Vintage is in.
One of the best ways to create beautiful, unique décor for your wedding day is incorporating pieces that have been passed down through generations. Family heirlooms make gorgeous centerpieces and displays for your reception area. Imagine tables covered in old silver pitchers with flowers cascading down; beautiful plates and platters with old vases; a collection of doilies in the center of every table and depression-era tumblers or glasses.
If you don't have access to any family heirlooms, you can find some great vintage pieces at local antique shops. One of our brides used vintage tea cups from her family and made candles with them—an easy find at antique shops. They made a lovely accent, and they smelled great!
Setting the budget makes a lot of brides cringe. Brides don't want to start their planning with limitations, but limits are good and we run into them in every aspect of life. Budgeting doesn't have to be a burden--it can build relationships with the people you will be spending a lot of time (the rest of your life) with.
If you want classic flowers with some personality, you can bring your vision out by using containers in a fun way. This video provides some great tips on choosing the right containers!
As with any new experience we often have to figure out how to navigate uncharted territory. When couples begin this often daunting task of planning their wedding, the overall perspective is that they can create the wedding of their dreams with the help of friends and family that may have gone before. Often with overall budget considerations, the thought of hiring a PROFESSIONAL Wedding Planner is pushed to the wayside because their value is not yet perceived. With invitations, food, attire, entertainment, flowers, etc., as consumers, we know what we are getting. A tangible product or service that we can touch, see or feel. That value is known, and is clearly important to couples. With today’s overall emphasis on individuality and uniqueness of each wedding, each couple really is navigating uncharted waters. Why should anyone think they don’t need an experienced professional to lead the way?Recently I was contacted by a new wedding planner. Let me clarify, new to the industry, not just new to me. I was truly saddened by her evident inexperience, lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of the wedding industry. Sincere as she was, she was obviously doing her couple a disservice in charging them for her “services”. Time and time again we run into those who are often misguided and although I am NOT a planner, I have certainly encountered some of the very best and certainly some of the very worst that hold the title.As I write this I am deeply concerned for all the couples that encounter those that self-proclaim the title WEDDING PLANNER with little or no experience.Now, don’t get me wrong, we ALL started somewhere! I truly treasure the lessons in design, business, and life I’ve learned working under designers that willingly trained and mentored me through the years. They have afforded me the opportunities to become the wedding professional I am today. But my experiences have been nurtured under the integrity of established professionals who stood-at-the-ready to protect the wedding couple from any misjudgment I might have had as I was LEARNING my craft.Which brings me back to the original thought of this post… A True, PROFESSIONAL, EXPERIENCED, WELL RATED, wedding planner is worth their weight in GOLD!!! All your other professionals will tell you this. They know your local industry professionals personally and even have their private numbers! They know how to pair you with the photographer, florist and cake artist that is right for YOU… not just one favorite they like best that may pay them for the referral…think, “kick-back.”It’s all about pairing your taste, budget and personalities with the professionals best suited to fit the vision YOU have for the wedding. They are there to guide you by experience through what can be a wonderful, joyous occasion. Not having a PROFESSIONAL planner can become a taxing, stressful, frustrating time that can turn into regret that you didn’t really have the wedding you were envisioning.With researching any service or product for your wedding, ask other professionals to recommend others for the wedding. If a number of different venues, photographers, or florists repeat the same name of a particular cake artist, you can feel confident that their 5 star reviews on-line are for real and their reputation is solid! Reputation is everything. I confirms trust and professionalism. Do your research and go with the people that have a real portfolio of years of work in the wedding industry. You will thank me later! ;-)Check out weddingwire.com bride’s reviews.
With all the planning that goes into personalizing each wedding, we often encounter the question of how to honor loved ones who are no longer with us. Often, the first thought of couples is to display photos and light candles. This can be a lovely gesture. However, we always encourage couples to look a bit deeper, in a more personal way.
Is there a specific memento that has been passed down in the family that can be used as an accessory to your attire, your flowers or even displayed as part of the décor? Could you carry it with your bouquet or display it on the cake table?
Was there a special phrase that person used often that could be incorporated into your theme or spoken in the ceremony? You could embroider those special words on a sliver of silk and stitch it into the lining of your dress or the lining of your groom’s jacket. They could be embroidered on ribbon to be banded around your bouquet stems.
For our grooms, we always suggest the possibility of including in their boutonniere, a small, personal item that reminds them of their loved one. Among some of the items we have used are a grandfather’s favorite fishing lure, a vintage button, and even a key.
For our brides, we have used vintage broaches belonging to the ladies in their lives, buttons from a grandmother’s collection, handkerchief’s bound around bouquet stems, and even a bouquet of all butterflies to remember a special aunt that always wore butterfly pins. One bride carried a silver cigarette case that had been carried by brides of the last four generations, unusual, but still immensely important to the traditions of her grandmother.
Our brides have used bits and pieces of mother’s and grandmother’s wedding attire to accent their bouquets, decorate vases at the reception and even accent their groom’s boutonniere with buttons from their mother’s dress. One bride asked her new mother-in-law to pin a broach belonging to the groom’s only grandmother, inside the lining of her wedding gown after her passing, a short time before the wedding.
Receptions too, can be a time to show family sentiment. One such was is by displaying lace linens belonging to the bride’s grandmothers alongside the wedding pictures of both couples. Arranging such a vignette on the guest book table compliments the occasion as well as honors those dear to us. A simple framed sign, comments on the heirlooms and tell guest the story of the scene.
Any way you choose to remember those dear to you, make it personal to your memories of that person. You can make a special note in the program about the specifics of the memento you choose. Briefly tell the story behind the special piece and be sure to have your photographer document it as well.
What do you treasure most about your loved ones? How will you make them a part of your day?
Renee Burroughs is an award winning floral designer based out of Anderson, SC. Her blog covers floral tips as well as overall wedding ideas.