Author Archives: Bailee Ivey

Trending: Dinner as an Experience

Brides today aren’t just looking to book a dinner buffet for their wedding, they want a delicious and memorable dinner experience for their guests. 

We chatted with a few Atlanta catering experts to get a glimpse into what experiences are most requested at the moment. From chef plated meals to trail mix and pizza, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind dinner experiences for brides to choose from. 

 

Sophisticated Plates

According to Kate Holaway of Three Sister’s Catering, buffets and long lines for standard wedding food fare has been replaced with trendy plated dinners and edgy chef attended stations. Requested menus for dinners and stations include fresh, locally grown food with a unique twist to a dish, like their seared sea bass on top of fingerling potatoes and topped with an olive tomato salad and white wine beurre blanc. Yum! 

 

 

Snack Bars 

Nicole Bernale from D.B.A. Barbecue told us she is seeing a surge in the snack bar trend, and the options are endless. Their most popular is the biscuit bar which includes smoked ham, homemade butter biscuits, honey butter and a medley of jellies and preserves. For something sweeter, D.B.A.’s smore’s bar is not to be missed. The s’mores bar offers a bite of a chocolate and a little taste of nostalgia. But the food bar trend isn’t just for biscuit and sweets lovers. Trail mix bars are a popular option for brides that want a lighter option. A trail mix bar allows guests to graze throughout the evening, and comes complete with baggies to fill up with goodies as a favor (hello, late night snacks!)

Food Trucks 

Couples are also looking for ways to put a modern twist on tradition, according to Kristin Coleman of Southern Crust. Southern Crust’s vintage Chevy outfitted with an Italian wood fired oven acts as a both an interactive station, as well as decor for an outdoor affair. The truck can also be used as a mobile kitchen for events that want a sit-down dinner family style. The family-style setting provides a more intimate experience,  without sacrificing sophistication. Popular pies from southern Crust include the pistachio pesto pizza that is topped with fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh arugula and spicy honey.  We hear people go nuts for it (pun intended). 

For more info on dining experiences mentioned here, check out these tasty caterers’ websites: 

Three Sisters Catering

Southern Crust Catering

D.B.A. Barbecue

From the Expert: Fall 2017 Floral Design Tips and Trends

Photo by Chikae O.H.

If there’s one thing we’ll never tire of, it’s beautiful flower arrangements gracing our Instagram feed. One of our favorite feeds of the moment belongs to Shean Strong, Owner of Shean Strong Design. We caught up with Shean to get some insight on floral trends we’ll see in Fall 2017.

Photo by Chikae O.H.

What advice would you give to  brides who want to add more color for fall? Brides should choose colors that truly represent their personality. Often brides are apprehensive to use too many colors so they tend to go with the standard white, cream and blush. Use color, just don’t go too crazy. Stick with the same color palette to give you a luxe feel and add depth to your event.

Photo by Chikae O.H.

What will bride’s see for Fall bridal bouquets? For a while, the trend has been oversized bouquets and exaggerated shapes, but I think the updated bouquet is more simple and smaller in size. A smaller size allows that gorgeous dress to be highlighted. If a small bouquet is good enough for royalty, it is just as perfect for you.

Photo by Akins Photo

Is lush greenery here to stay? We’ve seen a lot of greenery lately, but greenery is slowly fading and flowers are becoming more prominent in arrangements. A common misconception is greenery will minimize your investment, in actuality, particular greens are just as costly as some blooms, so go for the more flower heavy arrangements if it’s what you truly want. 

Photo by Akins Phototography

Will any flower ever surpass the Peony? We all know the perfect wedding flower is the ever loved Peony. However, for fall, Dahlias are just as gorgeous. Pair them with Garden Roses to create a romantic feel. Also, be on the lookout for Carnations. They are making a comeback.

Photo by Akins Photo

What’s your favorite wedding trend of the moment?  Seeing brides turn to more black tie and intimate weddings. Smaller wedding parties and shorter guest lists create those intimate weddings that create lasting memories.  Your wedding should be about engaging with the people you invite; interact with them. With this minimalist approach you’ll be able to to invest in more intentional and beautiful arrangements.

Photo by Chikae O.H.

What’s your most important tip in hiring a floral designer? Make sure you hire a designer who can take all of your Pinterest ideas and create something that is uniquely you, while using elements that still feel familiar.

Follow Shean on Instagram @sheanstrong, and learn more about services on his website: https://sheanstrong.com. 

June Bride of the Month | Tiffany

Meet Tiffany, our Bride of the Month for June! Tiffany and Matthew are getting married at Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree on July 1, 2017. Here’s their engagement story. 

How did you meet? It was the Grand Opening weekend of BallPark Village, a two story warehouse like building in St. Louis filled with bars and entertainment. We were both hanging out upstairs and saw each other from afar. The line to get in was extremely long, but Matt already had a table inside so while me and a friend were standing in line (and about ready to leave because the line was so long), Matt came over and told us we could skip the line and come in with him because he already had a table.

We were having a great time inside, and I ended up riding the mechanical bull! Matt video recorded me on it, and when I got back to the table he asked if I wanted him to send the video to me – which I knew was a ploy for my number. He was not slick at all. We laughed about it and continued to converse and dance throughout the night. And the rest, as they say, is history.

How did he propose? He proposed to me on May 14, 2016. We were celebrating my mother’s 50th birthday in St. Louis and had invited Matt’s parents to join and meet my mother for the first time. We rented a party bus with my family, and toured all of St. Louis’ landmarks, then had a dinner party at the Chase Park Plaza with a live Jazz band to entertain. We planned to get on the microphone to say some kind words to my mother, but while Matthew was on the microphone making his speech, he talked about how much he could not wait to marry me and proceeded to get down on one knee and propose. My sisters and I cried our eyes out, and I said yes.

What is your overall vision for your wedding? We are getting married at Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree. Our wedding will be all white to play off the white marble floors and regal chandeliers. We plan to use floral arrangements made of white hydrangeas, white roses, and white carnation. Our wedding will be a black tie affair and we plan to spoil our guests with special musical performances, including a harpist during the ceremony, a saxophonist during dinner, and a dynamic DJ during the reception. We want our guests to have memorable experience of fine dining and good music with great company.

What has been the most difficult and most fun part of wedding planning? We found that nailing down a photographer and videographer was most difficult. It took us time to interview, compare, and contrast multiple artists to find the perfect one. The entire journey of wedding planning has been fun for us. I have not once counted the days until our wedding because I have truly enjoyed each day leading up to the big day. However, Matthew and I had so much fun at the food tasting event that Bold American coordinated for us that we considered sneaking into to a future one, haha!

Which wedding details are you most excited about and why? I am most excited about a surprise that will occur during the reception and musical performances that will occur during the ceremony and reception. For now, it’s “top secret!”

Engagement photos: Daniels Art & Photography

Soaking up the details of Pippa’s wedding

Photo via UK Getty Images

The world’s most famous bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton, made for an absolutely breathtaking bride this past weekend. We’re rounding up our favorite details from the most talked about wedding this year.

Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Gown: The best place to start, of course. Pippa wore a bespoke Giles Deacon gown. While OTS lace is having a major moment stateside, this high neck lace number really has us swooning. The cap sleeves and thick lace that opens in the back balances out the full coverage bodice for the epitome of elegance.

Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Accessories: Pippa’s hair was swept back under a tiara handmade for her by Robinson Pelham. Her hair showed off dangling earrings which were her “something old.” She previously wore the earrings to her sister’s infamous wedding.

Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Wedding Party: Pippa’s “wedding party” consisted of page boys (including Prince George) and one very darling bridesmaid, Princess Charlotte. The Duchess of Cambridge was on hand to help with Pippa’s train before she went down the aisle. The children looked picture-perfect in white and khaki, and Kate looked flawless in a blush Alexander McQueen dress.

Photo via Splash News

Flowers: Blush and white blooms filled the church crawling down pillars and hanging over every archway to create a beautiful garden effect.

Photo by @ifefestasespeciais

Invitations: Our invitation must have gotten lost in the mail, but we did catch a glimpse of the simple invite from beauty expert Clemence von Mueffling’s Instagram post. While it was an undeniably lavish event, we love the tasteful simplicity in this stark white invitation with a touch of watercolor greenery.

Photo via Getty Images

Honeymoon: Middleton and Matthews will start their life as newlyweds on a lavish honeymoon that includes a stay at the Pacific Island of Tetiaroa, followed by UK Scottish Highlands. Sounds like a perfect mix of relaxation and luxury.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

From the Expert: Wedding Gown Shopping

The magic and wonder of finding the perfect wedding gown plays out in magazines, books, down the runway, through your Pinterest feed, and some very addicting TV shows. But, what does a bride really need to know about shopping for a wedding gown?

Our expert today is Bride Beautiful owner Jennifer Rovansek and she is weighing in on wedding gown shopping.

First, how far in advance of the wedding should a bride start shopping for dresses? I recommend brides begin shopping six to 12 months in advance of the wedding to make sure there are no ordering limitations to getting the perfect dress. This ensures that there is plenty of buffer with the three to six month typical order period.

OK, the appointment is made. Then what? If a bride hasn’t already, it’s time to get ideas! Brides should use every resource available to see what type of gown they are drawn to. Inspiration pics can be really helpful for us in an appointment so we understand a mood a bride is going for and can point them in the right direction.

We’ve all seen the TV shows, who should a bride bring along to the appointment? An entourage can be challenging if you have a lot of conflicting opinions, but bringing in a couple or a handful of trustworthy friends or family can help a bride through making the big decision on the dress. We find that 4 guests is usually the most to accommodate, and recommend no children so that the focus stays on the bride at all times! With fittings, accessory appointments and bridesmaid dresses, there are plenty of opportunities to bring the bridal party or other family members along for the fun.

What about the things a bride should bring to an appointment? A bride should bring a strapless bra, a pair of heels, and any shapewear she might want to try on with gowns. We also recommend having hair and makeup done for appointments. While it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it will help create that wedding day vision to know when the perfect dress has been found.

What’s your favorite thing about Bride Beautiful? Our staff and our brides! We are a laid back store because our stylists know the industry so well and can help our brides feel at ease. But we also have fun! We really try to listen to our brides to understand their vision and then we have fun with them as we find the perfect dress that makes them feel special for their big day. Wedding gown shopping should never be stressful, and we stand by that!

Follow @bridebeautifulatlanta to get beautiful wedding gown inspiration, stay up to date on trunk shows and new arrivals, and get a behind the scenes look at the store. To make an appointment visit http://www.bridebeautifulinc.com/.

Tips for Perfectly Mix-Matched Bridesmaid Dresses

 

The mix-matched bridesmaid trend shows no signs of slowing down, and we don’t want it to. It makes for gorgeous photos and it gives your girls a chance to have a say in what they are going to wear – every bridesmaid’s dream!

So, how do you pull off this mix-matched style like one of the dreamy photos on Pinterest? Start with your vision and then coordinate with your girls. Here are some tips to do just that.

Pick your look

First, pick your colors.  Do you want all your girls in the same color but different style, or envision them in shades of blue or shades of tan? Prefer a mix of neutrals like blush, grey and beige, or want something bolder like an array of jewel tones? Color will be the most unifying or contrasting element of this look, so give it some thought and decide how each option works with your wedding vision.

Once you land on your color palette, move to your style to keep things balanced. Look at inspiration pics and decide if you like soft flowing fabrics, embellishments, or modern silhouettes. Then find a balance with your colors. If you have your girls in the same shade, add depth with a mix of beading or even muted floral prints. If you’re going bold with color, consider simpler silhouettes or matching fabrics.

Coordinate with your bridesmaids

After you’ve landed on the perfect style vision for your girls, it’s time to coordinate with them! This is where your vision becomes reality, so try to keep it simple, and always make it fun.

If you like the look of mix-matched but the thought of everyone showing up wearing dresses that don’t match terrifies you, then go simple and play stylist for your girls. Create a Pinterest board and pin as many dresses as you can find that fit your vision (and are available in your girls’ sizes at appropriate price points), and let everyone shop from your board. This makes it easy for your girls to shop, and ensures that you love every single dress they pick.

If you’re somewhere in the middle of wanting to give your girls a little shopping freedom, and wanting to pick everything out yourself, host an online shopping night! Invite your girls over for a night complete with bevvies, snacks, and laptops for online shopping. Create a vision board to serve as your fashion night decor, and let everyone hit the internet to find the perfect dress.

If having everyone together in one room isn’t possible, get creative with some happy shipments to your girls to share your vision. Send each of your girls a little mini bubbly and fabric swatches to shop on their own. If you’re doing multiple colors, send each of your girls a different swatch to make sure you get variety.

No matter what colors or style you choose, or how you coordinate with your bridesmaids, remember that they all just want to look great so your day will be perfect. The mix-matched trend makes for pretty photos, but don’t forget the day will be made perfect by all the girls you’ve chosen to be a part of the day, not just the dresses they are wearing 🙂

To shop bridesmaids dresses, check out some of our favorite shops in Atlanta:

www.anyabridal.com

www.formallyyoursga.com

http://www.bridebeautifulinc.com/

http://www.weddingangels.com

http://www.impressionbridal.com

Photos by Cottrell Photography. To see more of this wedding, visit http://www.cottrellphotography.com/blog.

 

4 Wedding Planning Tips You Need to Know

We love weddings around here (obvi), so we know you are inundated with tips from every girlfriend that’s ever gotten married, your family, your future in-laws, and probably your hairdresser and manicurist, too. So, we’ve culled all the tips down to a list of our top 4. These tips are super practical and “why didn’t I think of that?” tips for a fun season of wedding planning.

1. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves before you book or buy a single thing.

It’s easy (and fun) to get caught up in every single detail for your wedding – flowers, invitations, place cards, candle votives, calligraphy, shoes, hair accessories, and at least 100 other pretty little things in between. But, time and money can be tight so you shouldn’t feel like everyone expects you to have all of those things or that you’re missing out by not having every single one.

Before you get started planning, dream up your list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Have you always dreamt of having hanging flowers at the altar and you can’t imagine any other time in your life you’d ever have them? Put it on the must-have list. Do you think the hand calligraphed envelopes are gorgeous but not sure your guests will appreciate? Put it on the nice-to-have list. As you start to plan and make your decisions with vendors, refer back to this list. It will help you make decisions faster and easier by reminding you what you really care about.

2. Google Docs should be your BFF.

Make a master spreadsheet document to hold your budget, guest list and vendor comparisons to share with all of the VIPs in your wedding planning process. Having a collaborative document for the guest list and seating chart will save you countless hours of back and forth with your parents and in-laws to make sure you have the right address for Aunt Fran, and that Cousin Bill isn’t sitting next to Cousin Joe after what happened at the Thanksgiving dinner table last year.

You can create spreadsheets, word documents or work off a blank canvas with Google Slides to get everyone on the same page with your perfect wedding vision and plan.

3. If you’re not using a planner, you simply must have a Day-Of Coordinator. 

While all of the beautiful things you’ve picked out will wow your guests and make your wedding one of a kind, events are made perfect by behind the scenes logistics. A Day-Of Coordinator will ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you don’t have to spend a single moment worrying about if the band arrived, a guest finds their seat, or if someone parks where the getaway car is supposed to pick you up.

Having a set person in charge with a full picture of the night is the difference between losing track of time and realizing the band is on their last song while you’re mingling with your coworkers sitting at a table, and having a coordinator give you a 20 minute heads up that the night will end soon and make sure you’re on the dance floor to enjoy the last bit of the party. And trust us, your vendors and wedding party will thank you for having a coordinator too.

4. Include some alone time for you and your new spouse on the wedding day timeline.

Having all of your favorite people in one place celebrating you means you and your new hubby will be doing a lot mingling. While you’ll definitely have time together on the dance floor, you’ll be surprised how hard it is to find alone time together if you don’t account for it in the timeline. It can be just 15 minutes between the ceremony and reception after the photographer has taken pictures, but it’s a chance to just be together and soak in the excitement (and maybe have your caterer bring you some hors d’oeuvres to snack on if you aren’t having a sit down dinner!).

You’ll want to remember every single thing about your wedding day, and this alone time will be a chance for you two to reminisce on the day so far and gear up for the night ahead to help you do just that.