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Expert Tips on How to Find the Perfect Wedding Florist

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With so many different wedding florists to choose from, how do you find the perfect one for your wedding? Sharon Yancey of Flor Amor shares her expert tips to help you find the right vendor for your big day, plus some opinions on how to choose the right floral style to fit you and your wedding goals. Happy planning!

Expert Tips on How to Find the Perfect Wedding Florist

Photo // Reilly Lynn Photography

What questions should every couple ask their florist before hiring them?

The most important thing to find out about any wedding vendor is how much experience they have doing what you are hiring them to do. Because of the internet and ease of putting up a website, it can be difficult to tell who has actual real-world experience. A dirty little secret of the wedding industry is that the barrier for entry is exceptionally low. These days everyone thinks they can be a wedding planner, photographer or florist, and your wedding is too important to be the place they learn how to do it. Another important question for florists is whether they offer rental items, such as high-end vases and candle holders. Rentals are an easy way to get a much more upscale look without having to pay full price for the vase.

How should couples go about creating their floral budget?

A general rule is that the floral portion of their budget should be 10-20% of the overall wedding budget.

What’s the best way to figure out a preferred floral style? How do I easily convey this to the florist?

One of the first things newly engaged couples do is set up a Pinterest board and start pinning everything wedding. I can usually tell when someone has been engaged for a while because I can see where their personal style started changing – frequently several times. Sometimes it’s because they’re influenced by trends, but sometimes they didn’t know what to look for when they started pinning. I can get a pretty good idea of a couple’s aesthetic just by looking at the board as a whole. During the consultation, we’ll talk about what they like about an image, whether it’s the color palette or style, and together we’ll develop a concept to create the wedding of their dreams.

Where are the best resources for brides looking for floral inspiration?

I am much more in favor of personal touches rather than what is trendy on social media right now, but Pinterest is a great place to start. Then, following potential vendors on Instagram will give you an idea of what’s available in your local area. Whereas on Pinterest you can see inspiration nationally and internationally, on Instagram you’ll see the work of the actual florist who will be creating your designs. You’ll also be able to tell if they’re showing real wedding work or just styled shoots. An experienced vendor will have a lot of real weddings with a few styled shoots thrown in for fun.

What does an interview or florist consultation look like?

I have each of my potential clients fill out a pre-consultation questionnaire so we can get the basics out of the way and spend the consultation working on the overall concept. I do some consultations in person, but most are over the phone. We talk about their favorite inspiration images, the bouquet they see themselves carrying, and the types of designs they want to help set the ambiance at the wedding. I try to get to know them, find out what is important, their hobbies together and separately, and find some ways to make everything represent them. I feel like I’ve done my job well when the guests walk in and say, “this feels like them.”

How do I know I’ve found THE ONE (florist, that is)?

Wedding planning is stressful, and every wedding vendor should relieve some of that stress. Because it’s almost impossible to compare wedding florists based solely on price, the florist you feel the most comfortable with who has the experience to do what you want them to do is the one you should hire. You don’t have to be their friend, but when you email, you should feel comfortable that they have the desire and experience to help you create your dream wedding.

Thanks so Sharon with Flor Amor for sharing her tips hiring the perfect florist! Connect with Flor Amor directly via her Brides of Austin vendor profile.

Throw the Best Virtual Wedding Shower with these Tips

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Wedding showers don’t have to be thrown in person – and in fact, can be just as fun online! While this might not be the most conventional, we think virtual wedding showers can still be special and make the to-be-weds feel just as celebrated and loved. Look on the plus side: friends and family in different states or friends who can’t leave the house? Going virtual solves all these problems and allows everyone to be there no matter what! While in-person activities have been postponed to later dates, these online planning tips for having the best virtual wedding shower now will be just as great in the meantime! Happy (virtual) planning!

Photo // Janeane Marie Photography

Tip 1: Send out invitations

Sending out invitations can be done either virtually or physically! Keeping the tradition of sending physical invitations is a great way to help the couple have a sense of “normalcy” in a time where their plans have been turned upside-down. Either way you choose, finding a local invitation designer to make the prettiest invitations is a great way to share all the information about the shower! Some things to consider including on the invitations: date and time, the platform on which the shower will happen and a link to join in the meeting, an explanation of how the shower will commence, a way to RSVP and any details about gifts, gift registries or attire!

Tip 2: Have a party theme

Who doesn’t love attending a party with a cute and fun theme? It is so easy to still make this happen for the couple! Having everyone wear the same color (preferably the couple’s wedding colors or favorite color in general) will bring a cohesive element to everything. Other ideas could be having a “Taco Tuesday” theme, a cocktail hour or sending out a virtual background for everyone to have when they call into the shower!

Tip 3: Decorate the shower space – and encourage all guests to, too!

When planning and sending out invitations, consider sending all guests some small pieces of decor for them to decorate the space they will be virtually calling in from! Another option is surprising the couple by full-on decorating their virtual space like you would have for their shower if it were happening normally. This is a great way to still make the couple feel special and celebrated in a small and easy way!

Tip 4: Deliver the same food and drinks to everyone

Keep the theme alive and well for the couple with everyone eating the same food! You can do this for any theme and almost any type of cuisine you want to have. Throwing a brunch shower? Have festive donuts, muffins or other breakfast food delivered to guests for you all to eat together virtually! For a “Taco Tuesday” theme, deliver a DIY taco bar for all guests to do together as an activity and to eat together (two in one – score!). Many of our local caterers and bakeries are offering this option right now – go check them out! Or send them the intended menu to nab their own apps and sweets.

Tip 5: Play shower games

Playing shower games is fun, easy and a great way for all guests to be involved with the couple! Some ideas for games could be couple’s trivia, where guests are asked a question about the couple and hold up an object when they know the answer. Another is the classic newlywed game, where guests ask the couple questions such as, “Who said I love you first,” and the couple raises the shoe of the person the answer is. A “walk down memory lane” game is also a sweet and sentimental game guests can play. Ask everyone to find one thing in their home that reminds them of the couple, then ask guests to share why they picked that item! If a game has a winner, make sure to keep track of who won each to send them a prize!

Tip 6: Open gifts

Finally, the couple can still open gifts they receive from their guests! Include on the invitation where you would like gifts to be sent and the date sent by, in order for them to arrive in time for the shower. The couple can open them on camera for all guests to watch and enjoy! If a guest has not sent in their present, give them the option to open it on the couple’s behalf virtually or send it in at a later date!

Tip 7: Have a social hour for guests to chat

Once all the formal shower festivities are over, let your guests stay on the call and chat! This helps the party feel more like a social event and like what you would do in-person. Guests from close and afar can reminisce and have a personal connection, even from far away! This is also a great way to gradually end the shower, instead of cutting it off as soon as the events are all over!

Optional: Throw a half in-person, half online shower!

This wedding shower idea is for the couple that has close family and friends that live locally! Set up a cute lounge area in the front yard for the couple to sit at while guests drive by and drop off gifts. Make sure there is a designated person on-site to go up to cars to grab the gifts and to sanitize them as they come in (safety first!). Once all expected guests have dropped off their gifts, head inside to start the virtual shower! This is the part for those family and friends that aren’t local but still want to celebrate. Go about planning the virtual shower with the tips mentioned above, and the couple is sure to have the best day EVER!

The COVID-19 pandemic truly sticks, but we can still celebrate! Check out our other resources for #coronabrides here.

The Story of You: Personalizing Your Day with Mrs. Planner

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It is your day, after all – and the ladies at Mrs. Planner never want to forget that. Meet Ashlee and Sarah, planners extraordinaire with the team at Mrs. Planner, a go-to Austin wedding planning boutique. Their talents lie in personalizing your wedding day so it’s a true reflection of you as a couple, from start to finish. Ashlee and Sarah gave us a peek into their styling process with goods from Marquee Rentals at The Commune, an up-and-coming modern Austin venue, and we talked with the two of them about setting expectations during the planning process and tips they want every couple to know. Take a look at these photos by April Mae Creative and get to know the Mrs. Planner gals!

Photos // April Mae Creative

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

What should a couple expect in an initial consultation with you?

“Our team begins by getting to know our new couple. We love hearing their unique story, and understanding what parts of planning they want to take charge of, and we then share our tools to help and tackle the remaining to dos on their behalf. It’s important to get to know each other and ensure they are comfortable with our systems, and how we communicate throughout the planning process.”

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

How would you sum up your planning process?

“No matter when you bring us on as your planner, we want to give you tools to begin organizing all your details and following a suggested schedule of how planning could go. Depending on the package you choose, would determine what we would be working on, and what you would be working on throughout the process. We love your questions, and the more you involve your planning team, the more prepared we will be for your successful event.”

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

What do you love most about being wedding planners?

“Over the 10 years of planning weddings, it is a constant joy to provide peace of mind in an overwhelming process.”

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

Where do you find inspiration?

“Inspiration comes from several areas, like time alone driving, taking in a motivational speaker, or even sitting down with our clients right after their events allows our team to grow and always improve. Design-wise, inspiration is pulled from fashion, furniture, colors, textures, and I am a huge fan of stalking store windows at Anthropologie or Neiman Marcus.”

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

mrs. planner austin wedding planners at the commune

What is your process for bringing a couple’s vision to life?

“We always begin with the story of them. What are their likes and dislikes, their style or interests, and understanding their priorities for this event. Photos are gathered to communicate the vision, and room diagrams are sketched to begin seeing the vision come to life. We recommend great vendors to rely on, who contribute more than just products. We look at a full picture of the day and organize the order of events to create smooth flows and a focus on celebration.”

Think you’d like to have Ashlee and Sarah on your team? Head to the Mrs. Planner website or get in touch with them directly via their Brides of Austin vendor profile!

Terrain | Modern Detail Meets Old World Charm

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Styles collide in this editorial from Brides of Austin’s talented wedding vendors. The old-world charm at Hotel Granduca met its match with the clean, modern design curated by this talented team. Thankfully, Julie Wilhite Photography was there to capture the day in all it’s retro splendor! The bold invitation suite from Fine Day Press wowed in a deep, pine green with bubblegum pink accents. Nicole Mera added some serious glam to the set with a ring fit for a queen –a fancy yellow diamond surrounded by white diamonds. Whim Hospitality took care of the posh table setting, providing the textured linen, sleek dessert platters and impeccable floral arrangements featuring blush, orange and pops of fuchsia throughout the boho-tropical design. Bonjour Brigadeiro catered to our sweet tooth, whipping up their famous brigadeiros for all! The model bride stunned in a Bacall by Rivini gown a la Julian Gold. Gloss Beauty Boutique created a modern beauty look with an edgy ponytail and playful makeup. To end with a bang, Luxe Departures created an incredible itinerary for the dreamiest Italian honeymoon that we’d love to tag along for! See every dreamy detail in the full gallery below!

Photos// Julie Wilhite Photography

Local Venue Spotlight: Hotel Granduca Austin—where old-world Italy meets Texas charm. Nestled in the hills of Westlake, this boutique property feels like your very own Italian villa. The Salone Ducale ballroom is full of elegant details, from the hand-painted ceilings to the century-style lighting. Opening onto a peaceful courtyard, this extraordinary space sets the stage for your special day.

Capture Your Forever-Kinda Love with These Expert Engagement Session Tips

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Light, airy, romantic and warm… basically all the good adjectives could be used to describe Lauren Bosse Photography! She will quickly become your friend and favorite photographer muse as she is so passionate about all things love and making you feel relaxed and excited in front of the camera. We know the rush of excitement from the proposal can leave you overwhelmed trying to get everything in place for your engagement session. Whether you’re a perfectionist bride or a go-with-the-flow gal, these engagement session tips will ensure you are extra prepared and end up with photos you are in love with. Not to mention, Lauren Bosse has all the details covered so you can spend some extra quality time with your fiancé before tying the knot! Cheers to celebrating forever love!

Capture Your Forever-Kinda Love with These Expert Engagement Session Tips

Photo // Lauren Bosse Photography

Where are your favorite places to shoot engagement sessions?

My favorite place to shoot engagement pictures is at a property that has special meaning to the couple! Whether that’s their family land or the place they first met or the place they got engaged, I love photographing them in a place that holds a special place in their heart!

What should couples wear for their engagement photos?

I always tell my couples to bring one nice outfit and one more casual outfit. I feel like we don’t get enough chances to dress up, throw on that dress or sequined ballgown you’ve been dying to wear and lay out a nice suit for your fiancé! It will make you both feel like a million bucks, and you’ll have priceless photos you’ll love to look back on. Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, plains or beach. Men look most striking in a well-tailored suit. If he doesn’t have one, now’s the perfect time to invest in something he’ll wear for the rest of his life! The best part? It’s a lot less expensive than you might think! The casual outfit is great for those movement pictures like skipping, piggy back rides or carrying your future bride away into the distance. And the nice outfit is great for the more posed, elegant, timeless portraits!

Should a bride do her own hair and makeup or have it professionally done for engagement photos?

These are very special photos you’ll be taking with your fiancé, and if you feel like a million bucks, it will show! Professional hair and makeup is high on brides checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of having to do it on your own. From lash extensions to blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera.

How do you get the groom (or bride!) comfortable in front of the camera?

Most men aren’t overly excited to get dressed up and take pictures for hours, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to educate and empower your guy. Tell him why you chose me and my style of photography. Show him your three favorite sessions that I’ve done, explain why you love them and express to him how much it means to you. Trust me, once he knows it’s important, he’ll light up the camera for you!

Are you for or against having the couple’s furry fam on set?

I absolutely love having animals in your photos! They can add a lot of fun to your pictures and make great memories, as long as they are cooperating! If your pet isn’t wanting to listen that day, we usually take a few with them in the beginning and then let them watch from a distance for the duration of the session!

What can a couple do or bring to make the shoot uniquely them?

Want your engagement session to look a little more editorial? Bring a little extra something with you! A freshly-picked bouquet for you to hold or fresh flowers to put on something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, picnic basket, car bumper or rowboat, is a fun way to bring a little extra romance to everyday objects. Whether it’s larger items like classic cars, or smaller ones like blankets or hats, even incorporating just one extra styled item could be a fun way to make your session more unique.

We’re feeling totally prepared to grab our SO and jump in front of the camera now! Want to connect with Lauren Bosse yourself? Drop her a line on her vendor profile.