Plus all the spring wedding flower inspiration!
If you’ve read this post then you know how much I love music! We listen to music at home, in the car, while we do chores…everywhere! I took music lessons all growing up, and now my own children enjoy piano lessons and dream of branching out to ukulele, harmonica, and voice lessons. Don’t ask about the harmonica lessons because I don’t get it either :)
So if you’re planning a wedding this year, it seemed fitting to compile a list of my top 5 favorite first dance songs. We’ve got a wide variety of genres, styles, and singers, so click the links and enjoy!
1. Perfect by Ed Sheeran
Let’s face it, this is #1 because we all know it’s going to be the top first dance song of 2018. Plus it's amazing. If you don't mind being on the bandwagon, just own it.
2. I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice
This song gets me every. single. time.
3. Can’t Help Falling in Love: Cover by Haley Reinhart
All the love for this uh-freaking-mazing cover of a classic!
4. The Luckiest by Ben Folds
If you haven’t heard this song before, what rock have you been hiding under?
5. I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
Hate his hair but love this song. If you’ve already walked a long road together, this one might be for you!
And if you're not much of a music junkie, I hope you enjoyed the lovely peach, blush, and lavender wedding flower inspiration. This spring pageant-style bridal bouquet is still a favorite of mine!
Rachel Reyes Photo
The Pear Blossom
J. Noelle Designs
The Tousled Turtle
The Charcoal Loft
4 Huge Mistakes Brides should Avoid when Selecting Vendors on Social Media
Thanks to sources likeInstagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, finding and booking your wedding vendors should be easier and more convenient than ever right?! False. Brides and wedding professionals alike are finding that there are many pitfalls and downsides to searching out vendors on social media and through hashtag searches. An informal poll of local leading Utah wedding vendors revealed the 4 main mistakes every bride is making when researching vendors online.
1. Obsessing over Feed Aesthetics
The #1 comment I hear from a bride is, “I’m obsessed with her work!” Brides looking for vendors simply hop on Instagram and search hashtags like #utahweddingflorist or #utahweddingflowers. They’re instantly bombarded with thousands of gorgeous images from vendors all across the state! Soon they start to notice that they keep liking images from the same 10 accounts, and they’re sucked down the rabbit hole of beautiful imagery, marketing, and pinning and emerge truly obsessed with that person’s work. They come to believe that they HAVE to have it or their wedding will be nothing.
Unfortunately, one good image doesn’t guarantee a gorgeous wedding. Feeds are “Best of” highlight reels, and too many brides make massive assumptions about the quality and professionalism of their wedding vendors because they have a feed full of eye candy. It’s not a bad thing to love someone’s feed, but once you find a vendor you think may be a good fit, you need to do more than obsess over their best. You need to head to their websites or blogs and research full galleries from real weddings. You’ll want to look and see if they have the experience and tools to work around your wedding parameters. Do their images still look incredible in harsh or low light? Can that florist also bust out 20 centerpieces and a ceremony installation, or is she just good at creating a bouquet? Social media hasn’t taken away the need to research and find someone that will be 100% from start to finish.
We also see this problem in reverse. Many talented, experienced vendors don’t need to invest the time and effort necessary to create the perfect social media feed. They’ve built a solid clientele and market through other avenues. They may post an occasional cell-phone shot of a bouquet, but it’s hardly editorial quality. These incredible designers get passed over because brides AREN’T obsessing over their feeds. Instead, they’re judging based on the lack of aesthetics in a vendor’s feed and passing over real talent. It’s more important to go to their websites, dig in, and do your research.
2. Size of Following Assumptions
Ever heard a phrase like ‘bandwagon’ or ‘mob mentality’? Even if you don’t consciously acknowledge it, high amounts of followers, likes, reposts, or chatter about a certain person’s Instagram feed is impressive. You’ve been mesmerized and sold on a person’s branding and often make wild assumptions because of it.
The biggest complaint from wedding vendors is that too many brides make pricing and skill level assumptions based on the size of a vendor’s following, but a following is not always an accurate way to judge price, experience, or professionalism. If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “Oh I love his/her work but he/she is so popular I could never afford them.” then you have fallen victim to these same assumptions. There are many, many factors that go into size of following, and none of them include pricing. Big name Instagram accounts often bemoan that brides think they are now somehow unattainable.
Or vice versa, someone like me with a more modest following is often judged as a discount wedding vendor. I’m frequently approached by brides who will “allow me to do their wedding for free in exchange for exposure”. Yes. You read that right. Because I don’t have a 10k+ following on Instagram, I shouldn’t be paid for my work, despite 14 years of education and experience in designing wedding flowers.
We all know logically that social media makes it effortless for everyone to create false assumptions about a person or business, but don’t let those assumptions keep you from creating your dream wedding. Go to a vendor’s website and request pricing info, ask how long they’ve been in the industry, or get referrals from friends who have actually gone through the design process with them so that you know what to expect.
3. Shortcuts with Mass DM’s
Another common complaint from brides is that social media introduces them to so many vendors that they are overwhelmed and can’t choose. Wedding planning already requires a million decisions, and the internet has just opened up another can of worms. Instead of just going to your local main street florist, you’ve now found 100 other florists to choose from. How will a bride decide?!
I can tell you that the most common method of sending mass DM’s to 15 florists at a time and asking them to quote you a price from a Pinterest picture you love is not the way to go about it. Most vendors need and/or require a sit-down consultation to design your wedding before getting you an accurate price. You may not realize your image is way out of your budget...circle arches anyone?! They respond with a quote based off of the image you sent and it's higher than you wanted, so you cross them off your list. but you’re not giving them the chance to have a face-to-face design consultation where they show you how to sub, what to prioritize, and where to cut in order to get the look and style you want in the price range you need. Being able to e-mail or message someone does not replace the need to meet in person and pound out all the details, but it is a great way to just check really fast and see if they even have your date available before you start the design process with them!
4. Not Knowing the Difference between a Styled Shoot and a Real Wedding
Welcome to the age of the internet where everything you see on there is real :) Oh wait. Sorry. That’s a lie, and one that confuses brides pretty quickly. Instagram and Pinterest set ridiculously unrealistic expectations because much of the wedding inspiration out there is staged. It’s totally faked my friends. It’s called a “Styled Shoot” and it’s where wedding vendors get together and create faux wedding inspiration for publication, to trial-run an idea before the big day, to create content during the slow season, network with other industry professionals (it’s like book club only 1,000 times more fun!) or just to stretch themselves artistically.
I absolutely adore these shoots, but lately I’ve noticed a little problem. My brides can’t tell the difference between the magic of a styled shoot on a small scale in a controlled environment and a real wedding. They put those same over-the-top staged expectations on themselves and their wedding without realizing how much it would cost in reality, or that the vendor they selected may not have the experience or tools necessary to re-create that look.
Ask the vendors you’re researching to see examples of real weddings, not just small scale style shoots where they can create the perfect setting in a controlled environment. It may rain on your wedding day, so ask you photographer for images in inclement weather, or insist on seeing before and after shots of real women from your hair and makeup artist, etc.
Above all, remember that the convenience of finding possible wedding vendors does not replace researching them. You may feel stressed and overwhelmed vetting vendors for your wedding, but if you don’t have the time to research them, will you have the time to deal with the issues that blow up in your face on the biggest day of your life? Time spent really researching your wedding vendors is a worth-while investment into your peace of mind and enjoyment on your wedding day.
Photo by Ella
The Pear Blossom
Bling It On Dress Rentals
A Bleak Mid-Winter Bridal Session
It's the middle of winter which means that right now, everyone is crossing their fingers and hoping against hope that those lovely white snowflakes will fall so that we're not in a draught come summer. Utah brides are rejoicing at the thought of stunning mountain bridals with romantic wisps of snow clinging to the tendrils of their softly elegant up-do's, but I know you my fair-winter weather friends! Come Valentine's Day, you'll be singing a different tune! You'll have had your fun of evergreens and pine boughs and blanket scarves and you'll just be trying to survive until spring.
Those formerly magical snow-covered woods now look a little bleak and dismal, but never fear...you can still have a lovely wintery wedding in January and February without it looking like a Christmas wedding! It's all in pulling on the native color palettes and foliage around you and even though the earth isn't as lush and bounteous in the winter and she is in the spring and summer, there's still so many lovely options.
I worked with Utah Bride Blog to design this lovely mid-winter wedding inpsiration. I wanted to mimic the natural winter landscape for my inspiration. Many brides worry that there won't be any wedding flowers available when they set a winter wedding date, but that simply isn't true! My heart was drawn to the frost and snow covered woods and the organic winter color palette of evergreens, deep browns, icy blues + grays, and stark white.
Winter is a wonderful time for berries, evergreens, pine boughs, and bare branches; all of which contribute fantastic elements of design. In the bouquet itself you’ll find white spray roses, white calla lilies, white snapdragons, white waxflower, white anemones, and white astilbe with pops of peach hypericum berry, peachy-blush Sahara roses, slate blue thistle, and deep brown curly willow, dried rudbeckia, and bare tree branches. All of this is rounded out with Juniper and darling little gray-blue juniper berries, fir, and pine branches. The result is woodsy, but romantic.
I also love these peach hand-dyed silk ribbons from Frou Frou Chic. They are perfectly paired with this cream and peach winter bridal bouquet, a great accent color to the pops of woodsy brown and dusty blue blossom, and add elegance and movement to your wedding flowers - especially if you're outdoors and pic up even just a bit of wind!
You can view the full Utah Bride Blog feature here, or see it in their online magazine here! And this was just Part 1 of this session, so stay tuned for it's companion post!
Jessica E photography
The Pear Blossom
Trumpet & Horn
Cyndi Johnson Beauty
Lovely Locks & Darling Dyes
What to expect from your wedding vendors on social media
So you've planned the perfect wedding and can't wait to share it with your family and friends on all your social media profiles. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest are just waiting for the inspirational wedding bomb that is about to be dropped into their laps! Guess what! We are just as excited! We've spent hours of hard work, stress, laughter, stress, tears, and more stress pulling together your vision because it became our vision. We're fully invested and we can't wait for our followers, clientele, and future brides to see what we're capable of.
Many brides, however, don't know what to expect or aren't prepared to see the biggest day of their lives splashed across social media. Some are thrilled and secretly hoping it goes viral! Others may be less-enthused because they don't like that particular image or it brings back the stress of planning a wedding. Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when you see your vendors posting images from your big day.
Let's use a Utah wedding florist as our example shall we? :)
Guideline #1: Permission to share images belongs to your photographer
A Utah bride should keep in mind that in most cases (you'll want to check your contract with your photographer) a bride has print rights only and cannot grant permission to share images, so vendors should be reaching out to the photographers for images from the events to use on their social media, websites, and blogs. If one of your vendors contacts you for images, in most cases you should refer them to your photographer. If you have any questions about who owns the rights to the images at the end of the day, you need to ask your wedding photographer and clarify that in your contract.
Guideline #2: Compensation and/or discount for use of images
Because it is the photographer's legal right to give permission to use the photo and not the brides, a bride should not expect compensation for use of images. Most vendors will state this in their contracts. So, as a Utah florist, I'm getting permission from the wedding photographer to share images, not the bride which means I will work out any compensation details with the photographer.
Many brides today consider themselves "influencers" and are hoping to receive a discount from wedding vendors for posting images on their social media profiles in exchange for "exposure". I don't know how else to say this, but in general, your following is not big enough to create enough exposure to be worth a discount. Before you scoff, let me ask you this question. Do you know and follow the florist from Pippa Middleton's wedding? How about Serena Williams? These people are A-list celebrities and faux-royalty and have had their weddings featured on every big name wedding account, blog, magazine, news channel, and celebrity magazine. They were watched via live stream by millions of people all over the globe. They shared their wedding images to their profiles that have millions of followers and gave credit to all their vendors.
I'm sure this resulted in an uptick in followers and several new inquiries, but it's a game of numbers. How many thousands of followers generate an inquiry? And how many inquiries does it take to land a wedding? This is a long-winded way of saying that your following of 3,000 doesn't have the number base needed to generate a final sale. The best exposure has been and always will be a referral. Pay for your wedding and get all the amazing work and talent possible from your vendors. And then as your friends get married and ask who they should use for this or that, pass our info along.
Guideline #3: Vendors select which images will be shared
A bride should be aware that images may be shared on multiple platforms. When I design wedding flowers, I usually post 2-3 times about the wedding on Instagram, update my portfolio on my website, blog about it, and share it to Facebook. I also upload the photos to Pinterest. I will use, on average, 30-40 images (possibly more) from each wedding, editorial, shoot, or event. With very few exceptions, vendors (not brides) select the images that will best portray their work and abilities and designate which images will be posted. We understand that you may not love every single image from your wedding, but don't expect vendors to remove an image or take down a post simply based off of your personal feelings surrounding the image. Again, it's the photographer's right to give permission to share images (see Guideline #1).
If you have special circumstances where certain types of images absolutely should not be posted for legal reasons, like images of foster children for example, this should be clarified with each vendor in each contract in advance. Above all, just keep in mind that your vendors are never trying to purposefully degrade, defame, or harm your reputation when posting images from your wedding. They're simply trying to market and keep up their portfolio and have received permission from photographers to do so.
Guideline #4: It's not my job to make your wedding go viral
In a world of social media influencers, where YouTube, Instagram, or blogging can be a full-time, paying career for some brides, they naturally want to see their wedding go viral. To put it plainly, it is neither the job of your wedding vendors to publicize your photos, nor do they have very much control over what goes viral. Anyone deep in the rabbit hole of social media should know that the algorithms pretty much make posting, getting likes, and building a following a crap-shoot (pardon my French :). You hired your wedding florist to create a gorgeous bridal bouquet, not send your brand viral. If you are determined to have a viral wedding, I would suggest hiring a PR/Social Media Manager manager for your event and trying to pre-book a publication with a Top 100 wedding magazine or online wedding blog. Your wedding vendors should never be held liable or responsible for the number of likes and comments an image or post receives.
Guideline #5: Handle sensitive matters privately
It's the sad truth that no matter how magical and talented your wedding florist or any other vendor may be, they're still human and may have an off day. Or maybe you had an off day, or your mom, or your future mother-in-law. With social media encouraging us to share anything and everything we ever think of with our entire following, our knee-jerk reaction is to jump online and start "venting" about that person. Let me caution you to avoid any degradation or defamation of reputation in a public forum. This could be seen as libel or slander and could result in serious consequences. If you have a concern, disagreement, or miscommunication with your wedding vendor, respectfully contact them in private. Showing respect, tact, and professionalism in your communications will go much farther than slandering a person online.
The same goes for wedding vendors. I can't tell you how many posts I see not naming names, but ranting about "bridezillas" or crazy mothers of the bride. If I were your client, this would make me feel incredibly insecure in our vendor/client relationship. I would always wonder if it was me and feel like I have to walk on eggshells to avoid a similar post about myself. We all get that there are some whack-job crazy emotional brides out there that are losing it over the style of their bangs, but don't publicize it. Keep it professional and keep it private.
Does this mean you have to pretend to be happy with services rendered online when it's quite possible your vendor did a horrible job? Absolutely not. But the difference between a bad review and slander is that a review is based on concrete facts instead of attacks on personal character. A review would cover concrete things like:
Guideline #6: Give credit for Intellectual Property
The internet is a black hole of plagiarism and IP theft. Work is stolen and posted and portrayed as one's own. Even Top 100 wedding journals, magazines, and blogs with supposed "journalists" will post a photo on Instagram with no credit to work seen in the image. Giving credit is a two-way street between vendors and clientele. Let's start with vendors...
Vendors: Unless brides have a wedding planner coordinating the event and keeping everyone in the loop, most vendors only know what is happening with their own business. We don't know where you bought your dress, who designed your ring, or who did your hair and make-up for the big day, so giving credit when posting can be very difficult. We're starting to ask brides for lists of websites and Instagram handles from all booked vendors in order to better credit our fellow industry members. Try to have this information on hand! Keep it on a note in your phone, in a printed list, or jotted down in a notebook. Or e-mail a complete list to all your vendors! Be sure and include you and your fiancee's social media profiles if you want to be tagged. This will allow us to give credit and help build our fellow industry professionals. Or if you'll just get me a list of the names of the businesses, I'll take the two minutes and Google their info myself. I just gotta have the basic info first.
Brides: When you share the images from your wedding, recognize that you are sharing someone's intellectual property. Give credit and tag vendors related to each image every time you post. If you post an image of your reception, tag the venue, the dress shop, the florist, the caterer, or anyone else whose work is visible in the photo. If you had a great experience with one of them, give a shout-out and recommend them to all your friends, family, and followers! Word of mouth is still our #1 source for new business!
Guideline #7: Critiques of the wedding in captions or blog posts
When designing a wedding, there's often a gray area between what the bride wants done and what the vendor would personally do. As a wedding florist, I see this a lot when brides put together color palettes or flower combinations that make me raise my eyebrows a notch or two :) It isn't how I would do it. It isn't what I would recommend, but that's not what matters. What matters is finding the sweet balance between steering my brides in the right direction and helping them acheive their dreams for their wedding. As an artist, however, I'm constantly critiquing my own work and you may see a caption about things I would change or do differently. Hindsight is always 20/20 right?! A bride may read on my blog or in a caption that I would have recommended a slightly different color palette, or that an upgrade to this flower would have been awesome. We strive to keep things positive online, but also want our feeds to be an honest and true reflection of ourselves, and let's face it... I'm never gonna like burlap as a wedding style. I'll do it, but that doesn't mean I think it's pretty! lol :) So if a vendor shares an opinion about your wedding, recognize it as just that...an opinion. And if you don't know it by know, let me be the first to tell you that posting an image or comment to a public forum is inviting the public to respond. If you don't want people to share their opinions don't share yours. But remember that you don't have to agree with vendors on every aspect of the wedding to have a great relationhip and get their best work! Just scroll on by and remind yourself that you loved your wedding and that's all that matters.
We're all still fairly new to social media etiquette and no hard and fast rules have been written like they used to about soup spoons in the olden days :) So I hope these guidelines help you know what to expect and how to navigate these waters! Be sure and share this with your friends who are getting married so that they know what to expect as well!
This cozy, wintry bridal session was created by the following vendors:
The Pear Blossom
Salt and Pepper Make-up
K Foster Hair
Plus some awesome donut puns
I’m a firm believer that Jesus is the way to peace, unity, and love for all mankind, but imagine my surprise to find that the close second to uniting all of humanity is… donuts. Oh yes my friends…DONUTS! When I worked on this moody antique whisky bar wedding shoot with Katie from Havenwood Design Co. we had no idea how much every single person in this world loved donuts. I mean, I knew people liked donuts, but the response to my donut cake was incredible, a little overwhelming, and so so fun!
Photo Credit: Summer Taylor Photography
Donuts: Art City Donuts
It’s, hands down, my #1 most requested cake and I get e-mails almost daily from brides all over the world asking me how to get that same cake for their wedding. I know society disagrees on a lot of hot-button topics right now, but if I’ve learned one thing this year, it’s that 98.7% of the entire world loves donuts and now it’s one of the biggest, most delicious trends for weddings in 2017.
I’ve seen donut bars, donut walls, donut towers, stacks of donuts as a wedding cake, cones of donut holes, and donut wedding favors, but I’ve love love loved seeing all the donut wedding cakes popping up as a result of our shoot. My favorite donut wedding cakes are where they incorporate the donuts into the actual cake flavors and decorations instead of just making a tower of donuts and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, so grab an apple fritter and a cup of cocoa, sit back, and donut leave until you’ve scrolled through all these gorgeous cakes!
This first donut wedding cake is an over-the-top confection featuring macaroons, popcorn, truffles, oreos, and donuts. I’m spying some fantastic glaze and chocolate-glazed donuts as well as cream-filled donuts at the bottom. Plus, the cake topper?!?! That thing is cracking me up :) Donut be jealous! I’m sure you can have one at your wedding! I found this image on Sam and Louise Photography’s blog and they mention at the end of their post that this was a DIY wedding cake and I’m sooo impressed with how well they did.
The next donut wedding cake by Peace of Cake Bakeries was featured on Bridal Vogue and while it’s a small wedding cake, it’s still an eye-catching statement piece, and I’m drooling over that chocolate drip. I also love how the cake was incorporated into the platters of donuts with a donut wall as a backdrop. For the DIY brides - check out this great tutorial by Shari's Berries for creating a donut wall in just 6 steps! If I were a guest at this wedding, you can bet I’d be holding down the dance floor right there…by the donuts. Donut ever let me go!!!
Joe the Baker and Krispy Kreme teamed up for this dreamy donut industrial wedding in Dallas, Texas. Bet you didn’t know that donuts and industrial went together, but they do…like bread and butter baby. Donut you know how much I looooove you?!?! You can see a full feature + photo gallery over on Ruffled Blog.
Photo Credit: A Sea of Love
This is actually one of my favorite donut cakes I’ve seen, and I donut want to disappoint you, but I can’t find the story behind it! The link doesn’t take me anywhere :( All I know is that someone turned 30 and I wish I had been invited to their party because that looks amazing.
The catering team for Entwined Events created this delightful, woodsy donut cake and I think it’s the perfect cake for a wedding that is right in between the fall and winter seasons. We’ve got all the yummy autumn flavors of cinnamon, sugar, and apple, but the evergreens and white chocolate drip make it feel romantic, woodsy, and a little wintry. This would be perfect for a rustic, cabin, or woodsy wedding celebration (but donut even think about incorporating burlap) Oh burlap, donut you know you’re dead to me?!?!
Photo Credit: Heather Kidd Photograph
And I can’t leave off without sharing this gorgeous creation by another local Utah cake artist whom I really admire! Keli with Sweetest Things Cake Shoppe is so talented and I love following her work to see what amazing creations she is going to come up with next. Her take on the donut cake is so clean, classy, and perfect for a wedding. I love how she has expanded the idea to three tiers and really made her cake a focal point. But, my favorite thing about it is the neutral color palette. It’s visually really easy on the eyes and just a pleasure to look at. And I’m willing to bet $100 (but not literally…you think I have a spare hundy laying around?!?!) that it was a pleasure to eat as well. I think it’s safe to say that we like this one a “hole” lot :)
And now I need an apple fritter, which is my favorite donut by the way and I’ve been dreaming about an apple fritter cake lately, so that may be happening here real soon. For the best apple fritter in the world, go to the bakery at my local grocery store Ream’s. Seriously, I’ve never tasted a better apple fritter in all of Utah, but if you think you know of one that might be better, drop the info in the comments below. I'm always willing to take one for the team and do a side-by-side testing :)