Sunday, April 1, 2012

Betsey Johnson-Inspired Wedding Style Shoot

Some days, I think I’m nuts.

.…seriously cuckoo.


I crave color constantly—the brighter the better. Bonnie and I are both like this, but surprisingly in the wedding flower business, we don’t get to use it as much as we’d like to.

We work with a lot of ivory, champagne, and the palest of pinks. Clear glass with clean lines, mason jars and bubble bowls. Lanterns, mint julep cups and moss.These are all extremely elegant and romantic looks, but a little tame for 2 gals that REALLY love leopard print, lots of sparkles and hot pink (I mean…I have purple hair right now.)

One fine day, we were sitting in the workshop and sorting through the morning’s emails and Facebook posts. I seemed to be reading, responding to and looking at post after post on vintage style weddings (heck, we had just finished a vintage photo shoot days earlier!) I looked down at the Betsey Johnson necklace I was wearing and said, “you know what? We should do a Betsey Johnson themed wedding…” Bonnie looked back at me and simply said, “let’s do it!!” and POOF—and idea was born. A really fabulous, unique and DIFFERENT idea.

***Side note: Bonnie and I love ADORE Betsey Johnson. Her designs are playful, expressive, completely feminine and full of humor. If this woman made frozen meals, makeup and house wares we’d both be seriously broke…broke, but FABULOUS.***

Next plan of action? Why to FACEBOOK, of course! I posted a blurb asking if any of our vendor friends would be interested in participating in a Betsey Johnson-inspired wedding shoot. We would have never imagined what came next…our inbox began to FLOOD with Facebook posts, comments and even messages about the shoot! So many people were interested in participating! That was a very thrilling and exciting day for Bonnie and me.

The first step of the design process was easy for me—I just went to my closet! I pulled out all of my beloved Betsey jewelry, scarves, pieces of clothing...even her signature rose print pajamas! We love to design around textures, prints and colors of fabrics, so that was a great place to start.Now I was ready to create an inspiration board for all of our vendor friends to see. I pulled together swatches of leopard fabric, bright yellow and turquoise Betsey heels, neon makeup, Technicolor flowers, bold black and white stripes, sequins, glitter, over-the-top gold flatware, glitzy lamé and of course…lots of HOT PINK! This process was a lot of fun, because with Betsey, pretty much anything goes. She never seems to take herself or her designs too seriously and that makes them so much more fun.

We then planned a meeting for all of our OUTSTANDING vendors a well as a space walk through at the Noah Liff Opera Center. The Liff Center is an amazingly chic and modern venue that can be transformed to look like anything your heart desires.This meeting was FABULOUS! Everyone was coming up with fantastic ideas left and right. It was an absolute pleasure to have that many creative minds working together in one room. We had: Sarah Willard of Music City Events and the Noah Liff Opera Center as our coordinator, Gregory Bylerine as our photographer, Rachel Vich from Betsey Johnson Nashville (HUGE thrill to have the store on board), Audrey Ball from Music City Tents and Events, Juanita Lane from Dulce Desserts, Pam Hogancamp from Ribbons of Chocolate Catering, Sunny Fitz from SUNNYBAND for her headpieces , and last but not least--Amy Lynn Larwig as our Makeup Artist! Our original ideas began to grow larger and before we knew it, our motto for this shoot had become, “go big or go home”. I can’t tell you how incredible that feeling was.

***There were a few extremely important vendors that were unable to make it to the meeting, but were a massive party of the planning and shoot: Bob McClung of REM Entertainment /Weddings for lighting and music, stylists Meghan Parkinson and Jo West (who doubled as one of our awesome models) from Salon P’Nash, Link and Tayla Tipton from Blue Nova Designs for draping and backdrops, Rachael Street from Street Tuxedo, Stephanie Resch from Relish for paper goods, and Heidi Schwartz from Paint Your Event for live event painting!

The next few weeks were spent diligently planning and shopping—it didn’t hurt that Bonnie and I love to shop, let me tell ya. We established our main color palette of hot pink, fuchsia, black & white and glitter (is that a color?) and set off to find some treasures. We focused on our local craft and decorating stores making many trips back and forth to Hobby Lobby, Trees and Trends, and believe it or not--Party City! Most of these design trips seemed like more fun than work--especially picking out linens with Sarah Willard and Audrey Ball at Music City Tents and Events. We giggled like little girls under floating parachutes of fuchsia and gold lamé, zebra stripes and 1980's rose prints...TOO fun!
Bonnie and I really love to design our event florals around linens and prints--grabbing from wonderful and unexpected accents colors or shapes. Picking out the linens and dresses/accessories at Betsey Johnson Nashville were the first major steps and served as springboards for the rest of the design elements!

In addition to picking out what we like to call "dry goods" to decorate this Betsey-fueled ceremony and reception, the flowers were naturally our main focus. We wanted an EXPLOSION of color. Bonnie and I chose hot pink carnations, fuchsia orchids, bright orange roses, royal purple carnations, pink mink protea (with an extra dash of hot pink), pink tulips, pink spray roses, teal-tinted eryngium and yellow craspedia.
We also added a splash of whimsy and rock n' roll with FANTASTIC zebra feather balls, hot pink and black ostrich feathers, black and white beaded sprays, jewels, and leopard accents!
We took advantage of some of the amazing silk (I see you cringing) flowers available now. We scooped up jet black phalaenopsis orchids and roses and angelic white gerbera daisies covered with a smattering of iridescent sequins, beads and sparkles. We even found an extra surprise for our bride's bouquet--a tiny white feathered bird covered in the same embellishments. Again, it's Betsey...ANYTHING GOES!
All the while, we managed to stick to the main design elements we started with: hot pink, black and white stripes, and animal print. Along with the flowers, our collection of crystal-encrusted vases, mirrored glass cubes, bright bird cages, candy-colored bottles, and giant paper blossoms completed our playful look.

Shoot day was kind of a dream come true. I woke up with electricity pulsing inside me, ready for an unbelievable day. Load-in began early and each one of our "friendors" seemed to top the last. Everyone brought their triple A, solid gold, top notch game that day--i mean it! We quickly moved from scene to scene throwing linens, zipping dresses, pinning boutonnieres and setting centerpieces. It was a whirlwind, but SO MUCH FUN at the same time! I made sure to put together a spunky playlist for the day full of Betsey-fied artists: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Cyndi Lauper, Paramore and Beyonce. Our poor models probably heard each song about 17 times each, but still had fun gettin down.

This day was honestly fantastic. It was really a testament to the unimaginable artistic ability of wedding professionals in Nashville. We all took a single inspiration and ran with it. I think Mama Betsey would be proud of the playful and just a tiny bit naughty look we created. Can you imagine the ideas that we'll come up with next? I've already got a few saved in my brain for a rainy day--I cannot WAIT to share them with you!

Again, a MASSIVE thank you to all of the Nashville Wedding Professionals who agreed to come on this WILD ride with us. You are so very talented. And also, a big thanks to our wonderful models:

Kendall Gemmill: Bride
Billy Gemmill: Groom (yes, they're really married!)
Rachel Vich: Bridesmaid
Liv Blankenship: Bridesmaid
Jo Smith: Bridesmaid
Ryan Carter: Groomsman
Tom Dupree: Groomsman
Chris Scott: Groomsman
Nick Britt: Bartender

Check out our Facebook Page for ALL of the shoot pictures done by Gregory Byerline!

XOX, Amy + Bonnie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

North vs. South: A Tale of Two Weddings

Ok everyone, I (Amy) promised that I would start blogging in the New Year...and here I am! Resolution number 1 is being obeyed--so far.
While I was thinking about what to write for my first blog post at Belles Fleurs, an article that our friend Bill Emmetts from Divine posted definitely caught my eye...
He shared a piece from the Huffington Post about "The End of the Vintage Wedding Trend."
Basically, the article explained that vintage weddings along with their mason jars, mismatched furniture and wildflowers are on their way out. Themes are beginning to shift more towards that of the Royal Wedding: sumptuous whites, (crown) jewel tones, sleek metallics and a richness and opulence fit for a Duke and Duchess.
I get it. Really I do. Millions of future brides and future mothers of brides watched this real life fairytale unfold before their very eyes at 3:00 in the morning. The timeless and classic, borderline old Hollywood feel was just begging to be recreated. It's gorgeous...but does it work everywhere?
On a recent trip home to New Jersey, I found myself describing my new job to several of my parents' friends. I immediately started talking about all of our vintage weddings! They are fun and funky and when done right, can have so much personalization and personality. I think I managed to get out the word "burlap" before the suspicious looks started rolling in...
"Mason jars?...wait, like for jam?"
"So, none of the plates match? or the chairs??"
"People actually serve fried chicken and iced tea?"
I couldn't BELIEVE that these classy women had never heard of anything like this before! They know a wedding world of banquet halls, baroque hotel ballrooms and chic restaurants. They know floral sculptures, art installations, ice block initials and rich colors. They know shellfish towers, beef wellington, champagne cocktails and hazelnut dacquoise cake.
They DO NOT know burlap and twine, vintage brooches, milk glass, mustard and gray, mismatched silverware, succulents, collard greens or red velvet cake.
Honestly, it's all about the area that you live in! A vintage wedding might seem strange or out of place in New Jersey, but then again a big "royal" wedding could be too stuffy for Franklin, TN. Our area just begs for the vintage wedding. Look at all of the Antebellum plantations, mansions, and re-vamped factories in the area!
Now back to Jersey. Mason jars and Queen Anne's lace would stick out like a sore thumb in a plush hotel's ballroom. But--gorgeous royal purple rose topiaries, gunmetal linens, stone crab claws and a cake ball sculpture of Rodin's "The Kiss" would be juuuust right (...let me just have that one, ok?).
The bottom line is: both of these wedding styles are great! ...and not going anywhere! I really would love to be able to do a vintage wedding somewhere in New Jersey, though. Any takers?
Anyway, back to work now! I'm ironically about to post pictures to our Facebook page from a VINTAGE WEDDING photo shoot that we did last month. The pictures turned out great! Hope you all enjoy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meridith and Nathan- May 29, 2010

Meridith and Nathan, thank you for letting us be a part of your special day! We wish you all the happiness in the world!

Friends and fellow vendors that helped make this day possible:

Church: Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reception: The Parthenon
Cake: The Bake Shoppe
Catering: A Catered Affair
Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston, The Bride Room
Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston from Priscilla of Boston Atlanta
Mother of the Bride Dress, Mother of the Groom Dress, Veil, and Flower Girl Dress: Designs by Sara Marie
Hair: Brides by Mary
Make-Up: Amy Lynn Larwig
Wedding Planner: Sarah Willard of Music City Events
Invitations and Programs: Southall Eden
Lighting: REM Entertainment
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Photographer: Jen McDonald Photography
Videography: Baughman Media
Music: The Nashvegas All-Stars

Thursday, September 9, 2010

April and Brock- April 1, 2010

April and Brock, we wish you a lifetime of happiness. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day!

Amazing vendors who helped make this day possible:

Church: The Donelson Fellowship
Cake: Wedding Cake Design
Reception: Two Rivers Mansion
Photographer: J.Michael Photography
Wedding Planner: By Hearts and Hands

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Go-City Centric

Looking for a fun way to personalize your wedding? Go “city-centric” and highlight the places and landmarks where you first fell in love and will begin your new lives together as husband and wife! Each city is so unique and bursting with ideas to help couples personalize their big day, while being able to share with guests a bit of your relationship history.

As the owner of Brooklyn-based paperie, Lion in the Sun, Melinda Morris is an expert on wedding trends and has helped many soon-to-be-wed couples utilize the uniqueness of their city in their wedding planning and motif.

Here are a few ways to put the “city-centric” wedding trend to work for you:

- Use an picture of a landmark in your city, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge or the Sears Tower on the invitation

- Instead of numbers, name tables after popular neighborhoods in your city

- Use a vintage postcard from your city as a Save the Date

“For so many couples, the city where you live really sets the tone for who you are and your lifestyle,” says Melinda. “Whether it’s where you met or where you live now (or even a combination), using city-centric themes in your wedding is a great way to make guests feel connected to you and the city you love.”

(Reblogged from Premier Bride's Blog)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ashley and Daniel- October 3, 2009

What a fun wedding to be a part of!

We first met Ashley at a local event and from then on it seemed as if we saw each other all the time. As a VIP Magazine of Williamson County staff member, Ashley is a regular at all the must attend events in Nashville and Williamson County.

Ashley was an absolute pleasure to work with. She is truly sincere and has a smile that will warm your heart!

After months of planning, Ashley wed her soul mate in a romantic ceremony held at St. Phillips Catholic Church in Downtown Franklin.

Ashley was absolutely stunning, carrying a bouquet of ivory roses and hanging green amaranthus. She was joined by four bridesmaids, who wore the most beautiful latte gowns. The bridesmaids carried bouquets made of Charlotte and Black Magic roses as well as red dahlias. A gorgeous combination!

The reception at Monell's at Historic Lillie Belles was held immediately following the ceremony. Monell's is one of our favorite wedding venues, as it offers a beautifully intimate setting. The tables set up in the back yard were adorned with cylinders of varying heights, floating candles, and pomanders of red roses and Mokara orchids.
Guests enjoyed the ambiance, food catered by Monell's, and a mouth watering cake from Sweet Dreams Franklin. It was an amazing evening spent celebrating Ashley and Daniel's love and new life together.

The entire evening was beautifully captured by VIP photographer, Alison Ball.

We had such an enjoyable time working with Ashley and Daniel! We wish them nothing but the best in their life together!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Premier Bride Nashville Magazine 2010

We are super excited about this issue and you should be too! It is chock full of information for any bride and bride to be. Plus, you can find our work all throughout the magazine.

Pick up your copy today or browse the entire magazine online!