A Toast to Community - Sweet Bough Wedding Collective

… and some of the inspiration behind Sweet Bough.

A reflection on our first few months of Sweet Bough Collective by co-founder Allison.

It’s been just over three months since we officially launched the Sweet Bough Collective website, and exactly 2 months since we hosted our first ever Wedding Showcase. Though maybe Rachel and I didn’t quite know what it would grow into at first, the seeds of this project were planted long before either of those exciting milestones.

A sign Rachel made at the first wedding Rachel and I worked together (that we know of!)

Rachel and I have found ourselves working together by chance quite often over the past few years. But as we started talking about it, we realized it wasn’t really chance. We often found ourselves together working for couples that had a deep respect for our community outside of the wedding world – people that shared our values of respect and flexibility, that were passionate about supporting local businesses and serving local bounty, and that wanted their weddings to demonstrate those passions and share their love for our community and our region with their guests.

We decided to come together to create a place where couples in our area could find calm, competent, reliable (but also fun and enthusiastic!) folks to work with them on their wedding – vendors who not only work well with each other, but who also who have values that are in line with their own.

The idea for the collective came about when we both realized that there is a special synergy that comes from working a wedding with another vendor with whom we really connect – and we wanted to figure out how to expand on this synergy, and make it easier for couples to find groups of vendors who can easily come together to form a cohesive team. The way my own wedding came together was a culmination of almost 10 years of living and working in community with farmers, caterers, florists, bakers, and many other spectacular and inspired organizers and helpers with a variety of skillsets (including Rachel!)… and when I did run into a question or planning obstacle, that community was there to help me through it.

I don’t think I say it enough – I love this community, and I love being in community with other amazing wedding vendors that share my values. And I really really love it when I work with a couple who chooses my dream team of vendors – it’s like the stars align and I know it’s going to be beautiful. Case in point – the arch in these pictures was made for our wedding in 2016 (on the right) with wood from our friends’ land, and I see it used again and again when I work a wedding with Plenty of Posies. Stories like these are the threads that are woven together to make up the beautiful tapestry that is our community. Sweet Bough is our way of making that network and community accessible to everyone, whether they live here or are planning a wedding from afar.

As we grow Sweet Bough, we want it to be more than just a list of great vendors. We’ve got a lot of dreams and plans in the works, but the first new thing you’ll be seeing from us is regular blog posts. We’re expanding our site to include resources and inspiration to help spread this feeling of ease and joy in the wedding planning process, and hopefully enable many more couples to feel like they have the supportive community that we have both experienced. Keep an eye out for all kinds of content coming soon, including more in-depth profiles of vendors in our community, inspiration posts from Finger Lakes weddings for Finger Lakes weddings (sorry, but your wedding isn’t going to look like that Southern California one you saw on Pinterest… it’s going to be even better!), and resources to support couples before, during, and after their celebration.

And, as always, reach out to us with questions, comments, and suggestions for what support you or your loved ones are looking for in the wedding planning process! Your feedback is so valuable to us and will help us make this project successful.

With love,

Allison