When bride Christina and I met to plan her wedding day, I knew this would be something very special. Not only because Christina is a precious girl, but because she was wanting to do things for her wedding that were not seen at every wedding. We were thinking way “outside the box” in every way possible, from food to flowers, design to cake and even how the entire day flowed. I knew instantly this was going to be a wedding remembered for years to come and was so excited to play a part in the planning process.
We started by forming the best team of wedding professional possible. A team I knew would be the right fit for Christina’s overall look and style and as her wedding planner, I worked off of my experience with these professionals and knowing just who to bring her to and not waste any time with the footwork and interviews.
Elements most important to Christina were the decor, style and overall “feel” of her wedding day. She wanted several “WOW” factors, things that other girls have not yet done but have only been seen by a few in magazines and online. Christina began showing me pictures of her ideas and colors and it was my job to figure out how to make this all work and who would be best suited to pull this off. We focused most of her budget on decor, design and emotion.
The genesis of the design was from pictures Christina consistently showed me of purples and lavenders, some tall and some low centerpieces, silvers used for vessels and vases and the lighting elements she was attracted to. With the help of an outstanding design team led by Andy Hopper of KG Designs and under the parent company of Kathy G & Company and owner Kathy Mezrano, we pulled ideas together and let the creativity emerge. We chose linens of a champagne and ivory twist and mixed both square estate tables with round tables to give the room more interest. Mahogany chiavari chairs were brought in to enhance elegance and even the cushions on the chairs had a damask ivory design.
Candles were abundant around the entire ballroom and with all the house lights off, we brought in our wonderful lighting designer Andy Tolar with Design Productions LLC to spotlight every guest table creating a very romantic and elegant look. We also had purple toned uplights around the room, abstract lighting on the walls and of course a spot light on our fabulous cake.
In the image above, you can see more of the detail from one of our two linens and also the lighting design in the backdrop. The entire dancefloor was draped with a white sheer and very soft fabric from floor to ceiling reaching 26 feet high
Of course the “show stopper” was this magnificent cake created by Jan O’Donnell of Cakes by Jan in Birmingham AL covered with buttercream icing, beautiful appliques over a white wedding and strawberry cake. Christina’s vision for her cake was from an image she showed me of a cake displayed on a swing hung from the ceiling. With our ballroom having a 30 foot ceiling and a few rules from the resort we had to respect, Andy Hopper of KG Designs came up with the idea of building a pergola around the cake and having the cake suspend from the top which was about 12 feet high. The pergola was made of iron and after several hours of worry (on my part) that the swing would not hold the weight of the cake, we decided to use 4 chains instead of 3 to hang the cake. The icing on the cake for each layer weigh approximately 40 lbs and with a six layer cake, I was a little concerned. Not to worry with the team we had working on this wedding however. Andy tested the swing with several men sitting on the stand and we were certain all would work. It did!
This cake swing was hanging from a 12 foot pergola with chains wrapped with a soft white fabric. The base is glass and is surrounded by the most beautiful flowers to not only make this display gorgeous but to also hide the mechanics of the swing. The actual cake sits atop a silver cake stand and was the subject of much debate as well, deciding which would look better, either the silver or a glass stand. The silver won in the end and looked fantastic! Guests gasped at the first sight of the cake and the swing and gasped some more at the beautiful florals, design and dance floor.
There will be another whole blog post on this wedding when I have all the images released but one more element very important to Christina was the emotion of the day. Most of my brides have a videographer in addition to their photographer to capture both still images and a video of the entire wedding day. Christina, again thinking outside the box and wanting to do something different, had the idea of showing the video captured from the beginning of the day right up to the first dance after they were introduced into their reception. She really wanted to surprise her groom and show him all the preparation that had happened during the early part of the day leading up to the climactic moment when they saw each other for the first time and also walked down the aisle. It was also a complete surprise and delight to her guests who don’t normally get to see all that happens earlier in the day either. There was not a dry eye in the house and I would say our mission was accomplished. Please take a look at this fantastic 4 minute video clip that was actually shown at the reception that night. As a wedding planner and one who has planned weddings for 14 years from very small and intimate weddings to very large scale celebrity weddings, this was one of the most rewarding experiences. To see this event grow from conception and ideas to drawings and sketches to watching the labor of love from all the professional vendors who worked through the night pulling this entire event together (I left them at about midnight to get some sleep) and to see my good friends John and Angela Deaver of Main Street Productions shoot their footage, then literally run to edit and see this amazing result proves to me over and over again why I absolutely love my job and why I have such a passion for my brides and their day. My team of vendors and their talents is what you see in the end, but I know what it takes to put this together and how many meetings we had to meticulously plan the time line to allow for the editing and the set up and make sure everything was timed perfectly. This team was perfection and I could not have brought it to completion without them. I can not wait to blog the rest of the images from a fabulous photographer and friend Frank Carnaggio and Nicole Muro. Enjoy this video and more to come soon!