8 Tips for Planning the Perfect Engagement Shoot

8 Tips for Planning the Perfect Engagement Shoot

There are literally so many directions you go when planning an engagement shoot that’s perfect for you and the love of your life. In fact, just the thought of all the themes, locations, styles, and outfits you can choose from kinda of makes our heads spin. So, when the option are limitless, how do you go about putting together an engagement shoot that you’ll love for years to come and that’ll really show off your story and your style as a couple? We won’t say the process is easy, but with these 7 planning tips up your sleeve, we’d definitely say the road from “yes!” to e-shoot can be a whole lot less bumpy. What’re you waiting for? Scroll down for our favorite tried and true methods for styling the engagement shoot of your wildest dreams!

Photo By Candace Jeffrey Photography


1. Choose A Photographer You Love: You can style everything about your engagement shoot just perfectly, but if you don’t hire the right photographer, then you’re in a for a whole world of trouble (e.g., photos can look awkward, you might feel comfortable during the shoot, you might not like the shooting style). Therefore, it’s essential to pick a photographer who you really adore on many levels, including price, shooting style, and personality, so you can feel comfortable in front of the camera and have piece of mind that you entrusted someone who shared your vision with this monumental task. A few great way to get started searching for a photographer who sends you head over heels is to ask for recommendations from friends and family members, browse blogs of local photographers, and most important, sit down face-to-face with your favorite photographers to go over everything before making a commitment to hire one who suits you best. Being comfortable with the person behind the camera is key to achieving beautiful, natural-looking photos!


Albert Palmer Photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2. Select A Location That’s Special: Many couples really worry about what location(s) to choose for their engagement shoot and often turn to their photographer for help. But, as most photographers will tell you, picking out a location that’s special to you as a couple, that really captures your imagination, or that makes you feel at home is essential. Nothing else matters — it doesn’t matter if your backdrop is touristy, out of the norm, or even totally out of left field as long as it is special to you as a couple in some way. When you begin racking your brain for backdrop ideas, sit down together and make a list of places that you love around town, places that are significant to your relationship, and places that you’ve always wanted to visit. Then, go out and explore the town, revisit your old favorites, check out new places you’ve never seen before, walk down random alleys, etc. This is a fabulous way to discover uncharted territory and scout out a few places that really make your hearts go pitter-patter.

3. Create A Must-Have Photo List: Let’s make this clear now: Your photographer (even the best of the best) cannot read your mind. Therefore, it’s really essential to create a must-have shot list of your photographer before the big day of the engagement shoot begins. This will ensure that your photographer snags all the photos you really have your heart set on and will also clue him/her about the style you are really looking for in your photos. Clearly, this is a win-win situation and can help guarantee that you love, love, LOVE your engagement photos now and forever.

4. Put Together A Mood Board: If you really have no idea where to start, then putting together a mood board on Pinterest is an excellent way browse ideas and pull together engagement shoot themes or tones that really tickle your fancy. After a week of exploring and pinning, do an overview of your board. You might be surprised how easy it is to discover what you are really drawn to, whether it be a fun theme, vintage styling, or colorful outfit choices! Once you finally do decide on the look you’re going for, put together a whole new pin board that focuses on pulling together creative inspiration that goes right along with your approach. Oh, and don’t forget to share this board with your photographer… not only will it help give him/her direction, but it’s a great opportunity for him/her to suggest ideas you many no have considered.

5. Browse Lots Of Photography Blogs: Early on in your planning, be sure to browse lots of photography blogs! This will help you uncover great ideas, styles you love, and looks you’d like to channel in your very own engagement shoot.

6. Incorporate Individualized Props (If You’re Into That): Although they aren’t right of everyone, props are a really, really amazing way to add a little spunk to your engagement photos, show off a bit of your personality as a couple, bring in a theme and/or tell a story. If you do end up bringing in some props of your shoot, just make sure that they really reflect something special about the two of your and that they are used in moderation. Otherwise, the use of props can feel a bit forced and cheesy. Your photographer is a great person to consult for recommendations for prop rental companies and ideas that will really enhance your photos, too!


Shutterbug via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

7. Wear Outfits That Feel Right: In addition to location choices, outfit selections are definitely one of the most complicated parts of planning a perfect engagement shoot. Just like with the location, there are tons of options and directions you can take in terms of your clothing picks, so it becomes really difficult to narrow down your outfits to just a few selections. However, it can be done! Our best advice is to choose outfits you feel really comfortable in and that really make you feel your best — from there, themes and colors, etc. are just extra icing on the cake. But, a few tips to keep in mind: 1). Don’t overmatch with your fiancee. 2). Choose outfits that range in terms of formality (maybe start with casual looks and end with more formal attire). 3). If going with a theme, don’t be afraid to rock something out of the box! 4). Consider your environment (you’ll freeze in a sundress in the middle of winter and the backdrop/outfit selection will look really odd paired together).

8. Have Fun!: Finally, the biggest secret of having scoring engagement photos you love is to have fun! That means enjoying planning, embrace funky ideas, and just being yourself and really reveling in the love you share with your fiancee all the way from step one to the day of the shoot. When you’re having a great time — it’s pretty impossible to not love the photographs that result!


Gabriel Li via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Need some extra help putting together an engagement shoot style that’s right for you? Contact us and we’ll help you put together an engagement session plan that’s just perfect for you!

~Blog contributed by Audra Jones

The Competitive Side Of Wedding Planning

The Competitive Side Of Wedding Planning

Have you ever been at any “mingling” function, a BBQ cookout, or say, a company party? You know what I mean, those moments when you may not know a soul, and you’re standing there with a drink in hand, eating a pepper-dipped-in-something in the other, and the question comes flying from a passer-by: “so what do you do?”…I always hated this question, because how am I supposed to answer this? I’m self-employed, I work for myself, and I do a lot of things. I care for my two young kids each and every day, I go to Target at least once or twice a week, I’m into Yoga, I read, I bake (I don’t like to cook, so this is as close as it gets), and love crafting. They’re not asking me who I am, they’re asking me what brings me income (right?). So then I guess that response would be “I’m a Mom who runs a business”. I might as well say I juggle while driving.

So it got me thinking…Why do we walk around asking “what do you do?”, anyways? Are they truly interested in you, or is it that sometimes we don’t know what else to say? Or perhaps, they’re trying to gauge our worth in society. Why we feel compelled to pigeonhole people based on one’s occupation is beyond me. Sometimes, this happens with weddings, too.

No one wants to feel like their wedding is a contest, but sometimes we see a variation of this when we work with setting our clients’ budget—it brings out that competitive game of “bridal wars”. All of a sudden you’re mentioning what your sister’s best friend’s maid of honor had at her wedding, or your boss’ daughter who wore couture and had their ceremony blessed by the pope himself.

Let me be honest straight from the horse’s mouth: whether our couples share that they have $15,000 or $150,000 to spend on their wedding, they still don’t feel like it’s enough. They’re often left thinking “if only I had a bit more, I could do ‘X’”. This just becomes a vicious cycle where every decision you just made to feel secure in your wedding planning, can lead to second guessing yourself because of what someone else may or may not have had. And the world of Pinterest, can also lead to these feelings of self-doubt.

So despite the competitiveness and unsolicited advice from others that wedding planning brings, keep in mind you’re not having a wedding just for the sake of making a statement, you’re making a start of your marriage. Ultimately, it’s up to the both of you.

Wedding Planng Advice

Oh, and the next time someone asks me “what do you do?”, I’ll be sure to answer “I live my life”.

Feeling lost in the vast sea of wedding planning, or has the wedding planning starting to feel like a competition? We can help you establish views from a third party perspective, thus avoiding the drama. We’d love to connect!

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Down The Aisle Featured Wedding: Rustic Charm at Brotherhood Winery

Down The Aisle Featured Wedding: Rustic Charm at Brotherhood Winery

A girl from Newtown, CT meets a boy from New Jersey at college in Pennsylvania. Down The Aisle Featured Wedding: Rustic Charm at Brotherhood Winery.

They met as undergraduates at Muhlenberg College when they were paired together as biochemistry lab partners. After years of dating, and with both pursing their medical degrees, Ari decided to propose to Caitlin over Thanksgiving 2013 when he surprised her at work and got down on one knee. As if they didn’t have enough on their plates, they set their wedding date for early June…a mere 4 days after they both graduated from medical school.

The Moment Of The Proposal

The Moment Of The Proposal


Engagement Photo

A Historic Venue: Rustic Charm

While searching for venues, Caitlin and Ari came upon the historic Brotherhood Winery in scenic Hudson Valley. Brotherhood is located in the quaint village of Washingtonville, NY, and is known as America’s oldest winery. Rich in both history and rustic charm, Brotherhood has become a desirable wedding venue with couples who are seeking a blend of elegance with simplicity. Featuring a 19th century stone building with towering ceilings, hand-crafted wooden floors, exposed wooden beams and ten foot round antique wrought iron chandeliers, these gorgeous details come together in a grand space in the Grand Monarque Hall.


Down The Aisle Ensures The Newlywed Couple Have A Quiet Moment Alone

A Picturesque Wedding

While Brotherhood’s beautiful details certainly provide a spectacular backdrop, another desirable aspect is the open space it offered our couple to truly customize their day. Their outdoor ceremony took place in front of a gorgeous stone archway featuring perfectly understated flower arrangements, while Down The Aisle placed rose petals on the backs of guests’ chairs for them to throw in celebration of the new couple.

Jess In Action Cones1_CR


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At the conclusion of the ceremony, and with the level of excitement at a high, our newly married couple and their family and friends immediately continued the celebration at the cocktail hour on Brotherhood’s expansive cobblestone patio, which was mere steps from the ceremony location.

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Guests then moved into the impressive Grand Monarque Hall for the reception. Caitlin and Ari’s 120 guests enjoyed a variety of delicious food, from flank steak to asparagus risotto, from the Hudson Valley’s own Bridge Creek Catering. Guests were also treated to champagne and an assortment of Brotherhood’s fine wines.

While managing the details of the day and keeping the Bride calm are second nature to a wedding coordinator, as an added gesture Down The Aisle’s day-of coordinators were able to whisk the newlywed couple off alone in their reception room—not an easy feat to achieve with the family and friends “paparazzi”—so that they could have a quiet moment alone (and actually eat something!).

B&G Quiet Moment_CR

Down The Aisle Ensures The Newlywed Couple Has A Quiet Moment Alone

Set Up Room Before

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Details & Wine Theme

We at Down The Aisle and their intern assisted with the set-up of the wine-related touches. Their details of their day featured a unique cork “LOVE” detail, their gorgeous cake atop a wine barrell with a playful cork bride and groom, and homemade Limoncello wine favors. One of the newlyweds’ favorite moment was a visit alone to the the wine cellar.

Intern at Reception

cards and gifts
Sign Corks

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Capturing The Day: The Bride’s Look

Capturing the bride’s look was through the very talented Jamie Levine Photography, and his assistant Subrina. Caitlin met Jamie during a trip to the famous Kleinfeld’s Bridal in NYC, where Caitlin found her stunnig Maggie Sotero gown. Many brides-to-be know Kleinfeld’s is famous not only for its gorgeous gowns, but it’s also where “Say Yes To The Dress” is filmed. Jamie is Kleinfeld’s official photographer and his impressive portfolio includes weddings, events and portraits of numerous celebrities including Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker.


Brotherhood Winery: A Day To Remember

We were so honored to be a part of Caitlin and Ari’s special day. Everyone from the bridal party, family and friends, and top-notch vendors were wonderful to work with and came together to make the day truly magical.

Worried about your month-of details? We’re here to help, reach out for a private consultation to find out more.









C&A Sunrise
C&A Chris-Jaime-Jessica

The Talent:
Month-Of Management: Down The Aisle
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Brotherhood Winery
Transportation: Majestic Transportation
Hair & Makeup: LaV Beauty
Officiant: Veronica Moya 


Expert Planning Advice: The Ultimate Guide To Selecting Your Wedding Palette

Expert Planning Advice: The Ultimate Guide To Selecting Your Wedding Palette

Rustic-chic. Gatsby glam. Ivory and Metallic’s. The journey toward the personal choice of Selecting Your Wedding Palette is full of unlimited potential.  While selecting hues seems simple, say far simpler than deciding your guest list, your choice of your color will evoke a feeling that will emotionally connect you to the energy of your day, and may not come as an easy decision.

While working with couples on their design and color scheme, we usually begin the process with asking about color in their everyday life: did they pick their car based on a certain color? Is there a particular room color in their home that they gravitate towards? A hue in their clothing that repeats itself? Knowing that one’s surroundings can inspire the senses, we’re able to pull from these day-to-day surroundings to interject into the design decor. Here is some other expert planning advice in getting you started in selecting your wedding palette:

Start Visually

No need to go crazy in search of fabric swatches endless Pinterest boards, really! Begin with a walk down the paint aisle at the local home improvement store, and reach for paint samples that speak to you. From there,  if you want to be really visual, you can usually have them mix-up an 8oz  paint sample or custom color you like, and try them out at home on a posterboard….or hit that fabric store with these colors in mind for another visual.


Think In Simplistic Terms

Simple does not necessarily mean “minimal” or “cheap-looking”. It’s a bit difficult to create a mood for a wedding with 3-4 different colors, metallic’s and full length mirrors everywhere and adding patterned-embroidered overlays on the tables—it will look scattered and overloaded. Always brainstorm first, giving yourselves the time to sit, discuss, and make a list of your wedding priorities. Are you imagining bright, visually-dominating colors? Mixed short and tall florals as your centerpiece? Or one particular flower you like? Then based on these visions, incorporate those hues and go from there. Is your space grand and visually-appealing on its own? Then instead, work your colors into your tablescape using plate chargers, chair covers and linens to allow the beauty of the room to captivate your mood.

Turn Your Wedding Into A Stylish Twist On The Traditional

Think out of the box when it comes to finding the right touch. It’s unexpected when you bring the indoors outside or when you bring the inside outside. For instance, we have couples who have selected their inside lounge seating areas with UV-protected “outside” cushions and pillows (Pier 1 comes to mind), or have used indoor furnishings, candelabras, or carpet, outside.


Did you have a hard time choosing your palette? Yes, choosing the wedding palette can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. We love taking on challenges, and the best way we know that is to have a client tell me “that’s impossible to do”. We’ll not only prove you wrong, our wedding design team will help in identifying and refining your wedding vision and color palette. Let’s connect!


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5 Questions The Right Wedding Caterer Must Ask YOU

5 Questions The Right Wedding Caterer Must Ask YOU

It’s been a fun week with here at Down The Aisle as we have been on the search with one of our clients for the perfect caterer for their wedding day. Who doesn’t love making decisions about menu options and trying decadent samples at a tasting? In going on these recent visits, it never ceases to amaze me how many options are in existence, and how much information is required in order to figure out a menu. Our couples seem to be going in the direction of a creative, artsy food presentation as well as offering cultural foods, locally-sourced fare, and mini-appetizer portions during the end of the reception.


When meeting with a caterer, some questions are obvious—such as will it be a plated entrée or cocktail style—but others are logistic in nature, and may not even cross your mind to consider, or bring up in conversation. What if you breeze through the question and answer session without your catering asking you some relevant and consequential questions? Below are 5 Questions The Right Wedding Caterer Must Ask YOU so you can peruse through your catering interview with confidence:

1)      What Time Will The Ceremony Start?

Why this should be asked: This helps to decide when the cocktail hour would begin, thus when the wedding reception would unfold, and how many hours total the caterers would require to be present. Some venues only allow access at a certain time and therefore the ceremony time may have to be pushed back/pushed forward.

2)      Where Will The Dancing Take Place?  

Why this should be asked: Knowing whether guests will be partying-it-up outdoors, on the patio, under a tent, in a separate room (ours was a separate alcove off the ballroom), dictates how much wait staff they need (especially to pass food) and what distance they’d need to serve from the kitchen in order to be sure it’s hot. This question also is important in knowing where the bar would need to be set up, as guests are usually expecting the bar to be within a short distance from the dancing.


3)      Will Guests Have Assigned Seating Or Open Seating?

Why this should be asked: This helps to decide how many and where to place the commonly used items such as glasses, flatware and napkins. Going the Open Seating plan while trending, is an arrangement that can jack-up the rental costs, as guests are constantly needing to take new items.

4)      What Style Of Wedding Are You Envisioning To Have?

Why this should be asked: Not only does having an idea if you’ll be going formal, laid-back and casual, or white tie help you in determining what menu to serve your guests but providing this detail to your caterer also helps them to determine the dress code for their staff to wear. At beach-y or backyard picnic style events, we’ve seen caterers wear polo shirts or suspenders with bowties, which won’t work at a formal event.




5)     Have You Already Placed An Order For Your Wedding Cake/Hired Your Pastry Chef?

Why this should be asked: Some wedding caterers go “full service”, meaning they provide the chairs, tables, linens, flatware, even lighting and the cake. Wait until you meet with your caterer—and have a tasting, cake too if it’s an option—before you hire your wedding cake baker, as costs are usually reduced when you order from your caterer.


Now your end – have you been asked these important questions? Wanna learn more ways to connect with your caterer or other vendors? Need help in finding the perfect wedding professional? Send us a response, we’ll give you a hand!

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Having A Tent Wedding? You’ll Want To Read This First

Having A Tent Wedding? You’ll Want To Read This First

We tend to think we—as professional wedding planning professionals—have many things under control when it comes to helping to plan one’s wedding. Well we definitely learned from our past weather debacles of Hurricane Irene, our freak northeast October nor’easter and Super Storm Sandy that you just can’t control or predict the weather. If there is anything that we guide our couples on when it comes to an outdoor ceremony or outdoor wedding reception, is to not only have a back-up plan, but to physically spend time planning out the details for it.

If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony/reception combo, or stand-alone-reception, one of the most crucial suggestion that we offer to our clients, is to have “tent insurance”—where you reserve a tent with a tent company by placing a non-refundable deposit, then a couple days prior (usually 2-3) to the wedding, if bad weather is predicted, you will proceed with installing the tent. If the forecast looks clear for your day, then you decline the tent, with only being “out” the deposit amount. Keep in mind, if the tent is erected but never used, you will still expect to pay the full amount.

In our experience, a Tent Wedding is exceptional and rather unique in that it really is a blank canvas when it comes to décor. Sometimes we experience certain venues who do not allow anything hanging from the walls or the ceiling, while in a tent, this is not an issue, even being able to customize flooring, lighting, ceilings, interiors, even the pole style itself and entry-ways. The choices are really endless!

Here’s a little bit of Tent Wedding 101:

The Basics: Style Of Tents

The style of tent chosen dictates the décor and design elements of your wedding. There are basically three styles: Frame Tents, Tension, and Pole.

Frame tents use a framework of multiple poles to erect the tent, and the ceiling height is equal under all parts of the tent without poles that come into the interior of the tent. Frame tents are a great option as they can withstand the elements, can be erected on almost any surface and also work well in smaller dimensions; however, they can be a bit pricey due to the labor involved.

Tension –pole tents use a center pole(s) and a skeleton of grid-pipes along the ceiling, with the sides secured with tension ropes and stakes into the ground. Because of the tall center pole(s), tension-pole tents lend an elegant feel due to the up-sweep of the higher ceiling supported by sloping shorter poles. Another type of tension-pole tent is the “sail cloth tent” that give altered-height peaks and dips.

Pole tents While quite similar to frame tents, this cousin tent usually uses more than one center pole, allowing you to opt on different sizes of tents, from round, to oval, or rectangular.

What About The Elements – What Are My Options?  

As mentioned before, reserving a tent as a “just in case” makes an ideal choice to obstructing the elements, i.e., sun and rain.  We’ve found that many of our couples are guided into using a frame tent along a shoreline as they are more steady against the wind. Having a Tent Wedding also allows couples to not plan seasonally, meaning if they want an outdoor, “beach-y” type of wedding in winter or early spring—when sites are usually less expensive due to the off-season—the right tent and equipment will allow for that, such as side-flaps and heat. For summer weather, AC and fans are available. In addition, many tent companies offer full-service options, meaning that in addition to protection from the elements, they may offer tables, chairs, linens, generators, etc.

DTA Couple at Wadsworth Mansion – thanks to photo by Jasonlovesmaggie

So What Should I Keep In Mind In Reserving A Tent?

As we discussed, tents come in a variety of sizes and structure, therefore we advise that you select an experienced tent company to help with the decision making to ensure the right tent and size is selected. There is a science in estimating what size and dance floor would best suit your guests, whether a bar or equipment will be needed under the tent, so  we always encourage our couples to be sure they have their guest list (or a draft) drawn-up early on so that this guest number can be discussed at the meeting. Always be sure your contract itemizes exactly what’s included, from size, extras, installation and breakdown, to ensuring the company complies with local regulations and carries liability insurance. Lastly, if the installation team has never been to the wedding site—especially for an at home wedding—be sure that you schedule a site inspection (this should not be an extra cost), and again, ensuring this is included in your contract.


Overwhelmed by tent options or need suggestions for reputable and professional tent companies? Reach out to us, we’ll even help you figure out your guest list too!

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If I Could Plan It Again: Down The Aisle Brides Reflect On Their Wedding Day

Your wedding day comes with a (typically) long journey of inspiration. Yes, the wedding planning does seem to consume your every thought, even in the sleeping hours. While you don’t have to get too crazy and download the Sleep Cycle app (I mean you could if you’re into reading about sleep cycles and want to analyze your sleep pattern) to be sure you’re not over-analyzing your thoughts, we, however, are in the business of taking worry away—hopefully before it happens—and so we want to share our best strategies to transform you into a sea of calm. No matter how many times a bride thinks they’ve got it all set, universally there are areas she wishes she’d handled differently.

We reached out to our former couples (a big thanks to our intern for her help!), parents and bridal party, to ask what tips and blunders they’d share, and here are their sage words of wisdom:

Splurges…Don’t Be Afraid To Dream Big –

I knew we had wanted to dance all night long, so for us, the splurge was a band. We’re so glad we chose a band versus a DJ, the dance floor was packed all night!”  ~Groom A. V.


“Maybe I’m just old school, but I knew that the invitation is what gives guests that first impression. My daughter chose her ensemble, but I offered to cover the calligraphy…we got so many compliments and don’t regret it one bit! ~Mrs. F, mother-of-the bride

“Honestly, we liked having a more laid back wedding and going all out for the honeymoon on a two week stay in Hawaii” ~Bride S.S.


Past Blunders Are Today’s Regrets –

“I wish I had remembered to take a pic with my dad, me and my hubby on my wedding day. Kind of my past, present and future.” ~Bride B.D.


“I just couldn’t stop thinking about these fabulous (authentic) Christian Louboutin shoes that I just ‘had’ to have for my wedding. I paid a fortune for them, and they were off my feet faster than you can say “I do” the day of the wedding. I wish I had just went with flats!” ~Bride C.I.


“My only regret is that we changed our whole vision of what we wanted because it didn’t align with family opinions. Instead of taking the path less traveled, we took the path of least resistance, and have regretted it ever since” ~Bride G.M.


“I regret that I wasn’t clear with the minister when I wanted my dad to give me away…He stood next to me, not knowing what to do, for like 10 minutes. It was very awkward!” ~Bride J.P.


“ I wish we spent the money on a professional videographer. We decided it was unnecessary and wish we had video footage of the day and loved ones that are no longer with us” ~Bride R.T.


Keep…Or Toss? –

“ I knew I wanted to have a variation on the whole ‘tossing of the bouquet’ but didn’t know exactly what. Then as the date drew nearer, I knew I wanted to be sure my Mom knew how much I appreciated all the support and effort she did for us. So as a surprise, I pulled my Mom out on the dance floor, had the DJ play a song that was special to us growing up, and I presented my bouquet to her…Tears were everywhere!”  ~Bride K. L.


“Well we definitely ordered WAY to much cake, my parents ended up taking it and stored it in their second freezer until our first anniversary…and then we were greatly disappointed with the taste that we wondered what the point was in keeping it. Definitely toss it!”   ~Bride J.P.


“I’m glad I made the investment to preserve both, my wedding gown and my train. Years later when we had our first born, I hired a seamstress to make the baby’s christening outfit and a pillow for the nursery (and it stayed white!)” ~Bride C.H.


“I was hesitant to do the garter toss, but then being out there with a lot of my single friends and acting crazy was kinda fun…keep the garter toss!” ~Bridesmaid, L.W.

Down The Aisle – A Pro Is The Way To GO!

We had just finished grad school, and our budget was on the tighter side. We hired Down The Aisle to help us with the budget, and they helped us determine our top five priorities. Just getting our minds in that direction while they number crunched helped us so we didn’t overspend!”  ~ Bride J. D.


“With Christine’s help, we settled on our neutral color scheme: subtle hues of ivory, silver, grey and tan.  At first I thought it would not be impactful enough, but nothing looked more elegant than when we walked into our tent with masses of candles everywhere. So sophisticated and didn’t have to go overboard with any other décor!” ~Bride J.P.


“We were married in autumn, and we longed for an Enchanted Picnic style of a wedding. I had somewhat of an idea that I wanted it to be a laid back, outdoor casual look, but could not really form a direction to go in. Thankfully Down The Aisle’s Creative Design Concept took us from “I have no idea what I want” to an exceptional design for our day!” ~Bride L.R.


Recently Engaged? Interested in how we can help you define your inspiration, set your budget, or help you prevent regret on your day-of? We’d love to learn more about you, reach out to us!

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Wedding Planners Aren’t Just For The Wealthy

Wedding Planners Aren’t Just For The Wealthy

Wedding planners aren’t just for the wealthy, but we know it’s one of the biggest misconceptions about wedding planning. You know…those couples where the sky is the limit in terms of cost, use the creme de la creme of wedding vendors, and are featured in the most exclusive wedding publications. Those are the images that come to mind when I mention the word “wedding planner”, right?…besides J.Lo of course (although I do love that movie!). However, Down The Aisle explains wedding planners aren’t just for the wealthy.

But Is There A Market For Wedding Planners?

This was most certainly the case during a conversation I had last week with my friend’s father. We were speaking about wedding planners when he asked, “Is there really a market for that?” I was a bit surprised by his question…this coming from a father who paid for his daughter’s entire wedding, a very expensive wedding at that. Even when money is less of a concern, many people don’t associate themselves with the “wealthy” set and therefore believe they wouldn’t benefit from the services of a wedding planner.

Wedding Planners Aren’t Just For The Wealthy

Not true! Wedding planners aren’t just for the wealthy, they are for every couple, for any style whether it be simple or elaborate, and for every budget. We come to the table with proven guidance, extensive knowledge of costs, and relationships with fantastic vendors at every price level. The majority of our couples have a specific vision for their day and a very specific budget…sometimes a tight budget. Weddings are a big expense and its easy to get caught up and either overspend or spend in the wrong areas. Quite simply, our budget-conscious brides are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck. While we certainly love working with couples on their full-service or day-of coordination weddings, we also know some couples simply can’t afford these services. That’s why we offer a number of a la carte services specifically for budget-conscious brides, and we’d be happy to further explain what exactly wedding planners do.
Down The Aisle Team

Down The Aisle Team

Now What?

One particular service that our budget-conscious clients take advantage of is our “Budget, Guest List Development & Vendor Referrals” service. Here we start with the biggest driver of your overall budget…your guest list. We meet with you in-person to discuss your guest list and budget in detail, and then from there we develop an estimated wedding budget, custom for you, based on our knowledge of local costs and resources. We also provide you with 1-2 recommendations of trusted vendors in each service category that fit both your taste and budget.
Interested in having us take a look at your budget? Reach out to us, we’ll put you on right path as you start to execute your wedding vision that delivers on both style and budget. 
My Obsession: The Detailed Back Wedding Dress

My Obsession: The Detailed Back Wedding Dress

Just like finding “the one” who put the ring on your finger, every bride-to-be has “the one” when finding their wedding gown. The styles that have been popping up on runways and on red carpets everywhere, thanks to illusion lace, plunging V-lines, and open-back designs.


2016 Rosa Clara | via Colin Cowie

2016 Rosa Clara | via Colin Cowie


Working with light-weight linens doesn’t have to be just “tulle”. Using charmeuse, chiffon, and some types of lace, will give detailing in the back without adding bulk. Some have an illusion-back, a light sheer fabric adorned with crystals, beads or pearls that appear to be “floating”. Fluffy, full layered skirts, peplums, lace, beads, pearls and organza, I just can’t get enough of the details on the back of these gowns:

Detailed Back: Marchesa

My obsession with the detailed back wedding dress evokes visions of delicate necklines, framing silhouettes and sculpted come-to-life detail in Marchesa’s collection. Marchesa’s exquisite elegance brings oppulence to any bride’s desire. Always feminine, no detail is overlooked and every angle is jaw-dropping.

Detailed Back: Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham always steals my breath and the hearts of many brides. She does “enchantment” like no other! Her vintage-style presents dazzle with glam details, flowing silhouettes, and of course the detailed back wedding dress.

Jenny Packham Glittery Draped=Back Gown - Image by Brides.com

Jenny Packham Glittery Draped-Back Gown |  Image by Brides.com

Jenny Packham 'Dentelle' | Image by OneWed.com

Jenny Packham ‘Dentelle’ | Image by OneWed.com


Lace-Back by AniA Collection | Image by The Wedding Chicks

Lace-Back by AniA Collection | Image by The Wedding Chicks

Detailed Back: Pnina Tornai

This Israeli designer, Pnina Tornai, made a name for herself on the TV show ‘Say Yes To The Dress”. Her gowns are anything but ordinary…quite daring, actually!

Pnina Tormai | Image by Examiner.com

Pnina Tormai | Image by Examiner.com

Detailed Back: Claire Pettibone

Known for her intimately intricate bohemian-style gowns, American fashion designer Claire Pettibone creates the most whimsical and utterly beautiful sheer lace-back gowns.. To quote her, “a wedding gown has to be the most beautiful dress in a woman’s life, make her look and feel amazing, and capture her essence” (courtesy of Hannelores.com). I know I’d feel like a woodland-nymph bride in one of her couture gowns…just exquisite!

Claire Pettibone 'Viola' Fall 2012 | Image by Clairepettibone.com

Claire Pettibone ‘Viola’ Fall 2012 | Image by Clairepettibone.com

 Why not add a little visual interest for guests to stare at while walking down the aisle and taking your vows with a detailed back wedding dress? For more inspiration, visit our “Weddings – Detailed Backs” Pinterest board or give us a jingle and we’ll connect you to amazing stylists within your budget.


My Signature

An Intern Goes Down The Aisle at Brotherhood Winery…

An Intern Goes Down The Aisle at Brotherhood Winery…

Wedding season is in full-swing, but sadly my internship is coming to an end. This means trading tweets, posts and long summer days spent scrolling through endless Pinterest pages of gowns, jewels, shoes, accessories and DIY dreams for dense textbooks and two hour lectures followed by night upon night of assignments and studying. The former is more fun, so join me as we take a bittersweet (and educational) walk down memory lane of my summer internship at Down The Aisle.

And so it begins…

After my first day at DTA, I realized I was in for something special. First, I received an amazing mentor with unwavering passion, attention to detail, impeccable organization and charm that makes you feel like you’ve been friends for years. (If you’ve met her, worked with her, or been a client of her’s you know I’m referring to none other than Christine Ringuette.) Second, I discovered how much experience I would be receiving and MOST exciting: assisting with one of Down The Aisle’s summer weddings!

Down The Aisle

The DTA team in action at The Brotherhood Winery!

At DTA, no time is wasted! Right away I began scheduling, publishing and monitoring Down The Aisle’s social media accounts. If you follow Down The Aisle (#DTA as I proudly refer to it!) you have probably noticed the influx of daily posts popping up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram– the newest addition to Down The Aisle’s social media sites. (I was honored to be featured as @DWNTHEAISLECT’s 1st Instagram post!) As a Marketing major gaining the experience to understand how social media can assist a business has been so valuable. It’s amazing what 140 characters can accomplish!

Wedding Preparation…

As a summer intern, I had the opportunity to assist Chris and Jaime with a summer wedding at the Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, New York. Aside from being the oldest winery in America, this picturesque venue lent itself as the ceremony and reception site for our bride and groom. Caitlin & Ari received Down The Aisle’s Day of Coordination Package providing the bride with Jaime, DTA’s Associate Wedding Planner and Coordinator for the entire day, to ensure Caitlin was relaxed and stress-free on her wedding day.

Down The Aisle

Securing the “Mr. & Mrs.” cork signs to the back of the sweetheart table chairs.

Leaving Jaime with the bride, Chris and I began set-up at the winery. The first order of business was setting up the ceremony, which included placing the décor, making sure the aisle was wide enough to accommodate the bride and both her mother AND father, and ensuring power was ready for the DJ. Once the ceremony site was set, Chris and I moved indoors to the reception site. We confirmed food and beverage, music, introductions and all other details, such as preparing the gift and sweetheart table with cork accents. The bronze sun shined, but the gorgeous June evening took an unexpected turn when winds picked up and blew strong enough to kick up the table cloths covering the cocktail tables on the outdoor patio, taking the flower arrangements with them! In no time, planner intuition kicked in: Chris contacted the florist, obtained additional vases, secured the table cloths and had everything under control with grace- and without the bride and groom even knowing about the mishap!

Soon enough, guests were taking their seats and the bridal party was arriving. Excitement and wedding bliss was felt around the winery. The DTA team queued the procession, and the bride made a breathtaking entrance down the aisle. After a teary and joyful ceremony, guests enjoyed an intimate outdoor cocktail reception, while the bridal party posed for pictures. With the sunset burning in the background of an enchanted stone garden, and the bride and groom front and center, a romantic scene was captured for the couple to treasure forever. Guests trickled inside to the reception where they anxiously awaited the introduction of the newlyweds. Heartwarming toasts followed the couple’s first dance and the rest of the evening was spent dancing and celebrating the bride and groom.

C&A Chris-Jaime-Jessica

The happy, stress free couple with the DTA team!

Sharing in a couple’s wedding day is an experience wedding planners are so lucky to be a part of. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Chris and her dedicated team this summer. It has a been an exciting, and sweet journey with Down The Aisle, one that I will reminisce about as I finish my studies and begin a career in the events industry.

View the highlights of C&A’s wedding day below, or click here to watch the video in a separate window!

Overwhelmed and stressed about your wedding plans?  Let’s chat and discover how Down The Aisle will take the stress and rush out of your special day!

Blog Contributed by Jessica Wilbert, Down The Aisle Intern