“True love begins where nothing is looked for in return”.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“True love begins where nothing is looked for in return”.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
My fiancé and I are in the process of creating our invitations and are trying to decide whether or not we ask our guests to indicate their entrée choice on their reply card. Can you please explain the reason some couples choose to ask this question and some choose not to? I would imagine there are pros and cons associated with both decision.
You are correct; there are pros and cons that come along with either decision. Some couples feel that asking their guests to make their entree decision prior to the wedding takes away from the surprise factor of the night. Additionally, some feel that it’s difficult for guests to think of what they’d like to eat at the wedding, let alone remember what they selected that far in advance. Weddings where guests are asked to indicate their entree choice when they sit down to dinner are better suited for smaller weddings. Another important factor to take note of is that electing to order upon sitting down can slow down the dining process, as the waiters must collect orders and then work with the chefs behind the scenes to place them. In our experience, this is done most successfully when our clients have done restaurant buyouts, as they are able to utilize unused ingredients on their public menu the following day.
The biggest pro associated with asking your guests for their entree choice in advance is the amount of money you save by allowing your caterer to create a more accurate food order. When entree choices are not made in advance, the caterers have no way of gauging which entrees will be in high demand and are forced to purchase as much as three times the amount of food that will actually be consumed that evening. When you ask your guests to make their entree choice in advance, your total food waste goes down tremendously. I would suggest discussing the various fees associated with all the above options with your caterer before making this decision. If food waste is of particular concern to you, I would definitely suggest you ask your guests for their entree choice in advance or make it easy and choose on their behalf.
Our favorite (and most recommended) way to serve dinner at a wedding is plated. This way the menu is selected ahead of time and guests don’t have to worry about choosing a meal or making a decision once they’re at the wedding. We find that our clients want their guests to have fun and feel as though they are at a festive dinner party. What better way to achieve this feeling than choosing the meal on their behalf? Think of it this way: your wedding is essentially the most fabulous dinner party you’ll ever throw. When hosting a dinner party at home, do you ask your guests in advance what they’d like to eat? If you’re anything like us, the answer is generally no.
I hope you have fun creating your menu, and Bon Appétit!
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This week, the team at Stacy McCain Event Planning decided to have some fun and indulge our fashion forward, party loving, girlish selves a bit. We reached out to Kelly Edmonson, Director of Marketing at ban.do, to update us on all the fabulous ban.do pieces that brides and socialites alike are enjoying this year. We have to admit we’re a little jealous that Kelly’s day-to-day involves playing with feathers, sequins, confetti and glitter!
Q: First, tell us a little bit about ban.do and how it all started.
A: ban.do is an LA based design house specializing in accessories that really pack a punch! It all started in 2008 by two stylists, who’d both created similar headpieces for different occasions. They then thought, “Hey, these are awesome! Other people would love these… we should sell them!” In the beginning, ban.do was purely one-of-a kind couture pieces made out of vintage flowers, lace, ribbons, and other pretty things. The problem with this philosophy was that once these beautiful one-of-a kind pieces were sold, they were gone forever. As demand for the product began to grow, we started to make pieces that we could duplicate multiple times, and now we design pieces that we are able to produce on a grander scale. ban.dos for everyone!
Q: How would you describe the typical ban.do girl?
A: The ban.do gal is fun and definitely loves a good party. She loves all things that shimmer, sparkle & shine. She is strong & silly and also cool & quirky. She stands out in a crowd, and she always keeps you on your toes. The ban.do gal likes to sip champagne cocktails, dance under disco balls, and toss handfuls of confetti.
Q: Tell us about ban.do’s range of products.
A: We do it all these days! ban.do products range from our signature ban.do mini heart, mini pom pom flower, or flash bobbi sets (which start at $10) all the way up to black label pieces (priced at $350) and everything in between. Our new motto is “all day every day”; we firmly believe that there is an appropriate ban.do piece to wear to any occasion ~ big or small ~ at any time of the day or night. ban.do = all day every day!
Q: We absolutely love your bridal and black label collections and think they’d be perfect for the bride who wants something different and unique for her wedding. How did you go about designing these collections, and where do you find inspiration?
A: It’s all about vintage party dresses and starry Hollywood nights. As far as where we go to gather inspiration, there are lots of trips to the flea markets and nowadays, hours and hours spent on pinterest (we are totally obsessed!). After we gather our inspiration, we create a mood board and start to piece together a collection. In all honesty, it usually never turns out like we planned, but the end product is so much better than we could have ever dreamed.
Q: Which colors, styles and products in your collection have been the most popular in 2013?
A: This year, pink and red are staple colors in our world… and gold, we are big on gold! Women absolutely love the flash bobbi sets and buy them in every color. The sparkle and shine sets are fabulous, the twist scarfs are a dream, and the ladies go crazy for our headbands! Of course the signature ban.do heart, and pom pom flowers are always hot sellers too. We are launching our new line very soon, so there will be lots more (and other awesome stuff) where that came from!
Q: What’s the most unique or over the top use of a ban.do product in a wedding that you’ve ever seen?
A: The brides who wear black label are always a little more over the top, but generally our brides tend to find the piece that truly fits their personality and helps them shine on their wedding day. We love to see brides wearing ban.dos! It’s like adding sprinkles to your very favorite ice cream.
Q: What is your all time favorite piece for bridal attire?
A: Hands down, the crystal swirl bobbi. This is such a stunner!
Q: Which ban.do products do you think would make for good bridesmaids gifts?
Q: Do you ever work with brides to create custom pieces? How does that process work?
A: In the past we’ve created custom pieces for brides and absolutely loved collaborating with them, but we’ve taken a break from this for the time being… there are not enough hours in the day! We hope to bring back custom pieces in the future.
Q: Finally, which ban.do piece would you wear in your own wedding?
A: Ha! Well if that ever happens, I think I would wear one of our super fab black label combs.
A big thank you from all of us at SMEP goes out to Kelly for providing us with our weekly fashion fix!
Be sure to check out the following adorable ‘how to’ video that the girls at ban.do put together featuring their fabulous pom poms. After all, a girl can never have too many poms!
Welcome to this month’s installment of 2013 Trends, where we explore all things associated with COLOR! For this interview, we enlisted floral guru Sharla Flock to share her thoughts on the ‘it’ colors of the moment, define colors as they pertain to her overall aesthetic, and to have some fun creating her very own ‘dream wedding’. If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Sharla before, you’ll definitely hear her fun-loving, heartfelt, passionate personality shine through in this interview. We are such fans of Sharla’s work, and are looking forward to partnering with her on several weddings this Summer and beyond!
Q: First, tell us a little bit about Sharla Flock Designs including your scope of services and a description of your overall aesthetic.
A: Sharla Flock Designs is a floral design studio specializing in wedding and event work. I enjoy playing a part in the overall event design whenever possible. For me, there is no better “high” than walking away from a wedding feeling as though it has been flawlessly executed. Having a creative team working together with a passion for design makes our work so fun and rewarding. Details, details, details; it’s all about those tasty little details! I’m drawn to texture, am a freak for color, and love all the subtle differences in tones. Pink is never just pink. Raspberry, bubble gum, blush… Being able to create a floral and color palette for my brides that reflects their aesthetic is what it’s all about. Each wedding is as unique as the individual client!
Q: At the beginning of each year, Pantone announces their Color of the Year, which is Emerald this year. In your experience, does this announcement directly affect the way color trends shift from year to year?
A: In 2012, the Pantone color was Tangerine. I can honestly say until most recently, I have not embraced the color orange and most of my brides have followed suit. I tend to be known for my green, white, brown, blush tones. In my designs, people tend to appreciate neutral palettes that are reflective of nature. However, I am really yearning for more color in 2013 and am excited to see what trends will play out.
I have a wedding in April with a Mad Men underlying theme. Some of the bridesmaids will be in an Emerald tone and I can’t wait to see it!
Q: Are you seeing any innovative color combinations (ie: coral & turquoise) in 2013?
A: Sigh… still not a lot of color yet! I’m getting a lot of requests for Black & White themes again. And of course, all white is still popular. Again, this may speak more to my design aesthetic, which attracts brides who want a more monochromatic color theme. The season is still young and full of possibilities however, and I’m hopeful that color will rain down on this wedding season.
Q: Which colors are you hoping to see more of in 2013?
A: I’m embracing, with a new enthusiasm, the colors of the sunset. There is something about orange, rust, coral, and plum tones that feels so alive and vibrant. They are also a wee bit earthy, which is always something that I gravitate towards. Autumn is like candy for my eyes. I’m also so happy for the turn of seasons when I see the deep plum tones, rich reds, browns, and rusts around every corner at the flower market. It’s as if you can eat you way through the palette. SO yummy!
Q: Which 2012 trends and colors will we be seeing less of in 2013?
A: Blush needs to go on a vacation and bring mercury glass with her. Don’t get me wrong, I have been THE card-carrying member of the “blush peony, garden rose, dusty miller in mercury glass” club for a few years now, but it’s time to move on to something different and perhaps unexpected.
Q: When building a color palatte with your clients, what are the first steps you take towards making a final decision?
A: I listen to what my clients are naturally drawn to. I ask them about the color in their home, what they like to wear. It’s always a tell-tell sign when they whip out their ipad and the cover is hot pink! I give my clients permission to go with the color palette they are drawn to, regardless of the season. It’s so important that the palette be reflective of the client. Having an all blush wedding in October is perfectly acceptable in my book and should be embraced.
Q: If a client comes to you with a desire to incorporate two colors which you feel clash with one another – how do you compromise?
A: I’m always honest with my clients. I wish I could sensor myself at times, but if it feels really jarring, I will always share my concerns. Most times it’s just a matter of adding a transition color to help bridge the gap so the palette feels more cohesive.
Q: How do you gauge the number of colors to be included in a wedding color palatte? Is there a certain number of colors at which you would suggest capping?
A: I try to keep within a color story palette, meaning in a range from light to dark and either warm or cool tones. (this is where my art background rears it’s ugly head – ha!). I love playing around with possible options, mixing textures and colors that really play off each other. I think it’s best to have less range in color and more range in tones. There isn’t a magic number to this equation, it’s more about the type, style, and shape of the individual flowers in addition to the colors.
Q: If you had an opportunity to create your dream wedding featuring your favorite colors and florals – how would it look?
A: I think it would feel like a vintage Thanksgiving: abundance of food, florals, and gratitude. Deep, rich reds, browns, burgundies, and plum tones in a collection of rustic, vintage footed vessels. Think trophy vases, goblets, and tarnished silver. (Side note: I had the loveliest bride this year who had a note for each and every guest at his or her place setting. That kind of thoughtfulness is better than any wedding cake, hands down!) I would see a candlelit evening ceremony followed by a feast of beautiful and delicious food. Then there would be dancing until we collapse on day beds set out on the lawn of the property and fall asleep under the stars.
In case you missed it, click here to see last month’s Trends feature on Lighting!
Hi Stacy. My fiance’s family wants to invite more people than we have allotted in our budget. What’s your suggestion for keeping the peace and staying on budget?
Compiling a guest list is one of the most challenging tasks that often kicks off the wedding planning process. At this point, everything is fresh and exciting – but it’s important to establish clear communication from the very beginning. In other words, if you’re going the traditional route in terms of the bride’s family paying for (the majority) of the fees surrounding the actual wedding day, you need to be clear about your maximum budget. If your fiance’s family wants to invite more guests, you should ask them to pay the additional fees associated with increasing the head count. In doing so, they ultimately make the decision as to whether or not the additional guests are added. We have seen a lot of misinterpretation when it comes to this step: it’s easy for your fiance and his family to feel that you are limiting the number of people they invite, whereas you’re really doing everything in your power to keep the budget in line. As long as everyone is clear about his or her boundaries and desires surrounding the wedding, you should be in good shape from the get go!
Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!
Book Review: The Language of Flowers
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
When planning your wedding, your choice of florals is bound to be one of the most important decisions you make. There are so many things to keep in mind: colors, seasonality, femininity versus masculinity, casual versus formal… the list goes on and on. Another fun and interesting facet you may want to consider is The Language of Flowers that your choice of florals historically conveys.
In Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel entitled The Language of Flowers, she tells the story of a troubled young woman named Victoria who has spent her entire childhood in and out of foster care. In happier times, Victoria spent a significant amount of time living with a foster parent named Elizabeth, who spent hours tending to her garden and teaching Victoria all about the language of flowers. She learns that in the Victorian era, certain flowers held special significance. Traditionally, men would send flowers to women they were courting in order to convey their feelings and intentions. Some carried positive connotations and some signified the end of their relationship.
Having never felt unconditionally loved, Victoria seems determined to live a life of solitude after her emancipation at the age of 18. She continues to navigate the world, eventually reconnecting with a childhood friend whom she learns to trust and finding work with a florist who sees something unique and special in Victoria. As she continues to explore and study the language of flowers, she finds her way in the world by ‘prescribing’ arrangements for clients for special events and occasions.
The Language of Flowers is a deeply moving and heartfelt book, which takes readers on journey of sadness, hope and eventual happiness. One of the reasons we enjoyed the book so much is because it encouraged us to look at flowers from an entirely different perspective. As planners, we found The Language of Flowers to be a thought provoking and fascinating new way of examining floral design for special events.
This captivating book comes complete with ‘Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers’, which outlines the meaning of a plethora of common and exotic flowers. Here are some of our favorites:
More about this book: Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. The Language of Flowers: A Novel. New York: Ballantine, 2011.