Hello Love
Photo Credit: Hello Love


Hello Love

Casey Harrison prides herself on “eliminating cheesy wedding photography.” She believes that “your wedding is not a photo shoot,” which means no overedited pictures and few posed shots. Instead, she’s an expert at capturing a wedding’s natural flow—including guests’ moves on the dance floor—with unobtrusive, photojournalistic skill, both digitally and with toy-camera film.

  • Sweet Tooth and the Sugarbabies
    Photo Credit: 21 Summit Studios


    Sweet Tooth and the Sugarbabies

    This versatile eight-member band covers all the bases. The Berklee College of Music students and graduates boast resumes that include everything from stints with Stomp to collaborations with music legends like Quincy Jones. Legions of fans say that their high-energy versions of Motown grooves, hip-hop hits and almost anything in between sound even better than the originals. “We try to be as authentic as possible,” says percussionist Eytan Nicholson.

  • Bridesmaid Dress


    A trip to this sweet dress shop feels like a mini getaway with your girlfriends. Consultants book only three bridal parties at a time, so you won’t fight other ladies for changing rooms. Each hourlong appointment begins with a 10-minute chat with Flair’s staff, who hand-select dresses suited to your wedding’s style and your bridesmaids’ body types. P.S. This is the only boutique in the area to carry hot designer Jenny Yoo.

    140 Newbury St., Boston (617-247-2828)
  • Cake

    Party Favors

    The sugar wizards at Party Favors concoct unusual custom cakes for the sweetest kind of happily-ever-after, whether you crave fondant flowers or rustic milk-chocolate leaves, white chocolate mousse or French mocha buttercream filling. They’re led by pastry chef John Pergantis, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has been whipping up memorable confections at Party Favors since 1992.

    1356 Beacon St., Boston (617-566-3330)
  • Catering

    Max Ultimate Food

    There’s no such thing as a standard wedding package from this innovative caterer, which tailors gourmet celebrations with seasonal, local food. So local, they’ve even sourced meat directly from one couple’s own farm. During an initial meeting, clients discuss everything from their lifestyle to favorite restaurants, shops and vacations to craft a menu that reflects cherished dining and drinking experiences. The result? A reception that feels like a meal at the beloved restaurant of your dreams.

    101 Hampden St., Boston (617-427-9799)
  • Engagement Rings

    Barmakian Jewelers

    This jewelry behemoth—with a downtown location and an emporium in the suburbs—has one of the area’s largest selections of loose diamonds. They also offer custom mountings that are created in-house (a rare perk for such a vast store), and discerning customers have plenty of styles to choose from, with new ones added each week by staff jewelers. They know how to keep couples happy: Barmakian has been in business since 1910.

    333 Washington St., Boston (617-227-3724); 496 Cochituate Road, Framingham (508-872-5454);
  • Florist

    Forêt Design Studio

    Helmed by former Anthropologie designers, Forêt showcases unusual flower installations in creative spaces. (A recent wedding at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter included a 4 1/2-foot floral wreath that served as an archway.) Rose Mattos and Erin Heath are experts at foraging unique metals and aged terra cotta in lieu of traditional glass vessels. Plus, they work closely with local farms to source custom-hued blooms, ensuring that your bouquet is one-of-a-kind.

    9 Olive Square, Somerville (617-684-5584)
  • Gown


    Trying on wedding gowns can be a fraught experience. Here, it’s like hanging at a friend’s house. After spending time in marketing and creative services at J.Crew and Madewell, Alix Childs now presides over this airy loft that blends high design with indie bohemia. (She also lends her eye to The Improper’s style page.) Browse designers like Elizabeth Fillmore and Leanne Marshall at laid-back, one-on-one appointments, usually set to music. “This is all about having fun,” she says.

    48 Charles St., Boston (857-277-1669)
  • Hair

    Darren Le at Mizu

    Mizu’s resident bridal specialist has been crafting follicular masterpieces since the salon opened five years ago. He’s known for elaborate creations: tendrils, curls, braids that flow into floral shapes, you name it. Start with a coiffure consultation, followed by a trial, and then, on the big day, beautify at the Back Bay salon with champagne, cupcakes and sandwiches, catered by the adjacent Mandarin Oriental.

    776 Boylston St., Boston (617-585-6498)
  • Invitations

    Paper Moss

    This local letterpress studio creates gorgeous cotton invitations that weave together unexpected elements of your wedding. (For one couple getting married at the Liberty Hotel, owners Emily Hostetler and Anna Berglund incorporated the venue’s stained-glass window design into their envelope liner.) “Creative and open” couples should come with motif, pattern and icon ideas that symbolize their romance, then let the talented designers do the rest.

    262 Beacon St., Boston (800-511-0210)
  • Makeup

    Kacie Corbelle

    “Working with brides is a collaboration,” says Kacie Corbelle, who specializes in a high-fashion aesthetic made accessible for all. Her fans say she’s brilliant at sizing up faces and figuring out what colors look best, a skill she developed styling photo shoots for magazines and catalogues and working with clients like Gisele Bündchen. Corbelle is based in the South End, where brides visit for hourlong consults, but she travels for weddings—with her cheery demeanor in tow to ease any jitters.

  • Place to Register


    When it comes to selection, nothing beats Bloomingdale’s. The department store stocks top lines like Marchesa by Lenox, Nespresso and Cuisinart, plus exclusive house brands like Hudson Park. A personal registry consultant and the Thank You Card Manager tool—which generates a list of who bought what when—make the process painless. And clients get deep discounts on dresses, menswear and fine jewelry when they register.

    The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 225 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill (617-630-6000)
  • Planner

    Whim Events

    “Our goal is to create an ‘aha!’ moment where a couple can relax and not have to think about a thing,” says Whim co-founder Natalie Pinney, who becomes a trusted adviser and friend while plotting details with couples over cocktails and trips to the flower market. The Whim team has strong connections with top photographers and venues. “We create relationships to find just the right vendors,” Pinney says. “We’re kind of like matchmakers!” Co-owner Moira Thompson’s background in floral design is another bonus, making decor a snap.

    86 Joy St., Somerville (617-413-9735)
  • Reception Venue

    Wang Theatre

    This 89-year-old former movie palace, recently spotted in American Hustle, is known for its Grand Lobby, modeled after the Palace of Versailles. Entertain up to 250 guests beneath the ornate chandeliers and domed ceiling, and pose for photos on the sweeping staircase. The venue is available throughout August and during three-day holiday weekends year-round. And with just one event scheduled per day, you’ll be the star of the show.

    270 Tremont St., Boston (617-532-1115)
  • Photo Sets and Props
    Photo Credit: Leah Haydock Photography


    Photo Sets and Props

    Nothing spices up staid wedding portraits like a photo station with fun props, whether it’s Dreamlove Photography’s mustaches and top hats or Ruby Shoes’ boas and Elton John-style glasses. For sheer creativity, check out the offerings from Leah Haydock Photography: Her accessories include bear costumes (cozy!) and lobster hats. Or get the picture with Adam DeTour’s sets, which incorporate couches, coffee tables, paintings and vintage telephones.

  • Tuxedo

    Alan Rouleau

    If James Bond had a Newbury Street couturier, it would be Alan Rouleau. This tux impresario makes bespoke three-piece formalwear for discriminating grooms—and brides—at his third-floor showroom, which is also home to creature comforts like flat-screen TVs and a bar. After all, coordinating suit linings with your wedding colors and debating over mohair vs. Italian wool is far more civilized while sipping scotch.

    85 Newbury St., Boston (617-424-7848)
  • Minter & Richter
    Photo Credit: Holly Rike

    Wedding Rings

    Minter & Richter

    Craftsman Scott Richter began his career creating custom swords. Now he’s a lover, not a fighter. Richter incorporates rare, romantically significant materials into his durable titanium-band inlays, whether it’s sand from the beach where a couple first kissed or barrel fragments from a favorite wine. “People have even sent us pieces of moose antlers,” says Minter Richter, who helps her husband run the business.

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