Stephanie McLaughlin and her Hostess With The Mostess team brings creativity, passion, and efficiency to your wedding events.
The last two years have seen a discernible rise in backyard weddings, and for good reason – they’re inherently cozy, fashionably rustic, and free from the rules or schedule constraints of larger catering halls.
But backyard weddings come with a pretty heavy burden – you’ll need to figure out nearly everything on your own, from food and furniture to linens and liquor.
Fortunately, Stephanie McLaughlin of Hostess With The Mostess (a BOLI preferred Vendor) can not only lift that backyard burden, but also help you to curate the wedding – and the engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette weekend – of your dreams!
“I just loved the creative aspect of things.” – Hostess With The Mostess
After her son was born in 2010, Stephanie was inspired to continue her education at NYIT. “I was getting my bachelors in advertising and communication arts, I just loved the creative aspect of things.”
Soon, a side business that doubled as a school project blossomed into a very successful venture. “I started a waitressing company called ‘Long Island Wait Staff,’ doing it on the side since I was in school,” Stephanie remembered. “I actually ended up using the staffing company as a project in all my schooling, since we had to do websites and logos and all of those things. And it worked out perfectly because I was able to have my professors steer me in the right direction. It just kept growing and growing as I was going through school.”
Upon graduation, Stephanie decided to stick with what was working. “By the time I got out of school, I was already making more than an entry-level job would offer just by starting my business,” she explained. “It didn’t make sense to pursue [advertising] as a career anymore, so I used it as a background. And I think that creative perspective ended up helping us with our food creations, our displays, and our visual concepts.”
“The more they want us to be involved, the more we will be involved.” – Hostess With The Mostess
If the thought of planning your wedding sends you into panic mode, Hostess With The Mostess can be your saving grace. “We can provide people with anything from staffing, rentals, full-blown catering, and then planning,” she described. “We get all their linens, we get all their rentals, and all their glassware comes through us. Basically anything that has to do with the food or the bar, we totally take care of. [Brides] don’t have to figure out different pieces of the puzzle. We’re very detailed in what we offer, and the more they want us to be involved, the more we will be involved.”
But what if you need help with all those wedding-related events, like bachelorette parties or bridal showers? Hostess With The Mostess can bring their expertise to any party, as Stephanie recounted: “We just did a whole bachelor weekend – five different events throughout the weekend, catering to ten guys from a hotel in Brooklyn, to a roof party, and then we ended up doing a tailgate on Sunday for the Jets game. So although we specialize in weddings, we can literally do whatever you want.”
In order to make the magic happen, Stephanie relies on the efforts from her experienced and professional staff. “We’re a team of over a hundred, and everyone is fantastic,” she raved. “Most have been with us for years and years. It’s a good working environment.”
“She glowed from the inside out.” – Hostess With The Mostess
For Stephanie, the best part of the job is getting to know her clients’ families. “It’s the bride and the groom’s day, and that’s so fantastic,” she explained. “They have so much going on and so many people to see and things to do, and making things easier for them, making sure they’re fed, is great. But I feel like we always get to know the families a little more, especially the bride and groom’s parents. A lot of them might still be married or they’re grandparents, and getting to see them relive the memories of their own weddings – that’s always my favorite.”
The connections that Stephanie makes with her clients prove to be continually strong and lasting. “We’ll start out by doing someone’s bridal shower, and then we end up doing their backyard wedding, and then two years later we’re at their housewarming party and now, all of the sudden, we’re at their fourth kid’s third birthday. It’s really special.”
As far as favorite events go, one particular wedding sticks out in Stephanie’s mind. “It was a backyard wedding for an older couple,” she remembered. “The vibe that they gave each other was mesmerizing. She was gorgeous anyway, but she just glowed from the inside out. The feeling you had being near them, not only as a couple but as people, was fantastic. They were just really, really good people.”
“It feels connected and rooted.” – Hostess With The Mostess
When it comes to planning your own big day, Stephanie has a great piece of decorating advice. “Think of repurposing, and bringing in elements to your wedding that are sentimental,” she advises. “We just did a bridal shower recently, and each family member brought china that they got for their own weddings, and it was used as place wear. There are special little things that you can do with anything on your wedding day, and it feels connected and rooted.”
Repurposing treasured items has another benefit besides sentimentality. “At times like this when everyone wants to cut back financially just a little bit, most people already have stuff that you can use. There have been plenty of times when I’ve driven by something that someone is getting rid of, and it matches one of my bride’s visions for their weddings, so I’ll pick it up and say ‘look what I got for you, this is so cool!’”