Guest Blog: Kathleen Varner

How to Get the Most Out of Working With Your Florist

Rachel and Noah Ray bride bouquet giant flower greenery natural

Most people have never worked with a florist before and it’s hard to know what to ask for to get the most out of your wedding day flowers.  Here are a few must-know tips before meeting with your florist:

1.     Come to the first meeting as prepared as you can. 

Be ready to share as much as you can about what you would like your florals to look like.  It’s ok if you do not know what the flowers are called (pinterest boards are always super helpful). There are so many directions to go and showing some form of inspiration, no matter how little, is a great jumping off point.

2.     Trust the florist knows what flowers will perform best for your wedding day.

We want your flowers to look amazing and hold up all day long.  There’s no worse feeling than ordering bunches of something only to have it come in looking frail and wimpy. While we are able to get more and more varieties year round, certain blooms hold up better during certain times of year.  Your florist also knows certain types of flowers that may only be available around your wedding date to make it extra special.

3.     Give them a little creative freedom.

Hopefully you have selected your florist because you like their style. Trust that they have your best interests in mind.  When you allow your florist some creative wiggle room they are more inclined to want to go above and beyond and deliver more than quoted.

4.     Let them know what’s important to you.

Flowers are expensive, and we want to give you everything you want and make it look like the pinterest board of your dreams.  If certain things are especially important to you to have, let us know and we can allocate the best for those and come up with less expensive solutions for others. 

5.     Think Big!

I love a big statement piece, or two!  Especially if you are working on a minimal budget, it’s important to spend your Monday wisely.  Rather than trying to spread your dollars to have something on every table, invest in one or two larger installations.  It will make a major difference in photos and wow your guests!

 

Kathleen is a Birmingham based florist and stylist.  Her business, Edna K, comes from her first name (Edna) after her grandmother.  With a background in prop styling, art direction and graphic design Kathleen brings a unique and artful perspective to her floral design. Visit her website for more information ednakdesign.com or email her at Kathleen@ednakdesign.com.

 

Bustle Bride: Heather Pike Tate

We are over the moon to announce that our new Bustle Bride is the beautiful Heather Pike Tate. Heather and her husband, Corbitt, began their forever together on a lovely June day. Heather and Corbitt said "I do," in Birmingham, Alabama at Bridgestreet Gallery and Lofts.

Football brings people together, especially in the south, and Heather and Corbitt's love story is no exception. Heather attended an Auburn and UGA football game with a friend who knew Corbitt and his family. They stopped by his family's tailgate, and he and Heather met and hit it off. Two weeks later they ran into each other again at a charity event and, as Heather says, "the rest is history.

Heather fell in love with a gorgeous Augusta Jones fit & flare gown, and she looked nothing short of stunning on her special day. We so enjoyed having Heather in our store, and we're so glad she found her gown at Bustle! She had such kind words about her Bustle experience. "The dress buying experience at Bustle was so easy and fun.  Meredith is a true gem of a person and got me as a person and my style.  I had the actual, "this is it" moment which is not my personality."

Everyone told me the ceremony was going to be a blur but I remember being very present the whole time. It was the best feeling ever, hearing and speaking the vows. The second and close second is watching Corbitt tear up the dance floor while Tim Tyler played, just like his college years. It was hilarious and so fun!

Vendors:

Dress: Bustle

Alterations: Hollow to Hem

Caterer: Savoie

Cake: Birmingham Breadworks

Stylist/Creative, Florist, Paper: Kathleen Varner

Venue: Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft

Makeup: Saige Mathews (@saigeolive)

Hair: Hannah Holmsomback

Photography: Meghan Murphy, A Still Breath Photography

Guest Blog: Wendy Dessler

The Perfect Destination Wedding Proposal

Photo courtesy of Jett Walker Photography

By now you have gotten to know this lovely person you are with and you have come to the conclusion that you want to spend the rest of your life with them. You want to propose, but you want it to be unique and unforgettable. The idea of a ring over the dessert plate just doesn’t do it for you. Here is an idea that will make your proposal one that will never be forgotten.

Instead of planning a destination wedding, suggest a luxury vacation to a romantic place like Hawaii. Set the date out far enough to allow you time to prepare. Order tour packages and all inclusive deals from places like Hawaii and begin your plan.

Enlist the help of a friend or family member to set up a free Plumfund account. Make sure the account is set-up to say it is TOP SECRET. Make your account for wedding expenses. Your guests can contribute to the wedding in lieu of wedding or engagement gifts. Things like hotel expenses, romantic dinners, the wedding gown, transportation, and activities are all listed and your guest’s chip in, as a way to wish you well.

Choose a romantic hotel, overlooking the sea. Plan your activities around romance and adventure. There are so many beautiful sites and experiences on the islands, you will not find it hard to do. Visit ancient volcanic, black sand beaches, enjoy a luau, or go diving.

Do some research on wedding packages that are available where you are going. A small wedding on the beach with a reception at sundown is beautiful. Ask your hotel what kind of venue and package they can provide.

Keep the number of guests low, as this is a private and personal event and people will have to travel to attend. As the time nears, choose a florist, caterer, baker and minister or official to perform the ceremony. You can start dealing with the wedding gown, however, purchasing one has never been easier. Select a designer gown, off-the-rack at Bustle, and take it home with you from the shop!

Roughly six months before the event, arrange a dinner or small party. The theme of the party is the “Hawaiian vacation”. Present your partner with travel goodies such as luggage, swimsuits, video cameras, gift certificates for tanning, and create a computer presentation of the wonderful adventures you have planned. At the end of your presentation, present them with a beautiful gift box that includes airline tickets, itineraries, and travel brochures. On top of the paperwork, place an engagement ring and a card that reads, “Let’s make this a vacation that begins forever. Will you marry me?”

You can review all the details later. The plumfund account will relieve any worries they may have. They have six months to finalize the details and get their wedding attire. Any money left over can go for the honeymoon.

By using the proper channels, you can have a destination wedding of your dreams for a lot less than you expect. This is going to be a once in a lifetime adventure and the beginning of a beautiful life together. Your friends and family will gladly cooperate in order to give you and your future spouse such a unique and wonderful gift.

With careful planning and patience, you can do this. It is worth the effort because your union is worth the effort.

Author Bio: Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
 

Bustle Bride: Jacquelynn Myrick Dunn

Jacquelynn Myrick Dunn is our newest Bustle Bride! She and her hubby, Chris, began their happily ever after on a gorgeous fall day! On her special day, Jacquelynn wore a fit & flare gown that had the most stunning lace detail. She was an absolute dream when she said, "I do." We're so thankful we had the chance to help her find the perfect dress!

When Jacquelynn and Chris were planning their wedding, they chose 3 values that they wanted to plan, not only their wedding day, but also their lives around. First was a life abundant by worshipping Christ, the second was a life filled with family and friends, and lastly was a life characterized by fun and adventure! 

When I walked down the aisle with my dad I could hear the band playing the instrumental to my favorite hymn “Be Thou My Vision,” saw over 350 of our friends and family in the garden to support us, and giggled as I saw my groom squinting at me in the bright sunlight. Our first kiss as husband and wife was the most perfect kiss of my entire life! This moment encompassed everything I had hoped our wedding day and life would reflect.

Guest Blog: Tiny Weddings Bham

How to Have a Meaningful & Minimalist Wedding

At Tiny Weddings Bham, we are passionate about celebrating romance in the simplest ways. We take the traditional wedding experience and distill it down to the most important and memorable parts. We love big weddings just as much as the next person, but we understand that elaborate celebrations aren’t for everyone. This is where we have found our niche—providing high-end, minimalist weddings full of meaningful details, with some of the top wedding professionals around. For couples working with a smaller budget, or those wanting to keep things peaceful and intimate, we would love to share some of our tips!

A Minimal Guest List

Guest lists can be one of the most painful and stressful aspects of wedding planning. It is important to decide at the beginning how many people you want to have attend your special day. It gets easy for others to tell you who “needs” to be at your wedding - from old family friends, to fourth cousins, to high school friends. But we suggest only inviting those who you have close and meaningful relationships with as a couple. At Tiny Weddings Bham, we limit our guest lists to under 30 people. If that number is too small, just make a list of your closest family members and your closest friends. Even if the number is higher than 30, chances are it will still be south of average guest list of 120.

Meaningful Details

We are here to tell you that your wedding can be upscale and minimalist at the same time. The key is to focus on having beautiful details without going overboard. We encourage you to pick a couple of key areas that you want to emphasize, and do them well. Pick a venue that’s already beautiful, such as an art gallery or historic home. Many smaller event spaces need very little help to be gorgeous. At Tiny Weddings, our efforts go into having a gorgeous altar, a pretty cake table and drink station, and personal flowers—that’s it! We take a few focal points, and we expertly design them so that they really shine. Share with your planner, florist, and photographer your vision for minimal but impactful, and ask them to work their magic in your key areas.

Minimal Food

Food and beverages can easily become the most complicated and expensive aspects of your wedding. The easiest way to keep it minimal is to have your wedding during non-meal hours. Consider having your wedding around 10:00 AM and serving light brunch food like a fruit tray, mini quiche, and mimosas, or having your wedding around 4:00 PM and simply celebrating with cake and champagne! You might be surprised how beautiful minimal food styling can be.

A Minimalist’s Wedding Day Timeline

At Tiny Weddings Bham, we aren’t afraid of hitting the highlights. Our couples have a ceremony, cut cake, toast champagne, mingle with their guests, and then have a photoshoot with the photographer. It’s a simple and relaxed experience that lasts around 2 hours. Some couples host after-parties and we love that idea, too! A wedding day does not have to be a long, marathon day, it can be short and sweet and equally (if not more) intimate and special.

We hope these suggestions for how to have a meaningful, minimalist wedding have been helpful. If having a Tiny Wedding sounds fun to you, we would love to chat! You can contact us or learn more about what we do at www.tinyweddingsbham.com.

 Tiny Weddings Bham is a collaboration of Birmingham’s best wedding professionals, curated to give you an exceptional experience without the huge wedding price tag. We come together once a quarter to provide a short and sweet experience for couples to get married in style.

Vendors:

Tres Beau Weddings

Photos by Heart

Jennifer Woodberry Photography

Gold Leaf Floral

Studio Flower

Swan Lindsey Lettering

Bustle

The Nest

Clubhouse on Highland

Décor to Adore

Bandit Baking Co.

Olexa’s

Pastry Art Bake Shoppe

Savoie Catering

Bustle Bride: Caitlin Ogren Green

Our first Bustle Bride Feature of the month is Catilin Ogren Green! Caitlin and her hubby, Andrew, said, "I do," on a beautiful Friday evening in May. They both wanted a wedding with a more intimate atmosphere, so they had 31 family members in attendance for the ceremony, then extended the celebration with friends on the following Saturday!

Bustle owner, Meredith, helped Caitlin find her dream dress! She chose a gorgeous strapless lace gown by Essence of Australia, and she looked absolutely radiant on her special day!

I’d say one of the best parts of the day was having such a relaxing and enjoyable day. We loved having a small intimate dinner with just our family, then we met up with all of our friends at Otey’s after dinner. We had another small party on Saturday night at my in laws house with Saw’s BBQ and Big Spoon Creamery catering. We had a blue grass band, and it was again another amazing relaxed evening with family and friends.

Vendors:

Photos - K. Olis Photography

Hair and makeup - Boma Beautiful

Church - Highlands United Methodist Church

Dinner - Birmingham Country Club

Florist - Susan Geddie

Bustle Bride: Helen White Lee

This week's Bustle Bride Feature is the beautiful Helen White Lee! Helen and her hubby, Hunter, became officially Mr. & Mrs. on May 28! They said, "I do" at The Nest in Avondale and had their wedding planned through Tiny Weddings Bham!

The couple knew that they wanted an intimate wedding, so they invited immediate family and their closest friends that made up 25 guests! Helen explained, "we were able to laugh and giggle at the alter together, recite personal and heartfelt vows to one another, and enjoy our special day with those who have been with us throughout the course of our relationship."

Our sweet bride chose a gorgeous Ivy & Aster gown that fit her oh so beautifully on her special day. She looked nothing short of stunning, and we're so glad we had the opportunity to help Helen find the gown of her dreams! She has the sweetest smile and the most genuine spirit, and we absolutely loved having her in our store!

Hearing the vows Hunter wrote to me was by far the greatest part of my wedding day— hearing the person you love most stand in front of a (small) crowd and promise you forever, no matter what it takes, gives you a whole new perspective on what God’s purpose for marriage actually is. In that moment I had a clearer vision of my life than ever before, and a greater love for my husband than I had ever experienced up to that point. I truly believe that the entire day was perfectly orchestrated by God, because it was everything we ever dreamed it would be and more.

Wedding Planner: Ann Marie Leveille//Tres Beau Weddings// Tiny Weddings Birmingham

Photography: Photos By Heart

Florist: Gold Leaf Floral

Lettering: Swan Lindsey Lettering

Catering: Savoie Catering

Baker: Pastry Arts

Venue: The Nest

Hair/Makeup: Sophia Cross

He put a ring on it! 3 tips for planning a bachelorette party on a budget

Courtesy of Guest Blogger: Aimee Lyons of diydarlins

Image courtesy of Unsplash by Colin Maynard

Being asked to be someone’s Maid of Honor is, well, a huge honor. Your beloved friend is trusting you, out of everyone she knows and loves, to help ensure that her wedding day goes according to plan. Of course, being designated as Maid of Honor also comes with a lot of responsibility, both during and leading up to the wedding day. One of the most fun responsibilities, however, is planning the bride’s bachelorette party.

As we all know, a bachelorette party is a night to remember. You want your friend to have the time of her life during her last night as a single lady - and you want all her guests and bridesmaids to have fun, too.

Bachelorette parties can be memorable bonding experiences, but they don’t have to break your bank. Even if your bride has expensive taste, you can still show her the night of her life while staying under budget. Here are some of our favorite tips for planning an affordable bachelorette party.

 Pick a theme

Ideally, this will be a theme that takes the interests and personality of the bride into consideration. Is Beyonce her favorite musician? You’ve got endless Queen Bey-themed options, from “He Put a Ring On It” balloons to “Feyonce” shirts. (See what I did there?)

Or you could go with the theme of her favorite television show or movie. From Parks and Recreation to Sex in the City, I’ve seen bridesmaids have a ton of fun getting creative with this one.

If you’re struggling to find a theme, maybe consider your friend’s hobbies or the story of how she met her soon-to-be-husband. I once planned a California-themed wedding for my Kentuckian friend, who was marrying an Australian man that she had met while vacationing in Malibu. The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to planning a theme for the big party.

 Pick a location

Although every bride dreams of a picturesque European spa getaway with her girls, it’s best to try to pick a location that is central to all of the guests, as people will have varying budgets and abilities to travel. Sometimes, it might be best to hold a bachelorette party in the city where the majority of the guests already live.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to scrap your plans if you had your heart set on a destination bachelorette party. If the bride loves to travel and the bridesmaids would love to join her, consider some weekend getaway locations that are driving distance and easily accessible by the majority of the guests. Ask guests if anyone has any mileage points, military discounts, or AAA memberships that could be used for discounts on hotel rooms and other services.
 

Decide who’s doing what

Delegate tasks to each attendee to avoid overwhelming any one person. It’s important to not delegate any bachelorette party tasks to the bride, however; she’s likely already got her hands full with wedding planning. Besides, this is the night that you’ll want to pamper her. Allow the bridesmaids to handling the planning for this ladies night!

While delegating tasks, be sure to have someone remind all the bridesmaids, the bride, and the other guests to take care of any home security needs before departing for the party. The last thing you’ll want is to put a damper on the weekend by discovering someone’s home was broken into while you were partying.

As you can see, there’s no need to stress about planning and affording a bachelorette party. It’s even possible to plan a destination party on a budget! With help from the tips listed above, you’ll be able to throw a flawless party that honors your friend while creating memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Cheers!

Aimee Lyons loves DIY and spends every bit of her free time on pet projects--crafting, refurbishing furniture, remodeling rooms, turning her yard into a landscaping masterpiece, and her latest interest--DIY weddings! She created DIYDarlin.com to share her DIY knowledge while also serving as a forum to learn from other DIYers.

Bustle Bride: Jessica Lewis Whitfield

The beautiful Jessica Lewis Whitfield is our newest Bustle Bride! She and her hubby, Daniel exchanged their vows on a gorgeous March day in Avondale, Alabama. They had such a special ceremony with Jessica's precious daughter as the flower girl. During the ceremony, Daniel made his vows to Jessica, then he made a vow to her daughter and gifted her with a necklace. It was an intimate and heartfelt moment for the family.

Jessica looked nothing short of amazing when she and her daughter began their happily ever after with Daniel. Her wedding gown by Watters looked like it was made for her; it was a match made in bridal heaven. The lace detail is incredible! We had such a great time helping this sweet bride find the gown of her dreams.

My absolute favorite part of the day was our ceremony. Everything about it was perfect. From his vows, which he started with “Dear Darla” from the little rascals, one of our favorite movies and something we joked about for months. And especially the very end right before the pastor said “you may now kiss your bride” my daughter, who he is raising as his own, ran up and hugged him. So we were all together as a family for our first kiss. It was so special!

First steps after the proposal

Guest post courtesy of Becky's Brides

While ‘engagement season’ is technically during the new year, it seems like there has been a summer wave of proposals and engagements sweeping the country! It’s so exciting to scroll through social media and see all the shiny rings and big, happy smiles. For newly-engaged brides-to-be, wedding planning can become very stressful very quickly. We’re sharing our top five items to check off your list after he’s popped the question!

Photo courtesy of Eric & Jamie Photography

1.     Work on your guest list - Finding your perfect guest list number will help the rest of your planning fall into place. You need a rough estimate to make sure your venue can accommodate your crowd! Sit down with your family and your new fiance and try your best to come up with a number that works for everyone!

2.     Set a Budget - Although budgets are the least fun part of planning, it is definitely a necessary evil. Your budget will be very important in choosing every vendor to carry out your vision! Make sure everyone who will be contributing financially to your wedding is in attendance at this budget meeting.

3. Shop for dresses – Dress shopping is one the most fun parts of the wedding planning process! Don’t waste any time when it comes to booking your appointment (we know the fabulous ladies of Bustle would be happy to help!) because your dress will set the tone for your entire wedding! Be sure to surround yourself with your close family and your best friend as you spend the afternoon trying on gorgeous gowns until you find THE one.

4. Hire a wedding planner- This may seem bias but it is so true! A planner is a wedding industry professional so while you haven't ever planned a huge celebration like this, your wedding planner has!  You need someone on your side to guide you and most importantly, be there for you on your big day! A wedding planner is a must-have for your engagement season.

5. Enjoy! - This is such an exciting time in your life! While the task of planning your wedding may seem daunting, find time to sit back and enjoy this season with your new fiance! It will fly by and your big day will be here before you know it!

Photo courtesy of Alisha Crossley Photography

Cheers to all the precious brides-to-be! Soak in this season and try your hardest not to stress. This is such a special season in your life and your wedding day will be the best day ever!

Becky’s Brides is a full service wedding planning studio. Our team plans flawless, Southern wedding in Birmingham, Alabama and beyond. We intentionally build relationships with our clients in order to design a wedding that is a true reflection of our couples’ style. Our mission is to serve our brides while delivering a joyful wedding planning experience! Be sure to visit us at www.beckysbrides.com. To chat about your upcoming wedding, don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@beckysbrides.com!