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A Romantic Missouri Athletic Club Wedding

February 13th, 2018

By Kimberly Wallner

One of the things I love most about the St. Louis wedding industry is the wide variety of venues our city has to offer. I started my career in a smaller market where there were only a handful of unique venues for my clients to choose from, and I don’t think St. Louis couples realize how lucky they are to have everything from historic parks to grand ballrooms when selecting the backdrop for their day! Today’s feature couple chose two classic venues for their May wedding: St. Francis Xavier College Church and the Missouri Athletic Club.

Kathleen & Connor’s wedding day was formal, yet also reflected their fun personalities and who they are as a couple. Kathleen’s family is Jewish and Connor’s is Catholic, so they decided to have two ceremonies to honor both sets of traditions. If that isn’t sweet enough, they also read each other private vows during their first look!

We collaborated with the wonderful Kristin of Kristin Ashley Events to design floral elements to complement the romantic feel of the day. Soft pink, peach and white tones tied the flowers together from the lush pew décor at St. Francis Xavier, to the chuppah tiebacks at the Missouri Athletic Club and finally into the ballroom reception. Kristin’s room design incorporated square and round tables, beautiful linens and a mix of gold Chivari and King Louie chairs, which added unexpected interest to the formal space. We designed a mix of tall and low centerpieces to compliment the mix of tables, and of course lots and lots of candles. The whole room glittered under the beautiful MAC chandeliers and set the perfect tone for the reception, which included a cigar roller and donut wall!

Grab a glass of wine and some Valentines chocolates and enjoy the beautiful photos by Liz and Meredith of L Photographie! You can also check out Kathleen & Connor’s sweet wedding video on the Poetic Productions site if you’re in the mood to get a little teary-eyed 😉

Vendor Love:: Planning and Design: Kristin Ashley Events | Photos: L Photographie | Florist: Belli Fiori | Catholic Ceremony: St. Francis Xavier | Jewish Ceremony and Reception: Missouri Athletic Club | Lighting and Décor: Exclusive Events | Stationary: M Haley Design | Band: For a Good Time Call | Video: Poetic Productions | Hair and Makeup: Daniellestyle  | Other rentals: Aries Co | Donuts: Strange Donuts

CHEERS to 10 Years!

February 8th, 2018

This month we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary as a company! On February 2nd, 2008 Belli Fiori opened in a small storefront on The Hill. In the years since we have worked with hundreds of amazing couples, moved to a larger space on historic Floral Row and were awarded the St. Louis Wedding Awards “Best Florist” honor twice. We would like to thank all the wonderful clients we have had the pleasure of working with over the years, as well as all the amazing St. Louis vendors who have helped us grow and evolve as a company. While it is our goal to grow and change along with current industry trends, our main focus has always been to provide each of our clients with unique designs to help showcase their personalities on one of the most special days of their lives. Here’s to the past ten years, and many more to come!

Cheers from the Belli Fiori team! (Lisa, Kim, Becky & Sandra)

Special thanks to our amazing photographer friends who always capture our clients so beautifully! Mike Cassimatis | Bradford Martens | L Photographie | Switzerfilm | Ashley Fisher Photography 

 

Simple Beauty: A Styled Shoot at the Contemporary Art Museum

January 11th, 2018

by Kimberly Wallner

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2018 with a beautiful styled shoot we had the pleasure of being a part of last year with Carretto Studio and Absolutely In Events. The inspiration behind the shoot actually came from something very unexpected: mussels. Their stormy color, with layered shades of blue and gray, may not seem like something you could base a wedding design off of, but I think this shoot proves you can find beauty and inspiration anywhere. A simple object can be the jumping off point for a stunning design. The mussels themselves only make small cameos throughout the shoot, but they were the inspiration behind everything from the watercolor stationary to the venue selection.

The Contemporary Art Museum, with its concrete interior and minimalistic design, provided the perfect backdrop for this shoot, and Mid-century modern furniture was selected to complement the simplicity of the space. To balance these sleek lines we designed organic floral pieces that are full of texture, much like the shell of a mussel. We worked in a simple palette of white and greens with subtle hints of blue, selecting a wide variety of materials to add interest and dimension.

Our Senior Designer, Sandra, is known for her over-the-top designs, and she did not disappoint when it came to this shoot. Her crescent bouquet and coordinating ceremony backdrop seemed to take on lives of their own as she created them. Full of texture and greenery, both pieces were unique, lush and provided the perfect natural contrast to the concrete backdrop of the museum.

Thank you to Andy Carretto for the beautiful images, and the wonderful vendor team who took part in this shoot!

Photography: Carretto Studio | Venue: Contemporary Art Museum | Event design: Absolutely IN! Events | Florals: Belli Fiori |Wedding dress boutique: Juno Bridal | Hair stylist: Carlos Gallegos | Makeup artist: Brady Keenan |Paper goods: Pretty Together | Calligraphy: RSVPeas | Cake:  MADE. BY LIA | Linen rentals: The Aries Company | Specialty rentals: Silk + Willow

 

Wedding Planning: Selecting Your Florist

December 19th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

It’s no secret that the biggest time of year for engagements is the span between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. Known throughout the wedding industry as Engagement Season, this is also the time of year where many couples start their wedding planning process. There is no shortage of information out there on wedding planning, but I’ve found very little that specifically talks about a major element of most weddings: flowers!

I handle all of our initial inquiries, and I’ve noticed that most couples don’t really know where to start when it comes to selecting a florist. Generally they have a few favorite flowers and a Pinterest board full of inspiration when they start their search, but that is about where their floral knowledge ends, and that’s fine! The point of hiring professional vendors for your wedding day is that they are knowledgeable and can guide you in the right direction for your vision. So let’s talk flowers and remove some of the mystery of this part of the planning process!

Timeline
Most of our clients book with us 6 months to one year out from their wedding date. This of course is not a hard and fast rule; we have some clients who book more than a year out and others who reach out 3 months from the big day. The most important thing when beginning your florist search is to have your venue selected and locked in. Your venue choice will determine the overall style of your wedding, your guest count (and therefore number of tables) and the style of centerpieces you can have (tall arrangements work best in venues with high ceilings, low arrangements work well outdoors where wind can be an issue). Since the cost of flowers can change drastically, we generally don’t book more than a year and a half in advance.

Budget
Generally speaking, flowers will account for 10% of your overall wedding budget. Once again, this is not a hard and fast rule, but for the average wedding incorporating personal flowers, floral centerpieces and some floral at the ceremony, this is a good place to start. Some things that will increase the amount you will spend on flowers include a large bridal party, wanting all tall centerpieces, and expensive flower choices (orchids and peonies cost more than most roses, for example). It’s important to at least have a rough budget in mind before you start meeting with florists, so they can give you realistic ideas to fit within your price point. Also keep in mind that most florists have a minimum, which may vary depending on the time of year (we tend to waive ours during winter months).

Everyday vs. Wedding Florists
Everyday Florists are the shops you see around town where you can pop in and pick up a bouquet of roses or call to have an arrangement sent to your mom for Mother’s Day. Most of these shops are best equipped to handle smaller weddings or bouquet orders, since they generally do not have a large inventory of rental items. Wedding Florists (like us) specialize specifically in weddings and special events. We only have flowers in our cooler if we have events taking place, and we own an extensive collection of rental items that our couples can select from when designing their weddings.

Making a Selection
As with any vendor, selecting the right florist is a personal thing… You want someone you connect with, someone who is professional and someone who understands what you’re looking for. You need to be able to go in to a consultation with inspiration photos and trust that you’re getting something similar on your wedding day. Begin your search on sites like The Knot, where you can quickly and easily find several florists in your area. Also talk with friends who have recently been married, as well as vendors you’ve already selected. (Wedding vendors are an amazing resource since we work with other vendors every weekend!) From there, visit florists’ websites to get a better idea of their style. Once you have narrowed your options to three or four, schedule consultations so you can meet, chat and really get a sense of the team you’d be working with.

The Floral Proposal
Once you’ve met with each florist, you’ll begin receiving proposals from each one outlining the style, types of flowers and greenery, rental items and labor costs. While there might be some wiggle-room for negotiation, keep in mind that you are contracting a custom service and it takes a team to make it happen. From the floral designers to the setup and breakdown crews, some weddings require a small army to bring the vision to life! Proposals not only include these labor costs and the costs of the flowers, but also rental items, taxes and delivery fees.

The Wedding Day
On the day of your wedding, your floral team is running around behind the scenes delivering bouquets, pinning boutonnieres and setting up the ceremony and reception. If your wedding day includes a room flip, the floral team is waiting in the wings to help transform the space quickly before your guests have finished cocktail hour. If your contract includes breakdown, the team will return to strike the room and take all the rental items at the end of the night.

Most importantly, remember that choosing a great team of vendors means you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your wedding day!

Special thanks to Mike Cassimatis for his beautiful images of Liz & Daniel!

2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

December 8th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

It’s the most colorful time of the year! Pantone has announced their 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet. Pantone.com describes the purple shade as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

The color of royalty, wedding bloggers are already pointing out the fittingness of the purple choice as the industry buzzes with anticipation of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding. But you don’t have to be a royal (or even marry one) to incorporate purple into your day! Much like 2017’s Greenery, the exact Ultra Violet shade might be a bit bold for many couples. If purple is your color, we recommend using Ultra Violet as a jumping off point and utilizing various shades as they fit best for your taste and day.

Pantone has put together several color palettes built around Ultra Violet to help designers visualize the color in a variety of applications. From pairing the purple with muted shades to bolder colors, Ultra Violet is much more versatile than you might have initially thought!

Thank you to the photographers featured in this post for always capturing our clients so beautifully! Switzerfilm | Lisa Hessel Photography | Your Story Photography | Bradford Martens | L Photographie

Falling for You: Ally & Kevin’s Union Station Wedding

November 16th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Today’s wedding is the perfect late-fall addition to the blog. Ally and Kevin were married last November and had the PERFECT fall day for photos. The leaves in their wedding party pictures are so vibrant they’ll make all our 2018 brides want to move their wedding dates to November 😉  And who would say no to a sparkler exit after your ceremony?! You can’t do that in the spring!

One of my favorite things about this wedding is the way Ally was able to plan an event that so perfectly walks the line between a fall and winter wedding. The reception was held at Union Station, which happens to host a Polar Express event every year leading up to Christmas. This meant that the Grand Hall was already decked out for the holidays at the beginning of November. While many brides would have shied away from evergreen trees and fake snow at a fall wedding, Ally chose to embrace it and selected a neutral color palette of white, gold and touches of grey that would compliment the Grand Hall decorations. The result was a beautiful, glowing reception that proves you can incorporate holiday décor in a very non-holiday way!

Thank you to Liz and Meredith of L Photographie for capturing the day so beautifully!

Vendor Love: Photos: L Photographie | Ceremony: Graham Chapel | Ceremony Music: Heritage String Quartet | Reception: The Grand Hall at Union Station | Band: The Patrick Lentz Band | Cake: McArthur’s Bakery | Hair & Makeup: Daniellestyle

Picture Perfect: Hanna & Victoria’s Three Barn Farm Wedding

October 19th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

I love fall… flannel, Blues hockey is back, and we can finally stop melting during wedding setups! But best of all it’s the time of year where summer wedding photos start rolling in from photographers, and just as things finally start to cool off, I get to relive all the sunny summer weddings we helped to create. I was especially excited to get this set of images of Hanna and Victoria’s wedding from their photographer, Bradford Martens. I had stalked his website and fell in love with his dramatic style, and I have to say these stunning photos did not disappoint!

Hanna and Vickie were married this past June at Three Barn Farm, and I think the photos speak for themselves when it comes to how much love surrounded this day. You can just tell how excited everyone was… it’s radiating from every picture! From the ceremony inside the barn where family and friends surrounded the couple while they said their vows, to the reception and dance party to follow, it was a wonderful day.

For Hanna and Vickie’s bouquets we wanted them to be unique, yet also compliment each other. Hanna’s bouquet incorporated lots of deep purple and sage green tones, including succulents, which she loves. Vickie’s bouquet was a bit lighter, with white peonies and pale yellow stock, but tied back to Hannah’s with purple hues and the same types of greenery. They were both beautiful individually, but also looked wonderful next to each other! For the other floral elements, we created pieces that were textural and a bit rustic to fit in with the farm setting. We used lots of succulents, lavender, and even kale, which worked perfectly with the purple and green palette. In the barn, a large greenery wreath that hung over Hanna and Vickie during the ceremony, and then later over the dance floor as they shared their first dance. It was an understated yet perfect statement piece.

This was such a beautiful wedding, and we are so honored to have been a part of Hanna and Victoria’s day! Thank you again to Bradford for sharing these amazing photos, and to Natalie of Simcha’s Events for planning an amazing day for these two!

Vendor Love: Photography: Bradford Martens | Planning: Natalie Piacentini, Simcha’s Events | Venue: Three Barn Farm | Caterer: Catering St. Louis | Video: Millennium Productions | Cake: The Sweet Divine | Ceremony Music: Matt McCallie Orchestra | Reception Music: Allegro Entertainment | Shuttles: Best Transportation

Modern Romance: Linda & Greg’s Crystal Ballroom Wedding

September 14th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Today’s featured wedding is a sleek, modern affair at the Marriott Grand Crystal Ballroom, which we designed in collaboration with Katie Saeger Events. Linda & Greg’s day featured a diamond motif and marble details with a neutral color palette accented with modern floral elements in a soft peach. The modern details of the day were a lovely juxtaposition to the classic architecture of the Crystal Ballroom.

Linda came to us with a vision of a modern, asymmetrical magnolia blossom bouquet. The issue, however, was that magnolia blossoms are incredibly hard to work with. They brown easily from the oils in our hands, so even if the floral designer is able to keep them pristine, there is a high likelihood that they won’t survive being carried around by a bride all day between photos and the ceremony. Luckily we were able to find beautiful silk magnolia blossoms that looked and felt real, but were able to stand up to a full day of being carried. Paired with a variety of real greenery, it was a stunning bouquet and looked amazing with Linda’s classic sheath dress! Her bridesmaids carried soft peach bouquets of stock, roses and greenery that popped against their grey dresses and tied into the reception floral.

From the ceremony framed by the beautiful arched windows of the ballroom, to the candlelight reception, the day was filled with love and perfectly embodied Linda & Greg’s style. Even the favors, chocolate dipped fortune cookies (a nod to Linda’s Chinese-American heritage) tied in to the modern marble design of the day. Thank you to the wonderful Clary Pfeiffer for capturing such beautiful images!

VENDOR LOVE: Photographer: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Venue: Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel | Planner: Katie Saeger Events | Cake: Sarah’s Cake Shop | Stationary: Livia Paul Paper | Music: Charles Glenn, Griffin and the Gargoyles | Favors: Bake & Sprinkle

 

Simply Elegant: Jess & Mitch’s Four Seasons Wedding

August 7th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

I’ve wanted to do something a bit different on the blog for a while… it’s always me talking about the weddings from our perspective, and I’ve been dying to get a bride’s side of things! When it came time to start working on a post for Jessica & Mitch’s day I knew this was my chance to mix things up. Jess was one of our favorite 2016 brides and immediately agreed to let me “interview” her. She and her mom Debbie were so fun to work with and I’m so excited to share her thoughts on the planning process and her wedding day!

How would you describe your wedding style?

Jess: I would describe my wedding style as simply elegant, with a touch of sparkle and glam. Since my wedding was in the fall, I wanted rich, berry colors in all of the flowers. I wanted lots of candles! I wanted different. I wanted a romantic feel, with some modern elements; fashionably elegant.

What was your favorite moment from the wedding day?

Jess: Aside from Mitch’s surprise toast during the reception, my favorite moment was the room reveal. When Lisa and Kim said it was time to come take a sneak peak of the room, my family and Mitch walked into the room, STUNNED. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. Even Mitch, who throughout this journey, was skeptical of the details, turned to me and approvingly and overjoyed said, “Good job, Babe. This looks amazing.” As I walked around the room, every detail, every decision, every conversation we had discussed over the past year was live and in living color right in front of my tearful, and joyful eyes. The colors, linens, textures, lighting and décor came together and exceeded any expectations I had. During the wedding, Mitch pulled me off the dance floor to look around the room and really take it all in. The room was beautiful. More beautiful and perfect that I ever could have asked for. Our guests were having the time of their lives; some dancing on the dance floor, some conversing, laughing and drinking on our lounge couches. And, during this moment, I never felt so lucky and loved.

What was your vision for your wedding day, and how did the reality live up to your expectations?

Jess: I wanted an evening no one would forget! I wanted elegant, beauty, and a touch of sparkle and glam woven throughout the wedding. I wanted mine and Mitch’s personality to shine through the different décor and floral aspects of the wedding. The reality of my wedding day by far EXCEEDED any expectations I had. Through the process, it was hard to visualize all of the working pieces coming together. Lisa and the rest of the Belli Fiori staff always reassured us that they wouldn’t steer us in a direction that didn’t flow or make sense. When the doors opened for the room reveal, I burst into tears. What stood before me was a year’s worth of work and dedication and passion from the Belli Fiori staff. My dream wedding had become a reality.

What was your favorite style/decor element from the day?

Jess: There were too many to choose from! From the sparkle cake linen, to the gobo lighting, to the dance floor lounge couches and matching pillows, to our acrylic chuppah, to our romantic settee at the head table and the GORGEOUS centerpieces and bouquets… EVERY DETAIL was bigger and better and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

Why did you choose Belli Fiori to help bring your vision to life?

Jess: After meeting with a few other florists, my mom and I felt an immediate connection to Lisa and the Belli Fiori staff. Lisa listened to us and had ideas I didn’t even know could exist! Lisa understood what I was thinking and when I didn’t have the words or photos to explain what I wanted, Lisa just knew. Lisa and the staff at Belli Fiori never got frustrated with our many emails, phone calls and need for reassurance. Instead, they calmed us, shared our vision and made my dream wedding become a reality. In the end, they became a second family!

Do you have any advice for future brides?

Jess: For future brides, TRUST YOUR PEOPLE (florist and design team)! In the beginning, I questioned everything and even when I changed my color scheme 5 months before my wedding, Belli Fiori didn’t stress, but continued to make my “new” dream a reality. I continued to worry that the linens wouldn’t match the flowers which would clash with the lighting, etc. Lisa reassured me many times over that everything was going to be beautiful. The more excited she became about every detail, the more I couldn’t wait to see the final product all put together! At the time planning a wedding was uncharted waters for me, so it’s important to trust the people who live and breathe these types of events on a daily basis. With that being said, trust your gut. You know what you like, what styles excite you, etc. In the beginning, I was struggling with a theme I really didn’t love. Once I figured out my style and colors, I was 100% invested and loved every.single.detail.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Jess: I absolutely love you guys and would recommend ANY and ALL brides to use Belli Fiori for their wedding 

I promise we didn’t pay her to say that 😉 Jess, we loved working with you and are so glad your day was everything you hoped for and more!!

Vendor Love: Photographer: Switzerfilm | Floral: Belli Fiori | Venue: Four Seasons | Planner: Proposing Dreams | Décor: Table Ten Event Design | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles | Paper Goods: M. Haley Design | Lighting: Millennium Productions

 

Rustic Elegance: Libby and David’s Romantic Wedding

May 31st, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Libby and David are just the sweetest couple. They met during a middle school production of “Snoopy!” and finally began dating at the end of college. We’re not sure why it took them so long, because it’s pretty clear these two are perfect for each other! Their wedding day at St. Louis Country Club was a beautiful blend of rustic and elegant, and we were so thrilled to be able to design the day and bring Libby’s vision to life.

Upon arriving guests were greeted by a violinist on the path to the ceremony, which set the tone for the evening. The ceremony took place on the lawn behind the club and despite rain the day before and worries that we would have to move inside, the sky cleared and we were able to proceed with the original plan. The aisle was lined with lanterns, pillar candles and seeded eucalyptus, which lead to a lush, floral-covered chuppah, complete with a crystal chandelier for an elegant twist on the rustic structure. It was the perfect setting for the personal, love-filled ceremony!

Immediately following the ceremony guests moved to the patio for cocktail hour. We enhanced the space with café lights, chandeliers, a half-moon bar and lounge seating to bring the indoors outside. Guests mingled on the patio and lawn while the artist Libby’s dad hired as a surprise finished his oil painting of the ceremony (such a fun idea!)

Most of Libby’s reception inspiration stemmed from weddings on the west coast where mixing chair and table styles is a common trend, so we spent a lot of time curating a combination to complement the esthetic Libby was striving for. For the floral elements inside the dining room, we chose greenery garlands for the wood parsons tables and soft floral arrangements on the round tables. Gold taper candles and rustic lanterns were used throughout the space to tie the tables together. The look came together beautifully and really added a rustic element to the formal dining room of the club, while still complimenting the wall murals and formal feel of the space.

The entire day was beautiful, but our favorite thing looking back on the amazing photos by Carretto Studio is the love between Libby and David. It radiates from the photos! These two had so much fun on their wedding day, and we couldn’t be more honored to have been a part of it!

VENDOR LOVE:

Photography: Carretto Studio |  Florist: Belli Fiori | Lighting and Decor: Table Ten Event Design | Planning: Cosmopolitan Events | Venue: St. Louis Country Club | Cake: The Cakery | Ceremony Musicians: Rosewood Ensemble | Band: Arvell and Company | Videographer: Vimage | Paper Goods: Cheree Berry Paper | Hair and Makeup: Danielle Style | Transportation: Best Transportation | Fireworks: Gateway Fireworks

Bride's Choice 2010
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Bride's Choice 2014
Bride's Choice 2015
Bride's Choice 2016
The Knot Best of Weddings 2010
The Knot Best of Weddings 2011
The Knot Best of Weddings 2012
The Knot Best of Weddings 2013
The Knot Best of Weddings 2014
The Knot Best of Weddings 2015
The Knot Best of Weddings 2016