Embracing Natural Beauty for the Most Romantic Bohemian Wedding

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The soft, pastel hues and elegant bohemian touches give a layer of undeniable romance to this wedding inspiration. And all of that beauty has a little something to do with the genius vendors behind the scenes. Crafted by TOAST Santa Barbara with 3 totally gorgeous bridal beauty looks by Mar for TEAM Hair and Makeup and all captured by Sawyer Baird, get ready to embrace organic details and a color palette that fits right in with that stunning mountaintop.

From the Photographer… When I think of planning a wedding personally I like to think of colors that would work with all seasons! When TOAST Santa Barbara and I got together we decided early on that we were striving to show brides an earthy feel with a hint of boho goodness that would be acceptable for any season. The warm earthy tones accented by brass, pinks, purples, and touches of blue bring out any season on an effortless level. Simple organic beauty found within nature is key when it comes to a multi season look if I do say so myself. The shoot took place at a private estate over looking Santa Barbara – it was the perfect escape for the shoot, bringing it full circle, embracing the soft sounds of nature and breeze. And personally, if I could have dinner on this mountain top everyday, I would.

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Photography: Sawyer Baird | Event Design: TOAST Santa Barbara | Florals: TOAST Santa Barbara | Wedding Dress: Gossamer | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper Goods: In Loft Calligraphy

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Your Week of the Wedding To-Do List!

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The week leading up to your wedding day will undoubtedly be a whirlwind, packed with everything from beauty appointments to the rehearsal dinner and gatherings with out-of-town guests. Don’t let your overbooked calendar leave you feeling overwhelmed! Our dear friends at Easton Events are here to guide you. Learn how to plan for these activities in advance as well as tips on what to outsource, so you can enjoy this week to the fullest!

Outsource Welcome Bag Delivery

We love the idea of providing welcome bags for your out of town guests, but we always encourage our brides to outsource delivering the bags. Ask a good friend or family member who has offered to help or hire a local courier service. It is a time-consuming project, and it collides with such a busy time leading up to your wedding. We encourage any bride (and mother of the bride) to remove the delivery from her plate.

Plan Your Wardrobe

While this idea may seem obvious, the weeks leading up to the wedding can be very hectic. We recommend thinking through your wedding week wardrobe in advance to allow time for last minute alterations. Take photos of your outfit for each day on your phone so you can quickly reference the looks when the whirlwind of wedding week festivities begin.

Establish an Exit Strategy

It is so important for the bride to establish her graceful exit strategy, especially for multi-day wedding celebrations. For the Thursday and Friday night parties leading up to your big day, it can be challenging to pull yourself away from the fun unless you have a plan in place – and perhaps a wing woman to help you exit the crowds. To stay fresh and relaxed for the big day, establish a departure time before arriving at the event and rally a friend or family member to ensure you leave at the designated time to get your rest.

Create a Portrait Shot List

To make the most of your wedding day, you need to carve out time ahead of the wedding to think through your photography portrait shot list. It is important that you and your fiancé review the list with your family to make sure you cover all of the necessary bases. As you create your list, keep in mind that each family or group photo will take three to five minutes to arrange and photograph. To further streamline the process, you will want to assign a “photo wrangler” from each side of the family and provide him or her with the shot list. The photo wrangler is responsible for rallying the family, helping identify missing members in the photos, and helping move along the portraits portion of the day. The photographer will not know all of the members of your family, so it is important that you are detailed with your VIP list of pictures. Without this organized list, portraits can consume a lot of your time and limit your ability to enjoy your groom as well as your guests.

Plan the Ceremony Processional

Think through your ceremony and get it down on paper! We recommend creating a diagram of your ceremony so you can strategize the placement of your bridal party. Also list who will sit in the reserved rows and in what order they need to be seated. This way you won’t forget to seat your favorite uncle in the right place!

Avoid Wedding Day Activities

As the bride, you are going to be pulled in a lot of different directions by family, friends, bridal party, and out of town guests leading up to the wedding day. We highly recommend brides remove the stress of attending any wedding day activities and suggest planning formal luncheons and other events that would require the bride’s attendance to occur on the days leading up to or after the wedding. Instead, gather with your bridesmaids for pampering and relaxation the day of the wedding!

Turn Your Cell Off

Power down on your wedding day and designate a point person for any day-of questions or concerns, or put your maid of honor in charge of answering your cell. If you don’t, you will become the “help desk” for your friends and family.

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A Cherry Blossom Printed Dress for the Ultimate Spring Inspiration

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There are about a million reasons to adore this spring shoot, but first and foremost? The bride’s cherry blossom printed gown by Monique Lhuillier. It set the tone for a shoot filled with unexpected whimsy and Hylah White, Stacie Ford, Seniman Calligraphy, and La Tavola are a few key vendors who brought the vision to life. Spring brides, consider these images by Rebecca Yale all the inspiration you’ll ever need.

From Rebecca Yale… For this Spring wedding editorial we were inspired by the beauty of Kestrel Park, a 19th Century English Country home and gardens located in the heart of Santa Ynez, CA. Hylah White Special Events chose French blue to be the main color inspiration to play off the European feel of the venue. We loved how the light shade of blue complemented the cherry blossoms that were in bloom throughout the garden, which led us to choose a stunning cherry blossom printed gown from Monique Lhuillier’s unique RTW collection for our fashion forward bride’s ceremony dress.

Continuing the garden inspiration our bride changed into another beautiful RTW Monique Lhuillier gown with a beautiful high low hem allowing her to show off her beautiful floral booties designed by Joy Proctor for Bella Belle Shoes. Afterwards, the bride changed into a third stunning Monique Lhuillier bridal gown with a gorgeous lace bodice and layer upon layer of magnificent tulle for some golden hour portraits in the beautiful rolling hills of Santa Ynez.

The incredible Felissa from Of The Flowers made three unique bouquets inspired by each gown. Stacie Ford and Caitlynn Demetrician for Stacie Ford created beautiful and natural hair and makeup looks for each gown embracing and playing up the bride’s beautiful natural curls with delicate foliage inspired hair pieces by Hushed Commotion.

The reception table was set between the magnificent garden hedges and the stone castle-like horse stables, truly making the entire day feel like a fairy tale! Guests were welcomed to their seats with hand calligraphed place settings on their seats and each place setting had a beautiful torn edge menu with the same wax seal as the invitation.

Of the Flowers and Hylah White Special Events paired white and green centerpieces with beautiful marble slabs and a mixture of silver and crystal candlestick holders with french blue candles. Not to leave a detail untouched the scent of the flowers from the table was just as beautiful as the tablescape looked! A lovely dessert table was set beneath the blooming wisteria on the other side of the stables with macaron towers from Bottega Louie. The perfect ending to a fairytale wedding day!

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Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Floral Design: Of The Flowers | Invitations: Jasmin Michelle Designs | Shoes: Bella Belle | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup: Stacie Ford Weddings | Hair: Caitlynn Demetrician for Stacie Ford | Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy | Tuxedo: The Black Tux | Venue: Kestrel Park | Desserts: Bottega Louie | Earrings: Chanel | Event Planner + Stylist: Hylah White Special Events | Female Model: Ciara Williams | Gowns: Monique Lhuillier | Hair Accesories: Hushed Commottion | Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Ring Box : The Mrs Box | Silk Ribbons and Table Runner: Silk + Willow | Tabletop: borrowed BLU | Vow Books: Seniman Calligraphy

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7 Things Your Bridal Consultant Should Tell You

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From bridal consultant to blushing bride; I have walked in both shoes. After working with hundreds of brides, steaming thousands of dresses, and consoling countless over-emotional MOB’s (Mother of the Bride), I learned what it takes to be a great bridal consultant. I juggled brides of all shapes, sizes, budgets, and emotions, and sold them the dress of their dreams. During that time, I learned what a huge difference the right bridal consultant can make and here’s exactly what they should tell you at your appointment…

“You Look Beautiful”

Wedding dress shopping can bring out insecurities in any bride. Feeling insecure is a common emotion to have, however the appointment should leave you feeling confident and beautiful. The right bridal consultant will recognize the features that make you unique and beautiful and she will not only find a dress to accentuate those features; she will vocalize that to you.

“You Should Try Something New”

It’s common for a bride to be so set on a dress style before she has even walked into a bridal salon. That can be helpful for the appointment, however the right bridal consultant will push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to try something a little different. You would be surprised at how many brides end up saying “yes” to a dress that’s opposite of what they originally thought they wanted.

“The Price of the Dress is…”

Some brides save up for their wedding dress for years. Others; their Dad pays in full on the spot. No matter where you are financially, your bridal consultant should be very honest with you about the price of a dress. If you want to try on a dress that is out of our budget, your bridal consultant should kindly tell you so that you are mentally prepared. A bridal consultant is not there to trick you or make you feel bad. She should be making this financial decision as easy as she can for you.

“Tell Me How You’re Feeling”

There are times in an appointment where your Mom will not stop crying about how beautiful you look, your Sister is making passive aggressive comments, and your Grandma is noticing (and criticizing) your tattoo for the first time (sorry Grandma)! So when a bridal consultant is alone with you in the dressing room, she should catch on to your emotions and ask you how you’re feeling. With so many exciting, and nerve-wracking emotions; someone needs to help you calm down when the entourage is getting exhausting, and who better to do it than the consultant.

“It’s Time to Stop Looking”

Even after you have tried on a dress that you love, you may feel the need to keep looking. This can be a slippery slope and cause you to become more and more confused about which dress you like the best. I remember my boss finally telling an overwhelmed bride that she needed to stop. When you find a dress you love, (similar to when you find a significant other that you love) you do not keep looking. You may like characteristics in another dress (or person) but that does not mean you need to keep shopping around. When you have found the one you truly love, let that be the one.

“This is How the Dress Bustles”

Trumpet, ball gown, sheath, or mermaid… each silhouette bustles a little differently. Your bridal consultant knows how each dress shape bustles and she should be able to show you at your appointment. The bustle can make the dress look different in the back so it is important for you to know exactly how the dress will look at each moment of your wedding.

“Here’s What to Expect Post Purchase…”

Each bridal salon has specific rules and details you will need to know after you have put the deposit down on your dress. Some have rules of when the full payment is due, others specify whether or not they will store the dress for you once the dress arrives, and whether or not they offer alterations services. No matter the rules and expectations, you will want to make sure you’re fully aware so that there are no surprises months later.

Shopping for a wedding dress is a special and exciting time for every bride. The right bridal consultant will make you feel prepared and beautiful, all while keeping the end goal in mind; helping you marry the person of your dreams.

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The Scoop On Trunk Shows

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The phrase “trunk show” can be tossed around quite a bit in the world of wedding dresses, but if you’re just starting out on your gown search, let’s think of it as a magic word. Trunk shows allow you to view an entire collection by one designer you may not otherwise have the chance to see. And bonus – be granted a pretty solid discount along with it! Read on for the ins and outs of trunk shows and how to reap their many benefits.

Do Your Homework

You’ve gotten engaged – check that off the list. You may have already secured a venue and maybe even gotten a photographer. Wherever you’re at in your planning, it’s never too early to start hunting down the perfect dress. Start from the comfort of your own phone! Pinterest and Instagram are great tools to find endless styles, organize dresses you like and trace them back to their original designer.

Something to watch out for: images on Pinterest can often be mislabeled after so much re-pinning, so cross-reference them on the designer’s website. Once you’ve found a few styles you love from a handful of designers, head over to Instagram and give their account a follow to get the full feel for their vibe and aesthetic. It could turn out that you thought you liked boho, but the rest of their collection is a little too non-traditional, so maybe vintage-inspired is more your speed.

Scout the Shows

Start by searching online for bridal boutiques that are near you or near where you’ll be shopping. Check if they carry the designers you want and if they have any upcoming trunk shows. Or, you can go straight to the source. Most designers have a list of their stockists and retailers on their website according to location and even post their trunk show schedule. While on their site, do a bit of research on where the brand is based, the price-point, and gown lead-time.

Once you find some to attend, make a booking through the stockists themselves. Keep an eye on Instagram accounts for both parties; trunk shows in the coming weeks will be posted!

Shop + Save

Now that you’ve made it to the trunk show, you’re ready to reap the benefits. This is your chance to view a full collection (and possibly additional new styles) that the boutique may not carry year-round. This may not sound as thrilling if you’re based in a major metropolis and the designer’s showroom is right down the street, but if you live in smaller town or another country, you have the opportunity to see collections from brands all over the world.

Another great benefit: because you have a trunk show appointment, if you purchase your gown that day, you’ll get a discount! These are typically between 10-15% but vary per designer. Think about it – those savings can go right back into the wedding budget.

Added Perks

A major pro of trunk shows is that most, if not all, are attended by a brand representative. Occasionally, the designer themselves may be present to work with brides and this is a simply an unbeatable opportunity to find your dress with help from the people who actually created the gowns. Questions such as the availability of extra fabric or customizations, if rush fees apply, and styling tips can be answered directly from the source!

Trunk shows are getting more and more popular with designers and stockists alike. They’re such a win for everyone! Designers get to spread their brand and meet more customers, and brides to get a chance to see a full collection they otherwise wouldn’t have. Whether you’re a bride on a budget scoping out those discounts, or a hopeless romantic with your heart set a single designer since forever, trunk shows are an amazing way to make dress shopping work for you!

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. When not studying or exploring, you can usually find her scrolling Instagram, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run. 

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We’ve Found the Perfect Dress for Your Body Type

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We know that sifting through the sea of wedding gown options can be a little daunting. Especially when it comes to finding the most figure-flattering style for you AND your body type. So today we’re teaming up with Rebecca Ingram for a little lesson in choosing the dress that’s right for you, because, well… no two brides are alike. Find “the one” with some seriously important tips below.

HOURGLASS

Have a beautiful hourglass figure? Then choose a corset-back gown that will flatter your natural curves AND show off that stunning shape. And if you love ballgowns (and honestly, who doesn’t), try an embellished bodice with an inner or outer corset and a breathtaking, voluminous skirt… and don’t forget the sweetheart neckline. Rebecca Ingram’s pick: The Vernice… for a little bit of all of the above.

PEAR-SHAPED

Calling all pear-shaped beauties. This one’s for you. Because if you are looking to show off that ultra-slim waist, then head straight to Rebecca Ingram’s lineup of gorgeous beaded belts for a gorgeous accent… then check out their floaty, voluminous ballgown skirts to hide anything you don’t want seen. Rebecca Ingram’s pick: Arden… it’s perfect.

ATHLETIC

For all of you ladies with an athletic build, creating a sexy silhouette is key. Try a fit-and-flare or A-line strapless gown with a fitted waist that will show off your toned arms and then work those angles with unique embellishments, tiers and ruffles to add visual interest. Rebecca Ingram’s pick: The Isabelle. It’s just the dose of sass you need.

TALL AND SLENDER

The best way to show off that tall and slender frame? With a gown that is simple and elegant and not too showy. Think a flowy sheath style that is the epitome of grace and sophistication with simple lines that let you and your stunning shape do all of the talking. Rebecca Ingram’s pick: Linda. It’s all sorts of awesome.

BUSTY

Showing off your curves in a classy way is key when you are a little heavier on top than most. A sweetheart neckline will show off those curves, while an inner and outer corset (we love those things) will add much-needed support. Rebecca Ingram’s pick: Darlene… it will hug your shape in all of the right (+ sophisticated) ways.

SMALL-CHESTED

Don’t need to worry about that extra-support on top? Then focus on adding a little texture to your look with ruching, pleating and embellishments that will help play up your décolletage. In other words? Go all out with the details, loves! Rebecca Ingram’s pick: Shelley, one of our all-time favorites.

Known for creating figure-flattering gowns for brides of all shapes and sizes that are equal parts elegant AND affordable, Rebecca Ingram’s lineup of beautiful gowns will blow your mind. Find an Authorized Retailer in your area today and be sure to let those insecurities go when trying on new styles. You got this, you guys.

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A Celeb Stylist Reveals Hacks for Your Best Hair Day Ever

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With an impressive list of celebrity clients like Sofia Vergara and Kelly Ripa, Oscar Blandi certainly knows all the secrets to a perfect hair day. Whether you’re looking to fake your way to voluminous waves or planning that pre-wedding hair routine, he’s got you covered with insider tips of the trade. Go ahead and bookmark this for your big day (and every day!)

What’s trending right now in bridal hair?

The updo for brides is a classic that I don’t think it will ever go out of style. However, I’ve noticed brides want updos that are more relaxed and romantic.

Favorite products to get hair wedding day ready?

Using a good shampoo and conditioner is key, especially if you have color-treated hair. Make sure that you’re using a good quality deep conditioner to keep your hair moist for the big day. Similar to the way you moisturize your skin to keep it looking supple under makeup, do the same thing to your hair.

Also, continue to get regular cuts leading up to the day. Even if you want your hair to be long, you want it to be healthy! My recommendation is every 4-6 weeks for a healthy look.

Any tricks for faking your way to voluminous hair?

Mousse and hairspray are always the best product to the lift the roots and create the illusion of thicker hair – that’s what they are created for. I also incorporate a bit of oil in the mix when working with a mousse to soften up the look and make it less rigid so as the day goes on, the hair will fall in a natural way.

The go-to styling tools you swear by?

Rollers or a curling iron, both give the hair good body.

To hairspray or not to hairspray?

Use a mousse or hairspray that doesn’t contain too much alcohol (which can result in hair looking “crunchy”), and again mix a little oil with the mousse. The hair will still hold but will have a softer appearance. Trust me, it works!

Oscar Blandi, Celebrity Stylist and Founder of Oscar Blandi Salon, New York City

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Classic Burgundy + Navy Fall Wedding

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For Sarah and Tanner, a wedding under the Texas sun was kind of a no-brainer. Both outdoor lovers through and through, they planned a fall celebration with loved ones by their side, and you better believe they soaked up every last second. Michelle Boyd was on hand to photograph the day and Sarah’s advice to all fellow brides is to not sweat the small stuff along the way. “At the end of the day, you will be married to the love of your life, and in comparison to that, nothing else matters.”

Colors

Seasons

Fall

Settings

BarnOutdoor

Styles

Rustic

From the bride, Sarah… Tanner and I both absolutely love the outdoors. It’s where Tanner proposed and it’s where we like to spend our free time. So it was an easy decision to exchange our vows amongst our closest friends and family under the sun. Our goal for the ceremony and reception was to create an organic elegance by incorporating a variety of freeform botanical arrangements with touches of gold throughout. The biggest desire for our wedding day was for it to be laid-back and an enjoyable environment for everyone who came to celebrate with us.

Although Tanner would say cake tasting, my favorite part of planning was working with the florist and watching them beautifully create what I had envisioned aesthetically for our wedding day. Tanner and I were blown away by the execution of the floral design team. Besides marrying the love of my life, our favorite part of the wedding was seeing all the people that came to celebrate our marriage with us. Our hearts were truly overwhelmed by all the love and support we were shown throughout the entire wedding process, but especially on our day. Thinking about the people who we were able to interact with still puts big smiles on our faces.

A little wedding advice from one bride to another – soak in every moment you possibly can on your wedding day. Enjoy the wonderful people around you and don’t let little things that may go wrong get you down, because more than likely no one else will even notice. And at the end of the day, you will be married to the love of your life, and in comparison to that, nothing else matters. So enjoy every bit of it!

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Photography: Michelle Boyd Photography | Videography: Juliana Rose | Floral Design: Three Branches Floral Design | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Hair & Makeup: Wendy Zerrudo | Calligraphy: Churchwell Type | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein | Wedding Venue: The Venue at Waterstone

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Real Brides Reveal “The Worst Wedding Planning Advice I Received”

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…opinions pouring in from everyone and anyone you know. While most unsolicited advice comes from a good place, it can be tough for a couple to stay true to their own wedding vision with constant input. Take it from these real brides who kindly took every bad piece of advice with a grain of salt and planned their best day ever.

“The Details Don’t Matter”

Someone told me that “the details and the look of our wedding didn’t matter”. While I recognized that our marriage was THE most important part of the day, the details, flowers, favors and the overall feel of our wedding was important to me; both because I am a designer and desired a beautiful day for us to remember for years to come, and also because I wanted our guests to feel loved while they were there celebrating alongside us! While the details of your day are secondary to the promises you’re making to one another, they are still important.

-Michaela, married September 2016

“The Necessary Rituals”

The worst advice any bride gets is that something is “necessary”. Whether it be your MIL telling you the candle ritual is necessary, or your wedding planner insisting on ‘the DJ everyone uses’, your wedding day is just that: YOUR wedding day. There are so many details that I thought were absolutely necessary (programs, favors, 3 menu choices) that ended up going unnoticed. I wish I would have known that those things didn’t really matter, and instead focused more on the things that my fiancé and I truly cared about.

-Chloe, married October 2015

“Delay the Honeymoon”

The worst advice we ever received was to hold off on our honeymoon to save a bit of money for wedding costs. I am so glad we didn’t take that advice! Instead, we opted for a honeymoon cash fund for our registry and left a week after our wedding. It was the best vacation of our lives (so far) and I’m so glad we enjoyed it as newlyweds!

-Melissa, married July 2015

“You’ll Regret This”

My hubs and I eloped, so while I didn’t receive a ton of “traditional” advice, I did receive my fair share of “You’ll regret this one day” and “Are you sure?” along the way. It can be hard to stay on course with the constant chatter of those who have been there before, but what I learned is this: do what’s right for you. In the end, if you stay true to yourselves, you’ll be happy. No matter what.

-Dawn, married July 2014

“The Must + Need”

I came to learn that anytime someone started a sentence with “You must” or “You need to” it was most likely going to be some very unhelpful advice. We received plenty of odd looks and various comments when we told people we weren’t going to have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I’m so glad we didn’t let that affect us; it was personally a fantastic decision. Dismiss any of those “musts” and “haves” and focus on what feels right to you!

-Liz, married June 2015

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5 Ways Greenery Can Step Up Your Wedding Design

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If there’s one thing wedding planners, Francie and Britt of 42 North know, it’s how to deck out an event in gorgeous, fresh greens. They’re stopping by to share a few of reasons every bride should consider infusing greenery into their design plus insider advice to pull it off with ease.

Enhance Your Venue

Using greenery helps the wedding to feel like it belongs wherever it is and helps it to blend into the landscape while also feeling festive and elegant. And seeing as ‘Greenery’ is the Pantone color of the year, it’s perfectly fitting to find creative uses of that palette to complement the natural setting.

Neutralize a Color Palette

A lot of brides tell us at the beginning of the design process that all their friends are asking them “what are your colors?” We wholeheartedly disagree with this way of thinking! You shouldn’t limit yourself to two or three colors when planning your wedding, rather there should be an entire palette that inspires your vision. Greenery helps neutralize and bring together your other colors without any one color overpowering the aesthetic. It’s the tie between all the other decor elements happening in the room, tent, garden, and more.

Create Interest + Movement

Blooms are beautiful, of course, but greens create movement in a way that’s difficult to achieve with flowers.

Get the Effortless, Organic Vibe

Weddings are trending towards elegant and Tuscan-inspired designs with free-flowing florals, using a ton of greenery with an otherwise neutral palette which creates an al fresco vibe wherever you may be!

Complement the Scenery

For outdoor cocktail hours, consider utilizing the great outdoors – weaving your unique floral collection into the branches of live trees, or using greenery from the surroundings to bring softness to the bar setup.

Photography: Shannen Natasha of The Wedding Artists Collective | Event Planning: 42 North | Catering: Chive Sustainable Events | Floral Design: Dana Markos

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