New Hampshire Magazine's Bride Spring-Summer 2023 - 38

The Design Maven
Q A&
with wedding planner Sorrell Downing
Sorrell Downing has spent the last 25 years perfecting
her own schedules and calendars for her family of 11,
and she carries the same organizational prowess into her
wedding and event planning company, Events by Sorrell.
Her signature style and creativity can be seen in her love
of timeless details and variety of textures and colors. She
uses her expert, compassionate guidance-and in-depth
knowledge of New England vendors gathered from planning
more than 100 events-to make sure each event is
remarkable and unique, and helps each couple create the
celebration they have always dreamed of.
Q: How would you describe your
A: Our team leans in heavily to a
design style?
clean, classic elegance. I am a
huge fan of tone-on-tone. I love the BBJ
Trouseau linen with an ivory velvet
napkin. Add in heirloom dishware and
Pure Glassware, silver (or gold) flatware,
and you have a lovely classic table setting.
Any stationery and floral choices
work well with this combination.
Q: What trends are you loving
A: The more casual formats for
for 2023?
receptions are making me smile-
there's less awkwardness. For example,
I had three weddings last year with
no formal seating and everyone raved
about the format. It was very fun and
more focused on the dancing, with no
awkward dinner that takes too long
with people you don't know. For a guest
count of 100, they had two lounge
areas, a huge bar with high-tops and
high-top chairs, a big dance floor and
traditional tables for about 50 people.
I also love the mismatched wedding
party. I recommend having your people
36 | New Hampshire Magazine's BRIDE
" Don't invite people to
your wedding who you
would ignore in the
grocery store. "
wear flowered clothing or all black,
something they are more likely to reuse.
Q: How can couples up their wow
A: For tented weddings, I recomfactor
for their wedding?
mend perimeter and café seating,
and perhaps a focal lighting element
on the dance floor. Pay a little extra for
no band breaks and add a beautiful
napkin, charger and water glasses to
elevate the whole experience.
Q:
What is the most common mistake
that couples make when
planning their wedding?
A: Begin with a strong foundation of
knowing what the budget is and
how many people you will invite. Don't
invite people to your wedding who
you would ignore in the grocery store.
Don't choose a venue that is a stretch
budget-wise.
Q:
Q:
What do you enjoy most about
working with engaged couples?
A: I love the excitement that newly
eager to get started, and the creative
energy is really fun to lean in to.
What are the most important
vendors to book, and in
what order?
A: Start with a planner, as they
help you make good decisions
on your vendor team. Next, add a
photographer because at the end of
the day, the photos and memories are
what you keep. Then, a venue. Make
sure to choose a venue that feels like
you. If you are an outdoorsy type who
wants your guests to dance barefoot,
don't choose a formal venue and vice
versa. Choose a florist after that if
flowers are a priority-if not, replace
with stationary. Last but not least, it
would be to include your band, rentals
(remember that not everything you
see on Pinterest is available here in
New England), stationary and hair
and makeup.
eventsbysorrell.com
engaged couples bring. They are
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kate Preftakes Photography
http://www.eventsbysorrell.com

New Hampshire Magazine's Bride Spring-Summer 2023

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