Best of Bride 2009

Who’s the best?This year for the first time we conducted an online poll for brides, brides-to-be and companies to vote for the New Hampshire wedding professionals that provide the best quality, service and artistry. We felt it was a way to give people an opportunity to express their satisfaction with those involved in one of the most important days in their lives. We also felt it was a way to celebrate the excellence and commitment of the wedding industry in the state.Note: Best of Bride 2010 voting begins on April 1.Readers’ Poll Results
Jean Davis Art Studio
(603) 883-6308

Caterer (Large)
Galley Hatch Catering Services

Caterer (Small)
Greenhouse Catering

Ceremony (Indoors)
Bedford Village Inn
BedfordOutdoor Ceremony
Church Landing at Mill Falls

Custom Dress
Sew Special Designs by Debby

Dance Instructor
Paper Moon Dance Center

Preferred Family Dental

Main Event


Hairstylist (Wedding Day)
Wingate Spa and Salon

Honeymoon Spot
Mt. Washington Resort
Bretton Woods

Wedding Transportation
Grace Limousine

Bellman’s Portsmouth

Justice of the Peace
Blissful Beginnings

Live Band (Dance)
The Holycow! Band

Live Band (Rock)
The Holycow! Band

George Parker

Musician (Mood/Atmosphere)
Aprylle and Reed

N.H. Bed and Breakfast for Guests
Bedford Village Inn

N.H. Bed and Breakfast for Wedding Night
Bedford Village Inn

N.H. Hotel for Guests
Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside
Jacques Fine European Pastries

N.H. Hotel for Wedding Night
Wentworth by the Sea
New Castle

Garone Photography

Reception (Large)
Fratello’s Weddings & Events in the Millyard

Reception (Small)
Zorvino Vineyards

Reception (Outdoors)
Wentworth By The Sea Country Club

Registry (National)
Bed Bath & Beyond

Rehearsal Dinner
Fratello’s Weddings & Events in the Millyard

Rental Company
Taylor Rental

Shop for Accessories
Modern Bride
and Formal Shop

Shop for Attendants
Modern Bride and Formal Shop

Shop for Dress
Madeleine’s Daughter

Shop for Favors
Maine-ly New Hampshire

Shop for Invitations
Talk, Paper, Scissors

Shop for Lingerie
Top Drawer Boutique
Exeter and Bedford

Shop for Men
Men’s Wearhouse

Shop for Mom
Modern Bride and Formal Shop

Wingate Spa and Salon

Travel Agency
Liberty Travel Inc.

Meg Simone Film and Video Art

Wedding Planner
Melanie Voros, Blissful Beginnings

Overall Vendor
Meg Simone Film and Video Art
IntervaleEditor’s PicksWe asked our editorial staff to recommend wedding professionals who excel in ways that don’t fit into a category. Here are their picks.

Extreme Photography: Jay Philbrick of Philbrick Photography in North Conway ( is always looking for wedding shots that explore new territory — in this case, it was 350 feet up Cathedral Ledge! His not-so-dramatic shots can be pretty edgy, too, but he’s also great at shooting the standard stuff. Photo by Jay Philbrick.

Best Magic Maker: Kate Parker of Kate Parker Weddings ( has gained a national reputation as a wedding consultant for a reason — well, lots of reasons. One of them is that her Somersworth-based business devises ways to sprinkle fairy dust on weddings, creating moments that are magical — and memorable.

Place to Stage a Wedding: Brides are the stars of their big day, so why not go all the way and get married on the stage at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord ( Newly-restored High-Hollywood, Egyptian-motif artwork makes the space unique and charming. Have the reception downstairs in the Governor’s Hall, which has a bar that incorporates the theater’s old ticket booth.

Historic Threesome: A unique hospitality company, Hay Creek (, offers three intimate inn settings in New Hampshire — The Exeter Inn, The Wolfeboro Inn and The Centennial Hotel in Concord — all of them historic. Along with the inns’ long-ago charm, there are very modern accoutrêments and upscale comforts.

Secret Space: You’d never know a wedding was taking place unless you heard the “I do” through the 10-foot-tall hedge that surrounds the ceremony space at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. People who run Saint-Gaudens call it an “outdoor room that’s open to the heavens.” It’s not small; it holds up to 120 people.

Pick Justice of the Pipes: As a minister John Patrick Newman performs marriage ceremonies; he also performs at weddings as a bagpiper. (One time he did both, when the minister didn’t show up.) Newman, a Northwood resident, does it to help support his ministry at a small church — he also plays for the sheer joy of it. (

All in the Family Weddings: The Sklavounos family started a modest Italian restaurant in Milford in 1996 and built it into the upscale Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar ( They did it with excellent food (lots of family recipes) and excellent service, and now are continuing that tradition with a new offering — bridal receptions.

Fantasy Finale: Sky rockets in flight — what couple doesn’t want that? You can have them for real on your wedding day with fireworks planned and launched by Atlas PyroVision Productions (

Personalized Potent Potables: No need to get your feet dirty — stomping grapes is not required at Nashua’s IncrediBREW ( All that’s required is putting your own label on what your guests will imbibe. When you’re done enjoying the fruits of your labor, save the bottles as a wedding keepsake.

Rustic Reception: A beautiful old barn at The Inn on Newfound Lake in Bridgewater ( has been renovated for use as a reception site. Added windows and French doors supply light; a deck supplies a view of the lake. Walls and floors are freshly done, but the barn retains its rustic charm.Ballpark Bliss: A venue that’s a home run for baseball fans is the N.H. Fisher Cats stadium, Stadium, in Manchester ( Brides have used the stadium facilities for a unique reception; a few have gotten married on top of the dugout; one bride threw out the opening pitch. Photo Courtesy of NH Fisher Cats.

Future Planners: When two become one, the question of finances has to be dealt with. Separate or joint accounts? What kind of insurance? These are just a few of the questions Ameriprise Financial ( can help couples with as they tailor their financial planning to their dreams.

Jazzy Jewelry: Pearls or diamonds are always great for brides and bridesmaids, but for someone looking to be a bit more daring or exotic in their jewelry choice, there is Puttin’ on the Glitz in Portsmouth ( with a store stuffed with cool style.

Honeymoon Planner: The magic of the big day isn’t over when night falls — the honeymoon’s still ahead. Offering convenience (it has six offices statewide) and solid expertise, AAA Travel ( creates travel plans that ensure a trip is all that newlyweds could have hoped for.

Recycled Gown: You can’t get much greener than this — Alice B. Fogel of Lyric Couture in Acworth ( makes wedding dresses out of old, white Oxford shirts. It’s partly creative, partly socio-political. She loves re-fashioning unwanted old materials into something beautiful, and it’s good for the environment.

Best Edible Art: For couples who want to replace the traditional wedding cake with trendy cupcakes Frederick’s Pastries of Amherst and Bedford ( offers some real works of art. And they taste really good, too.