We are excited to share this guest post from Stems Atlanta!
Getting married is an exciting time.There is so much to plan and so many fun thing to do. From dress shopping to popping the question to your bridesmaids to picking a wedding date, the list goes on and on. Undoubtedly, you have waited for this moment a long time and are ready to dive in to this thing called marriage. But first, let’s get prepared for the biggest party of your life! It’s so important that you not only have an amazing celebration, but that you also understand how to plan an amazing celebration. Today, I will be sharing 5 tips and tricks to having a successful floral consultation from start to finish.
Hillary Leah Photography
Ready? Let’s dive in…
#1 The first thing you need to do is your homework.
Research florists in the area of your venue or ones that would be willing to travel to your destination. Pick a few that not only service your area, but also fit within your budget. Many wedding websites and florist websites will give you a good guideline to florist minimums and package pricing
Ginger Snap Studios
#2 Decide on your budget
Before you determine your floral budget, it’s a good idea to figure out your overall wedding budget. You can best do this by asking newly married friends. Find a friend or two who just got married and who had a similar style wedding to yours (ballroom, reception hall, wedding barn, etc.) Ask they what their overall budget was and you can expect yours to probably fall within $2-3,000 of that. Your floral budget will comprise about 10% of your overall budget and if you are adding in draping, lighting, furniture rentals, etc., it may be closer to 12%
Shannon Ford Photography
#3 Pinterest it up!
Designers need to get inside your head. When I meet with clients my number one goal is to get to know them and their wedding vision. We talk about their partner, about how they met and what kind of wedding they foresee themselves having. Have you heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, nothing is more true in design. If you are able to show images of what you like and designs that fit your aesthetic, a designer can quickly interpret that to fit the needs of your budget.
#4 Determine your areas of impact
Areas of impact are where you focus you decor budget for drama. Some clients have an amazing ceremony installation that they choose to spend a good bit of their floral budget on. For others, it is the estate table at the reception or the lush and full bridal bouquet. Pick 1-2 areas of impact and tell your designer that those are where you want to focus your budget.
Camille Wilson Photography
#5 Don’t wait.
If you know you love the designer and they agree to the price-point you want to stay within, put down a deposit for your wedding day. I can’t tell you how many times I have done a consultation and the client does not respond to the proposal within the allotted time, thus opening up my calendar for that day. When they call to book weeks down the road, their date has been reserved by someone else. While many florists can accommodate multiple events in one day, the larger events require more staff and may cause that date to become blocked off and unavailable.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you in your planning journey and I hope to walk this journey with you, too!
Wedding invitations - where do you even start? In general, we don't send paper invitations or even mail to people much anymore. So now that you are faced with sending paper invitations to a huge list of guests for your wedding, it can be overwhelming. We've pulled together a few tips to hopefully take some of the stress off of you!
Save the Dates are Great
These allow guests to start planning in advance to be at your wedding. Save the Dates go out three to four months before your wedding. Include the names of the couple and wedding date. If you have a website for more information, feel free to add that on! This is just to put a placeholder on their calendar, so you don't need all the details listed.
Invitations should go out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This gives guests plenty of time to plan for travel, accommodations, etc. Ask for RSVPs about a month before the wedding so you can give final counts to the venue, caterer, cake, etc. And be prepared that not everyone will RSVP, so you will have to follow up.
Photo Shannon Ford Photography, Invitation Typo Boutique
Who is Invited
The names on the invitation let guests know exactly who is invited. Mr. & Mrs. Smith is just the adults, not the three children. Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Family includes everyone. Miss Jane Doe is just Jane - no date. Miss Jane Doe and Guest means she can bring a plus one.
Photo Mejia-Jones Photography, Invitations Ms Peach Plus Designs
Dress code details can be included in the lower right-hand corner of the invitation or on the RSVP card. Stick to standard types such as "Black Tie", "Cocktail Attire" or "Casual Attire". Your guests will always appreciate knowing the dress code!
Spell It Out
Make sure you spell out everything on the address - Road, Street, etc. Abbreviations are fine for Mr. and Mrs. but they shouldn't be used in the address.
Photo Camille Wilson Photography
That's the quick and easy version of wedding invitation etiquette! If you work with a custom designer, they can help you with wording. Larger companies like Minted make it easy also with standard wording you can customize with your details.
One additional tip, consider a calligrapher or other professional to address all the invitations - your hands will thank you!
Does the image of an intimate backyard dinner with string lights, garden style centerpieces, good food and great conversation make you smile? Us too!
We are giving you tons of ideas to bring that elegant but laid back backyard dinner party vibe to your wedding.
Bring on the String Lights
You can't beat the warmth and atmosphere that string lights bring to an evening party. They provide just enough glow as the evening begins and create a canopy overhead.
Andy Calvert Photography
Add a Lounge Area
Bring the comforts of home outside with some soft seating for your guests. Add a couple sofas and chairs, a rug and a few side tables to hold their drinks. Perfect for cocktail hour and for guests to rest their feet from dancing.
Think More when it comes to Dessert
Choose a few different desserts instead of one traditional tiered cake. Add a mix of cakes, pies, cookies - whatever your heart desires! Your guests will love the selection.
Add Color and Pattern to Tables
Consider unique table linens for cocktail tables, guest book table, etc. It will add a pop of color and elegance to the display.
Anchors Aweigh Photography
Drape Some Greenery
Add greenery to porch posts or walls behind a head table. This will continue the greenery of the landscape on the built elements.
Syd & Lex Photography
Lawn Games are always Great
Whether is Giant Jenga, Cornhole, ring toss or more. This keeps your guests entertained and adds to the fun.
Hillary Leah Photography
Small Details Make a Big Impact
Think place settings, garden inspired centerpieces, and more. Great table scapes encourage your guests to linger and enjoy conversation.
Add Comforts of Home
Blankets for chilly evenings or paper fans for warm days will help your guests enjoy the weather outside.
Serve Seasonal Fare
Think home grown and farm to table with appetizers, cocktails and more. Early spring? Consider strawberries in a salad. Moving into summer think blueberry lemonade or berry gazpacho. Fall is a great time for sweet potatoes and apples.
Hillary Leah Photography
The guest list. It drives so many parts of the wedding - including the venue choice and budget. But it can also be VERY stressful. We love these tips from The Knot for managing your guest list.
1, Make a plan on how you are dividing up the list
You will quickly find out in wedding planning it's not just your day! Your parents and your fiance's parents have also been looking forward to this day and celebrating you with people important to them. A good way to divide up the list is 50% of the guest chosen by you and your fiance, 25% chosen by your parents and 25% chosen by your fiance's parents. This can shift and often will - especially if you or your fiance have a big family. Talk through this early on so everyone is on the same page.
2. Dream big and then narrow it down
Start off listing everyone you would love to invite - don't worry about budget or venue size now. This gives you a master list if you decide to add on guests later. From there, determine what you can realistically fit based on budget and venue. Narrow down your official list to this size and start sending invitations.
3. Create guest list rules
Determine a few guide lines for guests who don't make the list. Haven't talked to them in more than 3 years? Probably not. Neither of you have ever met them or heard of them? Nope Don't think you will still be talking to them in a year (or after you leave your current school/job/etc)? Uh uh. Figure out what makes sense for you and your families and use these rules.
4. Make and A-list and a B-list
This helps you make the most of your guest count. Send out the A-list invites and ask for RSVPs early. If you have several that can't make it, then you can send out your B-list invites. Make sure these have a later RSVP date so they don't realize they were on the B-list!
5. Fill out names on the RSVP cards
If you want to make sure your guests don't add to your list on their own, go ahead and prefill the names on the RSVP cards. This will cut down on adding children, plus one's, etc. and help you stick to your guest count.
For more tips and the full article, check it out on The Knot here.
Is the venue a blank slate where you bring in all the elements or do they include decor? The answer to this question will impact your budget and your wedding style.
Does the venue include any draping or specialty lighting? These elements can be the most costly and time intensive to add, so if they have them available (and it's part of your wedding vision) it can save big for you. Our venue includes draping at the doors and outdoor porches along with plenty of draping string lights!
What about table decor and settings? Does the venue have a decor closet or inventory you can access? Do they include place settings or does the caterer? Access to a decor inventory can save you big time! All those little lanterns, votives, etc. can add up quickly. Plus, if they are already at the venue, you don't have to bring them in, take them out and figure out what to do with them after the wedding.
Our packages include place settings with porcelain plates, flatware, glassware and cloth napkins. It sets an elegant backdrop for dinner.
Come for a tour and see more of our decor inventory to start dreaming about your wedding!
Make sure you find out if your venue has a list of preferred or approved vendors. Are you required to use these vendors? Is there a fee if you use an outside vendor?
Florals by Stems Atlanta
Preferred vendor lists are a great resource for vendors that have proven themselves and are familiar with the venue. At Pleasant Union Farm, we have preferred vendors but they are not required. These are vendors we have worked with and we value their service and quality.
Cake by My Cake Lady Lynne
Catering by 61 Main
You can find a list of our preferred vendors under the Wedding tab on our site!
Having your ceremony and reception in the same place can save on your budget and is definitely easier on your guests. Make sure you ask the venue if there is a space for the ceremony. Also, if you are looking at an outdoor venue, ask about the rain plan.
Is the ceremony location easy to get to for your guests? Some ceremony spaces have beautiful views, but may require a bit of a walk to access. Is there a separate fee for the ceremony? Sometimes there are fees for the additional setup, chairs, arbors, etc.
The majority of our weddings have the ceremony and reception at our venue. The outdoor ceremony space is just outside the main reception space and is easy to access. The surrounding gardens and forest provide a gorgeous backdrop with views of the blueberry fields. Our large, covered deck provides a backup plan separate from the reception space.
Of course, you could choose to go through with the outdoor ceremony in spite of a pop-up shower like one couple did and it provided really cute pics!
Our all-inclusive packages include ceremony decor, a custom built arbor and all setup and breakdown. We would love to have you come for a tour and see the ceremony space for yourself!
Before you fall in love with a venue, make sure it will fit all your guests! Every venue has maximum capacity and some may have a minimum for prime dates. You want to make sure you aren't planning on too many guests or too few. If a venue fits up to 400 and you are only planning on an intimate wedding of 50, you might feel swallowed up in the space.
You also want to ask what the layout for the maximum capacity looks like. Will all your guests be in the same open space or spread out in separate rooms? Is the maximum capacity all in conditioned space or does it require outdoor space?
Our maximum capacity is set at 175. This provides space for a seated dinner for everyone in our conditioned reception space. Most of our weddings are in the 75 - 130 guest range. One of our favorites was a wedding for 30 guests with a 7 piece band! The band stage was inside along with ceremony and reception since the wedding was in July and air conditioning was important!
What about ceremony capacity - especially if it rains? For outdoor venues, do they require a tent? Does the rain plan require a room flip and is there an extra fee for that?
The majority of our couples are looking for an outdoor ceremony and we have a beautiful lawn and garden space. If it rains, we also have a large covered deck that will fit a ceremony up to our maximum capacity so you have a built in rain plan that is low stress for you and your guests
We would love to have you come for a tour!
If you live in or near Atlanta, GA you know the metro-Atlanta area is huge! The great thing is the list of venue locations gives you plenty of choices. Do you want in-town, fields and farmland, mountains or historic?
If you are looking for space and views, you will probably travel outside of the city about an hour or so. We are located right at an hour northwest of Atlanta. The venue is easy to get to from highways but still feels worlds away from the city or suburbs.
If you have out of town guests, there are hotels available within 20 minutes of the venue. They are right off a highway exit and easy to access the venue. Shuttles are a great option if you have a large number of out of town guests. And, did you know you can schedule an Uber up to 30 days in advance? This is a great option for in-town guests!
We would love to have you come visit and see if the privacy and views are the perfect fit for your wedding!
You know your date is available - yay! Now you need to know if it fits in your budget.
There are many factors that affect the cost, and every venue does things a little differently. You want to ask for ALL associated costs. Are there food or beverage minimums? Is tax included or added on? What about service fees? Are there required add on fees - day of coordinator, staff, etc.? Is there a separate fee for the ceremony?
We offer a few different rental options.
Venue Only Rental allows you to design your wedding with the vendors of your choice. We provide the space, setup tables and chairs, and cleanup after.
Our All-Inclusive Packages are perfect for the couple who wants a beautiful and low stress wedding planning experience! We pull together proven vendors for catering, cake, flowers, DJ and Coordination and walk you through the planning process.
When choosing an all-inclusive option, you want to make sure you are happy with the options included - food, cake, flowers. We offer tastings for our catering and cake options. Our bi-annual Open House events are great ways to get a preview.
You can find all the information and pricing on our packages here.
Hi - I'm Becky Kimmons! My husband, Cale, and I are the farmers behind Pleasant Union Farm. (It may be a bit of a stretch to call myself a farmer, but I'm learning as a I go.) Our dream and journey began in our engagement and marriage and allows us to celebrate weddings with couples and families. We are learning much about farming and weddings, and my goal is to share as much as I can with you!