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Many Cape and Islands weddings are weekend-long events, and Bracken has a few suggestions for making the whole weekend fun and stress-free for guests. In the past, she has coordinated transportation to and from the airport, provided champagne and hors d’oeuvres to guests upon their arrival, and created guides to restaurants and points of interest in the surrounding areas.

Bracken says that even with the best planning, having your dream wedding in a seaside location like Cape Cod or the Islands presents unavoidable challenges. Cape Cod is notorious for heavy traffic during the summer, and this time-consuming factor must be taken into consideration for guests and also vendors coming from off Cape. And although the summer months are idealized for blue skies and warm weather, sudden storms—and, in the later months, hurricanes—can appear on the Doppler. Planning as far ahead as possible and putting a backup plan in place are the best approaches. The vendors that Bracken and her staff work with are all professionals and are always ready to handle whatever comes their way. “Everybody on the Cape and Islands that we’ve worked with at the local level has been great,” says Bracken. “Everyone is very helpful and works well as a team. We don’t have a set list of vendors who we work with, but we do try and work with local vendors as much as possible. If we can find the best people on the Cape or the Islands, that’s a win-win for everybody.”

As the wedding season quickly approaches, there are a few trends Bracken says will dominate this wedding season. One emerging design trend in particular is the use of lighting as décor—many couples are projecting images on walls of the venue to create a special ambiance. Vintage looks are back as well: With the recent success of television shows like Downton Abbey and a new movie rendition of The Great Gatsby appearing this spring, Bracken keeps an eye out for beaded dresses and Roaring Twenties attire. Brides moving away from the traditional veil have been opting for elegant floral headpieces that go especially well with vintage-themed weddings.

For those seeking a contemporary wedding look, Bracken suggests going green. “Color is big. One color that is going to be big in 2013 is mint. The Pantone color of the year was emerald, so there will be a lot of greens,” she says, noting that for the perfect wedding palette, it’s a good idea to mix in gold tones too.

When it comes to accessories, polka dots and prints will make statements this season. Even bridesmaid dresses are becoming more adventurous: solid colors are no longer a must for the wedding party. Bracken notes that for a more contemporary look, peplum style dresses are a hot commodity.

For those couples on the fence about hiring a wedding planner, Bracken cautions that going it alone means essentially taking on a full-time job. The value the planner adds makes for a smooth wedding and reception set-up, easing the minds of the bride, groom, and their families, and pleasing everyone involved from start to finish.

Bracken says that couples who use the Internet as their sole resource might be complicating things rather than making them simpler. “People think the Internet has replaced the job of a wedding planner, but it can still be so overwhelming. There are so many venues and photographers—it can be hard to discern what’s best,” explains Bracken. “The crux of what we do is narrowing down selections that would best fit what each couple wants.”

When it comes time to walk down the aisle, brides should not be worrying about whether the caterer has enough champagne glasses, or if the band got over the Sagamore Bridge on time. It’s a day to cherish starting a new chapter of your life with your soulmate. And that’s much easier when you have experienced, resourceful professionals like Bracken and her team keeping things running behind the scenes.

“Wedding planners can think from a different vantage point, and possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that brides can capitalize on for their special time,” she says. “Not everyone has been to 150 to 200 weddings in their lives like we have. You see a lot of things and you find out what works and what doesn’t.”

For more information on Tasha Bracken and Simple Details Events, go to simpledetailsevents.com.

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