Archive for June, 2011

TOP Creative Floral Touches Brides Can Add To Their Wedding Day

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Flowers decorate the dessert table, Photography by Kristen Gardner

In an interview with Holly Heider Chapple of Holly Chapple Flowers, we found out about other floral details brides are adding to their wedding day.  Here’s what Holly told us –

[WBP]: Aside from bouquets and centerpieces, what are some creative and unique floral touches brides are adding to their wedding?

[Holly]: Most events today are completely designed. Each space is carefully thought out and becomes a refection of the couple. Areas like the place card table, guest book and dessert stations are now areas that are typically thoroughly styled spaces with floral and other items.  Brides are using these areas to enhance the look of the day, be creative and speak of the couple’s history. These tables often combine in the wedding favors. For instance, you may be giving away tiny bags of cookies or chocolates and these can be found on the dessert tables or candy bars as guests leave.  Other ideas are wedding favors labeled with the guest’s name that serve as a seating assignment too, such as a wine glasses or jars of jams and preserves.  Vintage items or family heirlooms incorporated into the wedding make a truly lovely touch. Extra touches I add to decorate the bouquet include brooches, vintage lace, watches, family heirlooms, rosaries, and so forth.

Photography by Kate Headley, Holly’s designs are incorporated into the cake’s color scheme

Holly uses the bride’s family brooch in the bouquet design, Photography by Genevieve Leiper

What is the Best Budget-Friendly Honeymoon?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

In an interview with Holly Blackett of Zuriana’s Elegant Occasions, we discussed a post-wedding topic: honeymoons. In addition to being the principle and planner of Zuriana’s Elegant Occasions, Holly is a destination honeymoon, and vacation planner with Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Knowing Holly’s expertise in planning destination weddings and honeymoons – it was an easy choice to interview her on the subject.

Holly, why do you believe Sandals Resort is the best choice for a honeymoon?

[Holly]: I “test-drove” Sandals Resorts for my own honeymoon. I had never heard of Sandals before that point. Before our wedding ceremony, we flew to Jamaica for a day to tour the Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We went off-shore on their private island for a beach BBQ and fell in love with it.

Sandals resorts are luxury included. For instance, for a couple honeymooning at Sandals Resort Saint Lucia – the honeymoon is paid for ahead of time and everything is included. All meals, snacks, drinks (even alcoholic premium beverages), water sports, and land sports such as squash, racquetball, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, tennis, and fitness centers are included in the price. Tipping is not allowed and complimentary green fees are included for golf in Jamaica and Saint Lucia. It’s truly a budget-friendly choice for the bride and groom.

What are some of the different Sandals options and how do they compare to other honeymoon destinations?

[Holly]: All Sandals resorts in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua are targeted for couples while the Beaches resorts are designed for families. Anything that you can imagine at another resort is there. The ultimate luxury at Sandals and Beaches Resorts is a personal butler.

Of course, Sandals resort is all inclusive but when comparing it to similar resorts as the Wailea Marriott on Maui, Sandals weighs in significantly cheaper – making it budget-friendly for couples. Seven nights with an oceanfront view and taxes included, Wailea Marriott is $200 more a night when breaking down the all-inclusive prices of a Sandal’s Resort. Meals and entertainment are also included whereas at other resorts such as the Wailea Marriott breakfast, lunch, dinner, golfing and nightly entertainment add up to double the price of a Sandals all-inclusive price – $9,726 vs $4,140 at Sandals.*

Thank you Holly for taking the time to interview and teach us more about budget-friendly honeymoons. Planning for a honeymoon can be quite the sticker-shock! *Price comparisons provided by Holly were originally published by Sandals Resort.

Go-Bos for Weddings & Events: What are they?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Looking for more personal touches to your wedding or event? What if you only the personal touch only required getting 1 rather than 100+ for each guest? An easy way to add a personal touch is through monogrammed go-bos.

According to the definition, “Go-Bos (or GOBO) derived from “Go Between” or GOes Before Optics -originally used on film sets, is a physical template slotted inside, or placed in front of, a lighting source, used to control the shape of emitted light. Essentially, a gobo design is placed upside-down in the focal plane of a spotlight. The gobo can be a company logo, design, image, or monogrammed initials and a date for a wedding. Whatever the desired image, it is then projected onto a surface such as a wall or dance floor.


The National Conference Center’s beach party –  palm tree gobo design

Gobo Monogrammed initials on the dance floor

Bride & Groom’s initials and wedding date on a wall gobo

Gobo design adds to the AV production for an international conference

A panel discussion modeled after American Idol uses a star gobo to recreate the show

Green Weddings: What trends are brides following?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Photo Credit: BrideFinds.com

As an eco-friendly venue, we were interested in interviewing a wedding planner with experience in coordinating green weddings – a lifestyle trend that has transferred over into events and weddings. We interviewed Victoria Wagner, owner and planner at A Splash of Elegance and President of the Virginia Association of Bridal Consultants about green weddings. Here’s what Victoria had to say about planning green weddings in the DC area:

What are the top trends in green weddings?

[Victoria]: Re- purposing wedding gowns is a huge trend right now. Brides are remaking their mother’s and grandmother’s dress to restore it and remake the dress with a modern flair. Brides are bringing designs to consignment shops and asking them to create their dress from several scraps of dresses. Boutiques are reselling couture designers gowns – which is less expensive and gives the dress a second life while keeping the designer label.

What particular audience of women are planning green weddings? What attracts a bride or couple to a “green wedding”?

[Victoria]: Younger brides in their early to late 20’s are wanting a green wedding; sometimes couples in their 30’s too, but more so those in their 20’s. Eco-friendly weddings appeal to people who are into recycling and are green. However, green weddings aren’t just about being eco-friendly, it’s also about the heirloom side of it. It has a romance and heritage factor – simply traditions and heirlooms.

Is it more difficult or are there more obstacles in planning a wedding that is eco-friendly?

[Victoria]: Planning eco-friendly weddings is becoming easier and easier. Now it’s just as easy to plan a green wedding as it is a traditional wedding without the green concepts. Having a green wedding doesn’t mean everything in a wedding has to be green either – there can be a few elements of a wedding that are green. As more vendors become green, it becomes easier.

For  instance, when you think about invitations, you don’t need an evite – you can use invitations that are green. Soy inks are green. Crane & Co. has many invitation options that are green such as their 100% cotton invitations.

What are the best resources or websites out there in finding “green” centerpieces, party favors, and more? And, what is the most extreme or unique thing you’ve seen a couple do for their “green” wedding?

[Victoria]: GreenBrideGuide.com has a list of vendors brides can choose from which is a great resource.  I also recommend green florists such as Shelly Campbell with Shelley’s Floral – her flowers are grown locally and organic at Faith Hill Farm in Virginia.

I had one couple who wanted a green reception with no flowers. It was a September wedding and they used lots of fruits and vegetables as centerpieces and donated it to a shelter after as opposed to flowers which would be tossed out. I’ve had many creative green brides – this was definitely high on the list!

Photo Credit: Union Photography

Thank you for interviewing with us Victoria! It was a pleasure talking to you and learning more about green weddings from a planner’s aspect.