How To Transform Your Wedding Venue

Are you one of the hundreds (probably more like thousands) of brides getting married on a farm? Maybe you’ve picked out your wedding venue, but you want to make it look completely different? Between the weddings being planned in open spaces like barns, estates and museums, and those being planned in spaces that are blank slates, how to transform your wedding venue is trickier than you might think.

As a wedding planner, I specialize in creative weddings and open spaces. In this blog, I’m sharing some wedding planning advice that we give our couples and busting some myths about these types of weddings too. So, if you want to know not just how to transform your wedding venue, but everything you haven’t thoughts about yet, read on!

How to transform your wedding venue and design an open space. Read this wedding blog if you're looking for ways to change the look of your wedding venue, or having a backyard, farm, barn or at home wedding! #weddingblog #barnwedding

Let’s get one thing out of the way, and that’s the biggest myth about planning a wedding where you get to bring everything in:

You will not save money this way.

I can’t tell you how many brides call me up and tell me they want to get married on a farm “because it’s cheaper”. First of all, no it’s not. Second of all, farms and open spaces in general aren’t right for everyone and shouldn’t be selected because they are the alleged cheaper option.
While we’re on the subject, “wildflowers” aren’t really a thing and using them isn’t one of the ways you can keep wedding costs down.

outdoor wedding

The Wide Open Spaces
When I say “open space”, I am including any type of wedding venue where you’re basically building the entire thing from the ground up. Literally. This includes the following: private homes, farms, barns, wineries, and museums. Basically, all non-traditional spaces that will allow you to have a truly unique wedding design because you’re picking everything


 

I’m not really sure who started the rumor that farm and barn weddings are less expensive than having a wedding in say a banquet hall or other established wedding venue. It doesn’t make any sense if you think about it. Consider a banquet hall the all-inclusive spring break vacation and a farm wedding as that ala carte trip to Europe. The banquet hall is including a whole lot more in that “per person” cost than an open space wedding venue is. Let’s break it down…
You’ve Got Nothing and Everything Costs Something
When you go to a banquet hall style wedding venue, these things are generally included:
  • tables
  • chairs
  • linens
  • food
  • beverage
  • flooring
  • lighting
  • bathrooms
  • staff
  • water
  • glassware
  • utensils
  • a roof
Versus the non-traditional spaces that generally include:
  • the space
See the difference?
I’m not asking that question to be a jerk either. It’s just mind-blowing to me how anyone could possibly think that a non-traditional space like a farm would be a great way to cut wedding costs. I promise you that a farm wedding or any other open space will be more expensive than most banquet hall style wedding venues.
If you believe me and you’re still all about the non-banquet hall wedding, then keep on reading. If I just ruined your day, well…thanks for stopping by.
Banquet Halls for the Basic Bride
My company does not specialize in banquet hall weddings. Crystal and marble just isn’t my style and so we generally work with couples looking for “something different”. That’s not to say we don’t plan our fair share of weddings in spaces with everything included, but when we do, we’re generally transforming the entire venue. There will be more on that later in this blog.

bridesmaid tote bag bride handbag
 

One of the best things about selecting a creative space for your wedding venue is the option to pick your own caterer. Established wedding venues will already have an in-house caterer/kitchen and sometimes that can limit your food selection. Foodies would do best to get married in an open space that allows them to bring in the caterer of their choice. This also means not having to commit to a caterer until after a tasting, which is never going to happen in a banquet hall style wedding venue. 
The catch? Well, there are a few…

wedding tablescape

Depending on your location, you will have to follow local liquor laws, and each caterer has their own policies as well. Bringing in your own alcohol is a great way to keep wedding costs down, so take that option if you can. Other scenarios include having the caterer bring in the liquor or having a completely separate liquor vendor and then dealing with hiring barstaff that is legally allowed to pour alcohol. 
Meanwhile, if at this point you’re not convinced that hiring a wedding planner for this type of wedding is a necessity, you might be crazy. Anyway…
Besides the liquor law nonsense that changes from state to state, your menu could be partially dictated by the venue you select. I planned a wedding industry event at an industrial warehouse once and we needed to bring in an outside caterer. They had a kitchen onsite but it was Glatt Kosher. If you don’t know what that means, it’s basically super strict Kosher and if you’re not following their rules (which you’re probably not if you don’t even know what Glatt means) you can’t use their kitchen. So, my caterer could not use their working kitchen, which meant they had to set up their own kitchen, outside, right down to the ovens and running water. 

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Creative venue spaces frequently have restrictive or smaller kitchens, or you won’t even be able to use them. Other times, the venue might have rules that directly affect the catering team. For instance, one farm that I work at a lot doesn’t allow smokers or water to be dumped anywhere. This farm is the perfect setting for a pig roast, but you’re not allowed to do it, and not being able to use water in particular ways is inconvenient for caterers. The more you inconvenience a wedding vendor, the higher your cost will be.
Does the freedom to choose your own caterer, build your own menu and have unique options for your guests outweigh everything else you’ll be dealing with? I’m treating this blog as a weeding out process, so if you haven’t run away screaming yet, let’s keep going…

wedding venue

Musical Chairs
A big plus to having an open space as your wedding venue is being able to get creative with more than just flowers. If you’re not down with all that food and beverage drama I laid out above, don’t worry, you can get this creative in an established venue too. 
When planning a wedding in your backyard or on a farm, you’re going to need basics including tables, chairs, linens, and serveware. Many times, the catering company will be able to handle these rentals and keep them under your “per person” cost.  If you’re in an established wedding venue that already provides these things, you’ll probably be able to rent different items instead. Before committing to a venue, however, make sure that you are allowed to do that.


 

Caterers that provide these basics are typically going to have the basics of these basics. That means round tables, chiavari or other standard style chairs, and white and/or ivory linens. Things like farmhouse and rectangle tables, different color linens, charger plates and funky wine glasses…pretty much everything you see on Pinterest, fall outside of the “basics”. Work with your caterer to find out exactly what they provide so you know what you would be responsible for. 
Another thing to consider when securing rentals: set up. Specifically, you’ll need to know whom is going to handle the rentals when they are delivered to the venue and then whom is setting them up and breaking them down. You’re probably wondering who usually handles this and the answer is that it varies. Some rental companies we work with will bring in tables and chairs and place them for us, whereas other companies drop them off at the front door and bounce. If you don’t want to show up to your wedding to see 250 chairs stacked in piles, put together a plan and discuss how everything is being set up and broken down.

barn wedding

Designer’s Choice
Design elements are a great way to transform a venue whether it’s a museum or a banquet hall space. It’s not just about what’s on the table, but in the corners and on the ceiling and basically everywhere. The vibe of a wedding should extend past the reception room. You can transform any venue by creating a unique entrance space or changing up the chandeliers. 
Ceiling treatments are perfect for tented weddings, and tents are perfect for a lot of these non-traditional spaces. Fun fact: a lot of the barns available for weddings are small and max out at 150 guests. It’s because they were built to be a barn, not a wedding venue. Because of this, many of the barn weddings we plan at include bringing in a tent for the reception. We’ve also tented backyard weddings and weddings at arboretums, as well as other places where a roof isn’t included in the package.


 

Whether you’re using a tent or an actual ceiling, you can transform the space using flowers, lighting and draping. Flowers can be used with existing lighting fixtures, or even as a perimeter design. You can get creative with lighting by renting chandeliers to totally change up the feeling of the space, or use a wall wash color to pull together the entire design.
Draping is another way to transform any space and you’re not limited to just the ceiling. One bride we worked with absolutely hated her venue because everyone else had gotten married there or been in the space a hundred times before. We got permission to drape the entire space, including the walls, making the venue look completely different than it ever had before. 

barn wedding

As you’ve probably figured out by now, flowers and ceiling installations aren’t what anyone would consider “affordable”. If you truly want to transform your venue though, those are the best ways to do it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not any more affordable to work with a blank space than it is to transform a venue…but I warned you guys about that in the beginning. 

To Transform or Not to Transform?

Did you make it to the end of the blog? If so, thanks for sticking around. Still planning on transforming your wedding venue? Or are you getting married at an open space venue where you’ll be bringing everything in? 

What advice do you have for other brides and grooms? Was there anything in this blog that you hadn’t considered before? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave them in the comments section below.

And if you are looking for help to transform your wedding venue or design a non-traditional space, contact us right now and let’s chat!

Breaking News: Alpacas Officially Not Cool Anymore

Style Me Pretty has been a source of wedding inspiration for 12 years now. Back before wedding websites were a dime a dozen, Style Me Pretty represented a more organic wedding style that would eventually become a trend. Phrases like “rustic chic” and “boho” became popular with a major assist from Style Me Pretty. If you like barn weddings, you’re likely on the wedding website every day.

But with the extinction of Style Me Pretty after April 30, 2018, will we also find out that flower draped alpacas aren’t cool anymore? What does this website take with it once it goes dark later this month? How does this impact the wedding industry? 

And is this really a bad thing?

The Fairytale

Once upon a time, a girl created a website full of whimsy. Years later, she sold it to a huge corporation for a bunch of money. Turmoil raged through the land, there was a whole bunch of corporate merger madness and the website went up for sale. No one bought the website and the big scary corporation shut it down. The end.
Not exactly the happily ever after ending, if you consider the corporation being the villain. But, are they?
My husband and I were discussing the story this week and he said something that I have heard before: Businesses are made to be sold. While I understand that to be true, at this moment in time, I could never see myself as a person that creates a business just to sell it. Maybe it’s just not how my character works.
Or maybe I’ve just never had a multi-million dollar offer and a chance to make that decision.
Bridal bouquet
Alicia King Photography
But it’s pretty cut and dry, isn’t it? If you sell something, you are giving it up. You don’t have any control over it anymore and in essence you are choosing the money over what you created. That’s not to say you won’t always have some attachment to the business, but if you care about what happens to it, you wouldn’t sell it. 
In this particular fairytale, our leading character was repeating history. Prior to Style Me Pretty being born, the creator went from having a part time job at a stationery store to creating her own invitation line…which she then sold. The reason why she sold isn’t hard to find, and she basically talks about the stress and an opportunity landing in her lap in an article you can read right here
Later in that article, she shares that she received a buy-out offer for Style Me Pretty. But not the offer she would later accept from the corporation that would shut everything down. Instead, it’s an offer that she rejected because, as she states,  “what we were doing had more value than we knew.”

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Fast forward 8 years, when Style Me Pretty’s continued huge growth leads to a partnership with a corporate company…and eventually the buy-out offer, in May 2017, that would be accepted. Not just accepted, but seen as the “proudest day of her career” according to this interview

 

Growing Pains

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anaïs Nin

The announcement that Style Me Pretty will essentially disappear was bigger breaking wedding news this week than any royal wedding ever will be. Emotions and opinions are really strong, and if I’m being honest, I don’t have mine completely sorted out yet.
bride and groom
Domenick Michael Photography
My work has been published in Style Me Pretty, and I still remember the joy I felt when that happened. Not all publications or wedding blogs are created equal. Style Me Pretty is a bucket list publication for many, including myself. There’s no denying the high level quality of work displayed, so feeling validated when they decide your work is good enough to be included, is normal. 
The problem though, is that those people validating you, aren’t the ones hiring you. Not then and not now.
When Style Me Pretty created a vendor listing, it was invitation only. Yes, you had to pay to advertise, but you weren’t even given the opportunity if your work wasn’t up to their standards. It used to be a big deal to get invited into their “little black book”. If you’re outside the industry, just imagine that for a second: Wedding vendors getting excited that they are good enough to give their money to an advertising platform. 
The thought process behind advertising (or not) in any wedding outlet revolves around return of investment. You put your advertising dollars into the platform that speaks to your “ideal” client. Frankly, Style Me Pretty couples are the ideal client for a good amount of wedding vendors. So between the ego validation and the higher chance of getting your portfolio in front of the clients you want to book, many would’ve gladly thrown money to be on this website. And then bragged about it. 
So, it should come as no surprise that many are devastated by this news. I understand it on paper, absolutely, but I can’t quite get there emotionally. 
Bridal bouquet
Jessica Janae Photography
It’s weird because, you feel like you’re supposed to be mourning. And you’re sad, but you’re not totally sad. It’s almost like when you go to a repast after a funeral. You just put somebody that you love into the ground and you’re never seeing them again. But now, you’re sitting over one of three pre-selected entrees with other family members talking about the good old days and laughing. You’re thinking how you just said your final goodbyes to someone and how devastated you are, so how can you be talking and laughing?
I remember my first funeral was when I was four years old. I was downstairs during the wake because this funeral home was some weird bi-level unit and wakes are really long and when you’re four you have to stay as long as your mom says you have to stay. Anyway…I’m downstairs with a few family members of mine, and just above my head on the second floor was a dead relative. At four years old you don’t really get the concept of death, but what you do know is that it’s sad and therefore, people will cry.
Yet this entire time I’m standing in the random basement of a funeral home, during a wake, and no one is crying. In fact, they are joking, laughing and telling stories. Meanwhile, all I knew was that someone was dead and you’re supposed to be crying. But you’re not.
That’s me with this whole Style Me Pretty death thing. I’m not crying. But this time, I shouldn’t be. And you shouldn’t be either.
Why?


 

Just like anything else, Style Me Pretty changed as the growth continued. The Style Me Pretty that used to get wedding vendors the bulk of their work, is not the one going dark at the end of the month. That one went dark years agoThat funeral is over.
I say this with the absolute and utmost respect for the website and everyone that has been a part of it: the mourning period is done. 
The wedding website that handpicked the vendors that were allowed to pay them to advertise, hasn’t been around for years. When their little black book was selective, you might have found 3 wedding planners in your area when doing a search. But now? There are so many planners listed that you can filter it down to categories like “elopement planners”. Those are just the vendors that are paying to be showcased. I’m not even going to bother figuring out the vendors getting free advertising on their “Vendor Guide” platform, including myself. 
bride and groom
Justin Tinapay Photography
Another change? There are roughly 900 other wedding blogs and websites out there now, many with vendor listings. Is Style Me Pretty still one of the best, even after the corporate change? Absolutely. So why should you still not be crying?
Because your ideal client isn’t there anymore. They haven’t been there since AOL got involved and they’ve been cheating on you with social media. You’ve been chasing the ghost of ideal wedding client past.


 

AOL presents, Style Me Pretty. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I mean, all the sports stadiums and arenas are named after banks and big companies. I’m sure the higher ups at MetLife know how to throw a football right? (That’s a Giants Stadium reference for anyone that missed it).
AOL and its parent company know nothing about the wedding industry and more importantly, they don’t care. Corporations with portfolios so diversified that none of the companies they own have anything in common do not care. Corporations that own similar companies, only care enough to buy and shut down the one making less money in order to cut competition. 
Businesses are created to be bought and sold, remember?
The point is, corporate got involved, and it’s not the same anymore. Style Me Pretty grew up when you weren’t looking, and the validation you still need from them, has devalued. 

Life Goes On

There are a significant amount of people in the wedding industry involved in a petition to save Style Me Pretty. A petition that is being endorsed by the website’s creator and original owner. Despite the extreme amount of respect I have for both the creator and the website in general, I have to question this move. 
Vintage wedding set up for a dessert table
Alicia King Photography
And while I firmly believe that unless those signatures are on a stack of cash, that this is a waste of time, I’m going to link it anyway to play fair. Hopefully, if you’re a wedding vendor that wants to rip my head off right now, you can take this as my olive branch of understanding your pain. I am not, in any way, trying to mock or dismiss anyone’s feelings.
This week has brought intense debate of whether or not it will matter to future couples that the vendors they interview for their weddings were once upon a time featured by Style Me Pretty. The answer is “no”. It won’t matter if you were never published on Style Me Pretty or if you were featured every week since day 1.
Look how quickly major and devastating news stories are forgotten. This website shutdown didn’t even trend on Twitter. If Style Me Pretty actually disappears from the internet like the corporate owners have promised, people will stop caring much sooner than you think. The website, the hashtag, and everything else will cease to exist. Hell, this blog probably won’t make sense in what? A year? Less?
But it’s more than the website being erased from the internet. It’s about the growth of the website that didn’t match the evolution of the engaged couples. 


 

There’s nothing on that site that engaged couples are looking for anymore. 
Style Me Pretty was Pinterest before Pinterest. Style Me Pretty was the wedding blog before wedding blogs existed. But Pinterest isn’t going anywhere, and new wedding blogs are added every day. The market is extremely saturated, so why on earth would you want to save a website that doesn’t give engaged couples what they are actually looking for?
I said that the funeral for Style Me Pretty was years ago because that’s when their format changed. Marketing in the wedding industry (and I assume others) has also changed since then. But if you’re not changing, if you’re not going through that same growth that Style Me Pretty went through, then your funeral might be next. 
Style Me Pretty got it right with the rustic and organic style wedding trend. The reason that trend, that style, hasn’t died is because it can evolve and change. It is a niche that will survive because of it’s ability to adapt.
The lack of authenticity on “Style Me Pretty brought to you by AOL”, is where they went wrong. And it’s that same lack of authenticity that is present on all major wedding blogs and websites, that is unappealing to couples. This entire world is desperate for authenticity and real connections. You know when people are really desperate? When they’re planning their wedding, a celebration where they will announce to those closest to them that they found their soulmate. That’s when authenticity wins.
Go figure, right?
Vintage white dresser with flowers
Alicia King Photography
And that’s the trend that matters. It’s not about the alpacas as much as it’s about the authenticity. 
It’s growth and it’s painful. No one really likes change and everyone gets annoyed with big corporation take overs. Style Me Pretty grew up, went into a coma, and then Uncle AOL pulled the life support plug. This wasn’t the first wedding blog to go down, and it won’t be the last.
Whether the website is archived or obliterated at the end of the month will not affect your business growth. Wedding vendors no longer need to depend on huge blogs to define who they are. The validation of your work comes from the engaged couples, which is where it should have come from all along. If you’re not authentic, you are irrelevant.
And it’s about damn time.
bride
Style Me Pretty goes dark and what that means for wedding inspiration, engaged couples and members of the wedding industry. Read this blog for everything you need to know!

10 Spring Wedding Ideas

As I write this, the 689th winter storm is quickly approaching the area. It’s the first day of Spring and Mother Nature does not care. Meanwhile, even my three year old is done with the snow. So, to help everybody get ready for Spring (whenever it decides to arrive), I put together 10 Spring wedding ideas that you can steal for your own big day!

Spring wedding inspiration blog

10 Spring Wedding Ideas

When you think “Spring Wedding” you probably think of flowers, right? 
“Flowers. For Spring. Groundbreaking.” -Devil Wears Prada-
It’s a pretty obvious choice to use flowers as much as possible if you’re having a Spring wedding. But most blogs will tell you to just use peonies or other Spring style flowers and you’ll be set. There’s also the idea to use Spring colors like pinks and blues which will only end up making your wedding look like an Easter egg hunt. 
Lighter colors are absolutely the way to go for a Spring wedding, but the answer isn’t just pink and blue centerpieces. There are plenty of color combinations available so you don’t have to feel restricted to pastels. Once you have those colors chosen, you can work with your designer and florist to incorporate them into the decor; particularly the flowers. 

1. Use a Floral Touch at Every Place Setting

Give your guests a touch of Spring when they sit down to your reception by placing a flower either on the napkin and menu or charger plate.
Lavender sprig at a wedding place setting
Images by Berit
If you’re using a charger plate, opt for one with a simple or neutral border, which will allow the floral piece to stand out. For couples offering their guests a meal choice, this is a great way to compliment the menu card as well. 

Floral place setting for a wedding

Instead of using a charger plate, or if your venue does not have the dinner plate pre-set on the tables, use a pop of Spring with a colored napkin to act as the backdrop for your floral piece. Can’t decide on what flower to use? Mix it up and have your florist use two different blooms for every other place setting. 

2. Flower Girl Power

If you have a flower girl or 4 in your wedding party, it’s super easy to incorporate the Spring trend through their dress and even accessories. 
Flower girl ideas for a spring wedding
Jessica Janae Photography
Look for a flower girl dress with a floral pattern or one that can be accessorized with a floral belt. No matter what your colors are, the flower girl wardrobe doesn’t necessarily follow a set of rules and doesn’t have to match everyone else in the wedding party. Don’t be afraid to use a bright pink or purple rose as an accent, even if your colors are white and green. 

3. Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are insanely popular right now (even though I used them at my wedding 100 years ago BTW) and the options are endless. Your florist can create this Spring look for your flower girls, which is always something little girls are excited to wear.
Flower girl floral crowns
Justin Tinapay Photography
Of course, flower crowns aren’t just for flower girls. Bridesmaids are wearing them now and even brides are choosing to wear them over the traditional veils.
Floral crown for a bride
Alicia King Photography

4. Go Outside

Truly having a Spring wedding? Take it outside, even if that means just your wedding ceremony. 
Outdoor wedding ceremony florals
Justin Tinapay Photography
If you’re not in an area where it “looks” like Spring outside, consider adding touches of flowers. Think beyond the ceremony arch or arbor, and put flowers on banisters and railings. Summer weddings can still have a spring vibe, even if the flowering plants have all turned green. Work with your designer to create a Spring vibe, even if it’s just your ceremony being held outside. 
Bride and groom with dog for outdoor wedding
Justin Tinapay Photography
If you are planning on hosting your wedding outside, it’s always important to have a Plan B. For how to prepare for bad weather on your wedding day, be sure to check out our blog on that subject here

5. Bright Colors

Remember earlier when I said you don’t have to make your wedding look like an Easter egg hunt to get the Spring look? While I’m not going to tell you to use bold colors like emerald green or marsala red, you can and should use bright colors like pinks and yellows. 
Spring bridal bouquet
Mary + Roy Photography
Spring is all about new life and new beauty, and sometimes nothing is more beautiful than a bouquet of bright flowers. If you’re worried about the colors being too intense, you can tone it down be using paler colors as well. 
Spring floral centerpiece
Sarah Schulte Photography
Another Spring idea for your flowers is to add in fresh greenery to break up the brighter colors. The greenery acts like a base to all of that color, which is perfect if you’re looking for a more modern look.

6. Lace Dresses

I know there are plenty of brides trying to skip right over this one because you hate lace but hear me out. The reason lace is a staple in weddings is because it’s classic and versatile. For some reason, most brides hear the word “lace” and think of their grandmother’s tablecloths. Meanwhile, lace, when done right, gives a soft and romantic look that is perfect for a Spring wedding. 
Spring bridesmaid
Mary + Roy Photography
When used with other fabrics, lace is a perfect compliment. Even if the bride isn’t wearing a single piece of lace, the bridesmaids can and there are endless options available that even the biggest lace-hater bride would love. Still not convinced? Check out these gorgeous examples our friends at The Dessy Shop have available.

7. Blue Groomsmen Suits

More and more, grooms and groomsmen are pulling away from black tuxedos. Aside from the black tie formal weddings, my couples are always asking me for other options. This trend is likely to continue as more weddings are being designed outside of the standard banquet hall and in places where a black tuxedo just wouldn’t make sense. 
Blue Groomsmen Suit for a Spring Wedding
Jessica Janae Photography
Dressing the groom and groomsmen in blue suits is a great Spring idea for so many reasons. The shades of blue available are endless and even the darkest ones are perfect for Spring. The color is also incredibly formal and can be dressed up (or down) using accessories including shirts, ties and even shoes.
Dusty blue groomsmen tuxedo for a spring wedding
Images by Berit
Not sold on the blue color for your formal Spring wedding? We love when our grooms work with our custom tuxedo designer to create the perfect mix of what they’re looking for. If you want to ditch that black tuxedo, but you know mom wants to see you in something more formal, meet halfway and go for the satin details without everything else. 

8. Cake Flowers

Yes, we’re back to flowers again!! I am a huge fan of real flowers instead of sugary ones on cakes, but for Spring weddings, this is a must
White wedding cake with real flowers
Domenick Michael Photography
There are plenty of ways to add flowers to your wedding cake, making this Spring idea the most versatile on the list. Whether you want to cover the cake in a cascade of roses or simply add a few flowers here and there, we have all the inspiration you need on our wedding cake board right here. 
Roses on top of a wedding cake
Gabelli Studio

9. Floral Linens

Linens are one of my favorite ways to get creative with wedding decor. Floral linen options can be anything from a flat pattern to a more textured cloth. But no matter the color or colors of the floral pattern linen, this is a great spring idea for any time of the year.
Floral reception table
Gabelli Studio
They are also one of the most complicated components, especially when you’re dealing with (at most) a bunch of swatches trying to figure out what works. Since linens can also add up quickly, I always recommend adding linens to a few signature tables such as: cake table, gift/card table, escort card table and the sweetheart table. Since these tables can be different sizes, even using the same linen for all four tables will look different and add dimension to the entire look. 

Floral sweetheart table

10. Sweetheart Table Floral Explosion

The sweetheart table will be a major focus of the reception for the entire night, even if the bride and groom don’t spend much time actually sitting at it. Many times, the sweetheart table will be overlooked and wind up with little decor or just the bouquets from the bridesmaids. While there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple, there are many brides and grooms that don’t think about this part of the decor until it’s too late. 

The sweetheart table is a great way to bring a little Spring into your wedding decor. Since the table is much smaller, it wouldn’t make sense to simply add another centerpiece. Framing the table with florals is basically inviting the wedding guests into a Spring garden anytime they visit with the bride and groom (which is often). 
Sweetheart table
Domenick Michael Photography
Whether you want to create a lush floral design that drapes to the floor, or frame the table with flowers and candles, you can totally bring a bit of Spring into your wedding by focusing on your sweetheart table!

Wedding Blog about Spring Weddings

Are you having a Spring wedding or bringing a bit of the season into your own big day? What are you doing to make that happen? Share your Spring ideas in the comments below for other engaged couples!

10 Rehearsal Dinner Ideas That Aren’t Lame

Rehearsal dinners tend to be one of the last things that my clients worry about. Even though it’s typically the day before the wedding, there is very little focus on this event. Coming up with rehearsal dinner ideas isn’t half as exciting as picking a wedding gown or designing centerpieces. Amiright?

On top of that, if you’ve been to one, you know how easy it is to get bored. I mean, why are there 97 toasts? Is there even a full bar at this thing? Is there even bar?

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Rehearsal dinners don’t get a lot of attention for two reasons: 1. They’re rehearsal dinners so who cares? and 2. How hard can planning one actually be?

As a wedding planner, I like to tackle planning the rehearsal dinner a lot sooner than most of my brides and grooms would prefer. In this blog, I’m going to tell you why that early planning is a good idea and give you 10 rehearsal dinner ideas that aren’t lame.

 

Blog about rehearsal dinner ideas

Who Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?

One of the struggles my brides and grooms have when planning a rehearsal dinner is similar to a constant struggle they have while planning the wedding: who is paying for it?

Traditionally, the groom’s family is responsible for covering all of the costs associated with the rehearsal dinner. That said, etiquette has become more of a suggestion given that times change and not everyone is dealing with the same exact circumstances.

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For instance, if the couple is paying for everything, they could ask for their parents to help with this expense if  that is an option. A couple could also choose to handle this and other nominal expenses if their parents are handling the big ticket items associated with the wedding.

But while etiquette is what you make it, there are families that live and die by Emily Post’s words regardless of how outdated they might be. When my couples ask me who pays for what (another blog is coming on this, I promise), I give them the “Post” rules and then work to adjust them according to their situation. 

One thing that I always make clear? The person signing the check gets the final say. This means that if you want full control of any part of your wedding, you have to be responsible for the payments.

bridesmaid tote bag bride handbag
 

Where?

This part is the reason you want to book this sooner rather than later. You might be surprised how hard it is to get a private room for 30 people on a Friday night. Many locations will only be able to offer a “semi-private” location, which means you will be dining with everyone else….but like in their “V.I.P. area”.

Once you decide those logistics, it’s important to consider other things like available parking, food and beverage minimum, and of course, type of food.


 

Assuming your wedding is in the next day or two, I always recommend catering that is the polar opposite from what you will be serving at the wedding. Planning a 5 course black tie wedding night? Consider an outdoor pig roast under a tent. The last thing your guests want is the same thing in the same place two nights in a row.

Who Makes The List?

Generally, the people invited to the rehearsal dinner are those involved in the actual wedding ceremony. That includes anyone in your wedding party, parents, immediate family (if you choose) as well as their guests.

That’s right. Their guests. Your Maid of Honor’s boyfriend might not be your BFF, and while he shouldn’t attend the rehearsal, he should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Make that clear on your invitations, or else be prepared for questions from everyone. 

Can you invite more people? Absolutely…but I would only recommend that for destination weddings where you truly want everyone to be a part of the evening. Keep in mind that if it is a destination wedding, you will have to be considerate that not everyone will be able to attend both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding due to additional expenses and for many other reasons.


 

Top 10 Ideas for Your Rehearsal Dinner

1. Hand Out Gifts and Thank-Yous

Rehearsal dinners are a great chance to thank those that have been with you on this journey. The week of a wedding is hectic and this is the only time to slow down and pass out gifts to your parents and wedding party. If you’re looking for a more private moment, be sure to schedule that in, but otherwise, know that this is the best time for everyone. 

Blog about rehearsal dinner ideas
Jessica Janae Photography

Not sure what to get those special people in your life? We’ve put together an awesome list in this blog right here complete with links where you can find every item. Whatever you choose, make it personal (no gift cards allowed!!). You can’t go wrong with jewelry and I love this company right here.

2. Offer Fun Dessert

A fun cake for a rehearsal dinner!

You’ll likely have plenty to choose from at the wedding, but the rehearsal dinner menu should be more limited. Along with not offering 7 entree options, don’t feel pressured to create a huge dessert display.

Express your personality and the vibe of the rehearsal dinner with a super fun cake or even a small sampling of different sorbets. Put out a platter of engagement ring cookies for everyone to take before calling it a night!

 Engagement ring cookies for your rehearsal dinner
Timothy Glenn Photography

3. Show Off Those Engagement Photos

Remember those so in love photos you took when you first got engaged? Why save them for just the wedding day? Put those on display at the rehearsal dinner and guests will be sure to notice!

Engagement photo for your rehearsal dinner
Vanessa Joy Photography

4. Keep Food Casual With Fun Displays

Rehearsal dinners are a great chance for the most important people in your wedding to get to know each other. An open floor plan filled with stations will keep guests mingling all night while enjoying the incredible food!

food display for a rehearsal dinner
Timothy Glenn Photography

5. Signature Drinks Aren’t Just For Weddings

Couldn’t decide between signature drinks for your wedding? Offer up one for your rehearsal dinner instead! Don’t forget to give it a fun name and let it compliment the total evening.

Signature drinks for a rehearsal dinner
Domenick Michael Photography

Consider having them passed as guests enter or even placed on a fun station mixed in with the food choices.

6. Show Guests To Their Seats

Depending on your guest count, you have the option of using escort cards or place cards. Escort cards are typically used at weddings to show guests which tables they are sitting at. Place cards sit at the tables to show guests what seat they should be in.

Escort card holders for a rehearsal dinner.

Keep this part casual no matter which option you choose. Letterpress escort cards are ideal for a wedding, but there’s nothing like an engraved shot glass for the rehearsal dinner! Escort card and a favor? Jackpot!

7. Family Style It

Quite often, couples tell me they want to use long or farmhouse tables for their reception and sometimes it’s not possible. Reasons like lack of space or expense of rentals can make this a tricky request to accommodate for wedding days.

Since rehearsal dinners often have a much lower guest count than a wedding, this is the perfect time to use those gorgeous tables. Plus, with everyone sitting together, it’s a great chance to get to know one another!

Long farmhouse table for a wedding or rehearsal dinner
Timothy Glenn Photography

8. Keep the Decor Simple

An engagement party might call for big tall centerpieces, and sometimes a bridal shower will too. However, a rehearsal dinner is not the time to flaunt a floral budget. 

Centerpiece for a wedding
Jessica Janae Photography

Rehearsal dinners keep people at the tables, so it’s important that the centerpieces not be a distraction. A long table feels warm and cozy with a long floral runner and candles, while smaller tables call for classic arrangements.

9. Rehearsal Dinner or Lunch?

The only rule I have for my couples is that their rehearsal dinner doesn’t run so late that it’s a chore to get up the next morning. Often times, the rehearsals are later in the evening due to work schedules which forces the dinner to be even later.

Outdoor rehearsal dinner
Images by Berit

If it’s possible to host a rehearsal dinner earlier in the day though, then go for it! Take it outside and enjoy the fresh air, which will allow you to end early enough to get some serious rest. Just make sure you host the actual rehearsal first…you know, before the mimosas.

10. Skip the Rehearsal Part Entirely

One of the questions I am consistently asked is “do we really need a rehearsal?” My answer is always the same: 

No.

Engagement pictures in NYC
Domenick Michael Photography

The exception to this is if you are getting married in a religious house that requires a rehearsal. Or, if you really would just feel more comfortable running through everything at least once before the big day. The only reason I am mentioning this is because, in my experience, people do just fine without a rehearsal and one less thing to do the week of your wedding is always a win.


 

How are you going to make your rehearsal dinner special? Have any tips you want to share? Do you plan on ditching the whole tradition all together? Share what your plans are in the comments to help inspire other engaged couples!

Ranunculus and Other Kick Ass Wedding Flowers (That Aren’t Peonies)

Ok, here come the pitchforks and cries about how dare I insult peonies. Look, peonies are great and all, but other wedding flowers exist. Like ranunculus.

Gesundheit.

Sounds like a sneeze right? Well, it does when some people try to pronounce it. 

Anyway… there are other flowers that don’t have a season that’s 4 seconds long like peonies. And it’s time to give some other wedding flowers the spotlight they deserve.

Let every other bride use peonies, while you have ranunculus on your wedding day. Check out this blog for five kick ass wedding flowers that aren't peonies.

Ranunculus has always been a favorite flower of mine, and if I can convince a bride to use them instead of peonies, I totally will. I like peonies, don’t get my wrong, but so does everyone else. I’m not saying they’re basic but, if they were a person, they would wear Uggs starting September 1st and totally order a pumpkin latte at Starbucks same day.

 

Ranunculus is a gorgeous wedding flower and comes in a bunch of different colors. They look great in everything from bouquets to centerpieces. 

Ranunculus bridal bouquet in deep fall colors, perfect for a rustic or garden wedding. Click the picture and read the blog for other ideas how to use ranunculus for your wedding design!
Justin Tinapay Photography

Just like peonies, ranunculus is fluffy and takes up some room. But they are more structured and hence, more interesting than the peony. Plus, they don’t look like they could fall apart at any second.

So, there’s that.

Ranunculus also has a longer season than the peony, and it’s available during the height of wedding season. By the way, if you’re looking for more information about in season flowers, make sure you check out this blog right here.

Another favorite of mine is the hydrangea. Unlike ranunculus, hydrangea is a well known flower type. But did you know it comes in like 479 different colors?

I mean…roughly.

Check out this wedding blog featuring ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that every bride to be needs to consider for her wedding day!

Yes, the white hydrangea is super popular since white goes with everything, but with purple trending again, I expect to see plenty of purple and antique blue versions of this flower.

Hydrangea, like ranunculus, takes up a bunch of space…except a lot more. Why does that matter? Because if you’re working with a tight floral budget, you want to use flowers that you need less of.


 

Basically, for every stem of hydrangea, you would need a dozen stems of peonies. And peonies are already way more expensive than hydrangea. This means you need more of the more expensive flower.

Bye bye budget.

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that every bride should know about for her wedding day. Read the blog for great wedding ideas and inspiration!

Hydrangeas are a lot like a hangover. They need hydration. That means these flowers are best in centerpieces or displays for things like your escort card table. Don’t waste them in a bouquet or else you might have a wilted mess without a constant water source.


 

Frequently, brides will ask me what the alternative is to peonies…especially if they aren’t getting married in the 4 minute long season the flower is available in. I love to recommend ranunculus, but the more popular answer is garden roses.

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that brides should know about for their wedding day.
Domenick Michael Photography

Garden roses are huge. If you missed the blog about garden roses and other types of this romantic flower, head over to one of our previous blogs right here

There’s a definite reason that roses are so popular for weddings: they are the ultimate romantic flower. Roses for Valentine’s Day? Slightly popular. 


 

But you don’t have to just go with red roses, and besides an insane amount of variety being available, there are plenty of colors to choose from. If you’re a bride looking for a peony substitute, the garden rose will be the same size and give that same soft and whimsical look.

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that every bride to be should know about for her wedding day!
Domenick Michael Photography

The only drawback to using garden roses is that they are extremely fragrant. If you’re a bride with allergies, or concerned about your guests, then stick with ranunculus instead.

While not the perfect substitute for the peony, we are seeing the protea become a popular bloom. With its massive size, only one is really needed for an entire centerpiece. Unlike the peony, however, protea are very structured.

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that every bride needs to know about for her wedding day!

But, if you want your flowers to be a metaphor for your marriage, then go team protea and bench team peony. Like, the whole team.

I don’t hate peonies, I swear.

Dessy Group Menswear
 

If you’re still not on board the ranunculus train, and you’re not in love with the other options, don’t fret just yet…

Another showstopping wedding flower is the dahlia. Available in plenty of colors, this flower is softer than the pretoria, but not as fluffy as the peony. But again, the peony looks like it’s going to fall apart at any moment.

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that every bride needs to know about for her wedding day!
Images by Berit

Dahlias are not only super gorgeous, but they blend really well with all of the other peony alternative suggestions above. They are such an “in between” flower that they can be the featured artist or the backup singer.

While available during the height of wedding season, brides don’t have to just use Fall colors here. Dahlias are gorgeous in paler shades like peach and cream. 

Ranunculus and other kick ass wedding flowers that brides should know about for their wedding day!
Alicia King Photography

Whether your wedding vibe is romantic and rustic or modern and chic, the ranunculus and really all of these flowers are great alternatives to peonies. Take a look around at some of our real weddings right here and get inspired for your own wedding day. 

Will you be using any of these flowers we suggested? Are you ditching peonies for a different wedding flower? Share your ideas in the comments below for other brides to be!

 

Unexpected Ways to Use Roses in Your Wedding Design

The rose is a classic flower and often used in wedding design. It’s currently trending on social media, probably because Valentine’s Day is in 5 minutes.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -Shakespeare

No offense, Bill, but a daisy will never be a rose. It’s not a rose, unless it’s a rose.


 

More than ever, couples want a unique wedding with traditional elements. Roses are something a lot of my couples want to ditch because “everyone uses them”.

But just because everyone uses them, doesn’t mean you have to use them in the same way. In this blog we’ll talk about the unexpected ways you can use roses in your wedding design.

 

Blog cover for wedding inspiration using roses

A Rose By Any Other Name

There are over 150 different varieties of roses, making this flower one of the more versatile ones. Brides can be extremely specific as to what type and color rose they want for their wedding. 
Despite this, roses have the reputation of being boring and overdone. This could not be further from the truth. That’s actually about peonies. *shots fired*
Unlike some other flowers, roses work in everything from boutineers to bouquets to centerpieces. It’s about finding the right rose.

Large white garden roses

Garden roses, on their own, have different varieties. They are all massive in size and have layers of petals, making them the perfect choice for weddings. These babies are in a league of their own and while every other bride is using peonies for their bouquets, you can stand out from the crowd with these instead.


 

Mixing different roses is a great way to add texture to centerpieces and even ceremony design. While garden roses can steal the show, spray roses are perfect supporting cast members. Create a unique look by using them in both the bridal bouquet as filler and as part of the groom’s boutineer as well. Make that boutineer unique by adding a splash of color or adding something funky such as berries or a small succulent. 

Groom's floral boutineer

Ring Around The Rosie

One of the reasons roses are frequently used for weddings, is that they don’t have a season. You could get married in the dead of winter or in the middle of summer, and roses are available. 
Peonies, by the way, are available for about 30 seconds, so let that bandwagon pass you by.
Wedding centerpiece using roses and greenery.
Images by Berit
Since roses are readily available in plenty of colors, it’s easy enough to incorporate them into your wedding design. The pink, white and gold color combination might be trending for weddings right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to use pink and white roses. Work with your florist to explore other options like earl grey and quicksand roses. 
Along with working with any color combination, there is a rose for every style of wedding. This classic bloom is not just reserved for a sit down dinner at a castle in France with a sunset ceremony. 

White wedding cake covered in roses and greenery

Rustic brides can give a boring wedding cake a unique twist by adding fresh roses and greenery to the design. Create a seamless look by using the same florals on the cake as you did for other decor like the centerpieces and bouquets. 


 

If you’re hosting a trendy garden style wedding, using roses seems like the obvious choice. Just because it’s obvious, doesn’t mean the design has to be. This is another great chance to discuss color options with your florist that will leave guests asking you just what type of roses you used.
Long wedding table with roses and candles
Images by Berit
Create a natural look by using roses to enhance a mantle or by placing them inside a fountain. Or go over the top and put them in places that are unexpected like trailing down the inside of a banister. Just make sure you have permission from your venue first!

Wedding decor with a small arrangement and mantle design.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

What about those brides that aren’t using flowers for their centerpieces, but want to incorporate a floral feel? Just because you’ve ruled out real flowers, doesn’t mean you’ve ruled out all flowers.
And I’m not talking about using fake flowers, don’t worry. 

Dessy Spring Style 2013
 

Floral designs are huge right now in the fashion world. From the wedding gowns to what your bridesmaids will wear, designers are showcasing floral details in everything. 
The “all-white” trend is just as popular as the floral trend, and I am dying over this gorgeous bridesmaid dress by Dessy. 

 

Ivory bridesmaid dress with floral detail

If the idea of putting your bridesmaids in full on floral is too much, consider adding subtle pops of the style instead. A gorgeous floral belt is the perfect touch to add to a wedding gown. Of course, who’s doesn’t love seeing a flower girl rock an adorable rose detailed dress like this one?

Flower girl dress with floral details

Roses are Red…

A lot of my brides shy away from using red roses. Too many bad memories of the losers they dated showing up with gas station roses on Valentine’s Day. 


 

I’ll refrain from calling out any of my ex-boyfriends here.
But red roses are perfect for all seasons, especially late Summer, Fall and even Winter. Basically every season except Spring is what I’m trying to say here.

Bright bouquets for bridesmaids

As a designer, I like to use the season of the wedding as inspiration. It has nothing to do with that myth about using “in season” flowers, which we talked about in this blog right here.
The key to using the colors of the season and still making your wedding look original, is all in the combinations. Let’s be honest, plenty of brides are going to use “Fall colors” for their fall wedding, which includes those deep red roses. Give your guests the unexpected by taking your wedding vibe to the next level.
Red garden rose
Justin Tinapay Photography
Note, I said “vibe”, not “theme” because this is a wedding and not a prom. Just saying.
Red garden roses are showstoppers because they are huge. This means a few go a long way, and you can add in other florals and even fabrics. Create a warm and welcoming reception for your guests with long tables covered in sparkly runners, garden roses and plenty of candle light. 


 

When using red roses, or any dark colors, it’s important to make sure they are seen. When working them into a centerpiece, candles aren’t going to be enough. Use a talented lighting designer to pinspot each table in order to see the centerpieces both in person and in your photographs. 

Some Say Love, It Is A Flower

Roses can play a big part in your wedding ceremony design, just as much as the reception. You don’t need a flower girl to create your walkway. Instead of using a runner or lining the aisle with candles, create a design using rose petals all the way to the altar. Wedding planner tip: rope off the end of your aisle to make sure the design isn’t destroyed by guests looking for their seats. 

Wedding ceremony with floral aisle

Even in small doses, roses can make a big impact. Since it is often regarded as the most romantic flower, using it for your ceremony is an easy decision. 
If you are hosting an outdoor ceremony, you might not be able to create an aisle design. It’s easy enough to design an over-the-top arbor with cascading florals, but not every couple wants that. If you’re looking to keep things simple, but never boring, add in touches of roses to “hold together” the design at the end of your aisle. 

Wedding arch with rose details

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Roses have always been a part of weddings, and like the traditional white wedding gown, they are here to stay. More than ever, brides want to make their wedding different from the rest. Even though roses are considered a standard wedding flower, when used correctly, they’ll help create that unique wedding design you haven’t seen on Pinterest 100 times before!
Pink, white and gold roses as wedding centerpieces
Mary + Roy Photography
Will you be using roses for your wedding day? What ideas can you share with other brides? Share in the comments below what your ideas are!
 

Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Flowers

Flowers are a huge part of most weddings, but aside from the basics, a lot of brides look for help in this area. Whether or not you can tell a peony from a ranunculus, this blog will tell you everything you need to know about wedding flowers. 

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers is in this blog, including advice from wedding florists for all engaged couples. Find out how to make the most of your floral budget and how to prepare for your appointments.Flowers play such a major role in weddings, that the couples I work with, frequently have more opinions in this area than many others. Sure, the venue is important and I guess the wedding gown is kind of a big deal too…but couples are intense really care about those flowers. Not only do they care, but sometimes brides are so passionate that I forget we’re talking about centerpieces and not politics.

One time, I was discussing the options of centerpieces and watched my bride have a stroke at the mere mention of low centerpieces. It was like we had stopped talking about her wedding flowers and started discussing North Korea. She had a huge aversion to mixing low and high centerpieces because she attended a wedding, was sat at a table with a low centerpiece, and took it personally.


 

To each their own…

The point is, brides (not really grooms, let’s be honest here) have a thing with wedding flowers. When I first start working with a couple, we chat about flowers without going into too much detail. We discuss the general look and feel of the wedding. As we move forward, questions get more detailed like:

Do they have a color scheme?
Are there any flowers they want to avoid?
What are their “must-have” blooms?

For those couples that are opinionated but clueless, I like to know about previous weddings they have attended. If you’re one of those brides that doesn’t know what she wants, but has to have what she wants, this is a good starting point. 

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers is right in this blog! From deciding your entire style to how to make the most of your florist appointment, we've got everything brides need here.

One of the florists that we work with, chimed in on this as well. When I asked Chad from Carroll’s Florist how he works with couples that aren’t sure where to start, he recommends gathering pictures:

“By sharing photos of florals that appeal to you, a florist should be able to get a sense of style that you prefer.”

How To Find Wedding Flower Inspo Photos

It’s not necessary to know the difference between boho and rustic, so stop driving yourself crazy trying to label your wedding style. Instead of trying to use those types of words (that are completely subjective), use words that you actually know and understand. For instance, if you want the flowers to reflect the season you are getting married, use that for your search on Pinterest i.e. “Fall wedding”. 

Tips and tricks for engaged couples on how to select flowers for a wedding and what will help keep the cost down. Read the blog for everything you need to know for your big day!

If you have an idea about your colors, use that when doing your search. Don’t forget to include gold or silver if you’re thinking about incorporating one of the two. For the brides that either don’t care about silver or gold, or want to leave them out of the search completely, try searching with your colors along with things like “clear holders” or “mercury glass”. 

By using specific colors instead of vague flowery language, (no pun intended) you’re more likely to come up with inspiration you actually like. You also should avoid using catch phrases like “boho chic” when initially speaking with a florist. One person’s “boho chic” is another person’s “French vintage”. Let your pictures do the talking. After all, those alone are worth 1,000 words.

See what I did there? I know. I’m so clever.


 

Don’t restrict yourself to just Pinterest either. While that is seen as the place to search for wedding inspo anything, it’s not everything. Be sure to check out Instagram for wedding flowers and use hashtags like you would use on Pinterest to search with. Don’t ignore regular search engines either as you can use the “images” search feature to come up with more flower inspiration for your wedding. 

Wedding Flower Lies

Oh they’re out there…new ones are being made up everyday. But the biggest lie myth about wedding flowers?

“Asking for seasonal flowers doesn’t always mean cheaper!”

Everything a bride needs to know about picking flowers for her wedding day. Find out what to ask a florist and how to save on costs in this blog!

Amanda of Twisted Willow Flowers hears that from brides all the time. In reality, you aren’t guaranteed to save money just by using flowers that are in season.

I know, insane right? Your entire life you’ve grown up knowing one thing to be true: on your wedding day you will have seasonal flowers because they are less expensive.

Sorry to destroy your world. 

It’s a myth that is reinforced not just by the moms and grand-moms of the brides getting married, (sorry ladies) but by the internet and countless wedding publications. In fact, some wedding websites allow you to search for flowers based on your season, while in another article they’ll tell you that it really doesn’t matter.

Why do they do this? To appeal to every single bride so those brides will keep reading, and so that advertisers will keep advertising. Because money. But that’s another blog for another day…

Everything a bride and groom need to know before selecting their wedding flowers. Plus tips and tricks about your wedding flower budget in this blog!

The bottom line is that it’s not as simple as picking in season flowers to keep the cost down. If it was, then brides getting married in Minnesota the month of January would have to resign themselves to holding a bouquet of snow. 

Another myth about wedding flowers concerns the centerpieces. Some of my brides want the tall skyscraping centerpieces because they are hosting their reception with a ceiling in the stratosphere. It’s not necessarily that they want all tall centerpieces, but rather, that’s what they think they’re supposed to do. 

“Many couples assume that with tall venue ceilings, all centerpieces need to be tall. Although a couple may be able to afford 20 typical tall centerpieces, that same budget can be used to create 10 stunning tall centerpieces accompanied by 10 shorter centerpieces.” -Chad, Carroll’s Florist

Just because your venue has a high ceiling, doesn’t mean you are required by law to have all tall centerpieces. When I work with my brides, we always discuss the option of having centerpieces that vary in height. When you look at your reception, the room will always look more interesting this way. Does that mean you have to include short centerpieces that make your guests feel less important?….Not at all. You can work with your florist to have tall centerpieces and ones that are shorter but not low and against the table. 

And if your guests sitting at those tables feel less important, then you invited the wrong people to your wedding. 

Everything a bride needs to know about wedding flowers. Get advice from two of our favorite florists how to get what you want and not go over budget.

Wedding Flower Trends

I’m not a huge fan of following trends in general. I wore Keds all through high-school. But I’m a badass like that. A badass that had to look up if “badass” was one word or two, but a badass nonetheless. 


 

The problem with wedding trends is that what is trending now might not be trending by the time your wedding date rolls around. I always advise my couples to stick with classic styles. You don’t want to whip out your wedding album for your kids and show them how mommy wore a crop-top dress down the aisle. Well the same is true for every other aspect of your wedding, including flowers. What’s on trend today may not be on trend for your wedding day and most certainly will not be trending 30 years from now. 

The point is: don’t pick anything for your wedding just because it’s on trend. OK?

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about what actually is trending and of course, what’s not.

Amanda from Twisted Willow Flowers is tired of seeing one thing: greenery garlands. Even if you just got engaged, or maybe you’re planning your “one day wedding” on Pinterest, whatever…you all know what those greenery garlands looks like.

Everything a bride needs to know about wedding flowers including what's on trend for 2018 weddings and how to stay under budget. Read the blog for tips and tricks from us and two of our favorite florists.

With outdoor, barn, farm and generally rustic weddings taking over the past few years, this has been a super popular design. Typically draped down the middle of long tables, the garland would act as a centerpiece and could be accented with anything from candles to flowers. 

Greenery was actually Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2017, which only made this trend that much more popular. This year, however, Pantone’s Color of the Year is ultra-violet. You can actually get ideas how to work that color into your wedding in another blog we wrote right here. We started seeing purple and even blues talked about at the end of 2017 and Twisted Willow Flowers is seeing purple color schemes starting to pop up again. 

Dessy Group
 

Another trend that should disappear according to Chad of Carroll’s Florist?

“Crystal everywhere. Every time I think it is going away, I get 5 brides in a row looking to drown themselves in crystal.”

With the rise of rustic weddings, it almost appears as if some brides are digging their rhinestone heels into the ground just to prove they are not that. Ironically, it’s easy enough to combine crystals with rustic and get a gorgeous upscale wedding look. But for some brides, that rustic thing is never going to happen for their wedding. Chad’s advice for them?

“Less is more.”

If Pantone’s “Color of the Year” isn’t your favorite (and believe me, I work with some brides that hate purple more than their future mother-in-law), but you want to incorporate some trends, all hope is not lost. When speaking with his 2018 couples, Chad says he is seeing plenty of textured flowers like dusty miller and that the color pallet with greens, grays, dusty blues and whites is on trend right now. Also making a huge comeback? Candlelight.

Everything engaged couples need to know about wedding flowers. How a bride can pick the right flowers, what to expect at a florist appointment and tips to stay under budget. Check the blog for all of this now!

What You Need To Know About Wedding Flowers

Still feeling unprepared? Not sure how to take the next steps and find your wedding day florist? Having your event colors is a big help according to Chad, as he can help couples decide on a style, on a budget, on particular flowers, but “color is a personal selection”. Do your best to select colors before meeting with a florist, even if that means eliminating what you don’t like.

You know you’ve seen stuff you hate at other weddings on Pinterest. Start there. 


 

A word of caution with Pinterest: it can be overwhelming. It’s very easy to fall down the “it’s already 3am and I have to get up in 2 hours so just 5 more minutes but not really” rabbit hole that is Pinterest. Pretty soon you’re pinning random stuff through your squinted eyes and you have an inspiration board with dragons on a beach. Pinterest is chock full of inspiration but it’s not all for you. Keep your searches narrow and don’t rely on that “more like this” feature too much. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that Pinterest showcases styled shoots. That means you are looking at wedding pictures that aren’t from a wedding, but from a properly timed and properly lit shoot. There are no guests, time doesn’t exist, and it’s not reality. In reality, your guests have to sit at the tables and eat. In Pinterest land, guests don’t sit because the couch is stuck where it is and they don’t eat because flowers are spilling over onto the plates. 

So how can you use this site without getting overwhelmed?

“Find your trend through those photos you see and really focus on letting that inspire the theme/direction of the wedding.” -Amanda, Twisted Willow Flowers

Every single thing you need to know about wedding flowers including how to find your wedding day style and stay under budget. If you're engaged, don't meet with a single florist until you read this first!

That’s the key word: inspire. Think about it this way…if you take a picture of Kim Kardashian to your hairdresser and say you want to look like her, is that going to be possible with a pair of scissors and some hair dye? Or would you also need some plastic surgery to accomplish said goal? Pictures should be used to inspire, not to copy. Besides, why would you want the same styled shoot wedding you (and all of your friends getting married saw) on Pinterest?

Be better than Pinterest.

Coping With The Cost

And now, what you’re all really here for: how to deal with the cost of wedding flowers. I know, your best friend’s cousin’s penpal had a 400 person wedding, used all tall centerpieces and only paid $2,000.

No she didn’t so stop listening to that noise. Even if she did, that is the exception and not the rule…and there’s probably more to the story that has been edited better than any episode of “Real Housewives”.

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers including 2018 trends for brides and grooms and how to stay under budget.

Flowers cost money. They do. Frequently, my couples will ask me why flowers cost so much. My answer always starts with “do you really want to know?”. Because, let’s be honest, no one wants to waste their time with an explanation only to be told they’re still wrong. So, if you really want to know, this is where you’re going to find out.

If you don’t want to know, then scroll for a bit to the next heading.

When I asked Amanda from Twisted Willow Flowers what the one thing was that she wished engaged couples knew, this is what she said:

“How much time really goes into the florals. From the start to the finish product.”

This includes meeting or meetings, proposals (there’s always more than one), edits, samples, flower processing, cleaning, arranging, set-up, pick-up and clean-up.

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers including trends for 2018 and how to stay under budget. Check out the advice our florists are giving brides and grooms in this blog.

Now, as a wedding planner, one of the questions I get at every last consultation pertains to what I actually do. It’s a fair question, especially since every planner is different and none of us are J.Lo.

It’s a fair question to ask a florist too, but instead of asking that question, most couples just want the price to be justified. Well, everything that a florist does justifies the price. In addition to paying for the actual flowers, you are paying for the time of a professional…time that was spent with you or on your wedding and not with someone else or on anything else.

Dessy Spring Style 2013
 

You are paying for the talent behind the bouquets and the labor that goes into it all. 

Consider also that you likely don’t have experience with the cost of flowers. “Knowing” what your friend spent, what your mom thinks is fair, or what some wedding website has come up with, does mean you know what flowers cost.

Everything you need to know about wedding flowers, how to stay under budget and what to bring when you meet with your florist for the first time. Engaged couples need to check this blog out!

That’s totally OK.

You’re not supposed to know what flowers cost and each proposal will be different depending on the specific details of the wedding. It is on the couple to work with the florist, communicate what they want and go from there. Have a number in mind? Great. Speak up before a proposal is put together.

Odds are you have a budget, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to share. I once worked with a couple that used the excuse they didn’t know what things cost, so they couldn’t give me a budget. Well, when the florist put together the sample of exactly what they wanted they loved everything…except the price. In fact, when they were told the price, they called it “ridiculous” and said they “weren’t willing to spend that much.”

Which meant they knew what they wanted to spend and simply kept it a secret assuming that the florist would come in under that imaginary number regardless of the details in the centerpiece. Makes sense right?

bridesmaid tote bag bride handbag
 

In the end, the couple ended up using a completely different florist who didn’t execute their vision and who they complained to me about all night. Me. The planner that brought in a qualified florist that did a sample for free and without a contract. My time and the florist’s time was wasted on not just the sample appointment but a meeting prior to that and countless phone calls, emails and inspiration board drawings.

Typically, you have to pay for that and that is just part of what you are paying for. 

It’s best to be honest about your budget, just as you should expect your florist to be. Chad explains that he is open about costs:

“After reviewing their dream florals, which we discuss along with budget, I let them know what the cost will be. I explain how the majority of floral expenses comes from venue decor and then try to get a better sense of what they are looking to achieve.”

What happens if the vision is right but the price is wrong?

“If a couple’s vision and budget match, everyone is happy. If it doesn’t, I explain why and offer a series of solutions that can make them happy both with their wedding day and their wallet.”

Looking to keep those floral costs down? Of course you are. So if the incorrect rule of thumb about using flowers that are in season won’t help, then what will? 


 

When meeting with your florist, they will be able to recommend flowers best for your overall design. If there are certain blooms that would push your budget, be sure to ask them for alternative options. Most importantly, you need to be open to their suggestions. Even if you are the bride that needs garden roses but can’t afford them and will die without them, listen to your options.

Once you have gone over all options and alternatives, as well as what the comparative costs look like, then you are in a position to make a decision. Maybe you’ll sacrifice your favors in order to afford the exact flowers that you want. Or maybe you’ll like what the florist suggests instead. The point is, you have to hear it all before deciding anything. 

“Make sure you have a comfort level with your florist. Give him or her a sense of the style you are looking for and try not to tie him to particular flowers.” Chad, Carroll’s Florist

Ready, Set, Flower

It all comes down to open communication and trust. Amanda from Twisted Willow Flowers says it’s important to “be open to suggestions” during the initial appointment, and to have a general idea of the colors and styles you would like to use. Don’t feel like you need to be prepared to make some grand presentation using inspiration boards and excel sheets. An experienced florist will use with what you give them and will know how to create your vision. A vision you might not even have yet. 

Everything you ever needed to know about wedding flowers including 2018 trends and how to stay under budget. If you're engaged, make sure you read this blog before you meet with a florist for your own big day!

Working with a florist is no different than working with any other vendor. It’s important to trust the experience your vendors have, instead of challenging them with stuff you read on some wedding website. If your gut tells you to walk away from a vendor, do it.

Just be sure it’s your gut talking and not a bridesmaid that just got married and now knows everything in your ear.


 

What do you think about the tips and tricks shared by two of our favorite florists? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other brides? Comment below with something you want every engaged couple to know before meeting with florists for their wedding!

How to Have an Incredible Garden Wedding

If you’re stuck in the bitter winter cold like I am, it might be hard to envision an incredible garden wedding. How can you picture beautiful trees and flowers when everything is covered in snow? We’ve put together plenty of inspiration in this blog, as well as venue recommendations to get you started. Don’t forget to pin your favorites and share your wedding details in the comments below.

Thinking about a boho chic ceremony with plenty of flowers? Get plenty of garden wedding inspiration, plus real garden wedding venues every bride and groom should consider. Visit the blog for garden wedding inspiration and tips how to add personal touches to this wedding trend.

What are some incredible garden venues?

If you want your wedding to have a garden feel, then the best way to do that is to get married in…you guessed it…a garden! One of the best things about a garden wedding venue is that you’re surrounded by flowers, trees and organic beauty. It’s not necessary to go crazy with decor when it’s already provided. 


 

This is the perfect setting for the boho chic bride to the traditional black tie mandatory bride and everyone in between. The trick is to find the right garden venue that fits your style. Perhaps you like the idea of the ceremony being outdoors, but want to bring guests inside for cocktail hour and the reception. Maybe you’d prefer a tented wedding where guests can enjoy the beauty of the garden the entire day. A full list of garden venues by state can be downloaded in the link below, and past that are some of our favorites!

Garden Venues Across The States

The New York Botanical Gardens

Located in New York City, NYBG is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. You can see a real wedding we designed for one of our couples in this blog right here. 

Looking for garden inspiration for your boho chic or outdoor wedding? We've put together a list of venues along with plenty of unique ideas for your own wedding day. Read the blog to get started!

The New York Botanical Gardens hosts both intimate and grand weddings. Engaged couples can create their first look photos on site, and treat their guests to a true garden wedding experience. Starr Events is the fantastic in house catering group, so foodies should add this venue to the list!

Grounds for Sculpture

Located in Princeton, New Jersey, Grounds for Sculpture is a premiere destination for garden weddings. In addition to the gorgeous grounds covered in beautiful flowers and trees, there are countless art exhibits around every corner. 
Garden wedding inspiration plus venues every engaged couple should consider and how to make your garden wedding unique! Read the blog to get ideas and get the free printable venue guide.
Ceremonies can be held in four different outdoor locations and Grounds for Sculpture provides an indoor location in case of inclement weather. Cocktail hour and the reception are located at the restaurant on property with food provided by Starr Events. Guests will travel from the ceremony to Rat’s Restaurant on paths surrounded by sculptures and beautiful gardens. Check out what our couple, Chelsea and Yaw, did for the wedding we planned with them right here.

 
Pleasantdale Chateau
If you’re looking for a more formal garden wedding experience, Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, New Jersey is the perfect fit. Set far from the main road, the chateau at the end of the winding driveway includes on-site accommodations as well as separate bride and groom suites for the couple and their wedding party to get ready in. 

Find out where this dreamy garden wedding venue is and get inspiration for your own garden wedding. We share plenty of ideas along with a free printable of venues across the United States for your unique garden wedding.

Couples can take their pictures on countless bridges and anywhere on the beautiful grounds. This upscale setting allows couples to have a garden vibe for their wedding, while providing a beautiful estate for dinner and dancing. 

What Type of Wedding Gown is Perfect for a Garden Wedding?

Once you have the venue selected, it’s time to start shopping for the perfect bridal gown. It’s important to consider your own style as well as where you will get married. Are you more boho chic in an organic garden setting, or will your big day include a clear top tent and fireworks? Below are some beautiful options to consider wearing at a garden wedding.


 

Floral Details

Wedding gowns perfect for a garden wedding! From boho chic to rustic and romantic, we've put together all of your garden wedding inspiration in one blog. Get your free printable guide of garden venues when you read the blog!

Floral details on a wedding gown are the perfect look for a garden wedding. With floral patterns increasing in popularity, brides have countless options with this trend. Whether it’s a small detail like a floral design on the straps, or a big statement using larger details, you can’t go wrong incorporating garden beauty into your gown. Our friends at Bridal Atelier in Montclair suggest looking at Claire Pettibone dresses if you’re looking for romantic floral inspired wedding gowns. You can read about that wedding gown trend and more right here!

The Ballgown

We love this boho chic ballgown and it's perfect for a garden wedding. Check out the blog to get ideas for your outdoor wedding day and download the venue guide for free!

You simply can’t go wrong with a ballgown on your wedding day. Plus, this is the only chance you really get to wear one! Take a spin around the gardens in a romantic wedding gown like this one for incredible pictures. We promise you won’t regret it!

Lace Details

This fitted lace wedding gown that our bride wore for her rustic chic ceremony is perfect for a garden wedding too! Check out this gown and more inspiration for your garden wedding on the blog, and download the free printable wedding venue guide!!

This fitted lace wedding gown is romantic and chic enough for any garden wedding venue. Lace can be beautiful whether it’s an accent or used for the entire dress. For the vintage and boho chic brides looking for the perfect garden wedding gown, look no further than one with lace details!

What Color Combinations are Best for a Garden Wedding?

Dessy Spring Style 2013
 

Garden weddings all have some element of the outdoors. Depending on your location, the season that you get married in should be considered when choosing your colors. Ask the venue to see pictures of the grounds from weddings that took place in the past in the same month you will wed in. What’s in bloom and what isn’t? Will they be changing any of the trees and flowers? If you’re considering a Fall wedding, when do the leaves change and when do they drop? Consider these details before committing to a color combo. 

This gorgeous combination of blues and purples is perfect for a garden wedding. Read the blog to get more inspiration and download the free venue guide to find the best place for your wedding!

A monochrome combination of blues is a chic look for a garden wedding. Keep the vibe organic by using chair drapes like we did here with a deconstructed centerpiece of greens, blues and purples. To get ideas how to use Pantone’s Color of the Year, ultra-violet, in your garden wedding, check out a previous blog right here. 

A mix of pinks and greenery is the perfect combination for a garden wedding. Read the blog to get more inspiration and the free garden venue guide for your own wedding day!

Pops of bright pink mixed with vibrant greenery is a great look for those late spring and early summer weddings. Channel your inner Secret Garden style and create a vintage centerpiece like we did here by using touches of vintage gold.

A rustic chic ceremony isn't complete without plenty of greenery and candles. Find out how to use this style for a garden wedding on our blog right now!

Incorporate the simplicity of nature by using all greenery for your garden wedding like we did here for a ceremony. Keep it clean using clear holders and plenty of candlelight. Not down with the all green look? Mix in different shades of white for a fresher approach that’s perfect for any time of the year!

Garden wedding inspiration for a fall wedding? We've got tips and tricks how to make this trend unique for your big day. Read the blog and download the free garden wedding venue guide too!

Fall weddings mean deeper colors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden inspired wedding in October. This color combination of deep red and light green with pops of gold will bring your garden wedding to a chic new level. 

What Should Garden Wedding Invitations Look Like?

Your wedding stationery should compliment your entire wedding design. An invitation is the first glimpse into your wedding style that your guests are seeing. Here are a few ways you can let everyone know that your wedding is garden inspired!

Romantic wedding invitations perfect for a chic garden wedding. Get inspiration and a full venue list on the blog!

This pale invitation suite designed by our friends Darling + Pearl is the perfect way to tell your guests they are attending a garden wedding. The organic feel with the whimsical font is just perfect for an outdoor celebration. We really love the sketch of the property that helps guests feel like they are already there!

A boho chic invitation suite that is perfect for an outdoor wedding. Check out the blog for garden wedding inspiration and ways you can make your day unique!

Lauren from Darling + Pearl recommends mixing equal parts carefree script, neutral and natural occurring colors, and floral patterns, (or a really rad crest). Throw the added option of torn edges or a watercolor splash or two and you’re garden ready. 

We love this invitation suite for a modern garden wedding. The deep colors look like a gorgeous floral painting and it's perfect for a romantic garden wedding. Find this invitation and more garden wedding inspiration on our blog, plus venues you need to see for your wedding day!

For a modern garden wedding look, we love this invitation from our friends at Minted. Perfect for those candlelight outdoor weddings using deeper shades of purple, blue and gray. You can see this romantic invitation and plenty more by clicking here!

How Can I Design My Wedding With a Garden Theme?

There are countless options when designing your wedding and plenty of things to think about. Will you use round or long tables? Linens or no linens? What type of glassware and plates will you use? It can get overwhelming very quickly, so here are a few things to keep in mind!
Keep It Natural
Doing too much to make your wedding have that garden feel is never a good idea. Depending on your venue and the type of garden you’re getting married in, you want to stick with that same style. It wouldn’t make sense to have bling and marble pieces in the middle of a rose garden. Pull inspiration from your surroundings and everything will flow together naturally.

We loved designing this boho chic gardenn wedding for our bride and groom and working with all that greenery! Read the blog to get garden wedding inspiration and a list of the best venues for your wedding day!

Mix It Up With Long Tables
A garden is the last place you would find round tables with white linens. Invest in table rentals to really showcase the garden wedding vibe and let your florist create an unforgettable design. Long tables have become so trendy that engaged couples aren’t limited to just one style or color. Gray tables are super hot right now and perfect for those deeper colors. If you find a table you love, ask yourself if you could see it in a garden and go from there.

This jaw-dropping wedding reception table is perfect for the boho chic garden bride. Get inspired for your garden wedding with ideas on our blog!

Dress Up Your Bridesmaids in Garden Wedding Gowns
Just like you want the perfect wedding gown for your garden wedding, your bridesmaids should reflect that same style. A long chiffon gown is formal enough for a chic wedding but relaxed enough for an outdoor garden celebration. 

This romantic pale pink chiffon bridesmaid dress is perfect for an outdoor garden wedding. Get this look and more on our blog today!

We love all of the options our friends at The Dessy Group have, like this chiffon gown that comes in almost every color imaginable!

This romantic bridesmaid dress is perfect for any type of outdoor or garden wedding. You can shop this look and see more backyard wedding inspiration on our blog!

What Are the Pros and Cons to Having a Garden Wedding?

Pro: A huge plus to having a garden wedding is the gorgeous scenery that’s already there. You won’t have to dress up the location as much as you would a ballroom. 


 

Con: No wedding is without its challenges, but outdoor weddings certainly have the most. We always tell our couples that they need to have a Plan B and they need to love it as much as Plan A. Never commit to a venue that you’ll only love in the sunshine. Know the backup plans and if they don’t make you happy, you haven’t found your garden wedding venue yet.

This garden ceremony was super chic with an arbor draped in white, greenery and plenty of pink roses. We have more garden wedding inspiration up on the blog right now!

Pro: Many garden wedding venues either allow you to bring in an outside caterer or their in house caterer reflects the farm to table style that is so popular. Whatever the case, you’re likely to have amazing food if you have a garden wedding.
Con: Depending on the location, you could be restricted in terms of noise and have to end the party sooner than you would like. Be sure to ask the venues what time the music must end and the guests must leave.

Vintage china and floral table linens were the perfect compliment for this secret garden inspired wedding. See this look and more on our blog where we're showing you how to make your garden wedding unique!

If you’re interested in a garden wedding and want to take the next step, contact us to get started! If you are planning a garden wedding, what are you doing to make your celebration unique? Share with us and other couples in the comments below!

Real Wedding: NYC to The Botanical Gardens

A month into planning the backyard wedding at the home of the bride’s parents was all it took for our couple to realize their special day needed to be at an established venue. With less than six months of time, we worked with Sarah and Jan to scout a new wedding location, design the details and book all of the vendors. Moving quickly, our NYC based bride and groom decided to host their wedding at The New York Botanical Gardens.


Our NYC based bride and groom gave us less than 6 months to plan and design their entire wedding at The New York Botanical Gardens! Read the blog to find out how we did it and get all the gorgeous details.

A New Jersey native, our bride fell in love with her groom while living in New York City. With his family based overseas and a complicated schedule, the best time to host their wedding would give us only 7 total months to plan. The first month was spent planning a backyard wedding at the home of the bride’s parents. After catering interviews, rental discussions and a site visit, the couple opted to look for a wedding venue instead, leaving only 6 months to start all over. 
After countless venue tours, The New York Botanical Gardens was selected for the wedding day. The couple would set up multiple room blocks in Manhattan as well as shuttle service for their 150 guests. With over half the guests traveling from outside of the country, we planned events leading up to the wedding day as well as the day after for a true destination wedding experience. 


Our NYC based bride and groom got ready for their wedding at the beautiful Pierre Hotel next to Central Park. Read the blog for all the day of wedding details!

The Pierre Hotel was the hotel where our bride and groom, along with their parents and wedding party got ready for the big day. The close proximity to Central Park made it an ideal location as first look photos would take place in the city. Once hair and make up was completed, the stage was set at several incredible landmarks for amazing photographs taken by our friends Gabelli Studio

Our bride and groom used plenty of iconic New York City landmarks for their first look photographs on their wedding day. See the amazing captures and all the details of their Botanical Gardens wedding in our blog right now.

From Bow Bridge to Bethesda Terrace, our bride showed off her diamond white lacy wedding gown, while her groom stunned in a fitted and formal black tuxedo. Despite the extreme heat of the day, the couple didn’t seem to mind at all as they snapped over 2 hours worth of photos! 

Our NYC bride and groom took full advantage of the sights of Central Park for their first look photos on their wedding day. Read the blog to see even more and find out how we planned their big day at The New York Botanical Gardens in only six months!

Once photos of our bride and groom were completed in Central Park, they grabbed their wedding party and parents and headed off to the venue. Set-up had already begun at The New York Botanical Gardens and the ceremony design was coming together with lush white roses, flowing greenery and draping at the alter. Once our couple arrived, photos continued with their wedding party, parents and immediate family. The gorgeous grounds provided plenty of places for photos prior to the ceremony and the gardens were in full bloom and filled with butterflies.

The New York Botanical Gardens was the gorgeous backdrop for our bride and groom on their wedding day. See all of the prep pictures and read all of amazing details in our blog!

As guests arrived and photos were completed, the outdoor ceremony was ready. The groomsmen dressed in formal black tuxedos, lined up with the bridesmaids who wore pale blue gowns. The bouquets were shades of white and complimented the overall decor and garden backdrop.

A garden chic wedding with the groomsmen in black tuxedos and the bridesmaids in long pale blue gowns. Check out the gorgeous details from our Botanical Garden wedding on the blog!

A classic garden ceremony for our bride and groom at The New York Botanical Gardens. Read the blog for all the details and romantic pictures!

After the outdoor ceremony concluded, guests walked through the gardens to the Terrace Room for the cocktail hour. Guests enjoyed flutes of champagne and incredible catering by Starr Events. As cocktail hour concluded, the doors opened to the beautiful ballroom that was decorated with tall centerpieces full of white roses and greenery. Place cards were at each setting and incorporated the garden theme with green fern details. 

The chic ballroom at The New York Botanical Gardens that we designed using greenery and white roses for our bride and groom. See all the beautiful details on our blog!

Our bride and groom danced the night away with their guests as one of our preferred bands from EBE played everyone’s favorites. When guests weren’t shaking it on the dance floor, they were playing with props in the photobooth and mingling in the greenhouse space. An elegant all white wedding cake adorned with fresh flowers took center stage before dessert was served. After carefully feeding each other, the bride and groom shared cake and coffee with their guests before ending the reception and kicking off the after party.
How stunning is this all white wedding cake adorned with fresh flowers for our bride and groom's garden wedding? We love these cascading details and you can see this and more on the blog right now!
Even if your initial wedding plans completely change, and you are left with limited time to plan the details, your engagement should be the happiest time of your relationship. It’s important to roll with the punches and be flexible and drink plenty of champagne when you’re stressed out. Of course, having a great wedding planner by your side doesn’t hurt either…
Congratulations to Sarah and Jan!

 

Real Wedding: A Garden Celebration

A real garden wedding with two ceremonies and plenty of culture, is exactly what our couple Chelsea and Yaw were looking for. Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton, New Jersey, provided the perfect backdrop for their wedding day. Their chic celebration was filled with happiness and joy, as they were surrounded by 160 of their closest friends and family.

This chic real wedding took place at a romantic Princeton venue with a restaurant reception complete with amazing food and endless dancing. See all the details of this swoon-worthy garden wedding we planned and get inspired for your own wedding day!

The Manhattan based couple got ready in their respective hotel rooms before traveling to the venue for their first look. The bride wearing a form fitting gown was the picture of elegance, while her handsome groom rocked an ivory tuxedo jacket against a white shirt and black bow-tie. His boutineer was simple and complimented her romantic all white bouquet, created by our friends at Twisted Willow Flowers.

An all white chic bridal bouquet was the perfect look for our gorgeous bride at her garden wedding. Read the blog to see all the details of this amazing Princeton wedding day we planned!

With countless locations available for their first look at Grounds for Sculpture, Chelsea and Yaw had no problem taking plenty of pictures before their ceremonies. Once Yaw was in place, we walked with our beautiful bride and helped keep the spectators from photo-bombing this special moment. 

The first look at a wedding has to be perfectly timed and in a great location. Check out this garden wedding we planned and how we kept the public from photobombing this romantic moment!

After the first look photo was completed, it was only a few steps to the next location to continue taking photos with our bride and groom. Thankfully, the late summer heat didn’t bother them and the anticipated thunderstorms disappeared before they even happened.

A breathtaking garden wedding at Grounds for Sculpture that we planned for this New York City couple. Read the blog to get the wedding day details and see the chic photos from this celebration!

Once the bride and groom completed their portraits, it was time to include the parents and wedding party. With the groomsmen dressed in formal black tuxedos, the bridesmaids stood out in different dresses that complimented their individual looks. 
A chic garden wedding at Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton, New Jersey with white and green details to die for! Read the blog for wedding day inspiration!
After the pictures were completed, the bride and groom, along with their entire wedding party, headed back inside to change for the first ceremony. To honor the groom’s Ghanaian heritage, along with the wardrobe change was a ceremony infused with music and tradition. 

A Ghanaian ceremony in this real garden wedding we planned at Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton New Jersey. See all the details and chic photos from the wedding day in this blog!Amazing details from this Ghanaian ceremony at Grounds for Sculpture. Check out the chic and gorgeous wedding day photos from this garden wedding we planned for our New York City bride and groom!Music for this Ghanaian ceremony honored the heritage of the groom. Check out all of the details from this garden wedding we planned at Grounds for Sculpture!

Immediately following the Ghanaian ceremony, all of the guests moved to another location so the Western ceremony could begin. Our bride and groom, along with their wedding party, quickly changed out of their Ghanaian garb and back into the traditional clothing they wore for the first look photos. A stunning ceremony and heartfelt vows followed in this amazing space decorated with simple greenery and elegant garden touches. 

A traditional garden ceremony at Grounds for Sculpture complete with elegant and chic florals in white and green. Read more about this wedding on our blog!

Boho chic and totally romantic ceremony florals for a summer wedding we planned at Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton. Read the blog to get inspired for your own garden wedding day!

After the two beautiful ceremonies, our couple and their guests headed to Rat’s Restaurant inside Grounds for Sculpture. Guests were treated to a beautiful stroll through the gardens and exhibits along the way, and were greeted by live music and an outdoor and indoor cocktail hour.

Incredible food provided by our friends at Starr Events during a Grounds for Sculpture wedding we planned. Check out the blog for all of the garden wedding details!

Touches of greenery adorned the bars, and the mix of round and long tables were classically designed with white floor length linens, gorgeous garden roses and plenty of candlelight. For an extra treat, guests were able to spend the night dancing under the stars with a unique floor plan designed by our bride and groom.

We used greenery throughout this gorgeous outdoor wedding space to bring together the chic organic feel our bride and groom wanted. Read the blog to get all of the details about this garden wedding day!

A boho chic and rustic upscale wedding we planned at Grounds for Sculpture included floor length white linens and plenty of white roses, greenery and candlelight. Read the blog for more details about this amazing garden wedding.
The wedding ended with a packed dance floor and heavenly red velvet cake that looked like it grew out of the garden, thanks to our talented friends at Twisted Willow Flowers. Once the party ended, our couple escaped in a vintage convertible Rolls Royce that our friends at RPD All Star provided for them to attend their after party!

This gorgeous boho chic wedding cake was perfect for a garden summer wedding we planned at Grounds for Sculpture. Check out the white and green details in the blog and get inspired for your own wedding day!

We loved planning and designing with Chelsea and Yaw to help them create the classic and chic wedding they were looking for. Between the unique venue, the culture and tradition, along with incredible decor and design, this is one wedding we’ll never forget!
Congratulations Chelsea and Yaw!