Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley & Company Events
Aleah and Nick Valley founded Valley & Company Events in 2003 and they and their team plan and design highly elevated weddings and events for fun clientele. They are authors of the book Storied Weddings and named Top Wedding Planners in the World by Harper’s BAZAAR, The Knot, BRIDES Magazine, Peerspace, and PartySlate.
Telling the story of all of our couples has long been at the forefront of our mission but now, more than ever, we are encouraging our couples to dig deep to discover fun ways to create personalized details for more intimate weddings.
While self-expression can be the hallmark of weddings and how couples approach planning and design, 2020 has been the year of couples and their creative teams doing some reimagining and reengineering weddings and soirees.
The ante has been upped for those high touch moments and couples are truly focusing on what is most important for their celebrations as we wade through date changes and edited guest counts, and bring an optimism to changing plans for a hopeful 2021 and beyond.
Here are four top points we visit with each of our couples to help us dream up how to enhance each chapter of their wedding day – each point can be applied to elopements, smaller guest counts, and those larger weddings we can hardly wait to bring to life again!
Let’s Tell A Story Through Food
Dreaming up a clever multi-faceted menu allows couples to share their favorite family recipes and food or drink that means something special. Welcome guests to the ceremony with apple cider from bride’s family orchard or tray pass sparkling wine from the vineyard that the grooms operate together.
Serve up a groom’s Grandmother’s snickerdoodle cookie recipe as a late-night treat with petite chilled milks (or a boozy milkshake!) or dad’s famous summery Dungeness crab salad as a plated first course. Or present guests with a decadent smoky cocktail that was served the night a couple was engaged and give guests the recipe printed on charming cards as a keepsake.
For guests that can’t attend, think about sending them a cocktail (or mocktail) kit and a basket filled with sweet treats so they can toast alongside you during happy hour and enjoy those ceremonial moments virtually. Using food and drink as a portal for conversation and pulling sentimental ideas will put the personalized stamp on each moment of the day.
Create Intimate Spaces
An intimate ceremony space should be filled with elements most important to a couple and surround them in beauty – whether naturally occurring or designed. If the ceremony setting is in a sun-basked apple orchard on the bride’s family property, use those apples as décor and fill big beautiful baskets with flowers and fruit that grow on property to anchor wooden benches.
If a dinner party consists of starlight tables for each household, fill those tables with candles and the bride’s flowers, which will help to fill in void space. Layer each place settings as well and incorporate your new monogram or crest into embroidered napkins or table runners.
Think about entertainment and how you can create cozy spaces for guests that are also comfortable in the current time: little lounge living rooms with settees or love seats and coffee tables for guests from the same household will allow guests that added comfort and also a place for them to dance and enjoy your entertainment! Have soft blankets or shawls embroidered with the same
Keep Guests Connected
Think about ways to keep all guests together during the planning process so they feel included and excited. Quarterly updates via email that map out travel or fun things to do during the weekend (like oyster shucking or a day hike) will keep your guests forward-thinking and connected!
Think about a pre-wedding Zoom with your wedding party just for fun – you can send friends boxes of bubbly and treats or a recipe card you can use to mix cocktails together. Listen to your wedding band on the call and watch everyone enjoy and get excited about the big day!
Design An Itinerary That’s Brimming With Activity
Treat your guests to a memorable weekend- or week-long wedding that shows them what you’re into as a couple. From intimate welcome party champagne boat rides through the harbor the couple calls home to horseback riding, a campfire cocktail party, downtown scavenger hunt, or a wine country tasting tour, the possibilities for personalization are limitless!
Couples: this is your time to truly shine and create the most special day and celebration that tells your story!
Creatives: couples need your remarkable and innovative ideas and knowledgeable support!