Why flip through book upon book of invitations when you can have something that’s completely, uniquely you? That’s exactly what you’ll get when you commission Samantha Finigan and Whitney Swaffield, of Gus & Ruby, to create custom paper goods for your party. The New Hampshire&ndashbased duo, who launched a long-awaited brick-and-mortar on Beacon Hill last October, demonstrate a particular flair for the unexpected. Exhibit A: their recent Bridgerton-inspired invitation suite, which paired Victorian silhouettes with modern script and gold foil. 99 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, gusandruby.com.
No generic pasta bowls here: La Bonne Maison appeals to foodies with creative fare such as buttermilk-chicken sliders with hot--pepper jelly, and stuffed apples, baked to perfection. Opt for the team’s full-service catering or easy drop-off meals, and don’t forget the cocktails; the “Flower Child,” for example, blends tequila, orange blossom honey, and hibiscus. 367 California St., Newton, MA 02458, labonnemaison.com.
It’s hard enough memorizing the four Cs of diamonds, never mind actually choosing the perfect sparkler. Cue Long’s Jewelers. With classic solitaires, trendy emerald numbers, and vintage bands among its many options, the family-owned biz makes easy work of finding the perfect engagement and wedding rings. It also designs custom pieces that are as unique as your betrothed. Multiple locations. 100 Summer St., Boston, MA 02110, longsjewelers.com.
Micro weddings are here to stay — and no venue caters to them quite like the Herb Lyceum. Its amenity-laden package includes access to party spots such as an airy greenhouse; locally sourced cuisine prepared by catering partner Puritan & Company, which uses herbs grown on-site; and an in-house planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. 368 Main St., Groton, MA 01450, herblyceum.com.
You picture a quiet dinner for immediate family; your partner imagines an all-night rager with 400 guests. Plan your happy medium at the always-crowd-pleasing Willowdale Estate, where a range of magical ceremony and reception spaces allow for a longer invite list without sacrificing the intimacy of a tinier fete. Our personal fave? The greenery-filled courtyard garden, which looks downright enchanting with strings of lights. 24 Asbury St., Topsfield, MA 01983, willowdaleestate.com.
In a year when many weddings were postponed or canceled, Mark Spooner stayed booked and optimistic throughout. His sunny outlook manifests in his photographs, which highlight the most tender moments: a push-back of the hair, a touch on the arm, or a joyful glance at loved ones, all captured with a soft atmospheric glow. Another positive: the bevy of helpful resources on his website, invaluable for couples and fellow wedding pros alike. markspoonerphoto.com.
You may have only recently discovered Lizzie Lin Johnson from her 2020 stint on Food Network’s Girl Scout Cookie Championship, but this self-taught pro has been churning out showstopping custom confections since launching her bakery in 2016. Peep her Insta feed for creations such as a nine-layer naked cake or an abstract buttercream design with edible gold leaf — all of which taste as good as they look, thanks to flavors ranging from basic vanilla to strawberry matcha and beyond. lizziesbakery.com.
Even the most reluctant shopper will enjoy Cuffs & Collars, which offers ample options for designing the perfect wedding-day getup. Host a private event in the store, where you and your crew can choose from thousands of fabrics with a cocktail in hand, or book the company’s “We Come to You” service, during which a tailor will take your measurements at your home or office and then send the finished product, made to order in Italy, to your door in just four to six weeks. One Federal St., Boston, MA 02110, cuffsandcollars.com.
Looking forward to the safe return of crowded dance floors? Whether you’re after disco or Motown, throwback ’90s hits or Top 40, this energetic group — part of the well-respected Wilson Stevens family of artists — has what it takes to keep guests of all ages on their feet. Choose between an eight- or nine-piece ensemble, both led by a powerhouse vocal trio featuring two Berklee alums, and prepare to party like it’s 2019. wilsonstevens.com/bands/encore-band.
What’s on your “do not play list”? Who’s coming to your wedding? Do you have any DJ pet peeves? Beat Train Productions’ specialized client quiz gets an A-plus when it comes to finding the perfect match for your party among the group’s talented artists. No matter which you ultimately choose, hundreds of glowing reviews say it all: These DJs know how to spin. beattrainproductions.com.
When a former client likens Greg Fisher’s films to something you’d see on a major TV network, you know you can count on him to tell your love story with skill and ease. The founder of Willow Tree Films, the videographer combines stunning drone shots with high-level footage of the day’s festivities to deliver a breathtaking finished product, whether you host an intimate celebration aboard a sailboat in the harbor or a magical fete in the orchards of a New Hampshire farm. willowtreefilms.net.
For more than a decade, we’ve watched Kristyn Kerkorian climb the ladder of local event planning, following along as she went from helming catering sales at the Colonnade Hotel to throwing parties for the Red Sox to launching her own wedding-planning firm in 2017. But it’s not just the BU alum’s prestigious pedigree — or the fact that she successfully executed eight COVID-era celebrations — that stands out to us. We’re equally taken by her calming, down-to-earth demeanor (a godsend for anxious brides and grooms) and undeniable gift for design, evident in each meticulous tablescape, escort-card display, and floral arrangement she helps envision. kkerkorianevents.com.
Trust Jenny Luu with your bridal makeup, and she’ll do so much more than expertly blend your foundation and apply false lashes. Weeks before you walk down the aisle, Luu (a self-proclaimed “skinthusiast”) will equip you with a personalized skin-care routine to ensure that your face remains blemish-free. Then, on the big day, the Boston-based artist will use products from Charlotte Tilbury and Dior, among others, to create a look that not only highlights your natural beauty, but also outlasts the after-party (seriously). 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, jcluu.com.