Tag Archive | pittsburgh wedding planning

Our Fall 2019 End of the Year Review

September through December always seem to bring crazy busy times here at Parkway Florist. We’ve been producing flowers for so many weddings that we often don’t take the time necessary to show you the finished work. Here are a two trends we noticed in 2019…

Cascades are back!

 

Brides are loving a more organic, greenery, flowing aesthetic!

If you’re getting married in 2020, we would love to speak with you about your wedding flowers. Call us soon to schedule a free consultation – (412) 937-1100.

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

 

 

 

Allegheny County Courthouse Weddings

In the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Courthouse boasts a grand facade, historic significance, and stunning architecture. Luckily, for those who wish, this could also be the wedding venue of your fairy tale dreams.

The courthouse’s grand staircase and gallery, located on the first floor of the building, make a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies. At the center of the building, is a beautiful courtyard, perfect for a wedding reception or cocktail hour. The landscaped gardens and dramatic fountain create the most romantic ambiance.

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More information regarding courthouse rentals can be found by clicking here.  In all cases,  a bride and groom  MUST contact Alexandria, the  Wedding Coordinator for the Allegheny County Courthouse.   (She will advise you of availability for even the smallest of ceremonies and picture opportunities).    (Her contact information is shown in the link above).

If you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or elopement, judges are permitted to perform these ceremonies in their chambers and are often happy to do so. For a list of judges click here.

For those who don’t choose to have their weddings at the courthouse, be sure to check out its “Romanesque Revival” style architecture when you visit to apply for your marriage license. In Pennsylvania, marriage licenses are valid for 60 days and there is a mandatory 3 day waiting period between when you apply for a license  and when your license is ready.

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The Allegheny County Courthouse, as a wedding venue, comes with a few cool perks too. For example, the bride and groom may choose the color scheme of the LED lights that are affixed to the the Grant Street facade and bell tower of the Courthouse during their event.  So your special color can glow over the stone building.

To read reviews of what previous brides and grooms thought and to see more pictures, click here to view the Allegheny County Courthouse on Wedding Wire.

We hope that this has been helpful in your search for a wedding venue. Happy planning!

Love in the Heart of Pittsburgh

Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh’s downtown sits a reminder of times come and gone. Build in the style of English Gothic architecture, Trinity Cathedral is located on 6th Ave in the golden triangle of Pittsburgh’s downtown. The Cathedral’s iconic red doors catch the attention of many that walk by. Past the wrought iron fence, and up the stone steps, the Cathedral’s red doors reveal a beautiful interior.

On August 26th, we had the pleasure of providing wedding flowers for the bride and groom that got married at Trinity Cathedral.

Our bride, Beth, carried a classic bouquet of ivory roses with Queen Ann’s lace.bouquets 728.jpg

Beth’s two maids of honor carried bouquets of light coral roses accented by blue delphinium. This color combination makes for an eye catching look.

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Beth’s remaining bridesmaids carried bouquets of matching light coral roses, perfect for their late August wedding day.

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A beautiful day, a grand venue, surrounded by those that love them, what more could a bride and groom need to start out their life together? We were so honored to help this couple make their day special, and at such a landmark church in our wonderful city.

 

Your Wedding Consultation at Parkway Florist – What to Expect

When it comes time in your wedding planning process to select flowers, we are here to help. Scheduling a consultation with Parkway Florist s is easy and allows you to select  the perfect wedding flowers for your special day.

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As outlined below,  we will take you through the entire process of selecting your wedding flowers:

1.) Scheduling Your Appointment
To Schedule a wedding consultation appointment with Parkway Florist,  you can:
A.) Call Our Shop to provide some basic information and determine if you are ready to select flowers.
B.) Submit a request on our website for an appointment. Once we have received your request we will call you to schedule.

We schedule appointments based on your progress in the wedding planning process. The best time to meet and talk about flower selections is after the following are complete:
-The wedding date is firm
-Ceremony & Reception venues are selected and reserved
-The bride’s dress has been purchased
-The bridesmaids dress style, color, and fabric has been selected
-A general idea of wedding décor has been decided
-A flower budget has been allocated

Appointments are scheduled for mornings, afternoons, or evenings,  depending on the bride’s schedule, and our special events calendar. Our shop is open until 8pm on most nights to accommodate after work appointments. Alternate accommodations can be made for out of town brides or brides with crazy  schedules. Your appointment generally last 1 to 2 hours, and is offered to you at no charge. The bride may come alone to the appointment, or may bring up to 2 or 3 close friends or family members.

Once your appointment is scheduled, you are on our calendar as an appointment. However, your wedding date is not reserved yet, and you are not considered booked with our shop until you have placed your Non-Refundable Retainer with our shop.

2.) Preparing for Your Appointment
After we schedule a wedding consultation appointment with you, we will send you our New Bride Packet in the mail. This contains a confirmation of you appointment date and time along with other information about us.

In order to best prepare for your appointment please gather the following items.
-Fabric swatches and pictures of the Bride’s dress & bridesmaid dresses (Paint chips or ribbon samples are also acceptable).
-A list of people who might need flowers including corsages & boutonnières.
Printed photos of any flowers that you like. Keep it fairly simple. We are looking for inspiration to make your day one of a kind.
-A general plan for your flower budget. Like dress shopping, flower shopping is very flexible. This allows us to offer designs and flower choices that will best suit your budget.

Feel free to look at the many pictures of our work that are available to you. You can visit our website, click the Weddings tab and view our galleries or explore the galleries right here on our blog.


3.) Your Wedding Consultation Appointment
Please arrive for your wedding consultation appointment on time.   If for any reason you are unable to keep your appointment please call us. We will be happy to reschedule or cancel your appointment at your request.

Your appointment will generally last 1 to 2 hours depending on your floral needs. You will discuss everything flower-related in detail such as flower verities, colors, styles, and pricing. We offer not only fresh flower product but many other rental items that you may not be aware of.

At your appointment you will be able to select what you need for you wedding day. We have no set package or minimums.

You will leave your appointment with complete, itemized pricing for your wedding, based upon the selections and information discussed.

4.) After Your Consultation
Upon the conclusion of your consultation appointment, you will have the opportunity to reserve your wedding date on our calendar. This means that you have committed to us providing your wedding flowers, and in return we are committed to making your day as special as we can. In order to do so we require your initial Non-Refundable Retainer,  which is based on the size, scope, and budget of your individual wedding.  If you book with our firm, you are permitted to make changes to your wedding order until approximately 30 days prior to your wedding.  Final payment for all services is required in full 2 weeks prior to your wedding.

5.) Moving Forward
If you have decided to book us as your florist. We will be happy to help  you  in the planning process. This includes answering any questions that may come up along the way as well as outlining a plan for the future.  We also offer full Wedding Planning services, as well as Ceremony Co-ordination services for an additional fee.

We hope you will consider scheduling a wedding consultation appointment with Parkway Florist, and we look forward to meeting you!

Happy Planning!

 

For wedding inspiration be sure to check out our Instagram and Facebook pages.