Mid-March, winners of the ACE awards took the stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To enter, each contender was asked to identify the two events the company completed that it felt best represented the company, as well as challenges and favorite aspects.
Throughout the year, Catersource.com will profile the winners and nominees of the 2017 ACE awards. In the next installation of our series, we are placing a keen eye on Jaclyn Watson Events who took the ACE award for Operations under $2 million in the East region.
Events • East region • Operations under $2 million • Jaclyn Watson Events
Enchanted Forest Fete
Northern New England does not offer the access to unlimited resources in the same way larger metropolitan areas do, and as such, many design features and pieces have to be outsourced. Vermont is a rapidly growing destination wedding location and much of the state is still working to play catch-up to the demands of big city couples. Tented weddings are wonderful, Jaclyn Watson says, because you start with a clean platform to build whatever environment the couple desires.
For this particular wedding, the company created a massive gridwork of greenery and lighting through the tent, a first for both Jaclyn Watson Events and its vendors. “It was a massive project for our rental company, Rain or Shine, to create a layout across the tent and an even bigger challenge for our florist, Lily of the Valley, who spent three days installing the design,” said Watson. “This event pushed us, and our vendors, to new heights, and together, as a team, despite the challenges, were able to create something that Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home, and almost no other venue in Vermont, had seen yet.”
Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home is a beautiful, historical venue, and also, a museum. Hosting a wedding in a public location creates a handful of challenges, one of which is that no set-up is allowed to start until after closing hour. Having designed a handful of weddings at Hildene before, Jaclyn Watson Events was familiar with the timeline and was ensured that the reception tent design could be completed before closing hour. This gave them time to set-up 250 ceremony chairs, a Chuppah with a massive floral installation, two bars, four food stations, and everything else involved in 30 minutes or less while guests were being driven over from their hotels.
The second challenge with this event was that Hildene uses exclusive vendors, including its catering, yet couple required an entirely Kosher wedding. “This challenged us, and our vendors,” stated Watson, “to work cohesively while bringing in a catering company that had never worked at this location before and requiring a tightly knit team of vendors to go outside their norm and learn a catering culture that was new to them. After working through the logistics, we were able to create a timeline that worked for everyone, and our event was a huge success.”
“We are thrilled to have pushed ourselves with this design and it is a wedding that will forever be remembered as a turning point for us as a company.”
Watson cites one of the favorite aspects from this wedding was the opportunity to bring in a floral design unlike any seen in Vermont before. Having the opportunity to work with a couple that really wanted to create an experience for their guests was a wonderfully welcome challenge. “We are thrilled to have pushed ourselves with this design and it is a wedding that will forever be remembered as a turning point for us as a company,” said Watson.
“Another aspect from this wedding that was special to us was getting to build a relationship with such a wonderful family. Our bride was tenacious and exciting. Our couple was so full of love and reminded us why we do what we do. Their family cared about us as we cared about them. It was a magical experience for both parties and we look forward to building many more genuine relationships like this one.”