The Room Changer

Today is another wedding day, and with that, I would like to share some of the gorgeous centerpieces of the past few weddings that I’ve had the pleasure of working.

A little observation that I came to realized today. Wow! The difference flowers make and  how it transforms a room!

Hope you enjoy them!

 

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Bridesmaid’s Gifts

A couple of days ago, I went out to dinner with one of my college friends who, sadly, is moving back to her home state. She’s currently planning her own wedding, and bridesmaids presents came up. What do you give to your bridesmaids? How much to spend on a gift? How many gifts do you give?! So many questions…it can get overwhelming trying to think of that perfect gift for every single bridesmaid, who let me tell you, they all like different things and have different interests. So, how do you choose one gift that will be perfect for each and every one of them?

I’m all about simplicity and peace of mind, so I try not to stress too much about things like this. To answer one of the questions: how much to spend? This will depend on you and how much you are willing to spend. Don’t be cheap either, and cheap I mean spend I don’t know $5 on something that you know it’s not going to have any use.

When choosing the right gift, try thinking about the person individually and not about everyone all together. What is it that you know this person would like (that’s also a hard one sometimes)? Do you know her favorite color? Do you know if she likes to wear makeup? Does she like jewelry? Does she like hair products? You can learn a lot about a person when you see them. Watch what they are wear, what they tend to talk about, etc.

Now, you’ve thought about all your bridesmaids. If you have 5-7 bridesmaids, it can be a pain to buy something different for everyone, and it’s okay. This is not supposed to be another thing to worry about on the top of planning your wedding. With a big group of bridesmaids, the simplest thing to do is to buy the same thing for everyone. You can always personalize a gift, get it in their favorite color, etc., but remember it has to be something useful because otherwise it’s going to go to the box of forgotten things…and that’s awful.

If you have a smaller group of bridesmaids and you know their taste pretty well, get creative and give them something different to each of them.

These gifts are pretty cool, I would say, and they will be used more than once  instead of using it only before the wedding and bachelorette party. Check the link below!

https://www.purseandclutch.com/blogs/news/ethical-bridesmaids-gifts-that-they-will-

 

 

The Wedding Exit

Final stage of the wedding! There’s something that always excites me about the exit. There are so many ways to do it and be creative. This is the last impression you get to make on everyone and for you to experience the day of your wedding. Who doesn’t love getting all the attention walking out while everyone is cheering for you? It literally reminds me when at parties we did the tunnel and everyone had to go through–it was the most exciting thing. Or the train?! Well, now you understand why I get so excited, it’s just so fun!

There are so many ways to have a cool exit, but there are some things we need to consider so that not only it’s epic, but also responsible. For example, doves? No, so out of date and plain mean to the beautiful birds. Not only they get super stressed out to be in a cage for hours before they get released, but it feeds to that idea that they are cool and more people are catching them or breeding them for this purpose. What life is that?  Same with butterfly release. Googling dove wedding exit, a website popped up from FL saying that releasing doves was sustainable because you are using live doves and basically because they will continue to be used, it is a recyclable method. I vote 100% against this! Totally bs on their part.   Confetti poppers? I vote no. Imagine all the tiny pieces of colored paper that probably were not made from recycled paper, and working at venues, not fun to clean up at all. Also, most venues don’t allow any confetti.

Let’s look at some really cool exits that you will definitely enjoy on your special day instead that are really cool, creative and beautiful:

  • Flowers? yes! Imagine colorful, full of life and beautiful flowers being toss in the air, landing on your hair and dress? I think that would be a great picture. Don’t think that only loose petals can be used, get creative and use the entire head of the flower without the long stem.
  • Lavender? I can already smell the lavender just writing about it. Calming smell and colorful. Put lavender in recycled paper cones and give them to your guests as favors.
  •  Rice? An all time classic. I like the idea and what it means, but not so much for photos
  • Colorful cloth streamers? This would work if you didn’t have to buy new cloth to make them. Do you have old t-shirts that you were thinking about donating? You can reuse them and make streamers for guests to use at your exit.

I hope you liked the ideas!

With love,
Natalie

Bouquet Toss

Hi everyone!

We are almost at the end and guess what? You know it–the bouquet toss. At most weddings now a days, there’s no bouquet toss and you know why? Because wedding bouquets are some what pricy and who wants to toss it away for someone else to have it? Personally, I love the tradition and I would have done it. I think it’s fun and it gives a little hope to the single girl who’s been wanting to get hitch..or not.

One little anecdote, once upon a time when I was just a teenager, I think I was about 14, I was one of the bridesmaids at someone’s wedding. It was really fun, it was literally my first wedding experience because in Chile parents don’t take kids to wedding. Say what?! Yep, they just didn’t, so I never really got to go to one until here in the US of A. The wedding was terrific and I danced a lot, one thing I didn’t know was that I was going to catch the bouquet. I didn’t plan it, the flowers literally landed on my feet. I don’t even know why I was there with the rest of the girls in the first place–marriage was definitely not in my mind then, but there I was and I picked it up. The next part it’s kind of shocking, especially to a 14-year-old girl who just wanted to wear a pretty dress and dance all night, a young boy my age caught the garter and yep it really did happen. I had to sit on a chair and let the young boy put the garter on my leg which by the way it was totally embarrassing considering the entire party was watching and we were in the middle of the dance floor.

Anyways, that’s my very first experience with a bouquet toss, but nevertheless I love the tradition. There are different alternatives to still toss it and to keep it to last for a very long time. One option (which is the most popular one) is to have a tiny bouquet for the toss. This will obviously cost you more, but if you want to keep the tradition and not get rid of yours that’s the way to do it. To keep costs down, remember there are so many flowers in season that you can choose from so talk to your florist and let her know what you are dreaming of!

Also, to keep your bouquet for a very long time (longer than 3-4 days if that) you can preserve it. Check out this website https://www.brides.com/story/how-to-preserve-wedding-bouquet.  It has some cool ideas to preserve it!

Another really cool company that I’ve been following on IG for a while now is Eco Flower. Check them out https://www.ecoflower.com/  They have beautiful flower arrangements for wedding to home decor.

Now you have some ideas of what to do with your wedding bouquet! Get planning!

With love,
Natalie

The Reception

The wedding reception is the most fun to plan, I would say. There are different things going on and it could be really fun and beautiful or kind of boring, so plan ahead and consider everything! Here is where you really get to show off your style, your dream wedding, your one big day to shine.

Now a days, there are so many different wedding styles such as timeless and elegant, rustic, or themed, etc., and below each of these styles, there are endless options. One thing to consider is to be conscious of what you are getting. For example, do you really need to pay that much extra for flowers or food that are out of season? Honestly, you want to choose food that is in season because it will taste the best and it will be the most fresh. Also for flowers, you can always use the arrangements from the ceremony and bring them inside for centerpieces. This way you will save money and be more eco-friendly.

If you have no idea of what is in season, don’t worry! There are so many experts in the industry that your only job will be to choose your style, tell them what you are thinking of having based on your taste and budget, and they will show you the options available.

Ahhh the party favors…I still don’t know how I feel about them. Every wedding that I have attended to as a guest, as far as I can remember, has not been memorable and I have not kept it throughout the years. There was one wedding that I loved that I coordinated a couple of years ago that had the cutest party favors that also served as the centerpieces. The couple chose a plant that still had the root and they placed them in vases with water. At the end of the night, guests got to take it home and planted it in their yard. How cute is that? Now all the guests who took the plant will always remember the couple because every time they see how beautiful the plant is growing (that’s only if you are not a plant killer…I’m still working on keeping my house plants alive), they’ll think of them.  Also, I’ve seen the cookies wrapped in individual plastic baggies..Stop doing this! I feel the same about straws. A good alternative to this is to choose recycled paper baggies or a cute cotton bag, but keep in mind how this baggie can be used again.

In all honestly, all the elements come together at the end and no matter how minimal you feel it could look, it’s going to look beautiful. Remember, this is one day out of your entire life ahead, so plan wisely!

With love,
Natalie

The Cocktail Hour

Hi everyone!

We continue with the wedding ideas saga! Last week, I shared with you ideas for your ceremony and today I want to share ideas for the cocktail hour.

Cocktail hours can last as little as 30 minutes and I wouldn’t go longer than 1 – 1 1/2 hours. At this point, guests are talking about how beautiful the ceremony was and how happy the couple is. Everyone is really excited for the rest of the wedding and want to start celebrating with cool cocktails and yummy appetizers. But if you make it too long, you may run into guests getting too hungry or bored, so if you will have a longer cocktail hour I would suggest having interesting cocktails, and a little more appetizers and possibly something to do in the meantime to entertain guests. Don’t over do the food though. You could possibly do an interesting station that could work as an activity as well like the one I found in The Knot website https://www.theknot.com/content/ways-to-make-your-cocktail-hour-more-fun

Here is where you get to get creative and show a little more about how the reception will be. When choosing your caterer is always easy to look up any vendor with good reviews and probably on the cheaper side because who wants to spend that much money on food? Everything adds up. right?. Also, you are probably thinking that you wouldn’t want to serve too much food (which in a way I totally agree), but, there are so many options now that offer sustainable food, and they are just as tasty and gorgeous if not better! So, don’t slack on your research. Also, remember that there are professionals whose job is to do the research for you, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

Just one tip, please tell your caterer or whoever is providing the alcohol to not put a straw on the glasses. There are so many other options like bamboo, paper or metal straws that could also work as favors. Guest can use the same straw all night and take it home once done! Check these out! https://pebblemag.com/magazine/living/5-eco-friendly-alternatives-to-plastic-straws 

Also, you won’t need much decor for this. If the ceremony is outside, have the cocktail hour outside as well and add cocktail tables and votive candles on the tables. The less the better. You don’t want to spend too much money here. Instead, look for fun activities for your guests to play and amazing drinks!

What was your favorite activity at a recent wedding you attended?

With love,
Natalie

The Ceremony

Hi everyone,

So, earlier this week I told you that I would post about eco-friendly ideas for your wedding! Earth friendly weddings don’t have to be plain or boring. You can get really creative and play around with all the textures, colors, and smells.

I guess the very first thing that you have to consider is to choose the right venue for you. Your venue will dictate your style and overall look of the wedding. Sometimes couples think that choosing a cheaper venue will save them money, but if the venue they chose doesn’t really match what they are looking for, they’ll spend more money on decor and rentals trying to hide what they don’t like or trying to make it look more their theme, so choose wisely and consider all the facts!

For the ceremony outside:

Having your ceremony outside really helps having all that nature around you already from trees, flowers, grass, sand, cobblestone, etc. Take advantage of those natural pieces to not have to get too much decor to make the ceremony look beautiful. If there is a tree at your ceremony site, use it and hang lights or seasonal flowers if you don’t like it bare. For example, the ceremony below didn’t need much decor. There was tons of trees and green grass that made this ceremony beautiful full of colors yet simple and elegant.

Ceremony Set-up2.jpg

For the ceremony inside:

You can make a backdrop with string of lights, or recyclable paper cranes like in the pictures in this link https://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/minerva-erik/

Depending on the venue, you can always select for the ceremony to take place by a window (if the view from the window is pretty) and use soy candles or seasonal flowers to decorate around. You’ll be surprise how pretty a space looks without over doing it.

Choosing vendors:

When picking your vendors for your wedding, ask them questions. They are there to help you. For example, the florist, ask them if their flowers are sustainable. Is their wholesaler near by or are they getting their flowers from oversees? Ask them what types of flowers or greenery is in season on the date of your wedding. They’ll tell you right away and will be happy to help you.

Also, remember to use real flowers if you are using them for isle or for guest to throw at you when you are walking out. Remember, anything plastic won’t vanish after your wedding is over, and using real plants is way better and it looks so much more beautiful.

I hope these ideas help you! Remember, you can still have your dream wedding while being eco-friendly and save some $ for your honeymoon or the new house you want to buy or for the baby on the way!

With love,
Natalie

The Colorful World of Pantone

Hi everyone,

Happy Monday! I’ve had my cup of coffee already and ready to start my day.

So, it’s been announced that the Pantone color of 2018 is ULTRA VIOLET! yaaa! who’s excited? Last year, the pantone color was greenery, which was my favorite by the way.

Below are this year’s Pantone color and my favorite from previous years. I’m guessing greenery and blush are not going anywhere just yet and it’s such a beautiful complement to the ultra violet.

What’s your favorite? For more information on the wonderful world of Pantone colors, check out their website https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2018

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Ultra-Violet 2018
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Greenery 2017
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Rose-Quartz (blush) 2016
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Serenity 2016
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Radiant Orchid 2014

With love, Continue reading “The Colorful World of Pantone”

EXPECTATIONS

Hi all,

The topic for today is “how to manage your client’s expectations” which has been a topic lately especially now with this coming Inauguration Day. In the world of event planning, and in any kind of business for that matter, you encounter many types of people with different wants, needs and expectations. Because you want to do business and also provide everything that is possible to your client, you may promise things that you may not be able to deliver. This is when you need to Manage Your Client from the very beginning.

How can you manage your client? Well, it’s actually pretty straight forward and that is why we might not always think about it (I’ve done it!). You need to tell your client what you can offer, how to deliver it, the time frame to finish your job, and just be sort of honest. In event planning, and this happens not just to event planners, clients reach out to you with a vision of their event , but they are not sure how to develope it and they want you to help them figure it out with your expertise. Or some clients come to you with a vision knowing exactly what they want (think decor, music, venue, overall experience, etc).  Either way, as a knowledgeable person in the industry, you can certainly help the client make their vision a reality, BUT there are a few things to take into consideration after talking to your client about their wants, needs and expectations of the event:

  • Obviously, the biggest thing would be BUDGET
  • How capable are you to deliver what the client is asking?
  • Are the client’s expectations realistic?
  • Is the time frame to plan the event realistic?
  • Do you have the right tools to plan and carry out the event?
  • Do you know people in the industry that could give you some tips about something you don’t know much about?

These are some things you need to think about as you talk to your client while discussing and going over the ideas and plans for the event. The client will definitely appreciate your input so that he/she is prepare as to what to expect and as to what can be done. Trust me, building a trustful and professional relationship with clients should be one of your top priorities.

Trust and professionalism = repeat business

I hope you find this helpful!

With love,

Natalie

Food for thought

Hi all,

I’ve been horrible at writing these past few months, and I know I should be writing about Halloween decor ideas (oooppss) but with changing jobs, trying to enjoy our bipolar autumn, and trying to organize my trip to Chile for this Christmas,  and also celebrating the birth of my nephew (!!!), I’ve had not thought about a good topic to write about until a couple of weeks ago…

As you most likely have read, heard, or talked about in the past few months, the main topic now is how our world is deteriorating due to our lack of interest, knowledge, resources, and/or technology available to us. I had written an article a few months ago about how you can do little things to have a meeting that is a little more sustainable and there you will find that there are ways that everyone can do to accomplish an event with a little less footprint.

In the event industry, there are lots of ways to be more green when having any type of event such as meetings, lunches, weddings, birthdays, conferences, etc. One option and a starting point, would be to find vendors that support and are advocates of this movement. Not many people know or do their research about this topic and they go on about their lives not thinking about the little things they can change in their daily lives that leave a smaller footprint on Earth.

I, for example, was not knowledgeable about this topic until about two years ago, and since then, I started recycling, trying (and very, very hard) to bring my own bags to groceries stores, consume less things that are not needed in my diet (sadly being very unsuccessful some days), etc. and it might  not sound like anything, which you might be right if you are thinking that, but I am in a way helping and I think that counts a lot more than knowing about the damage and not doing anything about it. The changes are not easy, but now that I know about the problem, it makes me feel more conscious about something I would do in my daily life and I try to change it.

It’s the same in the events industry. When planning a small meeting, it would be good to use bamboo or compostable plates and eating utensils, or even having your own plates that can be easily thrown in the dishwasher to be available for the attendees. For larger events, look into recycling and food donation programs that vendors already have and are eager for you to ask about it!

The less we consume, the less will be purchased, the less will be produced, the less harm we cause.

I hope you liked this article and I would love any feedback!

Happy Halloween!

With love,
Natalie