In the past several years, the concept of a wedding day “First Look” has really gained in popularity yet is still a somewhat new approach to wedding photography. What happens is the photographer arranges a private, intimate moment for the couple to see each other for the first time. Once the perfect spot is chosen, the Groom is positioned in such a way that he cannot see the bride who approaches him from behind (or occasionally, vice versa – every photographer has their own method of doing things) The Bride gets close, the Groom turns to see her for the first time—tears and kisses ensue, and the wonderful moment is captured by the photographer.


The history of the Groom not seeing the Bride until she walks the aisle is a tradition that dates back to (depending on what source you read) to as far as the 15th century. The concept being, that since the groom had not met or even seen his future wife before the ceremony, she’d be kept hidden to eliminate any disapproval by the groom. It was feared that once seeing her, he may have refused to proceed with the wedding or even make a run for it! The wearing of a veil over the face was one last step in keeping her hidden until the very last minute.

The First Look completely shatters that tradition in the fact that the couple now sees each other in this very orchestrated moment before the ceremony. Some choose to have their bridal party and family close by, while others prefer it just being the 2 of them. At first this was not an easy idea to convey, as couples would look at me like I was insane: “You want us to do WHAT?! No way!” I must admit that even for me, the idea was very strange at first. But after thinking it through, I really started to quickly see the value in it for both the couple as well as myself as it affords us a great deal more time.

Your wedding day zips by incredibly quickly; it’s over before you know it. As I say in my wedding consultations, “Once the Wedding Train leaves the station that day, there is no stopping it!” The decision to do a First Look can really allow you to take more time with your photos, engage in the cocktail hour to enjoy your food, and just generally let you unwind and enjoy the day. Photographs during cocktails, especially when the ceremony and reception are all at the same venue, can be a REAL time killer and are usually quite rushed, as you have only about 45 minutes to accomplish what you want due to all the distractions.

I cannot begin to tell you how much pressure this removes from the day, and how many of my couples thank me over and over afterwards for suggesting it. Not only does it let the couple slow down and really ‘take in’ everything, but it gives the photographer more time for getting creative and really capturing the day. So if you’re planning a wedding, consider giving this idea some thought. Read about it online or ask friends who have done it – you’ll slow down, have time to eat your delicious hors d’oeuvre’s, visit with loved ones and really enjoy your day!

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Name: Michelle Lafaille

How long have you been working with ATTC?. Three months

In one sentence, what do you do all day at your job? Answer the phones and direct calls; field inquires, phone & email; send introduction letter and sample menus; schedule client consultations; greet clients; type proposals, menus, estimates and contracts; track inquiries and proposals and follow up; email client satisfaction surveys, track and follow up; send client 1 year anniversary cards.

Most memorable experience since working at ATTC? Taking a client call from an elderly gentleman looking for authentic Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, he was a little hard of hearing.

Food you can’t live without? Sweets

What is your drink of choice?   Coffee

What would you be doing if you weren’t working here? Reading a book

What do you like best about working at ATTC?. The friendly atmosphere, the creative vibe, experiencing food in all it’s wonderful and tasty forms



We are thrilled to collaborate with  Ripe Juice Bar, a local company in Meriden, CT started in 2008 by childhood friends Michel Boissy and Ryan Guimond. The bartender and chef duo developed a dynamic line of ultra fresh juices and mixers which we are excited to offer. Ever tried a Fresh Basil Collins, Cucumber Gin Fizz or an Agave Margarita with Lunazul Tequila and Ripe Agave Margarita Bar Juice? We’re guessing once you do, you’ll never settle for that green bottle on the grocery store shelf again!


Click on the photo to see Ripe Fresh Juice Bar in action!






There are many benefits of having live music at an event. Music can add character, atmosphere and drama to any event. Live music provides something magical that you can’t get with prerecorded music. There’s something very special that happens when a guitarist, violinist, vocalist or other musician is performing.

When live music is included in a wedding ceremony it becomes part of the tapestry of the moment. The thread that runs throughout. It creates a colorful backdrop and can fill in the quietness and emptiness of a room. Music can add cohesiveness to the flow of things. It can also provide pacing and tempo, especially while the bride is making her way to the altar. A gentle piece of music can calm the nerves and slow things down. A joyous and triumphant song played right after the couple is announced as husband and wife is magnificent. It can be the perfect accompaniment as they begin to walk out and are welcomed for the first time as “newlyweds” by their family and friends.

When I’m playing at a wedding ceremony the music I choose can add different emotional elements to the proceedings. Music sets the stage for the important matters at hand without taking away from the real show, the bride and groom. Music is like the seasoning in a recipe. It can enhance a moment like nothing else. Music conjures happiness. It brings back fond memories or can make us remember special moments with loved ones.

It is lovely to have beautiful melodies filling the air while friends and family gather to celebrate. Music can reflect any type of emotion and there are many emotions at a wedding. People may have different ideas of what kind of music they want as the backdrop of their day. I have played all sorts of music during the different parts of weddings. Whether it be instrumental classical music by Beethoven or Bach in a grand church or Beatles songs for the prelude under the oak tree in the back yard. It could be Keith Urban’s “Without You” for the processional, because whenever it comes on the radio the “bride to be” thinks of her loved one. Or “How Great Though Art” for a grandmother during an interlude because it was played at her wedding many years ago. Possibly Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” because it is gorgeous and a more tradition feel is important. Music is part of all of our lives and becomes a part of our moments and memories. Live Music is the ultimate enhancement for any event.

Click here to listen to an audio sample of James music and for more information visit jamesharrisguitar.com.



This week is our cake tasting week and all the cake around here has us wondering about the origin of wedding cake…we found this in The Telegraph:



The ritual of the wedding cake in Britain can be traced back to medieval times, when it would have been made of wheat and, bizarrely, thrown at the bride as a symbol of fertility.

It also wasn’t just cake that was eaten after the ceremony. All the baked goods, which included scones and biscuits, were piled high (the higher the better) and the couple attempted to kiss over the mound. If they managed it without toppling the pile they were assured a lifetime of prosperity.

In the 1600s, a visiting French chef was quite appalled by the uncouth piling ritual and recommended a more stable stacking system instead, using sawn off broom handles. However this more elegant use of tiers didn’t catch on until later.

In the 17th century “bride pie” became popular, which varied from sweet breads to mince pies or even mutton pie. Within it was a glass ring which was used in a similar way to the bouquet today: whichever woman found it was meant to become the next bride. For those less affluent families, this pie might have formed the centrepiece.

The popularity of tiered wedding cakes came, legend has it, as a result of a baker’s apprentice in late 18th-century London. The story goes that William Rich set up as an apprentice in Ludgate hill and fell in love with his boss’s daughter. When he asked her to marry him he wanted to impress her with a large, beautiful cake and his inspiration came from the spire of St Bride’s church. However, there are no surviving records of this cake.

It was the marriage of Queen Victoria and Price Albert in 1840 that really set fashion for weddings – the dresses and cakes both became big and white as norm. Sugar was now cheaper and it became much easier for working class families to imitate the weddings of the rich.

But of course this affluence couldn’t last, and wartime rationing rather limited wedding cake options. During the Second World War there were strict rations so cakes were much smaller. The average person would have probably had some ingredients donated from friends and relations. Others used deceptive tricks so their cakes looked the part. Gravy browning made fruit cakes look richer or cardboard cakes were rented and the real, smaller cake was concealed inside.


Our guest blogger Yumiko Fletcher, owner of Hana Floral Design in Mystic, shares floral tips inspired by color of the year!


“Emerald has been deemed the IT color of the year, thanks to Pantone!  We love guessing how our brides will incorporate this year’s color into their wedding!

And as for flowers, what could be easier than green?  Green goes with everything!  Consider green a neutral.  It can be paired with just about any color of the spectrum.

Wondering what’s available in green?  Here are a few great options of flowers available for any season:

Green cymbidium orchids~ such a versatile and strong flower!  They hold up beautifully and can be paired with traditional flowers, or more exotic ones.

Green spider mums~ a really inexpensive flower that adds a fun punch of color to your arrangements.

Green hypericum berries~ hypericum berries  come in several colors but green is a classic.  Paired with garden roses or exotics, it’s a great textural addition to your wedding flowers.

Green succulents~  fast becoming a very popular wedding flower, these are hardy plants that require little maintenance.  Bigger blooms are heavy though, so some wiring by the florist is necessary especially if you have them in a bouquet

Green moss dianthus~ this is from the carnation family!  Can you believe?  Very inexpensive, available all year, and a strong pop of color!

There’s more to your wedding flowers than just the blooms.  Consider all types of foliage for your decor as well!  These provide great “filler”  and there are endless options to choose from and most are available all year long.

Have fun incorporating green into your wedding flowers!”

No gallery specified.

Hana Floral Design has been featured in the following: 

Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, 

Real Simple weddings,

Brides Connecticut, 

Southern New England Weddings, 

The Knot,

The Connecticut Bride, La Bella Bride, Elegant Bride




Name: Lauren Anastasio, Event Sales Manager


How long have you been working with ATTC? Almost exactly one year.


In one sentence, what do you do all day at your job? Most of my time is spent meeting with clients who are planning events, figuring out what is most important to them and developing a menu that reflects their unique tastes. It’s what is most fun (and challenging!) about the job- coming up with new ideas and working with the events and culinary teams on how to execute them.  


Most memorable experience since working at ATTC? Winning Caterer of the Year at the Connecticut Restaurant Association awards dinner this November. Catering was a new category, and we were excited just to be included but were absolutely thrilled when we won (especially because we were in such amazing company with the other caterers up for the award.) It was a really special moment and made me so proud to be part of the team.


Food you can’t live without? Popcorn! I love all types of food but popcorn is a staple in my diet (especially with some butter and truffle salt).  


What is your drink of choice?  Champagne


Favorite restaurant? I have far too many to name one favorite, but in my top three would have to be Il Porcospino in Florence, Italy. My family and I stumbled upon it when they were visiting me during my semester abroad and it was one of the best meals I had while in Italy. The food, the atmosphere and service was wonderful.     


What would you be doing if you weren’t working here? Working as a librarian. I’m always reading and love going to the library.


What do you like best about working at ATTC?. I love the team at ATTC; everyone works together and goes above and beyond to create amazing events for our clients.  


After the glistening of holiday décor dims and the trumpets of New Year quiet, here at A Thyme to Cook we are welcoming in 2013 with our projections for upcoming wedding trends.

Like many, Pantone is the first place we check for Color of the Year. Their 2013 winner is emerald, in bold opposition from last year’s Tangerine Tango. That said, everywhere you look, Pinterest and many blogs project mint as the hottest color of the year which carries the vintage vibe nicely.

Brides can expect innovative, fresh, farm to table restaurant quality food. Local ingredients and artisan beverages are more important than ever as brides put the culinary spotlight on their own heritage.

Pork is the meat of the year, with highlighted entrees such as Braised Pork Shoulders, Pork Porterhouse and Pork Short Ribs.  Food Trucks are one of the hottest trends this year – you will see them pop up all over serving burgers, ice cream or cupcake – such as our friends at  Nora Cupcake Company .

Local cheeses have never been more popular. Cheese makers like the Mystic Cheese Company, Beltane Farm and Cato Corner not only bring immense flavor to our local farmer’s markets, but also consistently spice up menus and deliver abundant unique flavor to our events.

The Mystic Cheese Company, Melville

Emerald is not just for bridesmaids dresses.  2013 brings greens of all kinds: kale, beet, chard, and mustard into the spotlight. Go greens!

Homemade desserts will be heating up the kitchen this wedding season. Pies, cupcakes and other rustic home baked goodness will be on dessert tables everywhere.

Martinis and Manhattans take a back seat to Champagne and Tequila Bars while traditional sodas are overshadowed by colorful hand crafted Italian sodas and fresh juices.

Vintage and Fresh is Hot!!  One of our new 2013 signature cocktails is the Shrub, a fruit-vinegar-inspired refresher – an antique drinking form re-born with contemporary ingredients. We are excited to collaborate with RIPE from Wallingford on a custom beverage menu using their 100% natural hand crafted fruit juices and mixers.

Overall, 2013 is all about quality and luxury juxtaposed with earthy and homespun details. Brides and grooms are making it personal and local without compromising magnificence!


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