Wedding Dish: The Column

On a personal note, I now have a monthly column on the website Franklin Is. It is a wonderful site about a thriving local community with wonderful historic roots. It just so happens to be the baby of a dear friend one of my editors Julian Bibb. Because of that he has also posted quite a few of the feature articles I have written for him over the years. If you do a search for “Christine Boulton” on the site you will find more of my musings on weddings, from trends to how to handle Mother Nature. Happy reading and thanks Julian.

Did the iPod Kill the DJ?

Off Beat Bride pointed out an interesting article today about the demise of the DJ.

Many couples are opting to forgo the band or DJ and put together their own playlist. Some venues even seem to be catching on to to this trend and upgrading their sound systems to accommodate these iPod couples. Cool.

Here is where my rant comes in; check this quote from the executive director of the American DJ Association. “An iPod is music, and what brides really want is an eloquent spokesperson that can represent them at their event in front of family and friends to create a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable experience,” Drax said.

That strikes me as more than just a little arrogant and presumptuous. Let me rephrase that for you a bit there Drax: An iPod is music and what brides that choose DJs really want…” Could it really be that every single bride that has ever or will ever plan a wedding really longs only for an “eloquent spokesperson” to represent them?

Why is it that some wedding professionals think that theirs is the only way to do something? Will they never get the message that every couple is unique and the old cookie cutter formula no longer works? Sigh. What are your thoughts?

Wedding Photography

I had an interesting discussion with a wedding photographer friend of mine recently. Lesli Emmets of Divine Images was telling me about an album she had created purely for her own pleasure and self expression. As anyone that earns their living on the creative front will tell you the pieces we to for ourselves are often not the things that our client wants. Understood, that’s why we do it for ourselves. This album told a different story.

Lesli had left it on the table in her studio and the brides fell in love with the edgy, artistic style. Several brides booked her for their wedding because they wanted an album just like it. Here’s the kicker, when the time came to select the images for their album they were pulling the artistic images and putting in more traditional posed shots. For all the talk of hip edgy wedding pictures, when the rubber hits the road they are still picking more traditional shots! Very interesting.

If you are looking for something non-traditional, maybe you should consider it for your wedding portrait. Rather than a photographic record how about a unique work of art. You know I am a nut for fine arts photography. David Wright over at The Artist’s Eye has been playing with a technique called computerized fine art painting. The above image is what he has done with a picture he did recently for a bridal fashion shoot. Love it. Want it.

Frock Horrors

Kudos to Camilla Chafer over at Bridalwave for her Frock Horror section. I have been reading Bridalwave for a while now but had never had the time to read the entire thing. Oh my, it isn’t just the gown’s that are hysterical it is the descriptions that Camilla writes. Take a few minutes and laugh out loud. I will forgo my ususal suggestion that you pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea so you don’t risk spitting it all over your keyboard!.

What was it that made me finally take the time to read through the complete Frock Horrors? Maybe it was the evite I received this morning to the runway show and launch party for the new INAGURAL COLLECTION


Ah yes, what fun. An entire collection designed to look like the Disney Princesses; Belle, Arrielle, SnowWhite. Oh, why not?

Bridal Market Wrap-up

I’m finally home from market; tired but exhilarated. It always takes a few days to decompress and remember all the finer points and small details of the trip. To give you some idea of just what something like bridal market is really like I posted the two pictures above. Even the shoe designers ended up barefoot by the end of the show. Too Funny. Mary Lou from Grace Shoes was quick to let me know it was only because she wasn’t wearing her companies shoes! Now how’s that for brand loyalty? Even Fillipa Scott had shed her shoes opting for bare tootsie while she broke down her booth.

I’m going to take a few days off the Dish to work on my other site, Think Like a Bride. I have some exciting news about a forum coming to Think that I’ll put out as soon as all the links are in place.

Happy planning!

Why Florists Get The Big Bucks

Last weekend I staged with a florist on a three day wedding. They flat wore me out. Now I have been in the wedding industry for 20 years and I had no idea how hard these pros work. Let me give you a little run down on what goes into pulling together the floral for your big event.

Your flowers hit the wholesaler on Thursday. Nothing can be done on the floral work until then except logistics and some basic mechanicals. Once the flowers are in house they must be unpacked and conditioned over night. Friday the real work begins. Each bouquet, coursage and centerpiece is created. The large display pieces for the altar and the buffet table weigh a ton once they are finished. Some really large arrangements are done in parts. The most delicate flowers won’t be added until the the arrangements are in place at your wedding. Now you have to find places in the cooler for all the bouquets and arrangement so they are fresh for the big day. Don’t forget to pick up the rentals like candleabrums and a van if needed.

Saturday is one very long day. First thing in the morning things get organized and ready for load out. Hard goods first, then cut flowers and finally the arrangement for the reception. Drop that off and back to the shop to pick up the flowers for the church. The church has to be set up several hours before the ceremony for pictures. So you scoot out of there about the time the photographer arrives and head on out to the reception site. You have four to five hours at most to set the site. Hope like hell that the catering staff has done their job and the tables are set up and the linen thrown. Get all the centerpieces on the tables and out of your way. Next are the candles. Unpack the candle holders and put them in place. This part is fun…the candles rarely fit right in the holders, so you either shave part off or wrap them with tape. Yeah, good times. Time for the finishing touches. Tweak out the arrangements with the cut flowers, behead several hundred roses to artistically scatter their petals and you are ready to move on. Load out your tools and boxes and all the buckets from the cut flowers back into the van.
Back to the church. Break down all your hard work and load it back in the van. On to the shop to unload and store away what you don’t need for later. Now you get to take a break, grab a bite and down some coffee. There is still a ton left to do. Wait for the reception to end so you can start breaking it down. First blow out the candles so the wax has time to harden. Pack up the flowers for transport and be careful, the MOB wants to use them tomorrow for the brunch. Grab the stupid candles and clean up the rose petals and any candle wax.. Pack up the candle holders and the containers from the arrangements and load the van. Do a final run through to make sure you haven’t left anything behind then it’s on to the shop to close it all down. Unload the van, put it all away and make a few trips to the dumpster and your done. But don’t forget to deliver those arrangement tomorrow morning for the brunch.

And this is when everything goes perfectly.

When you look at the bid sheet for your flowers, remember that there is a whole lot more then just pretty posies behind that bid.

Hiring a Wedding Consultant

Did you know that 50% of all weddings are planned from out of town? With our mobile society more and more brides are having to resort to long-distance planning. This is the where hiring a wedding consultant really comes in handy. But how do you pick one, especially if you are doing it long distance?

One of the big problems is that every day some noob hangs a shingle. You know, she planned her own wedding and now thinks she is a pro. WRONG But how can you tell from a website? You can’t. Your best bet is to get referrals. Do a little research on venues in the area that might fit your style and call them. Pick their brain a little and see who they refer. Also, go to the local forums for your target area and ask the other brides. Sort your master list down to three or four and check their website. Look at how long they have been planning weddings and how long they have been in the area. If all the pictures on their site look like they are from the same event cross them off your list. Remember, you are looking for someone that really knows the players in this market. The longer your consultant has been in the market the more leverage they have. They also have a reputation to protect. Both of these things work in your favor. You are from out of town, they aren’t. The local vendors know them and don’t want to lose their business.

Call your top three choices and see if your personality and vision are a fit. Ask them to send you pictures of several weddings they have done and testimonials. Everyone worth their salt in the wedding industry has a file full of thank you letters from happy brides. Are they someone you can trust to look after your interests while you keep tabs from afar?

Once you settle on a pro to handle your wedding, step back and let them do their job.

If they send you to specific vendors, there is a reason. They trust them, work well with them and feel they can best fit your vision and budget. Trust your consultant to do the job for which you hired them. A good consultant has a huge roster of vendors they use. It is their job to find the ones that are the best match for you. More than anything else, you are hiring an advocate.

Investing the time in finding the right wedding planner for you can save you more than money. It will save you many headaches!

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