I live for Awards Season, and while I don’t always watch the whole awards show, I do catch the red carpet (and E’s Fashion Police the next day!). On Monday, all of us girls at A Savvy Event started discussing the fashion that we saw at The Oscars on Sunday night, and what we’re hoping to see carried into this year’s Bridal Fashion and Trends.
We loved that nothing was over the top this year. Everyone was just very elegant and beautiful with a lot of Hollywood glamour. We noticed a lot of trends in pastels, metallics, and black, which are all gorgeous colors for wedding parties to wear.
We really liked that the guys had more fun this year – wearing bowties instead of regular ties, lapel brooches, white tuxedos, and colored suits and jackets. We’re hoping to see more lapel brooches in lieu of boutonnieres, and more white tuxedos (a great look for a City Wedding).
Did you watch The Oscars or catch the red carpet? Who was on your best dressed list?
Today we’re sharing a fabulous florist with you – FleurEssence. Lauren Williams, owner of FleurEssence, was nice enough to sit down with us and discuss her path to success, her business, and why she loves what she does!
Photo by Milou + Olin
ASE: How did you get started?
FE: My first job in high school was at an amazing floral shop in the Stanford Shopping Center. While I had always had a passion for flowers, it was here that I discovered the art of floral design, and instantly knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I continued to work in various shops as I moved up to Sonoma County to get my bachelors degree. Then in 2004, I took the plunge, quit my job and opened up FleurEssence. It was the best decision I ever made.
Image by Kate Webber
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Never stop learning and perfecting your craft- I love getting together with my floral designer friends to chat about our experiences in the floral world. We are constantly sharing stories, new ideas and ways to approach concepts differently or put a fresh spin on a dated trend.
Maintain a good relationship with your suppliers - I have found that is very important to know the people who grow and supply your flowers and maintain relationships with them. I view these people as friends and extended member of my crew. They help me to source the freshest items the season has to offer and ensure that what I need for a specific event is not only available, but of utmost quality.
What is your favorite flower and why?
Oh gosh to pick a favorite flower is nearly impossible for me, so I’ll go with top five faves: Peony tulips, Japanese ranunculus, hellebores, peonies, and plumeria (for their intoxicating scent).
Photo by Milou + Olin
What is your favorite wedding look?
Oh goodness, here we go again with favorites – I’m not very good at these. I suppose my favorite wedding look could be classified as garden style… Crisp linens, iron or wood chairs and unique containers filled with lush, European garden style arrangements of seasonal/local, flowers and foliage – not tightly bound or too wild and unruly.
What’s your favorite thing about doing wedding floral design?
I love bringing a couple’s wedding vision to life. There is a lot of planning and hard work that each bride and groom puts into the details of their event. I love seeing everything brought together from the flowers to the gowns, linens, chairs, and so forth. It is such an honor to be a part of someone’s wedding day, and I am thankful for each opportunity to do so.
Photo by Milou + Olin
Do you have any tips for brides planning their own weddings?
1) Give your floral designer direction as far as color, aesthetic and types of flowers/containers you like and then let them do their thing. Our best work at FleurEssence occurs when we aren’t constrained to tightly by specifics. It allows our creativity to flow and that’s when our couples are happiest with the results.
2) Do you best to select flowers that are in season. Flowers, like produce, are at their best quality and price when they are in season, so you will naturally be getting what is best at the market and at a reasonable cost.
3) Don’t be afraid to tell your florist what you don’t like whether this is a specific type of flower or a design concept that is presented to you during the planning process. This is an extremely important day in your life and everything should be as you like it. We want to make you happy!
4) Talk to your florist about flower budget/costs and plan accordingly. Wedding magazines and planning books are all over the place when it comes to floral budget and I find more times that not, they aren’t realistic. If you have a limited amount of funds to allocate to floral décor, be up front with your florist and ask for creative ways to make your money go the distance.
5) Don’t do your own flowers, and if you must, assemble a team of friends and family for help. Your wedding day is such a special moment in life, you don’t want to be running around setting up arrangements when you should be relaxing, getting ready and just enjoying yourself. I foolishly made this mistake myself thinking “I’m a florist, I can totally do this – no sweat”. I was so exhausted on the day of and felt rushed through the getting ready process. This is the one thing I would do differently if I could.
Photo by Jen Philips
We’ve felt so lucky to share such wonderful special offers from amazing venues with you, and today we’ve got another great one!
Park Winters is a gorgeous wedding venue in Winters, California, located just outside of Davis. Sitting on 10 acres, and boasting both beautiful outdoor and indoor ceremony and reception areas, Park Winters is a year round venue. Serving only one couple at a time, you get the Victorian Inn, the Event Barn, gardens and lawn, almond orchard, pool and lounge spaces all to yourself for the duration of your stay!
Park Winters already offers $10 off per guest if they are working with a full or partial service planner, and they have extended a special offer to friends & followers of A Savvy Event: a $45 discount per guest for the remaining Fridays and Sundays in 2014.
To book contact Emily Coyne, Director of Events, at 530.383.7938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention A Savvy Event!
Be sure to check out their photo gallery for more beautiful weddings on the property.
All photos via Park Winters.
Laura Hooper is a very talented calligrapher, whose work can be seen all over wedding blogs and magazines throughout the country. Her San Francisco Workshop will be Monday, March 31 at Blu Bungalow. This beginner’s workshop is the perfect introduction and will teach you about the tools of calligraphy, basics in brushstrokes and technique, as well as cover a full alphabet.
Each workshop includes:
- 3 hours of instruction with Laura Hooper
- 1 pen holder
- 2 nibs
- 1 pot of black ink
- 1 instructional alphabet w/tracing & practice sheets
- 1 keepsake Laura Hooper Calligraphy tote bag
- light refreshments
Here at A Savvy Event we are in love with all things pretty, so today we are thrilled to share Frances Lane with you. Frances Lane is an event rental studio based in San Francisco that carries beautiful tabletop items. Lindsay Jernegan, the owner and founder of Frances Lane, was nice enough to sit down with us and share more about her lovely company.
ASE: How did you get started in event rentals?
FL: Frances Lane started after my husband Bobby and I had sourced vintage dinnerware and bud vases for our own wedding in 2012 (with immense help from my mother-in-law, who lives on the real Frances Lane in Wisconsin). Our wedding was a very laid back affair, but for some reason I felt very strongly about the tabletop decor! That is where most of my creative energy went, and after the wedding I was inspired to put the pieces we’d sourced to further use and started Frances Lane. It’s been an amazing, dizzying journey growing as quickly as we have, and most definitely not for the faint of heart, but I just fall in love with it more and more each day.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by brilliant, supportive, savvy people and have leaned heavily on all of them as Frances Lane has grown. I would say the piece of advice I fall back on the most is the importance of recognizing my strengths and enlisting help in areas I’m not so hot in. So often we as small business owners forget we don’t have to be masters of All The Things. Frances Lane will be it’s most successful when I’m focused on our clients and collections and not in charge of the book keeping and legal work!
What is your favorite tabletop look right now?
I always joke that my favorite collection changes by the day, but that is so the truth! Today my favorite tabletop look is very loose, very eclectic. I love the idea of having an assortment of different place settings; a variety of cohesive-yet-unique chargers/plates/glassware combos. It brings a stylish yet boho-house-party vibe to the tabletop and I can’t get enough of it.
What looks do you think will stand the test of time?
Our Cut Crystal collection of glassware and White dinnerware collection, for sure. They’re classics, and so versatile. I love the color and bling of our other collections, and they’ll be around a long, long time, but these two specifically offer the perfect balance of texture and elegance to a tabletop without competing directly with other design elements.
What are your tricks for setting yourself apart from other rental companies?
I don’t know that I’d call it a trick, but when building collections I strive to balance what I’ve personally fallen in love with and want to offer as a collection with what is in demand and what I see as having longevity. I aim for our collections to be diverse enough to appeal to different tastes and styles while also keeping our expanding inventory unique and of a very high quality. It’s the balance of those two that make us successful and differentiate us from other big-box companies.
Do you have any tips for brides planning their weddings?
1. See things in person! It requires a bit more time and effort, but I can’t over-emphasize how helpful it is to do mock ups of your various design elements, especially (and this is probably because I’m biased) with your tabletop decor. You can only get so far referencing Pinterest and your imagination! Most vendors are more than happy to set up a design meeting with you, often as a part of their services or for a small additional fee.
2. When determining your tabletop needs, keep in mind the courses you’ll be serving, the drinks you plan on offering, and the type of service you will have (Plated? Family style? Buffet?). Those factors will help determine the quantity and type of plates and flatware you’ll need as well as the variety of glassware you’ll want to have at each setting.
3. My advice to those who are considering hiring a boutique rental company such as Frances Lane is to weigh the overall impact having a thoughtfully curated tabletop will have on the atmosphere of your event (and if such a thing is important to you) and where that impact falls in relation to your budget. The meal is often where we spend a good chunk of our time during a wedding celebration, and I find it’s where the design details can often be most apparent to, and experienced by, your guests. They hold and interact with each piece! If you want more than just basic function, if you see value in bringing in unique pieces for your tabletop that enhance the rest of your design details, then that is a worthy direction to invest some of your budget.
Thank you Lindsay for taking the time to speak with us! Lindsay’s headshot by Sergio Mottola, all other photos by Frances Lane.
We are thrilled to share another special offer from another great venue!
The Tavern at Lark Creek is offering 15% off the venue rental, plus a complimentary sparkling wine toast for full wedding buyouts if you book any of the following dates:
To book contact Danielle Levine at 415-924-1602 and mention the code ASE14
The Tavern at Lark Creek is a wonderful restaurant and wedding venue in Larkspur that is renowned for their seasonal, farm fresh food. We were lucky enough to plan a Fall 2013 Wedding here and loved it.
We are thrilled to announce a special offer from Beltane Ranch!
Mention this A Savvy Event blog post and you will receive $1,500 off your booking fee. Thank you Beltane for your generous support. We can’t wait to plan more weddings at your gorgeous ranch!
Beltane Ranch has the following Saturdays available for weddings and special events in 2014:
May 31st, June 14th, July 12 and 26th, August 2, 9, 16, & 25
To book, call Lauren Benward Krause, 707-996-1103
We’re busy at A Savvy Event with wedding planning in full swing. 2014 is proving to be a very popular wedding year and venues are booking up quickly! This makes it a perfect time to share a venue that we love, Beltane Ranch. We also have a special promotional offer for you from Beltane that we will share with you on Instagram! (more details below)
Beltane Ranch is a historic ranch house and cottage surrounded by gardens, vineyards, and orchards, in other words- the iconic Sonoma landscape. As you explore the ranch, you will come upon horse, cattle, vineyards, and olive orchards. This is the perfect spot for a beautiful outdoor wedding and there are so many places around the ranch for you to take gorgeous portraits surrounded by vineyards, rustic hills, and lush landscaped gardens. Also, there is a B&B on property, making Beltane Ranch an ideal location for your wedding and your wedding weekend.
One of the reasons that we’re highlighting Beltane Ranch is that they still have some Saturdays available for weddings and special events in 2014.
Available dates: May 31st, June 14th, July 12 and 26th, August 2, 9, 16, & 25
We love the vineyards, historic property, and the stunning trees that cover Beltane Ranch. Here is a stunning shot photo from a wedding A Savvy Event did at Beltane.
Beltane Ranch also has a rustic barn space for rehearsal dinners or more intimate gatherings. Horse Barn events include use of their tables & chairs, fire pit (weather permitting), luxury bathroom units and a perfect spot for a food truck or approved caterer. For more information, visit their website.
We have a special deal for all our A Savvy Event clients, friends, and followers, check back later to find out what it is! You will also see details on our Instagram!
Images via: Beltane Ranch
There are so many great spots in wine country when visiting! A few of my favorites are Eldorado Kitchen for lunch (their tuna appetizer is amazing!) Imagery Winery for some bocce and wine tasting, & Scribe Winery for the relaxed atmosphere and outrageous views of the valley. Then of course Domaine Carneros because they have the best champagne ever! – Meren
Hands down Bottega! – Jill
Wine tasting and window shopping around the Square in Sonoma, and dinner at El Dorado Kitchen. – Allison
Favorite date location or activity in San Francisco:
I don’t frequent SF as much as I would like to but something fun we have started going to occasionally is the Exploritorium on Thursday nights. We take the ferry in from Marin, grab a bite at Gott’s Roadside at the ferry building and walk to the museum. They have so many fun exhibits, they play music and serve cocktails! – Meren
We love seeing comedy shows. Punchline SF is our favorite – Jill
I love the Off the Grid food truck night at Fort Mason! – Allison
Favorite date location or activity in your Hometown.
I grew up in Marin and one of my favorite things to do is walk around the beautiful lakes we have in the area. Lake Lauganitus and Bon Tempe are two of my favorites. – Meren
I love going to the beach. – Jill
I grew up in Santa Rosa and I love hiking in Annadel State Park. – Allison
There are many things that come together to make a day feel & look special, and clothes are some of those important things! One clothing company that we adore is Love Ophelia! This company has a stylish (and American made) collection of robes, delicates, loungewear, bride and bridesmaids sets. You have probably seen images of their collection in US Magazine, Bride’s Magazine, ABC’s The Bachelor and
There are many things that come together to make a day feel & look special, and clothes are some of those important things! One clothing company that we adore is Love Ophelia! This company has a stylish (and American made) collection of robes, delicates, loungewear, bride and bridesmaids sets. You have probably seen images of their collection in US Magazine, Bride’s Magazine, NBC’s The Bachelor and Bachelorette, and many other places.
Kristi, why did you start Love Ophelia?
“I lost my mom Ellen to breast cancer when my son was just 8 months old. It is true that through some of life’s toughest challenges, some of the greatest gifts can come. It was at that time I realized I needed (and wanted) to be there on the day to day with my baby. So, I decided to retire (to my own surprise) from a career in television to finally do what I wanted to do for so long…start my own business!
After seeing my mom and so many women first hand fighting breast cancer, I wanted to make a product that would make women feel beautiful, not just during their beautiful moments in life, but in the challenging moments, and every day as well. So with the help of the Baby Bjorn, a little courage, and a lot of coffee, Love Ophelia came to be.”
That is a very touching story! It’s amazing that you found the strength and inspiration to start your own business during such a difficult life transition. We love your dedication to making women feel beautiful, and Love Ophelia’s mission is so kind-hearted: “Love Ophelia is committed to a compassionate lifestyle, surrounding ourselves with beauty, and spreading love.”
Kristi, What is your favorite part of your job?
“I love waking up to an inbox filled with emails, pictures and thank you’s from our brides. My business partner Kelly and I find such inspiration and encouragement from customers taking the time to write in and share their day with us.
But, I have to say nothing compares to the feeling of doing something good for someone else. It is so important to our company to always give back. Whether it’s an animal rescue charity or our local elementary school, it feels so incredible to make a difference, no matter how small. Last year, we sent a robe to a bride I had seen in the news that had only a couple months to live. I read her story and was moved to tears. On a whim, I sent her an email and asked if I could mail her a robe. To my surprise, she wrote back and graciously accepted. It’s the little things in life, and for me, random acts of kindness keep me grounded.”
We are always giving tips and tricks to our Savvy Brides and one of those is to pay attention to what you wear getting ready. You want to make sure that your wardrobe change into your wedding dress does not mess up your hair or make-up. It is also important to look and feel comfortable and stylish while those getting ready photos are being taken. What is the perfect getting ready robe for Brides?
“Our most popular item for brides is our Serendipity Robe in ivory. Brides love gifting their bridesmaids robes in their favorite colors. So many brides tell us their favorite pictures are the ones with their bridesmaid getting ready in their robes.”
With Valentines Day coming up, what item would make a great Valentine’s gift?
I personally am obsessed with our gauze robe, the Wonderland. It’s so gorgeous for a spring or summer wedding. But, our coral and blush Serendipity Robes are also fun for Valentine’s Day. Or for something sexy, Our Scarlet Robe in black.
Thank you Kristi for sharing your story with us and for your commitment to spreading beauty, compassion, and love!
As a special gift to all our savvy followers, Love Opehlia has shared this promo code! Use the code “bachwed” to get 15% off your order.
Image credit: Love Ophelia