Have you visited Revel yet? It’s a new blog from the girls at 57 Grand, and today I’m contributing a shop the look story based on Katie and Max’s wedding. Shop the look is like an interactive inspiration board. You can click on the images to purchase the item pictured or one that’s very similar. I hope you’ll stop by today to check it out!
Katie and Max’s May wedding at home last May on the Northern Neck was truly full of heart. From the brightly colored heart confetti that accompanied their letterpress invitations, to the hearts throughout the reception…along the walkway to the ceremony on the waterfront, handmade muslin hearts on each place setting, brightly patterned hearts on escort card tags…so much love was put into this celebration. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Gay offered such great insight into what it means to serve dinner “family style.” Here are a few technical things about this dinner style…
*Design your floor plan to match the service style. Nearly 250 guests attended Alex and Paul’s reception. Although that’s a large party, we really wanted the reception to feel intimate and for the focus to be on conversation and feasting! That was the entire point of serving dinner family style, after all. For that reason, we grouped tables end to end and created a u-shape around the dance floor. The table set-up facilitated conversation and passing of platters.
*Using escort cards and place cards are a must with this floor plan! Each table seated eight people, but with tables grouped end to end, some table groupings seated as many as 40 guests. When tables are grouped in this fashion, it is really important to number each table in the group (as shown below) and to offer both escort cards and place cards. Even though each table will be numbered, without place cards, it can be difficult for guests to discern where one table ends and another begins.
*Vary the look of the tables. To keep things interesting and to make sure the tables weren’t a sea of sameness, which could have easily happened with this many tables, we decided to seat guests at a mix of linen covered tables and farm tables.
*Don’t forget to leave some room for platters! We really labored over how much decor to put on the tables. Because dinner was served on larger platters that were passed from guest to guest, we had to be mindful of leaving space on the table. Unlike a plated dinner service, where you could literally create a “runner” of floral down the center of the table, we had to be sure to leave some breaks. We also had to be mindful of budget — long tables can be more expensive to decorate. Ultimately, we decided to group jars of flowers in threes and spaced the groupings with hurricane candles. To add a little more sparkle to the table, we scattered tea lights.
photography by Don Mears
In a former life, I worked in advertising as a strategic planner. Planners are responsible for articulating the client/brand goals in a way that is compelling to the creative team (who will ultimately create the creative product) and in a way that is compelling to the audience (the people who will ultimately consume the work/the people who you want to communicate with). I think a lot about the creative briefs I used to write and how the format can be adapted to be a really useful tool for couples planning weddings. With SO much inspiration and so many ideas floating around, it’s good to focus, focus, focus. Hopefully asking yourself these questions and committing your answers to paper will help you focus your efforts and energy during your planning.
What’s the one thing we want to remember?
What’s the one thing we want our guests to remember?
We’re standing at the altar and we turn around to look at the congregation, these are the people we hope to see…
Three words that describe us as a couple…
If we imagine the look and feeling of our wedding, we’d use these three words to describe it….
These are the things we can’t live without. They’re mandatory….
Our budget is…
Now, go pick three images that match up with your vision for your wedding. Not 300. 3. They can be of anything…interiors, food, clothing. Use those three to remind yourself of where you’re going when you’re in inspiration overload.
We had so much fun working on Katie and Max’s wedding, and we’re just loving seeing it in print in Southern Weddings. We’ll save the details behind this backyard affair until later in the year when we do a full post with some of our favorite images captured by Jodi Miller Photography. In the meantime, see more over here in their gallery. Photography by Jodi Miller Photography; Planning & Floral Design by Merriment; Wedding Design a collaboration between Merriment and the Bride & Groom!
We’re so honored to not only have a featured wedding in the latest issue of Southern Weddings Magazine, but to have also contributed to an editorial shoot that appears in the magazine.
On a hot and steamy day last June, my lovely assistant, Danielle, and I packed up and headed east for Williamsburg, where we met Sierra and Emily from Southern Weddings Magazine and Katie Stoops for a shoot at Colonial Williamsburg.
There are so many beautiful spots for weddings at Colonial Williamsburg. We shot at one of the Colonial houses on the property, and, although that particular house is not available for events, a few houses on the property are available for rental for wedding weekend lodging. Just imagine spending your wedding weekend with friends and family in an historical house on the Colonial Williamsburg property…so cool! You might also consider The Williamsburg Inn on the property for your wedding as well — gorgeous, classic location.
I love this favor, and it’s something that is super, super easy to recreate. We made poppers and filled them with peanuts as a nod to Virginia, which is known for its yummy Virginia Peanuts. Moya Minns with MMInk calligraphed the names, so the favors could do double duty and also function as place cards.
We imagined a couple named Susannah and Gardner Lowell, and developed a story around the two, imaging that both grew up in Virginia and met while attending William and Mary. Our fictitious couple returned to the town where they met to celebrate their wedding with friends and family. Although you can just barely see it in the image above, we incorporated a drawing of the campus’ Crim Dell bridge on the wine label. Crim Dell is also known as lover’s bridge. It’s said that if two lovers cross the bridge together and kiss at the crest of it, they will be together forever. Love that story…
This shot was a happy accident. We intended to shoot the table in a garden, but just as we finished setting the table and placing the flowers, black clouds moved in. We literally had seconds to move the table before the heavens opened. In the end, the alternate location really worked, don’t you think?
Classic never goes out of style, which is one reason why we really adored helping bring this story to life. Thanks to the Southern Weddings team for having us! We had a ball! And without further ado, the fabulous people who made this story happen…
Photography by Katie Stoops; Styling & Floral Design by Courtney Spencer of Merriment, assisted by Danielle Hines; Hair & Makeup by Avenue 42 Designs; Flowers provided by Fifty Flowers; Bridal Gown “Arabella” by Christos; Location, chairs, flatware; cake, petits fours, tarts and ham biscuits – Colonial Williamsburg; Invitation & Program designed by The Lettered Olive with calligraphy by Elizabeth Porcher Jones; Linens - La Tavola Linen; Glassware, plates and some silver trays- Festive Fare; Monograms, menus, place cards, popper wraps, drink sign – Moya Minns of MMInk; Coaster and wine label – Magpie Paper Works; Beau Bar sign – Chocolate Butterbean; Bride’s shoes (“Forbes” by Nina) & colored bridesmaid dresses from Bella Bridesmaid; Ivory bridesmaid gowns by Saja
Hey ladybugs! Sorry for the radio silence last week. We were without power for most of it thanks to Irene, who nearly caused us to re-imagine and relocate my baby shower due to power outages and general havoc. But the shower prevailed and went on as planned. Power came back to hostess Emily’s house just in the nick of time and we were able to celebrate baby girl Connally, who we’re expecting in early October. Here are a few snaps from the weekend.
We ordered napkins from For Your Party and chose a font for “baby spencer” that matched one of the fonts we used on the invitation. (We sent the pink tulip blossom invitation by Linda & Harriet Paperless Post).
We served sparkling ginger-orange punch and regular (mama-friendly) ginger orange punch sans the sparkle.
Given the weather we’ve endured, last weekend’s weather was a welcomed relief. With a respite from the rain, we set up tables in the backyard, covered with custom chevron overlays made from fabric found at u-fab (love that place!). We ordered coral and white linens from La Tavola, while the other rentals (chairs, tables, glassware) were delivered by Classic Party Rentals of Virginia.
Ginny Rogan penned the buffet cards and drink tags in a pretty shade of orange on scalloped, white coasters re-purposed for the project. Meanwhile, I arranged celosia, zinnia, dahlia, billy buttons, marigolds and snapdragons, much of which I found at the South of the James Market that morning.
Deanna Miller of LOL Richmond was on hand to capture the fun (and my massive bump). She made an amazing photo booth backdrop with hand dyed dollies. There’s my sweet mom posing below with my friend Anna’s cuter-than-I-don’t-know-what baby. My mom is clearly loving getting practice!
Major thanks to all of my friends who celebrated with us this weekend but most of all to Elizabeth, Sarah and Emily for hostessing. You girls are the best! xo
With this post, it’s probably time to tell you that I’m going on a modified posting schedule. Maternity leave will begin soon and will extend through the new year. I will pop back here from time to time with news. I have a few fun stories that I am just dying to share with you, but I must wait until October when some of our work will be published that we haven’t been able to show off just yet.
I think the most challenging thing about designing a wedding is feeling overwhelmed by ideas and projects you want to accomplish. A good way to tackle design is to think about your event in three parts (or four if you’re moving from the dining tent/dining room to a separate area for dancing & dessert following dinner). The three parts are, ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.
Because I live by lists, I put one together outlining of all of the places your design can come to life – of course every event is different and you may need to modify the list to suit your event.
You’ll want some repetitive elements throughout the three parts of your event to create some cohesiveness, but each does not have to look exactly like the others. This event featured on Snippet and Ink is a good example. Part one (the ceremony & cocktail hour) and part two (the reception).
Thank you so much to Janie from The Bride’s Cafe for featuring Corey & Gray’s wedding today! I hope you’ll pop over and check it out!
When I’m not planning and designing weddings, I work as a stylist, doing floral and prop styling. Here are a few images captured by Jeff Greenough for the current issue of Virginia Living at Harvest Thyme Herbs in the Shenandoah Valley (breathtaking country over there in the western part of Virginia). Philip and Diedre, two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, own Harvest Thyme Herbs, where they grow all of the produce you see here. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to work on this story!