Business Insights for Floral Designers - The Finish Line Part One

The Finish Line  Part One || I learned so much from this past year’s Oh So Inspired and one truth that was repeated by various speakers(thank you Liene Stevens, Harmony Walton and Sean Low) has to do with "What do you truly stand for?".  Because it isn’t enough to say “I do beautiful work”, because it should be a given that everyone DOES beautiful work! So what truly separates businesses and why is that of value? 

You look at Instagram and there isn’t an end to the countless and myriad beautiful and stunning inspiration. But what is inspiration and what is true work? 

 Photography  Christina McNeill

Photography Christina McNeill

You see ideas and exciting executed designs in the styled shoots as well as in the presentation of one’s portfolio. What we don’t often ask of ourselves is how is our execution? Can this design work in an actual event? And are we keeping the promises that we make to our clients, vendor partners and ourselves. 

In all seriousness, anyone given any amount of time can recreate any design.  But how many people can execute a master level design flawlessly and on time for an actual project. And let’s be frank folks....on time is not 5 minutes before the bride walks down the aisle. 5 minutes is before what the planner has on her timeline(Before guests arrive). 

Through my many years of being a business owner I have failed so many times. Not because the wedding was not beautiful or that the client wasn’t happy but I failed at my promises to the planner or I failed because I didn’t foresee or plan ahead for things. And though a few planners gave me second chances and helped me through my lapses, others didn’t because I didn’t do what I promised or what a floral designer should do at an event or at the end of the event. And they did the right thing. 

All in all, I learned from these mistakes and I improved upon them. And I will still continue to improve on this(no one is immune to change and corrections) . Because we as true floral and event design pros have to deliver on what we stand for. 

 

Summery Peach and Ivory Sonoma Wedding

Sharing one of my favorite Style Me Pretty Real Weddings featured on the SMP blog on March 2018.


 

A wedding with peach pink peonies dotting the bouquets designed by Nancy Liu Chin, individual cheeseboards crafted by Jessica Lasky, AND rosé housemade by Gundlach Bundschu Winery...Am I dreaming!? No, this practically perfect celebration captured by Sylvie Gil Photography is real life – I just pinched myself to double check.

From Sylvie Gil Photography... Candice and Matt's wedding day was a dreamy, sunlit affair on the idyllic grounds of the Gundlach Bundschu Winery. The couple said their vows under a flowy, blush awning, beneath the warm summer sun, among the grapevine trellises. Bridesmaids matched in blush gowns, and peach pink peonies studded each delicate bouquet. Each guest received their own summery cheeseboard for appetizers, designed by Jessica Lasky. Gundlach Bundschu stocked house-made rosé at the bar.

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Honored to be part of this Style Me Pretty feature.  And of course, it takes a village to create such magic.  Here are some of the key vendors behind this incredible Sonoma wedding photographed by good friend Sylvie Gil. 

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 The other incredible vendors who were all part of Candice and Matt's summer wedding. 

The other incredible vendors who were all part of Candice and Matt's summer wedding. 

A Modern Black Tie Wedding in Meadowood

First featured in March of 2017 on Style Me Pretty, Katlin and Nawder's wedding continues to be one of my all time favorite Meadowood weddings. What is there not to like about an open tented reception, grand white and green floral canopy, garden style aisle of flowers in white planters, modern linens from La Tavola with modern all white florals.  Too many details to like and of course a wall of floral escort cards made by the mother of the bride. Now, that's just perfection. 


Black and white wins every single time in our book. It's so classic and elegant even when paired with modern details. Now throw a crazy talented bunch of wedding vendors into that mix including design by A Savvy Event, florals by Nancy Liu Chin, a whole lot of pretty imagery by Lindsay Madden Photography and a film by Reel Eyes Media, and it takes this already stunning affair and truly makes it shine. Plus there's a fairy godmother of wine tucked in the gallery and what's not to love about that?

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From A Savvy Event...Katlin and Nawder Alavi were just a girl from Florida and a boy from Texas, until they met each other at SMU during their college years. They fell in love, and eventually moved out to a beautiful apartment in the marina district of San Francisco. Their home is clean, and white, with many modern elements. When Katlin and Nawder first started planning their big day, they knew that they wanted to bring a similar style to their wedding.

With the help of Kelly from A Savvy Event, the Alavis planned a romantic, elegant, black tie affair at Meadowood Napa Valley. The entire weekend of events was picture perfect, from their welcome party and rehearsal dinner at Brasswood Estate, to their brunch and croquet game on the lawns at Meadowood.

Because the groom and his family are Persian, it was important to the couple that they incorporate Persian elements into the ceremony. Katlin and Nawder had two officiants, and a Persian-American ceremony. In following with the Persian traditions, they had a sofreye aghd, filled with beautiful elements such as a mirror, candlesticks, beautifully crafted flatbreads, decorated eggs, sugar, gold coins, and more. Traditionally this portion of the wedding is very colorful, but in keeping with Katlin and Nawder’s design aesthetic, it was filled with white and metallic accents.

Cocktail hour was held on the fairway of the golfcourse, with playful elements such as a woman wearing a champagne skirt, which the guests enjoyed immensely. They offered signature drinks from a bar surrounded by elegant lounge areas, all enclosed with greenery.

Dinner was held in an open air tent on the upper lawn. The tent was intended to define and elevate the outdoor space, so that the guests felt as if they were simultaneously inside a black tie venue while enjoying the beauty of Meadowood’s outdoor spaces. The head table ran down the middle of the tent, with chandeliers hanging above. The silver mirrored tables used to seat the bridal parties and bride and groom reflected the lights shining from above, creating a sparkly ambiance throughout the meal. The rest of the surrounding tables were covered in metallic tablecloths of two variations, all of which complemented each other and the head tables. The florals were white with hints of greenery and sage colors, in modern vessels to create a clean contrast with the more romantic china and table scapes.

Nawder’s most important request was to have a fantastic band that could sing into the night. So, they flew one up from Los Angeles and danced the night away with their guests.


What a lovely team of vendors including Planner A Savvy Event who never repeats a design twice.  And the kind hearted Lindsay Madden behind the camera captured so many delightful details that I will never forget Katlin and Nawder's wedding.  It will always remain a classic Napa wedding with that modern twist. 

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3 Reasons to Consider Having A Rehearsal Dinner

Sharing this wonderful article from Style Me Pretty which was published on Marcy 2017. 


There's quite a bit that goes into planning a wedding day itself. And then, you have to consider all of the events leading up to your Big Day, including the last hurrah—the rehearsal dinner. If you're on the edge like I was, we've got Nancy Liu Chin joining us today with three very good reasons to do one, including a bit of tablescape candy thanks to Bright Event RentalsLa Tavola and Three Little Words. Head to The Vault for the full gallery captured by Kevin Chin!

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Working with these great vendors was a dream. 

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