Frozen Waterfall First Look Session
Living as a Utah wedding florist in a place where winter can last for over 6 months, I've become a total wimp about the cold. I wasn't always this way. As recently as two years ago, I ran year-round regardless of the weather. This year? I have a sparkly, new pass to our local rec center. That said, it was a weekend and we HAD to get out of the house. We were going a little stir crazy, so we took the girls out to see Bridal Veil Falls in Provo, UT all frozen over. It's a short 5 minute walk from the parking lot, so no biggie here, but as you can see, one of them was spectacularly unimpressed.
While Jo-Jo here may not believe the sight was worth the bitter cold, I knew this would make a stunning backdrop for Utah bride Berkley and Conrad's first look session.
Conrad was able to walk up the trail and wait for Berkley out on the bridge overlooking the falls, while we helped Berkley get into her dress. It's always magic when a groom sees his bride for the first time!
Magical until your hands are purple with cold that is! It was a frigid 18 degrees Fahrenheit during this shoot, which I know is nothing to my follower from North Dakota, but to us desert brides Provo, you only go out in weather like this to ski or snowboard some of the best powder on earth.
I loved Berkley's color palette and style of bridal bouquet! We played with shades of mauve, burgundy, and navy using Amnesia roses, chocolate lisianthus, burgundy scabiosa, protea, safari sunset, thistle, and stock. This wedding bouquet has a loose, unstructured bohemian vibe with asymmetrical trailing greenery, and I love how the bare branches pull in that stark winter feel.
The real saving grace here is that Berkley and Conrad had two locations picked out, so we could jump in the car and defrost a little while we headed down to the Provo City Center Temple as a second location for a formal/bridal session before the actual day of temple wedding.
Some of you may think we're crazy, but if you were to ask Berkley and Conrad if it was worth it the answer would be an emphatic "YES!" They would do it all again in a heartbeat. Love these guys and their sense of adventure and enthusiasm. It's going to make for the best wedding day!
As always, so much amazing talent goes into creating and pulling off a wedding day and it definitely takes a village. These vendors helped create Berkley's frozen waterfall bridal shoot and are absolutely some of the best in their fields! I love working with each and every one of them!
The Pear Blossom
Wedding Dress Rental:
Marisa Rose MPH
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
Designing A Couture Wedding in Provo, UT
Let’s be honest here. Provo, Utah isn’t exactly known for being a mini Milan, Paris, London, or New York. When fashions and trends hit our scene, they’re literally 5 years behind Europe, and as they come over the Rocky Mountains and enter Utah County, they tend to take a little twist and become heavily adapted to our local culture and fashion scene.
A typical Utah wedding is cream, blush, and gold, with just a few pops of burgundy. Every bride is wearing a lace wedding dress of some variety, and has her hair down in loose, bohemian waves or curls. Admit it. You’ve been to this wedding a hundred times over the last five years :) It’s a lovely look, hence the reason it’s popular, but I worked with an amazing team to design a wedding that will prove to you that you can have an elegent, couture wedding right here in good ole’ Provo, UT. One that’s romantic, dramatic, and truly one-of-a-kind. You can also see this wedding inspiration featured on Utah Valley Bride!
The main source of inspiration for this shoot was this amazing artisan chocolatier shop named Taste. With an elegant black and antique gold exterior façade, an incredible interior design that can stand on its own as far as décor goes, in house artisan chocolates for guests to sample, and a fantastic menu, this is a dream venue for a small-town upscale wedding. Check the small town you live in, or one nearby! There may be a gorgeous historic building that will let you host an event!
Ashley with Hawkeye Photography and I designed our tablescape featuring Taste's beautiful built in gold tufted benches, marble tables, ghost chiavari chairs, and cream and champagne linens and chair sashes.
We’ve accented this with gold chargers, white gold-rimmed place settings, gold flatware, crystal stemware, a red accent goblet, and antique gold monogrammed trivets for the coffee cup. I love the neutrals and golds together with the pops of red and how it keeps the table stylish and classy.
To decorate each table, we’ve set out white pillar candles on mercury glass holders and small floral centerpieces and each place setting at the table has a bar of Taste’s artisan chocolate set out as their wedding favor.
Taste has a full menu to choose from, but we opted to highlight their absolutely divine artisan chocolates and this amazing charcuterie board filled with the most delectable meats, cheeses, nuts and fruit. To top it off they have something called “Sipping Chocolate” on their menu and when I tasted it, I basically swooned it was that good. I wish you could have seen us behind the scenes trying to put bits of bread and cheese or a spoonful of sipping chocolate into models’ mouths without spilling on raw silk because they’re wearing gowns that would cost me a glass full of unicorn tears and my firstborn child :)
The bars of artisan chocolate made exclusively at Taste were wrapped up as darling wedding favors or Thank You gifts for bridesmaids, vendors, etc.
The refreshing drink of choice to go with all this rich food was an ice-cold glass of strawberry mint lime Sprite. This was a super simple, DIY drink to freshen up a basic soda – just add a strawberry, two mint leaves, and a quarter of a lime – but it was a big hit all around. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I love finding easy yet fancy, family-friendly drink options, so win win!
Because this is Utah and Utah loves its DIY-ness, I created a DIY chocolate-themed seating chart for weddings that have sit-down dinners. I used 3” raw silk ribbons, black chalkboard stickers, and gold chalk markers (all from JoAnn’s) to create a seating chart. Then, I filled vases with Lindor truffles and set gold table numbers (from Partyland) down into each vase. Finally, each separate ribbon seating chart was placed with its table, ready for guests to come up, find their names, grab a few chocolates, and head to their seats. Forget laser-etched seating charts, or charts of artistic modern calligraphy and give me all the chocolate seating chart ideas!
Pam with Bitsy Bridal provided the perfect dress to go with our upscale venue; the couture, fit and flare, Anthony Gual gown “Erin” made from 100% raw silk. This dress felt like butter, my friends, and fit our model Cindy like a glove. The silhouette accented every beautiful curve in the most flattering ways and was breathtaking.
I love the smooth, clean lines of the silhouette, and I can’t get over how gorgeous and luxurious that raw silk is. Every step and every movement was sheer beauty and grace. FYI to all my Utah brides: if you’re looking for something a little more couture than a fitted lace dress, Bitsy Bridal is one of my favorite shops!
I’m totally wishing I could pull of a dress like that, but with my pear shape and birthing hips that have now birthed three beautiful baby girls, there would be a little too much squeezed into the bottom, and not near enough to fill out the top. One can dream amiright?!?!
Hair and Make-up Artist (HMUA)
To complete the bridal look, Julie from Blushing Blonde swept Cindy’s hair into an elegant chignon updo (and that’s all her hair people – no extensions necessary!) with just a few subtle tendrils framing her face.
Julie gave Cindy a formal “evening wear” look on make-up with a dramatic smokey-eye, but then contrasted that with a nude lip color. I love how this makes Cindy’s eyes full and gives them depth.
We love this stunning bridesmaid's dress from Ypsilon Dresses! Their Salt Lake formal-wear shop is filled with gorgeous gowns. For a truly chic, black-tie affair, go for one of these amazing black cut-out dresses. I love the sleek elegance of the silhouette and the beaded trim around all of the cutouts is absolutely increadible!
Our groom has some serious smoke show vibes going with his tuxedo from DC Tuxedos, a Utah-county based tuxedo shop. We chose a deep charcoal tuxedo with black lapels and black piping, a black vest, and a sophisticated charcoal on black striped tie.
Now if this were truly a traditional black tie affair, the groom would be in full black tuxedo/vest/tie, but I ended up falling in love with this tux at the tux shop and couldn’t resist putting my own little spin to “black tie”. It’s still very couture and very formal, but it’s not stuffy either.
We pulled in the true black tie tuxedo on our groomsman to match him to the bridesmaid. Our Groomsman is wearing a matte black tuxedo from DC Tuxedos with satin black lapel and piping, a satin black vest, and black tie. Black tuxes and bridesmaid dresses are the ultimate “black tie affair” attire, and will lend real elegance to an event if you’re going for the couture/luxury look. Plus, I have this little pet peeve about being able to pinpoint the groom amongst the groomsmen in wedding photos, which is almost impossible when they're all wearing matching tuxes, so keep that in mind when making your selection.
Nothing says dramatic, couture, and romance to me like deep red roses, but an all rose bouquet was soooo 2002. When I was designing these florals, I really wanted to find a fresh, modern way to design the classic red rose bouquet and I’m so so happy with the result. I took the red rose bouquet and added in burgundy peonies, protea, red snapdragons and alstromeria, and then accents of cream hypericum berry and curly willow to create a textural, romantic hand-tied bridal bouquet that feels luxurious, but also very natural.
I rounded all of this out with this amazing greenery, grevelia! It’s the perfect touch of wood-nymph on these red wedding flowers. It did make me break out into a light rash on my arms as I was designing with it, and a few other designers have mentioned this as well; however, our model didn’t experience any of these issues while just holding the bouquet, but if you’re prone to plant-based allergic reactions, you may want to select something different. This bouquet would also look amazing with Italian ruscus, agonis, or honey myrtle and those would be more allergy-friendly options.
For the bridesmaid – I created a bridesmaid bouquet of similar florals, just in a slightly smaller size, and for the groom and his best man, we have the classic red rose boutonniere. Very dashing and debonair if I do say so myself.
You’ll see more of these fabulous red florals in the table centerpieces. I love the look of lush centerpieces, but let’s be real here. Most brides don’t want to spend $300 per centerpiece (times 18 tables), and I do like the styled shoots I put together to be inspiration that a bride could actually achieve, so I went with a small, glass, bowl-shaped vase that’s low to the table (low enough for guests to easily see and talk over) and filled that with roses, snapdragons, alstromeria, and greenery. It’s the same luxurious color palette, but in a much more affordable size. A centerpiece like this could be in the $35-$50 range as opposed to the $150-$300 range.
One of the big floral focal points for this shoot was the wedding cake! I worked with Marcia from Sweet Cravings 12 to do the cakes on this shoot. She created the most stunning four-tier wedding cake and then I topped it off with a coordinating fresh flower topper, center section, and floral base. I can’t get enough of the drama here!
But, I’ll be honest, my very favorite part of this whole shoot was the red rose petal ceremony aisle installation. Taste has incredible stenciled wood flooring and it was just BEGGING to have red rose petals on it.
This is just a small-scale installation for inspiration only, but you guys, I’m seeing a whole long aisle of this rose petal ceremony aisle decoration. It would be absolutely fantastic. The red rose petal ceremony aisle is gorgeous as stand-a-lone décor, but then you add the bride in and my heart just stops! Red rose petals and raw silk were meant to get married together. Crossing my fingers a bride will want to do this someday!
Our invitation suite was provided by the lovely Jeneze Designs. We love her elegant, antique gold laser cut card and the touches of red and black in in the text along with black envelopes and the dramatic, rose red liner.
Wedding Cake and Groom’s Cake
I was thrilled when Marcia with Sweet Cravings 12 reached out and wanted to collaborate on a wedding cake set-up together. She pulled together the most beautiful 4-tier, white fondant wedding cake with gum paste floral accents. We paired her incredible cake artistry with my florals to create an elegant confection designed to really wow!
And because I love cake…and I REALLY love chocolate (I mean we’re doing this shoot at a chocolatier’s venue for cryin’ out loud) I created this triple chocolate brushstroke groom’s cake. The bottom tier is layers of dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and the top tier is milk chocolate cake with Nutella buttercream filling.
The outside is frosted in a watercolor-esque blend of dark, milk, and Nutella frosting and I love the shading it gives the cake. It’s also decorated in accents of gold leaf and adorned with semi-sweet and white chocolate brushstrokes and a darling laser-cut “Love” cake topper in golden script from Partyland. I was so excited when this cake was featured byUtah Valley Bride as one of the top cakes of 2017! See the feature here.
Soooo funny story about what was going to be an awesome brushstroke cake. The chocolate brushstrokes were supposed to extend up onto the top tier as well to complete the look. I spent FOREVER creating a bunch of these babies and then left them on the counter to cool…and guess what wasn’t there when the kids and I got back from errands?!?! Most of my brushstrokes. Because my husband ate them. The night before the shoot. Good thing I love him right?!?!
Have you ever walked into a jewelry store and then walked out again with $25,000 worth of jewelry??? WITHOUT stealing it?! Me either. Until now. For the record…I’ve also never walked out of a jewelry store having stolen that much either :) but I know you'll love these jewelry details our bride is wearing! There's some serious bling from Tresor Jewelers. Her raw silk gown is adorned with diamond-studded necklace, bracelet, and earrings and our groom got in on the action with custom cuff-links and groom's ring.
No wedding is complete without a send-off and get away car. I’ve seen pretty much every type of send off you guys can imagine. Rice, birdseed, confetti, biodegradable sugar rice, sparklers, bubbles…you name it, I’ve seen it. The bubbles and confetti are two of my faves, but nothing, and I mean nothing will ever have my heart like the drama and romance of a rose petal send off.
They’re romantic, smell absolutely heavenly, and flutter down perfectly so they can be captured on photo or video (rice and birdseed are too heavy and fall too quickly :) These luscious red rose petals are expecially vivid! As a little budget hack, create your rose petal ceremony aisle and once your wedding ceremony is over and the venue is flipping the room, have them gather up the petals in baskets to save for the send-off toss. We did that at the shoot as a trial run and it worked like a charm.
Once your wedding guests have bid you a’dieu, it’s time to make your getaway, and nothing fit our couture bridal inspiration like this gorgeous limo that is available to rent from Antique Limo of Utah. Now let me be real here for just a sec and say that by the time you get to this detail in your wedding budget, renting a car may just be the fluff that isn’t going to happen that night. I would know. My hubby and I drove away in his magical 98’ Honda Accord and that seems to have set a nice practical, reliable, economical tone for our marriage. Did the sarcasm come across well there? I wasn't sure it would :)
But then we aren’t what I would call “car people”. Cars aren’t something we dream about, invest money into, or follow as a hobby. I do know there are loads of people out there who love cars like I love cake, and those are the people that may want to squeeze renting a luxury getaway car into their wedding budget. And if that’s so, I highly recommend looking into a Utah luxury rental car company that would be willing to incorporate using a luxury car in a portion of your formal photos. By the time you exit your reception it will most likely be dark and the images of you snuggled in the back of the car won’t be the quality you’re looking for, so get some images done with the car earlier! Then you can enjoy lovely memories like this!
If these heart-stopping images by Ashley with Hawkeye Photography and Kylie with Life Looks Photography weren't enough, Kylee with Kylee Kay Videography filmed the sweetest wedding video inspiration!
So for you lovely couples that enjoy the finer things in life, it is possible to do haute-couture in Utah! Below, you’ll find convenient shopping links to help you achieve this same look at your wedding, as well as a list of amazing vendors who have the talent and skill to pull off this type of wedding. Be sure and check them out!
The Pear Blossom
The Pear Blossom
Dress Designer: “Erin”
Kylee Kay Videography
The Pear Blossom
Cindy Perez Roberts
Groom: Adam Colvin
Groomsman: Riley White
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