Articles By brooke

April 21, 2017

Outdoor Spring Wedding Ideas & Trends

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Spring has sprung and as we move into the new season, we are excited to spend as much time as we can outdoors and embrace Mother Nature for all of her glory! Planning your wedding in the spring months of March, April and May provides you with so many wonderful options in regards to your wedding’s theme, décor and itinerary, from start to finish. Including nature, landscapes and the environment around you to create a beautiful atmosphere can be a great advantage when planning an outside ceremony or reception. Outdoor weddings provide you with many great ideas, options and new trends for the 2017 spring wedding season.

 

Santa Ynez Wedding - Outdoor Wedding - by Jose Villa - via Style Me Pretty

Santa Ynez Wedding – Outdoor Wedding – by Jose Villa – via Style Me Pretty

 

An outdoor ceremony can acquire so many different aspects to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re getting married in the woods, on a beach or in an open field, there are many parts of nature to play up everywhere you look. A new fun trend if you are having a rustic forest wedding is to incorporate a big old oak tree into your space. A beautiful tree standing tall can be a perfect focal point behind the bride and groom. It provides color, texture and a dynamic in the bigger picture. Adding elements to the tree is a great way to play into your theme. This can include hanging lanterns or flowers, string lights and garland to decorate all of its branches. This idea will help present a stage for the couple as they say their vows and create a beautiful organic backdrop.

 

 

The next way to add a lot of ambiance to an open outdoor space is to spice up the reception setting. While the physical landscape is what you’ve always desired, it is also fun to add some new ideas without taking away from the natural beauty.

 

Lighting: A new exciting way to enhance an outdoor reception layout is by adding a ceiling quality, if you will. This can include a tent, hanging lanterns, string lights, floral or greenery garland and hanging accents. Stringing lights from tree to tree is a great way to manage the space without making it feel too crowded. It is often that many appreciate a canopy feature of lights above the guests seating or dance floor. This can create nice light space that resembles a starry night sky.

 

 

Lanterns: Incorporating paper lanterns is a funky way to bring a sense of cheerfulness into the scene. These look beautiful for a daytime wedding and can play off of a garden theme. They are light, airy and can complement many color schemes and wedding styles.

 

White Chinese Paper Lanterns - Outdoor Wedding Decor - via Weddbook.com

White Chinese Paper Lanterns – Outdoor Wedding Decor – via Weddbook.com

 

Suspended Blooms: Lastly, one of the newest trends in the industry is to incorporate hanging floral accents into your scenery. This can include single suspended blooms above the dance floor, a large floral display sitting gently behind the bride and groom, or long vertical garland that is inspired by hanging beads. They are fun and make a large open space feel charming and intimate.

 

 

Now that your reception space is decorated seamlessly to match your theme, the seating arrangement can also play into creating an outdoor space of your dreams. As the wedding industry is advancing each and every day, new trends are arising and we have moved into the world of individuality and unique designs. Breaking from the forever classic round table display, the newest trend is unique tables. This can include long tables, bench seating, square tables and even low tables featuring floor cushions. Mixing and matching a variety of table shapes while adding elements such as greenery and flowers, featuring natural wood and stone elements makes for a very pretty scape. It’s a fun way to add your own sense of personality, style and taste to your reception and a beautiful way to enhance the space even more.

 

 

The best thing about turning a raw and organic space into your own is that you can fully create your personalized fantasy outdoor setting. A space full of trees, a garden retreat or a hilly field can be easily flipped into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind space for a wedding. Have fun, be creative and think outside the box to bring your open-air wedding to life before your eyes! For all of our spring brides, there are so many great options right at your fingertips, and we are as excited as you are to watch them come to life.

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April 20, 2017

Indian Wedding Traditions

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Living and working in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we are fortunate enough to work with couples from all different backgrounds, traditions, religions and cultures. Planning a culturally-inspired wedding is such an exciting task as you are embracing others’ customs and learning the beauties of others’ traditions and beliefs. Though a wedding resembles unity, love and marriage in every culture, the ceremonies and rituals can vary greatly, which makes the practice of marriage that much more special and unique.

 

Indian Ceremony - Mehndi - via Pinterest.com

Indian Ceremony – Mehndi – via Pinterest.com

 

One culture that we have been very fortunate to produce weddings for is the Indian Culture. As India is such a large country with so many states and religions, the wedding traditions vary based on their region of origin. Yet, Indian weddings practice many of the same traditions and are full of bright colors, gorgeous flowers, beautiful Mehndi and more! There is no wedding more beautiful than an Indian wedding, and the beauty doesn’t only lay in the décor, design and brilliant colors they portray.

Unlike many other cultures, Indian weddings are multi-day occasions. There are ceremonies, parties and rituals that complete the couple’s marriage. Pre-wedding rituals are very common in an Indian wedding and start the week-long celebration.

Pithi is a ceremony ritual that is performed to bring the bride and groom good luck. As it takes place in the separate homes of the couple, family and friends receive the Pithi paste made from turmeric, chickpea flour and rose water. Family members, offering well wishes and luck throughout marriage, apply this paste to the skin of the bride and groom. It is also said that the paste is used to brighten the skin so you have a glowing look on the day of your wedding.

The Mehndi ceremony is a very popular ceremony and a colorful event that takes place a few days before the wedding. This is a celebration for the bride and her family. The bride receives her henna from an artist or relative from her fingertips to her forearms, along with her feet. The henna is made of beautiful designs, symbolizing joy, beauty, spiritual awakenings and offerings. The henna settles into the skin, leaving a brownish tint color that complements beautifully in traditional Indian dress. It is a fun night and festive atmosphere that is full of bright colors, singing, dancing and joy.

 

 

One of the next customs in an Indian wedding is the traditional attire and dress. A Sari is a female garment that is made of excessive fine fabrics, wrapped around the waist and draped over one shoulder, while baring the midriff. A Lengha is a two-piece outfit made up of a skirt, a traditional blouse and a scarf. These outfits are extraordinarily intricate and are mainly worn in bright bold colors like pinks, fuchsias, blues and reds. Mainly, the bride wears a beautiful red and gold appliqué Sari to stand out from the crowd. Accenting these dresses with tons of gold and jeweled jewelry makes for a gorgeous ensemble. Traditional jewelry includes Payals (anklets), Nath (nose ring), the Maang Teeka, which is a piece of jewelry for your hair that parts down the middle, Chudis and Kadas, which are the commonly-known bangles, along with matching necklace and earring sets. The bride is covered from head to toe with bright colors and ornate jewels, leaving her as the most beautiful woman in the room. When it comes to the groom’s attire, the most common outfit consists of the traditional Kurta Shalwar, which is a comfortable tunic-like top with pants to match. The Kurta Shalwar is often found in creams and golds to complement his soon to be bride. Now that the bride and groom are fashioned and ready to unify their relationship, let the party begin!

 

 

Among many pre-wedding events, one common Indian tradition is known as the Sangeet. The Sangeet is practiced in many regions in India and is held the night before the wedding ceremony, as a celebration of the wedding to come! Family and friends hold dance performances as a gift to the bride and groom, along with traditional songs and other festivities. Commemorating events for the days to come, this is a night full of music, celebrating and fun!

 

 

Next comes the big day, the long-awaited wedding ceremony! A traditional ceremony often consists of a series of religious rituals that unify the bride and groom and their families. The ceremony begins with the Baraat, which is the groom’s procession. This unique tradition is the groom’s arrival to the ceremony on a horse, as family and friends sing and dance around him. The bride’s family greets the groom as he arrives and congratulates him on what’s to come. The groom’s feet are washed once he arrives, signifying purity. The bride’s arrival and the event of being given away by her parents signifies the beginning of the ceremony.

 

Indian Wedding - Groom - Baraat - Kate Byars Photography - via Maharani Weddings.com

Indian Wedding – Groom – Baraat – Kate Byars Photography – via Maharani Weddings.com

 

The ceremony takes place under what is known as a Mandap. The Mandap is a four post canopy altar that is a stunning space for the bride and groom to exchange their vows. Each of the four pillars of the Mandap symbolizes the parents on both sides, signifying the upbringing of their children and unification of families. The Mandap is a beautiful structure that is cherished for its symbolism, yet offers a gorgeous view for guests of the bride and groom. It is often decorated with god statutes, a variety of flowers, religious offerings, garland and bells. Many flowers can be used for this décor, including traditional marigolds, roses, daisies and more. It creates a beautiful altar and stage for the bride and groom to say I do and looks amazing as it’s dressed up as ornately and decadently as the bride and groom.

 

 

At the beginning of the ceremony, Mala or floral garlands are exchanged between the bride and groom. These beautiful garlands are strung together with a variety of bright and bold blooms. Roses, marigolds, carnations and even orchids are tied together to create a flowered lay that is to be placed on one another. The flowers are an important part of this tradition as they are held together on the same string, representing happiness and excitement of their marital union to come. The exchange of Mala between the bride and groom signifies acceptance of one another and unity. As there are many parts that make up the full ceremony and all vary by region, religion and tradition, one common final part of the ceremony is the seven circles. The couple takes their first seven circles together as husband and wife, with each step representing a vow to one another. This signifies their commitment to love one another, take care of each other and always be best friends. The ceremony is now complete, and they are ready to go and celebrate!

 

Brad & Manjil - Indian Garland - Studio 450 - Photo by Weddings By Two

Brad & Manjil – Indian Garland – Studio 450 – Photo by Weddings By Two

 

The reception can vary depending on your preference and style in Indian culture. It is a big party with tons of food, dancing and fun! The venue space is decorated in vibrant colors, golds and lavish pieces to create a picturesque scene. The reception often features performers, a cake cutting ceremony and a traditional dance between husband and wife where guests throw money at the couple to wish them prosperity. It is a beautiful and exciting time to dance the night away and enjoy all of the hard work and traditional elements that made up the wedding week.

 

 

Indian wedding traditions and customs are like no other. They are lavish, elegant and colorful, creating a gorgeous scene to last a lifetime. From the traditions, flowers, garments and rituals, they represent a long line of beautiful traditions to unify husband and wife, and we hope to participate in making many more beautiful memories with lovely couples to come.

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April 11, 2017

DV Flora – Finest in New York City’s Fresh Cut Flowers Industry

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Beginning as a small flower retailer, DV Flora is a growing business, and now a major player in the wholesale floral industry of New York City and its five boroughs.

 

DV Flora - DV Flora Facebook Banner - via Facebook.com

DV Flora – DV Flora Facebook Banner – via Facebook.com

 

Delaware Valley Wholesale began in 1959 as a small floral wholesaler in Southern New Jersey. Bob Wilkins Sr. and his wife, Doris, would sell their cut stems at the Philadelphia Flower show. Little did they know, this was the start of what has now become a massive operation with deep roots in the Northeast as well as branches reaching outposts in California and Bogotá. It is an exciting journey that was started many years ago, and we are excited to hear about this industry icon.

 

 

We were fortunate enough to work with DV Flora on a regular basis and were excited to sit down and meet with Claudine Perez, Event Procurement and Logistics, along with Tony Solina, Procurement Manager, Event Division to learn more about DV Flora.



Bride & Blossom:
“You’ve both been with the company through many changes, not only in the event industry itself but also during the different stages of DV Flora. What are some of the most significant moments that stand out to you?”

Claudine: “We’ve made the change, evolution really, from “wholesaler” to “floral procurement.” Our process is very thoughtful and long reaching. We deal in larger volumes than most wholesalers can and with a high-quality product. Because of our infrastructure and size, we can offer consistently exceptional products at various levels, which allows us to market to a wider range of clients.“

Tony: “Our florals are from all over the world, and we partner directly with farmers, many of whom we have long-running relationships with and visit on a regular basis. This ensures the highest level of practices are being maintained and we continue our close partnership with the farmers.

One event can represent over fifteen different countries. We procure from Holland, of course, but there could also be flowers from various locations, including Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Guatemala, among others.”

 

DV Flora Colorful Arrangment - Close Up - Anemone - DV Flora

DV Flora Colorful Arrangement – Close Up – Anemone – DV Flora

 

Tony: “One of the most exciting developments has been in procurement; where we source our flowers. I’ve visited Japan three times in the past year to secure our newest partner in floral procurement. Japanese florals are amazing, and they offer a larger variety for some of our most popular flowers than anywhere else in the world. With this addition to our offerings, we are now able to source the most beautiful sweet pea, anemone, and ranunculus, among other flowers, unlike any available elsewhere in the world.

We are also sourcing from here in the U.S. From California we are seeing some gorgeous homegrown favorites and more local flowers, which for us, is in the Northeast, as well as potted plants and tropicals from Florida.”

Claudine: “Another change is the amount of technology at our fingertips now. When the company began, the owners shared a desk and one adding machine. Now we have technology at every step of the process, end to end. There is never a moment when we don’t know where our flowers are along the process.

Our facilities process large quantities of flowers every day, and we have detailed checks at numerous points along the processing and distribution process.”

Tony: “Just to give you some idea of our processing capabilities, our floral warehouse is over 70,000 square feet and holds thousands of flowers. Our fleet includes 100 local refrigerated delivery trucks; we also have a 60,000 square foot hard goods facility with over 5,000 floral supply selections and a greenhouse offering over 500 different varieties of foliage and blooming plants.”

 

 

Bride & Blossom: “What do you see in the future for DV Flora and the event industry?”

Claudine: “Regarding the event industry, I think the future holds no bounds. Anything is possible, each event is like a fingerprint, and each one is unique. There is so much focus on the floral industry now because of the internet; it has really opened the world to what we do with events.”

Tony: “The world is opening to us as well, regarding procurement. We’re very excited to begin this new “Japan Chapter” and bringing the beauty of that world to our clients, and looking for new ones as we travel the globe.”

With so many innovations and care for each client, we can see why this industry staple has been going strong for close to sixty years. We’re excited to see what the world of flowers and events holds for DV Flora in the next chapter!

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April 5, 2017

Flower Feature: Marigold

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The marigold flower is one of the most recognizable flowers around the world, known for its vibrant yellow and shades of gold that resemble the sun. The marigold genus includes 56 species and varies from annuals to perennials. Though marigolds may be known as common garden flowers, they are beautiful, significant and meaningful in the flower kingdom. Grown all over the world, many see them as common weeds, yet when stripped down to their core, their beauteous shades of gold, orange, white and yellow are like no other.

 

Dark Orange Marigold - Marigold Flower - via Pinterest.com

Dark Orange Marigold – Marigold Flower – via Pinterest.com

 

Marigolds often vary in display as many have a pompop-shaped head made up of large amounts of small-layered petals, mirroring the sun. Other marigolds in the kingdom offer a variety of shades from darker petals on the inside to a lighter petal outline in more red-orange and maroon tones.

Symbolizing the warmth of the rising sun, it is obvious why they are open for the world to see when the sun is shining on them. Marigolds are spiritual flowers signified as offerings to the gods in a variety of cultures and often used in many sacred ceremonies in Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, to name a few. Though there are different types of marigolds, their bright yellow and red-orange tones tie them to the same basic meaning. Originally given a negative denotation due to their cultural use and meaning of grief, jealousy and cruelty, they have been linked back to a positive and optimistic representation of creativity and warmth. This species is said to have a lot of history since its name is derived from offerings to the Virgin Mary, as marigolds replaced gold coins, later inheriting the connotation of Mary’s Gold. They are also famously used in Mexico’s Day of the Dead ceremonies and are a beloved part of their traditions.

 

 

The marigold flower is a great species to have in your personal garden not only because of the color qualities they offer, but also because they act as a natural pest deterrent. They are a carefree grower, meaning they don’t require a lot of love and attention, but rather grow on their own with basic care. They can blossom in almost any soil, yet thrive the most in a well-drained soil base. They bring light, texture and love to a garden and, as an extra treat, are easy to care for.

 

Floating Marigold - Photo by Nathan Michael - via SF Girl By Bay.com

Floating Marigold – Photo by Nathan Michael – via SF Girl By Bay.com

 

Marigolds offer a great pop of color in wedding work and are often featured in outdoor spring and summer weddings. They work really beautifully in flower crowns, wild flower bouquets and hanging floral displays. Pairing and complementing seamlessly with other energetic colors like fuchsia, maroons, bright pinks and greenery, their color palette brings vibrancy and dimension to any wedding décor. Marigolds are often found in many wedding ceremonies of different religions and cultures. Standing alone, or paired with a complementing bloom, the marigold flower will forever bring a smile to your face with its enthusiastic, animated and spirited presentation.

 

Bridal Marigold Bouquet - via Pinterest.com

Bridal Marigold Bouquet – via Pinterest.com

 

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March 23, 2017

Spring Wedding Venues in New York City

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All winter we wait and wait for the day to hear the longing sounds of birds chirping, to see flowers budding through the soil, and to feel the sun through our windows. Spring is finally here! The grass is green, the trees are blooming and it’s time to put our snow boots away for good. There are so many qualities of spring that we fall in love with. March, April and May are heartwarming months to take advantage of the colorful foliage and natural beauty around us. As a soon-to-be-bride, choosing to get married in the spring is an exciting time that offers you many great options when it comes to your bridal gown, bridesmaids dresses, wedding flowers and your venue. Being from the greatest city in the world, we know that the concrete jungle may not always offer venues that have organic nature roots, but from Bride and Blossom to all of our brides, we have a few hidden gems that are perfect springtime wedding venues in NYC.

 

Springtime - NYC - New York City Feels - via Pinterest.com

Springtime – NYC – New York City Feels – via Pinterest.com

 

When imagining a spring wedding, we picture colorful flowers, garden themes and most importantly, an outdoor-inspired space. Now, as New York’s weather can be temperamental, it is easy to say many may be nervous to plan a fully outdoors event in the spring — as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, we have the perfect compromise for you! An outdoor wedding that has indoor features to create a secure space that is weather resistant, but also allows you to bring the outdoors and sunshine inside with you. Three of our favorite spring wedding venues include Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Battery Gardens and the famous Tribeca Rooftop. We are confident that you will love what these venues have to offer and can’t wait to share them with you.

 

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN

The Palm House - Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - Weddings - via William-Chang.com

The Palm House – Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Weddings – via William-Chang.com

 

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a popular attraction for those in the tri-state area and visitors alike. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is filled with an array of varying gardens and exhibits, including cherry blossom trees, cape buttercup blooms and a rose garden, while changing throughout the seasons to support a variety of species. The garden grounds are full of intertwining landscapes and flowers galore. What many don’t know while visiting this colorful treat is you can get married at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. With a capacity of 300 guests, it is a beautiful reception space that can accommodate many layouts, having multiple areas to hold different parts of your wedding. It is popular to hold your ceremony directly in the garden space for picturesque backdrops as you say “I Do.” There is a grand fountain near the main garden, which works brilliantly for cocktail hour as sun gets lower in the sky. Next, and one of the best features of this space, is The Palm House. The Palm House is an indoor space made of glass walls that create an atrium feel overlooking the gardens. It’s a beautiful space during a sunset ceremony or a reception underneath the Brooklyn stars. It also offers a terrace with a peaceful lily pad fountain for an extra touch of serenity. This beautiful oasis is a great option for a springtime wedding as it represents spring in all of its glory. Flowers blooming, bees buzzing and birds chirping along with beautiful scenery for a night you will remember forever.

 

 

 

BATTERY GARDENS

Julie & Ryan - Spring Wedding - Battery Gardens - Photo by Sarah Tew Photography

Julie & Ryan – Spring Wedding – Battery Gardens – Photo by Sarah Tew Photography

 

Next on our list is Battery Gardens. Most New Yorkers know Battery Park as a public park at the very tip of downtown Manhattan. It’s a great place for kids’ sports games, running, picnics, and surprisingly, weddings. Battery Gardens is an exclusive on-site restaurant, offering stunning harbor views and an outdoor terrace on the water. This space has the sophistication and elegance of New York’s Battery Park wrapped up into one. The venue, with a maximum capacity of 220 guests, is known for producing both intimate and large-scale weddings, catering to all of the standards of New York.

The first space that often holds wedding ceremonies is the outdoor patio. This is a large backyard if you will, with panoramic views of the Hudson River. Getting married on the Hudson with New York as your backdrop makes for an incredible scene. This outdoor space offers beautiful landscaping and greenery to enhance a springtime wedding. After the ceremony, we move to cocktail hour, which is often held downstairs in an airy, open space. Dinner and dancing then follow in the main upstairs dining room. A dance floor, dinner space and lounge area provide plenty of entertainment options for guests, and the room adds a romantic touch with a working fireplace for a chilly spring night. The entire space has panoramic windows with stunning views of the harbor, and the Statue of Liberty. Battery Gardens is a gorgeous venue for a couple craving more of a classic feel with a touch of the outdoors and ocean tranquility. It offers both indoor and outdoor options that can be easily transformed to host the wedding of your dreams, while being a great location to celebrate a springtime wedding in a more low-key setting.

 

 

 

 TRIBECA ROOFTOP

Nicole & Mark - Colorful Ombre Chuppah - Tribeca Rooftop - Photo by Shlomo Cohen Photography

Nicole & Mark – Colorful Ombre Chuppah – Tribeca Rooftop – Photo by Shlomo Cohen Photography

 

The last springtime venue that embraces more of an industrial design for our more modern brides is Tribeca Rooftop. Located in the heart of Tribeca, the rooftop is an integral part of Downtown Manhattan life. Tribeca Rooftop is a contemporary and industrial-style penthouse that hosts private parties, events and weddings, accommodating a large capacity of 300-380 guests. Operating on a larger scale, Tribeca Rooftop is known for its famous in-house chef, yet can also provide catering of your choice. Though it is called a rooftop by name, it offers both indoor and outdoor space. Inside the penthouse, which is the main reception hall, there is a 65-foot skylight and a magnitude of glass windows creating an open concept loft space. Once you step outside, Tribeca Rooftop is known for its fabulous roof deck that has spectacular 360-degree views of Manhattan. As this venue was originally a 1920s printing press building, it houses exposed brick walls offering a modern yet historical vibe for your wedding style.

Getting married on the roof deck as the sun goes down behind the Manhattan skyline is just one of the many perks of this location. It can be dressed up with greenery, florals and accents to highlight the season’s best qualities. With dinner and dancing to follow inside the penthouse, the guests will never miss the starry night over Manhattan. The roof deck can stay open throughout the night, letting your guests take in the gorgeous feeling of a true Manhattan wedding.

 

 

Choosing a wedding venue can be a difficult task, yet emphasizing the season can provide you with many pleasing options to fulfill all of your hopes and wishes. Make sure to have fun during the process of venue shopping and remember, the spring is a time for dreamers.

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March 18, 2017

Destination Inspiration: Ireland

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The Emerald Isle, with its fabled stretches of coastal green landscapes, offers an evocative inspiration for an utterly breathtaking wedding. Ireland conjures visions of vintage Irish lace and Waterford crystal next to the warm brown of a wooden bar. This inspiration is ideally suited to a décor that leans to the nostalgic, especially with elements such as a wedding dress or motifs that have a more retro and old world elegance.

 

Jacob & Brittany - Intimate Cliffs of Moher - Ireland Wedding - via Epic Love Photography

Jacob & Brittany – Intimate Cliffs of Moher – Ireland Wedding – via Epic Love Photography

 

Whether you wish to honor your family’s heritage or because its majestic verdant beauty inspires the romantic in you, adding touches of Ireland to your décor will transform your event into an unforgettable destination wedding. Giving attention to the defining elements of your wedding will help to thread your chosen theme throughout. Focusing on these first, keeping in mind they should all flow together, then sprinkling in the details, makes for a cohesive design aesthetic.

 

 

Here are our favorite show-stopping moments:

ATTIRE: Here’s your chance to channel your inner Celtic princess. Get fancy. Think layers of intricately woven Irish lace or delicate details of sumptuous silks and sheer tulle. If your wedding date falls during a cooler month, flirt with a neckline detail, a lace sleeve or a full lace back. This aesthetic is perfect for playing with vintage looks made modern. If creams and blush aren’t for you – go blue! Pay homage to Irish traditions and wear a blue-hued gown. Irish brides, until the late 1400s, would wear blue as a symbol of purity.

 

 

For the groom, opt for dapper, very tailored suits or suspenders and dress pants. Irish linen or wool, depending on the weather, will keep your men in authentic fabrics.

That is unless you have a gentleman that is brave enough to bare his legs. In that case, a noble Tartan kilt, usually associated with Scotland but also popular in Ireland, is the utmost ensemble for a dashing man who wants to celebrate his lineage.

 

 

VENUE: Unless you happen to have a castle in your backyard, go for something a bit more abstract for your nuptial backdrop. A private estate with a sprawling lush lawn, the green field of a quiet forest, or a mossy knoll in your favorite park, any of these are reminiscent of the evocative scenery of Ireland.

 

 

If your wedding takes place indoors, choose a warm and cozy, wood-rich environment that leans towards the masculine. It will act as a perfect partner to the more feminine elements of your decor.

 

 

FLOWERS: Bells of Ireland immediately come to mind when thinking of florals for an Irish-inspired wedding, but many other blooms pay tribute to this bountiful land. Amaryllis, Easter lilies, roses, chrysanthemums and wild flowers are all beautiful choices for your bridal bouquet or centerpieces. Also, consider bringing touches of the landscape into your design by creating a green path down the aisle for your ceremony or a table runner of moss for the centerpiece at your reception.

 

 

TABLETOP: Antiqued and brushed metals add a vintage yet contemporary design for your tablescape. Add in touches where you want to illuminate intricate details like a golden charger paired with elegant china or a particular motif, like a gilded Celtic knot, that might double as a napkin ring. This is also an excellent opportunity to add in color! Opt for an emerald goblet or dark green taper candles held by candelabras.

 

Joyce & Patrick Wedding - Le Parker Meridien NYC - by Susan Stripling Photography

Joyce & Patrick Wedding – Le Parker Meridien NYC – by Susan Stripling Photography

 

COLOR PALETTES: By choosing Ireland as your inspiration and to our delight, you have been given the gift of using green, nature’s fabulous neutral! What an amazing color to work with, since it comes in so many gorgeous variations. Choose from emerald and teal, which are rich and jeweled, to forest and hunter, which are deep and velvety. Or use doses of all the greens your mind can imagine to give a tonal wave of color and add a modern twist. Layer in hints of limes, chartreuse, moss and of course, Kelly green. If you prefer a more tempered color choice, look to the season and venue for the best green and choose complementary hues.

 

 

FOOD: Beef. Potatoes. Whiskey. You could go with a menu this obvious (and it would be amazing, if a bit cliché), but you wouldn’t be taking advantage of the food renaissance that’s happening now in Ireland.

For the cocktail hour, a raw bar of ocean jewels, oysters, shrimp and clams is a must. And how adorable would tiny bites of shepherd’s pie, corned beef sliders and shots of Irish potato soup be? Take an elevated nod to hearty pub food and keep things compact and bite-sized. Doesn’t everyone love a gorgeous spread of artisanal cheeses? Pair cheeses with an offering of varietal smoked salmon and a display of traditional Irish soda breads. Ireland is ripe for tasty nibbles; showcase any of these for a delicious pre-dinner tease.

Definitely present a delectable cut as the headliner for the main course; there’s no substitute for a melting, juicy morsel of meat, but try a locally farmed lamb instead of the typically served beef. And don’t forget to honor the coastal landscape of Ireland. Highlight the land and sea by offering cod, Atlantic salmon or even lobster as an entrée.

 

 

DRINKS: Yes, you’re having a whiskey bar, even a whiskey tasting if you want, but don’t stop there. Incorporate Ireland’s love of tea as they consume more tea per capita than almost any other place in the world! Have fun creating a signature tea-infused whiskey cocktail like this Irish Whiskey Green Tea Punch.

A well-stocked wedding will be sure to have all the favorites: Guinness Stout, an Irish Whiskey (or two) and a tart and refreshing Irish Apple Cider will round out the bar and leave something for everyone’s tipple and tastes. For a vintage twist, serve any Irish socialite’s drink, a Black Velvet. This champagne + stout cocktail will look much more elegant than a pint in your bridesmaids hands.

 

 

WEDDING FAVORS: Favors are meant to be fun and whimsical, so let the Irish clichés run wild here…

It is an Irish tradition to ring a bell, a “makeup bell” as it were, to signal the end of a tiff. Wedding bells are popular symbols of nuptials, so why not mark each guest’s presence by a mini wedding bell. Horseshoes are famous for bringing the luck of the Irish. Gift your guests with tiny versions to carry home the well wishes and the eternal luck of your special day. For a lovely and unforgettable keepsake, gift all the lovely ladies with Claddagh Friendship rings (a ring with two hands clasping) and the gentlemen with Irish linen handkerchiefs.

 

 

TRADITIONS: Sharing cherished traditions is an intimate way to add an extra special meaning to your day. Some Irish traditions have been integrated into modern cultures and are recognizable around the world. We might say “tying the knot” as a cheeky way to say we’re getting married, but this term actually started with the Irish ritual of hand fasting. Hand fasting, or tying, is an ancient Celtic ceremony in which the couple joins in tying their hands as a symbol of eternal and infinite love. The ribbons are tied around the crossed wrists of the couple, and they are forever bound to one another.

 

 

Music: The Harp is an ethereal and unbelievably romantic instrument that adds a romantic touch to your ceremony with the sound of an angelic song. A national symbol of Ireland, a harp is traditionally played at times of celebration. Anything strummed on a harp sounds magical, so don’t be afraid to ask for your favorite contemporary song to be played as you walk down the aisle. While bagpipes are the more traditional and bold sounding instrument, they can be just as beautiful and graceful as the beloved harp. With his tartan kilt and unmistakable sound, the bagpiper adds a sense of royalty and is an exciting start to the processional as he leads your guests to the reception.

 

 

There are so many details from the Irish culture to draw from and these are just a few. Be sure to choose details and traditions that speak to you and don’t seem contrived. Incorporating authenticity and quality makes the difference between a chic and genuinely inspired event and a sloppy “Kiss Me I’m Irish” party that’s more like a bad hangover.

With such a wealth of romantic traditions and culture to draw from, you’re definitely blessed with luck if choosing Ireland as your wedding inspiration!

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Bride & Blossom

Bride & Blossom