Tuesday Tips: Happy Guests

Summer is here, which in South Florida brings the heat, but everywhere else it brings prime wedding season. As things warm up it is important to keep your guests in mind and make sure they enjoy the day as much as you! Here are some tips to keep your guests content in the warm weather festivities:

Market umbrellas dotting a beautiful outdoor ceremony. Photo: Tim Willoughby via Southern Weddings

Market umbrellas dotting a beautiful outdoor ceremony. Photo: Tim Willoughby via Southern Weddings

1. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony consider providing pre ceremony refreshments for your guests. Whether it be water available as they arrive or even a specialty cocktail, they’ll appreciate a beverage and it will be a memorable gesture!

2. Think about the venue and the weather when directing your guests attire. Will you be exchanging vows in a garden or saying ‘I Do” on a sandy beach? Communicate that information with your friends and family. Nobody wants to be caught with stilettos in the grass or soft sand so letting them know in advance will ensure no surprises.

3. If you really want to go above and beyond for your guests consider a foot washing station at the ceremony. Encourage guests to enjoy the outdoors and go barefoot during your vows. An easy cleanup station will be a delightful treat before the party starts.

4. If you have an earlier ceremony under the blazing summer sun you may want to provide some shade for those in attendance. Market umbrellas are often available from event rental companies and create a unique look for ceremonies. Paper parasols are another wonderful personal touch for sun protection that can double as a guest favor! They’re available in a rainbow of colors and can coordinate with any decor.

5. Last but not least, you’ll want to keep your guests cool as they party the night away. If you’re hosting an outdoor reception consider renting A/C units to keep the temp low. These work best in enclosed areas (such as a patio or tent) and can make a huge impact on hot nights.

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In The Studio

AKA my (brief) encounter with the flower god himself, Preston Bailey

It is not often in life that we get the opportunity to see, much less meet, celebrities. One of my biggest “meet and greets” to claim was one short-lived elevator ride with Julia Stiles in an NYC  design store, and even then I was too shy to say hello as I was pretty sure she thought I may have been following her (oops). Thankfully, the city I live in and my business of choice has opened up that window a little bit more.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working on a photo shoot for Preston Bailey. If you don’t know who Preston Bailey is, well, he’s essentially the king of flowers, especially in the world of weddings. His work is over the top, labor intensive, and absolutely stunning. When I first started getting interested in the wedding market my parents gifted me one of his coffee table books and it has been showcased in my living room ever since (FYI he has 5 if you’re ever interested). More recently, I have been an avid reader of his blog and love the insight he and his team can offer into this crazy industry.

The photo shoot was for a new collection of specialty linens that Preston is launching with a local Miami vendor, Nuage Designs. Nuage is one of the top companies when it comes to luxury, couture table linens. Their product is very exclusive and ships all over the world.

Photo from Nuage Designs

Photo from Nuage Designs

Our company, Parrish Designs, was selected to do some floral arrangements for the launch photo shoot along with four other florists in the South Florida area. Though the designs were relatively simple (the show stoppers are the linens), I and a lot of fun brainstorming these looks with my boss. Though I don’t generally have a hand in making arrangements, it’s always exciting when I get to put my two cents in.

As expected, the studio was a bit hectic that day. I haven’t been in a true “photo studio” setting in a long time, so it was thrilling to be around that environment again. Studio lighting and product photography was never one of my strong suits so I always enjoy getting to watch true professionals work their magic. It really made me itch to get my camera out again and start experimenting with some projects.

We set up two table scapes, a low and a tall. Though we had to keep the decor in a dramatic, Preston approved style, ultimately the shots were about the cloths not the flowers, so we didn’t want to do anything too over the top. All of these pieces were made with completely faux flowers so that the arrangements could be left behind for permanent installation.

 

We used the same fabric for the shade as the underlay on the table, trimmed in white satin ribbon.

We used the same fabric for the shade as the underlay on the table, trimmed in white satin ribbon.

 

The chair covers helped tie the linen shade and oversized flowers in beautifully

The chair covers helped tie the linen shade and oversized flowers in beautifully

 

Amaryllis, phaleonopsis and hydrangea were the focal point of the tall lampshade arrangement

Amaryllis, phaleonopsis and hydrangea were the focal point of the tall lampshade arrangement

 

Classic silver elements and elongated taper candles contrasted the modern-esque arrangement beautifully

Classic silver elements and elongated taper candles contrasted the modern-esque arrangement beautifully

 

The table scape is all about texture and neutrals

The table scape is all about texture and neutrals

 

Nautilus shells, air plants and orchids made for a stunning, natural, yet colorful arrangement

Nautilus shells, air plants and orchids made for a stunning, natural, yet colorful arrangement

At the end of the day, I finally had my opportunity to meet the man in charge. As expected, Preston Bailey is the nicest human being ever. He is very soft spoken and very engaging in conversation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snag a photo op with him, but it was a moment I’ll remember regardless. It is very apparent he and his entire team are so busy, yet it was really inspiring to see how much effort they put into everything they touch. It really is a wonderful reminder to do what you love and push every boundary you can. I can’t wait to use their beautiful cloths for an event. Now I just have to wait for the launch….

(*apologies for the iPhone photos, shame on me*)