I love sharing real wedding inspiration with you guys, because I know how every engaged couple is looking for something different. A bunch of real weddings we have planned have been showcased on this wedding blog before, and just like you, I always want something different.
Real Weddings show our readers the final product, but what about the months leading up to it? I chatted with lifestyle blogger, Melissa Victoria, about her upcoming wedding and she gave me plenty of details! If you’re planning your wedding, check out what a fellow fiance had to say, including the one (and only) trend she plans to use for her big day!
Melissa Victoria, Lifestyle Blogger
I first found Melissa on Instagram (so shocking, right?) and instantly fell in love with her style. Of course, she’s a California girl, because I always fall in love with West Coast brides and their wedding style….or style in general. When I saw that she was getting married, I had to know more about the big day.
Let me just say that I tend to fall for the bloggers that radiate “real”. There are about 2 bazillion bloggers out there, and sometimes I feel like I am seeing the same person over and over again. It’s that “my life is perfect, buy this product” smile in their pictures that works for so many bloggers and yet makes me want to basically die. Because no one is that happy all of the time and can you please calm down OMG?!
But Melissa makes you smile when you look at the pictures of her smiling. Her stories are fun and you basically want to just hang out with her. As a wedding planner, I pride myself on the fact that I don’t work with brides I wouldn’t want to hang out with. Bridezillas is a show, not my life…generally. Between her fun style and her intense realness, I had to know more about her wedding details.
And I have to say…none of her answers disappointed. In fact, many had me saying “really?!”, but in a good way. Because she’s different than other bloggers and guess what? That makes her different from so many other brides. Thank. The. Lord.
Melissa and Martin got engaged on November 12, 2017 during their weekend trip to Big Bear. Since I was not that bride that had her nails done every week (just in case of a proposal), nor did my fiance have a photographer on stand-by, I had to ask if she was surprised by the proposal. I figured that a style blogger with a huge following would have figured out all the details before her now fiance got down on one knee, but nope!
“Looking back, there were SO many signs of him wanting to propose all weekend long, so when he finally did, it was so special.”
And I love that. Because it used to be (listen to how old I sound, wow) about a man getting down on one knee, pulling out a ring and we’re done. Now, it’s drone footage, surprise family appearances and fireworks. While I love the idea of having that special moment captured by a photographer, I am not in love with the whole “hiring a proposal planner” thing. This isn’t to take away from anyone’s proposal, but I personally like this step to be as basic as possible.
Anyway, back to Melissa and Martin! Their big day is February 9, 2019, which means their engagement period is about a year and change. As a wedding planner, I swoon over year long plus engagements…especially when the “must have” wedding date is during the most popular time of the year. Over a year gives you time to enjoy the engagement and get the venue and vendors that you want because everyone isn’t already booked.
Melissa and Martin decided not to plan anything for the remainder of 2017. But you know what they say about the best laid plans, right? In late 2017 they visited a spot two blocks away from Martin’s job and fell head over heels for it. Despite the whole “no planning in 2017” promise, they locked their venue down in December that year.
I am sure many of you will just glaze over that like it’s not a big deal. But I want to emphasize that it actually is. When you get engaged, you’re likely to put together some sort of timeline to get stuff done. Sometimes, the perfect venue or vendor will come along at what you decided was the wrong time. I love that Melissa and Martin didn’t turn this place down because it didn’t fit their planning timeline. Take their lead and if you find the venue or vendor before you’re “supposed” to, don’t be afraid to lock it down!
Their guest count sits around 200 people, which seems to be the average for weddings right now. Most of the couples we plan weddings with are inviting anywhere from 150-250 people. If you’re still looking for the perfect venue, it’s super important to get your guest list together before shopping. You don’t want to fall in love with a wedding venue, only to find out it doesn’t fit the guest count you’re inviting.
Melissa has put together plenty of ideas and details, and yes, that includes her wedding gown. Since she is a style blogger, I absolutely had to ask her about this! Of all the celebrity wedding inspiration available to brides, she was struck by Olivia Palermo’s wedding style, which included chic long sleeve gowns.
Not unlike many of my brides, Melissa tried on about 10 dresses and went to 2 different stores before finding the one. I always tell my brides that they will know when they’ve found the right gown (and venue and vendors), and Melissa shares how she knew:
“In the end, I went with something I know what meant for me.”
And it’s true…just like your fiance is meant for you, everything else will be during the wedding planning process.
Wedding Day Vibes
With a February wedding date, the winter wedding season is well underway. But between the obsession with pale colors, and her ever enviable California location, I wondered if she wouldn’t have a wedding full of rose golds, creams and pinks. And as a style blogger, where does she turn for inspiration?
As much as brides are always looking for something different for their wedding day, many tend to do the same exact thing they have seen everyone else do. Different is scary and if everyone else is doing a mix of muted colors, it’s hard not to play it safe. Well, I was extremely excited to find out that this trendy fashion blogger is not playing it safe, but instead, playing with deep colors mixed in with neutrals.
Let the church say “Amen!”
Along with their fabulous color palette, Melissa and Martin are going for a vintage feel to go with their old Hollywood glam wedding venue. Their wedding party consists of six bridesmaids and groomsmen, but their wardrobe is at different stages. The idea of keeping the bridesmaids in different gowns is something Melissa loves and already has ideas about. But, remember how I said she was totally real? Well, when I asked her about the groomsmen wardrobe she said:
“Martin has a few colors he likes, so he needs to crank that out ASAP haha.”
Sound familiar ladies?
Searching For Inspiration
Wedding inspiration available on the internet can legit drown a bride. With countless wedding websites available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with ideas only to end up hating them all. So, where does a style blogger turn for her own wedding day inspiration?
Just like any other bride, Melissa turns to Pinterest and Instagram for wedding ideas. As a wedding planner, we book with many of our clients because they found us on either one of those social media sites and I love finding new ideas and vendors on them as well.
But I know what you’re thinking…you’re always on Pinterest and you keep seeing the same damn thing every day. Right? Hashtags and keywords are your friend and foe. When searching for wedding inspiration, it’s important to be more specific in your searches because “Winter Wedding” is going to turn up a bunch of stuff that you don’t like. Hashtags work on both sites, but Pinterest just brought them back, so a keyword search is a better option. Keep your search general enough so you don’t miss out on creative ideas, but specific enough so that you’re not seeing starfish decor for your barn wedding.
“I love to look up my venue’s location on Instagram every Sunday to see what the previous night’s event looked like.”
Maybe you haven’t found your venue yet, and maybe you have. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a few (or 40) in mind…so use the venue’s social media profile and hashtag to see what other couples have done. It’s not about copying their style, but more about seeing what does (and doesn’t) work. That goes double for those of you that have found your wedding venue!
Trends and Have to Haves
When you basically live on social media, it can be hard to plan an event. You’ve seen it all, and the trends might be less “trendy” and more “played out” by the time your wedding day rolls around. It shouldn’t have surprised me, though it did, that Melissa only has one trend she wants to incorporate for her wedding day:
“A hashtag. I’m a social media chick, so obviously, this has to be part of our wedding.”
Social media chick, or not, hashtags have become a major part of weddings. When the idea first came about, it was largely seen as only good for those that were obsessed with social media. In reality, both then and now, it’s a great way to keep your photos all in the same place. What good are those random pictures your friends and family took if you never see them?
Just like many other engaged couples, Melissa and Martin want to incorporate their faith into their wedding day. As a wedding planner, this is something I see most couples decide on, but many struggle with. It could be anything from coming from different religious backgrounds to wanting a religious ceremony outside of a religious house, and thousands of other possibilities in between. The only thing that matters here, is that you and your fiance celebrate your marriage in a ceremony that means the most to the both of you.
What else matters to Melissa and Martin? Two words: Open. Bar.
“We knew we wanted an open bar because duh- the best memories always include an open bar!”
Truer words have never been spoken.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
More and more, traditional aspects of a wedding are disappearing. Couples are making their wedding a reflection of their relationship by using cake pops instead of wedding cake and having that first look happen long before the walk down the aisle. There are very few rules when it comes to a wedding anymore, so if you’re a trendy fashion blogger getting married, what rules are you following?
The bouquet and garter toss have been put on ice by most of our engaged couples. Honestly though, I miss them both and I pretty much thought I was stuck in the “not cool old person” past by still loving the idea. Leave it to Melissa though, to remind me how awesome and trendy I still am (woot woot), when she told me how they will be incorporating this tradition into their wedding day! Along with that, they will have their special parent dances, but are on the fence about the grand entrance for the entire wedding party; another tradition we’re starting to see fade away.
I asked Melissa if they planned on making their heritage a part of the wedding day. My engaged couples are always looking for that something different, but sometimes that something different has been done for centuries that many couples aren’t doing anymore. Their ceremony taking place in a Catholic Church has to do, in part, with their Latin heritage. But in addition to incorporating their religion, their guests will also enjoy other Latin traditions like the lasso ceremony. The wedding ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate your traditions in a new way as you begin your new life together!
What about the structure and the rules? Should you tell your guests what the dress code is, or is that no longer acceptable? What about kids at the wedding? There are so many wedding etiquette blogs, with rules that have been written and re-written for decades. Between those and all the endless “helpful” advice brides and grooms get from friends and family, it’s not easy to keep it all together.
“I would say to do things the way you want to do them. There will be so many previously married people that will tell you all about their experience and what you should do, but no one knows your heart the way you do.”
As difficult as it can be, it’s important to listen to the voices of two people: you and your fiance. When you plan a wedding, trust me, everyone in your life will become an expert. Your BFF that just got married and suddenly knows everything and your Aunt Sally that got married 700 years ago and also knows everything…No one can change the fact that you will know when you found the right venue and the right vendors. It’s the first day of the rest of your lives, and it’s really important to start it off with your own decisions.
Just like any other bride, Melissa can share the worst part of wedding planning she’s gone through. And just like many brides, that worst part had a lot to do with herself. While she recognized the “I can do it myself” part of her, she worried about being too picky. If you’re that bride that can’t (or won’t) let her guard down and won’t trust her vendors, you are not alone here. Melissa shared that she is really a hands on bride and that trusting others was something she had a really hard time with.
I told you she was real…
“I think I’m worried about vendors backing out or not showing up on time.”
Every bride worries about her wedding day, and that is completely normal. It doesn’t mean things won’t go as planned; it just means you’re normal. It’s OK to let yourself worry and to vent about completely ridiculous things going wrong that would never ever happen. Surround yourself with supportive people during your engagement process, people that will let you lean on their shoulders…just don’t forget that they have problems of their own that they made need your shoulder for!
Your Day. Yours.
A wedding day (can) come with a lot of rules. Rules that are set by you and your fiance, rules set by you before you even meet your fiance, rules by your friend and family, and rules set by all those blogs and magazines you read. The thing is, there are no rules anymore. What was a rule 20 years ago, is only a rule if you want it to be. You get one day to wear the dress you want to wear, to say the vows you want to say and to dance to the songs you want to dance to.
I loved interviewing Melissa for this blog, because I expected a style blogger to follow the rules and that’s totally not her. I thought she would be incorporating every wedding trend under the California sun. But really, she is having the only type of wedding that should be trending:
Hashtag You Should Too.
Thanks to Melissa for taking the time to chat with me about your big day! If you want to read more about her planning process, follow along on her blog right here! Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list in the top banner to get more stories like this one, plus plenty more real weddings inspiration.
What wedding rules and trends are you following and breaking for your own wedding day? Share in the comments below and let your own voice be heard!
As a wedding planner, I’ve seen it all (almost), so I put together the top 10 wedding products you need. Why? 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
BoxFox will help you put together quality, personalized themed boxes and you can visit their website for shipping and timing information right here.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”!
It’s International Women’s Day and we are celebrating by honoring the bad ass women in your wedding! Whether they are helping you plan the big day, or standing next to you as a bridesmaid….it could be a mom, a sister, an amazing female wedding planner that you’re like “how could I have done this without you?!??”….
Whoever they are, this blog is dedicated to celebrating them on this International Women’s Day!
I, personally, have never been a big fan of chick cliques. I don’t like pink.
I don’t like glitter.
I don’t use spirit fingers to describe things I’m happy about.
I don’t brunch.
I don’t shop.
I don’t have a small dog in my LV bag.
I don’t have 97 pairs of different color Uggs.
I never got the whole “squad goals”, “team pink”, or anything else like that. Most of my friends are guys, and while I’m not a tomboy, I just never had the qualities that the girls in the squads I knew, had.
No, I actually don’t want to go to the mall for the fifteenth time this week……don’t any of you want to fill out March Madness brackets instead?!
During the 30-something years I’ve been alive, I’ve realized something. It’s that you don’t need a squad for a girls’ getaway and you don’t have to surround yourself with the likes of The Plastics in order to appreciate “girl power”.
And I’ve realized that because I’m friends with some kick ass women.
If you ask around, most people will tell you that I’m strong AF. And I am, but sometimes, it’s a grand illusion.
A damn good illusion, but an illusion nonetheless.
The reason I want to honor those ladies involved in weddings on this International Women’s Day is because I plan weddings for a living….and I’ve been in weddings….
And I recently dropped out of one.
I have seen stuff so ugly that I’m shocked I don’t have PTSD from some weddings I’ve had involvement in; whether as a planner or as a bridesmaid. That’s not diminishing the real PTSD stuff, so please don’t lynch me for that. I’m simply trying to drive the point home that whether you’re planning a wedding or in a wedding, you are going to be emotionally scarred at one point and/or another.
Without the strong women in my life, I wouldn’t by typing this right now. I would be curled up in a ball, eating fruit roll-ups and watching Jersey Shore.
Fruit roll-ups are amazing so take your side-eyes elsewhere. I see you.
Some of us aren’t lucky enough to be surrounded by a crew. I was friends with girls that had a crew of 8 girls they consistently hung out with…..in The Hamptons and Miami and other Instagramable places.
But I would hang out with them all separately because OMFG were they annoying AF all together….and heaven forbid one got mad at the other and it’s like whom do you side with?!?!?!?!?
And then I’m back in my ball with fruit roll-ups.
Instead, I am here. Writing this. Why? Mostly because of the strong women in my life. The ones I want to celebrate.
The ones that tell me like it is.
The ones that correct me when I am wrong.
The ones that make me breathe before I say something I will regret.
The ones that play Devil’s Advocate and never lose.
Because of them, here we are.
And they will be there for you when wedding planning. They come in different forms….and I don’t mean in like spirits and angels or whatever.
It can be the aunt that takes the place of the mother you lost when you were young. It can be the best friend that is basically the sister you never had.
Honor them. Cherish them. Because, honestly, they don’t have to be there. Their love for you is why they are there. And if you think that’s not why they stay close, then get rid of them faster than you’ll ditch those ceremony programs.
Being in a wedding is hard and planning is harder (don’t challenge me on that). There are duties that every woman involved in a wedding has to do. There are financial obligations that come with being part of a wedding.
The strength it takes to be part of a wedding is some serious shit.
If you’re getting married, you need to recognize this. You need to remove yourself from the bride bubble you’re in and look around. You need to say “thank you”. You need to ask others about their own stuff. Because the world doesn’t stop just because you’re getting married.
People get married everyday.
Did you find the one person out of 7 billion that you want to spend the rest of your life with? Awesome.
Then calm down about those envelope liners and thank a strong woman in your life for helping you in this messed up wedding planning journey. Thank her for telling you the truth you didn’t want to hear. Thank her for standing by your side when you were a complete jackass. Thank her for putting her life on hold just for you. Thank her for the strength that you didn’t have.
On this International’s Women Day, thank her.
Have someone you want to thank? Use the comments section and shout her out. Be thankful for her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
It’s hard to believe, but 2018 is right around the corner! Each year, Pantone selects one “color of the year”, which represents trends in the world of design. Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is called “Ultra-Violet” and we are ultra-excited!
The past few years have been all about pastels and greenery in the wedding world. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it all but Ultra-Violet brings a different type of energy that we really need in wedding designs. In this blog, I am going to show you how to use Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year in your wedding!
*Disclosure: Affiliate links are contained within this blog and I will be compensated if you purchase a product described here through one of the links. That said, I do not endorse anything that I don’t already love.*
Lighting plays a big role in the world of wedding design. It enhances what you want to see and hides what you don’t. A great way to use Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is by having it illuminate your wedding. This shade works with many different color palettes, but really shines when using lighter colors in the same family. You can use ultra-violet as your uplighting color of choice, or even in your monogram over the dance floor.
Not looking to make your reception ultra-violet? Another great option is to use lighting outside, like we did for our Solar Eclipse Styled Shoot earlier this year. The purple lighting added a romantic glow to the tree-lined driveway. Have this lighting in place to give your guests something to look at even as they depart for the evening. Just be sure not to spoil the surprise!
Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is romantic and bold, but could be too much of a statement for some brides and grooms. For an outdoor wedding under a tent like the one we designed in the picture above, a softer shade of the color is the best choice. Mix in some white florals and touches of greenery to complete the look.
Since Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is blue-based, don’t be afraid to mix in shades of blue with ultra-violet for a super dreamy look. We used this color combination in our Solar Eclipse styled shoot to create a rustic chic and showstopping centerpiece. If you’re looking to combine colors like we did here, keep your glassware and holders simple by using clear pieces with little detail.
If you’re like me though, and Pantone’s Color of the Year also happens to be your favorite color, then go all out for a monochrome bouquet like this one! A bold contrast to a white wedding gown, this combination of purple flowers is perfect for a chic event.
Ultra-Violet bridesmaid dresses are stunning, and our friends at Dessy have so many options to choose from. The best part is that they are offering 15% off and free shipping now until December 21st! Head over to their website and let your squad know to use code COTY18 before this amazing deal is gone!
As a wedding planner, I like to see aspects of the overall design in as many places as possible on the big day. Creating a cohesive look is something many brides and grooms struggle with, and it’s not uncommon to run out of ideas. The food served on the wedding day should taste amazing but also be presented well. In this dish created by one of our caterers, the colors of the wedding were incorporated. You can work Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year into your dinner service too!
When working with your catering team, keep your colors and theme in mind. You can use amazing rentals such as the ultra-violet glass charger plate above to really create a chic dining experience.
With a color as strong as ultra-violet, it’s important not to let it overwhelm the wedding decor. If you want to use Pantone’s Color of the Year in your linens, consider something similar to what we did above, and work in another color. The purple table runner is romantic on its own, but when we added the sheer white runner underneath, the look became unique.
If you’re attending a wedding and want to rock Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, but you’re not sure how long you’ll love ultra-violet, then head over to Rent the Runway. I love using this site because you never have to wear the same dress twice and I can make my selections without leaving the house! I am loving this chic purple dress that retails for over $200 and is available for less than $40! Plus, if you’ve never shopped with them before, enter the code FIRST you can get an additional 20% off!
Rent the Runway is also a great option for bridesmaids’ dresses, especially since no one ever really wears them again. Don’t want your bridesmaids wearing the same gown? Maybe you only have one bridesmaid and want something extra special? This Badgley Mischka gown is stunning and perfect for the bride that wants her girls in the color of the year. With a retail price of close to $700, your bridesmaids will thank you when they don’t have to spend more than $100…especially if they use the code FIRST when making their selection!
When guests receive your wedding invitation, they are getting a sneak peek into the wedding day and what it will look like. Ultra-Violet will make a statement that your wedding day will be chic and fabulous. One of my favorite things about Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is that it works with gold and silver, so the options are endless. Check out this amazing invitation:
Our friends at Minted have just come out with “All in One” wedding invitations like this one. Perfect for the bride and groom looking to cut down on enclosures, this invitation opens up and gives your guests everything they need. I love the purple tones and how they are softened by the white font and watercolor design. You can find even more options on their website right here!
No matter how you choose to incorporate The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year, the choices are endless. Ultra-Violet is bold and dramatic enough for a swanky New York City wedding, but can be soft and romantic enough for a wedding in the country. We haven’t seen a strong Color of the Year like this for a few years now and I can’t wait to see couples embrace it. How will Ultra-Violet be part of your wedding day? Share in the comments below and inspire other engaged couples!
As a wedding planner, I am always asked about wedding gifts. The bride wants to know something crazy amazing to get her groom. The groom wants to know what to get that isn’t jewelry. They both want to know what to get their wedding party and their parents. A lot of my couples start this search early because leaving it to the last minute is like leaving holiday shopping to Christmas Eve, which everyone hates. Well if you’re looking for such a gift, check out the list below of 10 crazy amazing wedding gifts and where to get them!
My couples know that when they work with me as their wedding planner, they have access to all of the advice they need. As their planner, they can trust the advice that I give them because it stems from real experience. The amount of surprise gifts I have helped plan with my brides and grooms is more than you could ever guess.
Amazon is Amazing for Wedding Gifts
I am a firm believer in the art of gift giving and taking the time to find something amazing. Whether it’s the couple buying something for each other, gifts for the wedding party or their parents, it’s a way to say “thank you” to these people. But what can you buy that isn’t some version of something you’ve already bought before?
Amazon is the website that has it all. Seriously. Like, everything is there and yet none of my couples consider this resource (until I tell them). They even have those wedding gifts that are on a totally different level like…
1. Rolex for Him
Everyone knows that a watch is the classic gift for a bride to give her groom. Of course, if you’re me, your husband doesn’t wear a watch because “Why should I wear a watch when I have a cell phone?” So, this wasn’t something that I could’ve considered and if you’re in the same boat, there are other options in this list, don’t you worry.
If you know the groom will love a watch as a wedding gift, but you don’t know how to compete with his already massive collection, this is your answer. First off, it’s a Rolex, and even those groom’s that already own a Rolex will want another one. Second, it’s likely to be different than anything else he already has, and a watch collector always appreciates diversity. This amazing wedding gift is one of a kind and will remind him that you are too.
2. Rolex for Her
If you’re that couple that first bonded over your love of watches, then obviously the perfect wedding gift is a watch. For the bride I am obsessed with this Rolex and the details like that pink dial.
This watch is perfect for any bride, whether or not she is a collector. It’s a classic piece that she can wear everywhere from the mall to the first wedding you attend as a married couple. What truly makes this an amazing wedding gift is that she can wear it everyday, which means she’ll be thinking of you just as much.
3. Personalized Frame for Mom and Dad
There is a reason that many of the most popular wedding gifts involve some level of personalizing. It shows time and thought went into the purchase of the gift and it also means that no one else has exactly that gift. Total home run for parents of the bride and groom, trust me.
This wedding gift can be given to mom and dad before the wedding or after as a birthday or holiday gift. If given before, you can include photos from a special day you had together. After the wedding, this can be given as a little extra thank you with your professional wedding photos that you know they want to display at their home.
4. Tried and True Wedding Gift: Those Hangers
If you haven’t been in a wedding party and been given one these hangers, I know you have seen them before. Maybe on Pinterest, maybe in someone else’s wedding photos, but you have seen them.
This wedding gift is a trend that I have loved as a wedding planner since the day it became “a thing”. The bridesmaids all need a hanger for their dresses and gifting them these hangers with their names is a beautiful sentiment. Bonus? They look great in photos, unlike whatever random hanger your girls bring on the day of.
5. The Tote Every Bridesmaid Needs
Let’s be honest, ladies stuff their purses with plenty of stuff daily. This means on the wedding day, when they can’t fit everything into their dress pockets or itsy bitsy clutch, they will need something to hold their stuff.
I always loved the idea of the bride presenting a few small gifts to her bridesmaids instead of one big ticket item. It’s a more thoughtful wedding gift when there are a few small items like this tote. If you’re the bride that wants to select the necklaces that your bridesmaids wear, you can even use this tote to act as the packaging. Surprise! More stuff!
6. Shave and a Haircut
Assuming the groomsmen have been in a wedding before, or are over the age of 21, it’s safe to assume they all have flasks already. Even if they don’t, unless you have some weird concealed alcohol bond with your guys, a flask is a wedding gift that is done and over.
This shaving kit is such an awesome wedding gift for your groomsmen and even the father of the groom and father of the bride. On the day of the wedding, while the ladies spend 17 hours getting ready, I recommend to my groom that he takes the men in the group for traditional shaves and haircuts. It always results in great pictures and amazing memories. This is the perfect wedding gift whether or not you decide to hit up the barbershop on the wedding day, and one your guys will appreciate.
7. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
Jewelry is the number one wedding gift from a groom to his bride, but after the hardship of selecting the perfect engagement ring, most grooms are done. No matter what your bride wears, if that engagement ring is a diamond, you can bet she’ll wear that same stone in her ears too.
The grooms I work with all want a piece of jewelry that their bride can wear down the aisle. Common concerns? That she won’t like it and then won’t wear it (or will wear it and be miserable). Grooms also worry that their jewelry wedding gift won’t work with the gown, or that the something borrowed will be worn instead. Diamond earrings are classic, so they go with any gown…just check in with mom to make sure you’re not competing with her wedding gift.
Being a bride can be stressful, but being a bridesmaid can make any girl lose her mind. Between attending vendor appointments with the bride to paying more than they thought for the dress and that bachelorette party in Miami you just had to have, it’s not always easy being part of the squad.
Let your ladies know that you appreciate their efforts and you recognize things weren’t always easy with this super cute Revel and Glow wedding gift. It comes with fun bath bombs and anti-wrinkle under eye masks for those tired eyes. This product can check off boxes in the organic, natural and vegan categories too, which means it’s not just an amazing wedding gift, but a really thoughtful one too.
9. Tears of Joy
The one item that I have to replace in my emergency kit after every wedding are the tissues. While the bride and groom might cry, it’s the parents of the couple that tend to shed the most tears. Show how much you know your parents and present them with something they can hold onto all night to wipe away their tears of joy.
You can use the words provided, or you can use your own to be printed on this personalized handkerchief. It’s the perfect accessory for a parent of the bride or the groom, and something they will cherish long after the big day is over.
10. For the Romantic Marriage Ahead
When the wedding is over and the honeymoon has ended, many couples go through a stage of sadness as their is suddenly nothing left to plan. If you spent the better part of a year (or longer) planning your 5 hour party, there’s always a let down when it all comes to an end. This is why I love wedding gifts that can be used for your future.
This picnic bag is the perfect wedding gift for a bride to give her groom or vice versa. Complete with a wine bottle holder, plates, utensils and even a blanket to sit on, this bag has everything for the newlywed couple and the couple going on 20 years. Every time you use it, you’ll think back to your wedding day and be able to look back on how far you have come as a couple.
What wedding gifts are you planning to give? I’d love to hear what creative ideas you all have so be sure to share in the comment section below!