Unfortunately, due to some schedule mishaps, week four of the blog series is coming a bit later than expected. Nonetheless, it's better late then never and we are getting some great feedback from an outstanding floral designer this week! Everyone get ready to see the beauty of
Florals by Kimberly and how she creates it!


From Kimberly Lunsford of Florals by Kimberly:
How important are your wedding flowers? They are one of the most photographed details of your big day! They will set a tone and strike the mood you want to convey. Here is a little overview of how I bring together your wedding day dreams and custom florals.

Choosing Your Florist
Once you have your date set and an idea of your budget, you should secure your florist. Many florists book only one wedding per weekend and once they are booked, that’s it! Florists are as unique as your wedding dress. I recommend meeting your florist in person. You want to feel like the florist can and will help to interpret and develop your vision for this important event. Expect to answer lots of questions! Brides often come to me with some ideas and colors, perhaps with a special theme or item. One bride had a four leaf clover in her bouquet, another needed a crown for her pooch! This interview process, along with creating the tablescapes, floral walls and hanging installations is an absolute joy for me, and hopefully for my clients and their
guests as well!


My Process
I give my couples an “assignment” at the first meeting, after the contract is signed. You are asked to provide a few key words or phrases to describe the atmosphere we are creating. The words given for the wedding you see here were “wild, romantic, warm and natural”. These key words, along with a few images and colors provided, evoked a strong overall vision to me. This vision is translated into a ‘mood board’. A mood board is a one-page visual and written representation of what I will create. At least 2 months before the wedding, we have a second in-person meeting, and I present your mood board. This ensure that we are literally ‘on the same page’, and provides an organized way to make updates and changes to the plan.

A Bit More on Budget
Budget should always be discussed up front when planning your florals. It is difficult to have custom florals for an entire wedding that is less than four figures. The industry average is 8-10% of your total wedding budget. It may be more or less, depending on what is included. Your contract should specifically review what is included. A remote delivery and set up location, or a bouquet of peonies in December, for instance-can increase your cost. Some details to consider asking: Who will provide the vases/vessels for your tablescapes? What time will your florals be delivered and set up? Who will remove your florals after your reception? I will ask some key questions and we will discuss a ‘ballpark budget’ prior to our first meeting. That makes it even easier to get to the fun part of creating your wedding dream!

For the best wedding day flowers, follow these key steps:
1) Secure your florist as early as possible
2) Determine your floral/decor budget
3) Choose a florist that can understand and describe your vision
4) Understand your contract and what is/not included
5)   Get lots of beautiful photographs!  

For more information about Florals by Kimberly, hop on over to her website here.


Personal Post: What to know when planning a Wedding (The Vendor's Perspective) Week 3 | Fresh Baked Bakery

Who likes cake? The better question is, who says no to cake... NO ONE! Week three of planning a wedding through a vendor's perspective is going to make your mouth water. Sarah Blanchard, of Fresh Baked Bakery, has come up with three easy steps to picking the wedding cake that you've dreamed of and will have your guests talking about it for years to come! 

Step 1: Choose a Design
A popular trend is to match the cake design to the weddings overall theme and color pallet. As the centerpiece of your reception, you will want it to reflect your style. Your wedding cake is a blank canvas for you and your partner to show your creativity and personalities, so spend some time looking online at websites such as Pinterest and in wedding magazines for inspiration. Your cake baker’s portfolio is also a great source of inspiration to visualize what designs they are capable of creating. Arrive at your consultation prepared with designs that you like, examples of your color pallet and cake topper ideas, these will help your baker understand your wedding vision. Knowing what you want is great, but also consider your designer’s suggestions. After all, making sure you end up with a beautiful and delicious confection is not only their job, but their goal as well.


Step 2: Plan ahead
Typically, six to eight months before the wedding is enough time to book your cake. You’ll want to leave yourself plenty of time to come up with a style and design, and to shop around for bakery options. If you’re having your wedding during the busy “wedding season” (May- October), give yourself a little extra time to find the right bakery because wedding cakes will be in high demand and dates can book quickly.

Step 3: Taste the Cake!!
Now comes the best part – cake tasting! You probably already have an idea of what the cake will look like on the outside, but it’s also important to know what it tastes like on the inside. Choose flavors that you and your partner love for both the cake and the icing. If you’re going to have multiple flavors, taste them all – don’t assume that chocolate cake will be good no matter what. You should always expect to be offered a cake tasting from a reputable bakery. Here at Fresh Baked our tasting includes 6 flavors of cake and 7 different fillings so you can be sure you are getting your favorites.

For more information, go visit Sarah or any of her awesome staff at Fresh Baked Bakery on Jefferson Street in Downtown Roanoke. They not only bake cakes, but offer an assortment of pies, cookies, macaroons and several other delicious treats to snack on during the day! If you're interested in more 2018 weddings, check out Sarah's blog post here:!


Personal Post: What to know when planning a Wedding (The Vendor's Perspective) Week 2 | RSP Entertainment

It's our second week into the vendor's perspective of planning a wedding blog series and this week, we're learning about DJ services. Believe it or not, they don't just play music and depending on who you hire, they can be the masters of the reception! I've been blessed to work with some amazing DJ's over the years and one that sticks out is RSP Entertainment. Made up of several DJ's of all ages & genders, RSP caters to every event you have planned!

From Roy Prusak with RSP Entertainment:
Hiring a wedding DJ today is not like it used to be and some of today's DJs do more than just spin tunes. DJs nowadays can help elevate your event to a full out celebration if desired, with a visual and sensory experience!  It's important to know what you and your fiance want out of a DJ. Whether you simply want them to be laid back and jukebox style with minimal presentation or, if you want them to be a professional MC directing your celebration into a party to remember (with DJ setup that's almost as pretty as your venue), each DJ is different!

It's great to have a budget in mind when shopping for a DJ, but do realize as with most things, you'll likely be getting what you pay for in the long run. Great DJs may cost more, but the polished presentation and experience is usually worth every last cent.  One comparison on hiring a DJ could be like renting a car on vacation.  Sure the Prius will get you there, but the experience of the convertible Lexus or Lambo would be a whole lot more exciting and one you'd be more likely to share :)


Roy keeping the party alive at Big Spring Farms


Russell making all sorts of friends at The Plantation at Sunnybrook


Madison during our Bingo wedding at Sinkland Farms


Truly consider the last time you went to a wedding. Although you may have been "wowed" by the floral or decor, fed some amazing food and saw some mighty fine photography or videography, think about what you remember most. If what you remember most is whether you had a good time or not, that's usually accredited to how well the entertainment handled the energy as the evening progressed.  Feel free to chat with DJs to find out why they're different, how they perform and what they offer.  Typically a short conversation will give you a feel if they are right for you.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not always about spending top dollar.  If you know you want a relaxed evening with a fairly set play list and just some key announcements, then that's a perfect time to hire an entry level DJ. They can cover the essentials, but not break the bank, as they'll still be leaps and bounds above a MP3 player and help take an unnecessary stressor off your hands.  Just be sure they're willing to play the styles of music you want to hear at your wedding and not just their favorite jams, ha ha. 


Matt & Devon DJ'ing it up at Braeloch on Glenburn Farms


Personal Post: What to know when planning a wedding (The Vendor's Perspective) Week 1 | Studio I Do

Date, budget, venue, dress, photographer, caterer, florist, DJ.... the list goes on and on, but where do you begin when it's time to plan a wedding?

Lots of thoughts go through a newly engaged couple's heads and believe it or not gentleman, the stereotype is almost completely true, your ladies have been dreaming of this day for most of their lives! When it finally comes time to put the ideas into motion though, where do you begin? Just like any other opinion based question, the answers vary. Some people suggest caterer, some suggest date and others just don't know but are excited to be involved in the planning process. You're engaged though and this is supposed to be a joyful ride not a stressful time! Therefore, I've asked several vendors I've worked with over the years to help give their opinions for the other side of the wedding world, the side where your dreams are our professions! Our first vendor is Studio I Do Bridals in Downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Meet your dream dress team of
Lindsay, Jordan & Taylor.


From Jordan Winfield with Studio I Do Bridals of Roanoke:

First comes “Yes” to your Forever then comes “Yes” to your Dress! That’s when your very own “Studio I Do Crew” does what they do Best!

At Studio I Do Bridals in Downtown Roanoke, you will find an experienced stylist there to help guide you through the entire styling process for your big day. Below you will find some tips on how and when to purchase your dream dress.

Before you book your first appointment, be emotionally and financially prepared to say “Yes” to your dress. You might be surprised how many times brides have fallen in love with the first gown they try on. In order to prepare yourself for that moment, we always recommend that brides start their wedding gown search 8-10 months prior to their wedding date, (4-6 months to receive your gown and 2 months for alterations). If you will be doing bridal portraits, it is best to purchase your gown 1 year prior to your date.

Prior to your big day of bridal shopping, we always suggest doing some research. Weather that may be pinning wedding gown styles to your Wedding Pinterest board or flipping through the pages of The Knot Magazine. While it is always good to have a source of inspiration, be sure to keep an open mind and trust your stylist to guide you in the right direction based on the stylists knowledge with our gowns and the inspiration you brought to the appointment.

When thinking of who you’d like to invite to your appointment, we always suggest for brides to invite those whose opinions matter most to you. We have all seen a “Say Yes to the Dress” episode, where Randy Fenoli had to step in to an appointment to make sure that the bride is listening to her heart and choosing the gown for her versus for the entourage that she brought with her. With that being said, we always suggest bringing no more than 4 guests with you to your appointment.


After you have your bubbly in hand and are celebrating finding the gown that you get to walk down the aisle in, use the relationship that you have with your stylist and their knowledge to help you complete your wedding entourage’s attire. Like your bridal gown, bridesmaids dresses require 3-4 months to order. For your groom and his gents, tuxedo/suit rentals should be finalized 4 months prior to your wedding date.

After your big day comes and the “I Do’s” have been exchanged, the next step would be to preserve your gown. The preserving of the gown is typically an after thought for most brides. Instead of hanging it in your closet, a great way to have it cleaned and restored to its original state would be to invest in a preservation kit. With purchasing these kits at Studio I Do, your stylist will be sure that your gown is delivered to the preservation company and delivered back to you within 6-8 weeks.

One last piece of advice that I can give, would be to wake up the day of your wedding and be sure to take a moment for you. Just to take it all in. Take in the fact that today will be the last day that you will refer to your groom as your “fiancé” and it will be the first day to your forever. Congrats love! Happy planning!