Modern Blush Sweetheart Table

The full eucalyptus of last year is out, replaced by sparse greenery and lots of gentle florals. Yellow is a big color this year, especially as an accent color. In many cultures it means good luck, so what better color to add to your wedding? In this modern blush sweetheart table we pulled in yellow blossoming branches and yellow in the freesia for just a few little pops. The garden roses went from blush to peach, the ranunculus are blush, and the tulips are very soft blush pink and white. We added pops of wine in the lisianthus and dahlias.

The table is set atop the rose velvet tablecloth by bbjlinen. The place setting includes large white dinner plates and small geo-salad plates. We didn’t want to over-do the geo shapes in our design, so while it’s there, it’s subtle, unlike last year when everything was geoshaped.

The menus and place cards by elli.com.

Lavender Dream Sweetheart Table



The concept for this table was to create a lavender design that was zero% rustic. I’m guessing thanks to Pinterest, which we love as a design and planning tool, couples have come to think lavender has to mean rustic. It does not. It’s a beautifully soft, romantic color.

Our second goal with this table was to design using green principles. As a certified green wedding planner, who also does floral design, I’ve found the floral industry, as a whole, is deeply flawed. You’d think growing so many plants would be awesome for the environment, and it absolutely can be, and is for some farmers. The difficulty comes from shipping in most of our non-organic materials from all over the globe – such that rarely do we have to say we can’t design with that flower in your wedding month. And don’t get me started on all the floral foam.

In this table we used mostly dried materials. Most of the items at this table are not only not alive, but they were first used weeks to months ago, then preserved and reused in this design.

The bouquet being the one exception. This bouquet was designed combining dried and living flowers. It will dry out to still look pretty awesome if done right. It also serves two purposes 1) it’s a bridal bouquet. 2) it’s a centerpiece at the Sweetheart Table:

The key to using your bouquet as a centerpiece = use the right vase for your bouquet! This is a non traditional, organic flowing bouquet. The stems are intentionally cut short. The vase needs to also be short. Here we used an irradescent vase, to keep with the theme of the flatware and barware. And can I give a special shoutout to Pier 1 for this amazing dinner plate?! It’s irradescent:

Photos cannot do this justice. Especially not from my iPhone. As I said in my blog yesterday, the Sweetheart Table can be filled with coordinating dishes to the rented wares on your guest tables. They don’t have to match! And just like the tradition of the toasting glasses, supply yourselves with water glasses, plates, even flatware you can pull out anytime to bring you back to that sweet moment, alone together, soaking up the joy and love of it all.

Here’s my favorite thing about this table – the backdrop. It was hard for my non-photographer brain to capture. So here you go a better shot from today. These pieces can be transferred, and even taken to your home to use as decor and enjoy for years to come.

Featuring our tiny love Brandy

2019 Trend – Tropical Florals

Tropical leaves, bright oranges, pinks and yellows are huge trends for 2019. It doesn’t matter if you’re just doing green tropical palms and monstera leaves alone, with traditional white colors, or adding true tropical flowers like birds of paradise, princess protea, and ginger.

We had the pleasure of designing a Tropical Waves sweetheart table as part of our design trio at The Luxe Bridal Event March 28th. Let’s go through the details of the place settings:

When designing your sweetheart table, consider using store bought custom dishes from your barware and plates, to flatware. It shouldn’t clash with the guest tables, but it also doesn’t have to match. Rent items that coordinate for guests while you use items at your table you can reuse for romantic dinners at home for yeas to come. Bring them out every anniversary, or any night to surprise each other, you’ll be right back in that moment anytime:

We used copper water glasses, which can be used as mule glasses at home, blue champagne toasting glasses, local beer from Widmer, and the tequila shot glasses serve as a place-card, too – Himalayan sea salt shot glasses with white paint pens are all you need for this DIY project.

The dishes: IKEA including the placemats. The Monstera leaves can be used without the mat for guest table placemats. Flatware is bamboo, some of our local rental companies have similar versions for rent. The chopsticks by IKEA.

The menus printed and designed by elli.com and they incorporate beachy wavy vibes combined with the watercolor trend that is so popular this year! The napkins and velvet bone tablecloth from bbj linen.

The tropical floral design starts in a copper Mayan bowl on the table and flows down to a clear glass tall Pilsner vase filled with rocks. We chose orange roses, in season local bright pink anenome, yellow lilies, the local orange butterflyranunculus were fire! The traditional pink protea and bird of paradise were the only traditional tropicals.

Sweetheart Tables

At your reception, you can seat your bridal party at a long head table with the couple, at nearby guest tables set for them and their significant others like semi head tables with the couple at a sweetheart table, or everyone mixed with the guests at the guest tables.

Some couples love having those few moments of privacy and the best seats in the house. The other benefit of a sweetheart table vs. a long head table, it can cost a lot less to decorate than a super long head table. You can do so many cool things to decorate your sweetheart table.

If your ceremony is in the same space as your reception with a cocktail hour room change, using your ceremony backdrop as a sweetheart table backdrop will cut back on extra decor needs. The table can use minimal candles and a well placed bouquet display combined with small designs to match your guest tables, or be specially designed to fit with your backdrop, you can add specialty linens for this one table, or a complete cohesive design that fits with your guest tables while using special elevated dishes, decor items you can take home and use for special occasions or for every day decor.

Your options are unlimited! This week, we’ll be at The Luxe Bridal Event at The Castaway taking part in the Sweetheart Table Showcase. The concepts we’ll have on display will show you how you can use the basic round venue sweetheart tables and decorate them in very different ways.

We’ll have three on-trend designs highlighting different concepts we’ll be seeing a lot of this wedding season.

Music At Your Wedding

You absolutely need music at your wedding. From the moment guests are seated, there should be calm background music, to your processional and the end of your ceremony, and on in to your cocktail hour and reception.

To Hire A Pro Or Not?

If you plan on having more than 40 guests, if your venue doesn’t have a sound system, if you don’t have a trusted family member or friend who can do this without error, you need a DJ. If these do not describe your situation, hire a professional DJ! They are not a huge expense and they are worth more than they ask for.

Picking songs

You have so many decisions to make. What songs do you want your bridal party to walk down the aisle to? What’s your song at that moment while all eyes are on you? What’s your “hell yeah we’re married” song?

You can and should choose any songs you love from “Moon River” by Frank Ocean as you’re walking down the aisle song to “Concerning Hobbits” from LOTR.

For your recessional, choose a fun song that matters to you and is a celebration of your new life together. Nbd. That’s easy for one song, right?

At your cocktail hour soft background oldies but goodies and jazzy fun, works. The level should be conversational. Nobody wants to shout over the music.

Everybody loves a great grand entrance. This tradition made a ton of sense when people got married in a house of worship then joined you with their bridal party at the reception, but it can be weird now. If you do first looks, join everyone for the cocktail hour after about fifteen minutes of full family pics, and signing the marriage certificate, you can still do a grand entrance. Have your DJ or emcee announce that it’s time to find your seats. The bridal party should go to a staging area determined during your rehearsal. The couple might “disappear” fifteen minutes early for golden hour shots with their photographer. Then rejoin the bridal party once the guests are seated. If you really want to wow your guests make this song choice a key decision. Choreograph something big, goofy, spectacular or simple. It can be modern or a throwback. Whatever you want.

This piece of advice is important! If you want everyone to have fun, hire a great DJ or band. Somebody that plays music your guests can’t help but dance to. DO NOT GIVE YOUR DJ A “PLAYLIST”!!

Seriously, the most fun group will not dance to the songs you think they will. Pick genres. Decide on a “Do Not Playlist” and a short must play list, that’s it. Trust your DJ! They know how to read a crowd and flow in and out. That’s what they do! The songs you think are great hits may not be. Requests are fine (as long as the DJ can flow them in if they fit and the song isn’t on your do not playlist. This is also why you shouldn’t use your own Spotify playlist if your guest list is more than 40 people.

We all think we have the greatest playlist, maybe for a dinner party. Not for your wedding!

Special Dances

Have your DJ mix it up for a surprise Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance. Start with something sweet and predictable (and stay there if that’s you) or surprise everyone with a surprise change and choreographed dance. The best mother/son dance I ever saw was performed by a band. They started with soft jazz music, then softly lead in to a wild rendition of jailhouse rock. It was amazing, and it showed this was a son and mother moment they had lived out before in life. It felt like we were in their kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner watching a loving family let loose and have fun.

Is there a song you and your father have always enjoyed together? A ridiculous dance you do to celebrate good grades (seriously my husband does a goofy good grade dance for my kids)? Do something important and meaningful to you.

Your first dance. It can be fun. It can be cute. It can Showcase your mad dance skillz or it can be a sweet nice slow dance to a song you love. My husband and I danced to Cake’s “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” James doesn’t like to dance in front of others, so we went with a combo of funny, cute and simple.

It’s your wedding, add your favorite songs in the mix and enjoy!

Processionals + Recessionals

So, I’ve planned a lot of weddings over the past 20 years, 21 if you count my own wedding. There is no right way to have a wedding! Just repeat that – out loud – anytime somebody gets mad at you for suggesting you want to have your wedding just exactly the way you want it.

That said, a lot of people want to know, how do I actually do this? How do people know where to sit? How do we actually walk down the aisle? What’s the order of the ceremony?

Again, there is no right way to do it. But your religion, ceremony type, formality, personal style and preferences will all shape the true answer to this question.

If you are having a Jewish wedding, the Rabbi is already up front. The Groom may be there with the Rabbi, or they may walk out together. His parents may escort him down the aisle and take their seats or stand at two posts of the chuppah. If you are having groomsmen or a best person, your parents may sit or they can stand together at one corner while your best person takes the other corner, or your parents may take their seats and the groom’s attendants line up down the right side of the front (this is the most common). There is no right answer.

If there is a bridal party, the bride’s attendants line up on the left side. Both of her parents escort her down the aisle.

In Christian or non-denominational or non-religious American weddings, you have options.

Option 1 – the most common modern processional. The grandparents (first grooms then Brides) they walk as a couple or if just one are escorted, they are seated, groom’s family front row right side. Next the groom’s parents. If they are no longer married father and escort then mother and escort. Then mother of the bride. If she is walking alone, that’s fine she may want an escort, choose a groomsman. She is seated. The music may change. The groom and officiant walk in line to start. The groomsmen follow right behind with best Person last, first person files all the way to the end mark this during your rehearsal. Best Person stands next to groom. Then by size. Music changes. Bridesmaids followed by Maid/Maitron/Man of Honor. Next come the ring bearer and flower girl, they may stand or sit depending on age, they usually sit. Music changes for bride and Father (or chosen escort, or alone).

Option 2. Groom and officiant go out first. Next grandparents ushered by best man who seats groom’s grandparents then stands up front. Followed by groomsman ushering grandparents, seats them takes his place. Next mother of the bride ushered by groomsman. If you have too many groomsmen they walk out alone in line next. Next come bridesmaids exactly as in option 1.

Option 3. Groom and officiant, followed by grandparents, groom’s parents, and mom ushered by best Man. Bridesmaids and groomsmen pair up. Maid of honor alone or best man returns to walk with her. The rest is the same as option 1.

For Same Sex weddings or modern weddings where you want things done different, you can choose from a lot of options. Choose a side for each set of parents. The officiant enters first. Have grandparents enter next, one family sits on right other on left. Next have bridal party enter they can stand left or right, gender never matters in any wedding for any attendant. In same sex weddings this is even more common. But choose who’s standing up for whom, and who will stand on each side during the rehearsal. Everyone may walk in a row and file in all on the right then all on the left, or they may walk in pairs and split right and left. It doesn’t matter. Best Persons go last, right before ring bearer and flower person. Finally one spouse to be accompanied by both or one parent, followed by the other accompanied by one or both parents.

Some same sex couples opt to follow a more traditional format or a blend of traditional and non. Again there is no right way. If you have immediate family who will not be attending your wedding for any reason, have a loved one from either family, or a very important honored guest serve in their place. Somebody who loves you dearly wants to serve this roll, I promise. Don’t go it alone.

More info about ceremony parts and details to follow in a future post. After it’s all said and done, the recessional happens! The newly weds exit first, followed by flowergirl and ring bearer, best person and maid/matron/man of honor comes next, followed by bridal party paired off. Extras walk alone. Next officiant releases aisles left to right front to back.