Shop Small. Shop Local

This is one of my favorite days. After the madness of Black Friday has subsided we small businesses get to shine. Small Business Saturday was created to encourage and remind consumers to spend some of that holiday cash close to home.

Here are a few, in no particular order, of my favorite local small business wedding vendors. I wish I could list all of my favorite vendors and plan to feature vendors from time to time. Oh, and you 2015/2016 brides…make sure you pay extra close attention to the sweet #shopsmall deal that I am offering. Keep scrolling to find out what it is.

Stylish Blooms / Melissa Bonoffski Varnavelias (say that three times really fast hehehehe)

I met Melissa in 2011 while I was planning my very own wedding. She was the first vendor I contacted. I didn’t even know where I was getting married but I knew I wanted to work with Melissa. She understood my love of purple, the Royal Family and Khloe Kardashian. Don’t judge me. Melissa really listens to her brides and designs florals that represent their style and vision. When you meet with Melissa you can see that this is her passion and you trust that she will deliver for you. And the flowers last! My bouquet was fresh for almost two weeks!!┬áMelissa books up fast so she is definitely a vendor you will want to contact as soon as you have a budget and confirmed date. It’s probably a good idea to have a venue too…DO NOT follow my lead on that one. ­čśë Oh and a little birdie tells me she is running a Winter Special for 2015 weddings…

Sugarplums Invitations & Designs / Lesley Massey

I have the pleasure of having my office right next to Sugarplums. I am a paper lover so being surrounded by beautiful stationery is like heaven for me. I met Lesley this past summer and she was the very first presenter for my Wifey For Life workshops. Lesley is┬ásuper creative. I’ve witnessed her pull an entire design together while the couple is in front of her describing their day and completely nail their vision. When you walk into her office you are surrounded by inspiration and ideas to help you visualize your wedding stationery. I always stress to brides that it is important to touch and feel your wedding day paper. Your invitation is the very first impression for guests, make sure you set the right tone.

Borinquen Bakery

This bakery is my best kept secret. I stumbled across Borinquen one day while driving down Arch Street looking for a package store to buy champagne for a client. As I passed I could smell freshly baked goods and immediately sought out where it was coming from. I bought these sugar donuts and have been hooked every since. I like to share calories so I usually have these fresh donuts hot and ready for clients and vendor friends. They immediately get hooked! If you’re in the New Britain area be sure to check them out.

5Diamond Productions / Lizz & Thomas Riley

I met Lizz at a Women’s Networking Event I hosted in June. A few months later I visited her and her husband, Thomas’, home studio and fell in love with their passion for top notch photography and DJ services. Husband and wife teams are always so amazing to me. When you are a vendor you really hope and pray for other vendors that match your work ethic and vibe. Lizz and Thomas have a huge advantage when working together because they compliment each other so well and it really shows in their work. Oh, and Thomas makes a raspberry martini to kill for!!! If you decide to reach out to them, tell them I sent you and request the raspberry martini. You’re welcome!

Chow Bella Cakes & Treats / Christine Judd

I really can’t say enough about Christine and her delicious treats! Whenever I am hosting an event or having family and friends over, Chow Bella is my go to bakery. Christine is crazy talented. You can send her a picture of your idea and she always delivers and exceeds your expectations. And the goodies are DELICIOUS! The cake is moist, the fondant tastes like marshmallows and the cookies, well…I eat at least five every single time she brings them by. I’ve had the opportunity to really sit and get to know Christine and was impressed at how passionate she is about what she does. Christine can bake you everything from sugar cookies to wedding cakes. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. I never endorse bad cupcakes.

Always Bloomin’ Floral Studio / Steve Smith

You know what I love most about Always Bloomin’, well besides the fact that their flowers are gorgeous and they are my neighbors, I love that they are always having fun. I rent office space upstairs from Always Bloomin’ and immediately felt the good vibes as I walked through the door. AB is family owned and treats every single one of their employees and customers, and a certain wedding planner who is allergic but obsessed with flowers, like family. Steve has an amazing eye for detail and can immediately sense your style and what flowers will capture your personal style best. You can trust him and his team to design your flowers with love and care. After you meet with Steve he will always remember your name, whether you are yearly a client who orders valentines day flowers for your sweetheart or if you’re a one time wedding client – you are treated like family. I love when a vendor becomes a friend!

Lauren O Events #shopsmall Promotion

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Proposal Season!! Oh, and the holidays too. lol Since Shop Small Saturday starts just as proposal season begins I am offering a sweet deal to all the ladies whose fellas put a ring on it by the end of the year. If you book any┬áservice by 11:59pm┬áon 1/1/2015 and mention this #shopsmall blog, you’ll receive 15% off of your total .

This is a very sweet deal┬áladies and it’s good through the end of the year! I only offer a promotion once a year during #shopsmall in November, so tell a friend to tell a friend! You can use the connect page to contact me or send me an email at !

Until next time, happy planning!