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!

The Complete List of Bridesmaid’s Duties

Being a bridesmaid is exciting to a lot of people because what’s more fun than helping one of your best friends with their wedding? That is, until you hate the dress you’re being forced to wear and find yourself going broke paying for it (and everything else). Pretty soon you’re so over it and ready to rip up that list of bridesmaid’s duties. 

For a bride, selecting her closest friends to stand with her from wedding planning to wedding day can be a stressful task too. The constant worry that you’re offending someone or having to deal with unresponsive bridesmaids can make any bride wish she hadn’t had a wedding party at all. 

But the biggest source of problems always revolves around what is and isn’t required of a bridesmaid. The list of bridemaid’s duties isn’t completely set in stone, so I’ve put together a full list including tasks that vary from wedding to wedding. So whether you’re a bride selecting her squad or a bridesmaid with no idea how this whole thing works, check out the details below to help guide you along!

Wardrobe

Deciding what your bridesmaids are going to wear is a decision that many brides struggle with. I’m not even talking about figuring out color and cut. Nope. That’s the easy part.


 

I’m talking about finding a dress that all of your bridesmaids will actually be happy to wear. Not only that, but they all need to be happy about the price of the dress too. Because, yes, as a bridesmaid you are responsible for the cost of the dress you will wear on the wedding day.
When selecting these dresses, some brides choose to do so on their own, while others like to bring members of the wedding party along for the ride. As with any other aspect of your wedding, if you invite someone to give you their opinion, then be prepared to get it.
If you’re the type of bride that knows what she wants and isn’t looking for bridesmaid input, then make this selection on your own. I promise you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If, however, you do want some advice, then bring along your Maid of Honor and perhaps 1 or 2 other bridesmaids. Nothing good happens when you roll up with an entourage.

bride and bridesmaids tossing purple bouquets

Whatever you choose to do, the duty of the bridesmaids is to be happy when you are happy. Too many times, as a wedding planner, I have seen bridesmaids absolutely ruin this appointment by complaining about every last dress they were put in. It’s one thing if a bridesmaid is uncomfortable, but it’s another thing if they’re just uncomfortable with life in general.
As a bride, it’s important to be sensitive to the body types of your bridesmaids, as well as their budget. If it’s not possible to find one style that flatters everyone, then consider varying styles and allowing the bridesmaids to select what they feel comfortable in most. If mixing styles just isn’t your style, then work to find something that will look nice on everyone.
Budget also plays a big factor in the selection of the bridesmaid dress and a fair cost means something different to everyone. In order to get the most options available, the cost will range anywhere between $200-$275. That’s not to say the perfect dress isn’t less (or more), but this window of pricing will give you the most to choose from. As a bride, be considerate of what your bridesmaids can spend and never pick a dress without checking that price tag first. For some amazing dress options under $150, I love The Dessy Group options!


 

As a bridesmaid, one of the duties is to pay for this dress and everything that goes with it. That includes any alterations as well as shoes. You are not required to attend store after store looking for the right gown unless you’re the bride’s sister or Maid/Matron of Honor.   

Shower

It is a myth that the bridesmaids are the ones to plan the bridal shower. While they absolutely should be in attendance, and therefore have a say in the date and location, this is the responsibility of the Mother of the Bride or other close family member. This also means that the cost of the shower does not have to be covered by the bridesmaids.

bride and bridesmaids walking down street

In situations where it won’t be possible for the Mother of the Bride to host a bridal shower (for whatever reason), it is still not the duty of the bridesmaids to do this. Is it a nice gesture? Yes. So, if you’re a bridesmaid and want to handle this, speak to the other bridesmaids first to make sure you’re all on the same page. 

Bachelorette Party

Throwing a bachelorette party is one of the duties of being a bridesmaid. Where it goes left is deciding the details which ultimately decide the cost. While it might be super popular to get on an airplane and hit up Vegas for a weekend, it’s not always realistic financially. The details of the party also depend on the details of the bridesmaids. A group of ladies in their mid 20s with limited responsibility is very different from a group of ladies where some are moms and home owners.
bridesmaids holding bouquets
Domenick Michael Photography
As a bride, it is unfair to expect the bridesmaids you selected to plan an elaborate weekend getaway. Just because these parties have evolved from not existing at all, to a fun night out in a local city, to now a plane ride half way around the world, doesn’t mean you’re owed any of that. Between the expense of the trip and the life obligations your bridesmaids have, it’s important to be gracious and thankful for any type of celebration they plan for you.
Bridesmaids should be sure to talk to each other early on in the planning process about this event. It might seem like the date is far off, since the party would be closer to the wedding date, but everyone knows time goes quickly and calendars fill up. Create a group email to discuss some ideas and more importantly, the budget that everyone is comfortable with. Be upfront and honest with what you are willing to spend and the dates you are available. Keep in mind that any costs associated with the bride’s attendance must be split equally between the bridesmaids.
MOH giving toast
Domenick Michael Photography

Planning

A bride is going to lean on her bridesmaids in one way or another. Maybe it will just be to vent about not finding the right shoes to go with her gown, or maybe it will be about how her mom doesn’t like the invitations she picked. Each bride is different and depending on her relationship with the bridesmaid, what she expects from one might be different than another.
bride and bridesmaids
Jessica Janae Photography
This is also where the role of Maid and/or Matron of Honor separates from the rest of the bridesmaids. When selecting this person or persons, it’s important to consider not just the closeness of your relationship, but their availability. Will they be able to go dress shopping with you or look at a venue that you can’t make a decision on? This person isn’t just the one giving a toast at your wedding and holding your bouquet; she’s going to be obligated to more planning work with you than the bridesmaids, so pick someone that’s actually available.
If you’re selected as a Maid or Matron of Honor, it’s crazy important to understand how that role is different than a bridesmaid before you say “yes”. Whether or not the bride is working with a planner, there is nothing like a best friend to lean on. You’ll also be seen by the bridesmaids as the one who has to get stuff done…so if you’re not going to get stuff done, then nothing will get done and you should probably ask to just be a bridesmaid instead.
bridesmaid and bride
Domenick Michael Photography
Bridesmaids can expect to be a sounding board here and there for the bride as she plans the big day. However, there are no rules that say you must accompany the bride to any meetings whatsoever. Yes, you should attend any pre-wedding functions including an engagement party, bridal shower, etc. , but you do not have to hold the bride’s hand and help her plan.


 

Day of Wedding

The duties of the bridesmaids on the day of the wedding start long before the actual day. Typically, a bride will select the members of her wedding party right before or right after the date and venue are set. A bride should always make the time to ask her friends and family to be her bridesmaids though, before really getting the planning going. It wouldn’t be all that fun to pick out a bunch of stuff, only to then ask people who might not even be available for that weekend, right?
Plus, the people you are going to ask to be in your wedding party, probably have a feeling that the question is coming. It’s majorly awkward if you keep talking about wedding details to them while they have no idea just how involved they will be. And depending on the details of your wedding, many people need as much notice as possible. As a bride, it’s important to recognize how significant it is to many people to be asked to be a bridesmaid. Show your friends and family members the ultimate respect by making time to ask them…especially before you ask them to listen to a bunch of wedding planning drama and insist they book a hotel room for the weekend. Tacky.

bride, groom and wedding party outside

The wedding location is a big factor here as a member of the wedding party. It’s expensive to be a bridesmaid, but the cost of the dress is just for starters. You are also responsible for the bachelorette party costs, a gift to the couple and the costs it takes to get to these places. Know what you’re not responsible for?
The lodging on the weekend of the wedding. 
That’s right. If we want to get technical and get the etiquette correct, the couple is responsible for the lodging costs of the wedding party on the dates of the wedding weekend. This, however, almost never happens. You can quote this blog, you can go ahead and quote Anna Post, but I promise you, the likelihood of this happening is not good at all.


 

This means the (unofficial) duty of the bridesmaids is to cover their personal wedding day costs. It’s likely that the bridesmaids will all need to be together the night before the wedding so they can get ready together on the morning of. You’re now looking at a two night hotel stay as, odds are, you’ll also stay the night of the wedding.
Brides should consider this when selecting their wedding party as everyone might have different circumstances. For instance, it’s a lot easier (and affordable) for a single bridesmaid to make a weekend trip than it would be for a married bridesmaid that has children. If the wedding is a children-free zone, make it easy on your mama bridesmaids by offering to cover baby-sitting costs, or letting them bring their children and providing a nanny service. Otherwise, don’t be offended when they decline the invite to stand at the altar with you.
Yes, that’s right bridesmaids: if being in the wedding party has the potential to be financially taxing on you, then don’t do it. Your duty is to be honest with the bride. While it might hurt her feelings, it would be a lot worse to go through the planning while completely resenting her.
bride and bridesmaids outside
Gabelli Studio
Typically, the cost of hair and make up also falls on the shoulders of the bridesmaids. Don’t assume the bride is going to be picking up the tab or offering this as a gift. While many of my brides have gifted this as a “thank you”, they are not required to cover that cost. But since we’re on the subject, if you’re a bride and the costs are getting crazy because you either had some 4 day bender bachelorette party or are hosting a destination wedding, then picking up the cost for hair and make up would be the right thing to do. 

Recap

The duties of a bridesmaid can vary from wedding to wedding. They depend on many details including the size, style and location of the event. Brides should be mindful of each individual bridesmaid’s situation, and also consider the budget. Bridesmaids need to be supportive of the bride and since that might mean something different to everyone, I’ll put it this way: treat the bride the way you would want to be treated if you were the bride instead.
And no one wants a sourpuss that hates every dress option available.

bride and bridesmaids inside

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you currently a bridesmaid and getting overwhelmed with responsibility? Share in the comments below what your duties are and what you think they should be!

The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need (And Don’t Already Know About)

As a wedding planner, I’ve seen it all (almost), so I put together the top 10 wedding products you needWhy? Because there are so many wedding products out there, and if you’re planning a wedding, you know I’m right. But what’s worth your money and what’s not? 

I’ve made it super easy for you to find these wedding products and have included their websites. So get scrolling through the list and don’t forget to look for special discount codes!

We put together the 10 top wedding products you NEED but probably never heard of right here in this blog! Click through for more!
Images by Berit

The Original Runner Company

You may have seen these before, but you might not have and you need to know about this product! One of my top ten wedding products is the only aisle runner you will ever need.
This aisle runner and more are featured as the top 10 wedding products you need to know about. Read the blog for more!
Domenick Michael Photography
Based in New Jersey, but available worldwide, these aisle runners are completely custom right down to the exact length you need. They feature an exclusive non-slip foam backing. Why is that important? Because people falling down the aisle is not cute
Check out this blog about the top 10 wedding products you need and where to find them!
Studio One Photography
What can you put on your aisle runner? Anything you want. Monogram? Sure. Glitter? Easy. Crazy complicated hieroglyphics? Done. These runners are hand drawn and hand painted, and you can catch some amazing behind the scenes of their artists on their IG page right here. 
Wedding Planner Tip: Be sure to rope off the aisle so that guests do not walk on the runner before the processional. These runners should be put down in advance of the ceremony, so let your planner/design handle that and you’ll be all set!
Custom Aisle Runner for a wedding ceremony
Domenick Michael Photography

XOJuliet

Writer’s block is a nightmare (trust me, I know). But if you’re already tossing and turning over that toast you have to write, then this is the product to help you sleep at night.
Vow and toast writing services plus 9 other must have wedding products featured in this blog!
Domenick Michael Photography
XOJuliet is a website that offers writing assistance for everything from vows to the toasts. Not sure what to say at all? Maybe you have some ideas but don’t know how to put them together? XOJuliet has the package for you, and if you mention the code “RothweilerEventDesign” you’ll save 15% off everything.
The Top 10 Wedding Products you need to know about and where to find them!
Justin Tinapay Photography
As a wedding planner, I find that many people struggle with toasts, and I love this service. It’s never a good idea to “wing it” on the wedding day (I could tell you stories to convince you), and waiting until the last minute is another sounds good but not really good idea. This isn’t cramming for a physics exam the night before, so take the time you need to prep and work with XOJuliet in advance of the wedding date. 
They also offer hashtag assistance, so if you’re coming up empty, let their experts put together some options for you to choose from. Visit their website here and mention “RothweilerEventDesign” to save 15% off your order!
The top 10 wedding products you need to know about and where to buy them!
Jessica Janae Photography

Engaging Invites

A product I have been in love with since I first met the owner of the company is Engaging Invites. Featured in one of my YouTube “Favorites” videos and in an interview, it’s no wonder this made my list of the top 10 wedding products you need to know about!
Our Top 10 Wedding Products that you need and don't know about....Read the blog now!
George Lui
No matter what your wedding vibe is: garden party, destination, gatsby…Engaging Invites can create a showstopping invitation that will be sure to impress your guests. Their motto? “Say it with video”. That’s right, you can invite guests to your wedding with a video and Engaging Invites can even design it for you!
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About! Read the blog to see them all!
Alex Borysenko
Perfect for a Save the Date, or even as part of your wedding table decor, there are countless ways to incorporate this wedding product into your big day. You can visit their website to find out more about the process including when to order and how shipping works! 

Repeat Roses

The Top 10 Wedding Products you Need to Know About (and probably don't). Read the blog for details!
Images by Berit
Wedding flowers can get a little cray cray, amiright? Check out one of our favorite florists above, Chad of Carroll’s. He basically brought in a forest and assembled 20 plus centerpieces for a beautiful wedding we designed. You can see the whole thing right here.
But what happens to all of those gorgeous flowers once the wedding is done? If you’re like a lot of my brides, you don’t want to see them go straight to the dumpster. Enter Repeat Roses, an organization that will come in and re-purpose those flowers for a good cause.
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About (But Probably Don't). Read the blog for more!
Images by Berit
Repeat Roses will come in at the end of your wedding and take those flowers, re-arrange them, and distribute them to local non-profits, residents of hospices and cancer treatment facilities (to name a few places). Make you feel a bit better about spending all that money on flowers you’ll only have for 24 hours? I thought so. Head over to their website for more details and to find out when to contact them about donating your wedding flowers. 
bridal bouquet
Jessica Janae Photography

Ever Laser

Laser cut is a huge trend and has been for quite some time now. You can do so much and with endless ways to incorporate laser cut pieces, it’s no wonder brides are all about this wedding trend. 
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About (But Probably Don't). Read the blog for all the details!
Domenick Michael Photography
But there are so many companies that do the laser cut thing, so how do you know which one to use? Well, you read my blog to find out! Ever Laser is the only company I would trust with laser cut details like that hashtag sign above they created for one of my Fall couples. They do everything from cake toppers to signage and even table names and numbers!
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About (But Probably Don't). Read the blog for all of the details!
Domenick Michael Photography
Whether you want to use laser cut as a big part of your wedding decor, or just use it in a few places at your wedding reception, Ever Laser is the company you can depend on. And yes, they can do silver if gold isn’t your thing. Get over to their website to start putting together your order!

Artemix Custom Tattoos

Looking for a fun favor to send your wedding guests home with? Having a more non-traditional wedding? Or maybe looking for something unique for the bridal shower or bachelorette party? You’ve committed to one person for the rest of your life, but maybe that’s all the commitment you can handle?
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About (And Probably Don't)! Read the blog now!
Justin Tinapay Photography
Artemix Custom Tattoos is so. damn. cool. Whether you have their artists at your wedding or another event like your bridal shower or engagement party, they can create any tattoo you want to be airbrushed onto your guests. The design can be in black or any color that you choose. It last anywhere from 3-5 days, but the pictures and the memories will be talked about for long after that.
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need to Know About (But Probably Don't). Read the blog for more!
Justin Tinapay Photography
So what if you’re not ready for the real ink? Your guests probably wouldn’t be all hyped to get a needle in their skin in between salad and the main course either. Contact Artemix for a little fun and mention this blog for 15% off! 

MannaEStore

groom jacket
Images by Berit
Sorry brides, this one isn’t for you. You’ve got the dress, so shouldn’t your groom get to dress up like a rockstar too? 
Yes. The answer is “yes”.
Not every groom wants to rent a tuxedo and suit rentals aren’t the easiest to find when you’re picky (as many grooms are believe me). MannaEStore entered my life a little over a year ago (or maybe longer but I’m old and have no concept of time anymore) and I love them. The second my groom tells me he doesn’t want to rent his wedding day wardrobe, I introduce him to MannaEStore
Groom jacket
Images by Berit
I am a huge (like size of Africa huge) fan of customization in weddings. You two aren’t like anyone else so why should your wedding be a carbon copy of something you found on Pinterest? A custom suit from MannaEStore means everything is custom: the shirt, the entire jacket, the pants, the cufflinks…and my favorite: the hashtag on the inside of the jacket. 
Not only are the details custom, but they are made to measure which means you won’t show up to the wedding in a jacket that’s too big and pants that are too short. They do entire wedding parties too so everyone can look like a boss. This is absolutely a wedding product you need.

BoxFox

What did the fox say? He said that he can totally handle those custom gifts you need. Looking for a the perfect “will you be my bridesmaid” gift? What about a thank you to your parents? Got those hotel bags covered? 
The Top 10 Wedding Products You Need To Know About (But Probably Don't). Read the blog now!
Jessica Janae Photography
You’ve seen those cute boxes on Pinterest full of fun stuff like bath bombs and candles. BoxFox is a company that offers both pre-curated boxed (meaning you don’t actually have to think because they do it for you) and boxes that you create on your own. When you visit their website you can see all of the amazing stuff they have; perfect for everyone involved in your wedding.
bride and bridesmaids
Justin Tinapay Photography
BoxFox will help you put together quality, personalized themed boxes and you can visit their website for shipping and timing information right here

Wedding Dressing Services

Bustles, buttons and bows…all can be really annoying on the day of the wedding. Your maid of honor was with you at the final fitting, but on the wedding day she completely forgets how to bustle your gown? Aunt Sally knows how to do it though and she and her bright red lipstick are quickly approaching you to help.
Not a good time.
Corset bridal gown
Studio One Photography
I can bustle pretty much any gown by now, but sometimes my team and myself are busy running the actual wedding that we can’t spare 30 minutes it takes to lace up a corset. It’s also not always possible for someone on my team to spend 97 minutes steaming a cathedral length veil and all 427 bridesmaids’ dresses.
One of the wedding vendors you might have heard rumors about is a wedding dresser. A personal stylist for the bride and her squad is essential on the wedding day. They are there, not just for steaming and dressing, but they stay on hand for all of those pictures too!
Bride in gown
Gabelli Studios
When you’re spending that much money on photos and video, how happy will you be when the photos are perfect except for that one button that is undone in every last photo? Bring along a wedding dresser and boom, instant zen. 

Honeyfund

You want to register for money, don’t you? Towels are great, and yay monogrammed sheets but….
Honeyfund is an online registry that you can create for free where your guests can give you…you guessed it…M-O-N-E-Y. Should you create a registry for some basic house stuff to appease the Aunt Sally’s in your family? Yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a registry for what you really want.

Just like any other registry, Honeyfund is available online for guests to access and “make purchases”. Once online, they can pay with a credit card (they don’t even have to have actual money….BONUS) and you can put that money towards your honeymoon or any vendor that Honeyfund is partnered with.
It’s your wedding. Get what you really want. Set up a free registry right here. Oh, and it’s free for your guests to use as well. Plus, you’ll get to set up a wedding webpage and see all of the honeymoon packages once you’re there.
See? You can ask for money for your wedding.
We put together the 10 top wedding products you NEED but probably never heard of right here in this blog! Click through for more!
Images by Berit

What do you think of our top 10 wedding products? Can you share more with other engaged couples? Leave your comments below with your “must-haves”!

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?

Shop Cyber Week on Zazzle  

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.

Start your FREE honeymoon registry at Honeyfund.com
 

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!
 

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!

 

Wedding Gown Trends for 2018

While a wedding gown should always be timeless, it’s always fun to see what’s new and unique. We sat down with our friend and owner, Rachel Sweebe, of Bridal Atelier Montclair to find out the top wedding gown trends for 2018. Check out our full list of wedding trends for 2018 and share with us what you’ll be wearing down the aisle!

1. Is there a style that you see brides looking at more than others for their 2018-2019 weddings? What are the wedding gown trends for 2018?

I would say one of the most common requests has been for minimalist gowns. Be it A-line or fit to flare, deep V-necks, or off-the shoulder, clean lines and in high demand.

2. The boho chic and farm wedding trend is still on the rise. Do you meet with brides having this style of wedding and what designer would you recommend?

I usually recommend Flora and Claire Pettibone. Both of these designers (through fabric, details, and silhouette) appeal to the boho trend while still making girls “feel like a bride”.

Wedding gown trends for 2018 and new styles for brides to rock down the aisle! Read the blog to get the interview!

3. What are some new and interesting features that designers are showcasing for next year? For instance, are you seeing a lot of florals or lace? What details should brides expect to see trending in wedding gowns for 2018?

Some features that we are seeing for next year include dramatic bow details, removable overskirts (for 2 in one looks), bridal capes, and off the shoulder sleeves are making a big statement!

4. Is there any one wedding gown trend that was strong for a while that you now see brides no longer looking for?

The most obvious one that comes to mind is the step away from strapless. It used that be that girls wanted strapless gowns almost exclusively, and now straps and sleeves are more sought after.

Wedding gown trends for 2018 perfect for every bride's style. Learn about the hottest new designers and what unique options there are for newly engaged brides!
Domenick Michael Photography
5. When brides come to your store, are they prepared with pictures and details, or not sure what they are looking for? What is the 2018-2019 bride’s personality like?

It really depends. Some girls come with photos and very specific ideas, whiles other girls come in with more broad inspiration. In general, though, I find that most girls are open to trying on multiple silhouettes and styles in order to find what best suits their event and body type. Today’s brides are very savvy, they do their research, and have typically looked at tons dresses online before making an appointment.

6. What’s the most popular cut right now?

I would say fit to flare and A-line are the most requested.

Wedding gown trends for 2018 and hot new designers for newly engaged ladies to consider! Check out a surprising new trend that we still can't believe is walking down the aisle in 2018.

7. Any surprising trends to look forward to in the next year?

Black accents and details are definitely trending! Particularly in belts and sashes. Many designers also showed “bell” sleeves this fall. It will be interesting to see which trends truly resonate with brides!

Check out the 2018 wedding gown trends in this blog and find out which designers are the ones most brides are looking to wear down the aisle for their big day!
Justin Tinapay Photography
What do you think about the wedding gown trends for 2018? Will you rock bell sleeves on your big day? Share in the comments below if you’re going to be a trending bride in 2018!

Find out what's trending in the world of wedding gowns for 2018 and which designers every bride is asking about!

2018 Wedding Trends

Another year is coming to a close and with another year gone by, we are ready to look ahead to the next one and talk about 2018 wedding trends. We shared our interview with Bridal Atelier Montclair discussing 2018 wedding gown trends, but here we’ll discuss everything from floor to ceiling.
Here is the top 10 list of things brides and grooms can expect to see in 2018 weddings. Don’t forget to share in the comments what trends you love and will be using for your own wedding day! 
Metallics
2018 wedding trends include lots of metallics like these gorgeous candle holders from a Fall wedding we designed. Read the blog for more trends and ideas.
Domenick Michael Photography

Can’t decide between silver or gold? Mixing metals is one of our favorite 2018 wedding trends, so don’t stress about deciding. Pops of metal look amazing when paired with candles too!

Detailed Dresses
2018 wedding trends including beaded gowns for newly engaged brides!
Domenick Michael Photography

Strapless dresses are taking a backseat to detailed wedding gowns. 2018 will showcase detailed backs, off the shoulder gowns and sleeves of all types.

Succulents
2018 wedding trends including how to add succulents on your big day! A must read blog for newly engaged brides and grooms!
Mary + Roy Photography

An absolute favorite in general and part of the 2018 wedding trends, is the gorgeous succulent flower. These have been popular for a few years now, but brides are getting creative and adding them into centerpieces, bouquets and other unexpected areas. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, succulents are perfect for every type of wedding.

Unexpected Florals
Check out these 2018 wedding trends. A must read blog for all newly engaged brides and grooms with romantic florals and unique wedding ideas!
Domenick Michael Photography

Speaking of unexpected florals, 2018 will bring installations that we haven’t seen before. Brides and grooms are getting more creative and bring flowers past the tables and onto places like the ceiling and banisters. Just make sure your venue allows your design and there is enough time to set it up on the day of!

Purples and Blues
Check out our Top 10 list of 2018 wedding trends.
Images by Berit

With Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year being ultra-violet, we expect to see plenty of this color throughout the year and into 2019. The past few years have been filled with neutral colors and shades of pink. We are so excited to see bold purples and deep blues make a return to weddings!

Arches
Check out our Top 10 List of 2018 Wedding Trends and find out how to use them on your own day!
Domenick Michael Photography

Not just for the altar anymore, couples will be using arches to create entrance spaces and substituting them for those popular flower walls. Enhance your walk down the aisle like our winter couple did here with a gorgeous arch in the ceremony space. 

Balloons
Our Top 10 List of 2018 Wedding Trends including new ways to use flowers and balloons for newly engaged brides and groom!
Timothy Glenn Photography

Searches for balloons are way up on Pinterest and we expect to see them as a big part of the 2018 wedding trends. We created this balloon ceiling display for The Knot Market Mixer a few years ago, so we’re so excited to see it trending now!

Boho Chic
Our Top 10 List of 2018 Wedding Trends including how to make the boho chic trend part of your wedding day!
Jessica Janae Photography

This look has been gaining in popularity ever since the rustic trend began. In 2018 we’ll see even more Boho Chic weddings complete with desconstructed bouquets, outdoor ceremonies and bolder colors. 

Guestbooks
Our top 10 list of wedding trends for 2018 include this amazing twist on guest books at weddings!
Domenick Michael Photography

Couples will get creative in 2018 with different types of guestsbooks and ways for guests to show their love. One of our favorites is this adorable box filled with hearts that guests wrote their well wishes on!

CoolSculpting
We share our top 10 list of 2018 wedding trends for newly engaged brides and grooms, including this alternative to sweating for the wedding!
Images by Berit

Our favorite wedding trend for 2018 is CoolSculpting which we talked about in another blog. You can literally eat whatever you want, not go to the gym, and still slay in your wedding gown. Without surgery. I know, right?!

What do you think of our top 10 list of 2018 wedding trends? Which will you incorporate into your wedding day? Share with us in the comments below!!