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.

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

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.


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.

Your Event Florist-0008

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.

Wedding Inspiration: Darling Dogs

To say we’re dog lovers would be an understatement! Furbabies are an important part of many couple’s lives, so why not make them a part of the most important day of your life? Including your dogs in your wedding is one of our favorite ideas. They will steal the show, but in the best way possible. From flower crowns to floral-adorned leashes there are so many fabulous ways to honor your pups on your big day! We love getting to design for four-legged friends. Check out some of our favorite ideas below.

Images via Pinterest

The Twelve Days of Your Event Florist

The Twelve Days of YEF are filled with bridal cheer and floral fever! We would love to have every season be as cheery as this one. Your Event Florist wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and thank for you a great 2015.

12 Feet of Florals

11 Groomsman Grinning

10 People Posing

9 Gorgeous Girls A Gushing

8 Bridesmaids In Blue

7 Bouquets A Blooming

6 Bridesmaids Bubbling With The Bride

5 Laughing Lads

4 Lovely Ladies

3 Full Florals

2 Fancy Flower Girls

And A Cuddling Couple At Sassi

The Life of a Bride-To-Be Part 1: The Venue Hunt

“OH MY GOSH IM ENGAGED” was the first thing I woke up to thinking on the Fourth of July this year and I literally could not stop smiling. I was so unbelievably happy, my (then boyfriend) Chris had completely surprised me by popping the question on his birthday. I told myself, live in the moment… enjoy the engagement… DO NOT start planning. We were traveling to the rainforest in Puerto Rico the following week, so I told myself I would not start talking about wedding plans until we got back in August. But without fail, Pinterest ideas and years of dreams flooded my mind! I have always been a planner; itineraries, reservations, “to do” lists are just a few of my favorite things. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start organizing my wedding boards and discussing dates with my now fiancé!

Well, things escalated quickly from there. It really was not intentional to kick the entire process into gear. I decided to reach out to a couple of my favorite venues in the valley just to see how the process would work. Plus, I wanted to get an idea of pricing. The second place I reached out to was a popular resort in Scottsdale, the catering manager called me to say they had not a single Saturday left open in the Fall of 2016. This sent me into panic mode, I couldn’t believe that it was already this booked. Were people booking these venues before they even got engaged? Was I really that naïve in thinking I could even wait a few weeks and enjoy my engagement?? I work in this industry, should I have known better??? From there I went into full on planning mode. I quickly developed a spreadsheet of venues, plotting out price per head, ceremony fees, dates available, etc. and began booking tours as soon as possible.

Yes, I might have taken things a little bit to the extreme… but I really do not like leaving things up in the air. I’ve called myself a “decision making bride” since this all begun, and I intend to keep it that way. We started touring venues of all sorts, during which I realized that plenty of places had available dates for 2016 open. Museums, resorts, golf clubs, event halls… I truly considered it all. Some felt too informal, others I didn’t vibe with the catering manager and one felt like I was at the Olive Garden. I just couldn’t seem to find a place that felt right. Also, working for Your Event Florist and seeing all of the wedding’s we’ve done all across the valley, I had enough ideas to plan 10 weddings.

One YEF wedding,  I had fallen in love with the images that conveyed a lovely feel of the wedding day. We decided to tour the venue, a museum. I loved the high ceilings and the feeling of elegance! I envisioned champagne flutes and guests in gowns and tuxes dancing the night away. We decided shortly after that this would be the place!! I felt so relieved, the first big thing to check off my list. I decided to take my dad, who was writing the check for the wedding, to the museum so he could see it in person before we officially booked. Upon going back and showing him around, I just did not get “the good feels” like I had the first time. The venue now felt cold and all wrong and I felt very disappointed. I talked it over with Chris and started realizing that we’re not the kind of couple that gets married in a museum, it just didn’t feel like our style. Plus, I started thinking about an open bar combined with priceless works of art and realized it might not be the best choice… back to the drawing board I went.

So after filling out 15 “Contact Us” forms, touring 8 different venues and a month of madness… we finally found our perfect venue. Desert Mountain is a community in North Scottsdale where my fiancé’s parents live. We originally were just going to tour two of their clubhouses to appease them. However, after touring the Cochise-Geronimo Clubhouse we knew this was the place. It had everything we were looking for…. amazing views, not open to the public, lots of natural light, stunning architecture and a wonderful staff. A few weeks ago, Chris & I stopped by the clubhouse as the sun was setting. It was so surreal to know that we were standing in the place where we would become husband and wife.

I guess what I realized is to not just choose something for the sake of decision making. There are countless options out there, and the one that is right for you will be 100% obvious when you’re there. You will get the “good feels” every time you envision your day! Try not to get too discouraged if you have a small budget. The venue staff are truly there to make the day perfect for you, budget and all. Also… there are these FABULOUS people called Wedding Planners that can help you so much in this process, but I’ll talk about that at a later date. Stay tuned for more updates on my wedding planning process and wish me luck!

**Author’s Note: While editing this piece, I realized how often “I” came up, instead of “We”. Chris was a huge part of this process and his opinion is highly valued. Ultimately, he knew how long I’ve been dreaming of this day and really left the final decisions up to me. Plus, like a lot of grooms, didn’t really have a strong view on most things.

Wedding Inspiration: Bridesmaid Dresses

The days of ugly bridesmaid dresses are long gone! Nowadays, Bride’s want their besties to be dressed just as fabulous as they are for the wedding day. The Mint reported that the average cost of being a bridesmaid totaled almost $1,700. That’s a huge chunk of change, so it’s important to show these ladies love and appreciation throughout the process. Whether you have 3 bridesmaids or 13, there’s always a way to show your favorite ladies you understand the time and money they’ve invested by dressing them in something they feel both comfortable and beautiful in (that hopefully doesn’t’ break the bank). There are so many ways to let your bridesmaid’s personalities shine through in their fashion for the day. Statement necklaces, different hem lines, a fun shoe… we’ve seen (and LOVE) it all! Here are some of our favorite YEF bridesmaids for dress inspiration.

Images starting top left: Ashley Lorraine Photography, Lunabear Studios, Terry McKaig Photography, Image Industry, Marriott PhotographyiLLume Photography and Eyes2See Photography.