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NY wedding designer - a la carte v packaged

Photo by: Tiffany Joyce Photography 

If you are in the process of deciding whether to plan your wedding A La Carte or whether to go for a Package deal but don’t know where to start today’s post is for you! I am discussing some of the points that you should consider when making your decision.

A La Carte

Personalization – One of the many reasons that many couples choose this option is because of the flexibility when it comes to including specific details in your big day. If you have visions of a draped ceiling for your reception, a vintage truck full of flowers to greet your guests and a specific floor plan – most of the time a less traditional venue with a la carte offerings will allow you to bring this vision to life.

Location, Location, Location – If getting married in a hotel or restaurant ballroom is not your style, choosing a venue that is simply just a venue, allows you the flexibility to host your special day in whatever setting you desire.  Whether it be a barn, an industrial warehouse, botanical gardens, a summer camp or a cottage on the lake…as long as you are fine with taking on or hiring someone to help you with the design and execution…your dream wedding at your dream location is possible.

Cost Analysis – Budget for an a la carte wedding can be either more or less expensive…the benefit is that those decisions are in your control. The first thing to look at besides the cost of the space rental fee is the amenities that come with the venue. Most venues will have restrooms, lighting and will be accessible however if you choose to wed in an old barn, a woodland forest or the beach then these may all be additional items that you need to think about bringing in yourself to make the venue accessible and comfortable for your guests. The second part of the analysis lies in your design choices and whether you want it all or are willing to compromise on some items to stay within a certain budget.

Planner, Designer, Time Keeper – This rule does not hold true 100% of the time but for the most part you’re a la carte venues are not always going to have and on site coordinator or someone who can make sure that you have thought of everything. Don’t worry there are other professionals that you can hire to help you. If you have the time, energy and desire you can take on the planning and design of your day and then hand it off to a professional the month before to make sure that you have everything covered and to help you execute your vision without the stress on your actual wedding day. If you want the planning and design left up to the professionals then hire a planner and a designer to take your vision and make it a reality without you having to expend your valuable time.


More for your money – If you have a decent budget and don’t want to have to worry about flowers, food and rentals on your own then a package deal might be the best way to go for you. As with anything when it comes to the budget a package wedding has thought of everything for you and included that in a price that of course can then be upgraded depending on number of guests and personal style. Typically they include use of the space, all of your rentals, on-site caterer, cake, bar etc. Because they have everything on-site and are not sourcing other vendors your price per person will typically start off lower than an a la carte alternative. You should however make sure that these base packages have everything you need as upgrades can easily put you in a higher price bracket.

Low stress – Typically venues with packages have an on-site coordinator. (Note than an on-site coordinator is not, nor do they take the place of an event planner/designer) This person is employed for the venue. They will be able to present you with the packages and options available as far as linens, food and cake and they will show you several pre-arranged floor plans that work for their space depending on the number of guests. If you like this plug and play method of planning than a package option would be a good lower stress option for you.

Rules, Rules, Rules – Let me preface this by saying that every venue is going to have rules! For example, if you choose an old barn that does not have an on-site coordinator they may not allow you to have a bonfire outside after your reception as a safety precaution. Traditional venues however often have other restrictions that you should consider. For example may do not allow anything to be hung from the walls or ceilings, they may have a preferred vendor list from which you must choose your photographer and other vendors and there may be tighter time restrictions as multiple events may be held in one day.

So we talked about what worked in 2015. And we talked about what did not work in 2015. And since it is never too late to set out goals for the year…my goals is what I am sharing with you today. This year I am not only sharing goals that I have for my business but I am also sharing a few goals for my personal life as the two are not completely distinct from one another.

Goals for 2016: Goal Setting

Image Credit: The Glitter Guide


  1. Blogging. This year I am not going to focus on the quantity of times that I am blogging per week but I do want to make sure that I am consistent and intentional with my content. I need to pick a number of days that blogging is realistic for me and stick to it. I have heard so many times this year already how great of a tool blogging and social media are as free marketing tools.
  2. Book my ideal client. This is not a one step process however it is something that I want to be more intentional about this year. First you have to discover your ideal client. Then you have to understand your ideal client. Then you have to book them! We all want clients that inspire us, are fun to work with and that can help our business growth.
  3. Update my website. By evaluating images, packages and language to make sure that it matches up with enabling me to book my ideal client.
  4. Dream. Prayerfully consider and not be afraid to dream big when it comes to the future of DBCA.

Goals for 2016: Goal Setting

Image Credit: Country Living 


  1. Intentionality with my husband. Continuing to work on managing the work like balance and making time for us each week with no phones, computers or distractions.
  2. Home Sweet Home. I love our sweet one bedroom apartment in Queens but we both have been feeling that the time has come to move on. I have big goals, aspirations and dreams for what the next few steps are for us in this regard but for this year the goal is to save $  for a down payment!
  3. Healthy Living. Continue to take care of my body physically by exercising 2-3 times a week…even in the Spring and Summer months when my schedule becomes more hectic.

Sharing goals is a scary step but I am sharing so that y’all can hold me accountable! I would love for you to share your goals with me so that I can cheer you on as well!

Looking for perfect rustic venues in the Hudson Valley…here is a list of 6 beautiful options to get you started!

Cedar Lakes Estates (Port Jervis, NY) – Romantic getaway. Culinary oasis. Adventure destination. However you choose to savor the Hudson River Valley, Cedar Lakes Estate is a haven for those seeking a return to pristine simplicity.

Uncover the splendor of the Hudson Valley on their 500-acre estate, just 70 miles from New York City. Rolling hills, red-water lakes, sloping lawns, and cedar wood forests –all welcome signs that you have arrived. The raw beauty of your surroundings will be matched only by the rustic elegance of our accommodations and venues.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: Cedar Lakes Estates

Owls Hoot Barn (West Coxsackie, NY) – Owls Hoot Barn is an upstate NY, Hudson Valley Region, venue that provides a relaxed low key environment to host any number of special occasions in a traditional historic Dutch barn built in the 1840’s.

The main barn accommodates dining and dancing for around 180 on the main level, or you could choose to utilize the attached pavilion on the lower ground level to host dining for over 200 guests and use the barn for dancing and other activities.  The barn comes equipped with 7 bathrooms (including a handicap bathroom), all new 400 amp electric service, and commercial fans that force heat down in the winter and pull hot air out in the summer.  The grounds are quaint and quiet, providing various options for an outdoor ceremony along the willow tree lined creek that runs through.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: Owls Hoot Barn

The Barn at Liberty Farms (Ghent, NY) – Nestled on a private section of a 300-acre certified organic farm, The BARN at Liberty Farms is a former thoroughbred stallion barn providing a discrete country setting off the quiet and winding road.

The venue’s grounds offer a diversity of options. Perhaps the ceremony on the hilltop, a reception on the manicured paddock, dancing in the barn and relaxing by the fire pit.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: The Barn at Liberty Farms

Nipmoose Barn (Buskirk, NY) – The Historic Barns of Nipmoose have quickly become known as the premier rustic chic barn wedding venue in New York’s upper Hudson River Valley.

Offering three fully restored historic barns with panoramic views, the Nipmoose Farm is an exceptional site for country barn weddings. The Scottish Barn, German Barn and Corn Crib are all included in a single wedding event, and only one wedding per weekend is scheduled.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: Nipmoose Barn

Tralee Farm (Kingston, NY) – One of the Hudson Valley’s leading destinations for wedding receptions and special events.  Tralee Farm offers a combination of elegance and timeless country charm.  Nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, our equestrian estate  features a 18th century limestone Stone Manor and a 19th century gambrel barn on  fifteen private acres.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: Tralee Farm

Shadow Lawn (High Falls, NY) – Shadow Lawn is situated at the crest of the waterfalls of High Falls, New York. The property has six acres on which you can stage a variety of experiences. Expansive lawns with mature plantings provide a verdant backdrop for outdoor receptions. The main floor of our 18th-century dutch stone house lends a formal note to your day, while the restored 19th-century barn beside the rustic creek allows your guests to celebrate in unexpected and fun environments. The barn holds 120 people for dinner and dancing. Parties up to 150 people may host a tented event on the two-acre stately lawn near the main stone house where there are partial views of the waterfall.

8 Rustic Venues in the Hudson Valley: Shadow Lawn

To learn more about booking Details by Chelsea Ann or your next event, Contact Chelsea via the Contact link in the menu or email directly at CHELSEA@DETAILSBYCHELSEAANN.COM. Limited Availability Remaining for 2016. 

What didn’t work 2015: Goal Setting

This week on the blog we are continuing to talk about goals. More specifically, what didn’t work in 2015. Just as important as looking back at what did work is looking back and honestly assessing what could have gone better. (to see what did work click here) This step is not as much fun but is necessary in order to make changes that will affect your 2016 more effectively.

Here is my list of what didn’t work 2015:

  1. Booking Goal: While I am happy that I took the initiative to set a goal with regard to how many clients I wanted to work with this year, I did not hit my mark. I DID however get to work with some amazing, people, brides and vendors. I also learned what was working and not working in my marketing strategy and have been able to eliminate things that I was spending money on that were not helping me reach my ideal clients.
  2. Blog Consistently: I started off the year strong. I had time, I make myself a blog calendar, I gave it priority. Then sometime around June, I became busy, I got off track and lost the momentum and never really got it back together. I did periodically blog here and there but I was not consistent!
  3. Create an organized work-space in my home: Unfortunately despite best efforts, in our one bedroom apartment there is just not enough space for a dedicated work-space. I have a desk which I keep organized however when it comes time for floral and design projects I still take over every flat surface imaginable. Hopefully in the next year this will change…follow next week for my 2016 goals!

What were some of your goals from 2015 that you did not quite hit? What did you learn from that disappointment? Feel free to share in the comments below.  I would love to a cheerleader alongside of you!

goal setting; SC Stock Shop

Behind the scenes of Details by Chelsea Ann we are all LOVE all the time. We love celebrating true love and lasting marriages – and yes it’s cool that there is a day to celebrate it but we believe in celebrating love each and every day! Whether you are dating, engaged or married there are things that we can do on a daily or weekly basis to make sure that we are maintaining healthy relationships.

  1. Face to Face Time – Sitting down with your beau and having meaningful discussions is not only important but necessary.
  2. Side by Side Time – Spending time with your beau doing an activity such as cooking, playing a game, watching a movies.
  3. The Physical Touch – The power of the physical touch is amazing. The simple act of holding hands or hugging releases feelings of comfort. Studies have shown that when we hug a chemical reaction occurs in our bodies that has life extending health benefits.
  4. Laugh Together – Laughing with your beau will lead to better communication, excitement to your relationship and adds a layer of intimacy to your relationship.

Event Design, Celebrating Love