Creating a skyline wedding invitation has been on my “design bucket list” for a while. Whenever I visit a new place, I always get a little magic twinkle feeling seeing a city skyline! Although I’ve never truly lived downtown, I suppose I’m a city girl at heart.
There’s something romantic and exciting about a skyline. Whether the sun is rising, setting, or the moon is out – seeing a skyline flicker in the light is my absolute favorite!
These invitations were created with a modern, rooftop wedding in mind. I kept it classic using only black and white, but used a fun script font to add some pizzazz!
I wanted to keep it close to home by using the Atlanta skyline, but this design can be customized for a variety of major cities including my other two favorites – New York City and San Diego!
For Atlanta, I added the ferris wheel detail to the information card. I’d love to get creative on what landmark to add for a different city’s skyline!
Using this invitation suite would be the perfect first impression to guests of a modern or classic big city wedding of any season! Interested in customizing these for your big day? Order a sample or fill out my questionnaire to get started!
When wedding planning, a lot of brides can feel totally lost on where to start when it comes to choosing a florist – and flowers! I’m excited to have Jackie, owner and lead floral designer at Blooming Hites, sharing her advice and the story behind her business.
Jackie is not only a talented florist and amazing business owner, but a sweet friend! We met at a networking event and later bonded over margaritas. She is great at keeping it real and brides LOVE working with her because of her gorgeous visions and fun personality. Read on for her most valuable floral tips for any bride-to-be!
How long have you been working as a florist?
10 years (WOW – time flies when you’re having fun). I started when I was a teenager, and my first “flower” job was down the street from my house at a flower stand in Coronado.
What started your interest in working in the wedding industry?
I always joke that Barbie and Ken got me into the wedding industry. Actually, who am I kidding. It’s 50% true. I can vividly remember always marrying Barbie and Ken outside in my yard and putting on these lavish (kid-like) weddings for them. I tend to give them credit because that’s the earliest memory I have falling in love with all things weddings. The other 50% is the blessed gift of flower design and connecting them with wedding couples. I have a strong passion in the connection between flowers and people. Being a part of a couples wedding day and seeing their reactions to flowers and the entire wedding day backdrop is the sweetest reward I can think of. It’s definitely drive for my company.
How can a client best prepare for an initial meeting with you?
There are four essentials I would suggest here. First: Pinterest Board. Pinterest Board. Pinterest Board. :) And if not Pinterest, having a little bit of inspiration of any type helps when heading into a consultation. Clients aren’t expected to know flower names – if they do, it’s really impressive. All they really need to know is what they like and don’t like so I can guide them to the right palette/theme suited for them.
The second essential, wedding couples should have a wedding date and a venue/location for their date. The third, having filled out my questionnaire as best they can helps out tremendously. Last but not least, keeping an open mind with budget because flowers cost more than anyone would think. (Read our blog post on exactly where your wedding floral budget goes right here!) For example, our wedding flower base cost starts at $4,000 in order to assist the average wedding wants and needs.
What types of things should couples consider when choosing a florist for their wedding?
I would suggest to couples focus mainly on personality. Finding a florist with a personality and skill set you respect and admire will make the planning process and day of execution run smoothly. I would also recommend wedding couples to not let budget guide your florist choices. It might sound like I am a bit of a broken record on this topic, but you don’t want to miss out on an amazing wedding floral experience just because the quote was a little high initially.
I love to work with my clients in helping match their flower wants to their budget. For example, if a couple is set on garden roses but they aren’t within their budget, I’ll help guide them toward alternatives (like regular roses or another type of rose they might find pretty). I tend to always quote for a client’s dream wedding in the initial proposal. If the quote is out of their price range, I’ll work with them in scaling it back to fit what they aren’t willing to give up.
Can the client expect to hear from you between the time they book your services and their wedding day?
Of course! I’m in a healthy amount of contact with my clients between booking and their wedding day. If they want to have a follow up after the initial meeting, I can schedule one in. I’m happy to hold their hand as much as they want. As for our event design head to toe package, we include day-of wedding managing design with vendors.
What role do you play on the actual day of the wedding?
Great question and one I love to be asked. For wedding day flowers, my team and I are there setting up two hours beforehand. The whole time I’m setting up I’m so anxious to see the wedding couples in their “I Do” wardrobe. Seeing them dressed up and watching their special day coming together is magical. In some weddings, we do room flips. If that’s the case, we will stay to flip the room from ceremony to reception. If clients want us to come back at the end of the wedding to clean-up, we can do that as well. My clients who book my wedding event design management package, we are there day-of wedding managing all design elements with vendors.
What is one piece of advice you can offer for making the most of the floral budget?
Reusing flowers within the wedding is a huge money saver in a floral budget. I always love discussing recycling options that wedding couples can do within their ceremony and reception. For example, couples can opt to transition their bouquets from the ceremony to the reception by placing them at tables or in the bathroom. Another favorite is reusing the pillar arrangements from the ceremony and into their reception by decorating the escort table or buffet.
What trends for 2018 weddings are you loving?
This year, I really like that wedding couples are choosing to do more hanging installations. A few other trends I’m loving: non-traditional ceremony decor (like arches) and geo-shape centerpieces.
Is there anything else couples starting their wedding planning should know about flowers?
Don’t settle on wedding flowers by cutting them from or taking them out of your wedding budget. Beautiful blooms help accent and elevate an entire wedding atmosphere. Also, couples should know that there are plenty of pretty alternatives for certain flowers they want but aren’t in season during the time of their wedding.
You can find Jackie on her website here (make sure to sign up for her newsletter!) and on Instagram here. Blooming Hites Studio and Boutique is located in Downtown Roswell – stop in to browse gifting and some pretty paper from yours truly.
First things first, you’re probably wondering: “Do I really need a whole website dedicated to my wedding?” I say yes – a wedding website is the perfect place to house all the details of your big day. It’s set up for your guests as a resource and one-stop-shop with links to everything they might need: your wedding registry, hotel accommodations, and more.
Along with the invitation and RSVP card, I recommend that couples add an insert card for extra wedding day details. On this insert, include whatever information is most important to your wedding day – maybe you have specific parking instructions or instructions for booking a hotel room in your reserved block.
The rest of the information? Add it directly to your wedding website and list the link on your insert card. This way, your guests aren’t overwhelmed with all the information at once and can check out your website when they have a chance.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to input all the fun stuff! Set aside a couple hours for this task, but don’t stress – setting up your wedding website can definitely be done with a glass of wine nearby and your favorite TV show on in the background. It doesn’t have to be perfected immediately, just make sure you have link set up when ordering invitations to give to your stationer (that’s me!) Review and finalize your website right before mailing invitations.
So, what exactly should you include on your wedding website?
The Front Page: All the Important Stuff
Yep, all that important stuff! Your names, the date, the location, and the time. Bonus points for a pretty picture of you two! That was easy, right?
The Wedding Day Details
Have a specific page for the details – you can reiterate the information from your insert card and include anything else that wasn’t listed. This is the place to inform guests of a suggested dress code or specify “adults only” if you’re having a child-free event. Other details could include reception information (if it’s different from the ceremony location), parking instructions, etc!
The Travel Information
It’s likely that at least some guests will be traveling from out of town to attend your wedding. Set up a travel page on your wedding website with details they might need. Recommended accommodations, and any group/discount codes, can be listed here. A travel page is also a great place for directions, transportation, or airport info.
One idea I’ve stolen from my creative couples is a “things to do” list for out of towners. This could include local favorites – restaurants, shopping, or attractions that would be fun for your new to town guests.
Use this as an option, not a replacement for traditional RSVP card. Putting an actual paper RSVP cards is someone’s hands really reminds them to reply back. With just a link, it is easy to forget. There’s also the issue that guests who aren’t tech savvy won’t be able to get online to RSVP. Note: I do not recommend an online RSVP if you’re having a formal or black tie wedding!
The workaround? Include registry information on your wedding website, which is listed on the insert card. You can even directly link to the actual wedding registries on your website and make it super easy for guests to gift you!
The Love Story
OK, this is honestly my favorite part of the wedding website. Everyone has a great love story – that moment that you meet, when you begin dating, and of course – the engagement! Some are simple, some are complicated, some are long, some are short, but the story behind the love is something fun to share with your guests.
Couples I’ve worked with have gotten super cute and creative writing their love stories! My favorite is when there are two versions: “his” and “hers” (or his and his or hers and hers because we’re all inclusive here!) to compare. This adds an element of humor and I can’t get enough of these!
The Pretty Pictures
Your wedding website is an awesome place to show off your beautiful faces! Include some professional engagement shots along with fun photos taken throughout your relationship. Let the photos tell their own story of your favorite trips and memories together!
The Party People
Don’t forget to add your bridesmaids and groomsmen to your wedding website! Extra points if you attach photos for each person. List your relationship to each person and even a fun fact about them. Your guests likely don’t know each person on both sides of the bridal party, so this is a neat way to “introduce” them and get the party started early!
Excited to share your finished wedding website? Post the link below in the comments!
I hope you’ve found the wedding vendor series helpful! Scroll back to check out my previous posts from wedding planner Kecia Wilson and wedding photographer Katie Tiller – both all full of knowledge and tips to finding and hiring the right vendors for your wedding!
The series continues with Megan, The Owner and Lead Makeup Artist with Megan Quintana Artistry. Megan is a published makeup artist, esthetician, and total sweetheart. She’s mega talented and I’m thankful she took the time to share her best advice on all things wedding makeup. Read on to learn about her business journey and number one tip for glowing wedding day skin!
What started your interest as an artist?
Honestly it all started as a kid. I would get lost in my mother’s vanity! I was attracted to all the colors and watching her apply blush and lipstick. I also became the friend who was always doing everyone’s makeup for school dances or girls nights. I was and still am infatuated with the looks of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren. So classic, beautiful, and bold. From the striking cat eye to that perfect red pout, I wanted to be glamorous like them, so I practiced. A LOT!
How long have you been in the wedding industry and specializing in bridal looks?
I have been in the industry for 6 years, but I started specializing in bridal beauty in 2016 after my own wedding. I got my first makeup job at Bobbi Brown in 2012. I steadily grew with the company and started working in the second stand alone studio in the country in Raleigh, NC. I left Bobbi Brown in 2016 to pursue my own business and bridal has been a main focus ever since!
What should brides look for when choosing a professional to do their makeup for their wedding day?
When you’re looking to hire a makeup artist for the most photographed day of your life, I recommend you to do your research! Whether online or through word of mouth, be sure to look through the artist’s professional portfolio and ask yourself if you love their work. Check their reviews and read about past brides experiences.
Another SUPER important detail is scheduling a trial before the big day. The trial will not only allow you to be insured of their skill, but you can see if you get along with your artist on a personal level. I believe you should be surrounded by friends on your wedding day, not strangers! Something I pride myself on is in my bride’s reviews they explain that I have an easy going demeanor that completely kept them at ease on the day of their wedding.
When you’ve invested in the perfect dress, the perfect venue, and the photographer to capture every moment of the best. day. ever, hiring me as your makeup artist will give you the luxury of enjoying that mimosa and chatting with your best girls with no stress.
At what point in the wedding planning process should a bride inquire about booking with you?
The best time to book the wedding day is 6-12 months prior to the wedding day. Personally I receive inquiries from brides on a daily basis, so I always say if you know you definitely want me to be a part of your day, I recommend booking sooner rather than later!
How do the other wedding details (the dress, season, colors, theme) affect the style of the overall look?
The other wedding details help me get to know my bride’s own personal style. It helps me determine and guide her through creating the perfect look for her wedding day. In my eye, each season also has its own style and colors schemes to begin with. In the spring time you often find pastels, or bright colors, whereas in the fall you will find rich, jewel tones shades throughout the wedding. This of course doesn’t go for everyone, but it is a definite trend I see!
This all goes back to the importance of a trial. These are things we talk about in our 90 minute appointment. For example, a lot of my fall brides are not afraid of a bolder lip. The weather is getting cooler, the sun isn’t out as long, it calls for a little touch of extra color. For my brides who would rather play up the eyes instead of the lips, a warm, smokey smokey eye is very popular. My spring brides tend to tend of natural, effortless beauty with glowy skin. Some will add a pop of color on the cheeks and lips to give a fresh appearance. All of the little details all play a part in the wedding day to give a beautiful cohesive look!
Are there any tips you give brides to keep their skin in top condition in the days leading up to the wedding?
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! The most important thing to do for your skin is drink a lot of water, and have a daily skin care routine. Bonus points for seeing an esthetician and setting up a regiment leading up to your special day. One facial a month can do wonders and your esthetician can help you set up a regimen tailored to you!
What skill or service do you offer that allows brides to feel comfortable and/or enjoy the getting ready process to the fullest?
I send out a questionnaire to my brides with their contract. It asks them fun questions like, what is your favorite music? What is your favorite drink? That way I can personalize their appointments to keep them at ease and feel absolutely comfortable. When they show up I have their drink of choice ( whether it’s coffee, tea, champagne, diet coke) waiting and their favorite music playing!
Are there any misconceptions about your industry that you’d like to make sure brides understand?
I believe the biggest misconception to the uninformed is that we charge to much for “just putting makeup on.” Beyond the art, there is also science involved, and education. The behind the scenes is, well it’s behind the seeing eye. When we are asked to negotiate our pricing, we are being asked to negotiate our livelihood. There are days of back and forth emails of planning and writing contracts. There are hours of sanitation, setting up, breaking down, packing up for a onlocation job. There are thousand and thousands of dollars spent over the year to keep our kits up to date, fresh, and restocked. We also have bills to pay! I believe makeup artists have the ability to transform their clients. We can give confidence to someone where it was lacking and truly make them shine in front of a camera or in everyday life. We help create the best version of one’s self and I believe that to be priceless!
Are there any makeup trends for 2018 weddings you’re loving?
Personally, I’m not to crazy about the current trends. Ice blue, glitter highlighter is not here to stay. I do believe beautiful, natural, glowy skin will always be in. Personally a classic red lip and a winged liner will always be a favorite look.
I met Lauren after college through a mutual friend. She never hid her obsession with St. Patrick’s Day and one year I even joined her in Savannah to celebrate the holiday. I’m not sure if it’s because her birthday falls close to the date, or because she lived so close to Savannah (where they do it big!) in college, but her love for the day was real.
All the stars aligned when March 17 fell on a Saturday this year as she was engaged and planning her wedding. It seemed like a no-brainer that she’d get married on one of her favorite days of the year! A St. Patrick’s Day wedding was in order.
We’ve worked together on shower invites for several of her friends and I was honored that she choose me to design her wedding invitations!
Lauren wanted to incorporate green (duh), but didn’t want the invitations to be holiday cheesy. Based on her inspiration, I created a clean, minimalist invitation design. She wanted to do something a tad bit different than what was trending, so we used a classic text font for the names – I adore how these turned out!
The invitations were paired with green envelopes and we added a floral patterned liner to the mailing envelope, since it was a spring wedding after all!
Want to customize these invitations for your own wedding? Colors, fonts, and wording can be changed to suit your needs! Complete my invitation questionnaire here to get more information.
All your burning questions about hiring a wedding photographer? They’re answered here. This is one of my longest and most valuable blog posts to date – something every bride to be will find useful!
I met Katie of Katie Tiller Photography through networking circles and immediately clicked. She is the sweetest, kindest, and bubbliest person – not to mention, super talented! I adore Katie’s work and style, she did my most recent headshots and we have collaborated together on styled shoots.
Today Katie is sharing all the things you need to know about booking a wedding photographer and how she interacts with couples before (and on) their wedding day. There’s a lot of great information here, including Katie’s thoughts on the highly debated “first look”!
Tell me about your journey to becoming a wedding photographer.
Well, I started college with the intention to become a Veterinarian and over the years as I studied I loved my biology/chemistry major, but I didn’t have a peace about going to more schooling. At the time, I had one season of volleyball left to play and not that many hours left to take to graduate. I took a photography class for fun and missed almost 75% of the classes due to our travel schedule, BUT we got to choose what we wanted to photograph for our final project and I did couples. I fell in love!!
I love being around people and celebrating love! Sounds cheesy, but things just started to fall into place and opportunities started to open up. I took pictures of anything and everything to start, but my heart was set on wedding photography! I love being able to capture the joy and love on each couple’s best day. It is a job that I am so fortunate that I get to do every day!
At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple research, inquire, and book their photographer?
After a date & venue, the planner + photographer should be the next vendors the couple book! There are a few very popular wedding dates and the earlier you inquire, the better chance you have of your date being available! It’s never too early to secure your date with a photographer. I generally book about a year in advance and that really helps me personally plan out what I would like the next year of my business to look like.
What types of things should couples consider when choosing a photographer?
I think the two most important things when choosing a photographer is connection + style. As a bride you spent a lot of time with your photographer from your engagement session to several hours on your most special day. I want all my brides to feel like I’m a friend that they’re comfortable around and can fully be themselves and feel beautiful behind my lens!
The second thing that is super important for brides to consider is the style of a photographer. You might really connect with someone, but if they edit in a light & airy style and you prefer warmer images with more contrast, find someone with that style that you also connect with. As photographers we develop a style that we are proud of and feel confident in, and when asked to change it, I think both photographer + bride won’t be as happy in the end as they should be for their wedding day.
I know money is absolutely a big factor for many brides, but I promise 20 years down the road, you will love looking back on your images if you loved how you felt in the images. You probably won’t be upset that you spent a little more money if you loved your photographer + your images. You probably would be a little sad if you decided to choose a photographer based on price and not connection + style and they turn out not exactly as you hoped they would! These photos are an heirloom and something you’ll value forever, so try and remember that as you’re searching for your best fit!
Can the client expect to hear from you between the time they book your services and their wedding day?
Absolutely! I include engagement sessions in all of my wedding collections so that we have a chance to spend some time getting to know one another before their wedding day. If they book really far in advance of their wedding, I love to check in every couple of months to make sure wedding planning is going well + to see if they need any help. Finally, two weeks before I send out a questionnaire to nail down all the little details. I love to hop on a phone call to go over the questionnaire once it’s completed to make sure I know exactly what the bride wants for her best day!
Is there anything couples can do to best prepare for photography on their wedding day?
Yes! I send out a detailed questionnaire that may seem a bit tedious at times, but I promise it makes the wedding day go so much smoother. It collects information about special details, all family members/people that you wish to have in your formal group shots, vendor information, etc. I don’t suggest putting together a Pinterest board of shot ideas, but simply letting me know if there are a couple shots you love and want to be sure are captured! Once I get to know each couple and their personalities, it is much easier to flow through a variety of natural poses with them during their engagement session as well as their wedding.
What do you recommend to couples unsure if they want to do a “first look” before the ceremony?
As bride once myself, I was super traditional in the fact that I wanted to see my husband’s face when he saw me walking down the aisle. But, as a photographer, I do love when couples opt for a first look! I always suggest doing a first look if bride + groom portraits are really important to you and if you have a large bridal party or family attending the wedding. First looks also give you just a few minutes to take in all the sweetness of your wedding day with your soon to be husband or wife. It also allows for majority of pictures to be done before the ceremony so that after the ceremony, we can quickly get through family portraits and have some extra time for sunset photos. This way, couples get to spend more time with their wedding guests!
Is there anything you can offer advice on that most people forget when considering wedding photography?
This question kind of has the same answer as what to look for when choosing a photographer. A lot of couples can get caught up in finding a photographer in their budget versus finding someone they love. I am so aware budgets are real and necessary, but generally if a photographer costs more there is a reason. They might have more experience, equipment, and value the client/photographer relationship with attention to the client’s experience with them. It’s important to ask to meet or video call with the photographer to see if you vibe and connect with them!
Finally, one more brides might forget to ask is exactly what the package includes. For example, I include digital files with printing rights with my collections, whereas I know some photographers that just include proofs and do print sales. So, when brides are searching, make sure you ask what exactly the final product includes!
Give me your biggest tip to couples just getting started in the wedding planning process.
I’d have to say my biggest tip for couples just starting to wedding plan is to know your budget AND what is most important to you! As a couple talk about overall the top two most important things to you both. Set a budget for them, then book your dream vendors for those things! If you have a clear vision and budget, it will make the process so much smoother. Little things add up quickly with weddings, so being organized, detailed, and keeping good records will help brides feel less stressed. It’s okay to splurge on your favorite things and find more cost effective options for things that aren’t as important to you.
All images for this post were provided by Katie, aren’t they gorgeous?!
Wow! What an adventure I’ve had in the last five years. There have been lots of wins and just as many fails. There have been plenty of celebrations and more than a few tears. There has been a lot of learning, giving myself grace, and dreaming. I truly started creating as a hobby and had no idea it would lead me to running my own business, full time.
So, here I am at five years in and want to share a few things I’ve learned about being self-employed, working with brides, and the wedding industry.
It’s inevitable that something will go wrong. Missing packages, issues matching a color, a printed typo, out of stock envelopes, an important email ending up in your spam folder – the list goes on. In the beginning, I would stress so much and legitimately lose sleep over these type of things.
The worst part about being self employed is that any mistake comes directly out of your pocket, however having to literally pay for it reminds you to be cautious of repeating that error again. For the most part, clients are extremely understanding when there’s an issue – I’m always very up front if something is wrong that will affect their order. Give yourself a break, you’re only human!
It’s OK to Not Feel Creative Every Day.
When starting out, I felt so much pressure to come up with new ideas, designs, strategies, and content daily. Most of the time, it was enjoyable but there are days when you’re just not feeling it. Maybe there’s a custom design project that isn’t speaking to you on a particular day. Rather than trying to force something out that isn’t there, it’s ok to step away. Take a break, whether that’s for an hour, a day, or a week, and come back to it later. The best designs are born under positive factors and without feeling pressured to create.
The Wedding Industry is So Rewarding.
I did NOT want to get in the wedding industry. I was extremely intimidated and nervous about bridezillas. There are rules, etiquette, and pressure – just designing for the biggest day of someone’s life, no big deal! My experience was lacking and transitioning to wedding invitations was pretty slow.
However, I knew that I had to take the leap into weddings if I really wanted to grow my business. Once I did it, I never looked back! I’ve worked with hundreds of brides and haven’t had a single bridezilla – yes, really! The clients I’ve gotten to work with have truly been the sweetest. They’ve been so pleasant, so happy, and overall grateful
Consistency is Key.
This is one of my top tips for anyone wanting to start their own business. It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes work, a lot of it. If you’re consistent and putting your best efforts in, it will happen! The more you’re able to devote (money, time, etc) the quicker it will grow but patience is so important.
Show up, market, blog, strategize, network, create, dream, and don’t stop. Continue to work for it and amazing things will happen!
Interested in more about my business journey or starting your own? I have an entire blog dedicated to these topics! Check out zerotobiz.com now.