Preferred Entertainment Vendors with the Hampshire House

Planning a wedding can at times be overwhelming. That’s why at Hampshire House, we provide a list of our preferred vendors for everything from wedding invitations and floral arrangements to photographers, videographers and entertainers. What these vendors have in common is their professional excellence and the extremely high quality of their services. Following are some of our entertainment recommendations to make your special day even more wonderful.

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Anders Vercelli of Anders Jazz is an exceptional jazz pianist who performs solo or with his own jazz trio. Do you have specific jazz standards in mind that you would like performed at your wedding? Anders is a wonderful choice. You can listen to samples of his playing on his website.

Bo and Bill Winiker Bands – Winiker Music offers a wide range of musicians for your wedding, whether you’d like a solo pianist or a big party band. Their musical styles range from Sinatra, Motown and the Beatles to R&B classic, hip-hop and much more. Challenge their knowledge — they have a repertoire of more than 15,000 songs! View samples of their wedding performances and read testimonials.

For bands, DJs and ceremony or cocktail hour musicians in addition to photo booths, lighting and other services, visit Entertainment Specialists. They offer various bands with different styles of music.

Groove Events is a full-service entertainment production company, with DJs, live bands, lighting, photograph and video services. Musical styles include jazz trios and flamenco guitar.

If a classical ensemble is more your style, consider Riverview Chamber Players. They’ve been providing exquisite music for weddings for more than 20 years. They can perform before, during and after the ceremony as well as during the reception.

For a complete list of our suggested entertainers and for contact information, please see the Hampshire House List of Preferred Vendors. Hampshire House is the premiere destination for weddings of distinction.

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5 Creative Guest Book Ideas

Your guest book is more than just a way to keep track of everyone who has attended your wedding. Instead, approach your guest book as an opportunity to add a personal touch to your big day. Start by brainstorming the things you have in common as a couple whether it’s a hobby, a shared interest, an activity you love to do together or something else entirely.

Put your own twist on it to make your idea truly unique. And remember, your guest book most certainly does not have to be a book. Time to think outside the book.

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Photo by Needle & Awl

To get your creative juices flowing, here are five ideas on how to get creative with your guest book.

  • Maps or postcards – Love to travel together? Inviting guests from far reaches? Either way, have guests trip suggestions or marriage advice.
  • Scrapbook – Keep stamps, pens, stickers, and a Polaroid camera handy to give guests the freedom to personalize it.
  • Picnic table, swing or Adirondack chair – This creative idea is the marriage of rustic and practical.
  • Written in stone – Ask guests to write down advice, pieces of wisdom or whatever message they like to keep your marriage “off the rocks.”
  • Skis and skateboards – Have guests sign a vintage pair of skis or custom skateboard to reflect what you love to do together.

No matter what you choose to do for your guest book, have fun with it! Infuse your choice with personal touches and it will be the perfect option.

adirondack chair photo
Photo by Vito Fun
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Something Blue – Elegant Ways to Incorporate the Classic Tradition

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. It’s a classic tradition without seeming traditional, which may be why many ladies are embracing it—more traditional brides and unconventional brides alike.

The first three are usually pretty manageable. But what about your something blue? And how do you personalize it?

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Here are three elegant ways to hold to the tradition:

Part of Your Wedding Dress

When you want to keep your blue close to your heart, incorporate it into something you’ll be wearing on the big day:

  • Sew a small patch into the lining of your dress, maybe a bit of dad’s denim or your groom’s favorite shirt.
  • Sew your wedding date into the inside of your dress in blue thread.
  • Add a bit of blue ribbon or lace to your veil for a bit of accent.
  • Request blue ribbons for the bustle of your dress.

Accessorize All You Like

Accessories are a girl’s best friend and are what make your wedding look truly your own, so add your own flair:

  • Choose blue jewelry, whether it’s earrings, bracelets or a necklace.
  • Add touches of blue to your hair with headbands, hair combs or simply flowers.
  • Create a safety pin with meaningful charms and, of course, something blue.
  • The shoes. Get creative by requesting blue soles, have your bridesmaids write you notes on the soles in blue or tie a little blue ribbon around the heel for a cute touch.

 Blue Touches in the Décor

Truly love blue? Choose the hue for your theme and add pops to your wedding:

  • Send out invitations in blue or with blue details to give you guests a taste of what’s to come.
  • Add blue flowers to your bouquet, or wrap blue ribbon around the base to keep it all together.
  • Find blue glass bottles or other ways to incorporate it into your centerpieces.

How will you incorporate this tradition in your wedding?

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What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

Summer is wedding season! And we know that sometimes it’s hard to feel hot when you feel, well, hot. Here are some trends we’re embracing to keep cool at any wedding.

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Photo by Bess Georgette

Flowy & Bohemian

Bring out your inner flower child with this trend. It keeps you cool and is perfect for a little extra flair on the dance floor.

Overlays

The one thing hotter than sitting in the sun waiting for the bride is the overlay trend. In crochet, knit or lace, there is a sheer hem panel that goes beyond the lining.

Floral Prints

Opt for a subtle print or go bold with this blossoming trend. It adds a certain freshness and vitality to your wedding look.

T-Length

Under the knee and mid-calf length skirts and dresses are breaking away from their old-fashioned reputation. This length is particularly trending with the overlay style, a winning combination.

Off the Shoulder

This ‘70s style is making a big comeback. Choose fun and summery for daytime ceremonies or graceful and flirty for evening weddings.

Dramatic Cuts

We’re all about the drama this summer whether it’s a deep neckline, a bare back, or a high slit. Words of style caution, however: choose one, not all, to save yourself from being too flashy.

Why choose just one summer trend? Take a few fashion risks by mixing and matching a few of these wedding style ideas.

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Photo Credit: Maureen Cotton Photography
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5 Fun and Creative Bridal Shower Games

Planning a bridal shower at Hampshire House? You’re likely looking for fun games that will keep your guests entertained for hours! Here are just a few creative ideas that are anything but basic.

bridal shower games photo
Photo by balleyne
  • Guess the number. This is a classic game that people always love at bridal showers: simply fill a jar with small items like candies, marbles or soaps, and then have each guest write down how many items they think are in the jar.
  • Temporary tattoos. Order some custom temporary tattoos with a bridal shower theme, and then have one of your bridesmaids play “tattoo artist” at the shower. Options with flowers, metallic shapes or phrases like “Team Bride” are fun ideas.
  • Who Am I? Have each guest write down a special memory that she has with the bride. The bride will read each one aloud and try to guess who it is!
  • Put a Ring On It. Each guest gets a faux wedding ring to wear. While mingling, instruct everyone that they aren’t permitted to say the words “bride” or “wedding.” If one person does, the other person gets to steal her ring!
  • Wedding Vow Mad Libs. Have your guests help you to write your vows by creating your own Mad Libs-style game. Those who think they have the funniest vows can opt to read them aloud!

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5 Chic Updos to Keep you Cool at Summer Weddings

If you’re attending a summer wedding, you’re likely thinking about how you can stay cool while also looking chic. There’s nothing pleasant about sweating in your formal dress, so try out these stylish updos that will keep your hair off your face and your look perfectly intact.

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Photo by bark
  • The chignon. The chignon is a classic look that’s also easy to style, so even the most amateur home hairstylist can do it herself.
  • Boho braids. Braids are very popular this year, so if you’re looking for an updo that’s also totally on trend, this is the look to choose. Try Heidi braids that wrap around your head, or go for a simple, loose French braid with some wispy pieces around the face.
  • A top knot. The top knot isn’t just your go-to hairstyle for lazy nights in — it’s also a chic look for formal occasions! Slick your hair back with some gel to give it a more polished look.
  • A low ponytail. Draw a sharp part down the middle or the side of your hair, and then secure it at the nape of your neck with a matching elastic. If you want, you can even wrap a few strands of hair around the elastic to keep it hidden.
  • A loose, messy bun. If you prefer a style that’s a bit less rigid, curl your hair all over and gather it in a messy bun at the top of your head.
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The Power of Flowers

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The flowers are one of the most important parts of your wedding, and they’re always very special to both the bride and groom and the happy couple’s guests. Once the wedding is through, however, there is simply no way to save each and every bouquet, corsage and centerpiece, and many couples are left wondering what to do with all of those beloved flowers.

One increasingly popular option is to donate your wedding flowers to a worthy cause. After you give a commemorative bouquet to wedding guests who request one, you can gather the remaining flowers and have them delivered to a hospice, a hospital or even a retirement home to bring some joy to someone else’s day. Here are a few great tips for recycling your wedding’s flowers — and helping them play double-duty in spreading happiness to people all over the city.

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Photo Credit: Power of Flowers
  • Speak with Power of Flowers. Power of Flowers is a Boston-based non-profit organization that takes your used wedding flowers and delivers them to worthy causes in the area. By working with Power of Flowers, you won’t have to worry about a thing once your wedding is through; their kind-hearted staff will take care of everything.
  • Choose your own worthy cause. If no non-profit exists near you (or if you simply prefer to choose the recipient yourself), you can also do a web search to find nearby hospices or nursing homes.
  • Work with your florist. Since your florist is in charge of delivering the flowers and setting them up on the big day, he or she will likely also deliver them to the donation destination of your choice. Just make sure to discuss your plans with the florist ahead of time so that everything goes smoothly during cleanup.
  • Check into tax deductions. While you likely only want to make sure that your flowers brighten the day of someone in need, you may also be entitled to a tax deduction for your kindness. Check with Power of Flowers to see if they provide tax deductible receipts for the market value of your flowers.

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Around the City Feature: Boston Common

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Hampshire House is proud to be located in a city as historic and vibrant as Boston, and we encourage our guests to get to know the city and take full advantage of all that it has to offer. One particular area of interest is the nearby Boston Common, which many know as America’s oldest park.

Boston Common dates back more than 350 years, all the way to Colonial times during our country’s shaky beginnings. During the 1700s it was a place for the Colonial militia to group themselves for the Revolution, and it was also the place where the British army created an encampment for more than eight years. George Washington and John Adams celebrated America’s independence at Boston Common once the war was through, and in the 1860s, anti-slavery meetings were held on the park’s historic grounds.

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Photo by Vignesh Ananth

The park didn’t really become a park until 1913, when Frederick Law Olmsted’s sons created paved walkways, spread lush soil and planted green trees. Later in the 20th century, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave speeches in Boston Commons, and many civil rights rallies were held on the grounds. Pope John Paul II even celebrated a mass in the park in 1979.

Today, Boston Common is one of the most popular and scenic parks in all of Boston. Visitors spend their time strolling through the well-maintained walking paths, admiring the fountains and brushing up on the park’s history through its beautiful statues. For more athletic visitors, there are also a number of ball fields, playgrounds and even the beloved Frog Pond, which freezes over in the winter for skating.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, you’ll be happy to know that the Friends of the Public Garden have created a brochure detailing Boston Commons’ storied history. On your next free afternoon or before a visit to Hampshire House, be sure to visit this historic park and immerse yourself in a truly fascinating piece of Boston’s past.

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New England Council Events at Hampshire House

On Thursday, August 18, Hampshire House will host a Congressional Roundtable with Rep. Steny Hoyer. The House Democratic Whip is currently serving his 18th term representing the state of Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, and this event will give people the chance to get to know Hoyer and what he stands for.

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Rep. Steny Hoyer is the second-ranking member of the House Democratic Leadership, and he acts as a liaison between the members and the Democratic leadership. He coordinates strategy within the Caucus, and he is in charge of mobilizing the party vote.

The Hampshire House has hosted many events with the New England Council in the past including an event for Representative Niki Tsongas who represents the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts last March which went very well.

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The Congressional Roundtable with Rep. Steny Hoyer will begin at 8:30 a.m. on August 18, and it will end at 10 a.m. To RSVP, visit the New England Council’s website.

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Unique Hair Trends for the Modern Brides

Instead of the usual tight up-do or a long, wavy style, many modern brides are searching for hair trends that are a bit more unique. If you want your hair to make more of a statement on your big day, you might want to try out one of these fun hairstyles.

  • Boho braids. If you’re planning a bohemian wedding, braided hairstyles are a must-have. Try one with long, loose waves and braids at the crown, or go for two Heidi braids that wrap all the way around your head.
boho braids photo
Photo by srivard72
  • A chic topknot. Who says that the topknot is only for casual days? With a fresh face of makeup and some sleek, shiny product, your favorite off-duty hairstyle can play double duty on your wedding day.
  • Beachy waves. While perfectly coiffed waves may feel a bit too stuffy for many modern brides, tousled, beachy waves strike the perfect balance between soft and romantic. Achieve this look with curling irons in a few different sizes, some salt spray and a good shake of the hair with your fingers.
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Photo by Bellafaye Garden
  • A fascinator. For modern brides who love vintage vibes, adding a fascinator-style hat is a great way to take your wedding look from pretty to fabulous. Add a dramatic fascinator over a sleek chignon, or even wear one to balance out a long hairstyle.
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