Bride Next Door: Checking In!

2017 has got us hustling and our Bride Next Door has been busy planning her big day! We have been offering our guidance along the way, but this bride-to-be has gotten creative for her big bridesmaid proposal. Remember the cliffhanger in our introduction video? Yup, the venue is locked in!

Let’s hear from Alyssa:

Well.. What venue did you book?? *Drumroll please*

Farmington Gardens in Farmington, CT!

Farmington Gardens BallroomFarmington Gardens Greenhouse

What made us chose Farmington Gardens?

1. Good food

2. Big dance floor

3. Ceremony on site

4. Being the only bride that day

Those were my 4 big things. Honestly, I had looked at a bunch of places and was just about ready to give up. I asked Lauren what venues have the best food and she mentioned Farmington Gardens from experience. I figured, why not?! And scheduled a tour. It was the first (and only) venue to give me that “this is it!” feeling. The venue is the perfect mix of rustic with modern and elegant. It’s fancy rustic! After touring, Courtney and Kaylee were so nice it helped seal the deal. Their Winter Wedding package is a steal as well. I can even get someone to put white lights on their trees! I also liked that I could have my ceremony and reception just a few feet from each other and a hotel right down the street! Winner winner, wedding dinner. Farmington Gardens also does a lot for you, but allows a lot of customization if you choose. I get to pick signature drinks!

Farmington Gardens Marsala Photoshoot

Past Wedding Shoot for a Lauren O Couple! Photo: Rachel Girouard Photography

The venue is a huge decision! Your venue determines how many guests you can fit, how you will decorate and options to arrange seating. The timeline details start coming into play because now you know if you’ll need a hotel room for your hair and make up or if they offer a bridal suite. Often venues can guide or even include alcohol and food options which is great in Alyssa’s case because Farmington Gardens allows a lot of customization. When guiding our future brides, we always make a checklist on the top requests for their venue and go from there. Alyssa made it easy, we know where to find all the best food!

What else have you had to tackle that was stressing you out?

I just officially asked my bridesmaids with their proposals. I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, because as I mentioned in my video, I’m just not that kind of person. But I did! I also just started contacting photographers and I’m starting to freak out. Had over a year and now, this week, we have one year. 365 days. I have lists to remind me what I need to do next!

Bridesmaid Bag

Alyssa made the bag and scrub homemade! We love the personal touch to her proposal gifts!

What is next on your wedding planning to-do?

Next I will start SERIOUSLY working on my guest list. I know that is going to be the biggest headache since Nick has a lot of family- so I’ve been dodging it. Between keeping the list at 150 and breaking the news that this will be a kid free wedding- I am going to disappear for a while-I may need a vacation once it’s completed. I downloaded the Thumbtack app as an effort to keep my budget and see what the price of things around me are (DJ, etc). I am blessed to have so many friends in the industry though! I also reached out to Nick’s Aunt and Uncle who own a printing company for save the date information. As always, I have been Pinteresting like crazy.


There you have it! Our check in with our Bride Next Door, Alyssa, was a great time to sit down and get grounded. We established some major planning milestones as being complete and then set out goals for our next check in. Staying organized is key! Alyssa is taking our advice and staying on track, all while staying creative and seeking out friends and family for some cost-effective and personalized touches. We cannot wait to see what else is in store for the next time we formally check in with Alyssa – lucky for us we get the details ahead of time!

Until next time, happy planning!