A New Wedding Planning Firm Brings a Big Dose of Style and Ease to Small-Scale Affairs
Known as the Mainstay Collective, a group of top local vendors is joining forces to offer dreamy elopements and intimate celebrations.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to cause more and more local couples to abandon their plans for large weddings, elopements and intimate celebrations are becoming increasingly popular alternatives. And thankfully, there’s a new firm in town with the know-how to pull them off.
Enter the Mainstay Collective, a recently formed, all-inclusive event group dedicated to elopements and small-scale weddings. Comprised of vendors from an array of specialties, the group first came together last fall, when tasked with creating a styled elopement shoot aboard a sailboat in Boston Harbor. When they later shared the resulting photos online, the response from couples who saw it was overwhelmingly positive. “Every time we’d upload them on Instagram, people would reach out to the vendors involved wondering, ‘Can we do this in real life?’” planner Kate Murtaugh recalls. While she and the group—which also includes vendors such as Stephanie Vegliante Photography, Beach Plum Floral, and Lizzie’s Bakery—kept the idea of banding together to offer similar celebrations in their back pockets, it wasn’t until this year when COVID-19 began to upend local weddings that the group decided to officially offer the new service. “It pretty quickly dawned on us that the big weddings of 200 people may not be happening this year, and we needed to be creative and think about new ways to offer clients the ability to have a beautiful experience,” Murtaugh explains. “So we [thought], ‘Why don’t we bring this to life?’”
Officially open for business since last week, the multidisciplinary firm offers three tiers of service, all of which include planning, photography, florals, stationery, wedding cake, and an officiant. Additionally, brides and grooms can opt for add-ons, such as hair and makeup services from Pretty Wife Beauty, videography from 1K Words & Media, and catering from Suddenly Simple Events. Couples also have their choice of venues including Classic Sail Boston’s Captiva, the 45-foot charter boat featured in the group’s styled shoot, and Cross Street Flower Farm—a seven-acre property with more than 50 varieties of colorful blooms. Based in Norwell, the farm has never before been offered as a wedding venue and can only be booked through the Collective. Lastly, for lovebirds with somewhere specific in mind for their nuptials, the vendors also offer a bespoke package, allowing couples to tie the knot in any location of their choice worldwide. “It’s a one-stop shop. We want people to be able to come to us and basically pick their location and date, and then everything else is essentially handled for them so they don’t have to worry,” Murtaugh says.
Above all, Murtaugh says she and the other participating vendors hope the Mainstay Collective’s festivities will serve as proof that tinier affairs can be just as magical as large-scale celebrations. “Just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean we’re limited with what we can do,” the planner says. “[Small events] actually allow us to use more creativity in a lot of ways.” Plus, the team doesn’t need a whole lot of lead time to make a smaller fete a reality. Unlike larger weddings, which require months of planning, this approach involves a “fairly fast turnover,” Murtaugh explains. “From start to finish, a couple of weeks is what we are envisioning.”
Since launching the Mainstay Collective, the planner says the group has already received interest from several couples who have decided to postpone their weddings in light of COVID-19, but still want to get married this summer in a smaller yet equally special fashion they’d expected of their larger affairs. “[Couples] are getting excited again, which is really important,” Murtaugh says. “This has been a summer of a lot of disappointment. So if we can do this for them, I think it makes us all really happy.”
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