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!

To Tent or Not To Tent

 

Forecasting Florida weather is always tricky – it’s sunny one minute and the next it’s raining cats and dogs. If you’re planning a wedding in one of those finicky months every good wedding planner will likely recommend having a tent on standby in case of a torrential downpour. Now, we know what you’re thinking – “We chose our venue because it’s stunning and a tent just isn’t pretty enough for our guests to enjoy.” That’s where the tent experts and florists come in =)

Tents don’t have to be an eyesore; they can be a gorgeous addition to the wedding experience and often times even lend to the comfort of you and your guests {whether it’s to shield from rain and wind or keep heat in during colder months}! With a little draping here and there, some floral, and ambiance lighting, you can make a tent look like it was part of the plan from the get-go instead of a last minute back-up option. So forget the white top tents with metal frames and feast your eyes on some of the beauties our clients have dreamed up!

Tidbits + Tips | Bridemaid Gifts

Having been a bridesmaid myself several times, my favorite gift was a beauty bag stocked with skin care + make-up minis to use during wedding week. And with black Friday and cyber Monday just around the corner, now’s the time to stock up on items you’d like to share with your gals =) Ulta is my go-to for beauty products and they’ve already got tons of items on sale! Be sure to use code 401534 at checkout to receive $3.50 off an order of $15 or more!

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask | 3 for $5
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask | 3 for $5

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimizer | $20
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimizer | $20

Bare Minerals 4 Piece Set | $13.50
Bare Minerals 4 Piece Set | $13.50

Burt's Bees Tips + Toes Kit | $12.99
Burt’s Bees Tips + Toes Kit | $12.99

Tidbits + Tips | Social Media Etiquette

1The age of social media has changed how many of us behave in our day-to-day lives. We seek out the perfect Instagram photo and retake it until we get it right; we post our thoughts to Twitter with hardly even the thought of a filter; and when it comes to big occasions like pregnancy announcements or engagements, we are sure to let our whole social network know about our special day.

But what do you do when your daily activities coincide with someone else’s special day – for example, someone’s wedding? After all, being a wedding guest is fun, and most fun occasion should be shared online. However, it is important that wedding guests are respectful of the bride and groom’s wishes when it comes to documenting their nuptials. Here are a few tips to handling wedding day social media with ease:

2
Don’t Post Until After The Ceremony

A wedding ceremony is more than just a pretty picture on an app. The ceremony should be experienced “IRL” – and that means turning off the phone until the couple has said “I do.” Imagine what might happen if the groom, casually scrolling through Instagram before the ceremony starts, finds a photo of his bride in her wedding dress! Carelessly posting photos to your feed can spoil the magic of someone else’s wedding.

Of course, some couples may want you to keep their newsfeed updated. Some even designate a “Tweeter of Honor” for their wedding, whose job is to make sure that the World Wide Web has up-to-the-minute wedding information. If you’re that person, post away. But if you’re not, it is a wiser decision not to post at all.

3
Stay Out Of The Photographer’s Way

A woman walking down the aisle is an iconic image. She looks striking in a beautiful gown. Usually her father is by her side, beaming with pride. It’s an image so integral to the wedding that couples hire photographers to make sure they capture that magic moment, so the couple can look back on it for years to come.

Do you know what could ruin that moment? You leaning into the aisle to take a picture with your smartphone. Guests trying to snap a photo of the bride have become a common complaint for wedding photographers in recent years. To avoid becoming a nuisance (and interfering with a service the couple shelled out money for), just enjoy the bride’s walk down the aisle without photographic evidence. You can always get a photo of her lovely gown at the reception.

4
Flexibility is Key

It may sound like we’re telling you not to post anything at the next wedding you attend. Not so: the reception is the perfect time to get your post on. Take a selfie with the guests at your table, film that adorable flower girl dancing on the groom’s feet, add any filter you like over that photo of your wedding cake. However, don’t be surprised if not every photo gets to stay.

Be flexible with your posts, and realize that it is someone else’s special day. If the bride calls you and asks you to take down a photo because her mother-in-law doesn’t like how she looks in it, happily oblige. After all, you’d hope that when you get married, she’d do the same for you.

Article by: Naomi Shaw

Real Weddings | Winter Inspiration

Can you believe that winter is right around the corner!? In just a few short weeks we’ll be welcoming holiday decor + hot chocolate to our weddings and we can’t wait!

Lakeside Winter CeremonyOne of our favorite winter weddings took place at Cypress Grove Estate House – the combination of semi sparkly details, greenery, and rustic details was sheer perfection.
We {almost} couldn’t believe that each of the table runners were handmade by the bride’s mom!

sall-ceremony-851

Fall Inspiration | Pumpkins

Can’t have Autumn without pumpkins now can you!? How about a fall inspired wedding? If your wedding style involves a seasonal touch, these pumpkins infused into centerpieces, aisle decorations, and venue details can make a statement without being cheesy. A few of our favs – pumpkin guest sign in, escort cards/favors, and monogrammed pumpkins!

Fall Wedding | Pumpkin Details

Floral Recipes | Summer Blooms

Whether it’s bold blooms, unique elements {like herbs or veggies}, or an eye-catching design, we’re always excited to see the creations florists dream up for our clients. One of our latest favs – this bridal arrangement from Bluegrass Chic. It was the perfect combination of southern staples and summertime florals!

Summer Bridal BouquetPhoto: Wings of Glory

Floral Recipe | Chocolate Sunflower, Antique Green Hydrangea, Purple Cabbage, Peach StockChocolate Sunflower | Antique Green Hydrangea | Purple Cabbage | Peach Stock

Floral Recipe | Thistle, Verbinum Snowball, Peach Spray RosesThistle | Verbinum Snowball | Peach Spray Roses

Favorite Friday | Wedding Traditions

I was so excited when I found out our summer couple, Amber + Matthew, were using two of my favorite traditions in their wedding! Neither require too much pre-planning, so they’re super easy to incorporate into the day:

Bury the bourbon – a tradition typically seen at southern weddings, burying a bottle of bourbon is supposed to ward off rain on the wedding day. There are two caveats, though – you must bury the bottle upside down and it must be buried at the ceremony site. I’m not one for bourbon, but if it’s going to keep away rain, I’ll do it 😉

Bury the Bourbon

Penny in the bride’s shoe – this actually comes from the Victorian “something old, something new” rhyme {I’ll bet you didn’t know there were actually five items included in this}. It started out as a sixpence and changed to a penny overtime, and the idea was that the coin was a symbol of wealth and good fortune for the couple. Some brides would save the penny for her future daughter to be used on her wedding day.

Penny in the Bride's Shoe

Photos: Wings of Glory

Tidbits + Tips | Wedding Superstitions {Rain}

No one likes their events getting rained out, but did you know that many cultures view rain as good luck? It’s viewed as a symbol of fertility and cleansing, and it can also have some other benefits. I know what you’re thinking – how in the world could rain be a good thing at my wedding? If you need some encouragement that it won’t put a damper on your day, here are a few perks to consider with wedding day rain showers.

  • Cooler weather – rain tends to drop the temperature, even if it’s just by a few degrees. This can help keep flowers looking fresh and you + the bridal party nice and cool.
  • Seasonal allergies – if you suffer from seasonal allergies, a rain shower can help you say “adios” to that stuffy nose since it reduces the amount of pollen in the air.
  • Photos – some of the cutest wedding photos we’ve seen have involved umbrellas {just like this one of Katie and her maids}. You may even catch a glimpse of a rainbow, making for a picture perfect photo opp!

kttravis-1991

Photo: Nima Photography

Tidbits + Tips | Room Blocks

Room blocks can be a wonderful way to help your out-of-town guests find accommodations for your wedding {and usually at a reduced cost}. They’re fairly simply to setup and there are just a few things to keep in mind when reserving these blocks:

  • Proximity – start with your event venue if they offer overnight accommodations. If not, look for hotels that are within a short walk or taxi ride of the venue. If it’s close enough, you may even be able to setup shuttle service through the hotel concierge.
  • Price – make sure to keep hotel prices in mind, especially for guests that are traveling from out of town to attend your wedding. Consider reserving rooms at two hotels, with one being a bit more cost effective.

Once you’ve found the perfect room block option, you’ll likely need to sign a contract with the hotel – be sure you read through the contract carefully and make note of clauses describing attrition and/or re-sell. “Attrition” refers to the penalty you’ll pay if a certain portion of the rooms in your block aren’t booked. Some hotels also include a “re-sell” clause, meaning that if they’re able to re-sell unused rooms in your block to other customers, you’re no longer responsible for them.

Pro tip: be sure to include room block information on your wedding website! Consider including a direct link to the booking page, directions to the venue, and any other pertinent info they may need.

RW Chronicles | Hello Fall!

The RW gals are saying “adios” to summer and “welcome” to the fall wedding season with some flavorful drinks this holiday weekend! Not only are these super easy to make at home, but wedding guests would love these as a signature drink option. Oh, and be sure to check out this recipe for my all time favorite drink – strawberry daiquiris {perfect for sipping by the pool with your gal pals}!

Sangria LemonadeSangria Lemonade

1/2 g. Lemonade
1 bottle Chardonnay or other white wine
2/3 c. Light Rum
1/2 c. Raspberries
1 Orange, sliced
1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced

In a large pitcher, combine lemonade, wine, + rum. Stir, then add fruit. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

 

Rum SunsetRum Sunset

12 oz. Orange Juice
3 oz. Light Rum
2 tbsp. Grenadine
Lime slices for garnish

See the full recipe here.

 

 

 

Tidbits + Tips | Selecting the Perfect Wedding Location

Hooray, you’re engaged! After the wonderful congratulations from friends and family pour in, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the when + where questions. Not to fret, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you and your honey select the perfect venue. You might be surprised to learn that a lot more goes into picking a venue besides it just being pretty!

1. Estimate your guest list + budget – You might not have a solid guest count just yet, but having a idea of the number of guests is crucial in helping you narrow down the options. Your wedding budget goes hand in hand with your guest count. Once you begin pricing out venues, you’ll have a better idea of how the remainder of your wedding budget will look.

2. Think about your wedding day style – You and your partner’s wedding style will greatly help you determine which wedding venues will work best. Whether it’s classic, elegant, rustic, bohemian, or simple and low-key, figuring out the direction you both love will certainly be a big help. You’ll also need to consider the all-important budget!

Classic Ballroom WeddingPhoto: Ross Oscar Knight Photography

3. Full or limited service venue – Does your venue include items such as tables, chairs, linens, etc.? How much creative freedom are you looking for within your venue? There are full-service venues, specializing in weddings, that have an arsenal of rentals, some included and some add an additional charge. If you know you might want different chairs or tables, be sure your venue will allow this prior to booking.

4. Catering + Vendors – Some venues have exclusive caterers that you must work with. While this definitely is not a downfall by any means, if you have a specific dish or cuisine in mind, make sure the exclusive caterer is able to accommodate beforehand. Some venues require that you hire certain vendors, while others just have a preferred list. If you have a certain caterer or vendor in mind for your wedding, make sure they are permitted before booking your venue. Often times, venues will require that your vendors are licensed + insured. Whatever the case, be sure the venue is right for you and your vendor needs.

Photo: Victoria Angela Photography

5. Make multiple venue visits – The first time you visit a venue you might be so in awe that you overlook certain details. If you’re able to make a few visits to the venue, we’d highly recommend it! Along with making multiple visits, try to visit at different times of the day {and don’t forget to take photos}.

Tidbits + Tips | The Little Moments

Of course weddings are all about tying the knot and celebrating love, but we’ll never get enough of the little moments leading up to the ceremony. Our sweet clients Nicki + Ronnie {remember their wedding at Luxmore Grande?} exchanged gifts before saying “I Do,” and flipping through those photos just makes our hearts smile – their joy and excitement is just contagious!

Luxmore Grande Estate Bridal Suite

Aren’t these images just precious!? Such wonderful memories to look back on ❤

Luxmore Grande Estate Groom's RoomPhotos: Ashley McCormick Photography

Tidbits + Tips | Trust Your Vendors

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good vendor team, and once you’ve put that team together don’t be afraid to put your trust in them! Remember, this isn’t their first rodeo and they’ll know from experience what’s going to work best for your event and what’s not. One of the biggest topics that come up between vendors and clients is the weather, and as much as we wish we could control it, this is something that we always encourage clients to trust their vendors with:

The rain call – venues and wedding planners are the best people to talk to about back-up plans and rain calls. Your venue rep will be most familiar with the weather patterns in their area, so if they’re pretty sure it’s going to rain, there’s a good chance that it will. Take their advice and change to Plan B for your layout, whether that’s moving the event inside or under a tent. If the weather clears up, you can still take photos outdoors even if you can’t move the event.

Our international clients, Sarah + Will, with Shadow {one of our amazing planners} and their photographers.
Our international clients, Sarah + Will, with Shadow {one of our amazing planners} and their photographers.

Seasonal temperatures – talk to your florist about the types of flowers you’d like and make sure you provide your wedding date up front. Certain flowers don’t do well in particular climates – for example, hydrangea wilt very quickly in the heat. So if you love these flowers the florist will need to plan to keep them refrigerated right up until they need to be set out. Even then, they may recommend using chilled water in the vases to help them last longer, or they might suggest another flower similar to hydrangea that will last longer.

While you’re certainly not obligated to take the advice of your vendors, remember that they are vested in the success of your event and they want to help you have the best day possible =)

Tidbits + Tips | Summer Bridal Beauty

With summer officially in full swing {it is the first day of summer after all}, we’re sharing a few of our top tips for being picture ready when it’s warmer and muggier than usual outside.

  • Choose lighter fabrics – this goes for the ladies and the gents! Look for dresses and suits in fabrics like silk-organza chiffon, tulle, and cotton. Pro tip – avoid satin gowns in the summer months. It’s a thicker fabric so it doesn’t breathe well or hide sweat stains {and we certainly don’t want that!}.

Summer Bridal Gown Karin’s gown was semi-casual, but it was a great match with her fun + bubbly personality and relaxed wedding decor. It also featured a light, flowy fabric, perfect for humid Florida summers.

    • Check your shoes – if you’re getting married outside, choose thicker heels, wedges, or flats so you don’t sink into the grass {summer rain can make the ground especially soft}.
    • Go for a simple up-do – curls and fancy up-dos aren’t don’t fare well in summer heat and humidity, so try a simple chignon or side ponytail. Opt for a hair comb vs. fresh flowers since blooms will wilt faster in the heat.

Bridal Up-Do

  • Pack extra beauty supplies – double up on the powder and blotting sheets! Do a couple of quick make-up checks throughout the day to make sure you’re always picture ready.
  • Bug spray – this one’s more for comfort and not so much for beauty, and may or may not be necessary depending on your venue. Some outdoor locations spray for bugs on a regular basis, but it’s always a good idea to have bug repellent on hand for the evening.

Photos: Kristen Weaver Photography

Tidbits + Details | Inspiration

We just love being able to inspire clients with our designs =) Our bride, Bia, fell so in love with the Sangria station we featured in this styled shoot, that she decided she needed one of her own!

Sangria BarShe also selected several pieces to feature in a fun social lounge – the perfect place for her guests to mingle and sip on their sangria. Nestor + Baldwin were accented with petite floral arrangements, candles, and a vintage phone, while the sofas featured oversized pillows in bold patterns.

Social LoungeFeatured Inventory: Onyx, Haleigh, Goldie, and Londyn

Featured Inventory: Nestor {above left} and Baldwin {above right}

Photos: Wings of Glory Photography

Tidbits + Tips | Tablescapes

A well designed table is a must-have for any wedding reception, big or small, so our stylist + planner, Shadow, is sharing her top tips for planning your tablescape!

Keep your venue in mind – In choosing your venue, you’ve made a step toward determining your wedding style. So, it’s important to create a vision that’s cohesive to better tell your wedding day story. Instead of trying to alter it, enhance it with a stunning tablescape that represents not only the style of the venue but your design aesthetic.

Cypress Grove Estate House Amphitheater
TIP: Collect images that show your venue in different angles and lighting. Think about the big picture rather just one small aspect to bring your design to life.

Select your place settings – Most often we immediately think about the centerpieces, and although those are incredibly important we can’t forget to complete the look with place settings. Adding flatware, china, chargers, paper goods and small details will create a cohesive design.

TIP: Chargers can add color, texture and a chic element to any table.

Choosing your chairs – A chair isn’t just a chair… they finish off the table and can really tie together your design details. Lots of venues include standard folding chairs, but there are so many other options available! Chairs comes in Good different finishes, colors, and styles. They should complement not only the tablescape but the overall space.

Silver Chiavari Chairs
TIP: Don’t be afraid to step out of box and play dress up with your chairs using floral or chic chair jackets.

Throwback Thursday | Katie + Travis

I know what you’re thinking – throwback Thursdays are for facebook and instagram, but this is actually a throwback with some tidbits + tips thrown in =) With rainy season upon us in Central Florida, we’re bringing back Katie + Travis’ wedding at Cypress Grove. Yes, their lakeside ceremony may have been rained out, but all was not lost!

KT+Travis-1810-2

K+T-310The couple planned ahead and worked with their venue manager to come up with a back-up plan, a must-have when booking an outdoor venue. That, and having a kick-butt vendor team, allowed Katie + Travis to still have the picture perfect wedding they had always planned.

KT+Travis-1836

KT+Travis-1831

K+T-445

Photos: Nima Photography>

Tidbits + Tips | Creating a “Getting Ready” Timeline

There is nothing more exciting than waking up the morning of your wedding, except saying your vows of course! While the main focus tends to be on planning the actual wedding, for obvious reasons, planning out the hours before the ceremony proves to be beneficial to the mood of the remainder of the day. Imagine hanging out with your best gals, getting your hair & makeup done, sipping on mimosas, and reciting stories about your beau completely calm and stress-free. That’s the type of relaxing ‘getting ready’ time that we want all our brides to enjoy!

We’ve prepared a few tips for a stress-less morning ~

1. Once you determine what time hair + makeup needs to be complete, and how many services you need (bridesmaids, mothers, grandmothers, etc…and you of course!), your hair + makeup stylist can give you a starting time. From there, you can decide what time you need to wake up (get that beauty rest, girl), and what time your best gals need to arrive to your getting ready location.

Getting Ready
2. Determine early in the week what drinks and snacks/and/or meals need to be readily available to keep everyone satisfied while getting ready. Delegate someone (or a few people) to be responsible for making sure the drinks and food make it. Don’t forget plates, cutlery, cups, and ice!

3. If you’re writing your own vows, or a special letter to your soon-to-be, make sure you schedule enough alone time to do so before hair + makeup begins. We suggest doing this as soon as you wake up, that way you can truly reflect on the significance of the rest of the day to come.

4. If you’re giving special gifts to anyone (bridesmaids, mothers, etc.), make sure they are ready to go and bring with you while getting ready. Your photographer will most likely want to photograph these exchanges!

Getting Ready
5. Bring all of your special details to your getting ready location for your photographer to capture – invitation suite, rings, anything borrowed, blue, old or new, and any other special items you may have.

Getting ReadyPhotos: By the Robinsons

Lastly, we hope you remember to pause frequently and take everything in. Your closest friends and family have gathered together, from near and far, to celebrate your marriage. How amazing is that?!

Tidbits + Tips | Bridal Portraits

Bridal portraits are always some of my favorite photos from weddings – I love seeing brides all dolled up in their gowns and relishing in the happiness of getting married! These are images you, your mom + dad, in-laws, and even grandparents are bound to have proudly displayed in their homes, so I’m sharing my top three tips to help you get amazing bridal portraits:

Let the photographer do their thing – it may seem like they’re standing too far away, too close, or shooting from an odd angle, but I guarantee your photographer knows what they’re doing. You’d be surprised at some of the amazing shots they can get just by adjusting their angle!

Tabitha {of Tab McCausland Photograph} captured a perfect sunburst in this stunning portrait of bride, Marian.
Tabitha {of Tab McCausland Photograph} captured a perfect sunbeam in this stunning portrait of bride, Marian.
Be yourself – it’s normal to be nervous in front of the camera, but if you let your personality shine through you’re bound to get some stunning shots! Your photographer may ask you to do a few particular poses to show off certain features of your gown, hair, or make-up, but a good photographer will be able to tell when you’re nervous or uncomfortable so they can change things up.

Bridal Portrait | Cypress Grove Estate House | RW EventsIncorporate props – adding elements like vintage furniture, bridal bouquets, and unique locations all lend a hand in providing unique bridal portraits!

Our tufted settee, Demi, looked picture perfect in Aleesa's bridal portraits and doubled as seating for the sweetheart table.
Our tufted settee, Demi, looked picture perfect in Aleesa’s bridal portraits and doubled as seating for the sweetheart table.

Okay, so there’s actually four tips – if you’re able, consider doing a bridal session on a day other than your wedding. Tight timelines don’t always allow photographers to get all the shots you might want, but scheduling a one or two hour session prior to the wedding day will guarantee that nothing gets missed. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to play dress up! 😉

Tidbits + Tips | Seasonal Options

We’ve shared lots of tips for back-up plans in case of inclement weather, but what if you’re just planning your wedding during a chilly or toasty time of year? While a tent can offer shade from the sun and protection from brisk winds, there are plenty of other ways to keep guests comfortable while being out in the elements!

Beverage stations – this is a quick and easy way to make sure you and your guests stay hydrated. Talk to your caterer about featuring fruit infused water, lemonade, fruit punch or iced tea for warmer months and hot coffee or cocoa for winter months {consider adding flavored syrups, cinnamon or peppermint sticks, and even marshmallows for an interactive station}.

Hot Apple Toddy

Photo: Amalie Orrange Photography

Pashminas – for ladies that may forget their coat or sweater at home, consider purchasing a few bundles of pashminas. These pretty wraps come in lots of colors and guests can take them home as an added favor.

Hors d’oeuvres – one of my favorite ways to warm up is with a hot bowl of yummy soup. If you don’t want offer soup as part of the meal, consider a soup shooter as an hors d’oeuvre! These are great butler passed or displayed and are easy for guests to manage. Chilled soup shooters are also be a fun option for summer events!

Watermelon with Fresh Mint Sprig {left}, Mango with Lime Garnish {right}
Chilled Soup Shooters by Big City Catering

Tidbits + Tips | Planning Timeline

Having a smooth and stress-free wedding takes lots of prep-work, so we’re here with a few tips to get you started down the path to planning the perfect event!

Get organized – start off by creating a binder or file folder to keep all your ideas, vendor contracts, guest information, etc. in order. This will keep everything in one place and neatly organized for easy finding.

Create a timeline {and stick to it} – I’m very much a type A personality, so having a list to follow just makes me happy. Create a monthly {or if you’re like me, a weekly} timeline so you’ll know when certain vendors needs to be confirmed, when you should order your invitations, when to book your final dress fitting, and so on. Believe me, it feels so wonderful when you can look at all the items you’ve checked off your list! Make sure to stick to your timeline! It’s no fun having to handle things last minute when they could have already been taken care of.

Ask for help – a couple can literally spend hundreds of hours planning a wedding, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed enlist the help of parents and your bridal party, and maybe even consider hiring a wedding coordinator {like us!}. Depending on the level of service you book with a coordinator they’ll help with vendor contracts, scheduling appointments, setting up decor + personal items, and keeping you on track throughout the planning process. A great perk to hiring a planner is that they have tons of contacts in the wedding industry, so they’ll be able to find vendors that not only fit your budget but that will provide amazing service.

Well there you have it – our top tips when it comes to the beginning stages of wedding planning! Which tip has helped you the most?

Real Wedding | Nikki + Ryan

Nikki + Ryan married at the oh, so beautiful Cypress Grove Estate House, and their wedding was a perfect combination of DIY details paired with our vintage rentals. Read about the couple’s inspiration for their wedding below!

From the bride: “My one word of advice is DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS. My (now) husband and I decided on a wine themed wedding – I mean who doesn’t like wine? We thought we could utilize the common day wine materials for DIY projects to help save costs. Searching Pinterest and the web we started to develop our picture perfect wedding. With the help of family and friends we made a luxurious wine cork chandelier, eye catching wine bottle trays, and spray painted wine bottles with DIY labels for center pieces. Our vision would not have been complete without the help of RW Events wedding rentals. We captured our theme with two flower filled wine barrels lining our ceremony aisle, a wine barrel table topped with a beautiful candy display, and the rustic elegance of our sweet heart set. With the help of RW Events, and a little bit of creativity, we designed our dream wedding that we will cherish for a life time.”

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses | RW EventsI don’t think I’ll ever get tired of mismatched bridesmaid dresses – it’s a great way to keep all the girls within the same color palette while letting them show some of their personality =)

Featured above {right}: Finn
Featured above {left}: William + Creamie
Photos: Captured by Belinda Photography

The RW Gal List | March Favorites

The RW gals have been lusting over some pretty adorable items this month and we could not wait to share with you!

The RW Gal List | March Favorites

1. Tieks | $175 – Our brides adore this versatile flat; they are perfect for walking down the aisle in comfort and dancing the night away. The best part… you can wear these cuties over and over again after the wedding!

2. Mr. + Mrs. Napkins | $18 – Oh lovebirds… how sweet are these napkins? Set them at your place setting for a personal touch at your head table and make use of them afterwards in your own home.

3.The Hailey Tote | $82 – Oh how we love an adorable tote, honestly we are quite the bag ladies. This tote would be a great add as an everyday tote and a little gift to yourself for the wedding day to carry those oh, so important essentials.

4. Sign in Canvas | $50 – A sign in doesn’t have to be a book that you will mostly likely throw into a box and hide in the attic for the next 30 years, so consider a piece of wall art that represents you as a couple. This library inspired sign in would be a book lover’s dream!

5. Letterpress Vow Journals | $28 – Bring on the tears! These journals are the perfect keepsake for those precious words to your beloved. Reach for them every anniversary and snuggle up.

Wedding Countdown | Kristin + James

Bride + Groom | Engagement Session | RW Event

These two, oh where do I begin? I always say that meeting a couple for the first time is like a first date. We are both a little nervous but excited because let’s face it, when it comes to love you have a smile on your face! Our initial meeting began with James cracking jokes and Kristin going through a list of questions. We bonded over our love for Disney and Dogs {isn’t Cinnamon the cutest?}.

Engagement Photos | RW EventsEngagement Photos | RW Events

Photos: Bumby Photography

By the end of our meeting we knew we were a perfect match! They are definitely the couple that everyone loves to be around, and with their infectious laughter, who could blame them? I am beyond honored to be their planner and I can’t wait to rock their spring wedding {less than a month to go!} with them and the vendor team they’ve put together.

xoxo, Shadow

Pro tip: meeting a vendor for the first time can be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve never planned a wedding before. A good vendor will be personable and easy to talk to, and will gladly answer any questions you may have =) The whole idea behind meeting with vendors is to determine if they’re a good fit for you – if they aren’t, no biggie! Many will be happy to recommend other vendors that might work better for your budget, your style, etc.

Tidbits + Tips | Choosing a Venue

There are lots of factors to consider when selecting a wedding venue, but one that we think is high up there on the list – how it photographs. After all, you’ll be looking through your wedding photos long after the event is over, so make sure you choose a location that is going to look as stunning as you do!

Two things to take into account when thinking about how a venue photographs:

Lighting – the type of lighting used can really change the look of a photograph, and we have to admit that we prefer natural light over studio lights. It gives photos a soft, natural feel, whereas studio lights can sometimes be too harsh. When you tour a potential venue make a mental note of light sources in all the locations you’ll be using, and make sure you don’t forget the bridal suite!

Bride + Groom Portrait | RW Events

Photo ops – a venue that offers lots of photo locations is a great venue indeed! If you’re considering a hotel or other venue with public areas, ask if locations you like can be closed off for a short period of time so you can have the space all to yourself =)

Grand Staircase | Four Seasons Resort Orlando | First Look | RW EventsGrand Staircase | Four Seasons Resort Orlando | First Look | RW Events We were blown away with the dramatic elegance of the staircase at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. It makes a stunning backdrop for bridal portraits and first looks, like this one from Kylie + Erlie’s spring wedding.

Bridal Portrait | RW Events
This is one of my most favorite bridal portraits – it’s refined + elegant, and the simple, modern backdrop showcases the beauty and intricate details of the bride’s gown + veil.

Photos: Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Tidbits + Tips | Have Fun

Weddings are all about celebrating love with friends + family and having lots of fun while doing it! Don’t let the stress of wedding day get you down by incorporating fun “activities”:

  • Setup a photo booth – we don’t mean one of those boring sit in booths you see all the time. Talk to your photographer and planner about creating something unique and memorable. The photos captured from your booth can make for great favors, and duplicate photos can be used to create an album for you to keep!
  • Photo booth with Vintage Rentals | RW Events
    Photo: Wings of Glory Photography

  • Lawn games – life sized Jenga, croquet, corn hole, and even horse shoes are fun and simple games to setup. They’re great to have for guests during cocktail hour while you and your bridal party are taking photos. They also make for some awesome photo moments =)
  • Cypress Grove Estate House Lawn Games | RW Events | Harmony Lynn Photography
    Cypress Grove Estate House Lawn Games | RW Events | Harmony Lynn Photography
    Groom: “Please let it fall…”
    Cypress Grove Estate House Lawn Games | RW Events | Harmony Lynn Photography
    Groom: “Victory!”
    Photos: Harmony Lynn Photography

  • Grand exits – these are pretty standard nowadays, but that doesn’t make them any less fun! Have guests light sparklers, blow bubbles, wave streamers {glow sticks are a unique option, too} as you and your sweetie take off as newlyweds!
  • Cypress Grove Estate House | Grand Exit | RW Event | Concept Photography
    Photo: Concept Photography

What are other things you’ve incorporated into your wedding to make it fun and stress-free?

Designer Tips and Tricks | Creating The Perfect Color Palette

Searching high and low for the perfect wedding colors? Selecting your perfect pallete doesn’t need to be a super stressful situation. Yes, these colors will either haunt you or create the perfect wedding mood but, with these few helpful tips we know you’ll be confident that you made the right choice!

Start off by asking yourself, “what type of wedding mood do I want to create”. Soft shades of pink with accents of burgundy and gold really capture that romantic feel, while bold and vibrant colors bring drama and energy to your wedding day mood. We know it can seem a bit overwhelming at first. So just do your best to not let the depths of Pinterest overwhelm you and confuse you, keep it simple and sweet. Start with your core 3 colors and the rest is up to you!

Slate Blue and Emerald Mood Board | RW Events

Pro tip: create a “mood board” to help you organize all your inspiration photos!

Tidbits + Tips | Videography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that makes us wonder how many words a film is worth. While photography is a wonderful way to capture still moments {and we’re suckers for amazing photos}, video allows us to hear the words we spoke, see the {happy} tears we cried, and relive the joy and excitement of the most precious experiences of our lives. That’s why we just love when clients decide to hire a videographer! They can capture all the elements of your wedding day and compress them into one stunning video that can be played as many times as your heart desires.

Pro tip: turn watching your wedding video into a date night! Grab a fuzzy blanket, lots of tissues {for all those happy tears}, turn off your cell phones, and cuddle up with your sweetie while you reminisce about your perfect day.

Today’s chatter | Wedding Day Essentials

Yes, you’ve heard it 1000 times, well here’s to 1001 – YOU should always pack an emergency kit, especially if you didn’t hire a professional wedding planner. This kit should cover all of the mishaps {and forgetfulness} that occur while you and your bridal party prepare for the big day. The essentials:

Emergency Kit Essentials | RW Events

Toothbrush, tooth paste + mouthwash
Deodorant
Breath mints
Make-up removing cloths
Mini sewing kit – needle, thread, safety pins, scissors, liquid stitch
Hollywood Fashion Tape (different sizes)
Mini first aid kit – Band-Aid, gauze, antibiotic cream
Pain reliever
Sanitary products
Lotion
Static Guard
Eye lash glue
Blotting cloths

Quick tip: Pack white chalk. Yes, basic chalk. It’s great for masking a stain on white/ivory dresses.

Oh, and if you are addicted to your cell phone pack an extra charger or portable charger.

Tidbits + Tips | Floral Trends

It seems like there are always new bridal trends coming and going, and we love keeping up as the times change. We particularly love the direction that bridal floral has been going recently. Loosely tied, wild bouquets are popping up everywhere; and we could not be more excited, friends! Looser bouquets give off such a romantic feeling, which is perfection while making your way down the aisle to your beau. We personally love when a good mixture of greenery is involved as well! For our more daring gals, adding ribbons to your bouquet gives a more whimsical, bohemian look. Take a look below at some of our favorite loose bouquets!

Colorful Wedding at The Acre | RW Events

Photo: Ashley Jane Photography | Floral: Lee Forrest Design
Romantic Bridal Bouquet | RW Events
Photo: Ashley McCormick Photography | Floral: Flowers by Lesley
Pink Bridal Bouquet | RW Events
Photo: NIMA Photography | Floral: Velvet & Twine
Organic Bridal Bouquet | RW Events
Photo: Studio 829 | Floral: Flowers by Milk & Honey

Tidbits + Tips | First Looks

My honey and I are on the fence about doing a first look; what do you think?

One of the first questions we always ask our couples is if they’re considering a first look, or saving the moment for down the aisle. As a team of Southern gals, we understand and appreciate traditions. But if we’re being honest, sometimes you just have to break the rules for pure awesomeness {like a first look}! If you’ve never heard of this term before, let us to break it down for you… A first look is when you + your lovey see each other and take photos before the ceremony.

Here’s why we love this concept:

  • All those jitters you feel before the ceremony will go down tremendously when you get to see your other half first.
  • There’s less pressure with hardly any eyes on you {besides your darling photographer and videographer}. This equals real reactions from your honey and gives you the freedom to say what you want to say to each other without an audience {introverts unite!}.
  • Time. You will save SO MUCH time doing your photos together before the ceremony. You can even squeeze in the bridal party photos pre-ceremony. Save the family portraits for after the I-dos, and enjoy the remainder of cocktail hour with your guests. Hello hors d’oeuvres!

Don’t get us wrong, we love the tradition of waiting for the aisle as well. You’ll be sure to get gorgeous photos either way!

ChasteenWedding-98-LChasteenWedding-100-LChasteenWedding-114-L

Kati Rosado Photography captured the first look of our sweet June couple, Heidi + Trevor, perfectly. Trevor’s reaction just melts our hearts! All. The. Feels.

Tidbits & Tips | Stationery

Your stationery is such an important part of the wedding, so heed these quick tips on what you’ll need and when you should send it out:

8 Months

  • Order save-the-dates
  • 6 Months

    • Send save-the-dates
    • Order your invitation suite – invites, response cards, envelopes, and thank you cards
    • 4 Months

    • Organize the guest list and prepare envelopes to be addressed
    • 2-3 Months

    • Send out your invites
    • Order ceremony programs, menus, and place cards
    • Post Wedding

    • Send thank you cards within two weeks of returning from your honeymoon

    C021

    Photo: Ashley McCormick Photography

The 411 on Settees

Our settees and sofas are some of our most popular rental items. Not only are they gorgeous, they add functional seating, look stunning in photos, and they add lots of character to any cocktail hour or reception! If you love antiques as much as we do, you know that antique sofas come in ALL shapes and sizes. Did you know that each one of those different styles has a name? Read on to learn more about the different style of sofas in the RW Style family!

Blue Settee

Settee
Key Features
Resembles Chair more than a Sofa
Upholstered back and seat
Padded Arms (French Fauteuil style)
Featured RW Inventory – {Clarissa}

Empire Sofa

Empire Style Sofa
Key Features
Bolster-Style Cushions Tucked Beneath Large Arms
Extensive Carving on Frame
Featured RW Inventory – {Demi}

Victoria Cameo Back Settee

Victorian Cameo Back Settee
Key Features
Circular Cameo Design on Back
Featured RW Inventory – {Ruby}

Rococo Revival Settee

Rococo Revival Settee
Key Features
Strong Curvilinear Shapes
Cabriole Legs
Serpentine Seat Rail
Featured RW Inventory – {Diana}

Tidbits & Tips | Guest Accommodations

Hosting a destination wedding? Then you’re more than likely going to need accommodations for your guests. Check out a few of our top tips for finding the perfect host hotel:

  • Location – if your venue doesn’t offer overnight rooms, select a hotel or two {depending on how many guests you’re expecting} that are near your wedding location, preferably within a 15 minute drive. Your guests are already coming a long way to attend your wedding so try to keep accommodations close by.
  • Transportation – does your host hotel offer transportation services from the local airport to the hotel? Better yet, would they offer {or be able to book} guest transportation from the hotel to your venue?
  • Amenities – what sort of on-site amenities do they offer {swimming pool, gym, spa, restaurants, complimentary wi-fi, etc.}? Many guests will make a mini vacation out of destination weddings, so look into other attractions or activities nearby for guests to enjoy. A fun idea is to include a list of local attractions in a welcome bag for each guest. Some hotels can arrange a room drop or provide these to guests upon arrival.
  • Room blocks – does your hotel offer room blocks? These allow the host to reserve a specific number of rooms usually at a discounted rate {which can be passed on to your guests}.

Featured Inventory | Clarissa

Miss Clarissa recently had a makeover, and boy oh boy did she turn out beautifully! This upholstered settee was once a subdued shade of raspberry; now she’s a lively, vibrant blue and is dying to make an appearance! She’s booking quickly for Fall 2016, so make sure you inquire today to book this pretty lady for your wedding.

RW Events | Clarissa | Blue Upholstered Bench

Kate the Great

If you’re still on the hunt for a wedding guestbook, look no further. Miss Kate Spade has come through once again with one that is sure to make you swoon.
It’s simple and elegant with a touch of fun {hello gold polka dots!} in true Kate Spade fashion. My favorite part though is a little surprise in the back of the book. The last couple pages are for “Confidentially Speaking” where guests can write their well wishes, memories, and tips on a {gold rimmed} card and slip it into a miniature {gold lined} envelope. Seeing the trend here? {We like gold}
I love this because…

  • Miniature envelopes are just cute
  • No snooping! You can write your thoughts to the happy couple knowing it is for their eyes only
  • How fun would that be as the B&G?! Opening up lots of little envelopes with thoughts from all of the people you love most in the world

Blog #2

While you’re at it, go ahead and add {this guy} to your cart too and I’ll sit back and live vicariously through your perfectly adorable Kate accented wedding.

Shopping Guide {The Bridal Edition}

Planning a wedding is quite stressful – trust us, we know girl. Though coordinating the ceremony and reception may be the most important area of focus, shopping for the bride’s gown is undoubtedly the most exciting part! Many of our brides come to us bearing timeline questions, such as: “When should I purchase my veil and accessories?” Well, we’re here to break it all down for you:

10-12 months remaining
If you’re anything like us, your Pinterest boards are full of gown inspiration. Bring photos to your stylist at your shopping appointment so that everyone is on the same page in order to find the dream dress. If at all possible, we’d suggest limiting your entourage to two or three people. Bridal gowns are essentially custom-made, so you need to allow designers time to create and ship to you,

6-8 months remaining
Shop for your undergarments, veil, shoes, jewelry, and any other accessories. Your bridal salon very well may give you options and suggestions when you purchase your dress. It’s crucial to have these items before your first fitting! This way your seamstress can alter the dress appropriately around your accessories.

6-8 weeks remaining
Your dress should have arrived by this point, so it’s time to have the first fitting! Your undergarments are shoes will determine how your gown is altered to fit you perfectly. Once the initial adjustments are made, you may need to go in for a second fitting for smaller tweaks.

1-2 weeks remaining
Have your final fitting and pick up your dress. You may want to bring all your accessories {veil, jewelry, etc.} to see the complete look.

Creating a Backup Plan

Unfavorable weather can certainly put a damper on a wedding, but if you’ve got a good backup plan in place there’s really nothing to worry about! Check out a few of our quick tips for creating a Plan B:

  • Not enough indoor space – tents are the best bet if your venue can’t accommodate an indoor event. Speak with your onsite contact to see if this is something that can be rented in-house, or if they have preferred contacts.
  • Don’t forgo side walls on a tent – these help keep the rain out and the heat in {for winter events}.
  • Consider the season – think about bringing in fans for hot/humid summer weather, or space heaters if it’s chilly outside. For summer events, feature a fun beverage station with chilled water and lemonade {and maybe a gourmet coffee bar for the winter months}.
  • Set aside a contingency fund – if a tent is needed, it’s important that you set aside money for extras {lighting, walls, draping, etc.} since tents are basic structures.

Clear Top Tent

Photo: Misty Miotto Photography

Engagement Session Planning

Celebrating your engagement should be fun and lighthearted, and we’re loving these e-session planning tips from our vendor pal, KT Crabb Photography!

Katie: “Date set, √. Venue booked, √. Wedding dress, √ (swoon)! Now it’s time to send out save the dates and you’re looking to book your engagement session. I imagine you have a slew of questions on how to go about setting up your session. From when to book to what to where, here are some pointers in planning your portraits!

  • Set a date – Will you be using your images for a Save the Date? Do you just want portraits to decorate your wall or reception on your wedding day? The purpose of your portraits will help to establish a time frame.
  • Set a theme – Just like planning a wedding, it’s a great idea to come up with a theme for your engagement session. Now, don’t fret, this doesn’t have to be anything crazy extravagant. I just suggest thinking of one word you would like to describe your session. This then helps the flow of deciding on a location and outfits. What do you want to remember about the two of you during this season of life? It could be general like: fun, romantic, adventurous or more specific like: camping out in the backyard, reliving your first date and so on.
  • Choose a location – When you came up with your theme, did you imagine yourself surrounded by city buildings and busy streets? Or maybe you saw yourself dipping your feet in the water during sunset on the beach? A location can simply be near and dear to your heart including your soon to be wedding venue!
  • Pick an outfit {or two} – Can I just tell you that this was the hardest decision for me when planning my own engagement session! Goodness! I went back in forth between outfits and finally settled on something completely different!! I realized that I just wanted to wear something I felt lovely in and would enjoy looking back on years from now.
  • KT Crabb Photography Engagement Session

    Photo: KT Crabb Photography

    Our favorite tip for e-sessions: Be yourself and have fun!

    Check out more tips from KT Crabb Photography here.

    Surviving a Bridal Show

    There are a few essential tips for surviving a bridal show, especially if it’s the first one you’ve attended. Here are the tops tips we’ve come up with to help make your bridal show experience fun and memorable {and yes, we’ve been to a LOT of bridal shows}:

    • Create a game plan – bridal shows are super exciting, but there’s always a lot going on. It will save you a ton of time if you plan ahead and choose which vendors you most want to meet. If there are more vendors to meet than you think you’ll have time for, bring your maid of honor, mom, or close friend who can help you out.
    • Know your wedding date – if you’re flexible on the date, try to at least have a particular month selected. It will help you determine which vendors will be an option for you.
    • Know your budget – this is essential when hunting down your vendor team. Knowing your budget will help you narrow down the search so you can spend more time speaking with vendorsfit within your price range.
    • Dress comfortably – you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so we always recommend wearing comfy flats or sandals.

    Instagram – rwevents

    We’re on Instagram! Are you? Mosey on over and follow the gals of RW Events for some fun, behind the scene footage of the staff in action. We’re constantly updating images of our vintage rentals, farm tables, mismatched china, projects in progress, and new inventory finds.

    And… if you follow us now, you’ll be the first to hear about our exciting new contest.

     RW Events Instagram Contest

    Honoring Your Loved Ones

    Saying “thank you” goes a long way when it comes to wedding planning, heck it goes a long way even when you’re not planning a wedding! So if there are guests that you’d like to honor during your special day, but you aren’t able to have them in the wedding party, consider some of these options to show them how much you care:

    • Ask them to do a reading, give a speech, or perform a song – if they’re pretty outgoing, ask them to be part of your event in a public way.
    • Write a handwritten note – this a super sweet gesture for anyone who’s more reserved. Leave a note or letter at their reception seat, and make sure to include specific reasons as to why you’re thanking them.
    • Feature a memory or photo table – this is by far my favorite way to honor special people in your life! Purchase some pretty frames {or you can rent them from us ;-)} and display on a large table.
    • Leave a special gift for them – a thoughtful gift {especially something handmade} can do a long way when it comes to saying “Thank You.”
    • Thank them in your wedding speech – make sure to give a shout-out to those that helped you plan the wedding.

    Memory Table Photo Display

    Photo: Ashley McCormick Photography

    Timeline for the Groom

    Timelines are such an important part of wedding planning! They keep everyone organized and on task, and help to keep stress to a minimum {which is always a plus with weddings}. Most wedding timelines are pretty general, but here are a few things to throw in especially for the groom:

    9-12 Months Out

    • Host an engagement party {this is typically the responsibility of the groom’s parents}.
    • Choose your best man and groomsmen.
    • Start planning the honeymoon {this is normally the groonm’s job, but ask your fiance if there’s anywhere in particular she’d like to go ;-)}

    3-5 Months Out

    • Choose outfit for the guys and purchase your own wedding attire.
    • Start the search for the weddings rings {this is super important, so don’t forget to add it to your timeline}.
    • Plan the rehearsal dinner.

    2-3 Months Out

    • Purchase gifts for your groomsmen.
    • Make sure each of your guys has their wedding day attire, and that it fits properly. If anyone needs alterations, get a fitting scheduled.

    3-4 Weeks Out

    • Write or practice your vows.
    • Apply for your marriage license.
    • Attend your bachelor party.
    • Prepare a speech for the rehearsal dinner and wedding.

    Less than 1 Week Out

    • Get a hair cut {nothing too drastic, just a nice trim}.
    • Confirm any transportation that has been booked {limos, buses, etc.}.
    • If you’re staying at a hotel prior to the wedding, pack your bag early to make sure nothing gets left behind.

    Regardless of where you are in the planning process, remember that the wedding is for both you! Your bride will want your input and advice, so don’t be shy in giving it =)

    Tips to looking flawless on your wedding day

    As you are marking off your wedding To-Do list don’t forget about your beauty routine. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

    • Give your skin lots of love! Cleanse, moisturize and repeat everyday. Too tired? Make sure to at least use a makeup wipe to take off makeup and excess dirt and oil.
    • Exfoliate at least 1-2 a week. Getting rid of the dead skin will allow for your cleanser to do its job.
    • Get your SPF on! Make sure to use a day moisturizer that contains SPF in order to protect your skin. What girl likes wrinkles?!
    • Water, Water and more Water. Need we say more?
    • Facials are great but avoid getting one the week of your wedding, giving your skin time to bounce back.

    bridal beauty

    Wedding Woes || Too Many Guests

    I feel for all the brides out there with huge guest lists. I have a pretty large family, though not as large as some, so I understand how difficult it can be to shorten your list. Here are a few quick tips to help you decide who to keep and who to cut:

    • Only invite current friends – fortunately, I only have a small handful of close friends that I’d invite to my wedding. My rule of thumb – if you haven’t seen/spoken to them in over a year, chances are you probably weren’t as great of friends as you thought.
    • Don’t feel obligated to invite someone because they invited you, especially if it was more than a year ago.
    • Create an “A List” and a “B List” – your “A” list should include anyone that must be invited {family, close friends, etc.}. The “B” list includes people you want to invite, but may not have room for. Once you start getting “no” responses from you “A” list, then you can start sending out the “B” list invites =)
    • Limit your “plus ones” – it’s courteous to extend a “plus one” to anybody that lives with or has been with their significant other for quite some time. If your best friend {or any guest for that matter} starts dating someone just before your wedding, it’s fine to not extend a “plus one” to them.
    • Have a destination wedding – this is the best way to limit your guest count. If you really have your heart set on a small, intimate wedding, consider a location that neither side of the family lives in.

    Destination Wedding Boarding Pass Invitations

    Photo: Etsy

    Addressing Your Invites

    Figuring out the proper titles for all your guests can be a major headache, so here are a few tips to help you address all those wedding invites properly:

    • Married couple – it’s proper to use Mr. & Mrs. {Insert husband’s first + last name}. If you want to include the husband’s middle name, be sure to spell it out entirely, no initials.
    • Single ladies – their age will determine which title should be used. I recommend using “Ms.” for ladies 18 and older, and “Miss” for young ladies under 18.
    • Women with a hyphenated last name – if a married woman has chosen to hyphenate her last name {maiden name-married name}, the husband’s and wife’s names should be listed as follows: Mr. {Insert husband’s first + last name} & Ms. {Insert wife’s first + last names}.
    • Divorced woman who kept her husband’s last name – you can either use Ms. or Mrs. {Insert first and last name} in this case, but it’s usually best for find out which she prefers.
    • Widows – it’s traditional for a widow to retain her husband’s name until she remarries. Find out if she prefers to be addressed by her husband’s full name or if she uses her first name + husband’s last name.
    • Married doctors – this isn’t one that I come across too often, but for a married couple that are both doctors, address them as “The Doctors {Insert last name}.

    Unique Wedding Invitations

    The ladies at RW Events are crazy about stationery! Your wedding invites will set the tone for the rest of your event, so choose something that you absolutely love! Consider incorporating different shapes, textures, and patterns to give your invitations a unique flare =)

    Round Wedding Invitation by Wedding Paper DivasWood Inspired Invitation by Wedding Paper DivasFold Out Wedding Invitation by Wedding Paper Divas

    Maid of Honor vs. Bridesmaid

    Lots of brides aren’t quite sure what the difference is between a maid of honor and a bridesmaid {other than the order they walk in}. So today I’m sharing just a few responsibilities for each of these lovely ladies to give you some guidance:

    Maid of Honor

    • Bridesmaid wrangler – one of the main duties for the maid of honor is to keep track of all the bridesmaids. She needs to make sure everyone makes appointments, received wedding details, etc.
    • Assists the bride with pre-wedding tasks – you may be needed to help address invites, choose wedding decor, and a plethora of other items. Just don’t be too pushy with what you want for the wedding 😉
    • Bustling the wedding gown – make sure you’re at the bride’s last fitting so you’ll know how to properly bustle the wedding gown. It’s a good idea to bring a bridesmaid along for back-up.
    • Host the bridal shower – it’s okay to have the maids help you with this, but hosting a bridal shower is typically the maid of honor’s responsibility.
    • Be there for the bride – if you’re the maid of honor, it’s likely you’re her sister or best friend. When the bride needs to vent, just listen and make sure you have tissues available as needed.
    • During the ceremony – the maid of honor is responsible for carrying the groom’s ring {try wearing it on your thumb}, and also holding the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.

    Bridesmaid

    • Offer to help with pre-wedding tasks – know what you’re good at and how much time you have to offer. It’s never a good idea to volunteer for something you’re uncomfortable doing, or if you can’t commit to it time wise.
    • Help plan pre-wedding parties {and attend all of them} – this includes bridal showers, bachelorette parties, etc. If the maid of honor has taken on that task, ask if there are any details she needs help with {maybe picking up snacks, decorating, etc}.
    • Join in on the bridesmaid dress search – be on the lookout for dresses and jewelry that may work for the wedding. Make sure you run it by the bride or maid of honor before purchasing =)
    • Run last minute errands – no matter how much you plan ahead, there’s always one or two small items that get left behind. Bring some extra cash and be available to make store runs on wedding day.
    • Greet guests at the reception – be available to greet guests and assist them in finding their seat.
    • Hit the dance floor – this will encourage other guests to relax, have fun, and join in on the celebration!

    P.S. These details go for the guys too! Just swap out “Maid of Honor” for “Best Man” and “Bridesmaid” for “Groomsmen” 😉

    Choosing Your Bridal Party

    When I get engaged it’s going to be pretty difficult selecting a bridal party. There are ladies I’ve grown up with, friends that are like family, and lots of cousins to choose from. If you’re like me and will have a hard time selecting a few lucky ladies to be in your bridal party, consider these quick tips to help you choose:

    • Who will be the maid/matron of honor?
      A quick fix is to choose your sister or closest friend that is already married. If they are all still single, consider going by age or select the lady you are closest too. You can also forgo the “maid/matron of honor” and just have a party of bridesmaids.
    • Who makes the overall cut for the bridal party?
      This is where things get tricky… you may be tempted to ask all your favorite ladies to be your maids, but it’s not a good idea to have a huge bridal party. It can be difficult to squeeze everyone into photos, plus you’re going to have to keep track of all those people! Make a list of everyone you want to be in your bridal party and try to narrow it down to no more than 5 on each side {bride + groom}.
    • Bridesmaid vs. Junior Bridesmaid vs. Flower Girl
      Bridesmaids are the ladies that you can trust to help you with wedding planning. A junior bridesmaid is typically a young lady that is too old to be a flower girl, but too young to take on the many tasks of a bridesmaid {they still walk down the aisle}. Flower girls are the sweet little girls that walk just before the bride and usually sprinkle flower petals down the aisle {hence the name “flower girl”}.

    Planning to Pop the Question?

    Today’s post is for all the men out there waiting to ask their lovely lady to marry them! Check out a few tips below to plan the perfect proposal:

    • Keep it private – no one likes to be put under pressure, especially when other people are watching! Plan a romantic picnic, a late evening stroll on the beach, or something similar. Whatever you do, just make sure there aren’t other people around.
    • Hire a photographer – proposal photos are some of my absolute favorite; I just love the emotions and the happy tears! If you can, hire a professional photographer to capture these precious memories for you.
    • Don’t share it on social media – at least not right away. Take some time to bask in the excitement of your engagement, call your closest family + friends, and then share the news with the whole world 😉
    • Don’t forget the ring – I understand how nerve-racking it can be when it comes time to propose. You’re anxious, your mind’s going a mile a minute, and you may get a little tongue tied. But before you head out, make sure you’ve got the ring! Nothing is more embarrassing than kneeling down and realizing you don’t have that sparkler in your pocket.

    Caring for Your Engagement Ring

    Our stylist, Katie, got engaged over the weekend (*squeal*), so in honor of her new sparkly ring I’m sharing some tips on how to keep those precious stones in tip top shape!

    • Insure your bling – I’ve preached on this before (see post here), but I cannot stress enough how important it is to purchase insurance to cover your ring! It’s also a good idea to have your ring appraised at least every five years, since the cost of diamonds and precious metals fluctuates.
    • Wait until after the wedding to re-size the ring – unless it’s just absolutely too big or too small to even remotely fit, hold off until after the wedding to re-size the ring. Planning a wedding can be stressful, and stress can cause swelling, and it would be terrible to re-size the ring during your engagement to find that it doesn’t fit after everything is said and done.
    • Never take off your ring in public – in my case, chances are I would drop my ring down the drain or leave it on the ledge when washing my hands. My advice – be gentle when washing your hands, but never ever take that ring off in public!
    • Have your ring professionally cleaned – don’t use random cleaners on your ring as they may cause damage. Instead, take it to a jeweler to have them clean it properly (plus if they do damage it, it’s on them).
    • Avoid harsh chemicals – if you’re cleaning around the house (even if you wear gloves), take off your ring and store it in a safe place (like your jewelry box). Bleach and other cleaning products can tarnish rings and cause other damage.
    • Schedule maintenance appointments – in addition to having a jeweler clean your ring, it’s also a good idea to have them inspect the prongs (that’s what holds the stone(s) in place), and make sure there are no cracks in the shank (the main part of the band).

    Summer Menu Ideas

    So many fabulous foods are especially suited for the summer months, so it can be hard to choose the menu for your summer wedding. Just think of all those great memories of savory cookouts and sweet treats at carnivals. We’ve consulted some top wedding pros to get the trendiest food and drink ideas for your summer wedding.

    • Refreshing drinks – help guests stay hydrated and refreshed with lemonade {I’m loving cucumber-mint lemonade lately}, iced tea bars, and fruit infused water. Have your caterer setup a creative display so guests can help themselves during your cocktail hour, or even prior to the ceremony!
    • Light hors d’oeuvres – avoid over-stuffing your guests at cocktail hour by featuring summer inspired appetizers. Think mini shrimp cocktails, bruschetta {this is always a crowd pleaser} with red + yellow grape tomatoes, and bite sized greek salads.
    • Sizzling entrees – since summer weddings can be a bit toasty {especially if held outdoors}, consider forgoing heavy fare like steak. Feature dishes like grilled fish with mango salsa, or anything else with fun + fresh flavors!

    Why I Love Summer Weddings

    Summer weddings are some of my favorites because there are just so many things you can do to make them fun! Check out some of my top tips below:

    • Keeping cool – Florida has some pretty hot summers, so help your guests beat the heat with pretty umbrellas and fun drinks!
    • Be bold – summer is the perfect time to feature bold colors in your wedding. Incorporate bright hues into your floral, linen, bridesmaid dresses, anything you can get your hands on! Just don’t go over board 😉
    • All about the lighting – one of my favorite things to do during the summer is hosting late evening picnics. I love hanging pretty lanterns and market lights, and being able to spend time with friends. If you’re hosting an outdoor shindig, make sure you don’t skip out on providing some pretty lighting options for the big day!
    • Icecream – I don’t know a single person that would not enjoy a delicious scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day! Feature a ice cream station as a midnight snack so guests can create their own tasty masterpiece.
    • Lawn games – what better way to entertain your guests than with lawn games! Break out the corn hole, ladder toss, and croquet to ensure your guests have a wonderful time.

    A Perfect Menu

    Couples are always asking how to go about planning their wedding menu. There are definitely a lot of things to account for, but don’t make it more of an ordeal than it should be. These are just a few of the questions {with answers} almost every couple has when determining their meal:

    • How many appetizers should we serve?
      Usually three to four provides enough selection for your guests. But, if you want to throw in another couple of options, go for it! Just keep in mind that you still want your guests to be hungry for their meal =)
    • Should we do a buffet or a plated meal?
      Plated meals are great if you want an elegant event without interruptions. A buffet is better suited for more casual affairs.
    • What’s the best service option?
      There really isn’t one service option that is best for all weddings. It really depends on the style of your event, and how you want everything to flow. Personally, I love weddings that feature food stations. They’re interactive and get your guests mingling!
    • What foods should we feature?
      When choosing your menu, think seasonally! Foods that are in season will be less expensive, plus much fresher. It’s also fun to incorporate your favorite foods, or even family recipes.

    Food Bars

    This is seriously one of the coolest food displays I’ve seen in quite some time {and it’s so simple}! Guests can choose from a variety of sauces and other condiments to personalize their meal.

    Sauce & Condiment Bar

    Photo: Natalie Franke

    Catering 101

    Dinner is such a major portion of wedding related events, so make sure you know exactly how your caterer functions. Here are a few basic things to ask them before your big day:

    • How are last minute requests handled?
      If there are a few people that show up who didn’t rsvp, will your caterer be able to accommodate them? If some guests don’t show, will the caterer be able to remove a few place settings and adjust accordingly?
    • Who will be there on wedding day?
      It’s always best to have your main point of contact there on wedding day. They’ll know all the details that have been discussed so nothing gets overlooked.
    • What is included in the per person price?
      Does it only cover food/beverages, or are things like staffing, linens, etc. built in?
    • Where does the left over food go?
      Many caterers will pack up to-go boxes for the bride and groom, but if you’d like extra for your parents or bridal party make sure to let them know.
    • Have they worked at your venue before?>
      It’s always nice to work with a caterer that is familiar with your venue. If they haven’t worked there previously, try to arrange a site visit with you main contact so they can get the lay of the land.
    • What’s the difference between a service charge and a gratuity?
      Some caterer will add a service charge to their pricing to cover things like fuel costs, overhead, etc. You can ask that they automatically add on a gratuity to your bill, or you can give your gratuity to the banquet captain the night of your event {they’ll make sure it’s evenly distributed to all the banquet staff}.

    Cake Pulls

    This is a tradition you don’t see much of anymore, but I totally love it! It’s the perfect activity for a bridal shower, and each lady chooses a ribbon to pull out from the bottom tier of your cake. Each ribbon is attached to a pretty charm, which signify luck, love, and all sorts of exciting things!

    • Hot Air Balloon or Eiffel Tower – A life full of adventure and travel
    • Claddagh – Friendship, Love, & Loyalty
    • Star – Your wish will come true
    • Anchor – Adventure is around the corner
    • Four Leaf Clover – Good luck
    • Flower – Blossoming love
    • Heart – New Love
    • Fleur-de-Lis – Love and Prosperity
    • Kite- Something fun is about to happen
    • Wishbone – Success
    • Ring – Next to get married
    • Untitled 1

      Photo: Jen Fariello

    Bridal Beauty ll Glowing Skin

    Have you ever heard the saying that you are what you eat? Well I’ve never met a bride that didn’t want perfect skin on wedding day, so it’s important to think about the food you put into your body, not just the beauty products you use. Here are a few of the best foods to help get your skin in tip top shape for wedding day:

    • Salmon – this fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids + protein. It’s also full of vitamin D and selenium, which helps protect skin from UV rays.
    • Walnuts – these have lots of protein + copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production. Walnuts also make for a great snack {they’ll keep you from munching on less healthy alternatives}.
    • Kale – I personally am not a big fan of this one, but it’s full of vitamins A + C, fiber, and calcium. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory!
    • Blueberries – blueberries have tons of vitamin A, which helps to normalize oil production {no one wants shiny skin come wedding day}. Try adding these to oatmeal, or toss a handful into your morning smoothie.
    • Lemon – my favorite item on this list! This citrus fruit helps our bodies purge excess water weight. Add a slice to a cup of warm water, or simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto a salad!