It’s September!!! I want summer back!! The chill in the air has my mind erupting with “non-trends”, thinking back on all my precious brides…and their personal, silly, totally unique trends that they created, for themselves, by themselves (with just a little nudge from their genius wedding planner).
Cake Table Tulle
Ok, I don’t do tulle. I do gauze. I do sheer. I do crinkle organza. I do dupioni. I do velvet. I even do poly satin with the right amount of bribery. But tulle??? That is enough to leave me running and screaming out of tacky land…conjuring images of tulle wrapped pews and columns circa 1982. Oy vey.
So I’m consulting with this gorgeous bride from Indiana. She looks like Anglelina Jolie meets Megan Fox. Wants everything super elegant just as she deserves…Melania Trump inspired pew flowers (which she got)…luscious linens, centerpieces, illuminated aisle…the whole nine.
Then she drops the ft-bomb on me. ft=family tradition. Ok, so the family always wraps their wedding cake tables in tulle, and she wants to do the same.
Ok, think! think! How in the world am I going to incorporate this ft…and make it look sexy, stylish, and elegant?
I used the same formula I use with carnations. Take a ho hum flower, and fashion it en masse…then beauty happens. It’s textural, elegant, lovely. I can do the same with tulle!
200 yards of tulle later, and some illumination, we have discovered a beauty!
The family was blown away by what we did with their tradition, and I can’t tell you how many brides saw it and wanted it for their very own! The moral of the story is this. You can take ANY tradition, no matter how outdated, and make it your own elegant style, with a little bit of creativity, and of course, a genius wedding planner.
The Family Jewels
Not THOSE jewels! I worked with a fun loving Texas couple who wanted the wedding dinner to feel like it was in their living room (even though it was in the lovely Tower Suite at the Homestead). So the MOB, packs like, ALL the family silver and sends it to me. “Use it for the centerpieces”, she says in here coy Texan drawl.
It was like freaking Christmas, unwrapping all that silver. My very Southern mother-in-law (she could be a ya-ya) says, “you can’t separate a woman from her family silver”, whatever that means, I was hearing her in my head as I unwrapped it all…the Yankee that I am.
I had the most amazing time, designing a different centerpiece for each table, utilizing lovely silver urns, revere bowls, Jefferson cups,relief sculpture vases…heaven. And just because I was in the spirit, I threw in one of my own family pieces, a Baccarat crystal vase from my family, finished with the crystals from a Baccarat chandelier that I happed upon at a certain flea market. How lovely to use them in a wedding…
It just takes a little planning and a little effort…
Give Carnations a Break
Part of my floral consultation is the question “What flowers do you NOT like?” That way, I know to steer clear of anything the bride is not fond of. The answer is typically, “Ugh, carnations. I don’t want to see ANY carnations!” The poor carnation. They conjure images of prom corsages and supermarket arrangements finished with baby’s breath, dyed to resemble colors not found anywhere in nature.
So, I can’t blame my brides. Who would want lowly carnations at their most spectacular and memorable affair?Well… I can make them look hot. You see, the answer is conceptual. Wen they are used conceptually, they are acceptable. Like pave diamond chips. Nobody like little itty bitty diamond chips, but when we pave them, en masse… then they become acceptable, and beautiful.
So the cost effective route for kissing balls is carn balls, as opposed to rose balls, because they cost about a third, and they look like velvet, and they last so much longer (sturdy little bloom the carnation is). And the cost effective route for any treatment that needs to appear textual, velvety, and luscious is the lowly carnation! This head table was fashioned out of thousands of carnations. Everybody asked, “What is that made of??”. I could have said “spun gold” and they would have believed me it was so incredible. So, open up your mind a little, and don’t discount the forgotten carnation…she has her place in the the most amazing applications.
Seeing each other before the ceremony I grew up with the notion that seeing the bride before the ceremony was bad luck. And so have many others. As a wedding planner, I have gone great lengths to protect the groom from seeing the bride prior to the processional. Holding them in cars, communicating on walkie talkies to ensure that the “coast is clear”, setting up lookout teams…you name it.But look at these two…don’t they look relaxed??
And then there are the couples who want to see each other. They are practical thinkers who want to make the most of their photographer fee, and get to the reception in time for a cocktail and some bacon wrapped scallops. Some of them feel that the nervousness will disappear if they see each other beforehand.
Either way, I respect their wishes. But it is pretty dang cool when they meet up before the actual ceremony.
I like to make it special. Like have him waiting while she steps off the elevator. Or have him at the foot of the stairwell that she descends. It needs to be ceremonious no matter what.
Either way, I love witnessing how cute the bride and groom are when they first see each other. In most cases, she had a hand in choosing the tux. But to see him coifed and groomed and smellin’ fine–in that tux she chose, it’s so adorable. And…the bride. To watch his face as she enters, donned in that gorgeous gown…everyone, not the just the groom is aghast.
So, whether is it before or during the ceremony, make it a special moment. Life is too short not to.
Guest Book Creativity
To even call this a guest book would be a stretch. But the heck with it I’ll tell you anyway.
I am always encouraging my brides to gather the names and faces of their guests i the most unique and extraordinary ways. Signing their names in a ho hum guest book is just not an option.
For starters, I do not recommend having the guest book at the ceremony. It creates a line to enter the venue, and guests are generally rushed to sign their name. I recommend having it available at the reception, and the cocktail hour is the perfect setting for a few reasons. Number one, it is a conversation starter. Say your brother has his eye on your cute single friend from college. What a fine way to break the ice by saying “have you signed the guest book yet?” And there they are, off to sign together…
Another more practical reason, is that it gives your guests time to write a sentiment–not just sign their name and be done. Most guests favor the opportunity to write you a little anecdote or massage of love.
It done not have to be a “book”. You can collect your guest’s names on just about anything. Some ideas are: placing out a coffee table book that represents an interest of the bride and groom. Each guest can find a page they love and write a sentiment; placing the bible or other spiritual text out for guests to sign with love; displaying a photograph of the bride and groom and allowing guests to sign the matte; placing a polaroid camera with a scrapbook and allowing guests to photograph one another and then adhese in the book. I have even seen actual photo booths at weddings, where guests have a ball posing for pictures. They keep one as a memento, and leave one behind, signed for the bride and groom.
And then my sweet Laura came along. Laura LOVES Christmas. Her dream was to have an ornament signed by every guest, that she could keep forever and place on their Christmas tree. Oooohhh, this is the stuff I love!! So, we acquired lovely blown glass balls, placed them in beautiful vessels with metallic pens. Guests had the best time signing them throughout the course of the evening. As they signed, the balls were placed on a white branch tree, and served as part of the reception decor. Lovely! And what a beautiful keepsake…