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love your wedding florist

Our special series of “loving your wedding vendors” continues.

Today we are going to talk about your wedding florist.

If you have every tried to do your own DIY flower arrangement, you will know why you should love your wedding florist. It’s more than just having a green thumb, they have to be creative and have serious skills to create dazzling floral works of art! Let’s face it; it’s more than collecting a bunch of flowers, putting floral tape around it and a ribbon!

Reasons why you should love your wedding florist?

  1. They’ll let you know what flowers are in season so you can save a buck.
  2. They can take a $450 bridal bouquet picture that you ripped out of In Style Weddings and recreate it without the impact on your pocketbook.
  3. They make it their business to know a zillion kinds of flowers; all filed and stored in their heads!
  4. Florists are like MacGyver with interesting and creative ways to create an awesome visual!
  5. Great florists are willing to: make a prototype before the wedding, make minor adjustments to your bouquet and will throw in an extra boutonnière or corsage (for breakage or oops-you-forgot someone important).
  6. While this is a creative job it is also incredibly physically demanding. They have to stand for hours in a chilly warehouse so you can have your dream wedding.
  7. They work under tense deadlines and tremendous pressure to cater to emotional clients.
  8. Snow, rain, humidity, oppressive heat or cold…they work hard to setup/tear down your décor whether it is inside or outside!

Behind the scenes:

I have so many behind the scenes stories regarding florists…that this could be a long post. So instead I’ve decided to tell you a story about how this whole “love your wedding series” was born. During my trip to Atlanta earlier this year, I went early with Sally (a florist whom I hire frequently for our client’s floral needs) to work with a floral/event designer friend of hers. We worked actual production for two large weddings that where in the 5 to 6-figure dollar range for décor. Definitely Big City stuff! On Friday, we worked production in a cold, large warehouse to create the centerpieces. Can I just tell you that I would personally want to manage 10 crazy, emotional brides than work in a warehouse? But that’s just me.

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Look at the money flowers in this warehouse!

On Saturday we showed up at the gorgeous downtown Hilton to assist with installation for a large Indian wedding reception. This was actually their second wedding reception, to honor the groom’s family in Atlanta. The bride loved red roses and there were at least 45 centerpieces with about 50-75 roses in each one (there were two sizes). When her New York wedding planner saw the rose centerpieces we had made the previous day, he simply shook his head and said, “No! The bride is not going to like them…she wants the roses tighter together with minimal spacing or greenery”. Oooookay…no problem.

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These were the centerpieces before we did the redesign.

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AFTER the redesign, nice and compact.

So in the outside veranda at this beautiful and expensive hotel we laid down plastic sheets and reworked the design in every single centerpiece. I pulled out and cut over 2,500 roses while Sally would create arrangements. It took us four continuous hours with one break. We were very methodical at first but towards the end we had to really push ourselves so we could clean up before guests showed up! Literally we were rolling the carts out to the service elevator while guests were starting to come up the stairs. Whew.

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Those suckers were heavy!

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Pretty room! and the centerpieces did look better the way the bride wanted them.

The bride and groom never knew how hard we worked. And for the record; I no longer like red roses. For the florists that deliver exceptional service and let their brides see their wedding bouquet and floral arrangement before the wedding, like we do, for that … you should love them! Question: what do florists get on Valentine’s Day? teehee.

image photo credit: pfe iPhone
featured image photo credit: dream copy photography

 

Tomorrow: love your wedding videographer

plan on!

 

love your wedding wait staff and bartenders

Our special series of “loving your wedding vendors” continues.

Today we are going to talk about your wedding wait staff and bartenders.

Often overlooked, these players in your wedding are CRITICAL to a successful event.

Think about it. There are three things that a guest will remember from your wedding: Food, Fun and Service. You really don’t know how important good service is until your receive, um, bad service.That is why a good wait staff that can serve your wedding meal proficiently and quickly is so important to help keep the overall flow of the evening.

Reasons why you should love your wedding wait staff and bartenders?

  1. They work really hard. Ever serve meals or clear tables? How about at a reception where the bride was sure she could squeeze 280 guests in a room that seats 250. And it is a plated/served meal.
  2. Often unappreciated and sometimes not treated kindly, they still work really hard.
  3. Your bartenders are on their feet, working tirelessly to quickly serve your guests.
  4. Often understaffed, they have to work twice as hard.
  5. Your bartenders have to deal with your drunk guests. Seriously.
  6. They are grossly under paid.
  7. Really, they should be paid more.
  8. Oh, did we mention, they are often under paid for the services they perform.

Behind the scenes:

We planned a beautiful backyard wedding a few years ago (see the photo above); which was a fete to pull off and a sheer volume of work. So when the hailstorm and sky to ground lightening made the guests rush in the home for cover, we had a small problem on how to serve the gourmet courses to the guests. The wait staff and bartenders under unbelievable time constraints, pressure, and tight preparation quarters…served the guests quickly and the guests response was that the food was unbelievable!

Here’s a thought on gratuities. We know that gratuities are almost always included in caterer’s contracts which covers the wait staff and bartenders. You are already paying 18-20% of your bill.

However, I contend that if your wait staff or bartenders did an exceptional job, really went ABOVE and BEYOND (the scenario above for instance), then it is perfectly acceptable for you to give them an additional tip. If you choose to do so, be sure to give cash and directly to the servers.

feature photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow: love your wedding florist !

plan on!

 

love your wedding cake designer

We are continuing our special series on “loving your wedding vendor”.

Today we are going to talk about your wedding cake designer.

Works of art, is what the wedding cake is! The most memorable visual item that guests will remember and talk about at the water cooler the next day.

The popularity of over-the-top wedding cake designs can be attributed to Sylvia Weinstock, whose name is synonymous with wedding cakes. Even the hip, cool, reality show Ace of Cakes have helped for average people to understand what it takes to build these creations.

Our clients have differing views towards their wedding cakes. Some client’s priority is for the cake to taste wonderful, others just want to make sure the cake looks fabulous and then there are some who are concerned with both. So you want to be sure you are choosing a wedding cake designer that will caterer to your priority.

Reasons why you should love your wedding cake designer?

  1. Believe it or not, your wedding cake is much more than “just flour and water”, like Steve Martin said inFather of the Bride. You have to appreciate how much
  2. They have more weddings than just yours on any given weekend, but give each wedding their undivided attention.
  3. You have to appreciate the fabulousness of how they get those layers to stack on each other, without tipping over.
  4. They work under high stress; and sometimes limited information (wrong setup times or heavy cake toppers).
  5. They deliver their masterpieces sometimes in difficult weather conditions (intense heat, ice, snow and rain).
  6. After setups, they have to deal with challenges…cakes do lean. Somehow they work their magic and it turns out wonderful!
  7. Like artists, they are challenged to come up with new deigns and ideas; it’s a constant movement forward.
  8. Can you create art with food? They do, and for that….they are cool!

Behind the scenes:

At one of our weddings a cake designer, whom I use quite a bit, was late delivering the cake. We’ve worked together so many times I wasn’t alarmed at first. It wasn’t until about an 1.5 hours before the ceremony (reception was at the same location), I started to get concerned.

Her truck broke down! By the time she got another ride to the reception, the cake icing started to slide (it was a July wedding, HOT HOT HOT). She got the cake setup and then re-iced the entire cake – basically redesigning it. Nobody knew the difference (most importantly our clients) and when we cut the cake we simply cut off the extra icing off on the outside layer. I won’t lie, it was about 2 inches thick.

Bottom line, even though the wedding cake designer faced adversity, she fixed it and the client and guests never knew the difference. For that, you should love your wedding cake designer!

featured image credit: pfe iPhone

Next week: love your wedding wait staff and bartenders, florist, videographer and more!

plan on!

 

love your wedding photographer

This is a special series as to why you should “love your wedding vendors”, you can read the intro here to catch you up to speed.

Today we are going to talk about your wedding photographer.

Let’s face it, photographers get a lot of credit and attention as a wedding vendor. Look at what they produce? They capture moments as they happen, setup gorgeous scenes and help us look fabulous (thank God for Photoshop, no?).

Our clients don’t make snap decisions when choosing their photographers. Why should they? Often their pictures are all they have for visual memories. Again, this is a key player at your wedding so you’ll want to feel comfortable and confident in your photographer’s ability.

Reasons why you should love your wedding photographer?

  1. Even though they have to carry around heavy bags of multiple cameras, they will keep on smiling throughout the day.
  2. While they have to be uber creative, they have to really be good with people too!
  3. They get a lot of work done under tremendous time pressure. Client-created-timelines sometimes aren’t as accurate as they should be (1 hour allotted for pictures after the wedding but there are at least 50 important family pictures to take). There just isn’t enough time for a human being to get all those shots!
  4. They have to work around your guest-amateur photo-enthusiast Aunt Martha that stands behind them with her camera taking their posed shots (did you know the flashes on her camera makes their large professional flashes go off)? This makes the portrait photos sessions go longer!
  5. Rarely getting to eat, except a quick bite, they are on their feet and surprisingly everywhere so they won’t miss an important shot.
  6. Mindful of your family, they work quicker when your grandmother and grandfather are standing for shots.
  7. Somehow they are able to get your ceremony pictures even though your wedding Officiant does not allow flash photography during your service.
  8. A professional photographer’s mind will always be working to setup creative shots, even if it requires them to visit the ceremony site they’ve never worked.

Behind the scenes:

This is a great story one of my photographer friends told me about a wedding she photographed this past summer. Apparently there was a church coordinator involved who was suppose to line up the wedding party before the ceremony (you know, the freebie coordinator). The photographer told her to wait until she got down to the altar before she sent the parents down the aisle. Church coordinator didn’t. Why? Who knows, but as soon as the photographer turned around she sent the parents down anyway. Missed shot for the photographer!

Then the church coordinator sent down the bridesmaids AND THE BRIDE before the minister, groom and groomsmen were out on the altar. Oy veh! What a mess! The photographer was close to the backroom so she slipped in to tell them they need to get out there. That’s when the minister said, “What the hell is going on”? Oh….did I forget to mention he was mic’d and it was turned on…so the whole congregation heard him. (forgive me for laughing here).

Missing those shots…the parents coming down the aisle, the bride coming down the aisle to meet her groom (oh, oops! he’s not there)….really upset my photographer friend, even though she knows it’s not her fault.

For her perseverance, restraint in not bodily harming the church coordinator and a-can-do-attitude, you gotta love your wedding photographer.

Tomorrow: love your wedding cake designer

feature photo credit:

plan on!

 

love your wedding dj

Our first installment of your series, love your wedding vendor …we’re excited to begin with music!

Today we’ll talk about your wedding DJ.

Definitely an incredibly important element to your wedding reception, you should never skimp on choosing your professional DJ. Often I see this area become more of a price point issue instead of choosing someone who you feel confident in producing great entertainment for you and your guests.

Reasons why you should love your DJ?

  1. They have to please you (the clients) and 250 of your closest family and friends. Think that is easy?
  2. DJ’s really put themselves out there…they have nerves of steel.
  3. They leave themselves wide open for audience interpretation of their job performance. Some guests may love what they are playing and some guests may not. You know what we’re saying, you’ve heard the “cool people” that have to complain about the music. But DJ’s have to keep on going and never waver.
  4. It doesn’t matter what is going on in their personal lives or if they had a bad day; they show up to your wedding with a smile and positive energy.
  5. They really care about getting it right for you, making sure you have all the songs that are your favorite in their database.
  6. They honestly feel horrible if something goes wrong; like the speakers have a feedback or they accidently pronounced a name wrong. They are human. And equipment can falter. But trust me, they feel terrible when this happens.
  7. They are often one of the last to leave packing up their equipment in the dark. Those speakers are NOT  “light” by the way.
  8. Professional DJ’s love working with professional wedding planners, because they know that the reception goes even smoother. (okay, that’s why we love your wedding DJ).

Behind the scenes:

You’d be surprised at what goes on behind the scenes at your wedding. I remember one incidence where at one of our weddings we had the father of the bride ask the DJ to play a different genre of music than what the bride had requested. Not a particular song mind you, simply switch the style. Within 5 minutes the mother of the bride glides by the DJ booth to tell him he’s doing a great job. The DJ mentioned what the FOB said and she advises the DJ to keep playing what the bride wants, as this is her wedding and we should cater to her friends. Confused what you would do yet? Keep reading….

Within the next hour, we had the FOB’s sister coming to the DJ to vehemently chastise him (this is put politely) that the FOB wasn’t hearing what he wanted and “Who was paying for this shin-dig anyway?” It was interesting to watch how he placated everyone. Every time he would play the FOB’s genre of music, the dance floor cleared. *literally you could hear the crickets* He still played some of his songs….but seriously…what would you do?

DJ’s keep everyone as happy as possible and keep on smiling. You gotta love them for that.

Tomorrow: love your wedding photographer

featured photo credit: jordan barclay

plan on!