The Life Of A Bride To Be: The Finish Line Is Near

How in the world did “we have 8 months to go” turn into “we have 8 WEEKS to go!”? Time seriously does fly when you’re planning a wedding. Looking back, it hasn’t been the stressful disaster that so many people describe wedding planning to be! Do you want to know what I think the secret is? Choosing the right vendors. It truly makes all of the difference when you know you have vendors that you can trust with the biggest day of your life.

When you think about it, this is the most extravagant (don’t kill me for using this word) party that you will ever throw in your life! The day is all about you and your spouse, and being able to find the right florist or planner that you can fully rely on for such a big day is an accomplishment in itself. I sincerely believe that finding these people is half the battle of the stress that comes along with planning a wedding day. Anytime I have a moment of doubt, thinking about what could go wrong, I remember that these individuals are the ones that are making sure everything goes right!

For example, earlier this week our fabulous photographer, Jenn Wagner, emailed me to see if I had some time to chat about our timeline. I hopped on a call right away, dreading some terrible news that could ruin my big day. From day one, I’ve wanted a traditional ceremony; a first look was totally out of the question for me. However, Jenn explained that since our ceremony ends as the sun is setting, that we might need to either do all of our photos inside or consider a first look. Jenn knew how I felt about keeping the tradition alive and told me our photos would be just as lovely even if we didn’t go the first look path. After talking it out with her, I realized that I would much rather have spectacular photos with the fantastic views our venue offers than uphold a tradition for some unknown reason. Jenn was never pushy nor persuasive; she wants our day to be a special celebration that we envisioned. That’s the kind of vendor you want to find, one that listens and makes your dream wedding come true!

There will be hiccups along the way, even moments when you think, “why didn’t we just elope?”. The end is finally in sight and from what I can tell, it will all be worth it! Finally being able to see all of the details come together is one of the most rewarding parts of planning a wedding. This is the fun part! The bachelorette party, bridal shower, wedding gifts and so much love surrounding you. Even getting the mail is exciting because you know under all those bills and coupon books there could be an RSVP from your childhood best friend telling you she can make it to your big day! I cannot wait to marry the man of my dreams surrounded by our loved ones, seeing all of the months of planning finally come together in the most perfect celebration. Also, I know you all can’t wait to see the floral designs that Kevin has created! We’ll be sure to post them a few weeks after the wedding chaos has died down.

Real Wedding: Tara & Jeff

There is something simply perfect about April in the valley! The weather is ideal and everyone loves to take advantage of the warm days and cool, breezy nights. Tara and Jeff picked a beautiful April day to get married at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The bride’s bouquet complimented springtime in Arizona with green mini succulents paired with white garden roses, blush spray roses, and light pink tulips. These pastel tones were carried throughout the floral designs and really popped in the reception! Trumpet vases were the focal point of the reception tables, accented with white hydrangea, blush roses, white lisianthus and light pink tulips with succulent accents. The day was pure elegance and we were so honored to be a part of it. Brittany Janelle Photography captured the gorgeous photos below.

Vendor Feature: Makeup By Heather Wilson

This month, we took some time to talk with one of our favorite makeup artists, Heather Wilson! An artist is truly the best way to describe her, she is so very talented and guaranteed to glam up your wedding day. Check out some of her gorgeous brides in the images below and read the interview to get some great ideas on bridal beauty.

Can you start by giving us a brief description of your experience with brides and passion for makeup?
I went to school to be a graphic designer, so art and painting has always been a passion! I have been doing makeup for over 20 years, and I have been working with brides for over 15 of those! I love helping people look their best versions of themselves on their wedding day!

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Bridal beauty is one of our favorite topics! What are the most important things brides can do to make sure they feel beautiful on the big day?
Be honest with your makeup artist about how much makeup you normally wear! Yes, have photos of what you are thinking, but be realistic about does the model look like you, and allow the makeup artist to tweak the look for your coloring and face shape. I want your friends, family, and most importantly- your spouse to recognize you on your wedding day! I work in print and television daily, so if you want to look your best in the photos, trust me! I know what it takes to have you pop in photos, while your makeup wears all day, and you still feel like you!

When should brides start prepping their skincare routine?
You should be taking care of your skin as soon as you think a ring is coming! You not only want to look your best for those engagement photos, but you want to set a good routine prior to the big day! That doesn’t necessarily mean spending a ton of money with facials. It just means finding a skin care system that works for you, and drinking tons of water!

What are your favorite makeup brands?
I use a lot of industry products that you may not have ever heard of…. Senna Cosmetics, Ingot, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown as well as many others!

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How necessary is the right Glam Squad on the wedding day?
You need a team that works in synchronicity. Your wedding day should be relaxing…. not adding to what can already be an emotional day! The right team will work together, timing your make-up and hair transitions smoothly and ultimately allow for the bride and her bridal party to look flawless. If you know you are a crier or are susceptible to heat, ask if your makeup artist will stay through the wedding to touch you up for the reception. It will make you feel more relaxed knowing I am there to make sure you and your bridal party look their absolute best even through the most emotional of days!

For Brides that aren’t big on wearing too much makeup, what would you recommend during a trial?
The biggest thing is to explain how much makeup is “not much”. Everyone’s version of natural and dramatic are different! That is what the trial is for. The trial is usually an hour and a half to 2 hours so that we can try a couple different looks, and what your version of “natural” is. I also like for my brides to take pictures all day. That way you can see what your makeup looks like on camera, which is usually different than the way it looks in the mirror!! We can still make your flaws disappear while making your eyes pop for photos. And yes… try the false lashes!!

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What tips would you like to share to all of the beautiful brides out there?
You should look like yourself… but version 2.0 on your wedding day! Have a little bit more drama and flare than normal… but be you!! Have fun! You are allowed to be stressed until the weekend prior to the wedding, and then you have to relax, breathe, and realize you have done all you can do… so giggle, laugh, and take it all in!! At the reception, take a minute with your new sposuse to hide in the corner, and watch what is going on at the reception! It goes so fast…. before you can blink its over!

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Also…. remember that each makeup artist you talk to-is an artist!!! We all see something a little different in what and how we want to bring out your features. None are wrong, but if you have a favorite way to do your makeup… tell us!! I won’t take it personally!!

For more information on Heather Wilson, visit her website: www.makeupbyheatherwilson.com

2016 Fall Wedding Trends

While most of the country is winding down from their busy season, filled with gorgeous summer weddings, here in the valley we are just beginning! Wedding season picks back up in August and continues well into the spring, thanks to the mild temperatures and gorgeous sunsets that fill the Grand Canyon state in the fall. Looking ahead, we’re seeing lots of fun and original trends for the fall and love sharing these tips with our YEF couples!

Your Event Florist | Elegance in the Garden | Tabletop Shoot

YEF Design, Image via Step On Me Photography

Lounge areas are increasingly becoming the perfect way to add a more intimate vibe to your reception! Paired with long tables, your guests will feel more at home.

Image via Pinterest

Free-form bouquets continue their reign as the go-to look of 2016. The freshly picked designs are filled with depth, bold colors, and originality, ensuring no two bouquets are alike!

YEF Design, Image via Ryan Nicole Photography

Centerpieces need not look the same. Let your florist get their creative juices flowing and design an array of floral centerpieces for each of your guest tables.

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Image via The White Board

Food and drink stations are a great way to intrigue your guest’s taste buds while showing off your foodie side. Try an apple cider bar or a smores building station!

apple cider bar

Image via Pinterest

There’s been a huge space neglected in ceremony and reception spaces for a very long time, the ceiling! This empty space has become a blank canvas for couples to add unique light treatments, floral designs or even draped fabric!

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Image via Pinterest

We cannot forget the Pantone Colors of the Year, rose quartz and serenity. These whimsy shades are perfect for softening your color palette on the big day. Try your “something blue” in serenity or adorn your flower girl in a rose quartz tutu.

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Image via Pinterest

No matter if you stick to the trends or not, Your Event Florist has the design talent to ensure that your wedding will be timeless!

Real Wedding: Julia & Peter At The Phoenix Art Museum

A museum wedding always carries a sense of elegance and class for couples who chose to celebrate their big day surrounded by timeless pieces of artwork. This wedding, planned by Outstanding Occassions at the Phoenix Art Museum, was a timeless classic!  Absolutely one of our favorites for its romance and beauty.  The day and details were all so perfectly captured by Mike Olbinski Photography.  One of our absolute favorites!  The sculpture lawn, where the ceremony took place, was transformed with bold florals and romantic candlelight that softly lit the aisle. The color palette was carried into the reception decor where guests enjoyed the sounds from a live band and danced the night away.  It’s hard not to be stunned by the images and beauty captured.  We just adore the images and all of the emotion they convey. This wedding is one we will never forget!

Love Is Love

With all of the terrible things going on in the world these days, sometimes it can be hard to see the good that is right in front of us. There is one simple fact to remember when times get tough, Love is Love. We stand by our brothers and sisters in Orlando and pray for peace, reverence and healing.  Instead of letting the negative change us, we want to remain positive that Love comes in all forms and should be honored and embraced for it’s pureness. The ultimate act of love and marriage surrounds our business everyday and we thought it would be good to share some LOVE with the world!

Images Clockwise Starting With Top Left: Ryan Nicole Photography, Ryan & Denise Photography, Ryan Nicole Photography, Melissa Jill Photography, Kimberly Jarman Photography, and Eyes2See Photography.
Images via Pinterest/Love is Love

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

The Life Of A Bride-To-Be Part 4: Timeless Floral Designs

Finding a florist for your wedding is one of the most important vendors to find, connect with and trust their creativeness! Can you imagine images from the reception without centerpieces or a bride without her bouquet? Of course not. Flowers are one of the constants that have remained in the wedding world since Day One. Now I may of had it easy when deciding on a florist for my wedding since I work for Your Event Florist. However, Kevin and Shawna (owners) never once pressured me into using them. Let’s face it though, after working for them for over a year I knew that no one else could even come close to executing my wedding day vision better than the Your Event Florist design team.

Going into my consultation with Kevin was really exciting for me! I invited both my mom and mother-in-law to be as well so they could be a part of the process. Working in their front office as their Social Media Coordinator, I had never seen Kevin on the “vendor” side, so this was a new experience.  To begin the process, so they could see what I wanted, what I liked, they suggested I bring in inspiration photos of floral and style of decor to be able to visualize my design aesthetic.  That is what makes them stand out, in my opinion based on my other friends experiences with different vendors when they were planning their wedding, they never told me what I wanted, they listened to what ideas I had and then expanded on them.

 

Now being a part of the wedding industry, I knew right away that I didn’t want a Pinterest-clone wedding. I wanted something one-of-a-kind, full of glamour and fun. Kevin was so fantastic at understanding my ideas; he took bits and pieces of the designs and flowers I would describe and put into words exactly what I wanted! I never doubted his skills, but being on the “Bride” side totally solidified just how talented of a designer he truly is. The two moms present were completely blown away by the meeting and were so thrilled to see Kevin took the time to talk individually about their special components, as well as important family members.

After receiving my final floral proposal, I am even more excited for my wedding day! It’s everything I could have ever dreamed. Kevin’s designs will definitely ensure my day will be unique and even more spectacular than I imagined and my bridal bouquet – I can’t even – it is going to be so gorgeous  (I may not put it down all night). One word of advice to all the Brides To Be out there – allow yourself to go into your floral design consult with an open mind, trust in whomever you select for their talent and creativeness and you will have no regrets!  Of course, my hope is that everyone uses Your Event Florist, so they too get to experience what I did!

Images by Malone Sinclaire Photography

Real Wedding: Ciana and Shaun

Ahh the Four Seasons Troon North. Could there be a more serene venue in the valley then this magical property? We can’t seem to think of one! Speaking of magical, Ciana and Shaun’s wedding day was nothing short of just that. Thanks to Whitney and the fabulous ladies of Some Like It Classic, we were able to bring life to Ciana’s floral dreams. Her exquisite garden rose bouquet was the perfect amount of whimsy to compliment the bold contrast of the bridesmaid’s bouquets. Their love of travel was incorporated flawlessly into the reception and their tall centerpieces conveyed the elegance of the evening. You don’t want to miss the amazing images by Elyse Hall Photography! This day is one we would love to live all over again and luckily we did as it was recently featured on Wedding Chicks.

 

Vendor Spotlight: Blue Eyes Productions

Everyone says that your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye. Photographers have become our second set of eyes for these special moments but there is a rising trend of hiring a videographer to film weddings! Videographers provide a different view of the day, their art captures actions and feelings through the emotional stories they tell through their lens. We have never seen a wedding day trailer that didn’t make us tear up, making it mission accomplished by the many videographers of the wedding world!

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Blue Eyes Productions is a videography company based in Scottsdale, traveling country wide capturing love stories and special moments. We wanted to take some time to get to know the company and get an industry insight into the growing role of videography in the wedding world.

Rachel + Sean Wedding Teaser at Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas | Blue Eyes Productions Wedding Videography from Blue Eyes Productions on Vimeo.

Owner Sarah Henry gave us some background on Blue Eyes Productions that she co-owns with her fiancé,

6 years ago my sister was getting married and I was helping her plan her wedding. During one of our conversations I asked her if she was going to hire a videographer and she said no because she already had a great photographer. I was shocked! I was currently finishing my Master’s Degree in Digital Cinema and spent years producing, shooting and editing videos, so I knew the value of videography. I reminded the soon-to-be bride that photographs weren’t going to capture her vows or the toasts, or even my inevitable tears throughout the day…which happened when she put on her dress, when I tried to give a speech in the limo and when my dad gave his toast at the reception! (I’m a sucker for weddings!) Finally, she agreed to let Kyle, my now fiancé, and I shoot and edit her video for her. To this day she still thanks us for capturing her wedding day and says it was the best gift anyone ever gave them! The excitement from her and her husband is the very reason we started shooting weddings and creating timeless memories for couples

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What do people want to know about hiring a videographer:
A lot of couples want to know how the videography process works for the day. We work with couples to decide what is the most important events of the day for them and create packages based on that. We always tell couples that this is YOUR video, so we want it to be exactly what you want. If you want footage getting ready along with the sparkler exit from the reception, we will be there all day and capture everything in between. If you want a memory of your grandma on camera wishing you and your spouse a long and happy marriage, we can do that!

What can videography offer that photography cannot:
Photographers have always been one of the most important vendors you book for your wedding. However, videography offers something that photos can’t – the ability to relive every aspect of your wedding day, from the emotional vows from your spouse during the ceremony, to the toasts and first dance during the reception. These moments are a blur to a bride and groom the day of their wedding. Every event happens so fast and when you mix in the excitement and nerves, it’s easy to forget the special toast your dad gave you or the first words your mom said when you put on your dress. Unfortunately, these are memories a photographer just can’t capture. A wedding videographer captures those moments and allows you, your friends, family and future little ones the opportunity to relive your wedding day

Getting To Know Owner & Designer Kevin Reed

With over 30 years of experience, owner Kevin Reed is more than qualified to be one of the top floral designers in the valley! Kevin’s passion for flowers started at young age while helping out in his mother and father’s flower shops in Ohio & Indiana. Since then, he has branched out on his own and developed into the designer he is today! We wanted to take sometime for our Wedding Couples to be to get to know the man behind the designs and find out where he gets his inspiration from.

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To date, what has been your career highlight?
To date, my largest design achievement was successfully conceptualizing, designing and executing a very prominent 4 day Indian wedding while simultaneously providing service to our existing volume of corporate business. The wedding consisted of providing expansive floral décor for breakfast, lunch and evening activities each day, as well as providing décor for the public areas of the hotel for guests to enjoy (venue was bought out for just the wedding and guests) while also providing all Ceremony, Sangeet, Temple celebration decor, as well as their engagement dinner and final wedding reception. We used over 75,000 cut flowers of every color combination from 50 different flower varieties. With the help of 15 freelance designers, we worked 12 to 18 hours a day to deliver on our commitments to never compromise quality while providing the highest level of service and design.
My largest business achievement will always be opening the doors to Your Event Florist, ten years ago, it is so rewarding.
Tell us about why you think couples should splurge on their wedding day florals.
I feel the importance in having a floral budget is to create the feel and emotion of a celebration between two people that are in love and saying their I Do’s. They will revisit their wedding images for years to come and the flowers will always enhance their memories. Years later when they are reminiscing about there wedding, they will feel a great deal of satisfaction that it was truly designed with their ideas in mind for their wedding day.  Unique to them and only them!
Pinterest has made a huge impact on the wedding industry and floral design in the past few years – for the good and bad. Too often, it can feel like there is nothing new to create or you don’t have the freedom you once did to design. How do you find new and original ideas?
I welcome the Pinterest era. It provides a stepping off point, to visually get inside the head of our couples, to begin to create beyond the Pinterest inspiration. We have become a very visual society, so images are important, it helps the couple to be able to show what they like, it gives them inspiration and is welcomed, but just to start the process.  We will not directly duplicate something from Pinterest, it has already been done and is someone else’s design, so we only use it for their inspiration. In essence, we evolve their design look and incorporate their ideas to make it unique to them. My only advise is not to overthink Pinterest, just use it as that starting point for idea development.
What is the biggest challenge facing the floral industry?
In my opinion, the largest challenge facing florists is the concept that “anyone can do it.” As the industry is not regulated anyone can say they are a floral designer whether they have experience or not. We are experiencing a saturation of individuals setting up shops as florists that are not actually professionally trained.  Additionally, we have individual businesses over extending themselves and wanting to provide all wedding services, so they offer planning, event design, linen rental, furniture décor, as well as, floral. Don’t get me wrong we support many reputable businesses that have expanded their services, but the difference is that they are reputable businesses with experience, so do it well. My advice is just research, research your wedding vendors (all of them) and know who you are working with, ask questions and always read the contract. Hiring a professional with experience who has established design credentials should provide the peace of mind that hiring a non-professional does not.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to couples planning their wedding?
I would advise brides to trust in your florist’s skills and capabilities to execute their vision. Be clear with your florist on what is important to you and how you want to experience your wedding, but then allow them the ability to create and be creative, after all that is why you hire a professional. They will provide you with sound advice on the design to achieve your desired results and on what flowers will hold up best for the season of your wedding.  A reputable florist will always be able to provide guidance in the decision making process to create your dream wedding.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I get inspired from everyday life..Nature, Photography, Art, enjoying a great meal and observing how a chef presents a plate (I am a foodie). In Arizona, I get especially inspired by the natural beauty of the Sonoran desert. God has the greatest paint brush really. Additionally, I also get inspired by the work I see of other peer florists I follow and respect for their design skills locally and nationally. But mostly, by meeting and getting to know a prospective bride and listening to her inspiration. Feeding off of the couple’s excitement during a consultation and knowing you are designing something special and unique for just them, that truly is where I get my focused inspiration.
What is your favorite flower to work with?
It would be very hard for me to say I have a favorite flower because there are so many beautiful flowers available for me to design with that I enjoy. Each have their own distinct and unique beauty to them and I like different ones for different reasons and uses.  I know my wife’s favorite flower and for that she loves me.