The Vendor Squad

Featured Inventory: Onyx,  Sapphire,  Harlow,  Heston

When working with couples, one of the best pieces of advice we can give them is to build a rock star vendor team. Wedding planning can be stressful and overwhelming, especially during times like these, COVID and all! And you want to ensure that you have a team of professional wedding vendors who have heaps of experience and your trust. When it comes to making tough decisions or make your special day everything you imagined you’ll have no doubt that they will make it happen. That means you can sit back, try to relax 😉 and enjoy your big day! 

Some quick tips: 

#1 See if your venue has a preferred vendor list, typically they do (I know we do, and we love everyone on it 😉)The venue has already vetted these vendors for you and know how amazing they are, all you must do is pick which one fits just right! 

#2 READ REVIEWS! Check out those reviews online, the knot, yelp, google, their website, even Instagram. Wherever you can read reviews from their past clients they will be honest and tell you all the details about how someone went the extra mile for them or maybe didn’t 😬 Either way those review may just say it all.

#3 Weddings can be expensive so, plan your budget accordingly. Rockstar vendors may not be the least expensive, and that’s not to say that the more budget friendly ones aren’t any good. But if their prices are a bit more, there’s probably a reason for it. Most likely they have earned those rates because they go above and beyond for their clients and many previous couples could tell you they were worth every penny. 

#4 Ask around to your friends.  Referrals are a big reason a lot of us wedding vendors get your business. If your friend had a great experience with someone while planning their wedding, more likely than not you’ll probably have a good one too! Afterall, we always stay on our A game for every client, knowing that we will be talked about, in a good light 😉

Hans: The Bohemian Edition

We’re all about satisfying your inner wanderlust! And baaabay bohemian décor checks off every box. The furnishings, accessories, dried floral, potted plants, artistic displays, patterns + textures are a combination of everything we love thrown together in the most stylish vignettes.

Now look, we totally understand there are so many ways to style bohemian style decor: vintage, sophisticated, global, romantic, and tropical are our favs! Which one do you prefer?

Before we even get into the styling aspect, here’s a quick picture of how it looks before we add the styling elements. Boring, right? 

Some little styling style thingy's

Let’s drop in some chic planters filled with plants – that are STILL alive!! 

Textiles, check! 

Let's switch it up!

We used more rattan and natural elements for this look. That vintage bohemian bookshelf was the perfect find! 

Shout out to our girl, Ashley Jane Photography, for always putting up with us as we “play” with inventory! You da best 🙂 

What is styling?

...it's all in the details!

Style is defined as a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.

When we started using the term ‘styling’ to describe our design approach, it wasn’t a word widely used to describe the design approach in weddings & events. As of late, the term is being used more and more by wedding professionals.

To us, it’s a whole mood. It’s a design aesthetic that evokes emotion and screams “You see me!” 

It’s the environment we create, with the client’s vision & personalities at the forefront. Style is RW Events’ way of transforming spaces into picturesque, photographable vignettes.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic, euro-vintage vibe or an ethnic bohemian vibe… we’ve got ya covered! 

The style aesthetic of the event feature was vintage romance. We used an assortment of vintage candelabras, candlesticks, an abundance of LED candles, and classic white floral from our girl, Flowers by Lesley

Photo credit: Gian Carlo Photography 

Rain Plan | Luxmore Grande Estate

A Gorgeous Alternative: The Rain Plan at Luxmore Grande

Rain on your wedding day is apparently good luck. While that’s up for debate, one thing we know for sure is that the rain plan spaces at Luxmore Grande are equally as gorgeous as our outdoor ceremony spaces. Weddings are stressful enough without having to feel the disappointment of having a not-so-photo-worthy ceremony spot as your only option.

Couples at Luxmore have two stunning, indoor ceremony locations to choose from:

The Estate Room

We can host up to 80 guests in the Estate Room. The fireplace serves as the perfect space to add florals and greenery or can easily be covered with draping. Another great alternative would be hosting the ceremony in front of the bay windows! 

Grande Ballroom

When couples have a guest count over 80, the ceremony is hosted in the ballroom. Post ceremony, guests exit for cocktail hour and our team flips the room for the reception. The addition of entry draping ensures guests don’t see the set up and breakdown and also adds a touch of elegance to the space.

The Flip

Cocktail hour on rainy days is located on the front patio and in the foyer, library and parlor. Guests stay dry and get to enjoy the unique rooms inside the estate.

We may be biased about the beauty of our spaces, but our clients are on our side: many couples choose to host an indoor ceremony with us regardless of the weather! When you book your wedding at Luxmore the weather is of no concern: you’ll know your wedding will be gorgeous no matter what.

Oh, and the picture below is in the ballroom facing the opposite direction! 

There are so many great options. 

Bridal Party Gifts | Treat Yo Squad

There are plenty of opportunities to treat your squad during the wedding planning experience. Whether you’re creating “Will you be my bridesmaid” boxes or bachelorette weekend bags, Miscellaneous Market has got you covered.

Gifting has gotten even easier now that the team has launched an online shop!  Curated, themed boxes and unique individual gifts are available for every person in your wedding party. Here are our gift recommendations for everyone (including you!) walking down the aisle on the big day!

Gift Ideas

The Bride

Treating yourself is always a good idea. Bonus points when you can use the gifts on wedding day! The confetti ready gift includes a mimosa kit (wedding day essential) and copper ice bucket that will become a bar staple.  

For the Couple

Whether you’re planning a date night out or a date night in, these stunning picnic baskets are a perfect option! 

The best thing about them: they come with all the fixings you’ll need. With the exception of the sips + nibbles 😉 

The Groom

The Gentleman is perfect for the gentleman in your life: travel wrapped flask, a cigar flask, and bourbon flavored toothpicks. Items that will for be used on wedding day and beyond.

Gifts for everyone else!

 

Treat the fellas to matching cigar flasks. Fill with the crew‘s favorite liquor and cigars, and they‘ll get to enjoy a toast to the groom before walking down the aisle! Spoil the ladies with the ultimate “Rosé all Day” gift box. Include your fave bottle of rosé and pop some bottles while getting ready!

For the parents!

Surprise your parents with gifts that encourage them to relax and kick their feet up post wedding day: Unwind and Calmness.

Visit in person for even more gift options at 1903 N. Orange Avenue Orlando, Florida 32804.

Lighting | Creating an Atmosphere

Lighting | Market lighting drapes the amphitheater at Cypress Grove Estate house

In case you didn’t already know, we’re design junkies 😉 We love working with clients and their vendors to create an atmosphere + aesthetic for their special day!

Creating a cohesive look is one of the most important aspects of any event. Think about it… even if you + your gal pals are heading to brunch or planning the next girl’s night out, you stalk all the hot spots in town on social media. And we bet you’ll choose the one that has the best overall aesthetic! We all want those insta worthy pics, right!? The same goes for your wedding – creating an atmosphere pulls everything together and gets you those gorgeous pics you’ve been dreaming of!

One of the most important details in creating an atmosphere is – you guessed it, lighting! The right lighting can make your guests feel relaxed and even excited + energized. Think romantic market lighting + candles for an evening meal and then get those guests dancing with fun, color uplights!

These enhancements can take a space from drab to fab in seconds, and create the aesthetic you’re looking for. So, if the question comes to mind, whether or not to add that extra string of market lights or perfectly placed up-lights behind your sweetheart table… we say “Go for it!” You’re going to look your best, so give your event space the glow up it deserves!

Wedding Layout | Designing the Perfect Flow

Wedding Layout | Mixed reception tables add a fun visual look!

You may not think it, but your wedding layout makes a big difference – it helps the event flow smoothly and keeps guests happy + comfortable. Not sure where to start? Check out some of our top tips for creating the perfect layout:

Entertainment + Dance Floor

Regardless of whether you’re having a band or a DJ, you’ll want to make sure they have a prime location next to the dance floor so they can keep the party going. The same rule applies if you’re having a tented reception. Once you’ve placed your entertainment vendor and dance floor, you can start placing tables!

Choosing Your Tables

We recommend starting with the bride + groom table. Will you share a sweetheart table or do you prefer a head table with your bridal party? Don’t forget to think about your guest tables – will they be seated at classic rounds or are you bringing in specialty tables? We love when couples mix things up and feature rounds + captain’s tables or farm tables! Be sure to have table measurements on hand to ensure they’ll fit comfortably in the reception space.

Wedding Layout | Mixed reception tables add a fun visual look!
Rachel Red Photography

Arranging the Tables

With measurements in hand, arranging the tables is pretty simple. The newlyweds get the best view {of course!}, and immediate family {parents + siblings} should have a clear view of the couple. Elderly guests are a special case as your parents may want them seated at their table. Be sure to note how close their tables are to the entertainment, though. Elderly guests may appreciate being seated farther away from speakers. It’s best to keep things symmetrical; it looks much prettier in photos that way and makes things easier for the catering team.

Don't Forget the Bar

Often times, the bar is a big draw for your guests.  Help your wedding layout flow smoothly by placing it near the dance floor and away from any high traffic areas {like a path to the catering kitchen}. When creating your reception layout, don’t forget to allocate a space for it if it’s not built-in or mobile!

KT Crabb Photography

Layout Programs

One of our favorite tools for wedding planning is a layout creator. These allow you to drop different size tables, chairs, and more to see what fits best in your venue’s space!

Tropical Wedding Foliage | Incorporating it Into Your Decor

If you haven’t noticed, tropical decor has kind of become {one of} our things. 😉 We feature tropical wedding foliage in all of our living walls, and love incorporating it into our other styling services! It can be tricky if you don’t have the right vendor team, and we’ve got our florist partner sharing some of her tricks of the trade!

Flowers by Lesley is out go-to when it comes to all things floral!

What are the best tropical flowers and plants for weddings?

I love protea, not a secret there. It can either have a tropical look or a boho vibe. They’re a large flower and really you can just use one for a bridesmaids bouquet with an accent of small filler flowers and foliage, or make a dramatic bridal bouquet with several additional flowers. 

Orchids are a classic tropical flower. Cymbidiums are usually mixed with roses or hydrangeas in a classic, neat style, and the gorgeous phalaenopsis make some of the most beautiful cascade bouquets on their own. They are more expensive but so beautiful and just a few stems make a statement. 

What are some unique ways to incorporate these into the wedding design?

Tropical wedding foliage alone can make a gorgeous bouquet with various shades of green and variegated with colours such as pink and reds. They are so versatile and would make for a different look. And, of course, tropical foliage makes fabulous foliage walls!

Clear glass cylinders can also be lined with foliage, camouflaging stems and giving a crisp clean look. 

What’s the best time of year to use tropical foliage + flowers?

Tropical flowers are pretty much available all year round. It really depends where they come from as to the price, but we’re fortunate to have nurseries here in Central Florida.

Tropical wedding foliage used to adorn the gazebo at Cypress Grove Estate House

 

Featured: Sand Sofa, Bali Chairs, Sand Chairs, Bali Coffee Table, Georgie, Sand End Table

Bridal Party | The Wedding Crew

The bridal party celebrating with the bride

Your wedding day may be all about you and your new spouse, but some of your best memories will be thanks to your bridal party! Selecting the right group of friends and family to stand by your side  guarantees a few important details.

You’ll enjoy getting ready as much as the wedding!

Having a beautiful bridal suite to get ready in is a nice perk. Having a group of supportive friends to keep the nerves at bay, make you laugh, and help you get ready for the most important day of your life is priceless! Your crew will make the morning of your wedding fly by with great conversation, giggles, and mimosas!

Bridal Party Celebrating the Bride and Groom

Your bridal party pictures will be full of personality!

When you surround yourself with folks you love, the energy and authenticity is easily captured in photos. Genuine smiles and laughs, silly poses, inside jokes, looks love and admiration; all of this will be seen in your group pictures. When you look back at your photos 20 years from now, the fashion may be out of date, but the emotions captured will be timeless.

Your reception will be a blast!

Your wedding crew will shine all day, but they’ll really get the party going at the reception. If your best man and maid of honor are making speeches, they’ll have the opportunity to start the entertainment for the evening sharing heartfelt words and hilarious stories. You can also task your bridal party with keeping the dance floor full. If they’re having a good time, the rest of your guests will too!

The bridal party celebrating with the bride

The right group brings the fun and removes the stress from your wedding day. No matter how big or small your bridal party is, pick the people in your life that matter most and who will dedicate their day to keeping a smile on your face!

Bridal Suite at Luxmore Grande Estate

Photo Credit: DW Digital 

Welcome to the Luxmore Bridal Suite

Getting ready for your walk down the aisle is a moment that each bride will cherish. Sharing laughs (and maybe mimosas) with your closet girlfriends as you’re primped and polished. Luxmore Grande Estate offers each bride-to-be a luxury space to get ready and our bridal suite does not disappoint!

Have a large bridal party? No problem! We have the largest bridal suite in Orlando so there is plenty of space for everyone to spread out. You and your bridesmaids will enjoy getting ready in our gorgeous suite! Complete with a segmented closet, each bridesmaid has their own dedicated space to stash her stuff. So, there will be no worries of a stray overnight bag in any portraits! Speaking of portraits, there are tons of features worth noting, as our suite has a gorgeous seated lounge, bay windows and a fireplace all tucked within our suite making for some fabulous photo opportunities!

Can we talk about this patio?!

The balcony is one of our favorite features, and you can enjoy a pre-hair and makeup brunch with your girls while overlooking the Estate Patio and Jessup Garden. You’ll have the unique chance to overlook your wedding day set up from afar! The two private bathrooms and a gorgeous jacuzzi tub complete with opulent swan fixtures, make getting ready for your walk down the aisle feel like a trip to the spa. All in all, Luxmore Grande Estate offers a truly luxe experience from the moment you walk up the Grande staircase to prepare to the moment you walk down the aisle! 

Interview with a Wedding Planner | Wedding Planning Tips

Finding the right wedding planner is a big undertaking. From experience level, packages, and even meshing with their personality, there are lots of things to consider when searching for your planner. We’re so thankful to work with some of the best in Central Florida, and they’re here to answer some important questions!

Melanie Thompson, Melanie Paige Events & Design

Why should clients hire a planner?

Hiring a wedding planner for your day is so essential. Not only do we take away all the stress of planning, but also the day-of stress. Instead of having family and friends do all the work, let a planner take care of that for you! We also help you review contracts, create floor plans, help with design, making sure all the little details are taken care of, and so much more!

There's so much that goes into planning one day, and a wedding can have at least 10 vendors involved (if not more)! A planner can coordinate with the vendors so you don't have to. This way all you really need to do is show up, get married to your special someone, and have fun 😊

What are your top planning tips for couples?

Your guest count determines your budget. A budget analysis can be super helpful to help determine your budget and keep you on track. Read your contracts thoroughly and make sure anything discussed in person is in writing a well. Wedding day insurance can be a great option to protect you financially. – Shadow, The Chaos Coordinator

My first tip is that your budget and guest count go hand-in-hand. Make sure you have the talk of who is contributing to the wedding so you set your budget, as well as what the guest count will be so you can start the venue search. Having these two things taken care of first will help so much when making all the big decisions. My next tip is to make sure you book vendors as soon as you fall in love with them. Don’t wait! Due to postponements from COVID, vendors are booking up way faster than normal. Make sure you get that dream vendor of yours before it’s too late! – Melanie, Melanie Paige Events & Design

 

What should clients look for in a planner?

You have to actually like your wedding planner so it's important that you get to know the company and their team. Something else we always tell clients to consider is how often can you contact or meet with them. Make sure their package meets your needs at the stage you're at in the planning process. Ask them if they've worked at your venue before and what makes them stand out from their competition.

Caitlin Jones, Plan It Event Design & Management

What trends are you seeing for weddings?

More couples are opting for sustainability and it seems to be gaining more popularity each year. A second trend is providing experiences such as whiskey tastings, interactive late-night bites, a caricature artist, etc. Lastly, we are seeing an increase in weekday weddings. There are so many benefits to this trend and we are here for it!
                                                                                                                                                                          – Shadow, The Chaos Coordinator

Shadow Anderson, The Chaos Coordinator

How can clients make their wedding unique and stand out from the rest?

Focus on your personal style and what makes you feel at home. Pinterest can be overwhelming so don't get caught up on recreating someone else's wedding, but use it to inspire you. Create a wedding day that your guests will recognize as your own and reminds them of how you make them feel.

As a vendor, what are some of the biggest hurdles you’ve encountered on wedding day?

O boy, if I had to pick one thing being in Florida... weather. Rest assured that your wedding planner is keeping an eye on it!

Things running late is another. In some cases, but not all, things run late for multiple reasons: hair & make-up, photos, guest arrival delays, etc. The list goes on but it's up to us to keep the day running smoothly. The great thing about planners is we've dealt with these situations time after time and know how to get things back on track.

Jennifer Lopez, Bella Sposa Events

The Perfect Napkin Fold for Your Wedding

Horizontal Charger Wrap Napkin Fold with Place Card

An often overlooked detail when it comes to weddings is the napkin fold. The right one can give your tablescape that little something extra. There are lots of options and we’re sharing a few of our favorites! 

Menu Card Napkin Fold

The menu card napkin fold is the quintessential fold. It works for just about any meal style and there are so many variations! Have a taller menu card? Opt for an elongated fold to fit the card properly. We also love the “layered” style. It still accommodates a menu card (or thank you card, fresh herb sprig, etc.) and adds a touch more dimension to the tablescape.

Menu Card Napkin Fold
Menu Card Napkin Fold
Menu Card Napkin Fold

Images: Laura K Moore Photography, Molliner Photography, Jordan Weiland Photography

The Knot

We’re seeing more and more couples opt for “The Knot” napkin fold. Maybe it’s the name (tying the knot 😉) or maybe it’s the fun style it adds!

Knot Napkin Fold

Image: The Lemons Photography

Custom Tie

Another favorite is the custom tie or napkin ring option. This is great if you want to add an extra pop of color, a hint of sparkle, or mixed metal to the design. Pro tip: have your napkins delivered a few days early so your bridal party or coordination team can tie them ahead of time. Believe us, your caterer will thank you for all the time saved!

Ribbon Tie Napkin Fold
Napkin Ring Napkin Fold

Images: JP Pratt Photography, 28 North Photography

Horizontal Charger Wrap Napkin Fold

If you’ve opted to feature chargers as part of your tablescape, a fantastic option for your napkin fold is the horizontal charger wrap. It’ll help keep napkins securely in place (be mindful of wind if you’re having an outdoor wedding) and can be folded to accommodate a place card or menu card.

Horizontal Charger Wrap Napkin Fold
Horizontal Charger Wrap Napkin Fold
Horizontal Charger Wrap Napkin Fold with Place Card

Images: Emma Anne Photography, The Heims Photography, Shauna + Jordon Photography

Drape Fold

Last but not least is the drape fold. We don’t see this featured quite as often, but it looks lovely in photos and can be used to highlight a favor, flatware, and more!

Drape Napkin Fold
Drape Napkin Fold

Images: Vine & Light Photography, Molliner Photography

Decided on your favorite fold? Now it’s time to choose your napkin! Check out all the fabric options from one of our favorite vendors, Over the Top Linen!

Signature Cocktail | Perfectly Paired With a Twist

Cocktails + Rentals

It’s fair to say that the décor at your wedding sets the tone for your day. Why stop there? You always can add to the ambiance by pairing your rental pieces with a signature cocktail that speaks the same language. Unsure how to match your drinks with your rentals? Don’t worry, that’s a language we are fluent in!  See some of our favorite pairings below 😉

Moscow Mule

This light and refreshing cocktail is served in its signature copper mug which speaks to the bohemian aesthetic. All drinks need a home and the Dublin bar is the perfect addition to a boho wedding and will elevate the look of a standard bar. The next pairing on the list is the Lennon chair set, this wicker throne like piece makes a statement and is the perfect addition to a head or sweetheart! We also love a boho wedding with a dash of color, the Sunflower Sofa is the perfect place for your guests to lounge as they sip their Moscow Mule!

The ingredients: Vodka, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice

 

Old Fashioned

This bourbon based cocktail has a bit of kick but plays well with a modern feel. The sleek and contemporary Aries Settee has subtle gold accent which pops next to its Royal Blue velvet. Keeping the gold accents consistent upgrade the look of your reception with the impeccably named Black Luxe Chairs and Gold Rimmed Charger for a sophisticated feel paired well with a sophisticated signature cocktail.

The ingredients: Bourbon, Bitters, Simple Syrup, Orange Wheel

French 75

The French 75 is a refreshing and citrusy, sparkling champagne cocktail with a hint of gin 😉. Champagne has always had its place on wedding day, repurpose The Gwen Bookshelf for your welcome drink display! Place at your venues entrance and as your guests walk in they’ll be able to grab this champagne cocktail as they find their seat. Keeping the French theme going enhance your ceremony setting with the Sand Louis chairs. Sipping their French 75 while seated in soft, slightly distressed chairs plays well with the overall French inspired theme. After a night of dancing and sipping your signature cocktail, your guests will surely want a comfy seat. Create a lounge set that complements perfectly with the Daisy Sofa!

The ingredients: Gin, Simple Syrup, Lemon Twist, Champagne

Intimate Wedding | A Micro Event

Micro-weddings are nothing new for us! We’ve been handling them for years, but simply refer to them as an intimate wedding.

Intimates are on the rise, and we’re expecting an even larger increase this year. Couples wanting to say “I do” in front of their closest friends and family members (24 or less) can host an intimate wedding at Luxmore Grande or Cypress Grove. Our Intimate Ceremony Package is designed with ease and cost in mind. Here’s what’s included:

2-hour venue rental, wedding coordination, photographer, officiant, ceremony music, flowers, cake and a champagne toast.

Here’s what you really want to know: the cost is $2,495.

While our venues are known for hosting large weekend weddings, there are perks to hosting an intimate weekday wedding.

Say "I Do" Sooner

Finding an open weekday is easier than finding an open Saturday during your month of choice. Plus, travel logistics are easier to work out for smaller groups! Creating the perfect vendor team also isn’t an issue since they’re part of the cost of our package!

Location, Location, Location

Having a small wedding doesn’t mean you have to give up a beautiful venue and the photos of your dreams. Hosting your intimate wedding ceremony at Luxmore or Cypress Grove guarantees a luxury location for you and your guests! Enjoy endless backdrops for photos and mingling!

Continue the Celebration after Your Intimate Wedding

Once you and your guests say “cheers” with champagne and cake, take the celebration out on the town! Schedule a private dinner at a local restaurant, head to the parks, or start your honeymoon early!

Everyone deserves a stunning wedding, and whether your guest count is 10 or 200, we’re here to help you make it happen!

The Dress | Saying “Yes!”

How to shop like a pro...

Planning a wedding is exciting for any bride. You’ve just said “yes” to your dream man and now have a shiny new addition! When it’s time to start searching for THE dress, it may seem easier to say “I do” to your partner than to a dress. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t stress! We’ve got the inside scoop that will help make your “yes to the dress” moment as perfect as the dress you choose.  

Secure Your Venue

This is something we find brides neglect to think about prior to dress shopping, but it’s important for a couple of reasons. Selecting your venue will not only set the tone for your entire day, but it may have a dictation in what you wear. It also will give you a clear timeline for ordering and alterations.

Do Your Research

Social media and the internet will be your best friend to help determine which styles you like. Finding a dress you connect with in a photo is great. However, most stores stock select pieces from each designer collection they carry. If you’ve been eyeing one but can seem to find it in a local store, don’t fret!. Just ask about a “loaner gown”. This is a sample dress that designers will send specifically for you to try on, for a small fee. Researching ahead of time could give you the edge you need to say “yes” on your first visit! 

Set A Budget for the Dress

This is an important one, ladies! When you know what you’re comfortable spending, it’ll help you stay focused and avoid falling in love with a gown that you simply can’t afford. Designers don’t often put pricing online; this makes things difficult because the price range for bridal gowns really varies. Best practice after you find a designer you’re interested in? Call a local retailer to get pricing.  

Avoid Online Retailers

You know the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?” The same rule applies here! In an effort to save money, some brides will turn to the internet to try and find competitive pricing. Our advice is to proceed with caution. Often times you’ll find a gown on counterfeit sites that will use the photo from the designer’s website to trick brides. What you end up receiving is a knock off that will bring a tear to your eye (not in the misty, happy way). Only shop at retailers listed on the designer’s official website as this will provide direct retailers and ensure you’re not getting ripped off. Looking for a deal? Consider a trunk show! These are offered at bridal salons and give you an opportunity for slight discounts on special order dresses. Save that money!   

Have an Open Mind

Trust your stylist; they have a great understanding of their inventory and work with all different body types! It’s also important to speak your mind. It’s okay to tell your stylist if you don’t like something, you won’t hurt their feelings. Remember any information you give, positive or negative, will bring you that much closer to finding your dream dress. Your dress fitting session should be a collaborative experience! 

Start Early

If you haven’t realized it yet, shopping for a wedding dress is a complicated process. Let me break it down: the average shipping time for a bridal gown is 4 to 6 months and most bridal salons recommend 2 to 3 months to complete alterations. That’s a 6 to 9-month lead time before factoring in your shopping period! One of the saddest reasons to have to pass on your dream gown is not having enough time! 

Limit the Entourage

 The squad you bring with you can make or break your entire bridal shopping experience. Be very selective on who accompanies you when you start shopping. All it takes is one snarky comment to ruin the vibe and end your appointment early! 

Trust Your Gut about the Dress

You’ll know when it feels right, and it’s okay to “say yes” and stop shoppingThe bridal magic is REAL! 

Looking for your dress in the Orlando Area? Whether your style is Modern, Boho, Classic or somewhere in between, Solutions Bridal, Calvet Couture, and One & Only Bridal Boutique offer an amazing selection! They have lots of unique (and gorgeous) gowns from leaders in the bridal fashion industry, and not to mention a truly magical experience you’ll cherish as a bride! 

 

Sunset at Cypress Grove Estate

The couple saying their vows under the ceremony gazebo at Cypress Grove Estate. The gazebo is draped in floral garland and is set against a sunset on the lake.

There is something so magical about sunsets. They instantly create the perfect backdrop for a lakefront ceremony and amp up the romance for an already romantic occasion. Cypress Grove Estate, a gorgeous historic venue built in 1925, offers some of the prettiest sunsets we’ve seen in Central Florida. With Cypress tree lined streets and Spanish Moss, this venue provides the perfect setting for your sunset wedding in the heart of Orlando.

The couple saying their vows under the ceremony gazebo at Cypress Grove Estate. The gazebo is draped in floral garland and is set against a sunset on the lake.
The bride posing for a portrait with coral colored bridal bouquet.

Sunset weddings offer your photographer the opportunity to take advantage of “golden hour”.  Golden Hour is when the sun is low in the sky and produces a soft golden glow which makes for FABULOUS photos. The red-yellow hue of the sun’s position makes the skin look warmer rather than neutral or cold; HELLO instant tan! When does the magic happen? 45 minutes before and the 15 minutes after sunset! Fun fact: it’s the opposite for sunrise so brunch weddings can still take advantage of this time 😉. If you want to know how to take advantage of golden hour for your special day, Cypress Grove Estate makes it easy. We always try to time your ceremony so you’ll get the perfect lighting for photos as the sun dips down over Lake Jessamine. Saying your vows as the sun sets is a no-brainer!

The bride and groom posing for a photo in front of a vintage car.
The bride and groom's table in the Cypress Grove Estate amphitheater at sunset.

Color Inspiration | Bold + Bright

Weddings are often filled with shades of blush, ivory and golds. And while this tried and true color palette screams “wedding,” we’ve been there and done that. We’re ready to mix it up! Playing with bold + bright colors on your wedding day (if done right) can add a “wow” factor that every bride craves!

The Details Matter

There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate bold + bright color elements to your day. Add a twist to your seating chart with purple planks hung on a white macramé wall.  Once your guests enter your reception, there are a ton of opportunities to make your color statement. Try opting for bold floral choices or colorful stationery to bring in some playful colors.

Pairing bold + bright colors with neutrals is always the way to go! For instance, this table features a soft blue tablecloth complementing the purple napkin and making the gold accents really pop! 

Tying it all together

Bring your bold color concept into a seated lounge! Everyone loves a good lounge set; it gives your guests the chance to take a break in between dancing. But a lounge should be more than just some seats, it should add something special to your overall décor. This tropical lounge set uses bright teals and yellows with some tropical greenery to break up the bold color combo, making your guests feel as if they’ve been transported to a tropical paradise!

Whether you’re adding color to something like your linens or tabletop details or you’re incorporating color in a big way, with a seated lounge. Have fun and think outside of the box! Color shouldn’t scare you, but rather empower you to see a world of possibilities.

Featured Inventory:: The Raspberry Wall, Hans Chair,+  Paola  

Seating Charts | Take a Seat, Please!

Making a Statement

Once upon a time, seating charts were often an afterthought. They were often quickly put together the day before the wedding. Today, our couples are displaying seating assignments in ways that are beautiful, unique, and extend to their wedding day style! By working with calligraphers, stationery designers and, of course, RW Style, couples can create statement making seating displays that wow their guests and make finding your table more fun!

Unique Elements for Seating Charts

Our Gwen bookshelves are a popular pick for seating chart displays. And whether you’re going the traditional route with classic place cards, or going the bubbly route with glasses of champagne, these shelves work perfectly!

Photo by The Lemons

The Materials

Hand lettered seating charts are great keepsakes, and a beautiful way to have something made uniquely for you. Try incorporating acrylic, wood, and glass as a base material for your seating chart for a unique look! Many of our couples who invest in hand lettered pieces also order welcome signage and bar menus to complete the look.

Special Touches

Seating charts on easels are pretty standard. Why not add to a traditional display by incorporating wooden signage, flowers, and wax seals inspired by your wedding stationery?

How could anyone not be impressed by this gorgeous option?! Copper stand, ombre calligraphy and gorgeous greenery… yes, please!

Your turn!

Your seating chart can be as simple or as extravagant as you’d like! Our hope is that by seeing these displays from past clients, you’ll be inspired to dream up something that speaks to you. We want your seating chart to fit in with the rest of your wedding décor, and is easy and enjoyable for your guests to navigate!

Summer Floral Inspiration

Summer Floral | Greenery and White Floral

Just like clothing, flower arrangements tend to get a bit brighter in the summer. Whether you’re picking your color palette or summer floral first, it’s important to know which types of flowers are in season on your wedding day. Some of our go to flowers for summer arrangements are Peonies, Roses, Anemone, Larkspur, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Stock. Check with your florist (we know plenty!) for the best blooms in your wedding month and build from there! From the photos below, you can tell we love a pop of yellow!

Summer Floral with Citrus

The Recipe

This summer floral recipe features a eucalyptus garland, and whole and halved lemons extend the impact of this organic and citrus inspired arrangement.

Flowers: Gather and Grace Designs | Photography: Ledia Tashi Photography

Summer Floral | Bold Blooms
Summer Floral | Small Vases

Small Arrangements

Small arrangements can still make a big impact! Lining farm tables with small arrangements of large blooms can be just as gorgeous as having large centerpieces!

Flowers: Flowers by Lesley | Photography: Emma Anne Photo

Summer Floral

Mixed Vases

Pedestal vases are a client favorite and work well on round or rectangular tables. They’re also a great way to incorporate a metallic or wooden texture you’re featuring in other areas of your décor! And they make a big statement without taking up too much real estate on your tables!

Flowers: In Bloom Florist | Photography: Amalie Orrange Photography

Summer Floral | Bold Bridal Bouquet
Summer Floral | Tall Arrangements

Tall Arrangements

Create dramatic height without obstructing views! These wooden centerpiece stands allow for different focus points throughout the reception space without keeping guests from being able to see the person across from them.

Flowers: Fern and Curl Designs | Photography: Ledia Tashi Photography

Summer Floral | Greenery and White Floral

Don’t Forget the Classics

Classic white and green centerpieces are stunning in every single season. We love how different types of greenery, vases, and heights are incorporated into this overall design! The floral takes center stage in the room and plays off the natural light pouring in from the bay windows.

Flowers: Flowers by Lesley | Photography: Flora Bloom Photography

Drop us a line and let us know what your favorite summer floral recipe includes! 

Xoxo,
RW Gals 

Color Pop: Sunflower + Merlot

Are you tired of seeing the same wedding color palettes and itching to do something different? Have you thought about using bold and vibrant colors, but don’t know how to piece them together? We’ve got just the combo for you! Whether you are going with a vintage or modern vibe, these two colors make a statement! Sunflower and Merlot are the perfect color combination to create a bold statement.  

If you’re going for a Modern look, check out our Hans sofa and chairs would pair nicely with a mix of merlot blooms to compliment it.

Pictured above is the  Sunflower  and Garnet  make the perfect duo when paired with a neutral sofa like  Garrett . Or If you’re not sure about going THAT bold, try incorporating these statement colors with pillows on a neutral sofa set. If you’re going for a vintage vibe, pieces like the Sunflower sofa and Berry Jr. chairs are the perfect complement to each other. Tie the look together with neutral blooms and greenery to pull it all together. 

Basically, what we’re saying, is don’t be afraid to go bold and make a statement! If you’re unsure how to pull it all together, we’ve got you covered. Our design team would love to chat with you!

Xoxo,

RW Gals 

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses | The Perfect Combo

Mismatched Slate Bridesmaid Dresses

Shopping for bridesmaid dresses? It’s certainly no easy task narrowing down all the options and making sure each lovely lady is comfortable and looks her best! Especially if you’ve got a squad 😉 The biggest things to keep in mind when shopping: all your maids have different bodies and love to show off in their unique styles. Naturally, choosing mismatched bridesmaid dresses is our go-to option!

We love seeing mismatched bridesmaid dresses that differ in style but are part of the same color family. Have fun with it and make it a girl’s day! Choose a shop (or two), give your ladies a color palette, and let them choose fun styles, patterns, and textures. Do a little try on to see how all the dresses look together and go from there! Another great options for these quarantined days is to shop online. Get your ladies together for a Facetime of Zoom call, grab your favorite drink and shop together virtually!

We’ve gotta say, our team has seen some gorgeous combos at our venues over the years – take a look! 

Our favorites combine varying necklines, patterns, textures, and shades whether that’s floral designs, lace, sequins, and even velvet!

Photos: The Heims

Whatever combination of bridesmaid dresses you choose, we’re sure your bridal party will look flawless!

Design Boards

Hey there!

I’m not sure about you but we love throwing together style boards for our clients. It’s a quick way for us to explain our understanding of their vision, while showcasing the suggested inventory. Being in sync with our clients and planners is a priority for us.

Need help designing your event? Fill out the styling questionnaire for a free 30 minute virtual design consultation. During this consultation:

  • We’ll gather the needed details to create the design board
  • Suggest inventory
  • Create a comprehensive quote

Now, now before you go crazy thinking – let me reach out and pick their brain. We don’t “share” the design board until you’re booked as a client! However, you’re welcomed to purchase it for a small fee (if you decide to forego our services) 😉

Social Gatherings, Anyone.

Is anyone else excited at the thought of the stay at home guidelines being lifted! Dreams of spending time with friends this summer are becoming a reality. We’ve been dreaming of outdoor summer soirees, signature cocktails, and simple menus that taste delicious but leave us with plenty of time to entertain our crew. Here are our tips for hosting the very best summer dinner party!

Set the Scene

First, thing first! It’s the perfect time to dine al fresco; just make sure you are in a shaded space and keep the drinks flowing! We are forever inspired by this gorgeous RW Style bohemian set up at Luxmore Grande. We can’t wait to incorporate macramé, pampas grass, and modern rattan chairs into our summer party style. This style is perfect for summer parties. 

The Lemons Photography

Big City Inspired Dining

The perfect menu doesn’t always require you to (actually) cook! You can achieve something similar to this antipasto display by Big City Catering by selecting your favorite meats, cheeses, olives, jams, breads and more! Extra points if you have various platters and bowls on hand to enhance your spread. Keep the bar menu easy to prep with batch cocktails like white wine sangria and spiked peach punch.

Kristin Weaver Photography

Dress for the Sun

The style of your event begins with you! Once you pick a theme and color palette for your dinner party, find an outfit that compliments it. Encourage guests to wear similar colors, dress for a certain theme, or go with the ever-classic white party! The best hosts are the ones who look and feel their best! We’ve got you covered on the style front too: earrings, sunglasses, and other summer accessories can be found at our sister brand, Miscellaneous Market!

After months at home we know we’ll all be more grateful than ever for the opportunity to connect and celebrate with friends! Make this summer count by creating memory making experiences with the people you love!

Xoxo, 

RW Gals 

Groomsmen Attire | Dapper Gents

While everyone anticipates what the bride might be wearing for the big day, careful thought and preparation also go into ensuring your wedding party looks just as perfect! Let’s not forget that the bride tribe is paired with a group of dapper gents, who know just how suave they look in their groomsmen attire!

The wedding day may start with a Danish paired with a glass of whiskey but ultimately leads to a day of ensuring the groom, their best friend, has nothing to worry about. Assist with the tie? They’ve got it! Help with the cufflinks? They’re your guy! Another drink? We’re on it! Knowing the crew is there to support and surround you with love and laughter, only adds to just how handsome they look at a wedding. That smile reflects a day full of laughs, inside jokes and the eagerness to tear up the dance floor. 

Cultural groomsmen attire can add a fun pop of color!

Often the groom (or let’s be real, the bride) puts just as much thought into how the gentleman will look on wedding day. From tuxes to suits, traditional to cultural, navy to burgundy…these gents never disappoint! And who could forget the accessories! 

Navy suits will always be a classic when it comes to groomsmen attire.

Check out some of our favorite looks below! 

Try a classic like black/grey or shades of blue! Better yet, surprise your guests and go for a pop of color! We love seeing our couples embrace rich colors, playing with hunter green or burgundy for their gents! 

Emerald and other jewel tones make groomsmen attire even more dapper.
A classic color for groomsmen attire, navy looks great on all the guys!

Which groomsmen attire style are you planning for the big day? 

Xoxo,

Bridesmaid Boxes | All About Gifting

There’s nothing quite like receiving a thoughtful, well put together gift, and bridesmaid boxes are no exception. Your gal pals put a lot of work into being a bridesmaid – helping with wedding plans, hosting your bridal shower, and more! What better way to thank them than with a sweet, heartfelt gift!?

And we all know there’s only one place to get the perfect bridesmaid boxes – Miscellaneous Market ? With all sorts of goodies from home decor and beauty products to handbags and accessories, you’re sure to find something to suit each of your bridesmaids. With so many options, brides can browse the store for their favorite items or have our team create something special for you!

Bridesmaid boxes are the perfect way to thank your gal pals for all their wedding planning help. Customize boxes with items selected just for each lady.

One of the great aspects of bridal boxes is that you can customize them for each of your bridesmaids. I love the idea of all the ladies receiving a piece of jewelry to wear on wedding day, but mix things up and include one or two items chosen specifically for each lady. It’ll make them feel so loved and will add that much more personality to your gifts.

Xoxo,

P.S. Self-care is one of my favorite hobbies, and the blush eyemask and rose quartz roller are the best (pictured above)! The eye mask is silky smooth and the roller feels so wonderful on my skin in the mornings!

Preparing for Your Beauty Trial | Featuring Jazz It Up Artistry

Preparing for your wedding day usually consists of checklists of do’s and don’ts, to-do lists, and digging through blogs for the perfect vendors. After all, brides want to have the perfect wedding and a big part of that is the “look {aka – your dress, hair + make-up}”. You’ve chosen the perfect hair + make-up artist, and you’ve scheduled a trial to make sure your look can be executed to perfection. But what else can you do? Believe it or not, the success of your beauty trial depends on how you prepare. Check out some tips from our vendor pal, Jasmin Doublette, owner of Jazz It Up Artistry:

So, you’ve been searching for the perfect team to perform beauty services for the wedding day and you have found them! Yay!

What’s the next step? Usually 3-6 months out from the wedding most brides book their trial run which is another term for a practice round before the wedding. This is where you’ll be able to test out any wants you were thinking for hair and makeup, as well as give the artist a chance to perfect the look you are going for so there are no surprises on the wedding day. So how do you prepare for your trial?

Step 1

“Search the internet for inspiration.  Pinterest is a top favorite among most. Search for pictures of the look you want to accomplish. Think about the style of your wedding dress and what look you think would complement it the most {romantic, glam, boho, vintage, etc.}.”

Prep for your beauty trial by gathering inspiration images of your hair and make-up.

Step 2

“Purchase any accessories you are thinking of debuting on the big day for your hair and bring them to your beauty trial. This will give you a glimpse of how beautifully everything will come together and allow you to tweak accessories if they don’t look the way you hoped.”

Be sure to bring your wedding day accessories to your beauty trial.

Step 3

“Skin prep – drink water like a fish! Great water intake will ensure your skin is in tip-top shape for your beauty trial and more importantly, the big day.”

Bonus Tips

“Try not to bring too many friends with you to your appointment. Unlike a dress fitting, your beauty trial should be saved for 1-2 of your closest friends or family. Space is usually limited at a salon or makeup studio.”

“Use it, don’t lose it – Schedule your trial around a dress fitting or bridal shower if available. Why waste a full face of makeup and styled hair? No dress fitting or bridal shower to attend? No problem. Did someone say date night?!”

“Remember to stay true to yourself. Comfort level plays a big part in the look of your wedding day. So, try not to veer off too much from your normal. Example: if you are someone who normally wears your hair down, you probably won’t be super comfortable with the look of it being totally up, and vice versa, or if you don’t normally wear a full face of glam makeup, you probably won’t be totally comfortable with that for your wedding day.”

Xoxo,

Fun & Fruity Signature Drinks

Fun & Fruity Signature Cocktails | Because no good story ever started with a salad.

Signature drinks are a fun wedding trend that everyone can get behind (who doesn’t love a thoughtfully crafted cocktail or mocktail!?), but oftentimes couples can get stuck in the rut of picking the same old thing.  

Old Fashions and Vodka-Tonics are all well and good but this is your wedding day! So don’t be afraid to pick a signature cocktail that will make a statement and get all your guests talking. 

Here are a few ideas on some new and trendy signature drinks plus some fun names to give them a wedding twist! 

The Drinks

Gin + Jam | Aka "Just Berried"

Recipe 

  • Ice 
  • 1 oz gin 
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liquor, such as St. Germain 
  • 1/2 tbsp blackberry or raspberry jam 
  • Squeeze of lemon 
  • 5–6 Fresh rosemary leaves 
  • 4 oz club soda 
  • Sprig rosemary for garnish 

In a shaker, add ice, gin, elderflower liquor, jam, lemon, and rosemary leaves. Shake vigorously to combine. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with club soda. Add a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Enjoy! 

Tropical Tequila Sunrise | AKA "Sun Kissed"

Recipe 

  • 2 oz Tequila 
  • 4 oz Mango-Orange juice 
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine syrup 
  • Orange slice 
  • Maraschino cherries 

To a large glass, add the ice cubes, mango-orange juice, and tequila. Add the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom, so do not stir. Garnish and serve immediately. 

Painkiller | AKA "Devotion Potion"

Recipe 

  • 3 oz White Rum 
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice 
  • 2 oz Orange Juice 
  • 1 oz Cream of Coconut 
  • Nutmeg & Pineapple Leaves (Garnish) 

Add all of the liquid ingredients to your cocktail shaker with a scoop of ice and shake for a few seconds. Pour everything from the shaker into a large glass. Top the glass with crushed ice, then grate fresh nutmeg over the top. Garnish with tall pineapple leaves. 

Peach Lemonade Fizz | AKA "Happy Tears"

Recipe 

  • Lemonade 
  • Champagne 
  • Peach Vodka 
  • Fresh Peach Slices (garnish) 

Add vodka and lemonade to shaker with of ice and shake. Pour into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne, and garnish with fresh peach slices.  

Mocktail Version – Omit the vodka & champagne, replace with Elderflower Tonic Water and Peach Juice. Stir the Lemonade and Tonic Water over ice in a cocktail glass, garnish with peach slices.  

  • Lemonade 
  • Peach Juice 
  • Elderflower Tonic Water 
  • Fresh Peach Slices (garnish) 

I hope you loved all these delicious drink ideas! Add them to your big day and remember, all you need is love…and a good cocktail! 

Xoxo,
Lacie

Ceremonies | Luxmore Grande Estate

Have you booked your dream venue, but you aren’t sure which ceremony space is best for you? Well, Luxmore Grande Estate offers four unique, and beautiful locations for ceremonies! With several indoor & outdoor options, there are plenty of opportunities to create a stunning backdrop to the tie the knot, and provide peace of mind with weather back-up plans. 

The Jessup Garden

The Jesup Garden is the venue’s most popular location for ceremonies. This gorgeous open lawn area is located in the back of the estate. It is beautifully accented by lush greenery and foliage. 

  • Ideal for floral arches and arbors 
  • A great option for brides who love the outdoors 
  • This ceremony space can host up to 200 guests 

The Grande Ballroom

The Grande Ballroom is the epitome of elegance, and is the highlight of the estate! Whether you prefer an indoor affair, or as a back-up plan for the unpredictable Florida weather, either way, this space is breathtaking. 

  • Ideal for dramatic draping, large floral arrangements 
  • Accented by enchanting chandeliers throughout the space 
  • A perfect option for brides who prefer the drama of a ballroom  
  • The ceremony layout facing the Bay Window is ideal for up to 150 guests 
  • For a larger event, the ceremony set-up facing the alcove can host up to 200 guests 

The Estate Patio

The Estate Patio would be a fabulous choice for the client who loves the outdoors but still wants the Estate House to be a focal point of the event.  

  • Ideal for dramatic arches to accent the patio fountain 
  • Beautiful backdrop views of Lake Jesup 
  • This ceremony space can host up to 150 guests 

The Estate Room

The Estate Room is the most intimate ceremony option at the Estate. This lovely room is located in the heart of the venue; and offers charming accents with large windows that provide natural lighting and the fireplace mantle as a focal point.  

  • The model choice for more intimate events 
  • The procession can enter the room from the dramatic double staircase 
  • This ceremony space can host up to 90 guests 

Let us know which ceremony space you love, so we can help make the vision for your big day come to life! 

Xoxo,
Lacie 

First Dance Songs | As Selected by The RW Team

A Curated List of First Dance Songs from the RW Events Team
 

There are so many decisions to make when planning for a wedding, but an often-overlooked decision is the music! Your first dance song can be a sweet reminder of your big day, so choosing the perfect song can be a daunting task. Luckily, I have compiled a list of some of the RW ladies favorite first dance songs to share with you to make your decision a little easier. 

Photo: The Hendricks

Looking for a timeless, classic song? Monique’s choices are perfect: 

  • “At Last” by Etta James 
  • “Don’t Change” by Music Soul Child
  • “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green 

Soulful song lovers rejoice, Chelsea has you covered: 

  • “Best Part” by H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar 
  • “You & I” by John Legend 
  • “Die with You” by Beyoncé 
Photo: Lindsay Morgan Photography

For trendy and heartfelt couples, Check out Alecia’s favorites:  

  • “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran 
  • “Speechless” by Dan & Shay 
  • “Tuesdays” by Jake Scott 
     

And finally, for all my hopeless romantics out there, here are my picks: 

  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Haley Reinhart 
  • “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding 
  • “Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran  

Xoxo,
Megan

Wedding Bouquets | The Floral Recipe

Let’s face it. Wedding bouquets may not be the star of the show (because you are of course!), but it sure can be a showstopper! I like to think of it as an extension, or better yet, a culmination of your entire vision. Your bouquet should reflect the colors, style, and uniqueness of your wedding. If your wedding were a book, your bouquet would be the short summary on the back cover that captures the reader’s attention!  

What’s your style?

Maybe you’re traditional and prefer a tight, constructed ball of flowers with minimal greenery. Maybe you’re a bit more romantic and you like the cascading or teardrop bouquet. Or if you’re like me, you’re trendy and can’t wait to carry a loose and organic deconstructed wedding bouquet with lots of greenery, filler, and large vibrant blooms.  

We are spotlighting the deconstructed style, one that you’ll often see in weddings with lots of greenery and natural character.  

One of my favorite “stunning wedding bouquets” comes from our “till death” photoshoot at the Sydonie Mansion. The mixture of tones, blooms, and textures make this bohemian bouquet a real showstopper!  

Photo: Sara Kae Photography

This bouquet features all of the elements that make for a stunning floral focus. Because this bouquet has so many varying tones, flowers, and textures, with anemones, dahlias, and roses, it creates a very dynamic look. The addition of the cascading floral adds a bit of romance, and the fluctuating heights gives it the deconstructed look perfect for the non-traditional, bohemian, and even a little edgy bride.  

What is your floral style? We would love to hear about it!  

Xoxo,
Chelsea

Getting Ready | The Estate House Bridal Suite

Getting Ready Moments at the Cypress Grove Estate House

Bridal portraits in the Cypress Grove Estate House bridal suite are classic!

The Cypress Grove Estate House Bridal Suite, aka the room of perfection! Where bridal portrait dreams come to life and every bride gets to dress in the delicate and romantic room of her dreams. Natural light floods the space, highlighting each unique piece of antique furniture curated to complete the room. The fainting couch has to be my personal favorite spot ? Between the mirror adorned walls, provincial fireplace, and delicate floral accents, you will find endless photo opportunities along with the ideal spot for getting ready on your big day!

The bridal suite at Cypress Grove Estate house offers lots of natural light, making it an ideal location for bridal portraits.

Let those closest to you share in the getting ready experience and assist with the final touches to make your bridal look complete! You won’t want to fasten those shoes yourself, ladies! If you ask Mom, Grandma, your sister, best friend or whoever may be sharing in the moment with you, this will be the most special to them! The suite becomes the backdrop as you transform into the bride you’ve always dreamed of being. Just wait until your fiancé sees you! Better yet…wait till Dad sees you! Cue the tears!

The bridal suite at Cypress Grove Estate House is private and is a great location for first looks with dad.

The first look with dad gets me every time! There is something so incredibly special about a father or a special man in your life seeing you as a bride for the first time. His little girl is all grown up and the tears are from a place of happiness and joy as well as a slight sadness knowing he now has to share you. The bridal suite may be the perfect backdrop for fun moments, but the room also holds so many incredible memories such as like the one shared above, the make the room the true treasure of the house.

Not to get too emotional on you but it’s so true! Then again, prior to seeing dad, you must show your girls just how incredible you look, after all, they have been your biggest support, oohing and awing from the time to first went shopping to seeing the dress arrive on wedding day.

Pop some bubbly, snap a pic for the gram and celebrate the love you share as a group of friends!

The bridal suite at Cypress Grove is large enough to accommodate all your maids!

And who could forget about the little details or private moments that you’ll be so thankful to have captured? Insert all the heart eye emojis!

The Cypress Grove Estate House bridal suite features stunning antique furniture, perfect for featuring in your bridal portraits.
Photos: Kristen Weaver Photography | The Hendricks | Miranda Grey Weddings | Ashley Jane Photography

Aside from the inevitable incredible images, our brides love that there is a private space all to their own on wedding day. Especially with the sunroom located adjacent for hair and makeup, the space remains cool and calm and makes for the perfect escape when you need a moment to retreat and just breathe. The day will absolutely fly by despite the getting ready part dragging on. Why not celebrate and surround yourself with the ladies (and gents) that support you in the ideal feminine and delicate space fit for any bride!?

Can you picture it? Slipping into the gown you’ve always imagined. Reading a note from the one you love just moments before heading down the aisle….yea, I’m the hopeless romantic on the team here, but if you’re gushing over the room as I do, come and see for yourself just how beautiful the suite is!

Xoxo,
Alecia

Bridal Portraits at Cypress Grove Estate House

Bridal portraits are some of the most important images of your wedding. The day will fly by, but your portraits will last a lifetime. Portraits capture the emotions and unseen moments and give couples a life long reminder of the bond they share.

Images: Kartsie Photography | The Heims | 28 North Photography

Every venue has those picture perfect locations for portraits, but there’s just something so magical about shots captured at Cypress Grove. Maybe it’s the southern charm and the lakeside sunsets ?

Images: Lora Rodgers Photography

“Golden Hour” at Cypress Grove is ? For those of you who aren’t up-to-date on their photography lingo, golden hour is that time just before the sun fully sets, when the light is soft, glowy, and oh so romantic! It’s the perfect time to capture images on the tree-lined drive or along the shores of Lake Jessamine.

Images: Shauna & Jordon Photography | The Hendricks | Miranda Grey

Oh, and not all of your bridal portraits have to be focused on you as a couple. Take some time to get shots on your own, like the image of our bride above from Miranda Grey!

Xoxo,
Kim

Fur Babies + Wedding, YES!

Fur Babies_Ring Bearers

Weddings are an opportunity for your closest friends and family to gather for a celebration of love, including your fur babies! Whether your pups are there to celebrate in person or are represented through heartwarming details, including them in your day can ensure sweet memories and add a personalized touch to your wedding.

Photo: Kelly Berringer Photography

Megan and Thomas were married at Cypress Grove Estate House last October and knew before they booked that their fur babies, Rupert and Colby, had to be involved in the event.

When we began looking for venues we made sure to ask if they were pet-friendly because we knew they would be a part of our special day. They’re like our children and we couldn’t imagine our wedding day without them there.” 

It was important to the couple that their dogs were not only in attendance but were included in the most significant aspects of their wedding day. 

They were there for our first look, greeted guests as they arrived, walked down the aisle in the ceremony, and took pictures afterward before they were taken home.”

Photos: Kelly Berringer Photography

 Ashley and AJ planned their December wedding at Cypress Grove Estate House with Ashley’s fur baby, Zoey, in mind, from finding the perfect venue to deciding how long she would be at the wedding.

“She’s been by my side for 7 years and she was going to be there for the wedding.  Any venue who didn’t allow dogs was automatically crossed off my list. She arrived with me and my bridesmaids in the morning and left at the end of the night with my parents. On the program, she was called the dog of honor, and during the wedding, she walked down the aisle with my parents.” 

Zoey even made an appearance on the koozies given to their guests as favors. Ashley noted that her guests loved having Zoey at the wedding, and she even contributed to some memorable moments.

When we were pronounced husband and wife she barked. It wasn’t planned, but everyone thought it was adorable.” 

Photos: Ashley Jane Photography

Honoring your pet at your wedding through touching details is a great way to include them if they aren’t able to attend. Nikki and George lost their dog, Bruce, shortly before their wedding.

We had plans to make him the ring bearer, so being able to include some small details of him at our wedding was very important to us. The beer glass pictured was one of the first gifts I ever gave to George very early in our relationship, and Bruce’s dog tags served as my ‘borrowed and blue’. As the loss was still very fresh and deeply personal we wanted to keep the details something that was close to us.”

Although Bruce wasn’t able to attend, he is still represented in the details, which allowed guests to share in the love the couple had for their baby.

Photo: Ashley Jane Photography

Including your fur babies in your wedding day festivities can help create an atmosphere of love and friendship that will leave you and your guests with fond memories of your big day. Including furry friends and the highlighting lasting impressions they have left on your hearts is a great way to ensure your wedding is one to remember! 
 
Xoxo, 
Megan 

Hidden Gems of Cypress Grove

Y’all know we love a good portrait, especially those that show off our gorgeous Estate House and stunning grounds! There are SO many hidden gems around Cypress Grove that create beautiful backdrops for those picture perfect, and let’s be real, cheesy romantic moments we all love! Have you had a chance to stroll thru the park recently? Take a scroll through some of our favorite hidden gems here at Cypress Grove !

The Rose Garden

Private moments and quick kisses can always be found in our Rose Garden. Nestled on the front lawn, the garden boasts vibrant blooms creating our very own secret garden. Special shout out to Orange County Parks & Recreation for keeping our roses blooming year round ? Need a great first look spot? Look no further than the Rose Garden!

The Sun Room

Our Sun Room is often bustling with bridesmaids getting dolled up. Once the time comes for the quiet before a ceremony, you’ll find our brides basking in the natural light, often taking a peek at her groom through the window. It’s actually my favorite room inside the Estate! Do you see the gorgeous lighting!? It also gives our brides the chance to overlook all the event spaces and watch the big day unfold. There is nothing quite like a room reveal to see your hard work in action, but imagine watching your guests react to the beauty of the water behind the gazebo or seeing your groom take a walk down the aisle.

Around the Grounds

Around the Estate you’ll find various settings for that perfect photo opp! The Garden Trellis, Archway, and Bridge are all private spots our couples venture to… can you blame them?

We all know the grounds are surrounded by cypress trees and moss dripped oaks, but if you are destined to capture all the dense greenery surrounding Lake Jessamine, the options are endless! The various flora and fauna are ever-changing and reflect the season of your big day! You should see the magnolias blooming right now!

Need the perfect backdrop for your wedding! Come visit us at Cypress Grove! Where the possibilities are endless and always beautiful!

Xoxo,
Alecia

Vendor Chats | Florist

organic bridal bouquet

So, you’ve booked your venue, you’ve picked out your bridesmaid’s dresses, and you’ve sent out your invitations. Now its time to book your florist to create the vision of your dreams!

There are SO many things to ask a vendor before you book them so here are a few key points to hit with your preferred florist:

Will you coordinate with my venue to see if there are any rules or restrictions regarding my floral elements?

We know you’ve dreamed of greenery cascading from the chandeliers at your reception, but do you know if the venue allows this? Ask if they’ve worked at your venue previously. If they have, they’ll most likely know what they can and cannot do. Maybe you want your farm tables to be lined with an eclectic mix of taper candles. Your florist will know if the venue allows open flames, and if not, is that something they’ll find out on your behalf?

How can I re-purpose my flowers on wedding day? Is there a fee associated with you staying to move them after the ceremony?

Want your sweetheart or head table to really stand out during your reception? Why not move your gorgeous floral arch or columns from your ceremony to your table!? Have 12 bridesmaids and double the number of tables? Have your florist set vases on the tables so your bridesmaids can drop their bouquets in to serve as centerpieces. Or reuse those candles that are lining the aisle around your cake table.  Your florist should be able to recommend some cost saving alternatives to having separate floral for your ceremony and reception. Keep in mind that if the florist is required to stay on sight to move the arrangements, there is likely a fee associated. Even better, ask your planner to see if they will be able to move them instead!

Is a toss bouquet included?

Bridal bouquets can be heavy so it’s best to get a smaller version of your bouquet to throw, often called a toss bouquet. Be sure to ask your florist if they’d be willing to toss that in {pun intended} or if there is an added fee.

Will I get a mock-up of my centerpiece or bouquet?

If wondering what your centerpieces will look like is keeping you awake a night, be sure to ask your florist if they provide a mock up.That way, you get the chance to see exactly what you’ll be getting and make any necessary changes. This is also a good time view linen colors, chargers, and other décor items to make sure they complement each other.

Pro Top :: Designing floral is a visual process. The more photos you have, the easier it is for the florist to understand and recreate your vision. Organize your Pinterest board prior to the meeting and delete old photos that no longer fit your style. Decide on the style, color, and amount of greenery you like and only show pictures that feature elements you really love.

What other services/rentals do you offer?

Think linen, votives, arches, candlesticks, signs, etc. Florists can often supply arches, chuppahs, candles and votives, lanterns, drapery and some even offer linens and chargers. Find out what they have available and if it’s better for you to rent everything through them. Some florists may not offer certain items, but are able to rent it for you as a third party or at least offer vendor recommendations!

Floral, Arch, + Draping: Flowers by Lesley

What happens to the flowers after the wedding?

Florists typically want to have their vases, structures, and decor returned, but the floral is yours to keep. You do have the option to inquire about purchasing the vases and giving them as favors to guests. Many local charities and organizations will gladly take the flowers off your hands (think hospitals, nursing homes, etc.). Hosting a post-wedding get-together? Consider storing your flowers overnight and reusing the next day! If you love keepsakes, your florist may be able to recommend a preservation company so you can keep your bouquet for years to come.

Xoxo,
Chelsea

Planning a Brunch Menu

In case you don’t know, our HR + Development Manager, Kimberly, loves brunch. Fried chicken + waffles, shrimp + grits, corn bread, biscuits {can you tell she’s a southern gal who loves her carbs ?} , fresh fruit, and everything in between just makes her mouth water. So we’re here to help you plan a stylish and scrumptious brunch with a fun, interactive ambiance for you and your guests!

Photo courtesy of Kristen Weaver Photography

Plan Ahead

Preparation is everything when creating a brunch menu. Food and beverage selections are a top priority for a successful meal, with a little something for everybody. Place cards are a great addition to give your tablescape that little something extra.

What’s on the menu?

Since guests will have breakfast and lunch options, it’s a great idea to feature a variety of flavors. Offer a range of items from savory quiches and sandwiches, sweet pastries, and some fun mocktails. Coffee is also the perfect beverage pairing for a brunch menu! There should be something for everybody to enjoy… and they will!

Stations and Little Bites

Allowing your guests to choose how they want their food prepared is a great way to entertain and interact. While one guest may want their omelette loaded with veggies, another may want one filled with cheese. Offering a station gives your guests the flexibility to choose what they’d like and how they want it prepared. Seasonal fruits are a delicious option with Belgian waffles or fluffy pancakes. Of course, brunch isn’t complete without that champagne POP! A bubbly bar will allow your guests to choose their champagne, juice and plenty of garnishes; it really gives brunch a flavorful feeling. Another big hit at brunches are Bloody Mary’s (for all the bacon lovers, I urge you to add it).

Something Sweet

Desserts play a vital role at brunch, and who doesn’t love sweets? I recently indulged in a maple coffee with cinnamon that was just the perfect amount of sweetness. Mini cheesecake bites can put the cap on a brunch gathering and are easy to display!

Xoxo,
Monique

Shopping for Your Wedding Dress

OMG! You are getting married, and now comes the moment every bride dreams of:

** Saying yes to the dress **

Wedding dress shopping may be the most important process in planning, and while you have dreamed of this moment your whole life, it can be a little overwhelming in knowing where to start. A few of the RW gals have been through the processes and we’ve got some tips for you!

It’s great to do some research on styles and trends before dress shopping. Bridal magazines, and Pinterest, can have the perfect dress inspo for your big day. However, it’s always important to keep an open mind, as the dress you least expect could be the one for you! Don’t be afraid to try on various styles and do not get discouraged if the type of dress you thought you’d love doesn’t work out. Most boutiques will pair you with a bridal stylist who will be a wealth of knowledge. Let them know your wants, but also listen to their suggestions. It’s their job to make sure you look fabulous!

This may be the most important point, and the one that is so often forgotten by brides!

Shopping for your dream dress should be exciting, memorable, and stress-free so make sure you are bringing a group that will be supportive to your vision for the big day. It may be tempting to bring a large crowd with you, but it can get overwhelming quickly! Plus, many boutiques are smaller and cannot accommodate larger groups so make sure to call ahead if you think you may have a big entourage.

A great suggestion is to bring an intimate group when initially shopping, and filter your favorites. That way you can include more people once you have selected the top few gowns to help you decide. You could also include people during the alterations process once your dress has been selected but they can still be apart of the final fitting.

Also if you have a specific style in mind that you know may clash with your group, be prepared to stand your ground! It is your big day and the biggest mistake a bride can make is buying a dress to appease someone else, and not what they want.

Every bridal shop can be very different in the style of inventory they carry, designers, sizes, order process, and price range. It’s not only important to let them know your needs, but to also probe them when wanting to schedule an appointment to make sure that boutique is a good fit for you.

Nothing can make a fun day of bridal shopping more stressful than going to a shop that may not meet your needs or wants. For example, if you’re adhering to a strict budget, but the entire inventory is way beyond that price. Another instance could be if you need a size inclusive line, but the shop does not carry your sizing in store.

It’s also important to note that many shops will only carry one sample of each dress in store, meaning they have to special order gowns. The order process can often take 6-12 months depending on designer, and some may charge hefty rush fees. If you are planning a short engagement, make sure to find a boutique that can assist with getting a special order quickly, or will sell stock pieces off the rack.

This might be a no brainer but wedding dress shopping is not like going to the mall to buy a pair of jeans. This is arguably the most important garment you will ever wear, and the dress search for most is a very new experience.

With most boutiques you will get a one on one experience with a trained stylist. They are there to help you dig into the crazy world of bridal fashion! Don’t be afraid to ask questions; they know this is a new experience for you.

The biggest difference you may notice between regular clothing and bridal is that wedding dresses can run notoriously small. Most designers use a European sizing chart, and the boutique can assist you in proper sizing. Many boutiques will use clips and other methods to help you visualize the dress fitting you perfectly.

Another point, which can be new to many, is that wedding gowns (yes, all wedding gowns) will need some kind of alterations, some more than others. Make sure to allot for alterations in your dress budget! The boutique will assist in helping your order the closest size and then a skilled tailor will help in making it your unique size.

This is a once in a lifetime experience so just remember to enjoy it! If the dress search starts to get stressful, take a step back and take a breath. If you adhere to the points listed above then you’ll lay the groundwork to have a truly enjoyable wedding gown experience. Go in with a positive attitude and remember at the end of the day it is all about the experience, and the big day!

Calvet Couture Bridal
Solutions Bridal

Xoxo,
Lacie

Wedding Venue Tours 101

| How to Make the most of Your Venue Tour |

Whether you a pre-planner who already has every detail in place or you have never thought about wedding planning until he popped the question, don’t worry because our venue management team has some easy tips for making the most of your wedding venue tour!

The venue is {typically} the first stop on your wedding planning journey. Once you secure the site, your location and venue are set in stone and everything else can start falling into place. It’s important to note that popular venues book quickly for prime dates; make sure not to procrastinate! 

1) Discuss Details & Budget! 
Since the venue is generally the first step in wedding planning, it is a good idea to try to sit down with your fiancé and family to discuss preliminary details and the wedding budget. This will help you decide what style and price-range of venues to inquire with, and also makes it easier to know what questions to ask when touring.  

The two essential details to decide on prior to your venue tour are wedding date and budget! A venue maybe stunning but if it is out of your price range, you need to be able to make a decisive decision on price. Also you need to decide if you are flexible on date, or if the venue is unavailable if that is grounds to keep looking? 

Other important details to note would be your guest count (as some venues have limited capacity), location to nearby hotels or transportation, and venue aesthetics.  

*Pro Tip – Be open to touring a variety of venue styles! Who knows, you might surprise yourself and fall in love with something different than your original idea or vision. 

2) Make sure to schedule an appointment for your site visit! 
Every venue will have different schedules and ways of handling tours. Making sure you schedule an appointment ensures the venue will be available when you would like to view it, and there will also be someone available from the venue staff to show you around, discuss packages, and details with you. If you opt to walk-in to a venue without an appointment you risk the venue being closed for an event, or not having anyone able to assist you on your tour.  

*Pro Tip – Reach out to the venue staff prior to your visit and probe them for information, or even ask for an estimate prior to touring that way you can discuss your day more in-depth during the tour. The more information you give the venue, the more they can help you during your site visit. 

3) Ask Important Questions & Take Notes! 
This does not mean you have to bring a full on wedding binder (even those these can be extremely helpful in the planning process!). When your tour appointment finally comes it is a great idea to bring a list of questions, or a checklist of important amenities you are looking for in a venue.  

Every venue is very different in their pricing and packaging so bringing a new checklist for each tour will help you to remember to ask consistent questions for all, and make sure you are getting the information that matters to you. Plus once all your tours are complete you can use the checklists and notes to compare each venue on paper before making your final decision.  

*Bring a wedding planner binder and/or notebook with you to the tour. This way you can have questions already listed on paper ready to ask and an easy way to document the answers. Plus many times you will receive pricing information during your tour and this way you can file it away to review later.  Haven’t found the right planning notebook yet? Check out our shop, Miscellaneous Market, for some cute options!

4) Remember to have fun! 
Often times wedding planning can get stressful, but it is important to remember the real reason you are planning this joyous occasion to begin with! Remember to have fun while planning and try not to stress the little things. Booking a reputable venue, and wedding vendors will help ensure your day is beautiful and stress free! 

Good luck venue hunting! 

Xoxo,
Lacie 

Lakeside Garden Wedding // Real Talk with Jessica + Trent

We’ve hosted hundreds of weddings between Luxmore Grande Estate and Cypress Grove, but something we’ve never done is a real talk series with our couples. We’ll be sharing insights into the wedding planning process, what couples are looking for, and more! First up, Jessica + Trent and their lakeside garden wedding ?

How did you meet?

Trent and I met working at the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the summer of 2016. When we met I really only wanted to be his friend but one night he asked me to go to Taco Bell with him after work and the rest was history… 🙂 We got engaged on Panama City Beach in December 2017 and I knew I didn’t want to wait long to get married. September 22nd was our date and even a 10 month engagement felt like the longest!

Were there any traditions you wanted to incorporate?
It was very important to me to find little ways to honor my parents and grandparents. I wore my mom’s earrings she wore on her wedding day, my grandmother’s bracelet she bought when she was visiting my mom when she was in college, and then in my shoe was a “six-pence” that my grandma wore on her wedding day, my mom wore on hers, and now I’ve worn on mine. I’ve always had the best examples of love in my life and honoring them was important to me. We also had Trent’s dad marry us, a dream we had had since we first started dating.

What made you choose Cypress Grove as your venue?
I had been researching venues way before we got engaged and found pictures of Cypress Grove on Pinterest. I was over the moon when I found out it was in Orlando. I always wanted an outdoor wedding and the amphitheater was absolutely dreamy. The first day we visited, I never wanted to leave. Trent always commented on how romantic it felt and when you were there you totally stepped away from the busy Orlando life.

Were there any challenges you faced in the planning process?
The biggest challenge we faced was whether or not to rent a tent. I was digging my heels so far into the ground on renting one. I fell in love with Cypress because of the outdoor amenities. Renting a tent and potentially have the wedding under the tent crushed me. We ended up renting a tent because this is Florida, rain is inevitable and I trusted the team to make it look just as beautiful underneath if it needed to be. My wedding was during hurricane season and it didn’t rain a drop on the day!

Photos :: The Hendricks

Any tips you’d like to share with engaged couples?
Do everything together!! Trent was with me for every single meeting. First visit to the venue all the way to our final meeting for floral. We talked everything through and he helped me find so much peace throughout the process. Also, we made a super last minute addition to have a photo booth and it turned out to be one of the best activities for our guests. It was a great way for us to look back at the night through our guest’s eyes.

Last tip ? if you’re wondering if you should have a wedding planner you ABSOLUTELY should. Wedding planners have different packages to meet your needs but I wouldn’t have been able to have the wedding of my dreams without our planner, Bonny. She took every little dream I had and made it a reality. Wedding planners know the industry and think of things that you probably haven’t even thought of.

We absolutely loved working with Cypress Grove Estate House. The staff was so friendly and truly made our day more beautiful than we could’ve ever imagined.

Xoxo,
Kim

Make Your Wedding Unique

Most weddings have a similar structure – the ceremony followed by cocktail hour and ending with a reception. Incorporating elements that make the event unique to you and your fiance is what’s going to make the the day special and memorable! Maybe it’s your design style, your taste in cuisine, or what you enjoy doing together that will set your wedding apart from the rest. That brings me to our Cypress Grove couple, Tala + Michael. The two are amazing performers and they treated guests to a unique acro yoga routine during the reception. Did I mention these two are ah-mazing!?

Photos: JP Pratt

How did you meet?
“We were only acquaintances when we were asked to pair together as acrobatic partners for an upcoming show at The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. We agreed and began practicing together every day. We fell in love quickly and the rest is history! We did our first performance about one month after being paired together to a sold out audience of about 200 people. (And nailed it! Lol).”

Why was it important to you to include a performance at your wedding?
“Acro was a huge part of our love story. It’s how we met, how we fell in love and something that continues to keep us connected. We wanted to express and share all of those emotions through our favorite art form. Plus, we like being hams for the camera! :-P”

What challenges did you face during the planning process?
“I really can’t say I faced too many challenges. Alicia was amazing in recommending vendors and walking me through a lot of the process. Of course I stressed over details and wanting everything to be perfect. The biggest problem is probably that there are TOO many options and ideas out there and having to narrow them down!”

What aspect of the wedding were you and your fiance most looking forward to?
“Michael will tell you that he was most looking forward to the moment he first saw me coming down the aisle. For me, gosh, the entire day was pure magic. I was really looking forward to the reception. I wanted the wedding to be a celebration where we laughed and danced with all of the important people in our lives and got to shout out love out to the world. And the reception and the entire day felt just like that. It was absolutely perfect.”

Xoxo,
Kim

Engaged | Planning Tips

Does this ring make me look engaged?!

They asked and you said “YASSSS!!!!” Now you’re wondering what to do, how to get started, and driving everyone around you insane. Well, catch your breath and read our top 3 tips in getting started with your wedding plans:

  1. First thing, first – don’t rush into planning. Take a moment to enjoy the engagement with family and friends. Get your bridal party together and start thinking about the guest list.
  2. Money matters – start talking about the budget. If the parents are contributing, make sure they are part of the conversation. Oftentimes, the initial budget might be unrealistic so make sure there is room for flexibility. Once you have your desired budget, start prioritizing spending – What are the most important things to the two of you and your family? What is your wedding must-have? Tip: The wedding venue/food and beverage will absorb 45-55% of the wedding budget. We’d suggest finding your wedding venue first. If the venue doesn’t offer catering, start meeting with caterers next.
  3. Research – prior to contacting venues or vendors do a little research to determine your style, the season, and wedding date. Having a wedding date is very important when it comes to contacting potential vendors and venues. Keep in mind: most wedding venues will only accept bookings within 18 months of your desired date.

Planning Tips // 30 Day Wedding Checklist

Planning tips for the days leading up to your wedding.

If you’ve met me, you know that I am all about simplicity and organization. Whether that means decluttering my work or personal space, planning out goals for the month, or just taking a day to refresh and reorganize. I’m a planner at heart and I thrive on schedules and knowing what the plan is. So putting together a checklist of wedding planning tips is right up my alley. 😉 This planning tip checklist is certainly not exhaustive but does include the essentials:

Four Weeks Out
  • Apply for your marriage license {can’t get married without one ?}. Florida marriage licenses are actually valid for 60 days. While you could apply for this a bit earlier, I recommend waiting until about a month out so it doesn’t get misplaced.
  • Write your vows {if doing your own}. Give yourself time to really think about what you want to say during your ceremony. We love these his + hers vow books from Foxblossom Co. so they can be kept as keepsakes!
  • Deliver any specific song requests {or do not play requests} to your DJ or band.
Three Weeks Out
  • Finalize RSVP’s. This is a great task for your bridesmaids. ? Have them run through your invite list and call anyone who hasn’t submitted an RSVP.
  • Confirm ceremony details with your officiant. Be sure to discuss what will happen during the ceremony {i.e. unity candle, ring warming, etc.} and review any readings and such. Pro tip: your officiant should do a full run through of the ceremony at your rehearsal.
  • Finalize any printed materials and favors . Now that you have your final guest count, confirm how many escort cards, menus cards, programs, etc. will be needed. If your favors are edible, wait until a day or two prior to the wedding to have delivered.
  • Make sure groomsmen submit their measurements and schedule a time to pick-up their suits/tuxes.
  • Purchase bridal party gifts. I LOVE gifting, and our new store, Miscellaneous Market, has so many cute items to choose from {including gifts for gents}!

    

Two Weeks Out
  • Confirm seating chart. Once all of your RSVP’s are in you can confirm how many guest tables you’ll need and who will be seated where.
  • Submit final numbers to vendors. This will include your caterer, florist, rentals and any other vendor that needs a head count.
  • Finalize the day-of timeline with your DJ and/or wedding planner.
  • Attend your final dress fitting! Don’t forget to bring your day-of undergarments, veil, accessories, and bridal shoes to make sure the full look is picture perfect.
One Week Out
  • Create a “getting ready” timeline. Provide a copy to your bridal party so they know where to be and when.
  • Pick up your bridal gown. Make sure it’s stored in a breathable garment bag and away from any clutter.
  • Pack your wedding night bag. A change of clothes/shoes and toiletries are a must!
  • If you’re honeymoon immediately follows your wedding, be sure to pack a honeymoon bag. This checklist from The Knot covers just about everything you’ll need!
  • Drop off day-of items to your wedding coordinator. They will typically take on the responsibility of delivering these items to your venue on wedding day.
The Day Before
  • Pamper yourself! Get a mani-pedi, massage, and a good night’s rest – just avoid facials and anything else that may cause skin irritation or inflammation.

Our team hopes this planning tips checklist will help you relax on the days leading up to your wedding!

Xoxo,
Kim

7 Tips for An Easy Wedding Planning Process

We know that planning a wedding is the opposite of an easy-going task. One moment, you’re experiencing a proposal, and the next you’re feeling excited, but slightly overwhelmed by the stack of “to-do’s” that lie ahead. It is common to feel overwhelmed in the beginning but starting your planning process with this mindset isn’t the best idea. Trust us, there will be a lot of due dates, reservations and appointments that have to be accounted for– the scary part is that the details that come with a wedding are not visually displayed until (gulp) the day of your event. The RW Events team has managed hundreds of events between Cypress Grove Estate House, Luxmore Grande Estate, and our Rentals + Styling division, and we’ve picked up a few planning tips along the way. If you are in need of planning advice, consider these useful tips from our team + our friends at Eventbrite:

Find an Organizational Method
A big no-no of wedding planning is going into it without a method for success. Without an organized checklist or systematic approach, imperative wedding details and appointments can easily be forgotten, and there is no room for that with a tight schedule. In case one of life’s crazy moments get in the way of your wedding arrangements, a personal planner {and hiring a wedding coordinator} can reduce the risk of you falling behind.

Determine a Budget
Maintaining a budget is an effort that can be quite the challenge. As you move along in the wedding planning process, price re-evaluations and changes can occur when you least expect it. Oftentimes, you are spending much more than you thought you would. For us, spreadsheets are a serious addiction, and they make budgeting so much easier! For a service that you can reference on the go when you do not have access to your spreadsheets, try using a bill notification system app to complete payments on time.

Develop a Vision
As wedding ideas are becoming more and more unique, the variety of ways to go about planning are becoming even more creative as well! A common way brides love to start their planning process is by making a vision board! A vision board involves a poster board, glue and a cluster of your ideas– photo collages and fabrics could be some! Now, a vision board can also be created online— pretty neat!

Create a Guest List
It is essential that invitations are sent out in a timely manner, especially if you’re planning to invite a large group of guests. Whether you want to be extra artsy or simple, there are a variety of ways that invitations can be sent out involving both!

  • Handmade: If you are a creative genius, hand making your invitations can be the perfect way to notify your guests. Even though they might take a little longer to complete, it adds in a personal touch.
  • Online order: The internet is a great resource for finding information about absolutely everything. With an online invitation service you can pick the design, color and font of your choice for your invitations, and order them in bulk with envelopes!
  • Online RSVP: With this free online management platform, you can create an event and let guests accept an invitation– all online! This does not require the use of paper and you will be able to track all of your responses in one space.

Find a Location
Now it is time to determine your wedding venue! Depending on the kind of wedding space you envision, take the time to do some extensive research on different event spaces in your desired location. When choosing a venue, knowing the capacity, availability, layout and parking situation are all extremely important. If you are considering two different venues (one for your vows and another for the reception) be sure to find two places relatively close to one another to prevent your guests from commuting too far. If you are interested in having the entire event in one space, check out our luxury venues, Luxmore Grande Estate and Cypress Grove Estate House, available for booking!

Hire Your Vendors
Photographers, florists, and so many more! These vendors are the qualified helping hands that bring everything together for the event. If you have a set schedule for the arrival of vendors, it is best to communicate with them as much as possible about their arrival times and the amount of time they will need to either set up or work. When you discover initial interest in their expertise, let them know far in advance so they have enough time to prepare for your occasion (I removed chefs as we have in-house catering at both of our venues =))

Include the Event Essentials
If you have a unique or funny way of showing your love or that is a part of your love story, don’t be afraid to share it. Whether it’s an inside joke or a distinct memory associated with your relationship, include a wedding essential that is unique to you! This approach can make your wedding feel more personal rather than to just excite guests!

Are you in need of a rental space, specialty rentals, or styling services? Contact us at hello@rwevents.com!