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Wedding at the Bowery Hotel | Alison and Andrew

A wedding at the Bowery Hotel was the perfect way to spend a warm summer day last year. Allison and Andrew were married in a whimsical, beautiful wedding surrounded by dahlias, sunflowers, and freesia.

Their chuppah, styled in front of the grand fireplace at the Bowery Hotel, was decorated with kitchy props that reflected their personalities, travels, and hobbies. It was such a cute idea! Scroll down to see how we hung them on the chuppah to seamlessly blend in with their wedding flowers. I can confidently say that this was, and probably will be, the only wedding with a hand weight, cowboy hat, wooden spoon, and chopsticks on their chuppah.

Thumbs up to everyone doing things their own way.

Photos by A Heart String Wedding Co.

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How to Quickly Figure out a Floral Budget

This is a friendly PSA that Mother’s Day is this Sunday. What does this have to do with the floral budget for your wedding? Well, Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days for florists around the county, coming in a close second to Valentine’s Day. This gives you a great opportunity to see what a florist can do for certain price points and apply that knowledge when deciding on a floral budget for your wedding. Even though you’ve probably never had to purchase floral decor for a dinner party of 100 people before, you might have ordered flowers for your mom.

While your browsing those online floral shops or stopping into your local florist, take mental notes of the size, shape, and types of flowers that are used in what you are buying. Say you paid $80 for an arrangement with a $20 delivery fee. That’s $100 for the floral arrangement you sent to your mom. Would you use that same exact floral arrangement for your centerpieces? Is it big enough? Does it look sparse? Do you like the flowers used? Or is it really small, with flowers you aren’t into, in a cheap vase?

The quickest way to figure out a rough budget for your florals is to use the knowledge about flower arrangements that you already have from sending flowers to loved ones. Remember what those arrangements looked like upon delivery and how much they cost. You can use those numbers as a rough starting point as you create the budget for your wedding.

Using the $100 example from above, assuming that you thought the arrangement delivered was adequate for your wedding centerpieces. For this example, we’ll also assume an average wedding size of 150 guests for a sit down dinner, 3 people in each wedding party, personal flowers for parents, and some ceremony florals:

$80 per centerpiece x 15 centerpieces = $1,200

Bridal bouquet = $150

$75 x 3 bridesmaids = $225

$20 x 4 boutonnieres = $60

Personal flowers for two sets of parents = $150

$200 x 2 ceremony urns (twice the size of the centerpieces) = $400

Estimated total: $2,185 before tax, delivery, and set-up fees.

Remember, we are putting that same exact arrangement your mother received for Mother’s Day in the center of your reception tables here. For anything bigger, more complex, using nicer high-end flowers, in a different vase, or with the addition of candles will be an increase in cost. I’m sure what you sent your mom was lovely, but does it look anything like the inspiration you pinned on your wedding pinterest board? Probably not.

When you sit down to make your wedding floral budget, think about the money you spent for the product that was sent to your mom on Mother’s Day. Use that one arrangement as a rough guide to deciding on the floral budget you are comfortable presenting to prospective florists.

ps…need help shopping for a florist? I wrote two posts that are super helpful in making that decision: Choosing a Florist Style over Price (my recommendation) or Choosing a Florist Price over Style.

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3 Decor Items to Buy First for your Wedding

While I was writing my brand new e-book (officially launching tomorrow), I got to thinking the order of decor items that a couple would need to buy for their wedding. Sure, the checklist of all of the decor that one needs for their wedding is impossibly long, although securing the first three things often sets off a wave of productivity. Once these are set in stone, everything else seems to fall in place around them. And what better feeling during designing your wedding when it all starts to seamlessly come together??

Designing a wedding comes with so. many. decisions. What colors? What theme? Where do the tables go? What shape tables do we want? What’s a charger? And so on. Make these first three decisions for your wedding decor and the rest will come easy.

One: Flowers

First, decide if you are going to DIY or hire a professional florist. There are pros and cons to either option, honestly, even though most florists will tell you that you are crazy to attempt to DIY your own flowers. Alas, not everyone can afford a professional florist. That’s OK. Make the decision and get started. You’ll want to decide on your floral color palette, what types of flowers you love (or hate), and what floral pieces your wedding will need. From there, make a DIY plan or hire a professional florist to make your vision come to life.

Some florists book out months, maybe even a year, in advance. We’ve been hired up to 18 months in advance to design flowers for weddings. Securing your flowers at the beginning stages of designing means that you will be able to hire your first pick of florist and you might be able to spread your payments out over the next few months.

Two: Furniture Rentals

Similar to florists, furniture rentals are a first come, first serve industry. Especially if you are looking at one off furniture, like vintage or custom made lounge pieces, or if you are working with boutique rental companies, their inventory often gets snatched up well in advance of an event date.

Even if you are renting your dining tables from a big box rental company, making the decision on what shape and size tables you want now will let you make other design decisions much easier. You’ll know how big your centerpieces should be, what linens to rent, how many table numbers to order, etc.

Three: invitations

Your invitations are the first visual element of your wedding design that your guests get to see. They should match the colors, formality, and aesthetic of the design of your wedding decor. You can choose between a DIY route, buying something pre-designed like on Minted, or hiring a stationery designer to custom design your invitations. Once you have your wedding color palette and mood board done, you can take that to a designer or look on Minted to find a design that matches the best.

When deciding on paper stock and print technique, think about the formality of your wedding. Is it black tie? The invites can reflect that with a thicker paper stock, some metallic foil accents, and pretty hand calligraphy. Are you throwing a casual affair? Use a basic stock, maybe a fun envelope liner, and whimsical postage stamps. Tossing these bad boys in the mail box makes the wedding finally feel real.

There you go! My recommended first 3 decor items to tackle for your wedding design. Have you tackled any of these yet?


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