2013 Trends: Bridal Party Jewelry with AJ Stout of Stella & Dot

In this month’s 2013 Trends feature, we decided to have some fun discussing a favorite pastime of many women out there: accessorizing!  As wedding planners, we encourage our brides to think about bridal jewelry (their own as well as their bridal party’s) as they move along in the planning process. Plus, playing with jewels and accessories is just plain fun!

We reached out to AJ Stout, Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, based out of San Francisco, for her expert opinion on 2013 trends. AJ also shared some photos from a recent shoot she styled using Stella & Dot jewelry, enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about Stella & Dot, when and where was the company created, and how you got involved as an independent stylist.                                                                                                                                                                     Stella & Dot was founded by our CEO Jessica Herrin as Luxe Jewels in 2003. The company evolved, and in 2007, Jessica partnered with Blythe Harris, Chief Creative Officer and re-branded Luxe Jewels as Stella & Dot, which they named after their grandmothers. The company is based in San Bruno, CA. I began working as an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, as a means to satisfy my need to work in a “feel good” capacity after battling Triple Negative Inflammatory breast cancer last year. Styling my clients with beautiful jewelry has motivated me and helped me make many wonderful personal connections!

AJ Stout

AJ Stout

How does the process of seeing and selecting pieces of jewelry work with Stella & Dot? Have you ever held a special party for a bride and the members of her bridal party?

Stella & Dot jewelry is designed in New York City and San Francisco and each piece is hand crafted. Our design team has worked with luxury brands like LVMH and Coach. For wedding jewelry, I have helped brides incorporate a Stella & Dot trunk show into their bridal shower so that they can earn style rewards (jewelry credit) towards their own wedding jewels, and choose jewelry for the bridesmaids, mother-of the bride, or flower girls.  Typically, when the guests know their shopping benefits the bride, they are happy to shop to help her earn style rewards to look beautiful for her big day!

Tell us about the price range of Stella & Dot jewelry.

Half the line is under $50, which makes it affordable for most women. Our current price range is $16 – $298.

Does Stella & Dot create pieces that are specifically geared towards brides?

Our products are not geared to a specific occasion; however, our designers do an excellent job of having some very elegant pieces available, which I have often recommended to my bridal clients.

What bridal trends have you noticed in 2013?

The Great Gatsby film has influenced many bridal looks this year. As seen in the bridal photos, the Stackable Deco rings (et of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

As well as the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44).  Both pieces emulate the art deco style of The Great Gatsby.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Adding a ‘pop of color’ with jewelry can really heighten the overall look of a bridal outfit. Which colors have been the most popular in 2013?

The aqua stones of the Lily Chandelier earrings have been a pretty choice for my bridal clients who want to add a little color to their look, and they’re priced well at $39!

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

What are some favorite pieces that you’ve seen brides and bridesmaids wear in 2013?

My hands down favorite piece is the Ainsley bracelet ($98), which I am wearing in the potrait above.  It’s a sparkly stretch bracelet that adds a lot of glamour to the overall look:

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

In your opinion, which pieces of jewelry should a bride consider giving to her bridesmaids to wear at her wedding?

I think it all depends on the dress style and is often budget driven. When I got married a few years ago, I bought matching bracelets for my bridesmaids to give them a consistent look and a little color as they were in black dresses.  Something to keep in mind when giving the bridesmaids a piece of jewelry is that it’s a gift for them to wear on the wedding day and hopefully something they will want to wear again and again.

In the 2013 collection, does Stella & Dot feature pieces that would be appropriate for a wide range of ages within a bridal party (i.e. the Bride, Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom)?

We have a wonderful collection of jewelry appropriate for the different age ranges of the bridal party.

The bride may want something as simple as our Glint Flower Cubic Zirconia necklace ($39):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Or something more contemporary, like our Dot Bloom necklace ($198):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Bridesmaids can acheive an elegant lace look with the Geneve Lace Bib necklace, ($96):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Flower girls will feel fancy in their Mini Soiree necklace ($24) and Bracelet ($16):

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

I’ve also seen the mother-of-the bride choose to wear a statement necklace. Some women are reluctant to wear larger pieces of jewelry, but for a wedding where they will be wearing a glamorous dress, these pieces can really bring out the best in their personal style! I like the Marchesa necklace ($178) for a luxurious look.

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

If you had an opportunity to style your dream wedding featuring jewelry from the 2013 Stella & Dot collection, which pieces would you include?

I recently styled the following photo shoot and included pieces which really set the tone for the overall elegant theme.

On the blonde model is the Metropolitan Mix Chain necklace, (was $198, now available directly through me for $99), the Glint Flower cubic zirconia earrings ($39), and one the Stackable Deco rings (set of 3 for $49).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

On the brunette model are the vintage inspired Deco Drop earrings ($44), as well as some very affordable bling: the Radiance Coil bracelet ($29).

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

© Stella & Dot

Check out the photos from my shoot here:

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo by Michelle Lacson Photography

Photo shoot credits:

Photographer: Michelle Lascon http://www.michellelacsonphotography.com

Jewelry Styling: AJ Stout, Stella & Dot Independent Stylist http://www.stelladot.com/AJStout

Shoot Coordinator: Hoofrish Patel – Tamrish Events http://www.tamrish.com/

~

Thank you, AJ, for sharing all of these helpful tips and ideas!

~

Please contact AJ directly for more information about Stella & Dot and any of the pieces she referenced in this interview: ajstoutstyle@gmail.com.

And be sure to read out last installment of 2013 TRENDS focusing on Wedding Cakes with Amber McKenney of Sweet On Cake!

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Honeymoon Packing Guide with BB Style

The Big Day has come and gone in the blink of an eye! You are still running on adrenaline, feeling exhausted, and asking yourself how the wedding flew by so quickly. The good news is it’s finally honeymoon time! Say goodbye to your friends and family and take off on some much needed newlywed time to enjoy and celebrate being Mr. & Mrs.

Tackling your honeymoon packing can seem like a big task. With all of the other wedding planning and outfit styling leading up to the wedding, your honeymoon had felt so far away. I recommend packing ahead and being very strategic. It is definitely easier to pack for warm weather locations (as well as a very popular for honeymoon destinations), but you should still take time to plan ahead.

Tips on preparing and packing for your fabulous, tropical or otherwise warm weather honeymoon:

Make a checklist before packing to keep yourself organized, making sure you don’t forget anything

– Keep in mind what activities or dinners you have planned to keep your packing focused on what you will actually wear and need – don’t just throw in every sundress or tank you own.

– Keep it simple! Lay out everything you think you might want to bring, then edit and edit again. Bring pieces that mix and match together so you can wear things more than once in different combinations

– Make sure to bring a few cute dresses that make you feel great and can be worn for daytime fun or dressed up for a romantic dinner

– Accessories don’t take up a lot of packing room, are an easy way to change up an outfit and make it feel different even if it’s the second time you’ve worn it

Bring a beach tote and hat that fold up and are easy to squeeze in your suitcase so you don’t have to carry it on separately

– Don’t over pack shoes.  During the day you will either wear sandals / flip flops for the beach or shoes to walk around and/or do activities.  At night you really only need one pair of great wedges or dressier sandals to wear to dinner.

With my outfit recommendations, you can wear these fun, bright warm weather styles for the following:

Daytime activities- an excursion touring a cute beach town, visiting local sites, having lunch or doing some shopping

Relaxation Time- lounging by the pool, at the beach, doing spa treatments or on a great patio just hanging out together – enjoying some tropical drinks, reading or dozing

Romantic Dinner- Having drinks after a day in the sun followed by getting dressed up for a romantic newlyweds dinner.

Try to enjoy every minute and make sure to take advantage of all the honeymoon attention and perks!

Honeymoon Packing Style Board

Shop the looks below:

Relaxing Poolside-

Emamo Printed Kaftan Coverup

Calypso St Barth Maxi DressJ. Crew Beaded Rose Necklace

Supergoop Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50

Anthropologie Floral Swimsuit

Essie Nail Polish “Sunday Funday”

Stella and Dot Travel Jewelry Roll

Romantic Dinner-

Calypso St Barth Ikat Maxi Dress

Jack Rogers Gold Sandals

Ray Ban Cat Eye Sunglasses

Elizabeth Cole Statement Earrings

Floral Bella Black Raffia Clutch

K.Jacques Fringe Sandals

Eberjey Crochet Romper Nightie

Daytime Activities-

Lemlem Stripe Gauze Scarf

Tibi Pink Silk Tank

J. Crew Printed Shorts

Flora Bella Large Raffia Beach Tote

Kenneth Jay Lane Turquoise Necklace

J. Crew Gold Bangles

Target Geometric Bikini

ban.do iPhone Case

Joie Embroidered Top

Metallic Floppy Sun Hat

White Fringe Cross Body Purse

J. Crew Linen Bandana Tee

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring Post Wedding Day Brunch Style!

Post Wedding Day Brunch Style with BB Style

Welcome back to our newest installment of wedding styling tips featuring BB Style!  The day after your wedding, you’re exhausted, still running on pure adrenaline and want to relax with your guests after the Big Day. You’ve pulled out all the stops with fabulous outfits throughout the week, and now your post wedding day brunch is the final event before you head out on your honeymoon (yay!). Whether your brunch is a casual “grab and go” event or a full sit down meal, you want to continue to show off your unique wedding style.

Bri’s tips on styling outfits for your Post Wedding Day Brunch:

– Go with a maxi dress or cute skirt and top. After being in your dress for several hours on the Big Day, dressing in a fun chic outfit for your brunch will set the casual post-wedding tone, and allow you to relax and reminisce about your wedding.

– Consider opting for cute flats to give your feet a rest!

– Compliment your playful brunch outfit with some colorful accessories.

– It’s ok to wear your shades, especially to an outdoor brunch. I suggest shielding your tired eyes with some cat eye or round sunglasses.

– Wear your new initial… there are so many cute monogramed jewelry options on the market!  I love seeing these on a delicate necklace, bracelet or ring (such as the Bauble Bar Initial Disk Necklace, featured with the beach outfit).

Post Wedding Brunch Style Board BB Final(1)

Beach OutfitMiss Selfridge Embroidered Dress | Ray Ban Aviators | Bauble Bar Initial Disk Necklace | Bauble Bar Triad Cuff | Zara Embroidered Bag | Zara Sparkly Flats

City OutfitJoie Lace Dress | Kate Spade “Mrs.” Necklace | Forever 21 Pyramid Bangle | Kenneth Jay Lane Oval Ring | Just Fab Nude Heels

Garden Outfit- Zara Embroidered Top | Miss Selfridge Pom Skirt | J. Crew Neon Stone Necklace | Bauble Bar Bridal Bangle | Loft Color Block Wedges

Wine Country Outfit– J. Crew Silk Maxi Dress | Cat Eye Round Glasses | Tom Binns Statement Earrings | Jennifer Meyer for J. Crew Jeweled Cuff | Zara Flat Sandals

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring Rehearsal Dinner Style

2013 TRENDS: Florals with Atelier Joya

Welcome back to our recurring monthly series, 2013 TRENDS.  This month we selected to interview the dynamic design duo at Atelier Joya, Priska Kaspar Jayme and Lisa Boone.  We cannot speak highly enough about these innovative, enthusiastic and creative women and love any opportunity we have to work with them.  Atelier Joya is forever ahead of the curve, so it seemed fitting to ask them to forecast this year’s trends in florals. On behalf of Atelier Joya, Lisa shares her thoughts on the exciting things in store for 2013.

Lisa Boone and Priska Jayme Jasper

Lisa Boone and Priska Kaspar Jayme

Q: First tell us about Atelier Joya and how your company got started.

A: Priska has been working with flowers since she was a little girl. She grew up in Switzerland where her parents owned a nursery & flower shop. She knows the ins and outs of flowers and has had a passion for them all of her life. I have a background in interior design & styling and can remember spending many afternoons as a child doing the “decorating” for parties and always wanting to make my surroundings beautiful. Priska & I met while working for an event design company together. A year after both of us had left, we realized we missed working together and that we both were interested in starting a business. We both wanted to continue doing what we loved and knew we had the background to make it happen. That’s how it all began…

Decor by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, Photo by: Sergio Mottola

Decor by Atelier Joya, Photo by: Sergio Mottola

Q: How would you describe Atelier Joya’s philosophy of design?  What makes your work stand out amongst your peers in terms of quality, products and materials?

A: Atelier Joya has a refined, sophisticated style. For each event there are several key components we consider: color, proportion and a dramatic/unexpected element. We always take the venue into consideration and create designs that not only highlight the venue, but also enhance any decor elements that we bring in.

We always use the highest quality materials and believe in excellent craftsmanship. Priska has been in the floral business for over 20 years and she knows exactly how flowers respond to different handling techniques, climates and seasons. She is able to create any style of arrangement, as she deeply understands the technical skills behind it. I think what really makes us stand out amongst our peers is the thoughtfulness that goes into each event.  Not only do we design the floral arrangements, we design the entire event! By taking every differing design component into consideration, we are able to enhance each component of the design and have a cohesive look with layers of depth, dimension and surprise.

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Q: Which flowers and themes were popular in 2012 that you think you’ll be seeing less of in 2013? Can you share some photos?

A: Mercury glass was very popular, along with florals in shades of blush pink and ivory with a hint of dusty miller mixed in.

Design & florals by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sasha Gulish

Design & florals by Atelier Joya, photo by: Sasha Gulish

Q: In your opinion, what are the new ‘it’ colors and floral trends for 2013?  Can you share some photos of these colors and trends?

A: We’re seeing a bit more color this year. There are lots of corals, peaches and even some fruits like kumquats and textural materials. The loose, organic, garden style is very popular right now too.

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Q: Are there any new varieties of flowers, herbs or other plants on the market this year that you’ve not seen in the past?  Can you share some photos?

A: Every year we see a few new varieties of roses, garden roses dahlias and tulips. While this isn’t a new variety, we absolutely love using tree peonies during the 2-4 week period that they are available at the market.

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Florals & photo by Atelier Joya

Q: We saw a lot of mercury glass vessels being used in 2012.  Do you think a new innovative container and/or material will take center stage this year?

 A: We’re seeing a lot of gold accents (i.e. votives, silverware, rims of plates). We also think earthenware and ceramic pieces will take center stage. For us, we really like to focus on using specialty vessels that aren’t necessarily the latest trend, but are specifically sourced for the event. Our pieces are selected to showcase the flowers perfectly and to make an original arrangement that adds a one of a kind experience for the guests.

Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics

Photo courtesy Dwell Studio

Photo courtesy Dwell Studio

Q: When you start working with a new client on a wedding, how does the process begin?

A: It’s so much fun starting to work with a new client.  Initially, we sit down with the couple and talk about their vision for the day. What is it that they want to experience…what is the feeling they want to evoke. We have them fill out a questionnaire that helps us to get to know more about them as a couple. Some questions we might ask are what their hobbies are, what their dream home would look like, where do they like to travel, what magazines do they read, etc. We gather lots of information to get a real sense of the couple and come up with ideas for ways to have their personality shine through at the wedding. We spend time looking at photos together and learn what they gravitate towards. Once we have a good sense of who they are and what they are envisioning, we get to work designing for them.

Q: In your experience, how much of her budget should a bride set aside for florals and event design?

A: The budget really depends on the client’s priorities. For some clients, their most important component is the food, while for others it might be the music and for others the floral & decor. I think a great deal depends on the venue that is selected as well. The budget varies quite a bit depending on how many items need to be brought in versus how much the venue already provides.

Q: What is the most over the top, fabulous event you’ve been a part of?  Can you tell us about your contributions and share some photos?

A: A really amazing event for us to design was the Kim Crawford Welcome Tent at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. With over 20,000 guests attending the event, we captured the brand’s whimsical, glamorous image as well as evoked a Miami Beach vibe. We created the overall concept/design for the tent. Our client gave us the freedom to think outside the box and go big with an 80′ wall art installation. It was so satisfying to see our initial rendering come to life

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya, Photo by: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya  Photo: Jason Koerner

Design by: Atelier Joya Photo: Jason Koerner

Photo by Atelier Joya

Rendering by Atelier Joya

Q: If you had an opportunity to put together your dream event (wedding or otherwise) with all your favorite florals and an unlimited budget, what would it look like?  

A: I would love to host an event in a faraway destination like the Greek Isles in a beautiful home with white stucco walls and a stunning view of the Aegean sea. It would be a gathering of close friends and family and it would be a time to relax, take in the sun and eat amazing food. I picture the decor in the evening being a sea of gorgeous lanterns scattered about the villa and large antiqued pots overflowing with fresh local flowers each day.

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo courtesy Elle Decor

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo courtesy Photo Bucket

Photo on the left by Elle Decor; lanterns on the right from Casamidy

Photo on the left by Elle Decor; lanterns on the right from Casamidy

In case you missed it, click here to read out last TRENDS entry, featuring Rentals with Hartmann Studios

Rehearsal Dinner Style with BB Style

Welcome back to our style series featuring Brianne Binder with BB Style! Today, we have another exciting Wedding Style guide for those of you who have been thinking about what you’ll be wearing to your Rehearsal Dinner and/or are in panic mode to find the perfect something to wear on the eve of your big day.

Have no fear, Brianne has some great styles to inspire you and get you ready for your Rehearsal Dinner; whether it’s a Beach, Garden, Wine Country or City Wedding. This is the big kick off to your wedding celebration, and you’ll be surrounded by family and dear friends. Since you’ll be the talk of the party and glowing with excitement, you’ll want to look put together with all of the attention focused on you!

Here’s a few suggestions on finding the right look that fits your style and event:

– It’s always fun to wear white or cream, to feel very bridal.  Brianne suggests adding some fun colorful jewelry or striking shoes. (glitter is always fun).

– Try a different silhouette than you would normally wear or a bold pattern that stands out.

– If you have a wedding theme, say, for example, Great Gatsby inspired, wear a dress that also goes along with the theme to get everyone excited for the details to come on the big day.

– Don’t be afraid to sparkle! Wear a dressy sequin dress in a flattering silhouette.

– You can’t go wrong with lace in any color! (Check out a couple of cute options here and here).

– Order options online so you can try them on at home and feel really good about your final decision. If you feel confident you will shine even brighter.

Have fun with it and try not to stress; everything will come together!

Rehearsal Dinner Style Board 2 _ BB Style

Beach OutfitMilly Chiffon Halter in Coral | Kate Spade Pearl Studs | Zara Clutch | J. Crew Nude Wedge

Wine Country OutfitNotte by Marchesa One Shoulder Dress | LuLu Frost by J. Crew cuff | Anthropologie Clutch | Kate Spade Sequin Bow Heels

 Garden OutfitJ. Crew Lace Dress | Kate Spade Bridal Statement Necklace | Jeweled Cuff | Tory Burch Gold Clutch | J. Crew Pave Chain Link Flats Gold

City OutfitMango Sequin Dress | LuLu Frost for J. Crew Star Earrings | DVF Clutch | Kate Spade Heels

Find all styles on BB Style’s Pinterest board here.

Click here in case you missed our last installment with BB Style, featuring tips on Bridal Shower Style!

2013 Trends: Rentals with Hartmann Studios

Welcome to May’s installment of 2013 Trends, where we discover this year’s innovative and ever growing world of rentals. Many of our clients, have no idea where to start, what their options are and what they’ll need to pull-off their dream event (as I’m sure many of you can relate). Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We  spoke with Melanie Leinweber and Kelly Burns-Gaoiran, expert Sales Associates with Hartmann Studios, to let us in on the latest event design and rental offerings.

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: First, tell us a little bit about Hartmann Studios and your scope of services.

A: We specialize in the millions of details that work together to create an unforgettable event. In 1982, visionary, designer, and entrepreneur Bob Hartmann founded Hartmann Studios in a small warehouse in San Francisco’s South of Market area. A gifted artist, he created stunning environments for events all over the city and around the world, gaining a reputation for strong design and impeccable execution.

Presently Hartmann Studios has expanded its offerings to cover virtually every aspect of event rentals. The scope of our services is unlimited – from tenting and lighting to unforgettable tabletops. Our team of skilled designers and innovative staff work with clients to bring their custom event décor dreams to life. We work diligently with our clients to ensure that we can create anything they imagine.

Photo of the

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: Which items are typically found in a rental order?

A: Honestly, there is no “typical” event rental order, as every event is totally different! Most wedding orders contain the basics: linens, tabletop items, chairs, etc. However within those categories our selection of items allows a bride-to-be the creative flexibility to adorn their guest’s tables from the basic to overly elaborate. Our selection of items ranges from ‘shabby chic country’ to ‘big city super modern’ and everything in between.

Q: We work with budgets of all sizes.  In your opinion, what kinds of rentals are absolutely necessary for a bride and groom to incorporate into their wedding reception?

A: We work with brides of all size budgets as well! We feel we understand the thrifty bride who is looking for the biggest bang for her buck quite well. We believe that in order to achieve this goal, it is important for the bride to incorporate custom touches to the items provided by the Rental Company, Venue and/or Caterer. Incorporating small touches like specialty linens or upgraded glassware can make a huge impact. Placing a colorful patterned napkin on a white china setting can change the entire look of a table without stretching a bride’s budget too far. Another exciting and budget friendly trend we have recently seen is customizing the head table with upgraded specialty chairs, glassware, and table-top design which still match to the rest of the guest tables, but make the head table stand out against the rest.

Photo by Orange Photography

Photo by Orange Photography

Q: A lot of our brides and grooms want to create the sort of reception that makes their guests feel comfortable and relaxed. What sorts of rentals do you offer that can help achieve this look and feel?

A: Creating a comfortable space for the people who mean the most to you at your reception is key! We have a plethora of items to create an intimate and comfortable setting in any venue. Our selection of lounge furniture will not only give your guests a comfortable place to sit, but also successfully incorporate the theme and overall look of your wedding in to any space. Building a custom lounge space within a cozy cabana or small nook will allow all guests to take a break from the dance floor and relax in a beautiful but comfortable setting.

Q: What 2012 trends will we be seeing less of in 2013?

A: The year 2012 was the year of vintage rustic weddings! Corals, blush tones and ivories were big and country chic was the hot trend. So far this year we have seen our brides moving towards a much more modern feel. We’re seeing a shift from the soft and muted naturals of 2012 to brighter jewel toned color themes. We are excited about blending in the 2013 Pantone color of the year, Emerald, with the more modern and glamorous items we carry.

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Q: Are you seeing any innovative rentals requests in 2013?

A: We’re proud to offer the newest and most exciting rentals to help brides create a truly one-of-a-kind event. We recently received a ton of new lounge furniture, and we’re getting more new products all the time.  Many of the new items we have – such as bars, kiosk tables and wall flats – can be customized with a monogram or graphic from the wedding invitation to create a more personal touch.

Q: What kinds of trends are you seeing in terms of wedding day flow and the rentals that are associated with such a day?

A: We’ve been seeing a lot of informal wedding receptions! Couples are ditching the sit down dinner with floral centerpieces for a more relaxed reception.  Receptions featuring heavy appetizers and finger food allow guests to mix and mingle without being sequestered at tables of 10. Many brides are coming in and setting up comfortable lounge settings in lieu of formal dining.  We’ve even created some blended areas for guests to play games like bocce and croquet. Giving guests a more interactive space has been a big trend in 2013, with photo booths becoming more creative and popular than ever before. The “Pinterest” generation of brides has taken the “fun” reception to new heights, giving guests the opportunity to make flipbooks and other interactive party favors.

Q: Would you be able to share a before and after photograph of a space to exemplify the way rentals can transform a reception and ceremony room?

A: We’re proud of every wedding we do, but here are a few recent ones that turned out pretty great!

Before and After Photos from The Bentley Reserve

Before and After Photos of The Bentley Reserve

Q: Keeping in mind that this all depends on the space, guest count, etc. – how much do you suggest a couple set aside for their rentals budget?

A: A surprising factor some brides encounter is the fact that having a backyard wedding is not always as inexpensive as it seems. Saving on venue costs appeals to most brides, as they assume they can apply the money they save by hosting the wedding in a home towards a splurge on their décor. However many brides forget that while décor is the most fun way to spend a budget, essential items like china, flatware, glassware, tables, lighting, and sometimes even power have to be brought in. When renting a venue, many times these items will be included in the rental price, allowing the couple to use their budget to enhance the space they are renting. In a backyard wedding, much of the budget is dedicated to providing the party basics, which could leave couples missing the custom lighting and design moments they’ve been dreaming about.

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Q: If you had an opportunity to create your ‘dream wedding’ featuring your very favorite Hartmann rentals, what would it look like?

A: Working at Hartmann, we get to look at beautiful weddings all day, so this changes on a daily basis! We’re currently obsessed with a wedding we did at Santa Lucia preserve; we think it’s the perfect blend of modern with rustic touches!

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

 Thank you, Melanie and Kelly, for sharing some helpful tips and ideas as we leap headfirst into the 2013 wedding season!

In case you missed it, click here to see last month’s Trends feature on Color!

Fashion Fix: Interview with Kelly Edmonson of ban.do!

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!

Photo by Max Wanger

Photo by Max Wanger

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!

The ban.do girls!

The ban.do girls!  Photo by Collin Hughes

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.

Photo by Max Wanger

Photo by Max Wanger

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!

ban.do Heart

ban.do Heart

Mini Poms

Mini Poms

Flash Bobbi Set

Flash Bobbi Set

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.

Empress Tiara

Empress Tiara from the bridal collection

Love Struck

Love Struck from the black label collection

Bridal Rose Halo

Bridal Rose Halo from the bridal collection

Good Time Blast Riot Comb

Good Time Blast Riot Comb from the black label collection

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!

Sparkle & Shine Bobbi Set

Sparkle & Shine Bobbi Set

Sequin Scarf

Sequin Scarf

Metallic Scarf

Metallic Scarf

The Big Shot Sparkle Headband

The Big Shot Sparkle Headband

Sparkle Headband

Sparkle Headband

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.

Photo by Our Labor of Love & Max Wanger

Photo by Max Wanger

Q: What is your all time favorite piece for bridal attire?

A: Hands down, the crystal swirl bobbi.  This is such a stunner!

Crystal Swirl Bobbi

Crystal Swirl Bobbi

Q: Which ban.do products do you think would make for good bridesmaids gifts?

A: We have so many options for bridesmaids gifts… there are way too many fabulous choices!  I would say it is a toss up between the ban.do iphone case or our mini hearts.

ban.do iPhone Case

ban.do iPhone Case

Mini Hearts

Mini Hearts

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.

Photo by Max Wanger

Photo by Max Wanger

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.

Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder from the black label collection

Flora Bunda

Flora Bunda from the black label collection

Cake Eater

Cake Eater from the bridal collection

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!