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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

Wedding Planning: When to Book Your Vendors

May 24th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

It’s no secret that wedding planning can be overwhelming. A simple Google search of “when should I book my wedding vendors” can result in several pages of worth of links, some of which have very dated and conflicting information. With so many sources saying so many things, it’s hard to know what advice to take! Personally, I like to keep things simple, which is why I love the Vendor Booking Timeline that WeddingWire has put together. It breaks down the best order to secure your vendors in an easy to follow layout. I’ve seen all types of wedding planning timelines, but I like this one because it’s not overly complicated and sticks to the main vendors that most couples will be utilizing.

As a florist, most of our clients book with us 8 months to one year out from their wedding (which is on-par with the 10 months suggested in the graphic). For the most popular wedding months, like May and June, it’s always a good idea to reach out sooner than later, since we can only accommodate a few weddings each weekend.

Of course, the most important vendor to secure early is your venue, since it sets the tone for every other element of your wedding day! As a rule, we won’t set up a floral consultation until the venue is selected and booked. Your venue determines the style of your day, your guest count and even things like tall or low centerpieces, so it’s important to have that locked in before booking a florist. If you’re still looking for your perfect venue, check out WeddingWire’s Venues page to begin your search and check out a wide variety of venues in one location.

Happy Planning!

Pastel Perfection: Robyn & Caleb’s Springtime Wedding

April 20th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Spring in St. Louis is my favorite time of year. Blue skies, newly green trees, playoff hockey… what’s not to love?! Its no wonder spring is one of the most popular wedding seasons! Today’s feature is classically spring, from the pale pink peonies in the bride’s bouquet to the soft pastel palette of the reception, which took place at one of our favorite venues.

Robyn and Caleb came to us through our friend Lacy of Lacy Branch Events for their May wedding at St. Francis Xavier and the Caramel Room. Their reception venue selection was the perfect fit, with the dark wood tones and crystal chandeliers of the ballroom providing the perfect backdrop for this sparkling, romantic reception!

Lacy designed the room to incorporate long and round tables, which is our favorite way to add interest to a floor plan and incorporate a variety of table designs. She also selected the perfect shimmery linens to set the tone in the space.

On the round tables we alternated low floral arrangements accented by glass taper candlesticks (which were a new addition to our rental offerings last year) and a classic rounded arrangement in our silver mercury compote. The long tables all incorporated mirrored runners, which added an interesting dimension and extra sparkle to the room. For the long perimeter tables we custom-built standing frames and “floated” strands of pale pink orchids for an unexpected look. The tables flanking the dance floor were lush with floral hedges, floating candles and small floral compotes. Everything came together beautifully and provided the perfect setting for Robyn and Caleb to dance the night away with their guests! Thank you to Lacy for bringing us onto the team, and to Switzerfilm for capturing the day!

Vendor Love: Event Design & Planning: Lacy Branch Events | Photo & Video: Switzerfilm | Florist: Belli Fiori | Ceremony: St. Francis Xavier | Ceremony Music: Landolfi String Quartet | Reception Venue: The Caramel Room at Bissingers | Reception Music: CJ’s Disc Jockey Service | Lighting: Millennium Productions | Cake: Sarah’s Cake Shop | Photobooth: Fish Eye Fun | Paper Goods: Two Blue Doors | Transportation: Best Transportation 






A Modern, Romantic Wedding at the Four Seasons

March 8th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

The best part of our job, hands down, is bringing our clients’ visions to life. Couples come to us with all sorts of ideas, and it’s our job to take those ideas and inspiration photos and turn them into reality. In the case of Sarah and Dennis’ wedding, it started with an acrylic chuppah Sarah saw as a wedding guest, and lead to her vision of a romantic, modern affair.

The difficult part was that no one in St. Louis owned an acrylic chuppah, which meant having one custom built. We have had acrylic pieces made for events in the past, but never anything as large or involved as this. We presented the idea to our “acrylic guy” along with sketches and examples we had seen from companies in other cities, and luckily his team was ready for the challenge! After consulting a structural engineer and adjusting the initial idea, they were able to bring the design to life.

On wedding day Lisa and I were a ball of stress, as we generally are when we do something new, but seeing everything come together was better than any of us could have imagined. For a see-through structure, the chuppah had a commanding presence in the ballroom, and it was so fun to see how excited Sarah was to see her vision come to life! The ceremony and reception were a beautiful combination of modern and classic elements, with soft pink tones, classic floral and modern acrylic elements. It was a beautiful day for a wonderful couple and we were so thrilled to be a part of it!

Vendor Love: Planning: Simcha’s Events | Photography: L Photographie | Venue: Four Seasons St. Louis | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles | Chuppah Stage: Table 10 Event Design 

Planning Your Wedding: Selecting a Florist

January 25th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

It’s the time of year for engagements, and wedding sites are posting their lists of tips, trends, and “things you must do after getting engaged”. There is certainly no shortage of information out there, but I’ve found very little that specifically talks about a major element of most weddings: flowers!

I’ve been in the wedding industry for seven years (as an event planner and then a venue manager), but until I started with Belli Fiori my flower knowledge was limited, as I’m sure is the case with almost all of our couples. Most have a few favorite flowers and a Pinterest board full of inspiration, but they don’t always know what is available for their wedding date or a realistic idea of what wedding flowers cost… 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 8 months to one year out from their wedding date. This of course is not a hard and fast rule (we are still getting inquiries for this spring, for example). The most important thing is to have your venue selected and locked in when you begin to talk with florists, since that will determine the overall style of your wedding, your guest count (and therefore number of tables) and the style of centerpieces (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 try not to book more than a year and a half in advance.

Budget
Generally speaking, floral will account for 10% of your overall wedding budget. This is not a hard and fast rule either, 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 includes a large bridal party, wanting mostly 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.

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
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 with inspiration photos and trust that you’re getting something similar. Begin your search on sites like The Knot, where you can quickly and easily find several florists in your city. 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 who 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 the amazing photographers featured in this post, who always capture our clients so beautifully! White-Clump Photography | Mike Cassimatis Photography | Image Clarity Switzerfilm | Zoe Life Photography 

Something Unexpected: Sydney & Matt’s Enchanted Wedding

January 5th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Sydney and Matt had one of our most unique weddings of 2016, in the best possible way. When our dear friend Simcha brought Sydney and her mom Caryn in to talk with us, they had a ton of unique ideas and a very clear vision of what they were looking for. We always enjoy getting to design a bit out of our “box”, and this wedding definitely let us get creative. Through several planning sessions we were able to collaborate on the vision Caryn and Sydney had, and really bring everything to life for this Meadowbrook Country Club wedding.

For the patio ceremony, they envisioned lots of bold color and a winding aisle leading to the chuppah. To achieve the desired look, we covered the aisle in 60,000 hot pink, orange and yellow rose petals. It was so dramatic! The chuppah was carried in and placed under a huge tree decked out in hanging ribbons, flowers and Capiz shells, which tied the bright colors of the aisle into the ceremony backdrop and evoked the feeling of wind chimes hanging from the tree. The end result was a stunning burst of color and a festive atmosphere that perfectly reflected Sydney and Matt’s fun-loving relationship.

Following the ceremony, guests moved inside to a softer, but no less unique look. Our goal in the ballroom was to create an enchanted, midsummer’s night dream atmosphere with lots of greenery and mixed metals. Caryn didn’t want the centerpieces to be floral heavy, so instead we created trees and terrariums! These were mixed with lanterns, small floral arrangements, and lots and lots of candles. Simcha combined round and long tables, which allowed us to mix elements and enhance the overall eclectic look of the room. I love the photos Mike captured of Sydney and Caryn taking in the space for the first time. When you get pictures like these, you know you nailed it!

It was such a pleasure to work with Caryn, Sydney, Matt, and Simcha to bring this amazing vision to life!

Vendor Love | Planning: Simcha’s Events | Photography: Mike Cassimatis Photography | Venue: Meadowbrook Country Club | Lighting: Millennium Productions | Cake: Kaked by Katie | Draping: Table 10 Event Design | Band: The Charles Glenn Group

 


2017 Color of the Year: Greenery

December 9th, 2016

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

A much-anticipated event for design and wedding professionals alike is the announcement of the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year. As an art major turned wedding professional I tend to geek out just a bit at the announcement, and 2017’s color has me particularly excited: Greenery!

Pantone.com says “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

For weddings, the official Greenery shade might be a bit bright for many brides’ taste, but that’s ok! Use the Pantone shade as a jumping off point to incorporate various shades of green into your wedding. Remember that green is “nature’s neutral” and know that various shades can work well in all sorts of wedding palettes, from bright and bold to neutral.

As the organic-style wedding trend becomes more and more popular in the Midwest, we are continually seeing more brides incorporate greenery into their weddings though things like garden style bouquets and garlands. Yet, there does seem to be a myth that greenery is a cheaper alternative to flowers. While it is generally not as expensive as many blooms, when used in large quantities greens do add up, and like flowers, not all varieties are available all year. Be open to suggestions from your florist and know that regardless of how you select to incorporate Greenery, it will be a fresh addition to your wedding décor!

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Special thanks to the photographers featured in this post who capture our clients so beautifully: Carretto Studio Photography |  Clary Pfeiffer |  Julia Noack Photography | L Photographie | Mike Cassimatis Photography | Zoe Life Photography 

A Springtime Wedding in Forest Park

August 5th, 2016

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

Spring in St. Louis is a tricky time of year when it comes to weddings. The weather can be rainy, freezing, or blazing hot, you just never know. May is by far the most popular spring wedding month, but as Aubrey and Matt’s stunning couple’s portraits by the wonderful Julia Noack show, the risk of selecting a date earlier in the spring can be well worth it! Their late March day might have been a bit overcast, but the trees in Forest Park were in full flowering bloom and made for a stunning backdrop.

Aubrey selected the perfect spring palette (and 2016 Pantone Color of the Year duo) of pale blue and blush pink; white and shades of green were also used in the floral, adding to the soft spring look. For the tall arrangements we incorporated blue paper cranes folded by Aubrey, which were a nod to her new husband’s last name and a tradition in his family. The cranes were a fun, personal detail incorporated in small ways throughout the day.

Both ceremony and reception took place in the Missouri History Museum’s Grand Hall, so our sister company Table Ten Event Design provided draping that was closed during cocktail hour to hide the room flip from the guests. Table Ten also provided café lighting, a striking navy linen for the head table, and silver chargers. The flipped room glowed under the café lights and provided the perfect setting for Aubrey and Matt to dance the spring night away with their guests!

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VENDOR LOVE:

Photographer: Julia Noack Photography  |  Florist: Belli Fiori  |  Decor: Table Ten Event Design  |  Venue: Missouri History Museum  |  Cake: Sugaree Baking Co.  |  Planner: Mr. & Mrs. Weddings and Events  | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles

Stunning July 4th Wedding at the Four Seasons

June 28th, 2016

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

While most of St. Louis was hanging out in Forest Park last July 4th, our team was at the Four Seasons downtown setting up for Nicole and Dan’s stunning wedding reception. Designed by Lacy Branch Events, this affair was not what you typically envision when you think of a 4th of July wedding. Lacy took the bride’s love of the color red and ran with it in the most fabulous way, including a custom red dance floor. She also incorporated the couple’s love of Art Deco architecture through details on the stationary and cake, along with nods to the Arch. The bright red was complemented by gold and silver tones, making the room rich and dramatic. We were so excited to see the photos captured by the wonderful team at Switzerfilm!

Nicole and Dan, thank you for letting us be a part of your amazing wedding day. Happy {almost} one year anniversary!

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Planning and Design: Lacy Branch Events | Photography/Videography: Switzerfilm | Florist: Belli Fiori | Reception Venue: Four Seasons | Cake: Sarah’s Cake Shop | Music: CJ’s Disc Jockey Service | Lighting: Millennium Productions  |  Hair and Makeup: Emily Miller Hair and Makeup

Bride's Choice 2010
Bride's Choice 2011
Bride's Choice 2012
Bride's Choice 2013
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