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Tips for Deciding on a Florist and Spring Wedding Flowers

Apr14

Deciding on a florist is one of the last things that you do in the wedding planning process, after you have chosen your venue, your caterer, your overall theme, your bridesmaids’ dresses, and of course, your color palette. Spring wedding flowers present you with a lot of opportunities to be creative and work with a wide range of color palettes. Here are a few steps to take to ensure that you love your spring wedding bouquet:

Before you decide on your florist, it is important to see a portfolio of his or her work. Also, you absolutely need to have personal recommendations from clients whose weddings they have done. In a recent Colorado wedding during spring, the bride hired a group of florists who were excellent designers, had amazing ability to create gorgeous arrangements, and who had a lot of artistic flair. However, these florists did not have experience with large-scale events (having done a few weddings, but not any with over 50 people); in the end, they did not calculate enough time to finish everything they had promised to deliver. The two main arrangements for the ceremony arrived after it was over, and the bridal party did not have their corsages and bouquets for the photographs (which were taken before the ceremony). Another bride who recently got married in California had a similar situation: Guests were arriving and there were absolutely no centerpieces on any of the tables. These things should be finished at least an hour before guests arrive, if not sooner. Make sure that whoever you hire as your florist understands the timing and technicality of working with a living organism, and has a few backup plans if anything goes wrong.

Consider spring wedding flowers by season, including tulips, daffodils, calla lilies, magnolias, easter lilies, gardenias, hydrangeas, gerbera daisies, and apple or cherry blossoms. You will save a lot of money if you are open to using spring wedding flowers that are readily available.

Consider your color palette. If you are getting married in a garden setting, for example, green and white, or yellow and green, are always lovely color combinations. You can always choose bright, more vibrant colors (but paired with something sleek) such as hot pink with black or lime green with black, with accents of white. For an earthier feel, consider using chocolate brown with blue, pink, or lavender.

Your containers can also be very creative and unusual. Consider using objects like pots, urns, watering cans, teapots, weaved baskets, or wicker baskets painted in colors from your palette.

Add greenery wherever you can. One benefits of a spring wedding, especially if it is outdoors, is that you already have a wealth of greenery that naturally adds to your setting. However, if you are getting married indoors, drape ivy or arbors over areas like mantels or doorways.

If you want add a bit of whimsy and fun, try adding some different patterns, such as polka dots, gingham, lace, or even stripes. Depending on the formality of your venue, patterns like this may not work, but if you are getting married outdoors, these types of accents can be adorable.

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3 Unique Spring Wedding Flowers

Mar23

The secret to picking the perfect spring wedding flowers is to choose a varietal that’s unique to you and your personality. You are welcome to take the road most traveled, and allow wedding flower vendors to create wedding flower bouquets and centerpieces that fit well with your overall theme and color scheme, but you also might want to do some research on your own, and choose spring wedding flowers that are not only unique in general, but also unique to you.

Peonies: This varietal is uncommon at weddings, but still absolutely gorgeous. You can choose peonies that are still in the bud, or fully open blooms, depending on what look you feel best represents your tastes.

Lily of the Valley: Since this varietal only blooms during April and May, they are an uncommon pick amongst brides. This varietal has a distinctive and pleasing aroma. Due to its size, this is one of the more expensive varietals, which could affect how many you choose for your bouquet, your fiancé’s boutonniere or table centerpieces. These gorgeous small white flowers are elegant, and epitomize spring.

Gerberas (Gerber Daisies): This spring flower is beautiful by itself, or paired with other varietals like tulips or roses when creating your bridal bouquet. You could also mix different colored gerberas in one bouquet or centerpiece. Gerberas colors include cream, white, pink, red, yellow, and combination two-toned orange and yellow.

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Wedding Trends: Organic Wedding Reception Linens

Mar22

One of the biggest trends of today is incorporating eco-friendly elements into your wedding. Not only does this force you to be creative with your choices, but your guests will also appreciate your efforts to help the environment. For example, you can choose organic and sustainable fabrics for your wedding reception linens, which is an easy and hassle-free way to go green. Here are a few current wedding trends—eco-friendly, when possible—to keep in mind when planning your wedding:

Choose other organic elements, such as organic flowers, organic food, organic paper and envelopes for your invitations, and of course, organic wedding reception linens. You can also detail the organic items you chose in a small paragraph on a place card, so that your guests know where you purchased or rented them. An added benefit of eco-friendly modern reception ideas is that you will likely be supporting local business, as these are typically the first places to embrace green and organic products. You are also nurturing community and promoting health and longevity. It’s a win-win situation. For those concerned about the prices of organic products, you can often get a deal if you are purchasing in bulk. For example, some local businesses may be thrilled that you are promoting them by mentioning them at your wedding, and give you a discount in return. You can approach the situation by saying something like "I am on a specific budget for wedding reception linens or invitations, yet I really want to do my best to use organic materials to support the environment. Is there any way you could help me?"

Popular wedding reception decorations include interesting vase fillers, such as seashells, glass beads or marbles, and fresh fruit such as lemons or limes (yet another easy way to go natural and organic!) Other popular table decorations include rose petals, vines, cut flowers (that are placed directly on the table), diamond confetti, and seashells. Most of these materials can be eco-friendly.

Reception chairs are often decorated with floral swags, ribbons, tulle, or other types of fabric. Chinese lanterns and candles are also very popular. You can have a floating candle centerpiece with lilies or other petals; choose soy candles or other types made of organic, all-natural essential oils.

Another trend that is gaining momentum is the candy buffet. A special table is filled with all sorts of different treats, and scoops allow guests to take home a bag full of treats. You could serve organic dark chocolate or candies made of organic cane syrup.

You can also discuss with your caterer the possibility of serving organic wine or champagne. Caterers may or may not allow you to bring in your own alcohol (or they may charge you a fee per bottle to serve it), but it may be worth it to check. Also, if the wine is more expensive, choose one organic wine to feature and the rest of your drinks can be non-organic.

Remember: progress, not perfection, is the motto here. You don’t have to make everything at your wedding eco-conscious, but where it makes sense (and is affordable), enjoy doing it!

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5 Spring Wedding Flowers

Mar18

Spring wedding themes present a multitude of possibilities when it comes to stunning floral arrangements. Here are the top five in-season spring wedding flowers to incorporate into your bouquets:

Daffodils, especially the smaller varieties, are perfect for boutonnieres and corsages, while the standard size is great for spring wedding bouquets. The most popular color is yellow, but white can also be mixed with many other flowers.

Tulips are classic spring wedding flowers. The wonderful thing about tulips is that there are so many colors and varieties (over 500), so you will have a ton to choose from! There are many shades of yellows, whites, pinks, mauves, purples, and reds.

Hyacinths have an amazing fragrance, beautiful shape, and make a great accent for other flowers, especially for those who want to incorporate blue into a floral arrangement.

Lily of the Valley has a season that is usually around April and May. Many people enjoy the fragrance of these flowers, and they are perfect for boutonnieres, corsages, and accents to a bridal bouquet. Make sure to take the price into consideration, however, as it takes more of these small flowers to give a bouquet its fullness.

Gerber daisies (shown above) are also available in a variety of spring colors, such as red, white, and bright yellow. Another advantage is that they are available year-round, and likely to be a bit less expensive.

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Spring Wedding Invitations: Think Flowers, Nature, and Color!

Mar15

When considering spring wedding invitations, think light and airy. Spring is a time of freshness and rebirth, so spring wedding themes should reflect nature and be eco-friendly, if possible. Here are a few ideas for spring wedding invitations:

Try to incorporate flowers.
You can attach pressed flowers to the invitations (which will also smell nice when your guests open the envelope), or scatter petals inside, preferably from the type of flowers you are using at your wedding. You could even include a packet of seeds, encouraging your guests to make the most of springtime.

Think color.
Many of the top spring wedding vendors—including caterers, photographers, and florists—are encouraging their brides not to shy away from color this season. Lavenders, greens, blues, yellows, corals, pinks, and even reds are great springtime colors. You have the widest range of palates to choose from of any wedding season, so take advantage of it when selecting your invitations! You can always mix more vibrant shades with pastels or ethereal silvers and ivories.

Foreshadow your wedding with your invitations.
For example, if your venue has interesting vintage Spanish architecture, choose an invitation design that reflects this. If you are having a beach wedding, hues of aquamarine and sandy yellows might be appropriate. If you are getting married at an arboretum, include something special that will be in season during your wedding, such as lilacs.

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Spring Wedding Flowers: Be Economical Without Compromising Beauty

Mar09

One of the best things about spring weddings is that you have a wealth of spring wedding flowers to choose from. In the past five years, the price of wedding flowers has risen so much that many brides have chosen to cut costs by compromising on the flowers. This is a bad move because if the flowers are mediocre, then your wedding will have lost that integral final touch. However, because so many flowers are in season (which makes them infinitely cheaper), you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

When choosing spring wedding bouquets, consider a combination of these flowers: alliums, bells of Ireland, cherry blossoms, hydrangea, lilac, violet, wisteria, snapdragon, ranunculus, narcissus, lilies (stargazer lilies and Casablanca lilies), hyacinth, daffodil, anemone, boronia, magnolias, pansies, some types of tulips, peonies, sweetpeas, delphinium, or iris.

Another thing to take into consideration when planning for spring wedding decorations is whether or not you are having your reception outdoors. If you are having a garden theme at an estate with an expansive lawn, then consider trying to book the venue for a month when the roses are blooming. Ask the owner or the person in charge of renting the venue if you are not sure. You will spend less on spring wedding flowers if your natural backdrop is already blooming with flowers.

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Spring Wedding Ideas for Reception Sites

Mar04

There is something fresh, magical, and revitalizing about spring, more so than with any other season. Spring wedding ideas present infinite possibilities for colors, themes, and flower arrangements. If you live in an area where the weather is nice, you can take advantage of that by having your ceremony or reception outdoors. Here are a few ideas for wedding reception locations that you may not have thought of:

A private home or estate.
Many brides love the thought of having their wedding at a private estate, and feel like they are welcoming their guests to their own private home. There is something very intimate and special about this type of venue. Depending on where and when you get married, you may have the option of having both the ceremony and the reception outdoors. For the reception, you can do a garden theme (an added bonus—you will likely need to purchase fewer flowers and decorations, as the lush greenery around you can provide enough natural color and décor). If you consider this type of venue, one very important thing to think about is how the owners maintain the property. You will find that some take excellent care of the grounds, while others do the bare minimum, expecting the bare bones of the structure, or the interesting architecture, to sell the venue. If you are someone who likes cleanliness and a perfectly manicured lawn, make sure to pay close attention. Try to drop by when another wedding is taking place to observe how well the place has been presented.

A city park.
This can be an excellent site for a wedding, but you will need to look into how to reserve the space. Some cities encourage events like weddings; others do not. A park can also be one of your cheapest options.

A museum with a beautiful courtyard.
Museums often have interesting architecture, are well preserved, and some even offer an elegant courtyard. Museums can sometimes be expensive, though, so make sure that they fall within your budget.

A cultural center or art gallery.
Like museums, cultural centers and art galleries can also be expensive, but guests often enjoy looking at the art, roaming around the premises during cocktail hour, and exploring the grounds.

Presidential Libraries.
Presidential libraries are another option for spring wedding ideas, and they are often gorgeously preserved. Many boast beautiful gardens and pristine lawns.

Arboretums.
More and more arboretums are offering their grounds for weddings. Usually they are not too expensive, and vegetation is in peak season during the spring.

A golf course and country club.
Golf courses are an excellent idea for spring wedding receptions, and many offer all-inclusive packages that can end up being the most economical. Also, golf courses typically treat their clients very well, so you likely won’t run into some of the snobbery you sometimes find with cultural centers and galleries.

A vineyard.
Vineyards can be idyllic settings for weddings, being relaxed, elegant yet earthy, and outdoorsy. You can also serve the vineyards’ signature wine at your wedding.

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Tips on Choosing Reception Table Linens

Feb23

Before choosing your reception table linens, there are a few things that should already be set in place. You should have your venue, your theme, your florist, your caterer, and your head count officially decided when considering linens for wedding reception.

Also, know how many guests will sit at each table, how many tables you are going to have, and the way in which you are going to arrange them. Here are some questions to answer:

  • Do I want a sweetheart’s table (for just the bride and groom), or do I want a bridal party head table?
  • Do I want the bridal party head table to be round or elongated (like banquet style)?
  • Are the tables going to be outside, or indoors? (Many venues offer both options).
  • Does your caterer supply tables and chairs?
  • Do I have the option of having different types of tables (for example, some round, some square? This depends on whether your catering company, the venue, or another company supplies the tables.)
  • Does the caterer supply linens and/or chair covers?
  • What do the plates, cutlery, and glasses look like? (Usually the caterer provides you with a few options).

Now you're ready to start mapping out your seating plan and selecting fabrics:

  • Draw out a map of your table arrangements to make sure that your plan makes sense logistically. This is usually done with your caterer. If the caterer has done events at this venue many times, they should already have some table arrangement options mapped out for you. If the caterer has never done an event at your venue, you need to make sure that your seating plan will work in your space. Some spaces appear larger than they are, while others can hold more tables than they appear to.
  • Once you have your table arrangements mapped out, you need to find out if your caterer supplies reception table linens. Sometimes the linens are already accounted for in your catering cost; other times they can be added for a specific fee per table. Depending on the options they offer and the cost, it may be better for you to look for cheap reception linens elsewhere.
  • You should have your wedding colors and florist chosen. Your florist should be able to offer valuable advice as to what table linen colors, fabrics, and styles will set off your centerpieces best. Remember that the centerpieces are the most important decoration at the reception, and the linens should serve as the perfect backdrop for them. (Sometimes, basic white linen is the optimal choice. If you choose something simple, remember that you can always accent it with a gorgeous ribbon or sash to add a bit more flair without taking away from your centerpiece).
  • If you are looking for a particular fabric and color, then your best bet is usually to go through a wholesale website. That way, you can ensure that you will be able to find enough linens for each of your tables and shapes. Bargain home goods stores are also an option, but the difficulty is in finding enough of the same product.

 

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Boat Wedding Reception Guidance and Ideas

Jan06

Once you imagine the soothing sounds of water, a slight breeze on your face, and the warm setting sun wrapped around you and your fiancé as you dance to your first song as a married couple, it’s difficult to imagine having your wedding reception anywhere other than a boat. You might wonder if there’s a boat big enough to fit all of your friends and family—and what about the dance floor? You’d be surprised to learn how accommodating boats can be and how ideal they are for creating a fun, romantic, and unforgettable atmosphere for your special day.

Just like wedding reception halls, boats come in all shapes and sizes. The size you choose depends upon how many guests you have and how much extra space you’d like. A 53-foot sailboat is ideal for you, your husband, and perhaps two to three additional people including your wedding minister. If you plan on inviting more, it’s best to explore yachts that are at least 137 feet, which can hold between approximately 15-145 guests. Most companies that specialize in renting yachts for weddings have the capacity to accommodate between 50-350 guests.

Wedding reception planning on a boat, as with any wedding reception locations, comes with a cost. Expect to pay around $100 per guest, as well as a $350 docking fee and an 18% service charge. The costs range from boat to boat depending on the company, size, and theme of your wedding reception.

As far as logistics are concerned, a typical wedding reception on a boat doesn’t vary drastically from any other reception. Each company varies in what they offer, so have an idea of what you want your reception to include while shopping around. Below is an example of what a boat wedding reception would consist of:

  • Cocktail hour prior to reception that includes butler-style passed hors d'oeuvres
  • Full bar services
  • Catered wedding buffet
  • Additional table service while guests are eating
  • Wedding consultants and coordinators on hand during reception
  • Dance floor, sound system

There are countless all-inclusive boat wedding packages available, making the planning process much easier. Some packages include flowers, photographer, minister, wedding cake, entertainment, and reception dinner. This type of package is very similar to what a hotel will typically offer a couple planning a wedding at their facilities.

Don’t be discouraged by the idea that a boat reception might be more expensive than a reception hall. There are many different types of boats and yacht companies that offer various packages, one of which could be a perfect fit for your wedding budget and vision.

If you choose to have a boat wedding reception, consider the following appropriate themes: Great Gatsby, Under the Sea, White Party, Hawaiian Luau, and Moroccan Tent Theme.

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