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A Colorful Summer Wedding at the Four Seasons

August 7th, 2018

By Kimberly Wallner

Today’s feature is a favorite from our 2017 wedding season. Emily and Colton were married in August, just ten months after Emily’s sister Jessica. We couldn’t have been more thrilled to work with their family for almost two years straight, because they are the most wonderful people and such a joy to plan with! It’s always an honor to be able to work with a family on multiple occasions, and we had so much fun creating days that reflected the personality of each couple. Emily and Colton are such fun, expressive people and their colorful wedding day perfectly embodied them as a couple.

Last year I interviewed Jess about her wedding day and planning process, and I’ve been excited to do the same with Emily!

Kim: What was the most important element of the day for you and Colton as you were planning?

Emily: Making sure the evening expressed Colton and my personalities. We wanted a warm and elegant feeling as guests entered the ceremony and reception room, but also wanted a bold, bright, and summery feel to it. We wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and really have a great time. I think all the vendors’ professional touches, the band’s electrifying vibe, and my dad being the emcee for the night made the entire wedding day and night so wonderful.

Kim: How did the reality of your wedding day live up to your vision and expectations?

Emily: Way beyond what I could imagine. When planning the wedding, we were doing so many detailed things that it was a little difficult to imagine it all coming together. However, when we met with Belli Fiori and did a mini-trial run of what the head table and guest tables would look like, I felt so relieved and excited that we were all on the same page. But seeing it at their studio verses seeing it all come together at the wedding venue the night of was far beyond what I expected or could have imagined. It really is amazing to see all the hard work leading up to the wedding come together so perfectly.

Kim: What was your favorite moment from the wedding day?

Emily: Favorite moment? There are TONS of favorite moments during my wedding day. However, I have two favorites. The first was my first look with Colton. Seeing the pure happiness, love, and smile (and tears) from my husband’s face when I walked down the glass staircase in my dress was priceless. The excitement glowing from his smile and the awe in his eyes will forever be placed in my mind. Nothing in the world at that moment in time mattered, but us. I highly recommend every couple do a first look because that is really the one time during the wedding day where it is truly just you and your soon-to-be spouse together.

My second favorite moment was my father-daughter dance. For about 2 months, my dad and I had been practicing a surprise self-choreographed dance. We had this idea planned for some time before the wedding and did not tell a soul (except for a friend who mixed the music for us). We started with a typical father-daughter dance to a Tim McGraw song and then about a minute into the dance, the surprise began. The looks on our guests, families, and my husband’s faces were hilarious. I didn’t see their reactions until we got our wedding photos back and I am SO glad they were able to capture it. Everybody was clapping, dancing with us, and up on their feet while we showed off our moves. It really set the mood for the rest of the night on the dance floor. My dad did an awesome job!

Kim: What was your favorite floral element?

Emily: I have two favorite floral elements (how could I JUST pick one). The first was the head table backdrop. When I met with Belli Fiori and we discussed this design, I was not exactly sure how it was going to turn out on the day of the wedding because I’m a very visual person. The sketches and descriptions during our meetings helped, but seeing it in person was really going to put the pieces together for me. And, oh my goodness…did Belli Fiori outdo themselves. Seeing the backdrop for the first time during the room reveal was something magical. I have never seen anything like it. The flowers used, designs created, and ideas put to real life was spectacular. It was gorgeous, bright, summery, and perfection. I even had several guests take photos with it as their background.

My second favorite floral element was my bouquet. I had shown Lisa a photo of my favorite bouquet from Pinterest and when I received my bouquet the day of the wedding, another “oh my goodness” came out of my mouth. It was identical to the photo I had shown Lisa at the very beginning of wedding planning. It was MORE beautiful than the image I had shown her. From the flowers and colors to the actual arrangement, it was EXACTLY what I wanted. To this day, I have a photo of my bouquet as the background on my cell phone.

Kim: Your wedding took place 10 months after Jessica’s; were you ever nervous that having the same team of vendors would make your wedding feel too much like hers?

Emily: Not at all. Actually, that was one thing when I met with each vendor I had expressed from the start. I told them I wanted our guests to be “wowed” again because we had a lot of the same guests that attended both weddings. I knew I was going to have the same vendors used for my wedding that my sister used because we just LOVED them all! With my wedding being in the summertime and my sister’s in the fall, I knew they were going to be different. Meeting with Belli Fiori reassured me of that because the seasonal flowers and color schemes alone were going to be way different than a fall wedding. My sister and I (even though we have the same taste in vendors) have a little different taste in colors, designs, and ideas. My wedding design and style totally expressed my (and my husband’s) personalities.

Kim: Do you have any advice for future brides?

Emily: Enjoy every moment. Enjoy ALL the planning and decision-making leading up to the wedding. Enjoy the stressful moments and the not-so-stressful moments. This is what makes the wedding (and planning) fun. Do not take yourself or the decisions that you need to make too seriously because at the end of the day, everything will fall into place. When it comes to the wedding day, really soak it in. It goes by TOO fast! One piece of advice (out of many) that my sister gave to me was during the reception, take a break from the dance floor and look around the room with your spouse to take it all in. The guests dancing and having fun, the floral arrangements and decorations, that everyone in the room is celebrating the love of you two, and what a masterpiece you created with a team of vendors and your family. My husband and I did this.

Vendor Love: Photos: Switzerfilm | Venue: Four Seasons | Day-of Planning: Proposing Dreams | Ceremony Music: Melrick | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles | Paper Goods: M. Haley Design | Videographer: Lifetime Media | Uplighting and Décor: Table Ten

Pretty in Pink and Navy: Amanda & JP’s 9th Street Abbey Wedding

July 3rd, 2018

By Kimberly Wallner

It’s no secret that blush has been the THE color for weddings over the past few years. And while we love blush and have used it in some of our favorite weddings, I’d be lying if I said we weren’t incredibly excited when the week of Amanda & JP’s wedding came around and we got to work with COLOR! (We actually had two colorful weddings on the same day… stay tuned next month for the other!) Bright, bold colors are perfect for summer weddings and it was so much fun to create these fun pink arrangements; they popped against the navy backdrop of the bridesmaids’ dresses and table linens.

Amanda & JP chose to have their celebration at the lovely 9th Street Abbey in Soulard, which allowed their floral arrangements to do double duty between ceremony and reception. It’s so fun to see the transformation of the space throughout the evening! The ceremony was bright and cheery, with natural light streaming in the large Abbey windows and pink floral flanking the aisle. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the courtyard the room was transformed for the evening. Navy linens (including an amazing sequin on the head table), pops of pink and accents of gold created a dramatic setting for dinner and dancing. Amanda & JP’s wedding was a perfect example of how bright colors can be incorporated into an elegant wedding!

Vendor Love: Photos: L Photographie | Planning: Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Events | Venue: 9th Street Abbey | DJ: Millennium Productions | Catering: Patty Long | Paper Goods: Pretty Together | Cake: Sarah’s Cake Shop

A Timeless White Wedding at the Marriott Grand

May 3rd, 2018

By Kimberly Wallner

There is something beautifully classic and timeless about an all white wedding, and today’s feature is no exception. Lauren and Brad were married in the gorgeous Statler Ballroom at the Marriott Grand, followed by a reception in the equally stunning Crystal Ballroom upstairs. I love that they were able to incorporate both ballrooms, which are two of the most beautiful spaces in the city! The architecture and soft color palette of the ballrooms were perfectly complemented by white floral, eucalyptus and touches of gold. The look was light, airy and perfect for a summer wedding.

I love looking through these photos by White-Klump Photography; Lauren has the most infectious smile, and you can tell she was enjoying every moment of the day. Thank you for letting us be a part of it!

Vendor Love: Photos: White-Klump Photography | Venue: Marriott St. Louis Grand | Floral Design: Belli Fiori | Draping, Lounge Furniture and Uplights: Table Ten Event Design | Cake: McArthur’s Bakery

A Fresh Summer Wedding at The Coronado

March 6th, 2018

By Kimberly Wallner

I love today’s feature wedding! Constanza came to us with a unique vision for her summer wedding to Bradley. She was envisioning a classic, slightly preppy design, incorporating black and white stripes and lots of greenery instead of flowers. Greenery is a huge wedding trend right now, but you usually see it in garlands and organic arrangements, which was not at all the look Constanza was going for. The look of the Coronado reception was to be clean and classic, so as opposed to traditional tall floral centerpieces we opted for greenery arrangements of boxwood and salal. These tall pieces were paired with smaller boxwood arrangements and candlesticks on the rest of the tables. As guests entered the Coronado ballroom they were greeted with two large urns of greenery set atop our white columns. As a last moment addition, we enhanced the architectural detail of the columns with black stripes to mimic the table runners, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I loved the way they flanked the entrance to the dining area.

I remember standing back with the Coronado manager, Rob, and realizing that the overall feeling of the room evoked the derby scene from “My Fair Lady”. I wish I could say we planned it that way 😉 The space was clean, fresh and perfect for a summer wedding. It was so refreshing to see such a unique look in a venue that is usually decked out in ivory and blush tones, and just goes to show that even the most classic space can be transformed in unexpected ways. Constanza and Bradley, thank you for letting us bring your vision to life, and thank you to White-Klump Photography for the beautiful photos!

Vendor Love:

Photography: White-Klump Photography | Ceremony Venue: Shrine of St. Joseph | Reception Venue: The Coronado | DJ and Lighting: CJ’s Disc Jockey Service | Catering: Butler’s Pantry | Transportation: Best Transportation

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!

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

 

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 

A Midsummer Night's Wedding at the Caramel Room

January 18th, 2016

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

The Caramel Room has been open a little over a year now, and has quickly become one of our favorite venues to work in. Not only is the space itself amazing (they have quite literally thought of every detail) but so is the staff! It also doesn’t hurt that site visits usually result in snagging some chocolate samples ; )  Allie and Bill’s wedding kicked off a season full of Caramel Room events for us, and we loved being a part of so many weddings in this beautiful space.

When Allie came to us about her August wedding we were immediately excited about her color pallet. She had a very specific vision and we had a lot of fun playing with the blue and orange tones. It’s a combination we don’t use often, but worked so well in the space and for the time of year.

The wedding day itself was a bit of a whirlwind since a room flip was required, so it’s fun to be able to look back at these stunning photos from Sarah Corbett Photography and really take in the space! We loved this chuppah and the way the flowers pop on the royal blue linens, but the best part might be seeing just how much fun Allie and Bill have together. They were so clearly in love and excited to be married; it radiates out of the photos! Thank you guys for letting us be a part of your day.

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