Archives

It really does take a Village…

“Love recognizes no barriers,

It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls

to arrive at its destination full of Hope.”

(Maya Angelou)

(As we area ready to “Leap” in to 2020,  and we are receiving so many calls about wedding flowers, I thought it might be helpful to translate 35+ years of advice into a  roadmap for our newly engaged couples.  If there is anything you need, or any questions that we can help answer, please feel free to call me.)

Planning a wedding ceremony and  reception these days really can become a daunting task. It is a task that many  people have little experience in, and are  reluctant to ask for help or advice.  It is not that anyone is “dumb,”  it is a matter of not knowing what questions to ask.  Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that: “It takes a Village to raise a Child.”  Today, it takes a Village to Plan and Execute a wedding!

Many times today, a wedding planner or a Day-of Event Coordinator, is hired near the beginning of the process.  Sometimes the “chief planner” role  falls to the Mother of the Bride, or Groom or the Big Sister or the helpful Aunt to shepherd things along, and keep  everything on track.  Sometimes,  the wedding couple is almost entirely on their own…..and need to rely on the words of wisdom given to them by many knowledgeable vendors & friends.

So, in planning a wedding, where do you start?

Step one: Start by compiling a rough guest list. Approximately how many people do  you  want to share your wedding day with? Knowing roughly how many people might be invited or attending helps to narrow the choices of ceremony and reception sites.     Moms and Dads will have input as well. Finances and budgets will be discussed extensively at this point and agreed upon.  (Remember that not everyone who is invited will be able to attend your wedding).

Develop a “guideline budget” for each item or service that you  will need to purchase. You may not know the exact cost yet, but you need to at least have a “goal number” in mind. This is not cast in stone, and may  change as the process evolves…. but it is a place to start.

If you are employing the services of a wedding planner, this would be the point that the wedding planner is hired. They will guide you through all the many next steps, including being realistic about each budget item.

Step Two: What is the vision that you see for your day? Are you planning on a wedding inside a church, or a barn or another type of all inclusive facility?  Do you want to be married in a meadow, or in a grand Cathedral?

Step Three:  What time of year would  you like to get married? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?  Each one of the seasons has its advantages and disadvantages. There are often financial incentives offered for winter weddings. Special Holiday weekends, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day can mean that certain items (such as flowers or  food)  will  be more costly.

Step Four:  Now that you have answers to 1, 2, and 3, you can begin visiting churches and reception venues and hopefully book something that will accommodate your tentative plans. Book and get under contract the ceremony & reception site  that best fits your needs. Deposits or retainers will be required for both, and are generally NON-REFUNDABLE…………choose wisely, and read the contract before you sign on the dotted line.

Step Five:  Now that you have a date, church and/or venue booked, begin shopping for Dresses. Your bridal dress should be the first priority, with bridesmaids dresses second.  It’s your day. You get to pick! Have fun shopping! Be sure to ask for color swatches, and take lots of pictures for the florist and other vendors to see. Your shopping should also include veil or headpiece, shoes and the appropriate undergarments needed for your dresses.

Step Six:  Now begin booking your other vendors.  All require a  retainer/deposit to book their services.  Needed vendors  may include: caterer (if not part of your venue package),  photographer, ceremony musicians, DJ or band, florist, make-up artist, hair salon or hair stylist, transportation, videographer,  photo booth,  bakery, minister or officiant (if you are not getting married in a church.) Your venue can often give you a list of preferred or referred vendors. These are vendors that have proven to be reliable and trustworthy.

All of these vendors generally have information available online about their services. Pricing is often customized to fit your requests and timing. Many will require face-to-face meetings or Skype or similar to make sure that they understand what you want each of them to provide.  (This is not a “shop online” process.  You really do need to talk with the vendors in person, and interact with them.)

The Photographer may offer you an engagement session;  The florist may need to meet with you one or two times;  The bakery needs you to taste the flavors of their cakes and pick one; there will be food tastings, and many other decisions to make along the way. Our advice is to make the decision on each item — check that item off  the list and  move on to the next item.  If you agonize over the decisions, or  are  indecisive, then you will make you, your fiance and everyone else working with you a basket case.  You want to enjoy planning your wedding…..and not find it distasteful for years to come!

This is usually the point where some of your earlier choices may begin to have a positive  impact your budget. For instance, if everything is taking place at Rosemary’s Long Lost Sunny Acres Barn (ceremony & reception), you will generally not need a limo or a bus to get everyone there. Family members can drive the bridal party to the event,  or they can drive themselves.  If you are at one location,  your DJ may be able to handle the ceremony as well as the reception music. (Translation:  Savings on transportation and ceremony musicians).

Your florist may offer items that can be used both for ceremony as well as reception decorations. Again,  potential savings for  you.

Your “venue package” may include:  cake, linens, up lighting, flower centerpieces for your tables.  Try to use everything that  comes with your package. Often you will not get a deduction from your venue price  if you do not elect to have a wedding cake, for instance. (However, you may be able to change the cake to cupcakes, instead).

There are a couple of things that you do not want to skimp on:  Food,  Liquor and DJ (or music). It is quite the norm these days to serve only beer & wine at a wedding reception.  However, if you are planning a non-alcoholic reception, please be sure to make that known to your wedding guests on your wedding invitations.

Step Seven:  Invitations need selected, printed, and mailed approximately 8 weeks prior to your  wedding date, with a reply deadline of at least 3 weeks prior to your wedding date. Email invitations are not generally appropriate for weddings. You need to spend the money, address and stamp the invites and actually mail them via snail mail. If you have not received a response from someone when the response deadline is passed, plan  to call or text them to get their response. (Assuming that someone is not coming could mean that your guest shows up, with no place to sit and no food to eat.)  It has become OK to set up a wedding website & have the guests RSVP on the website.  Very easy for them to do, and actually brings in a higher response rate.

Step Eight:  The bridesmaids, friends, etc plan your bridal shower.  You should not plan your shower…  They can check the date with you, and ask what type of affair you would like to have. (Informal, picnic, formal, etc.) They are in charge; you are the guest of honor!

Step Nine:  The Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are planned;  The guys and girls give you and your fiance a nice night out on the town.  ‘Nough said.

Step Ten:  Arrange the seating of your guests with your reception site co-ordinator, including the placement of cookie tables, buffet tables, etc. Think of “traffic flow” at this point.  Try to avoid creating bottlenecks that will delay the start of cocktail hour or serving dinner.

Step Eleven:  About 1 to 2 weeks prior to your wedding, finalize your ceremony with your officiant and church or venue. Confirm delivery and set-up times with all of your vendors. Supply all items that you need to drop off, such as place cards, favors and cookies, when they are requested.

Step Twelve Finally,   Show up on your wedding day with a smile on your face, and a sunny disposition.  If something happens that was not as you planned, deal with it after your wedding day is over.  Do not allow a small hiccup to ruin your day. Enjoy your day, and the beginning of a lifetime of happiness together.  And afterward, be sure to thank the Village that helped you plan this most beautiful day!

Happy Planning!!

Cheryl @ Parkway Florist

 

 

 

2018 — Winter Wedding Wonderland

Nichole and Howard exchanged vows  on 12-8-2018 at Alla Famiglia Restaurant, in an  intimate wedding ceremony for just their close friends and family.  Nichole carried a beautiful crystal bouquet down the aisle, which we lined with with glass enclosed candles.  White poinsettias accented the sparkling pine arch, which was the backdrop for the ceremony.

The bride, groom, and their wedding guests dined at a family style table at Alla Famiglia Restaurant.  Their centerpieces were full with vendella roses, lisianthsus, gold hypericum berries and various winter greens in our silver mercury glass bowls.

This weekend, on 12-15-2018, the festivities continued at Monterey Bay Restaurant.  The newlyweds had a reception for many more of their friends and family in the lower level of the restaurant,  which was decorated with festive red flowers & decor, in the spirit of the holiday season!  The low centerpieces, prepared in gold cubes, contained  red roses, red carnations, frosty pine cones, with  golden curly willow  accents.

Petite  bubble bowls with roses and gold ornaments adorned the cocktail tables.

IMG_20181215_144603987_HDR

The high centerpieces had red roses, red carnations, golden ornaments, frosty pine cones, winter greens, golden curly willow, and other gold accents.

And of course, we can’t forget the stunning view of the Pittsburgh skyline that the venue provides:

IMG_20181215_145232243_HDR

It was truly a pleasure working with Nicole & Howard  to make their vision a reality!  We hope that they continue making special memories like these for many years to come, and are thankful that we could help them on these  most special days. Congratulations Again!

 

PS…..and we understand that Santa came!!  He Did!  He Did!

 

11-10-2018 A parade was held…

You might have thought that the parade on Saturday in Washington, PA was being held to honor our wedding couple.  You would be wrong – it honored our veterans – but it marched right on by the wedding site!

November 10th was a star-studded day for Lia & Devin in many ways.

Their black and white wedding colors looked awesome in the stately George Washington Hotel Ballroom.  Black candle screens and lanterns furnished by Parkway Florist were the perfect compliment to the ballroom’s colors!

Lia carried a bouquet (Bouquet #914) of all deep red roses, while her bridesmaids carried bouquets of all white roses (Bouquet #915).

11_10_2018 family photo

Rose petals adorned the cake table as well as the stylish crystal candelabras furnished by the George Washington Hotel.

Thank you, Lia & Devin, for allowing Parkway Florist to be a part of your special day.  We hope all your dreams came true!

Arches & More

Brass Arch  –  Our Brass Arch is a flat arch, primarily used inside, because it needs a level surface to stand on.  We frequently will decorate it with flowers, as shown below, which are then removed when pictures are completed.  The flowers are then re-purposed into  a reception venue on a head table, cookie table or similar area.

Sometimes the arch is decorated with tulle and lights, which is perfect for a winter wedding!  The entire arch is often moved over to the reception area, and used behind the head table, or as a backdrop for photos during the reception.

 

Black Arch  —  Our Black Rod Iron arch is very sturdy, and can be used inside and outside.    A flower piece is made for the top  of the arch, which is removed after pictures, and transferred to the reception area.    We also have free-standing Shepherd’s hooks and lanterns, which can be used on an isle with flowers, mason jars with flowers, etc.

 

Hexagon Arch  The Hex Arch is our newest creation,   and one that is pretty outstanding!   This was the result of a picture presented to us by a Bride, who asked if we could do this.  We said Yes, and proceeded to make it happen.  The hardest part was making the pieces fit together in such a way that it could be transported in our trucks.

Again, flowers are added so  that they can be detached and re-purposed into the reception area.  This arch is sturdy and can be trimmed with fabric as well as flowers. Materials can be hung from the top on ribbons for a completely different type of look

hexagon arch

Candle Screens –   We own folding wrought iron candle screens, that can be rented for wedding ceremonies.  Each candle screen contains approximately 50 battery operated votive candles enclosed in glass cups.  When these are all turned on, the flickering glow of the candlelight is awesome!!  We most frequently use all four screens, for the most impressive impact.

 

 

All of this equipment is owned by Parkway Florist, and is available to you, our customer, if we are providing flowers for your event.  Equipment is available on a first come – first served basis.   We also have a supply of columns, glass vases and risers that are not pictured here.  Please contact us if you have questions.

 

Say “I Do” in Style

As our 2018 wedding season rolls right along like a high-speed train,  we have been part of many different types of ceremonies, and we would share some of the offerings we have for wedding ceremonies. Our very versatile pipe and drape was featured in several ceremonies this year. From intimate to grand, we are able to convey several  different styles. Accented with flowers, candles, lanterns, or flowing fabric panels, the pipe and drape has lots to offer. Below are a few of our favorite ceremony displays.

1.) Round Chuppah
The Chuppah is a  traditional ceremony structure for Jewish weddings., or it can be the Mundap for an Islamic ceremony.    This equipment  can also be used in non religious ceremonies.  Accented with flower cuffs and a heavily petal sprinkled isle, this setup is quite the show stopper.  (The stripped fabric shown on the front of this Chuppah is a family tallis — or prayer shawl).  This Chuppah is illuminated with battery operated lighting, which we also supplied.  (The size of this Chuppah is 8 feet across, and can be adjusted in height to approximately 15 feet tall.  Twelve feet tall is generally the ideal height in a high ceiling ballroom).

2.) Square Chuppah
This square chuppah   adds a  very structured look to our pipe and drape. Clean lines, and crisp white hydrangea across the front  bring a modern and contemporary feel to the ceremony setting.    This square chuppah can also be uplit from the floor,  if you desire.

Chuppah with Hydrangea 1

3.) Half Circle Pipe & Drape
For an intimate look, consider this our half circle pipe & drape.   This curved design helps to  create organic lines for a cozy and intimate ceremony setting.   While we are showing only 1 flower piece on the pipe & drape, garland could also be used, or more than one flower piece could be used.  We always strive to have the flowers re-used somewhere in the reception following all picture taking, in whatever setting we help our brides with.

Half Round Pipe and Drape 5

4.) Swagged Pipe & Drape
Romantic and luxurious, swagged fabric and candles create a classic look.  Our fresh  Floral badges add a splash of color. The possibilities are endless!  (The flowers are dismantled quickly from the Ceremony setting after pictures, and transferred to the reception area for use on head tables, cookie tables, or where ever bride & groom want us to use them.

 

 

Whether enhancing a ballroom ceremony, or decorating a courtyard garden, our pipe and drape offers a plethora of stylish options for your “I Do.”  In a future post, we will feature some of our other available equipment.

As a matter of information, our pipe & drape — in any fashion — are  rented to you for your ceremony,  only  if we are providing all the personal flowers and reception flowers for your wedding day.  We do not rent pipe and drape out separately.    Please call with any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-26-18 A Bold Fall Wedding

As we wrap up the month of October, we’re loving the warm oranges, reds, and burgundies that brides are choosing for their wedding flowers!

Kelly & Greg’s wedding took place at St. Mary’s of the Mount Church. Kelly carried a bouquet of Mango mini callas, deep red, dark orange and yellow roses, red hypericum berries, and blue thistle (#910).  Her bridesmaids carried bouquets of deep red and dark orange roses, red hypericum berries, yellow wax flower, and novelty mums (#911).

bouquets 910bouquets 911

Their reception took place at the Sheraton at Station Square.  There were two types of centerpieces, one with dark orange roses, burgundy mums, red hypericum berries, and accent autumn leaves (#586) and the other had red roses submerged in water in cylinder vases!

center piece 586

center piece 587

Congratulations to the newlyweds!  We’re happy to have been a part of your special day.

10-13-18 The Secret Garden

Elizabeth and Brandon’s wedding on 10-13-18 had all the right elements to create the feeling that you were walking into a secret garden.

bouquets 905bouquets 906

The place card table greeted guests as they headed toward the reception.  Dreamy, flowing chiffon panels provided a dramatic entrance as guests passed into the Secret Garden.

10_13 PAM 3 Rivers Ballroom Entrance10_13 PAM Placecard Table

A glittery sweetheart table for two was framed by 2 ivory and white arrangements on columns.  The understated Bethel Bakery cake was dressed with soft pink and white spray roses.

10_13 PAM Sweetheart Table

Guest tables were adorned with lush full centerpieces following the ivory, blush and maroon color scheme.  This dreamy wedding was memorable in so many ways!

center piece 586center piece 58710_13 PAM 3 Rivers

We thank you, Lizzy and Brandon, for allowing Parkway Florist to be a part of your special day!  Congratulations again!