We got to talking about if couples should see each other before the ceremony. We all know that tradition says you should wait for the ceremony, but is that the answer for today's couples? David was telling me that one of his recent grooms thanked him for encouraging them to meet before the actual ceremony for pictures. The groom was afraid that if he had waited for the moment his bride walked down the aisle he would have gotten too emotional in front of all the guests. As it was, they had a calm, private very personal moment that they will always remember. Renee said the same thing happened to her at her wedding last year. She and her sweetie Doug were cool as cucumbers at the ceremony. What a great idea. The other thing David said is that doing the pictures before the ceremony gives your photographer the time needed to really be creative. If you wait until after everyone is rushing to get to the reception before the guests get restless. Rather than being creative it turns from a beautiful portrait to a mere photographic record. David also clued me in that a good photographer only need 45 minutes to be fabulous. A really good one can make magic in as little as 20.
Renee has some exciting things in store for the July 30th show at the Nashville Convention Center. Lots of tie-ins to her Dream Wedding theme. It sound like this show will be even more information packed then usual. She has some wonderful seminars planned on the main stage, including one by yours truly on putting together a storyboard for your wedding.The full schedule will be in the upcoming wedding section in the Nashville Scene. I can't wait.
Last weekend I staged with a florist on a three day wedding. They flat wore me out. Now I have been in the wedding industry for 20 years and I had no idea how hard these pros work. Let me give you a little run down on what goes into pulling together the floral for your big event.
Your flowers hit the wholesaler on Thursday. Nothing can be done on the floral work until then except logistics and some basic mechanicals. Once the flowers are in house they must be unpacked and conditioned over night. Friday the real work begins. Each bouquet, coursage and centerpiece is created. The large display pieces for the altar and the buffet table weigh a ton once they are finished. Some really large arrangements are done in parts. The most delicate flowers won't be added until the the arrangements are in place at your wedding. Now you have to find places in the cooler for all the bouquets and arrangement so they are fresh for the big day. Don't forget to pick up the rentals like candleabrums and a van if needed.
Saturday is one very long day. First thing in the morning things get organized and ready for load out. Hard goods first, then cut flowers and finally the arrangement for the reception. Drop that off and back to the shop to pick up the flowers for the church. The church has to be set up several hours before the ceremony for pictures. So you scoot out of there about the time the photographer arrives and head on out to the reception site. You have four to five hours at most to set the site. Hope like hell that the catering staff has done their job and the tables are set up and the linen thrown. Get all the centerpieces on the tables and out of your way. Next are the candles. Unpack the candle holders and put them in place. This part is fun...the candles rarely fit right in the holders, so you either shave part off or wrap them with tape. Yeah, good times. Time for the finishing touches. Tweak out the arrangements with the cut flowers, behead several hundred roses to artistically scatter their petals and you are ready to move on. Load out your tools and boxes and all the buckets from the cut flowers back into the van. Back to the church. Break down all your hard work and load it back in the van. On to the shop to unload and store away what you don't need for later. Now you get to take a break, grab a bite and down some coffee. There is still a ton left to do. Wait for the reception to end so you can start breaking it down. First blow out the candles so the wax has time to harden. Pack up the flowers for transport and be careful, the MOB wants to use them tomorrow for the brunch. Grab the stupid candles and clean up the rose petals and any candle wax.. Pack up the candle holders and the containers from the arrangements and load the van. Do a final run through to make sure you haven't left anything behind then it's on to the shop to close it all down. Unload the van, put it all away and make a few trips to the dumpster and your done. But don't forget to deliver those arrangement tomorrow morning for the brunch.
And this is when everything goes perfectly.
When you look at the bid sheet for your flowers, remember that there is a whole lot more then just pretty posies behind that bid.
I had an interesting conversation with a gown designer Tuesday. She was telling me that she hears that comment quite often from brides. Yes, it probably did. The model wearing it was most likely 5' 11" and weighed 100 pounds and then the photographer airburshed the photo to within an inch of it's life. So I asked her what she would tell a bride before she started trying on gowns.
First, have realistic expectations. The photos in the magazine are not anymore realistic than Playboy centerfolds. Pay more attention to the details than the overall look.
Second, all designers cut differently. The store consultant should be able to show you designers whose cut is more suited for your unique figure.
Third, the gown you liked on paper may not be the most flattering to you figure. Be open to different silhouettes and necklines. Most details such as beading or spashes of color can be found on a variety of styles. Determine the cut and style that is most flatering and then find one with the details you love.
Another thing to be aware of when you start shopping...most gowns have no 'hanger appeal'. So even if it looks like yuck on the hanger, if it had the details you love try it on. You may be pleasantly suprised.
Did you know that 50% of all weddings are planned from out of town? With our mobile society more and more brides are having to resort to long distance planning. This is the where hiring a wedding consultant really comes in handy. But how do you pick one, especially if you are doing it long distance?
One of the big problems is that everyday some newb hangs a shingle. You know, she planned her own wedding and now thinks she is a pro. WRONG But how can you tell from a website? You can't. Your best bet is to get referals. Do a little research on venues in the area that might fit your style and call them. Pick their brain a little and see who they refer. Also go to the local forums for your target area and ask the other brides. Sort your master list down to three or four and check their website. Look at how long they have been planning weddings and how long they have been in the area. If all the pictures on their site look like they are from the same event cross them off your list. Remember, you are looking for someone that really knows the players in this market. The longer your consultant has been in the market the more leverage they have. They also have a reputation to protect. Both of these things work in your favor. You are from out of town, they aren't. The local vendors know them and don't want to lose their business.
Call your top three choices and see if your personality and vison are a fit. Ask them to send you pictures of several weddings they have done and testimonials. Everyone worth their salt in the wedding industry has a file full of thank you letters from happy brides. Are they someone you can trust to look after you interests while you keep tabs from afar?
Once you settle on a pro to handle your wedding, step back and let them do their job. If they send you to specific vendors, there is a reason. They trust them, work well with them and feel they can best fit your vision and budget. Trust your consultant to do the job for which you hired them. A good consultant has a huge roster of vendors they use. It is their job to find the ones that are the best match for you. More than anything else, you are hiring an advocate.
Every article on wedding flowers says that if you want to save money on your florals to choose flowers that are in season. Great, but I have no idea what's in season when. They never give you that information in the photo layouts. Just gorgeous pictures of pretty flowers. Well, here is all the dirt that's fit to dish gathered in one place.
Bliss! offers a great interactive tool where you can enter the color or season or even the region you want and it will give you a list of flowers that fit that criteria. Cool. All Wedding Ideas has a simple listing of flowers by season. It's a good list if you see something you like and just need to know if it in season. The flashing banner ad at the top is pretty annoying, but hey, just scroll it away.
Here is a list from a redecorating website. If you search the site you will also find some fun decorating tips that can translate to wedding decor. This site reminds you to also think about seasonal fruits and vegetables to use in your decorating. Great color and shape, cheap price tag! Yeah! A good tip is to look outside the wedding industry for some fun and unique ideas.