26 Sep, 2009 | by Richard Vinhais
Wine-making has been a family tradition which stretches back to my early childhood. I look back fondly on those years when my dad would solicit my mother and my sister and me to help out with the process. Back then, we used a rather draconian device, powered by shear brute strength, to turn a hand crank. The crank was connected to a series of gears which would mesh together and ultimately pulverize each and every grape. The crushed grapes yielded juice which would be collected and ultimately funneled into a barrel, ready to undergo the natural fermentation process. It was a very effective approach for a few years but as the quantity of grapes increased and the longevity of the tool deteriorated, my father upgraded his processes. I’ll cover some of those enhancements in a moment.
As the years went on, the annual tradition became relegated to more of an independent affair. My father would immerse himself (rather obsessively) into his hobby as both my sister and I toiled away with school and our own extracurricular activities. The tradition would only be reinvigorated back in 2004, when the festivities evolved into a great excuse to get together with family and friends.
The annual gathering has acquired something of a carnival-like atmosphere. Obscene quantities of food and drink, frenzied displays of soccer prowess and relaxing by the bonfire, are all in keeping with the event’s zeitgeist. The main event, of course, is the reinvented process through which the grapes are crushed. With feet! continue reading »
16 Apr, 2009 | by Richard Vinhais
So I’m having a pretty good feeling about our DJ situation after reaching out to someone highly recommended by Kathleen’s sister, Victoria. I’d say that our requirements for the DJ are pretty tame…Someone extremely polite that will get along with our guests. Someone who will not have too strong of a personality as we really don’t want a loud and boisterous guy who resorts to playing tacky music to get people on the dance floor. All we want are the basics. Make announcements, play what we like, avoid what we don’t like and that’s a wrap.
I connected with Jarrett Barrows via phone after a handful of e-mail exchanges where I laid out the logistics of the event. My intial concern was gauging his personality and his general experience level to make sure he passed my visceral “do I like you” test. I was immediately struck by his likable personality. He had just experienced some really inconvenient car troubles that evening and still managed to rattle off a few jokes about the unfortunate situation. Personality…Check! After he gave me the lowdown on his 10+ years experience, how he manages new clients and the next steps in the process to ensure we were all on the same page, I was immediately put at ease. Experience…Check! Couple that with his reasonable prices and I’m 99% sure we have our winner.
Next steps are to meet him at his home in West Hartford to discuss the playlist and other key logistical steps. We’ll be connecting with him sometime in late summer. DJ…Check!
30 Mar, 2009 | by Richard Vinhais
Photography, in my view, is one of the most important aspects of a wedding outside of the venue and catering. Capturing the essence of the “big day” is not something that just anyone can do; although, ironically enough, it does seem everyone with a camera claims to be an expert photographer these days. When the time came to choose a photographer for our wedding, the choice was one based upon the following criteria:
1) Can I trust this person? Not just to do the work properly, but trust them in general.
2) Does this person really have a “photographer’s eye”?
3) Will this person blend into the background like a chameleon, be professional and have an endearing ability to put people at ease? continue reading »
28 Jan, 2009 | by Richard Vinhais
I guess I always had the intention of putting together a wedding blog or some sort of web-based presence to communicate the progress of our wedding plans. I was truly inspired when some friends of ours, Lui & Maureen, developed a beautiful website to market their wedding activities. Not only will the site provide a medium to communicate with friends and family, I think it will also provide a creative outlet for Kathleen’s writing abilities. She is a gifted writer, which I’m sure comes across in her posts.
Anyway, when the time came to put the blog together, I had a very clear vision of how it would be structured. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to leverage code from a previous site I had recently launched. I essentially took the framework from mybusinessmusings.com and skinned it with a wedding theme. This of course could not be possible without my partner in crime, Brian Gibeault. He’s a fellow IT guru who helped faciliate not only the launch of the wedding blog but also the simultaneous launch of my personal travel site. It went off without a hitch, and I owe him big-time for all the support. I simply would not have the time or patience to do it all solo as quickly as it was done.
So please peruse our site and check back regularly; we’ll be constantly adding updates to our wedding planning.