A Wedding Suited For Alice

BY: Sarah Compo
Since I launched Soirée NNY in 2014, I’ve helped pull together the pieces of dozens of events as a “day-of-coordinator.” In other words, I’m the go-to person on the day of a wedding or other special event—the one who sets up all day-of details (décor, tables and chairs, etc.), and acts as the liaison with the venue, vendors and others who are playing a role in the day.

                Each event has been different, but none were as unique—or as whimsical—as a wedding Soirée NNY helped out with in July.

                When bride-to-be Tracy reached out seeking a day-of-coordinator for her wedding in Cape Vincent, I expected the usual—someone who needed assistance with things like setting up chairs for their ceremony, arranging décor and similar tasks. However, Tracy told me her wedding was going to be different. It was going to be a themed wedding, and the theme was Alice in Wonderland.             

                In advance of the big day, Tracy and I kept in touch as she shared details on all of the parts of her big day that would make guests feel as if they’d traveled “down the rabbit hole” with she and her husband-to-be, Josh.

                On the day of the event, with help from two of my talented assistants, Morgan Robbins and summer intern Maeve McCullouch, we worked to transform Cape Vincent’s historic Maple Grove Bed and Breakfast into “Wonderland,” using décor painstakingly collected and crafted by Tracy in the months leading up to her wedding.

                Our day started with setting up their  ceremony area, which included an arch of books, topped with a melting clock. Chairs were fitted with either blue sashes—representing Alice—or red, representing the Queen of Hearts. Baskets of bubbles in red and blue bottles were put out for guests to use as Tracy and Josh made their way down the aisle—which was lined on each side with giant playing cards.

                We then moved on to the tent where the reception was to be held. There, we dressed tables up with black and white checkered tablecloths (which matched the dancefloor!), topiaries that included small playing cards of Alice and Queen of Hearts figurines, along with blue and red napkins and glittering gems.

                Tracy and Josh extended the Alice and Wonderland theme to the bar, where bartenders served up two signature drinks, the “Lost Lemonade” and “Mad Hatter Spritzer.” Desserts were themed as well and included an amazing cake that featured a “Mad Hatter” hat, along with—you guessed it—a sign that said “eat me.”

                In addition to dinner and dancing, guests were also able to enjoy Alice in Wonderland themed games, including croquet and chess, which was played on an oversized set in the middle of the lawn. Family and friends also captured memories using a Polaroid camera in front of a colorful, paper flower background crafted by the bride, who that day skipped the traditional white dress in favor of a gown covered with a big, bold floral pattern.

                I’ll admit, when I heard Tracy was planning an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding, I was skeptical. How would it look? How would guests react? And what would her fiancé—who as Tracy told me, for a long time, didn’t know what she was plotting—say?

                One of the most famous quotes from Alice in Wonderland comes from its title character: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” says Alice. Thanks to Tracy’s vision and her believing she could take her love of Alice in Wonderland and make it part of her big day, she and her husband—along with their guests—have a day to look back on filled with uniqueness, fun and, of course, love.