ABC Member Planner: Edna Dratch-Parker, PBC™, EFD Creative–Event Planning & Design,,

Photographer: Allegro Photography.

Non-member Businesses: Longfellow’s Wayside Inn (reception), Peterson Party Center (rentals), Frugal Flowers, Groove Events (DJ), Boston Cigar Factory, and SKO Designs (candy table).

The couple: Mark and Katie had a different wedding concept than most. Katie wanted to have the wedding be a tribute to both sets of grandparents since they never had a formal wedding because they eloped.

Wedding date: Oct. 13, 2012.

Color palette: Green, orange, and deep purple were the main colors with additional tropical colors incorporated into the flowers.

Guest count: 100.

Inspiration: With Katie’s maternal grandparents hailing from Havana, Cuba, Katie wanted the wedding to have the feel of old-time Havana, with the carefree, Cabana-style from the 1940s. Some of the details included an authentic cigar roller, cabana tent, mojito signature drinks, and mojito lollipops that were used as place cards. The florist worked magic with the palm leaves and a tropical arrangement combined with antique cigar boxes that held the centerpieces and gave the look a special feel. The table numbers were old-fashioned postcards from the era with photos that represented old Havana. Antique-style cigar matchboxes and family heirloom jewelry rounded out the many touches that made this day feel like a trip to Cuba and a wonderful way to tie in her family history.

Most unique design element: Incorporating the Cuban style into the event, including the cigar roller that added the authentic feel.

Biggest challenge: Katie’s grandmother, who inspired this wedding, passed away a few months before the wedding, so it was more important than ever to get this theme right and pay homage to Katie’s family ties.

Hindsight: One thing you can never count on is the weather in New England, and although it was clear, it was cold, and this was a tented wedding. The good news is that everyone warmed up when the dancing began!

Learnings: I am always amazed at how the love of family pulls everyone together. Losing her grandmother prior to the wedding was very upsetting to the bride, but keeping the focus on celebrating life was what was important. We never know what will happen prior to a wedding, but always remembering that which is really important at the end of the day is my takeaway.

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