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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!

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

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

Purple Prose: Amethyst, Violet, Iris, Orchid, and Lilac for K+R!

August 18th, 2015

Posted by Laura Katherine Smith

Purple has traditionally been known as the color of royalty, and what better way to celebrate a gem of a wedding in a regal venue in St. Louis like the Renaissance Crystal Ballroom. We had the pleasure of working with Kathryn and her family on creating the perfect day for her and Roko’s nuptials this summer. We started out focusing on champagnes and purple tones, quickly realizing we needed to identify the perfect summer hue and accents while keeping it classic and refined for their reception.

A few lovely meetings later we were all welcoming the idea of soft lilacs and iris tones, knowing these would help soften up the purple palette and make for an elegant evening. Table 10 Event Design provided the backdrop of purple washed walls throughout the ballroom to enhance its dramatic original white columns. St. Louis Wedding Consultants brought that extra touch of making the evening flow seamlessly and end perfectly!

And with the masterful doing of Kelly Park Photography, it all was captured beautifully!

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Corals and Pinks for a Spring Wedding

June 1st, 2015

Posted by Laura Katherine Smith

What a gorgeous day for this stunning couple… Felise + Doug! The couple wed on April 25 of this year and Spring showers definitely did not scare them away from taking the opportunity for some beautiful outdoor shots in Forest Park after their first look at The Chase Park Plaza. How can you resist the park for your wedding portraits?! Mike Cassimatis of MNC Photography had the pleasure of shooting the bride + groom along with family and their wedding party…

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We have to share all the little details because they are simply stunning, and as wedding designers we get excited seeing it all come together, especially from the photographers perspective! How pretty, romantic and perfect!

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After their outdoor shoot, the couple and the wedding party headed over to  The Coronado for their ceremony. The Coronado is complimented by lovely details since the space is timeless and beautiful to begin with, we always enjoy working with the awesome staff there and they do a phenomenal job every step of the way.

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And then on to the party!

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Vendor Love…

Photographer: MNC Photography

Florist: Belli Fiori

Decor / Lighting: Table 10 Event Design

Venue: The Coronado

Band: The Charles Glenn Group

Cake: Sugaree 

#InstaGlam STL Bride Style – Classic Elegance

March 21st, 2015

Posted by Laura Katherine Smith

We all know everyone loves a good Instagram photo… and as floral and event designers, we love (even more) professional snaps to grace the cubed spaces of our company profile pages to reach the masses! Belli Fiori had the pleasure of being featured in Saint Louis Bride’s Spring/Summer 2015 – Instaglam issue! And what a treat it was to work with the incredible people at Saint Louis Bride, L Photographie, Simcha’s Events and Boda Film, along with all the venues and vendors we adore working with time and time again.

“Three days, three shoots” exclaims the magazine with their style feature for this wedding seasons issue. The magazine flawlessly executed not just our shoot, but two more, all over town! Classic elegance, that look that never goes out of style and is never a miss, was the tone set for our shoot. We are extremely proud of all our creative achievements, but there is something to say about sticking with what will never go out of style or touch when looking back at photos of your special day.

Speaking of days… our shoot started on a crisp fall morning in November at the Magnolia Hotel, the chic new boutique hotel downtown (that we are totally enamored with) like any true wedding would. Florals already designed and prepped to be installed at the Magnolia for the reception shoot and then on to the Little Flower Catholic Church for ceremony shots. We had such a fun day shooting with everyone, as well as all that went in to designing and such leading up to that day. And we are beyond thrilled with the results- we hope you love them as much as we do!

 

Photo by L Photographie for Saint Louis Bride

Photo by L Photographie for Saint Louis Bride

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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