Bringing Your Wedding Vision to Life

Bringing Your Wedding Vision to Life

You’re on the homestretch of wedding planning. The wedding is less than two months away. You’ve defined your design style and aesthetic, met your florist and developed an amazing plan to bring your floral dreams to life, and details for the big day. As you approach your wedding day, we recommend keeping a few things in mind to ensure you stay true to your style and priorities.

Photos provided by: Randy Coleman Photography

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Trust Your Choices

You’ve spent time researching and reflecting on your personal style, budget, and wedding design goals. Remember the time you invested in this process during the first stages of planning. There will always be an abundance of wedding inspiration in the form of blogs, magazines, styled shoots, pinned photos, and instagram posts. At this point in your planning process, you should not be seeking new inspiration. Stop pinning and saving instagram posts that are not in line with the plan you’ve developed. There will also come a time when you should stop pinning altogether (read: 2 weeks before the wedding). Resist the urge to incorporate trends or practices you’ve seen in other celebrations that are not true to your vision or feasible within your venue or budget parameters.

Trust Your Professionals

You’ve enlisted an incredible team of professionals to help bring your vision to life. Taking the time early on to ensure your vendors truly understand your priorities and vision will allow them the freedom to perform their service or craft with your best interests in mind. Passing off control and decision making for those minor details will be freeing. This concept especially rings true for your floral and design pros, but the same practice should be applied to other vendors like your coordinator, photographer, or cake designer. Let them focus on the details so that you can focus on what truly matters most: your marriage.

Consider Your Guests

A quick search online will produce surprising and varied results of all the details that guests often overlook at weddings. In our experience favors, programs, invitations, and guest books are the most often forgotten, while mood, aesthetic, food, entertainment, and venue make the most lasting impressions with guests. Don’t let yourself get hung up on the wayward details.

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Envision Your Memories

Our final piece of advice is to remember the significance of this celebration. Look ahead to the memories that will be most vivid to you and your fiance from the wedding day. You should anticipate the emotion this celebration will bring. Think of all the friends and family you’ll get to connect with that day. Look forward to your first look, your vows, and the dance floor later in the night. Let these things shape your wedding planning experience through the perspective of excitement, joy, and love.

  Photos provided by:  Randy Coleman Photography

Photos provided by: Randy Coleman Photography

What to Expect when Meeting with your Florist

What to Expect when Meeting with your Florist

The time has finally arrived to meet with your florist to share your wedding design dreams and you could not be more excited! Before your first consultation, read these tips and insights from industry professionals to help you feel more prepared as a bride and to show your florist that you’re a superstar client.

Photos provided by: Holli B Photography

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Share Your Vision

Help your florist get to know you and the setting for your big day. Paint a picture of the overall wedding aesthetic, personalities as a couple, and the impression you want your guests to have upon arrival. Share why you chose the venue and season. What three or four words would you use to describe your wedding day?

Examples, Examples, Examples

Bring examples. Inspiration Pins, color palette swatches, and pictures of anything you’ve already decided to include in the wedding will help your florist accurately visualize what you’re after much faster. There are, after all, dozens of shades of “raspberry.”

Budget Paves the Way

Be upfront and honest about your budget. It is a firm number or is there is some wiggle room? Your budget guides the florist’s every move. Setting clear budget expectations from the start will pave the way for a positive working relationship. Most florists can work within your budget, but it's important to start the conversation early—and to be open to new ideas and alternatives.

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Must-Have Florals

Every bride dreams of her wedding bouquet, but some brides are surprised at how many different options there are for flowers on the big day. Personal flowers relate to boutonnieres, corsages, and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Ceremony flowers include the welcome table arrangements, altar and aisle decorations. Reception flowers accent and highlight the venue such as centerpieces, cocktail and buffet arrangements, Bride's and groom's chair decorations, and cake flowers. Don’t forget to brainstorm extra blooms you might want for detail photos or floral to be placed on the cake or in your hair. You don’t have to incorporate flowers on every structure, table and awning in the venue, so work with your florist to prioritize which floral arrangements are essential to your vision.

Likes...And Dislikes

You might have your heart set on a particular bloom, or maybe you’ve vowed to be a runaway bride if a certain flower is used in your wedding. Your florist isn’t a mind reader, so help her build a full understanding of your taste. However, it’s possible that your favorite varietals won’t be in season or within your budget, so be flexible and trust your florist to find an alternative that will provide the same look and feel.

Aromas

Aromas absolutely have an effect on the wedding. Some flowers have a light scent that get along with most noses, while others are more fragrant and make a statement. Highly-fragrant flowers can affect how your wedding meal tastes to friends and family. Some flower species are known to trigger allergies. Tell your florist if you’re particularly averse to strong aromas or if you want to be sensitive to any potential allergies your guests may have.

Season Matters

Flowers are delicate and natural things. Your florist is an expert when it comes to the many variables of your wedding day and how these can affect florals. Allow your florist to make substitutions for desired blooms if they are out of season, priced out of your budget, or if weather events affected the crop from the wholesaler. Trust your florist to use her best judgement when making minor substitutions that will help you achieve your end goal on budget that is true to your style.

Keep Your Florist in the Loop

Include your florist in the development of your wedding day timeline. There are a lot of logistics that go into the wedding day florals, many of which require the collaboration between the florist, the venue, and the photographer. You don’t have to be responsible for knowing every little thing, but your florist does! The more she knows, the better she can plan to make your day stress-free.

Make sure you have answers to these questions:

  • What time can the florist arrive for set up?

  • Are there any particular venue restrictions or considerations for the day?

  • What time do you plan on taking photos, and does your photographer want to shoot details like your bouquet first?

  • Do you have a plan to return your bouquet to water or a cooler during any long gaps in photos?

  • Will you designate family to take home arrangements, vases and hardware to be returned to the floral shop?

  • Will the florist return for tear down at the end of the night?

Trust Her Experience and Professionalism

It’s likely that you’ve chosen your florist carefully based on personal recommendations, online reviews, and years of experience. While you should be prepared for your first design consultation, go in with an open mind. Heed the advice above from the professionals, but note that your florist may have her own creative suggestions that you had not considered that could elevate your wedding design. Trust her to have your best interests in mind when creating your wedding design because she wants to make your wedding dreams come true!

Photos provided by: Holli B Photography

Determining your Floral Budget

Determining your Floral Budget

A floral budgeting strategy is essential to feel confident about making the most out of your wedding vision. Once you’ve determined the overall aesthetic that reflects your style, it’s time to develop a budget that will guide your decision making process. Just as you've been advised not to try on bridal gowns outside of your budget, it’s wise to have a floral budget in mind before meeting with any design professionals. Even having a rough idea of your budget for the first design meeting is better than going in blind because it will keep you from making some very expensive commitments.

All Photos Provided by Sarah Libby Photography

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What should I expect to spend?

We’ve found an incredible article from Brides Magazine that gives insight into current wedding floral expenses nationwide. Doing your research will help you develop an idea of what you might expect to spend for all of the floral items such as bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and centerpieces. Start by tallying those numbers to get a sense of your baseline budget. From there, you can begin to add in rough estimates for your ceremony, reception, and accent areas. It might be helpful to put in a few inquiries with local florists to see what your regional minimum and average spends tend to be though be up front that you’re in the research stage of planning.

 You may be surprised to see that most all professional wedding and event florists will have a minimum total spend. Compared to daily floral shops, event florists order wholesale per event and all that is ordered is used for each client. When ordering, florists are required to meet minimum quantities for each bloom or floral variety. Floral comes in bunches and packs rather than by the stem. Though your bouquet may only have two-three Proteas, your florist may have been required to order eight.

It can be quite easy to let your budget get away from you. Here’s a few pieces of advice to help you stretch your floral further.

1. While the number of your bridesmaids and groomsmen will certainly determine the bulk of your budget right away, you want to honor those friends and family closest to you. If you’re on the fence about a large wedding party, your floral budget may help sway that decision. If you’ve chosen your attendants and need to ensure you’re on budget, you may consider smaller bridesmaids bouquets, minimal boutonnieres, or even limit the number of family corsages and boutonnieres. We often hear concern about where to draw the line for boutonnieres and corsages. While these items are not a necessity, if you know a family member would be honored to receive one, please include them. It’s best to ensure that these are evenly distributed between both sides of the family or skipped altogether to avoid any hurt feelings.  

2. Another tip to stretch your floral budget further is to place floral accents and arrangements strategically in highly photographed or visible spaces. Consider making a statement near the head table, at your seating chart, in the ceremony space, or even near the cake table and keeping the table arrangements minimal. Choose focal points that all the guests will see or visit throughout the evening.

3. Consider utilizing candles, hardware, and other decor for centerpieces. You can save big by using hardware in lieu of or in addition to floral on the tables. You may also save by incorporating two-three different looks across the reception tables rather than ordering a couple dozen stand alone arrangements for all the tables. Do take such advice with caution though. If you can find used or secondhand decor, this will create huge savings. You may spend more on decor than floral if you’re searching new items only. Check with your florist or designer to see if you have access to any candles or lanterns with your package.

4. Finally, check to see if any of your arrangements can serve a dual purpose. Bridesmaids bouquets and mothers’ nosegays work perfectly for table arrangements following the ceremony. If your ceremony is in a different location than the reception, check with your venue or design team to see if those arrangements could be moved to the reception following photos.

When considering all of these tips, remember what’s most important to you. Be open and honest about your budget and your priorities with your florist and trust her experience and care to find creative ways to help you achieve your vision on budget.

All Photos Provided by Sarah Libby Photography

Identifying Your Wedding Design Style

Identifying Your Wedding Design Style

You said yes, you’re ready to begin the next adventure with your fiance, and you cannot wait to dive into wedding planning, but the task of identifying your style can be overwhelming. It seems that wedding design inspiration is endless, and you’re unsure where to begin. Let us break this seemingly daunting task down for you into a manageable process.

There are two ways to go about determining your wedding design style:
Path A: You can identify your style, then let that guide your venue and wedding date selection. Path B: You can determine your wedding date and venue and work in your style based on a few parameters the date and location set.

Either way you begin, identifying your design style should be at the forefront of your wedding planning checklist.

Wedding design style is comprised of key elements: color, texture, and mood. Your chosen style will affect several key areas in wedding planning: attire, floral, decor, stationery, and overall atmosphere of the event.

1. Define Your Aesthetic

First, envision the overall aesthetic for your design and the impression you want your guests to experience at the wedding. Reflect on your tastes, interests, and lifestyle as a couple. Your relationship and interests are unique to your celebration. Your guests look forward to celebrating you and want a peek into your character. For example, if your families are in ranching, then a more rustic style would complement your celebration...so feel free to pull in those cowhide rugs and farm tables. Be true to you!

To help you get started, here are a few classic and trending aesthetics defined.

Bohemian: Boho wedding vibes will be prominently displayed in bridal and bridesmaids attire and decor styling. Bring in unique floral accents and textures. Think organic and inspired by nature.

Photos by: The Tarnos

Rustic: Rustic weddings typically tend to be more relaxed and laid back celebrations. Key style elements will nod to the outdoor lifestyle incorporating natural wood, burlap, mason jars, and wood slabs into the decor.

Photos by: Holli B Photography

Modern-Industrial: Key features include raw textures and materials such as exposed brick or ductwork, iron, copper, and other metallics. Venues tend to be a blank canvas with sharp lines.

Photos by: Redeemed Productions

Glam: These weddings tend to be extravagantly decorated and more formal in attire and flow of the event. Think black tie, uplighting, embellishment, shine and sparkle, and dramatic focal points.

Photos by: Holli B Photography

Garden-Romantic: This style is a beautiful blend of glam and bohemian aesthetics. Incorporate fresh greenery, delicate, feminine florals, warm candlelight, and pull those elements together in a polished timeless color palette.

Photos by: Aaron Snow Photography

2. Get Inspired

Once you’ve identified your style, begin browsing for inspiration before making any further planning decisions or purchases. Seek out sources of inspiration that showcase real weddings as opposed to styled shoots. This will help you accurately envision your plans based on how elements have been executed by others. When you browse real wedding inspiration, you’ll be able to determine if a particular style element that you love will actually fit into your seasonal, venue, and budget parameters.

Here are a few great sites that allow you to search by style, season, and color palette:

Brides of OK

Style Me Pretty

Brides Magazine

June Bug Weddings

3. Use Helpful Tools

You know what you like, but maybe you just can’t seem to make a cohesive vision board. Tools like Coolors, a color palette generator, can help you find stunning transition and accent colors to complement a color you have in mind. When your wedding Pinterest board becomes cluttered and overwhelming, seek out sites like Moodboard to see how everything you’re attracted to fits together so you can keep your vision streamlined.

4. Be True, Not Trendy

Finally, take pause before diving into a trending style. If you’re particularly infatuated with a trend, envision looking back to your wedding photos on your 10th, 20th, and 40th anniversaries. Be confident that the trend speaks to your unique style and isn’t just your latest obsession of things that are buzzing around glamour world. If you’re looking for a middle ground, consider bringing trendy elements into accent areas such as accessories, stationery, favors, or bridal party gifts, or incorporate the trend into other wedding events like bridal or engagement portraits, the bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner.

Happy planning!

February Weddings at Southwind Hills

February Weddings at Southwind Hills

Ready to Start Your Forever Together?

February at Southwind Hills has Amazing Benefits!

What season are you considering for your wedding? Are you comfortable risking the chance of rain for a Spring wedding to have the perfect flowers? Or are you planning around the heat of Summer for that outdoor ceremony? Are you into the orangey-natural tones of Fall? Let’s dream of a white, wintry wedding!

With a winter wedding, there is the possibility that you could have the actual “white wedding” if it snowed on your special day, but even if you don’t have any flurries, winter is a blank canvas and allows for any style or color scheme.  There are some incredible perks to having your wedding during the “Love Month” here at Southwind Hills.

For the month of February 2018, we have quite the availability with most Fridays and Saturdays available during this month. We are offering the promotion of 10% off the venue rental plus a floral credit of $1,500 from our talented Southwind Hills Florist.

Advantages

  • Less competition for highly sought-after dates at this premier venue.
  • Other wedding vendors may have more availability.

  • February is just between the busy holiday season and just before the hectic spring schedule, so your guests will not likely have a conflicting event to attend.

  • No stressing weather as our entire facility is indoors and climate controlled.

  • It is the month of love!

  • Travel and accommodations are cheaper during this month.

  • While flowers tend to be a little more expensive in this season you won’t experience that stress because Southwind Hills is providing you a $1,500 floral credit!

Call us at (405) 837-9463 or email events@southwindhills.com to check availability!

Planning Your Ceremony

Planning Your Ceremony

Sometimes the wedding ceremony planning can take a backseat to the dress, flowers and all the other details of your special day, but don’t just let those precious moments fly by in a blur. Here are 6 things to consider in preparing a meaningful and memorable ceremony.

 

1. Think about your guests

You may think that your guests have simply resigned themselves to sitting through a ceremony so they can hit the open bar and dance the evening away. But the truth is that we all hunger for the meaning behind important milestones. Weddings symbolize hope, the future – and love. Is there anyone who doesn’t need to hear that? Couples cherish these moments to remind themselves of their own special day. So take time to think about what your guests could get out of your wedding ceremony.

 

2. It’s your Wedding Day

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to convince younger couples (and sometimes even remind more mature ones) that this is their day to celebrate their bond, their relationship, and that it can be exactly what they want it to be – and doesn’t have to be anything that they don’t want it to be. So take the time to consider who you are as a couple and what special elements you want to include in ceremony.

 

3. Tell your Love Story

What do you think will be remembered and talked about most? The candy bar? The table linens? Doubtful. People will remember your Love Story, what was expressed in words, symbols, and rituals, and all the elements that reflect the authenticity of who you are as unique individuals and as a unique couple. These are the things that resonate with people. Don’t feel pressured to do things that are not comfortable for you. If you are uncomfortable speaking in front of people, don’t write and read your own vows.  All eyes are on you, so only do things that make you and your finance comfortable. The things that you consider important in life as individuals and as a couple – your core values and beliefs – should be woven throughout the ceremony. You are completely unique and have deeply held convictions. Express them.

 

4. Love Matters

Love is transcendent. It is a spiritual condition, and set apart from other human experiences. Your wedding is an opportunity to honor it as such, and to remind everyone present that Love is a force of nature, a force to be reckoned with. Love matters, and we all need to hear that.

 

5. Size doesn’t matter

Three hundred guests at a huge banquet hall or twenty guests in your backyard, your wedding is still a deeply meaningful milestone event – for you and your community. It isn’t a competition. So take the time to consider who is really important to be included in the celebration of your marriage.

 

6. Key Players

Take the time to consider who will officiate your wedding. A personal connection with the officiate will make your ceremony more personal. If you do not have a relationship with your officiate, take the time as a couple to meet and get to know each other.  The ceremony is a great place to include other special people in your lives. A scripture or quote reading is a great place to incorporate a family member or special friend.  If you have a special person that can sing or play an instrument (and who is tremendously talented) ask them to consider preparing a special song for your ceremony.

 

Finally, communicate your ceremony layout with your coordinator and officiate. Allow both of these individuals to help you think through all the details. Ceremonies should be discussed with your officiate at least one month prior to your wedding.

 

Happy Planning!

 

 

Your Wedding Dream Team

Your Wedding Dream Team

Enlisting a team of wedding professionals who compliment your style can often be a daunting task. Navigating online reviews and bridal shows can be completely overwhelming and misleading in giving you the best understanding of a vendor's’ ability, reputation, and personality. Below are some tips for choosing quality professionals you’ll come to trust and adore!

Ask your Venue Coordinator.

Venue coordinators have great experience with a variety of local vendors so they're an excellent source of reliable insight and recommendations about who can best help carry out your vision. Many venues have a list of “Preferred Vendors”. This does not mean you must choose from their list, it’s simply a collection of professionals who have proven themselves to provide a great product and service. They’ve proven their word is golden and that’s something that matters on your wedding day! Also, when you choose from the list of preferred vendors, you often are given special deals such as no delivery fees, special package pricing, etc. As you hire more vendors that you like and trust, ask them for their recommendations. You will definitely want a team that works well together, especially your videographer and photographer as they work long hours side-by-side capturing the same moments.

Talk to friends and family.

Nothing beats a personal recommendation; someone who is tried and true in your circle. However, that’s not always the best solution as your decision is extremely personal based off of your unique personality and vision. Ask to see examples of the work or a few other friends and families options of the specific wedding. Additionally, your big day is NOT the day to let a friend build their portfolio or try out their new found hobby. You’ve invested a significant amount of money for your photographer and want your makeup looking High Def and gorgeous. Likewise, you’ve chosen your dream venue and décor that you will always want to remember. Don’t lose those precious photo opp’s because your photographer doesn’t know how to adjust his/her camera settings or manage their timeline.

 

Ask to meet in person.

Reading online reviews can be so tricky. Most clients going online to review their vendors either had incredible or dreadful experiences, so it can be difficult to develop an unbiased opinion.  Set up a meeting or interview to discuss each vendor’s style and timeline expectations for the day of the wedding.  Make sure you like the people you’ll be working with and feel their professionalism each time you speak with them. You’ll be spending your entire wedding day with some of your vendors, so you want to make sure you are completely comfortable with them.

 

Once you have chosen your vendors, stay in touch with them.

Schedule a hair and makeup trial, have that food, wine or cake tasting, and schedule your engagement session before the big day! This is your time to speak up about what you do or do not like and true professionals will have no problem working through any hiccups BEFORE the wedding day.

 

Review contracts with a fine tooth comb. Look for any extra charges or fees so there are no surprises and make sure you understand the services you are getting. There’s nothing worse than having a photographer jet out hours before the grand exit or a band start to pack up when the night is still young.

At the end of the day, trust your own instincts. Be open with your communication to yourself, your future spouse, and your vendors. Ask yourself the hard questions. Are you comfortable with this person? Is this person within your budget? Does their vision align with yours? Do you trust this person to do as they say they will? Don’t be afraid to pump the brakes if something doesn’t feel right.

Don’t forget that we are here for you…just ask! Even if you’re considering an outside vendor, chances are, our coordinators have had recent experience with them and aren’t afraid to give an honest opinion.

You're Invited!

You're Invited!

 Photo Credit:  The Tarnos

Photo Credit: The Tarnos

You’ve set a date. You’ve chosen a venue. Things just got real.

We’ve got your essential and practical tips on creating a guest list, sending save-the-dates and invitations, and keeping track of your RSVPs.

Guest List: According the The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings Studythe average number of guest attending weddings in 2015 was 139, down from 149 in 2009. Today’s couples are choosing more intimate celebrations which can be appealing in a number of ways: friendlier budgets, extravagant guest experiences, and more time to devote to interacting with your guests the day of the wedding. Large weddings are certainly not out, but ensure your budget adjusts accordingly to your social circle. Try your best to not step on anyone’s toes as your families come together to create your guest list. Having an open conversation (or two or three) with your parents and in-laws about essential invites will be critical.

Save-The- Dates: Save-the-dates typically should be sent 4-7 months prior to your big day. While these may be tempting to send out soon after your engagement, refrain from sending these puppies prematurely. The details of your ceremony may change slightly and your guest list may evolve through several revisions. It’s wise to include the URL of your wedding website on this announcement. Budget tip: Explore electronic save-the-date options from sites likePaperless Post.

Invitations: Plan on sending your invitations 8-10 weeks prior to your wedding.  Vendors for custom invitations are endless. Want something uniquely your’s? Inquire to a local print designer. We recommend Touies Design from Norman, OK. Need a little more structure, but still want the ability to customize to your style? Check out an online vendor like Wedding Paper Divas. Be sure to include a note regarding the style of the reception following the ceremony. We also recommend including an enclosure card with essential details such as: directions and accommodations. It is also courteous to include a pre-posted response card with the invitation (we’ll talk more on RSVPs soon). A huge no-no is listing registries on your invitations. Bed, Bath, and Beyond is certainly going to try to convince you otherwise, but let your guests ask around for your registries or visit your wedding website for such information.

RSVPs: Ask your guests to RSVP 4 weeks prior to the wedding. Doing so will allow you extra time for those late responses to roll in before you finalize the headcount with your vendors likely 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding.

 

 Photo Credit: Tammy Odell Photography

Photo Credit: Tammy Odell Photography

Advantages of Hosting a Weekday Wedding

Advantages of Hosting a Weekday Wedding

When mentioning the possibility of a weekday wedding, most couples typically hesitate. This should so not be the case, let us explain.

  • Value

It is no secret that hosting a wedding on a weekday will be significantly less expensive than booking over a weekend. Weekdays would be dates most vendors consider as a bonus booking and would likely allow them to reduce their rates in order to accommodate your needs. Therefore, you’ll enjoy first pick on the best vendors & venues! Also, if you want to go big on floral or food (& who doesn’t), those dreamy florals and quality caterers can be a reality where it was possibly out of reach paying full venue and vendor pricing on a budget. Yay!

  • Significant Dates

Rather than getting as close as possible to a meaningful date in your life, you have first dibs to the ideal date. We’ve known brides to share their parents’ wedding anniversary or honor a noteworthy date meaningful to their own history. No need to settle for the closest Saturday; the importance of a date will be cherished for a lifetime.

  • Intimacy

The purpose of having a wedding is to celebrate with those who have supported you and your fiancé’s relationship and loved you both into a place where you decide to spend forever with each other. For some, yes, this needs to be a large number. However, nothing is sweeter than bringing those who have played the biggest role in your relationship together and showing them just how cherished they are in your life. For couples looking to spend their big day with a small guest count, a weekday wedding is the perfect way to accomplish this.

Side note: Your traveling guests will thank you for cheaper airfare and lodging.  

If you are looking to host a weekday wedding, please consider Southwind Hills as your wedding venue to pull off the greatest day of your life! Let us talk details and customize your ideal wedding at a dream venue.

(405) 837-9463 , events@southwindhills.com