Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Hot Seat: How to pick a Florist

In The HOT Seat: Aaron Vieri, Flowers of Winter Park "Aaron, What tips would you give brides that are starting the florist search?"

When it comes to choose the flowers of your wedding day, there are various facts to consider:
Color scheme.
Are the flowers I want available in those colors?
Are they in season?
What is the expense for a peony? Rose? Hydrangea?

Let’s begin with choosing the florist for your wedding. Do your research! You usually will hear about a great florist from a friend or perhaps experienced someone’s work at a wedding you attended. Call or email the florist to set up an appointment. Once it’s time to meet with your floral designer, bring pictures, sashes, or even a color palette of the flowers you are interested in. These tips will make the meeting process easier and more fun because your florist will get an idea of what you are looking for and the idea you want to portray.
In your first meeting, make sure to ask to see photos of their previous wedding work. This will ensure the capabilities of your florist. Feel out the vibe the florist gives you. If your florist pays attention to your wants and needs, you are probably in good hands.
If your florist says your choices are no good, not available, or out of season, without giving you options; perhaps take a second look elsewhere.
Your florist should make you feel comfortable. They should aid your ideas and expand them with a professional touch. Never let a florist take over. Remember, it’s about blending your vision with theirs to create a unique event. If the flowers you seek are not in season, make sure you’re given options that can be substituted and yet create a similar look. Be realistic about your wants and needs in terms of your wedding budget. Mention to your florist you have a specific total budget and they will work it out with you. You do not need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to create the florals for your wedding as long as you are realistic. A small centerpiece can still be beautiful and create a statement.

When you do receive a proposal from your florist, ensure that you have details of everything from the flowers that will be used, colors , rental items, and that delivery/setup/strike are mentioned. This will help eliminate a miscommunication.

Once you made the decision to book your florist make sure you or your coordinator keep constant contact. If you were recommended a florist, like their work, and you click well – book them. If you wish to shop around, pick the floral designer that gives you options and a good price. A few tips from a professional:
1- Take consideration that some of your wedding colors may not have a “perfect match” in flowers. However consider creating some contrast with coordinating flower colors to mix and match.

2- If your big day is going to be outdoors in the middle of summer (you might think it is crazy bit it really happens!) make sure your florist gives you the best choices for a hot summer day. Your look should be unique, but not wilting in the heat. Select long lasting blooms.

3- Sometimes brides react with a laugh, and say, “that’s too much” or “that’s outrageous.” I’d like to provide the behind the scenes reasons why your floral budget may have you bummed. First, many brides do not take into consideration the “labor” of their project. Brides see a bouquet in the magazine and they think they’re paying for some blooms and that’s it. Unfortunately, sometimes preparation for a wedding can takes hours and even days. Take this into consideration when you see the bottom line. Perhaps ask your florist how much labor will be required to pull together your dream wedding and be understanding if you have a unique design. Most florists will also charge a delivery and setup fee to ensure the floral pieces are perfectly in place and ready for the big show. They also may be on site to accurately move ceremony d├ęcor to the reception. If you do the math, think of what you save by reusing flowers. Any florist that will not move flowers isn’t interested in your business. Many of your items are not purchased either. Rentals account for much of a centerpiece or ceremony setup. Vases, candles, accessories are things that are rented, while the flowers can be removed at the end of the evening to share with guests.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Marine finds Love

Run, don't walk, to your nearest bridal store to pick up the latest copy of Central Florida Bride! Inside, you will find a feature on fabulous couple, Jamie & Mike; married this year at the Ballroom at Church Street. Click here to read all about it on the Central Florida Bride site.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fav Etsy Find of the Week

A few months ago, I was introduced to Etsy by my creative, incredibly chic, and undeniable cute bride, Meagan (now bka Mrs. Jackson!). Ever since then, I have been engulfed in the pages of Etsy as I find more and more unusual and unique handcrafted jewels. Today I am featuring a fab Etsy find I came across. Check it out!

Serendipity Beyond Design

Newspaper Invite or STD:

Bachelorette Party Invite in Vegas:

Passport Invite:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who said you have to be traditional?

I would love to hear thoughts on this one......

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Real Weddings: Jessica & Darren

"From this moment" Jessica & Darren are husband and wife. We must extend a huge thank you to this wonderful couple for including us on their special day. The team at Puff n Stuff did a wonderful job, and the Ballroom at Church Street looked fabulous. ...but not nearly as fabulous as Darren's gorgeous Jessica. Boy oh boy did the Langleys & Lowes have a great time. Take a peek and see for yourself:

Photography by Brandy Burridge

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

YFA Trendsetter Nominated on WeddingChannel.com

The Your Fantasy Affair Trendsetter blog has been nominated for the "best blog" award by WeddingChannel.com. If you're a YFA fan, log on and give us your vote!

Nominate me for the WeddingChannel.com Bridal Blog Awards!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Style House on Small Business TV!

Tune in today, and today only, to see event designer and coordinator, Sarah Pickar Sleeth, interviewed on Small Business Television!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The HOT Seat: Finding a Wedding DJ

In The HOT Seat: Celebrity DJ Carl
"Hey DJ Carl, What tips would you give brides that are looking for a top notch wedding DJ?"

Planning a wedding is a lot of work and one of the most daunting tasks is securing a reputable and entertaining music source. Due to the vast number of disc jockey's serving Orlando, it can be difficult to narrow down the selection and choose the one who will provide a unique experience for your special event.

In any professional field, there are those who excel and those who act unethically; disappointing the client and ruining the event. Awareness and knowledge are the key to finding the right professional in the wedding entertainment field. It is important to do research on every DJ that you are considering. After gathering all of the necessary materials needed to make an educated purchasing decision, there are a couple of important questions you should consider asking your prospective disc jockey.

1. Meet the prospective DJ in person. A simple meeting will help in determining whether the DJ has the personality and most importantly entertaining style to manage your reception in a professional manner.

2. Ask the DJ/MC to vocalize how they would announce your wedding party introductions. Give them a couple names and have them prove to you that they can generate excitement and introduce your friends and family in an appropriate way.

3. Discuss the DJ's typical interaction with the guests. Ask them to explain how they involve your family and friends in the celebration. Ask about specific instances where they have encountered "unresponsive" wedding parties and how they revved up the energy of the party.

4. Ask the DJ how they typically work requests, dedications or special announcements into their program. Are they flexible during the reception? Think of different scenarios and have them explain their ideas and styles in working to keep the party moving smooth and effortlessly.

5. Ask about the music transitions. The DJ is vital to the flow of your reception music. A great DJ not only plays a variety of music, but the DJ should also play the right music at the right time. A great DJ can mix the music seamlessly and never allows any dead air unless someone is giving a toast or blessing.

Keep these 5 points in mind when meeting with all prospective DJs and you should feel confident in your final selection. The most important factor is that you feel comfortable and at ease while working with your DJ. Remember, it is your celebration. A professional and responsible disc jockey always respects and appreciates that and will go out of their way to help throw that perfect celebration!

photo of DJ Carl by Garrett Nudd photography

DJ Carl Williams is a highly sought after professional disc jockey and music trend specialist. He has been involved in the music industry for over fifteen years as a leading professional DJ and top Nightclub Entertainment Consultant. His extensive music industry knowledge and entertainment experience are extensive and well known in the industry. Learn more about Carl at http://www.djcarl.com/.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Introducing: The HOT Seat

As Sharia and I were chatting this week, we decided that the hot summer months would be an excellent opportunity to open up our blog to our favorite vendors. We're calling these guest blog entries our "HOT Seat." A chance for us to grill our favorite vendors on their expertise in their field. We've chosen several of Florida's finest and we can't wait to hear what they have to say. Stay tuned for tips on music, videography, flowers, decor, photography, and picking the ideal location.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WHAT'S HOT: Let Them Eat Cake!

You can have your cake and eat it too! When it comes to wedding cakes these days we expect the unexpected. There is pretty much nothing you can't get away with and the options are endless! From cakes adourned with flowers, cupcake towers, and individual mini cakes, the only thing that's really expected is for your cake to taste good!

Is your future hubby feeling left out? Surprise him or let him go crazy with his own groom's cake!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Can't Help Falling In Love" with Katie & Jason

May 9 brought us the wedding of Katie Brandon & Jason Farmand. Everything this couple did for the entire weekend was full of love.

Ceremony was held at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in College Park. Expert guitarist, William Colledge, played acoustic "Can't Help Falling in Love" as the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered the chapel, and switched tunes to "God Only Knows" for the bride's entrance. Aaron from Flowers of Winter Park did a fabulous job of decorating the church and reception. Reception was held at the Winter Park Civic Center. Katie and her mom, Pam Brandon, had a distinct vision for turning the civic center into a wedding reception dream. Puff n Stuff created tasting stations with such delights as Satch salad with flat breads, braised short ribs and mashed potatoes, shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes, and a mediterannean cous cous with lamb that would knock your socks off. The family's love for food was seen everywhere, including the 5 tier masterpiece from celebrity pastry chef Erich Herbitschek of Disney's Grand Floridian. A big thanks to David Burke and his assistant John for sharing these images. David & John did a wonderful job covering Katie & Jason!