What is Kith & Kin?

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Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.

— Maya Angelou

Parties 16. Polka Dot Thrive Cake

Kith and Kin means “friends and family” in Old English.  It seemed like the perfect name for a business that is all about bringing family and friends — be they newly-minted or held dear for years and years — together to share important moments.

I know  what makes a party flow and how to show guests they are appreciated and loved.  Whether it’s an elegant dinner party for two or a full-on bash for two hundred, you can have a gathering that is beautiful, authentic and unique. I would be honored to help you create your event.

Kith & Kin starts at the very beginning. We’ll meet to talk about what you have in mind, your dates, your budget, etc.

Once booked, we’ll map out a ‘backwards calendar’ from the day of our first working meeting through to the day of the event and afterwards, sketching out deadlines for decisions and book-by dates to ensure that you get the venue and vendors you want.

From there, we’ll create a personalized binder to collect colors, images and ideas that will be the jumping off point for your event and be used as a reference throughout the planning process. We’ll gather samples for you to consider. If you have a firm budget, we’ll map out a hierarchy of must-haves. And if you already know what you want, we can jump right into timelines and activities.

I love nothing more than to craft exceptional, unique and memorable occasions, and I look forward to working with you.

Upper Valley Weddings & Events

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Upper Valley wedding venues.

View from Ohana Family Camp, overlooking Lake Fairlee, VT.

Big milestones in life offer opportunities to assess what has real meaning to you.  They are rare moments at which you can ask yourself what really matters to you, what moves you, what has brought you to the place you are now.

Getting married probably ranks in the top 3 of these.  If it’s your first marriage, you most likely feel you have finally reached full-fledged adulthood. You’ve found your life partner, you are ready to commit, to start a life together, and you want to celebrate that rite of passage with your family and dearest friends. You’ll most likely pick a place to have the ceremony that reflects what brings you the most happiness or significance to you — a place that might also double as a good place for your guests to enjoy on their own. Wedding weekends can be a big commitment for all involved. Your guests will devote both time and money to traveling to be there with you, and you’d like to make sure they have a great time visiting and exploring.

If you are getting married in the Upper Valley — the Hanover, NH/Dartmouth College region of Vermont or New Hampshire — but live elsewhere, consider hiring Kith & Kin to help you pull all the details together.  The Hanover, NH–Norwich, VT area is easy to get to from virtually anywhere and makes a perfect place for a destination wedding any time of year.  In the summer, you can find places to hold the ceremony outdoors, with spectacular views of the mountains.  You can create a weekend with outdoor activities like swimming, boating and hiking.  In the fall you can enjoy spectacular foliage and crisp, bright days.  Wintertime offers its own beauty in the hush of  a snowy landscape.  Whatever the season, your wedding weekend can also be your guests’ best vacation ever.

The Upper Valley has been Kith & Kin’s home base for over 30 years. We know all the ins and outs of entertaining here. We’ll help you find a gorgeous venue and be your on-the-ground agent.  We can help you find the best florist, caterer, tent company and everything else you’ll need to create a one-of-a-kind event.  We’ll be on hand to welcome your guests, make sure the accommodations are perfect, and see to it that everything is in place for your big day.  We manage all the logistics and mechanics so that your celebration can begin as soon as you arrive.  All you have to do is show up and enjoy!

If we can help you with your wedding plans — or any event — fill out the Contact Us page and we’ll be in touch.  We look forward to hearing how we can make your Upper Valley event the best ever!

Birch Bark & Shoe Laces

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SCAN0249Summer camp in Vermont was the most formative experience of my childhood. Each summer for 8 weeks I came fully alive at Aloha Hive and Aloha Camp. Deep, lasting friendships bloomed like wildflowers, and outdoor skills became second nature. I can still build a blazing fire with damp wood, sail a boat in any kind of weather, find my way in the woods without a trail, and paddle a canoe in a perfectly straight line. And now, 40+ years later, I still count those camp friends among my most dear.

Those months at camp were full of tradition and ritual, all closely linked to the woods and fields, rivers and lakes around us. Special occasions popped-up with some regularity and required on-going creativity.

Parties were part of the regular weekly schedule. Campers were in charge of coming up with the theme and figuring out how to execute the activities. We used what we had in our trunks or what we could employ from the wild for decorations and costumes. Pajamas and raincoats were paired with construction paper, birch bark and yarn for inventive outfits. Gifts were fashioned out of bandanas and thread. We learned to improvise with actual shoestrings. Imaginations flourished; resourcefulness and creativity grew exponentially.

Your Event, The Day Of

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The planning process is totally fun. So many details to think about, colors to play with, flowers to choose, food to taste, favors to find…

But Kith & Kin keeps its eye on the prize: the event itself. We will deliver an event that will remain one of the best you and your guests ever experience. The Kith & Kin team ensures you are free to participate your party, be an honored guest, instead of having to worry about things running smoothly. No distractions. No disasters. After all, you are the last person who should miss enjoying the results of all your hard work!

During your event, Kith & Kin will buzz around in the background, quietly keeping everything running smoothly while you dine and dance, and enjoy your time with your guests. We want you to have the head space to really pay attention to the content of your event rather then worry if there’s enough ice or if the food is being served on time. We’ll make sure your vendors deliver what you’ve paid for, on time, with the kind of attention to detail you deserve.

We’ll be invisible, but you’ll know we are there.

 

 

 

The Pink Room

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A party without a cake is just a meeting.

— Julia Child

SCAN0247Elizabeth (my mother) loves arranging flowers. As I was growing up, she created beautiful centerpieces out of both traditional and non-traditional elements. She was not afraid to experiment.

She took — and still takes — great pleasure in making things look beautiful. I have memories of branches, piles of flowers and fruit spray-painted gold transformed into works of art. For special occasions she used place cards, plates, glassware and napkins as if she were composing a painting.   At friends’ birthday parties, presents wrapped by her were the easiest to spot – they were the ones with the perfect bows and the loveliest matching paper.

At my own birthday parties she went all out. My birthday often falls near Easter, and this provided lots of room for thematic accouterments. There was the cake shaped like a bunny (I still have the instructions she tore from a magazine explaining how to do it). And another party, my friends and I decorated Easter bonnets with millinery flowers and ribbon and lots of glue. That’s me at the head of the table at my 5th birthday party, wearing my newly adorned Easter bonnet.

In our house there was a spare bedroom that the previous owners had painted pink. The ‘Pink Room’ became my mother’s de facto workshop. This was where she kept her scissors and glue, gold spray paint, pink tissue paper, and miles of rickrack and grosgrain ribbon. And whenever access was granted to all of this, I could feel my brain switch on. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that stuff.

It was in the Pink Room that I learned how to iron a sheet and expertly wrap a gift. It was there that I perfected my own bow-tying techniques.

 

How to Hire Us

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Interested in hiring Kith & Kin? Here’s how it works:

We’ll set up an initial meeting to get together and talk about your needs, the size of the event, what you have in mind for style and scope. We’ll get an idea of what makes you tick, what’s important to you, what your vision for the event looks like. Together we will sketch-out a rough plan for Kith & Kin services, discuss budget and look at our calendars. (There is no fee for this initial conversation.)

If you decide to go forward, we’ll send you a letter of agreement outlining services to be delivered and ask for a deposit to secure the date. After that, you are on the K&K calendar. We limit the number of projects we take on so we can focus on yours and be easily available to you.

To begin, head to the K&K home page and fill out the Contact Us form or post a comment here and we’ll be in touch!

How We Came to Be

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Kith and Kin means “friends and family” in Old English.  It seemed like the perfect name for a business that is all about bringing together family and friends — be they newly-minted or held dear for years and years — to share important moments.

After nearly thirty years of being a development director for a number of terrific humanities-based and environmental non-profits (which included putting together events large and small) I decided to go out on my own and just focus on the parts I really love most: design and people.  Kith & Kin allows me to get to know my clients well, figure out what they are hoping to achieve, and put creativity to the test.  It is a natural fit, combining my passion for aesthetics and design with my boundless love of my own friends and family.

I love nothing more than to craft exceptional, unique and memorable occasions.

I know when and how to break the rules, what makes a party flow, and how to show guests they are appreciated and loved.  Whether it’s an elegant dinner party for two or a full-on bash for two hundred, you can have a gathering that is beautiful, authentic and unique. I would be honored to help you create your event.

 


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