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August Bride of the Month | Tosin

Meet Tosin, our August Bride of the Month! Tosin and her fiance Segun are getting married at the beautiful Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree with TWO weddings to honor their cultural traditions. Read more about this couple’s amazing story! 

How did you meet? Segun first introduced himself to me on Facebook. We talked for a few months and he eventually crawled his way out of the friend zone and we agreed to meet in New York. We met at JFK and the rest is history. We had an amazing weekend and fell in love. 

How did he propose? The Atlanta Botanical Gardens has always been special to us. When I was living in California, I visited Segun and we went there on a date. It was a special day and made me fall in love with Atlanta, I moved here shortly after. New Year’s Eve of last year,  Segun arranged for us to go to Garden Lights with family and friends. To my knowledge, we were just going to admire the beautiful lights, but he had other plans. We found ourselves alone in the gardens and he started talking about the last time we had visited and the promises we made to each other. He then opened the door to a wall of flowers where our family and friends were (plus more family on FaceTime), and he asked me to marry him. I said YES!

What is your overall vision for your wedding? I want my wedding to be timeless, beautiful and influenced by culture. We are Nigerian, from the Yoruba tribe, so will be having a traditional wedding on Friday while the regular ceremony and reception will be on Saturday. The traditional Yoruba wedding involves kinsmen from the bride and groom. The groom will make an entrance with his friends and family to ask for his bride from the bride’s family. After the family members have accepted, the bride is ushered in and they start a ceremony of marriage. Ultimately, I hope my guests leave the entire wedding weekend feeling the love between Segun and me.

Which wedding details are you most excited about and why? I am most excited about walking down the aisle with my brother and seeing old friends and family. 

What has been the most difficult and most fun part of wedding planning? The most difficult part of planning has been the level of detail that goes into planning a two-day wedding – while working and going to school full time.  The most fun thing about planning a wedding has been having a partner I can laugh with so I don’t sweat the small stuff!

Congrats, Tosin and Segun! We can’t wait to see the wedding photos. 

Engagement photos courtesy of Inije Photography

From the Expert: Cake Trends

Today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite part of weddings: the cake. We spoke with Amanda Karmazin of Gigi’s Cupcakes at the Forum about the latest wedding cake trends. 

What’s one of your favorite cake design trends of the moment? I love the Fondant Rosette Ruffles that are trending, they add great texture to a cake and can work for both rustic and glamorous styles. We have also had a lot of request for Sequin Cake layers, We created a cake in January that had both of these on it and since it was during the ice storm we used snowflake sprinkles as the sequins! 

Which cake trends do you think we’ll see more of this fall? I think we’ll continue to see buttercream cakes with rustic textures and fresh florals. The wooden stumps as cake stands are on-season for fall, and gold accents will stay, too. Flavor wise, I always suggest our Pumpkin White Chocolate flavor. It’s perfect for a cozy fall wedding and also one of my personal favorites. 

What modern shifts are you seeing from the traditional white fondant cake? One of the biggest shifts is away from a tiered cake. We do about 50/50 of a tiered cake for cutting and guests, and then a small cake for cutting and cupcakes, pies or treats for guests. Another interesting shift is toward the fake cake! The fake cake looks like a large tiered cake, but is actually just one real tier, and the rest is cardboard. In the back, we have sheet cake cut to serve. This is a great option for the budget-conscious bride, as it’s easier for the bakers and decorators to prepare the fake cake and sheet cake ahead of time. 

What is the cake selection process like working with your team? Cake tastings/design process is typically pretty simple. Couples schedule an appointment to come in. Our tastings are $25 and include 4 cupcakes from that days case to try and then we sit down and go over design and flavors. They are given a quote before leaving and as long as they book within 30 days of their tasting the $25 goes back towards their final balance. This process is made way easier when a Bride knows what she wants as far as design. I typically suggest that they bring in any pictures they have found for inspiration, and we go based off of what they like. 

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? My favorite thing is getting to meet all the different couples and vendors. I particularly love seeing some of the venues – there are tons of places I would have no idea existed until I delivered a cake there. 

For more information on Gigi’s custom cakes, visit https://gigiscupcakesusa.com/location/norcross-georgia-ga/. 

 

Currently Coveting: Puppy Pics

We can’t resist a pup in a bowtie or a tuxedo. More couples are incorporating their furry friends in their wedding festivities and not only does it add a special  element to the day, it makes for some great pics!

Whether you have a shared pet with your fiance or your pet is your BFF/baby, there are plenty of ways to include your furry friend in your big day.

Photo by Cottrell Photography

Engagement shoots are a great way to include your pet. To keep them calm (and photogenic), opt for an open outdoor setting and keep it to just you and the photographer. 

If you want your pet to a part of your wedding day but you’re not keen on your them being a part of the big show, keep them with you for those priceless getting ready photos. Plus, having your pet by your side will rid you of any wedding day jitters.

If holding a dog in your pristine white dress isn’t your thing, you can still let the boys have a little photo fun with man’s best friend. 

Don’t leave your pup without the proper attire, coordinate their bowtie or tutu with wedding colors. A small dog in a tutu: swoon. 

Including your pet in the ceremony is an extra special way to have to them a part of your day, just don’t be surprised if they come in for a hug during the vows! They love you, and that makes for a picture-perfect moment. 

Photography credits:

Cottrell Photography

Craig O Brist

Peter Togel 

July Bride of the Month | Melissa

Meet Melissa, our July Bride of the Month! Melissa and her fiancé Boo are getting married on September 16, 2017 at the Biltmore in Atlanta, GA. Melissa and Boo’s Atlanta engagement session took them for a stroll along the Beltline, a stop at Ponce City Market, and fun in the park. 

How did you meet? We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in 2013 and began dating a month later. 

How did he propose? Boo’s cousin asked me to attend a work event with her at Piedmont Park.  When we walked through the Charles Allen drive gate entrance, I noticed many people lined up along the walkway and people with signs near the lake.  Honestly, I thought it was the finish line for a 5k.  When I got closer, I realized the people holding up the signs were my parents and his family members.  The signs had photos of my Boo and me throughout our relationship on one side, and on the other side the signs spelled out: “Will you marry me?” He proposed to me in front of the lake with the Atlanta skyline providing a beautiful backdrop.  Of course, I said yes!

What is your overall vision for your wedding? Our vision is a Filipino/Catholic and Inidian/Hindu fusion wedding that is sophisticated, fun and colorful. Think Kate Spade styling Rita Hayworth on the set of a Bollywood movie. 

What has been the most difficult and most fun part of wedding planning? The most difficult but equally most fun part of wedding planning has been creating an interfaith ceremony that is meaningful to us, respectful to our families’ cultures and traditions, and enjoyable for our guests that will come from all religions and backgrounds. 

Which wedding details are you most excited about and why? I’m most excited about what I’ll be wearing. I’ll be wearing a traditional white wedding dress, mixing it with 1940s hair and makeup, henna on my hands and feet, and Indian bracelets and head jewelry. 

Congrats Melissa and Boo! We can’t wait to see the wedding photos. 

Engagement photos by Peter Togel Photography

Behind the Design: Millennium Chic

Atlanta’s skyline is a coveted backdrop for any venue. At the January 2017 Bridal Extravaganza Show it provided a source of inspiration for the Designs by TTOC display with City Club of Buckhead and Imperial Events.

Keep reading for a look behind the millennium chic design with Antionette Smith Jones of Designs by TTOC.

What was your inspiration for this design?  We met at the City of Club of Buckhead and immediately were inspired by the windows and city view. Our display at the show was in front of a window so it was a perfect tie-in. We wanted to incorporate the windows and create a clean, millennium, upbeat look.

What color schemes, textures and themes were included?  We included soft traditional elements with white and pastel blooms, but had a pop of fuchsia in the napkins that brought in a youthful element. We also used clear acrylic chairs to become a part of the decor, rather than take away from it. The acrylic aids the clean look and doesn’t engage too much chair, like a wood chair might, it’s just enough.

What’s your design process like? I always start with the space. You want to work with the venue and not against it. We had one thing in mind for this display then saw the windows and were inspired to adjust the design – sometimes you have to do that, even with brides. I start with sketching the space and then thinking through the different pieces I want to design to complement it.

 

What is your favorite thing about weddings? My aha moment of why we do what we do is always when a bride walks into the room. I love seeing a bride’s face light up because you have created something that beautiful and exceeded her expectation.

 

Display Contributors:

Floral Design: Designs By TTOC

Planning: Imperial Events

Venue: City Club of Buckhead

Photography: Janet Howard Studio

 

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. 

Behind the Design: Lush Greenery

We’re as excited as brides to check out the latest design trends at Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta. Our January 2017 show had a particularly stunning design inspired by Pantone’s color of the year, and a trend we’ll never tire seeing: Greenery. 

Here’s a look behind the scenes of the lush design with J. Wilbur of Eventscapes. 

What was your inspiration for this design?  We created our stunning showpiece around the concept of “Greenery” – the Pantone color of the year.

What color schemes, textures and themes were included? We focused on primarily green flowers (which for a long while, brides did not know existed), dramatic white phaleanopsis orchids and hand selected foliages. The textures were intense as we created our “tabletop” design along a row of hedges, that could easily be made into a communal table with an extra layer of glass! The hedges were softly lit on top with the latest LED battery op lights. Atop the hedge row were long neck vases allowing the phals to be the focal point, while lush floral created the base; white and greenery hydrangea, green roses, white stock and lively green hypericum berries. 

What’s your design process like? It starts with identifying a bride’s vision or color scheme. With either of these in place,  we begin to talk about style and the overall tone for the wedding. Believe it or not, it is not always “romantic.” Some brides prefer an edgy look with stark design styles while others may prefer vintage or classic!. Once the style is selected, we discuss the options of containers and fabrics to create the look, and continue until the overall feeling is expressed. From these inputs, we create a story style proposal that walks a bride through the day from start to finish. This is one of my favorite parts of the process. While time consuming, brides love to hear the story of their day. Once they take a few days to process, we sit down again and tweak or change the vision, or move forward as-is. 

What keeps you inspired?  I enjoy the company of other great designers and event professionals in the industry, locally, nationally and internationally. The time spent with others is often the greatest education and certainly the most memorable. Conferences and continuing education are also great inspirations,  as well the clients themselves!

What is your favorite thing about weddings?  I enjoy working with other event professionals throughout the creation process as well as the day of.  I also love when a bride tells me “this is perfect, it is more than I expected” or “you made my wedding exactly what I wanted.”

Meet J. Wilbur with Eventscapes at the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on August 13th at Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree!

Display Contributors:

Floral Design: Eventscapes

Venue: Ventanas

Photography: Janet Howard Studio

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!