What's a Styled Shoot?

To most of us wedding vendors, the term styled shoot is a commonly spoken phrase among our circles, but I recently realized that most of our brides are probably thinking- what the heck is a styled shoot?- when we share what we're up to.

Well to put it simply, styled shoots are an opportunity for us wedding vendors to spread our creative wings, have some fun, and collaborate with other vendors who have a similar style or that we’ve always wanted to work with!

Typically a group of vendors gets together, discusses the details and style we’re looking for and everyone works together to complete the vision. Sometimes the models are a real couple and sometimes not, and the scope of the shoot determines how many vendors are involved. The particular shoot I'm sharing in this post was organized by the wedding planners and photographer and they brought together all the other vendors. 

Usually one of the main goals of a styled shoot is to create awesome photos or video that can then be submitted for publication to magazines or blogs and used for our own marketing. Publications can help all the vendors reach more brides!

Outdoor Romantic Tablescape
Hanging Floral Chandelier
Greenery Garland Tablescape

But isn’t that expensive? Why heck yes it is, especially for us florists and bakers who have a perishable product that can't be reused. Typically, all of the vendors are paying for their products or time directly out of their pockets for the shoot. For me, it’s still absolutely worth it despite the high cost in most cases.  I’ve found that the investment usually pays for itself with the advertising that’s received from getting published, the connections that are made with new vendors giving us referrals and by booking brides who were drawn to us because of a particular photo or shoot.

Thanks to Kristen Winkler Photography for the behind the scenes shots!

Thanks to Kristen Winkler Photography for the behind the scenes shots!

For my wedding vendor friends, I want to give you a few of my reasons on why to do a styled shoot:

To Get Photos for Your Portfolio

One of the biggest reasons I started doing shoots about 2 years ago was that I knew I was going to be rebranding my business and moving to a new location in 2016. I wanted to be able to get photos to feature on my new website that really portrayed the work that I wanted my brides to book us for. Our brides are usually very sweet in sharing the photos from their weddings that we do, but to be able to get just the photos you need, in the style you want, is invaluable.

To Get Published

I mentioned that getting published is usually the goal for a styled shoot. That is not always the case though. Sometimes you do it just to get the photos for your site or just to use the shoot as a creative outlet to try something new. Generally, getting published on a wedding blog or magazine is a way for brides to find you and your work and it’s always a bonus of the shoot for me!  The photos from the shoot in this blog post were featured on Cake and Lace recently and will be featured on Borrowed and Blue soon. I still have my bucket list of blogs and magazines I would like to get in! 

To Connect With Other Vendors

I've made some of my best vendor friends through doing shoots and it's one of my favorite parts of the process. You learn a lot about people when working together as a team and I think it's the best way to get your name out there among other wedding vendors. 

Flower Chandelier Construction

Now if you feel like you have all the images and connections you need in your business and you’re just fine with the number or type of weddings you have, then styled shoots may not be worth the investment of time or money for you. That is definitely reasonable for some. For myself, I'll continue to do shoots as long as I've got new ideas to try out! 

Bright Pink Bridal Bouquet and Flower Crown
Woodland Boho Wedding

Thanks to the awesome vendors from this shoot!

Photography: KRISTEN WINKLER PHOTOGRAPHY | Venue: ALLERTON PARK | Event Planning & Design: SOUTHERN MAGNOLIAS EVENTS | Videography: HOOP HOUSE CREATIVE | Florist & Hair Pieces: POLLEN AND PASTRY | Bridal Shop: MICHELLE'S BRIDAL AND TUXEDO | Hair: SOMETHING YOU SALON & SPA | Makeup: SAGE IHRKE | Tie: MY TIE SHOP | Groom's Ring: STAGHEAD DESIGNS | Stationery & Calligraphy: DASH/WOOD | Bakery: HOPSCOTCH CAKES AND CONFECTIONS | Tableware & Ceremony Drapes: PALACE EVENTS | Rentals: SPRUCE WEDDING RENTALS | Linens: HERRIOTT'S | Favors: WILD BOTANICALS | Models: HANNAH WETTIG and KYLE SCOPE

 

What Flowers to Get Your Flower Girl

Stumped on what flowers to order for your flower girls? We've got you covered! For many years, a basket full of rose petals, either fresh or fake, has been the standard for flower girls. Nowadays, more and more venues don't allow petals any longer because of the mess and cleanup involved. A sign of the times to switch things up? I think so!

Two of the other great options for your flower girls are flowers crowns (totally cute!) or pomander balls (equally as cute!).  Flower crowns are meant to be worn on the girl's head of course and pomander balls are adorned with ribbons making them easy to carry down the aisle. I'm dreaming of making small, individual wreaths for girls to carry down the aisle too. Someone please indulge me! 

Our bride Rachel, chose classic white spray roses and greenery for her daughters to wear on their heads and carry down the aisle.

Photo by Susan Stripling
Photo by Susan Stripling

This is a great way to add in your wedding colors too! 

Many of our pomander balls are created in a foam sphere which gives them a water source, helping them to stay fresh longer. This water can also make the ball a little on the heavy side though, so for Kelly's wedding, we chose willow spheres to attach florals too, making for a lighter pomander that coordinated well with this wedding scheme! 

Whichever you decide to order from your wedding florist, consider thinking outside the box with that your girls will wear down the aisle! 

Greenery Filled Summer Wedding at Oak Hill

David and Katie were one of the absolute sweetest couples to work with for their June wedding last month and I was so happy when Katie share these gorgeous images from Allison Williams Photography!

Katie had my heart right away when she suggested the idea of individual cakes for her centerpieces, and incorporating greenery on each table too. A girl after my own heart! I had done the idea of individual table cakes for a wedding several years ago, but I was excited to bring it back again! 

So brides, please continue to make my florist and baker dreams come true by continuing this trend. We could do this with cupcakes, cookies, other desserts too! ;)

Summeroutdoorgreenerywedding

Katie wanted her bouquet to be full of textural greenery with some pops of white flowers. Peonies and ranunculus were the perfect addition! 

Green and White Summer Wedding
Green and White Bridal Bouquet
Greenery Bouquet

Italian Ruscus, Silver Doller Eucalyptus, Plumosa Fern. Umbrella Fern, Seeded Eucalyptus, Leather Leaf Fern, and Lemon Leaf all came together to create a ton of texture and movement in Allison's bouquet! 

Greenery and White Bridal Bouquet
Greenery Bridal Bouquet
Greenery Backdrop

We continued the greenery into the totally cute schoolhouse at the venue, Oak Hill Weddings, which made for a great backdrop and place to clip the place cards too. 

Greenery Place Card Display
Greenery Schoolhouse Bridal Backdrop
Farm Wedding Venue

The tent at Oak Hill is surrounded by the most gorgeous setting! On each table, the guests had their own vanilla cake to share which was surrounded by greenery to continue our green and white color scheme throughout the wedding.

Wedding Cake Centerpieces
Wedding Cake Tables

The bride surprised the groom with a Spiderman themed carrot cake just for them to enjoy, too!

Bride and Groom Cake Cutting

Overall, it was a perfect June wedding filled with so much happiness. Thanks again for choosing us to implement your vision, Katie and David! 

Venue: Oak Hill Weddings

Photographer: Allison Williams Photography

Are Cascade Bouquets Making a Comeback?

Heck yes, cascade bouquets are making a comeback! And I love it! Melissa's bridal bouquet below was one of the very few cascades I made for the 2016 wedding season, but I already have several booked for 2017. Some just made of greenery! Hello #pantonecoloroftheyear. I love that brides are asking for something that makes a bigger statement than the usual rounded bouquet. 

You know what else is great about a cascade bouquet? It's more flattering for your figure! Think about it. An elongated bouquet helps draw the eye up and down,  creating that long and lean illusion. And who doesn't want that on their wedding day! 

Melissa's cascade bouquet, shot by Melissa Mata Photography, was a stunner. She stuck with the marsala color scheme that was so popular in 2016 and continues to be for 2017. 

To bring in those Marsala/Burgundy colors, we chose garden roses, astible, cymbidium orchids, dahlias, hanging amaranthus, chocolate cosmos, and scabiosa all in those gorgeous shades. Then we added in ivory spray roses to accent her dress and plenty of eucalyptus foliage to add to the cascade effect. 

For Melissa's bridesmaids, we chose a more neutral bouquet with pops of marsala to accent the deep colored dresses.

So brides, don't be afraid to go with a different shape for your bridal bouquet! As a designer, I love the challenge! 

All photo by Melissa Mata Photography!

Three Sisters, One Broach

I still remember to this day meeting the lovely Becker ladies at Atlanta Bread Company in Champaign to talk about Jessa's wedding flowers. It was either late 2010 or early 2011 and I was in grad school dreaming about the idea of a wedding business. You see what happened is that Jessa and I shared a mutual friend who asked if I was doing weddings. To which I quickly responded, heck yeah I am! Soon after, Jessa became one of the first weddings I booked. Flash forward almost 6 years later and I've had the pleasure of doing all three of the super sweet Becker sister's weddings! 

One of the things I loved the most about Jessa's bouquet way back in 2011 was the broach that she added on the handle. It was also chock full of amazing fragrant garden roses which didn't hurt!

Forward to Mary's colorful bouquet from this August and I notice the same broach. Ok there's a pattern forming here...

Once I see Cassie's bouquet in October with the same broach, I have to ask! What's the story behind the broach? 

Turns out, the pin belonged to the lady's great grandmother! Cassie said it best herself, "One of the most beautiful "something old and borrowed," and even more special that all of us Becker girls have carried it in our weddings." I couldn't agree more! 

Jessa's gorgeous fall wedding shot by Shannon Anderson Photography.


Mary's colorful summer wedding shot by Stephanie Bartman Photography.


And finally, Cassie's fall wedding shot by Rachel Schirano Photography.

Thank you again ladies for letting me be a part of it all! 

Why Does My Bridal Bouquet Cost So Much?!

It's a common look I see on a bride's face when we go over their wedding proposals. That look of eye widening, nose flaring shock when they see the cost of their dream Pinterest worthy bouquet on paper. It can definitely be a shock to some, especially when one is unfamiliar with what flowers cost! Not to mention the sometimes unattainable expectations that a Pinterest worthy bouquet can bring. But I promise, there is a reason for that price.  

Why in particular does your bouquet cost more than any other flower arrangement you've ever bought? Once Wed shared a post this week from a florist that I thought explained it rather nicely, so I'm sharing that below! Don't forget that your bouquet will be in a TON of photos, so if you're going to put your floral budget anywhere, do it here!


From Once Wed: Ever wondered why a bridal bouquet costs so much more than any other flowers you’ve ever bought? It’s not because you’re being taken advantage of, we promise! Firstly, a bridal bouquet will typically have at least 2-3 times more flowers in it than you might find in a bunch you order a friend for her birthday. Your florist will have spent several hours meeting with you, answering your emails and specifically sourcing and ordering the correct specialty blooms to fulfill your vision (as opposed to using whatever is available that week). It then takes up to two hours to make the bouquet (compared to the 15 minutes it might take a florist to make a daily bouquet order). And then there's the experience of your floral designer who has spent years honing their craft and perfecting their methods. The same goes for your caterer, stationery designer, photographer, dress designer, cake maker, stylist, planner and any number of other professionals you will hire to support you on your wedding day.

When you next receive a quote from a vendor, you're going to want to jump straight to the bottom line to look at the total price (because budget!). But we encourage you to stop for just a minute and think about the value and experience they are bringing to your wedding day. Their creative talent is their livelihood and they're fiercely passionate about helping you create the wedding you dream of!

Check out the full post here.

 

 

Blush and Marsala Fall Wedding- Bloomington, IL Florist and Baker

Today I am pleased to introduce you to the third and final Becker sister to get married! Luckily for me, they still have a younger brother to get married, because this family is so sweet and I absolutely love working with them! Being able to play a small part in these special family moments is one of the many reasons I absolutely love my job. 

Cassie and Cory's October wedding was a beautiful day full of special details and plenty of greenery to go around. Rachael Schirano Photography got some gorgeous shots that I couldn't wait to share! 

Cassie's bouquet was full of gorgeous shades of white and ivory garden roses, hydrangeas, spray roses, scabiosa, and stock with pops of silver from silver brunia and several types of eucalyptus foliages. The burgundy dahlias, which were grown in our garden, added depth to the bouquet while bringing in the marsala accent color. 

And I love the different shades that the bridesmaid's chose for their dresses that go with the neutral bridesmaid's dresses so nicely! 

Cassie loved the look of simple greenery at her reception space so we accented most of the tables with simple greenery garlands and a ton of candlelight. Such a romantic setting! 

Can't go wrong with a naked cake! 

And S'mores cupcakes, perfect for a fall wedding!

Stay tuned for a flashback blog post featuring all three of the lovely Becker sisters and the special piece of jewelry that the all donned on their big day! 

How Much Should I Budget for Florals and Desserts?

It's a common question I get from bride's. How much should I expect to budget for my flowers and cake? And it's a totally valid question, especially for flowers! It's not common knowledge what the price differences or even the names of common flowers are, but that's why your florist is here to help!

Photo by Pam Cooley Photography

Photo by Pam Cooley Photography

The 2016 Knot Real Weddings Survey was recently released and the results may offer some insight. More than 13,000 couples who had planned a wedding and got married in 2016 completed the Knot's survey and they found that the average cost of a wedding is at an all-time high at $35,329. Woah, baby! Now of course, that's the national average. It may not cost you that much to have an amazing wedding here in Central Illinois. Hello, $60, 035 average in Chicago, though! 

 

So how much should you budget for flowers?

   10% of your overall budget is what I recommend.

When I look back at what my bride's typically end up spending on flowers, it usually is about 10% of their overall wedding budget that is necessary to achieve a look that fits the overall feel of their wedding. So if your overall wedding budget is $35,000 then budget at least $3,500 for your flowers. Overall budget of $15,000? Plan for $1,500 which would be enough to cover your personal flowers and possibly some small designs for your ceremony or reception.

What about desserts?

   Average of $4 per guest

Desserts are a little different to budget for since they are based more on your guest count. In the Knot's survey they found the average spend to be $582 on wedding cake and the average wedding guest count at 141. That averages out to about $4 per serving. Exactly what our pricing for tiered cakes starts at. Looking to keep the costs lower? Think about cupcakes or other desserts which have a lower price per serving. 

Photo by Pam Cooley Photography

Photo by Pam Cooley Photography

Check out more of what 2016 brides spent: 

See the full cost breakdown from The Knot.

If you really want to find out if your set budget is realistic for your vision, meet with your vendor! We offer a free consultation where we go over the details of your day to be able to offer you a custom price quote. 

Colorful Summer Wedding at Eastland Suites- Bloomington, IL Florist

When Mary told me her bright wedding color scheme during our consultation, I couldn't have been happier! You see, 2016 was unofficially the year of the blush for many of our brides. Now blush is absolutely beautiful and romantic and lovely, but I was dying for some color! Hence the gorgeousness that ensued for Mary and Brian's August wedding at Eastland Suites here in Bloomington.

To top it all off Stephanie Bartman captured it beautifully! Go check her out!

Mary's bouquet was made up of brightly colored stock, pincushion protea, roses, dahlias, ranunculus, amaranth, hypericum, and succulents! All excellent summer bouquet options.

The boutonnieres were made of mini succulents and yellow billy balls with eucalyptus foliage and wrapped in twine. 

The oh so wonderful Becker sisters. Stay tuned for Cassie's wedding on the blog soon and a special post featuring all three of their weddings! 

Mary and Brian Married-0878.jpg

Mary's centerpieces were simple blue mason jars filled with more colorful florals. 

Here's to more colorful weddings in 2017!

Blush and Burgundy Summer Wedding- Champaign, IL Wedding Florist

This wedding from last summer is giving me all the heart eyes!!! I just got my hands on these gorgeous photos by Stephanie Bartman Photography and I couldn't wait to share them!

Elise was another of those absolutely sweet brides that was referred to my through a friend and being that we were located a distance apart at the time, we planned all the florals over the phone! The result was absolutely gorgeous and I was so glad to play a small part in her big day!

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Elise's bouquet was a gorgeous mix of ivory roses, spray roses and stock, mixed with burgundy garden roses, dahlias, and amaranthus with silver dollar eucalyptus foliage. A great combination!

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Photo by Stephanie Bartman Photography

Bridal Bouquet Breakdown

This Friday's Bridal Bouquet Breakdown is an easy one because the bouquet is all roses! 'Freedom' roses to be exact! My all time favorite red rose variety. All paired with some bling and a bit of Pittosporum foliage to finish it off.

Many of the brides I meet with think that standard roses will be too expensive for their bouquets, but in fact, roses are actually one of the more economical choices for your flowers. And so gorgeous! Garden roses, which are all the rage right now,  are equally as gorgeous, but cost about 3 times as much as a standard roses. That's where the cost can add up!

This stunning bouquet was created for a Beauty and the Beast themed shoot, so obviously red roses were the perfect choice! Check out the rest of the shoot featured here and here. Thanks to By Mari Photography for the amazing pics!

By Mari Photography

By Mari Photography

January Winter Wedding- Bloomington, IL Wedding Florist

This recent summer heat wave has got me dreaming of cooler weather! So, nothing better than a winter wedding to make you feel the cool! My sweet bride, Jane, just shared some of these gorgeous images shot by Fred Fox Photography from her January wedding this year.

Jane and I went to college together at the University of Illinois, both studying Horticulture. So of course, we both share a love of flowers!  It is always so much fun working with a bride who appreciates the importance of flowers in the wedding and has a knowledge of them as well! I have done so many of my college horticulture friend's weddings and it means so much that they trust me to do the flowers for their most important day!

Jane wanted an obvious winter feel to the flowers, so we incorporated mini pine cones, evergreens, red winterberry, and a curly willow armature to give that look. Combine that with the sandy cream Quicksand roses, ivory spray roses,  seeded eucalyptus foliage, silvery dusty miller foliage and you have n quintessential winter bouquet!

DF0024.jpg

Blush Summer Allerton Park Wedding- Central Illinois Wedding Florist

Wedding planning doesn't have to be a stressful process! Every once in awhile, I complete a wedding without ever meeting with the bride and groom in person. We plan the entire wedding florals over the phone and email and always end with a great result! This recent June wedding was one of those weddings! 

Melissa was absolutely great to work with. She requested a color scheme of dark green, ivory, blush and gold for her summer wedding at Allerton Park and what she chose came together greatly!

Her blush bouquet was made up of garden roses, hydrangeas, spray roses, spirea, succulents, and plenty of foliages. 

When I finally met Melissa on her wedding day, I realized what a beautiful and sweet bride she was and the photos that Micah McCoy Studio shared are just gorgeous! 

Check out the entire wedding on Micah McCoy Studio's blog! 

Bridal Bouquet Breakdown

This week's bouquet breakdown has lots of texture which I love! If there was one word to describe my floral style, it would definitely be texture!

The look for the shoot, featured recently on Wedding Chicks, was inspired by the venue, an industrial warehouse. Complete with motorcycles and a slug bug! 

The foliage in this bouquet consists of silvery dusty miller foliage tucked in the middle, dark green grevillia which adds some tropical feel to the bouquet, seeded eucalyptus which adds even more silvery texture, and a few japanese pieris stems with unopened buds. 

The florals were mostly neutrals with white lisianthus, hydrangea, spray roses, and stock which adds a sweet fragrance. A bit of color was added with the peach 'Juliet' garden roses which also add an incredible fragrance. Finish is off with a few white anemones with black centers and you've got a great bouquet!

Vendors featured in this shoot:

 

FLOWERS AND CAKES : POLLEN & PASTRY

COORDINATORS & STYLISTS: EVER AFTER PLANNING

PHOTOGRAPHERS: RACHAEL OSBORN PHOTOGRAPHY

FASHION: JUSTIN ALEXANDER

HEALTH & BEAUTY: CARLY PRIBICH, MAKEUP ARTIST

HEALTH & BEAUTY: HAIR BY SPAIR

FASHION: SAVY'S CHIC

FASHION: KATE SPADE

RING BOX: THE MRS. BOX

PAPER GOODS & CALLIGRAPHY: EMILY ROSE INK

VENUES & OFFICIANTS: WAREHOUSE 109

Bridal Bouquet Breakdown

On Fridays I'll feature some of our favorite bouquets! I find so frequently when I meet with a bride that they are frustrated because they don't know what the flowers are called and when they're available. And that's totally understandable! Most of the Pinterest photos that brides pin contain nothing about what the actual flowers are in the description! I want to help that!

This week's bouquet is one of my favorites. It has a ton of texture and unique materials which is what I love! This bouquet was shot in Phoenix during my own engagement shoot in the fall, so it has a bit of that desert feel, but all of these materials can be easily sourced in Illinois most of the year!

Bouquet Contents: Red Peonies (limited by season), Pink Protea, Variegated Leucadendron, Red Hanging Amaranthus, Green Antique Hydrangea, Burgundy Spray Roses, Burgundy Scabiosa, Queen Annes Lace, Silver Dollar Eucalyptus and Acacia Foliage. 

Photo by StepOnMe Photography

Beauty and the Beast Styled Shoot- Bloomington, IL Wedding Florist and Baker

I was so excited to receive the images this week from a Beauty and the Beast shoot we recently collaborated on! Since being able to link up with these local wedding vendors through the Rising Tide Society, the work we've been able to do together has been amazing and extremely fulfilling.

For this shoot, the inspiration was a Beauty and the Beast theme obviously, but the planner, Jordan from Ever After Planning, wanted the shoot to have the feel of Beauty and the Beast without being too literal. And I think we definitely accomplished that! 

The choice for the florals had to be red roses of course! 'Freedom' roses to be exact, which is one of my favorite red rose varieties. Large flower heads and a great dark red color. 

The dark moody, candles really compliment the moody tablescape, complete with tea pots, tea cups, antique books, and more rose petals. 

The cake we made was a three tier cake with gold piping and a cascade of those same fresh red roses, displayed on the venue's grand piano! 

The beautiful, moody photography style of By Mari Photography fit the style of this shoot perfectly and I can't thank this dream team of local vendors enough for all the amazing work they do!

Principal Design Stylist & Coordinator// Ever After Planning
Invitation Suite// Gorgeous Invites
Venue// Lake Windsor Country Club
Rentals// A La Crate * Vintage Rentals
Photographer// By Mari Photography
Floral & Cake// Pollen and Pastry
Hair & Make Up// Maggie Love Hair & Make Up
Dress// Savy's Chic Bridal Boutique