc. And, of course, candles add beauty and romance to any table. If the venue you’ve selected is already gorgeous, you may just want to keep your embellishments to a minimum and enjoy the location’s existing ambiance.

Plan Some Entertainment: Since many of the guests at your engagement party will be meeting for the first time, it helps to plan some games to break the ice. There are a number of fun activities with engagement themes. Here are a few clever ones:

  • Play the engagement version of the old TV show, The Newlywed Game, by having the couple stand back-to-back and asking them the same questions. How closely will their answers match?
  • Gather up some photos of you and your fiancée and cut them in half so that either the bride- or groom-to-be is in each piece. Have guests pick one photo snippet and challenge them to find the guest who has the other half of that picture.
  • Hide a bunch of plastic wedding rings around the room. Whoever finds the most rings by the end to the party is the winner.

The great thing is that even if you don’t know how to plan an engagement party, going ahead with it will give you the confidence and experience to start preparing for a possibly larger and even more involved event — your wedding reception.

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Save the Date: Gingerbread House Soiree

Boston Christmas events are a heartwarming way of bringing in the season, and our Gingerbread House Soiree is hosted in that spirit. Come to the city’s charming historic district and spend time with loved ones in a warm, grand turn-of-the century mansion designed by architect Ogden Codman for a one-of-a-kind holiday event experience.

For over a century, this beautiful mansion and former luxury hotel on Beacon Street has been appreciated by countless visitors. Fittingly, Hampshire House is now one of Boston’s most popular special event destinations. And even though its purpose has changed throughout these many years, this elegant space has always been a place to gather and celebrate life’s special moments.

On Saturday, November 30, 2019 and Saturday, December 7, 2019 between 7:00pm and 11:00pm, the Hampshire House is hosting our fun adults-only Gingerbread House Soiree. Mark your calendars and get your event tickets now to ensure your spot at this limited attendance special event. All attendees must be 21 years old or older.

Here are only some of the delightful reasons to attend:

Discover Your Hidden Gingerbread Decorating Talents

Let your creative side run free as you get your very own gingerbread house to decorate from scratch. There are no decorating rules, and you and your companions can decorate however you please. If you do want some tips, Corporate Swiss Chef Markus Ripperger is going to be on-hand to give his professional decorating pointers. Either way, you’re bound to create a charming holiday centerpiece for your home.

We supply the gingerbread house, a candy buffet with plenty of sweet treat variety and lots of icing for creating those unique house accents. You also receive a souvenir apron to take home. Each time you display your decorated gingerbread house, you may find yourself remembering all the fun you had participating in this event.

Enjoy Adult Refreshments as You Decorate and Mingle

Decorate your gingerbread house as you relax and enjoy any of our seasonal cocktails. This event has a two-drink maximum and our cocktail selection includes our special Hampshire House Mulled Wine, a blend of red wine and warm spices garnished with orange. Or perhaps you’ll enjoy Spiked Hot Cocoa made with hot cocoa, butterscotch schnapps, Malibu rum, and whipped cream. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

Delicious treats for you to snack on during your house decorating task are provided by our butler-passed hors d’oeuvres. These tasty bites feature fine dining combinations that tantalize your taste buds.

Live Music Entertainment

Tap your feet or hum along with the beat of the live musical entertainment. Music uplifts the spirit and live musicians help make the holiday atmosphere come alive with the sounds of the season.

Ideal for Date Night or Me Time

For couples, our Gingerbread House Soiree is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together doing a unique activity with a holiday theme. Make it a date night that you and your partner will always remember. Bring another couple along to share in the fun.

Family groups and friends are welcome to indulge in some much-deserved “me” time in a fun atmosphere among other adults. If you have never been to the Hampshire House, or if it’s been a while since your last visit, this festive evening is a great way to experience one of Boston’s most iconic event spaces.

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Office Holiday Party Planning Guide

Office holiday parties do more than give employees a place to unwind and have fun. They create bonds by providing an off-hours chance for everyone to get to know each other better. They act as a thank you for all the hard work everyone’s been doing all year. And, perhaps most important of all, an office holiday party serves as celebration of your business and everyone who is a part of it. With so many benefits depending on your company party, it’s important to do it properly. These tips from Hampshire House will show you how.

Decide the Party Type

Knowing the type of party you want to have is crucial to the planning process. This involves envisioning what you want the celebration to look like as well as establishing its goal. Is the party for employees only, or does it include spouses or other guests? How formal do you want the party to be?

Once you’ve established the type of party you want to have, you can move forward with:

  • The guest list and dress code
  • Setting the date and time
  • Dedicating a budget
  • Choosing a theme
  • An event planning checklist

The event planning checklist outlines all the tasks that need to be done prior to the party, as well as a deadline for each.

Choose Your Venue

Holding your office party in your office may leave you lacking adequate space, accommodations, and ambiance. Instead, create a truly memorable celebration and experience with a venue well-known for its remarkable ambiance and offerings.

Hampshire House is one of those venues. From its warm and elegant atmosphere to its charming location in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill, Hampshire House provides the ideal space for private events of distinction. Ensure your office party is one of them. With exclusive venues in high demand during the holidays, try to book your venue as early as possible.

Tend to Other Details

Additional details that need to be ironed out include:

  • Food: Your choice of food plays a role in the ambiance and overall success of the party.
  • Drinks and bar option: Decide on the types of drinks and whether or not you want bartender service.
  • Chair and table rental if needed: Consider upgrading your chairs and linens to a holiday theme.
  • Entertainment and equipment: This category covers things like musicians or a DJ, as well as AV equipment.
  • Speakers and hosts: Having hosts greet guests adds a classy touch and helps people feel more comfortable from the onset. Speakers can provide year-end information or award presentations that are relevant to your party type and theme.

Once all details have been covered, your next steps include sending out invitations and then tackling each task on your event planning checklist. While you can certainly tackle any of the additional details individually, you can also take care of many of them by choosing a venue that takes care of many of the accommodations.

Hampshire House is a prime example, as it comes fully outfitted with seating and table options as well as exceptional dining, party food, and drink options. The space can also be decorated and laid out in such a way to set the mood, tone, and theme of your party. For more information or to secure a reservation, contact us today.

 

 

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Fall Wedding Trends

Fall tends to arrive with excitement in the air, and that excitement can become even more pronounced when you’re planning a fall wedding. Striking colors, natural beauty, and an almost magical anticipation are all associated with the season. Those same elements are present in the array of fall wedding trends. As the premier wedding venue in Boston, Hampshire House is always up to date with the most fashionable ways to celebrate.

Fall Wedding Colors

Delectably deep and comforting colors are always in vogue for fall. Dark plums and beckoning burgundy set the stage for a warm and regal vibe, with pastel and neutral accents adding complementary hues.

The lighter colors are often veiled with a frosty overlay, producing icy blues, misty blushes, and ivory instead of the traditional white. Such combinations create a Victorian feel, and the darker colors are indicative of the changing season while the misty pastels add a touch of romance.

Fall Wedding Flowers

Rich tones again take center stage with deep reds, ivory, and greens mingled for magnificent effects. Bouquets appear fresh-picked and artfully wild-grown with wine-colored petals, thick foliage, and delicately dangling vines. Swap out traditional tabletop floral arrangements with verdant, leafy displays. Try eucalyptus, succulents, or bay leaf branches. Add a pop of color with exotic berry sprays.

Fall Wedding Flavors

Incorporating seasonal flavors into your fall wedding is a must. Apple and pumpkin desserts work well, as do seasonal dishes highlighting the best the local market has to offer. Fresh, local ingredients create the most flavorful dishes, while classic fall comfort foods can be presented with a modern, upscale twist. Opt for a chef that can provide a customized menu that truly showcases the taste of the season, such as Hampshire House Executive Chef Markus Ripperger.

Fall Wedding Cakes

Blooms, berries and greenery again make an appearance on fall wedding cakes. The natural elements are taking the place of sugar roses and elaborate fondant designs, providing a cleaner look. Fall wedding cakes are also typically smaller than the grand, multi-tiered cakes. The wedding cake is still an integral part of the dessert menu, yet other items are likewise being offered. This is the perfect place to include apple and pumpkin pie.

Fall Wedding Reception Décor

The cooler season calls for décor that provide a warm embrace. The trend has also been building up the space between the tabletops and the ceiling. This can be done with natural elements, such as tall, leafy branches, or with tall candles and candelabras. These lighting elements provide visual appeal as well as a soft, magical glow for the festivities.

One more element to consider for your fall wedding is the venue, which needs to be as special and distinctive as you are. The premier wedding venue of Hampshire House has long been the choice for the most elegant affairs. Located in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill, Hampshire House is an intimate Bostonian mansion that is just the place to create a truly memorable experience. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment today.

 

 

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Events to do in Boston in the Fall – Hampshire House

Crisp weather, breathtaking colors, and cozy sweaters are all part of Boston in the fall. So are a multitude of events that allow you to absorb all the autumnal beauty our historic city has to offer. As longtime Boston lovers and residents, we here at Hampshire House selected several of our favorite seasonal activities to share.

Boston Fall Foliage Tours

Boston’s fall foliage is amazing, and you have several ways to enjoy it. One option is a guided tour exploring New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It’s a driving tour down the top 34 miles in the county for viewing the changing leaf colors. Learn more.

Additional fall foliage tours are offered annually, providing an array of options for experiencing the season in a way that suits you best. If you prefer heading out on your own or with a few friends to absorb the beauty, you can certainly do that too.

Three of the best areas to experience fall foliage in Boston include:

  • The Public Garden, in the heart of Boston Proper
  • Boston Common, a historic 44-acre plot that serves as a city center of activity
  • The Esplanade, a long, narrow park abutting the Charles River, stretching from Beacon Hill to Back Bay and beyond

Boston Arts Festival

The city’s natural beauty is supplemented by artistic beauty during the annual Boston Arts Festival. Taking place over a two-day period in September every year, the event is an extravaganza of visual and performing arts at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park on Boston Harbor.

Run by the same people behind Artists Crossing Gallery and the Beacon Hill Art Walk, the Arts Festival also kicks off Boston’s Art Open Studios season. The festival features performances from local musicians and dozens of craftspeople and visual artists showcasing and selling their vast variety of work.

Boston Fall Cruises

Local cruises provide a different perspective of Boston, and many of them run well into the fall season. The Boston Whale Watching Cruise provides a three-hour experience that gives you a ship deck view of humpback whales, finback whales, and dolphins.

Enjoy a luxurious evening with the Boston Harbor Champagne Sunset Sail. The tour departs from Rowes Wharf and offers a stunning view of several waterfront landmarks at sundown.

Additional fall boat tours and cruises range from daytime sailing cruises to a ride in a historic yacht. Once again, the vast variety of options allows you to enjoy the season in a manner that suits you best.

Create Your Own Fall Event

If you’d prefer to experience an event that’s even more personalized, you’re always welcome to create your own. Perhaps you want to celebrate the change of season with an intimate, friendly gathering. Or you’d like to invite coworkers and friends to a larger gathering featuring an exquisite seasonal menu and drinks.

Whatever option you choose, it will be a memorable one if you hold it at Hampshire House, the premier venue for distinctive private events and corporate celebrations. Learn more or book your reservations by contacting us today.

 

 

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Celebrating 50 Years at the Hampshire House Giveaway 

 At the Hampshire House we are surrounded by a lot of Boston’s history, from the walls within our building to the views of Boston Public Garden out our windows. This year we celebrate a very special part of our history on June 10:

We are celebrating 50 years of Thomas Kershaw’s ownership of the Hampshire House!

Throughout our half century of operation, the Hampshire House has become a beloved mainstay for Bostonian celebrations by hosting thousands of weddings, rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, corporate events, and personal celebrations. We are also the home to the beloved Bull + Finch Pub/Cheers restaurant, which has been operating on the ground floor since December 1969. Additionally, we have added a number of other cherished restaurants to the Hampshire House Corporation including 75 on Chestnut, a bistro at the flat of Beacon Hill; a Cheers at Faneuil Hall Marketplace; and 75 on Liberty Wharf.

“When you start a business when you are 30 years old and live to be 80, 50 years in the same business is a big deal,” said Tom. “I purchased the property in 1969 with the idea to keep the mansion’s original grandeur while accommodating Bostonians and tourists for special events that they would never forget. As we look back, I know that we have achieved that goal. Not only is the Hampshire House a key part of our guests’ most treasured memories, but the mansion is now a beloved establishment in Boston.”

To celebrate all of the memories hosted at the Hampshire House, from the blizzard of 1978 to last weekend’s wedding, we are hosting a social media contest for a chance to win two complimentary tickets to the private 50th anniversary celebration on Monday, June 10 at the Hampshire House.

In order to enter for a chance to win a ticket for you and a guest, you must:

  • Follow @HampshireHouse on Instagram or @HampshireHse on Facebook
  • Share a post of your favorite memory at the Hampshire House using the hashtags #HampshireHouse50 and #OurHouseYourStory

Each Friday between now and Monday, June 10, we will choose one winner per week, who will be notified via direct message. To be considered, you must be 21+ years old.

We are excited to celebrate this anniversary with you on social media and cannot wait to see what personal memories you share with us!

Hampshire House

Cheers Beacon Hill

Cheers Faneuil Hall Marketplace

75 Chestnut

75 on Liberty Wharf

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2019 Mother’s Day Brunch — Hampshire House Boston

Treat Mom to the Best Mother’s Day Brunch in Boston at the Hampshire House

Join Hampshire House on Sunday, May 12 beginning at 11am for a traditional Mother’s Day brunch. The ticketed price of this three-course brunch is $70 per person excluding taxes, gratuity, or beverages.

What better way to spoil mom than with a perfectly curated brunch done the Hampshire House way? Our menu is filled with the most delectable regional and seasonal dishes to delight mom. This year, our offerings include elevated favorites, original new creations, and plenty of classics, ensuring that there’s a dish for every preference and palate imaginable. Explore the complete Mother’s Day menu to see exactly what we’ll be whipping up for moms this year or peruse our sneak peek below.

What’s on the Menu: Mother’s Day 2019

This year’s three-course, plated brunch menu includes your choice of a starter, main dish, and decadent desert, all of which have been paired to create a flavor experience like no other. Here are some examples of what you can expect at this noteworthy brunch event:

  • First Up — Whether you start with our famous lobster bisque, clam chowder, or a fresh salad, this year’s starters will set the stage for a delectable menu and hint at what’s to come. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and seafood make up the bulk of this course.
  • Next Up — For the main course, choose between indulgent classics like grilled beef tenderloin medallions or stuffed French toast, or opt for something on the lighter side. Favorites include our New England lobster omelet and smoked salmon benedict.
  • Finally — Top off this noteworthy brunch experience with the Hampshire House Chocolate Trilogy featuring Swiss chocolate maple soup, a chocolate mousse tartlet, and bitter sweet chocolate crème brûlée. It’s sweet enough for even the sweetest moms!
  • Complete the Meal — Complement this memorable brunch with one of our carefully crafted Bloody Marys, mimosas, or glasses of wine (not included), and offer a toast to mom.

Enjoying a Classic Boston Mother’s Day

Set in the heart of Boston, Hampshire House is a grand, turn-of-the-century Georgian revival mansion offering sweeping views of Boston Public Garden coupled with lavish interior décor that’ll truly make mom feel like royalty. After brunch, head across the street for a stroll through some of Boston’s finest public lands. Take in the bursting display of tulips and roses at Boston Public Garden or enjoy a meandering afternoon through the enchanting, cobblestone streets of one of Boston’s most charming neighborhoods, Beacon Hill.

Please note that the ticketed price of $70 per person doesn’t include taxes, gratuity, or beverages. Validated parking is available in the Boston Common Garage for easy access to Hampshire House and all its surrounding sights. To make a reservation, click the link here. We look forward to helping you make Mother’s Day a truly memorable occasion and hope to be a part of your special annual tradition.

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2019 Wedding Trends – Hampshire House Boston

Wedding design and décor is as unique as the couple being joined together. Some may prefer a more traditional setting, while for others, it’s a chance to express themselves and share their personalities with beloved family and friends. However, year after year, from floral arrangements to wedding décor to fashion, certain design ideas will become so popular that it becomes a trend. If you’d like to see what’s sparking the imaginations of brides and grooms in 2019, read on for trendy wedding tips!

Darker and Moodier

Some couples are moving away from the traditional romantic soft pastels in favor of darker, edgier colors. This includes dark accents, such as black candlesticks, which add dramatic flair to a table setting.

Classic Elegance

Then there are those who are traditionalists at heart. Another popular trend harkens back to the classic sophistication of a fully embellished ballroom wedding, with elegant table settings complete with silver candlesticks and long tapers, crystal stemware, and monogrammed napkins made of linen.

Wedding Cakes that Make a Fashion Statement

These days, it isn’t just the bride stepping out in grand fashion — it’s the cake as well. While dessert displays were all the rage last year, in 2019, there’s a step back to having the traditional wedding cake as the main focal point. Big, bold and eye-catching cakes with a lot of color are now coming back in vogue.

Cherished Floral Memories

Rather than just choosing seasonal floral arrangements or traditional wedding flowers like roses, calla lilies and tulips, brides planning a personalized wedding are opting for flowers that have special significance, such as favorite blooms from their childhood or family garden.

Vellum Paper Invitations

Vellum is a translucent paper that can be used as an overlay on wedding invitations and envelopes, or with calligraphy for wedding place cards. Event designers predict that other unusual materials will be used for weddings, such as leathers, suedes and acrylics.

Build Your Own Welcome Bag

Rather than offering the usual gift bags at the hotel check-in desk, some couples are choosing to include a gift bag station at a special welcome party, where guests can design their own collection of goodies, based on personal preference.

Personalized Place Settings

For a smaller wedding, consider personalized place settings for each guest. Even just handwritten notes instead of standard place cards add an unexpected personal touch that say how special each guest is to the couple.

Simple and Refined

Classic and simple, with refined elegance, will be the theme of choice for many weddings in 2019. Depending upon the couple’s sensibilities, some prefer a more minimal décor and an airier feel. This may be expressed with white plates and linens, simple glassware, pink hues and other pastels, and simpler floral centerpieces.

The Sophistication of Velvet

Velvet is always sumptuous, adding an air of refinement and luxury to the décor. One may think only of heavy dark velvets for autumn and winter use, but lighter materials and colors can be just as appropriate for the warmer months.

Lucite Elements for a Contemporary Design

Sleek Lucite vessels can be found for candle holders, name cards, flatware, table numbers, and chargers (presentation plates). It’s a clean, streamlined look that’s extremely modern and sophisticated.

Foliage and Greenery with a Touch of Glamor

When you bring elements of nature such as fresh seasonal greenery and foliage to your table design, along with contemporary metallic touches, it creates an atmosphere that is both formal and homey. Another popular trend is to use loose rather than structured floral arrangements for your table décor.

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