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Bridal Blog - Wedding Success

Welcome to the Shenandoah Wedding Professionals Blog!


So happy you found us! We're a group of independant wedding professionals passionate about helping brides plan the wedding of their dreams.  From a back yard gathering to a destination wedding -- we've got you covered. If you can dream it, we can help you plan it!


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By shenandoahweddi731, Mar 3 2015 07:31PM

One of the first things to consider when beginning to design your wedding and florals (after you have selected your groom and the venue, of course!) is your COLOR PALETTE. The truth is, people notice COLOR before they notice TYPES of flowers.

Color Palette? That sounds intimidating. Where do you begin? What should you consider?

Here are three easy questions and actionable advice to help you choose your color palette with confidence!

What colors are you consistently drawn to?

Perhaps you prefer the simple elegance of a monochromatic color palette, or sequential colors (colors next to each other in the rainbow) to provide a touch of sophistication. Whatever you choose, florists like NatureScapes and Bluebells will help you to select the flowers that best suit your style and budget so your wedding florals aren’t a thorn in your side!

Takeaway: Working with a professional florist will help you get the most from your budget!

What color will your gown and your attendants’ dresses be?

Warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, work better in low light settings. Darker colors like blue and purple tend to fade into the background at twilight outdoor weddings. White is always a popular choice, but if you go with an all white arrangement, make sure to incorporate multiple textures so your bouquets don’t look flat. Having pops of an accent color combined with mostly white flowers also makes the bouquet stand out well against a white or ivory bridal gown.

Takeaway: Remember…contrast creates drama!

What colors are prominent in the existing décor at your ceremony and reception venues?

Evaluate your venues- consider the time of your wedding and the colors in the existing décor that you would like to either accentuate or play down. Is it outdoors during the daytime? Is it in a candlelit cathedral at dusk? Are you being married in a garden, like at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley?

Takeaway: Keep in mind that light levels and the existing décor will affect the way your flowers are perceived, not only in person, but in the oh-so-important photographs you will keep forever!

You can do this. It's YOUR day. Just take it one step at a time, refer to trusted wedding resources and you'll select flowers that will wow your guests, look fantastic in your keepsake pictures and even thrill your mother-in-law!

Contributor: Kendra Johnson moved to West Virginia in 2001 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Kendra was raised in the fragrant, flowering landscapes of the South and quickly learned to love all things that grow. Since NatureScapes' founding in 2004, Kendra continues to be dedicated to spreading beauty and joy through her work. Her goal is to provide clients with superior service and knowledge that exceeds expectations.

By shenandoahweddi731, Feb 17 2015 10:05PM

Here's the deep dark secret no one in the wedding industry wants to admit....

A "Day of Wedding" Coordinator does not exist. Period!

I don't know where the term "day of coordinator" came to be because it's a complete misnomer. It just isn't possible to show up on the wedding day and coordinate a wedding properly.

I receive emails frequently from brides who ‏''‏just need a day of coordinator." They explain that they just want someone to handle the rehearsal and wedding day. I happily explain my wedding coordination services -- why I provide a "Month of" service.

Here's what's really involved for a wedding professional to successfully coordinate the "Day of Wedding" events.

Once booked to coordinate a wedding

- The bride receives an itinerary questionnaire to complete. This form gathers all the essential details for the wedding -- bridal party, vendor, ceremony and reception details.

Approximately one month before the wedding

- Have a meeting with the bride at the venue(s) with the site coordinator/catering manager. The purpose of this meeting is to "walk-through" the details of the wedding day. We finalize floor plan, timing, logistics & all of the fine details.

- The bride brings the completed questionnaire and copies of all of their vendor contracts to this meeting. We review the questionnaire and fill in any blanks so there are no surprises on the big day!

Two weeks prior to the wedding

- The vendor confirmation and itinerary creation process begins! This involves calling all vendors to: confirm contracted product/service to be provided, contact details, arrival/departure times and much more. using the questionnaire and the information gathered from the vendors,

- A detailed wedding week itinerary is created which includes all vendors’ contact information, bridal party information, a detailed timeline and floor plans.

- Wedding week itinerary is sent to all vendors. I follow up the day after it is sent to confirm receipt and accuracy of the itinerary.

"Day of Wedding" duties

- Actually begin the day BEFORE the wedding with the rehearsal.

- I, along with the officiant, conduct the rehearsal.

- On the event day, I arrive 3+ hours prior to the wedding depending on the amount of setup and when the vendors will begin arriving.

- My job on the wedding day is to ensure that the day runs smoothly and is stress-free for the couple and their families. In that effort, I setup client-provided decor items, assist vendors, double-check that everything is as it should be and handle any issues that may arise.

- When ceremony time arrives, I direct the bridal party, officiant and musicians.

- If needed, I transport decor items to the reception site.

- When it's time to get the reception party started, I coordinate with the venue/caterer, photographer, entertainment, etc. to ensure that the evening flows and is enjoyed by all.

- After the couple leaves the reception, I assist in gathering all of the couples belongings, gifts, cake, etc.

From the month-before site meeting until the last item is cleaned up, this job requires approximately 25 hours. Every one of them is necessary to ensure that the wedding day is the joyous celebration that the bride wants it to be. All of the time and effort that goes into this process is the reason that my service is described as Full-Service Wedding Coordination.

So, there really is no way a wedding planner can help ONLY on the "day of" the wedding. Would you want someone to just show up and handle your wedding day without doing all of the work beforehand?

Contributor: Amy VanMeter is an award-winning event planner serving clients in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Leesburg, Middleburg, Purcellville and Warrenton areas.

Amy VanMeter Image Courtesy of Julie Napier Photography
Amy VanMeter Image Courtesy of Julie Napier Photography

By shenandoahweddi731, Feb 3 2015 09:06PM

You’re engaged! Now WHAT!?!

Tell the world – you know you want to yell from the rooftop! Once you’ve told your parents, family, friends, co-workers and announced it on just about every social media platform there is – yeah, it’s best to let your family know BEFORE you put it on social media <grin>… that excitement may turn to overwhelm.

Where do you start?

This may be the day you’ve been waiting for but once you’re actually engaged reality sets in and suddenly you’re frozen in analysis paralysis not knowing what to do first. B-R-E-A-T-H-E

Breathe. Seriously. Deep breaths.

Relax and remember the ONLY thing required to get married is two people and an officiant. That’s it. The rest of the stuff is fluff. Nice fluff of course. “Fluff” you may have been dreaming about for years, but in the scheme of things, it’s all just extra so RELAX and BREATHE.

Exchange ideas with your partner. That means have a dialogue! Remember, there are TWO people getting married. Share ideas so both of you are in agreement about the ceremony and reception. It won’t do any good to start planning if you each have different ideas for how this big day is going down!

Ask around for referrals to find vendors you can trust. Once you decide to spend some hard-earned cash on the “fluff stuff” you want to make sure you are getting a good value. Shenandoah Wedding Professionals is a great resource for couples who want to plan their wedding in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. You’ll find ideas for wedding services, receptions and a list of event-tested vendors – complete with links and contact information -- anxious to work with you.

Tell your families about any dates you are considering. It’s best to make sure there’s no other major family event you have to plan around. Aunt Betty may be planning the BIG family reunion or maybe there’s a high school or college graduation you need to plan around. Better to find out BEFORE you start all the planning.

Have the “TALK” with your parents or close family members. You know…THE talk. It starts with a “B.” It’s a liitttllleee late for the Birds & Bees talk. We’re talking about the BUDGET talk. Have an open discussion to find out who may be pitching in funds to help pay for the wedding. Paying for it all yourselves? Your parents will be thrilled to hear that! If you will be relying on help from family members, make sure everyone understands who is paying how much for what. It makes the whole process so much easier and less stressful.

Enjoy your engagement! Give yourselves some time to let it all sink in.

Now that you’ve taken the time to BREATHE you’re ready to start the wedding planning process! There are dozens of reliable, professional wedding vendors waiting to answer your questions and provide helpful information to make planning your big day a little easier! Congratulations on your engagement!

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