DIY Garden Inspired Wedding Bouquet

Lush, asymmetrical, garden-style bouquets are coveted by today’s brides. Thanks in part to the renaissance of small flower farms and the popularity of the seasonal flower movement, the availability of locally-grown blooms continues to expand.  Here, Erin Benzakein of Floret, demonstrates how to make a hand-tied bridal bouquet with seasonal flowers.  As both a flower farmer and floral designer, Erin specializes in crafting fresh-from-the-garden designs that make brides swoon.

Bouquet ingredients include: garden roses, dahlias, lisianthus, zinnia, foxglove, stock, rose foliage, chocolate cosmos and heuchera.

Here are Erin’s tips for creating gorgeous garden-inspired bouquets with seasonal flowers:

1.      Establish shape: To start, choose foliage with sturdy, arching stems in order to create the overall bouquet shape. Take two stems and make an X, and then add in a third stem to create a splayed-out triangle. When holding your bouquet, avoid using a tight grip with your entire fist. Instead, use the tips of your fingers to hold the stems loosely.

2.      Build your foundation: Begin layering in supporting greens, echoing the original triangle shape you established at the start. I generally work with one ingredient at a time, evenly spacing each stem around in a circle, working clockwise.

3.      Thread in color: Now it’s time to start adding in the flowers. Begin by adding in smaller flowers and work up to the bigger blooms. Be sure to give the flowers “room to breathe.” In other words, don’t try cramming a bunch of flowers into a tight, dense cluster; you want your bouquet to have a light, airy feel to it.

4.      Finish with airy accents: After placing all of the primary flowers, weave in any delicate accents, such as grasses, or any frilly or umbel-shaped flowers. These elements should occupy a separate “plane” of the bouquet, which may be slightly higher or extended outward just beyond the larger flowers that form the shape of the bouquet.

5.      Fluff and finish: You may find that you need to raise or lower the flowers in your bouquet in order for it to form the shape you prefer. With a loose grip, gently pull the stems up or down in order to ensure each flower is placed correctly. When finished, use waterproof tape to wrap the bouquet stems followed by a ribbon wrap in a color that complements the flowers.  Enjoy your creation!

Flowers:  Floret | Photography:  Heather Payne Photography | Photo Lab: Richard Photo Lab

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12.07.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Celebrating the Holidays with Zola Registry

The holidays: the perfect time to come together with family and friends, celebrating the past year and looking forward to the days to come. And what better way is there to spend time with your loved ones than sharing delicious food?

Our top holiday staples are baking essentials (wouldn’t you love to recreate the childhood memories of decorating Christmas cookies with grandma?) and entertaining essentials (to show your parents you can host just as well as they can!). For the former, our trusted friends at Zola Wedding Registry have the perfect items you need to create your own baking traditions, just in ways that are a little more chic: a metallic stand mixer, a set of sweet cookie stamps, and even the basics like a handy cooling rack.

For the latter, Zola also has the pieces you’ll need to serve up an amazing feast in style. Add that classic-with-a-twist dinnerware or choose a clean-lined carafe for your newlywed home. Your registry is more than just gifts – it’s so you’re ready for all moments with family and friends that newlywed life will bring.

When the holidays have come and gone and new memories have been made, don’t worry about putting those beautiful Zola pieces away. Learn how to style your kitchen shelves here and see more of our favorite items from Zola.

Recently engaged? Start a registry with Zola and receive a $25 credit to spend on the site!

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12.07.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

How to ‘wow’ your wedding guests

MemorableGuestExperience_V1

Weddings are about creating lifelong memories. We put a lot of time and effort in to planning a wedding because it’s a day we’ll remember forever. But what about your guests? Ensuring you create a memorable guest experience for your friends and family is equally as important. Think about creating a wedding that speaks not only to who you are as a couple but also to how you want to make others feel

Event stylist, floral designer and planner Mallory Joyce shares with us her approach to creating a memorable guest experience.

Who are you as a couple? 
One of the first questions I ask my clients is what kind of experience do you want your guests to have? Creating a memorable (and meaningful) guest experience begins with the reason they are at your wedding in the first place. Take some time to think about what the two of you love to do together, why other people like being around you, and what you want your marriage to be about.

What are you known for? 
Are you known for hosting laid back dinner parties with wine and conversation stretching into the late hours? Then serve a family-style meal at long tables with low floral arrangements so guests can speak easily. Or are you the couple who feeds off each other’s comedic personalities, always keeping a room lively? Focus your efforts on a rocking band and come up with small details that make your guests interact with each other in unique ways. Let your story dictate the feel of your wedding. If the thing you both enjoy most together is camping, then show your guests the beauty of the outdoors by planning a reception outside, with a heavy focus on greenery in your florals, and a late night campfire complete with s’mores!

Take care of your guests
This can come in many forms but try to picture yourself as a guest at your own wedding. Close your eyes and move through the day. Is it chilly outside? Provide guests with blankets for outdoor events. Do you know where to go? Signage can be hugely helpful. I often design a large ‘Welcome’ sign that lays out the plans for the evening. Something like”So glad you’re here! 6pm Cocktails 7pm Dinner 8:30pm Dancing!” goes a long way. Do you feel at ease? Especially at large weddings, something as simple as assigning guests to their seats with placecards can help your loved ones feel that they have been thought of and taken care of. Placecards are another place to get personal – if the two of you met wine-tasting, then perhaps your placecards have an aptly-placed wine bottle stain in the corner.

Surprise your guests!
You want to create an experience that your guests will relive the next day. It could be something as simple as a surprise late-night serving of your favorite donuts or your groom getting up on stage to perform guitar solo, or as grand as a firework show. Planning some detail of the day that creates a memory for those that attend is always a good idea.

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12.04.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Simple At-Home Photo Session

When she is a food photographer and he is the owner of a successful craft coffee shop, you can be sure that their home will be filled with tantalizing scents and delicious edibles. In their photographer’s words, Beth and Matthew “share a giddy, joyful love and a deep, abiding care for each other.” They chose to have their photos taken in their own home, and in their favorite environment: the kitchen.

More from the photographer, Abigail Bobo:
“She explained to me, as she dashed about the kitchen whipping up scones while Matthew coordinated Brash Coffee’s second location launch in Atlanta just over in the living room, that slow living is not about a tempo so much as a mindset. By consciously and constantly choosing people over things, your life will take on a natural and unforced pace.”

Photography: Abigail Bobo Photography | Clothing: Elizabeth Suzann

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12.03.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog