AYW Exclusive: How to Throw a Winning Bridal Shower

‘Tis the season…of romantic, wintry proposals! And with proposals, come months spent planning- weddings, of course, but also, wedding showers. If you’re the lucky friend or family member taking on the potentially daunting task of throwing a bridal shower for the special bride-to-be in your life, read on for a simple how-to…

 

The guest list: first things first! Answer the following questions: will this be a ladies only event? a couple’s shower? a lingerie shower? This information helps determine who will receive an invitation. In some cases, the guest list may be limited to bridesmaids, close friends + close-in-age female family members. In others, invitations are extended to elder family members of the bride and groom, family friends, etc. The “theme” usually plays a role in dictating who appropriate guests are. Bringing us to our next topic of conversation..

The theme: Upon choosing the general type of shower you’ll be throwing, consider choosing a theme based on the bride’s personality + preferences. Does she have a favorite vacation spot? A love for travel? Does she prefer a certain type of cuisine? Have a favorite, festive cocktail? It’s what makes any event unique: the details, large and small, that are designed with the belle of the ball in mind. Once you’ve decided on a theme, get your creative wheels turning! Hop on Pinterest or a wedding + lifestyle blog and keep your eyes open for adaptable ideas for decor, cuisine, signature drinks, and fun event-specific group activities. We love how this tropical styled shoot we created could be easily translated in to a fun, summery shower theme idea! And finally…

 

The execution: We always recommend working with trustworthy vendors, no matter how small or large the event you’re coordinating may be. Trust your florist, caterer, stationer (etc.) to help in making creative decisions. Be sure to thoroughly explain your vision for a specified theme, and allow for their professional input as often as necessary. If you’re DIY-ing any portion of the event, don’t be afraid to delegate! It’s likely that there are other close family members and friends that would be honored to help in pulling the shower together.

Most importantly- have fun!  And we don’t just mean during the shower- we firmly believe that the planning process of any event should be enjoyable and memorable. Savor these celebratory moments leading up to the big day, you’ll wish you could relive them later on!

And, of course, should the task of planning a shower seem too daunting, the doors to our AYW office are always open! :)

 Photos:

Allen Tsai Photography, Simply Mox Paper, Culinary Art Catering, The Wildflower Floral Design

Trending: What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

It’s hard enough to decide which beloved item of clothing in your closet is best fit for a special occasion, regardless of the current climate situation. Factoring in sub-freezing temps (well, if you’re in TX- we’ll call them “almost” freezing temps) and winter weather advisories to this decision-making process reveals a whole new level of difficulty…and often leaves us feeling defeated, reaching for our favorite pair of sweatpants. Unfortunately, last we checked, sweatpants are incredibly inappropriate to attend a wedding in… thus, we’ve decided to make this choice in wardrobe a tad bit simpler by creating an inspired guide of winter-wedding appropriate apparel. Scroll on for quick tips and pictured outfit examples!

1. Deep-hued, wintry sheaths are an obvious choice for semi-formal affairs. Pair with jewel-toned statement accessories for added elegance. (Via Anthropologie)

2. For added warmth, slip on opaque black tights with your mini-dress. Opting for same-shade, black booties creates a seamless look.

(Via Devon Rachel and Antrhopologie)

3. Go long! Full-length gowns are appropriate for formal dress code events, and have the added coverage to keep you cozy throughout the evening. Don’t be afraid to choose an eye-catching color or silhouette to avoid blending in with the bridesmaids.

(Via Neiman Marcus and Anthropologie)

4. Topper jackets in statement prints and colors are an easy additional layer to throw over your mini-dress, without compromising style.

(Via Neiman Marcus)

5. Florals aren’t just for Spring! Don’t shy away from these printed, maxi-length gowns. They’re elegant and breathable, allowing you to stay on the dance floor as long as possible.

(Via Nordstrom and Anthropologie)

6. Opt for a dress with sleeves. These brighter styles caught our attention + would pair well with tights.

(Via Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus)

7. That’s a wrap (well, almost!) Faux fur stoles, wrap sweaters, and pashmina scarves are all beautiful staples for winter soirees. We love them paired with fuller skirts!

(Via Gal Meets Glam, Chic Wish, and Dessy)

As You Wish Exclusive: Keeping Up With The Kids

It’s a trivial question to consider when building your wedding guest list… kids or no kids? In the varying cases of As You Wish receptions passed, our clients have accommodated for their youngest guests in creative ways. If your final guest count should include a large handful of kiddos, we’re suggesting some out-of-the-box opportunities to keep up with their little personalities + ensure that your event is “kid friendly.”

1. Kid-specific Menu Items

Perhaps the most simple way to cater to kids during a reception is to work with your chef to assemble meal and dessert options that will please their palates. For instance, chicken tenders, fancy french fries, mashed potatoes, and the like are more apt to suit a child’s fancy than say… a filet mignon. Often times, this will help to save dollars on your catering order. Win, win!

2. A “Kid’s Room” or “Kid’s Table”

Depending on your venue and floorpan, it could be possible to congregate kiddos into their own exclusive space. We’ve even coordinated a separate room- complete with babysitters and kid-specific activities- to create a sort of “mini-party” for the kids to enjoy while their parents are mingling (worry-free) at the reception. A smaller-scale option is to assign specific dinner tables for the kids, and including goodie bags or tabletop games at their place settings.

3. Provide “Kid-approved” Entertainment

We’ve brought in stilt-walkers, caricature artists, college mascots, balloon twisters, face painters… you name it! All provide an additional element of fun for your younger crowd of guests. (We’ve found that adults get excited about these entertainers, too!)

4. Invite them onto the dance floor! 

Albeit some kids are more timid than others, a simple invitation onto the dance floor can bring about a whole lot of fun for all involved. Some of the most memorable wedding reception moments include the bride or groom breaking it down with their kid-family members and friends! (This always makes for adorable pictures!)

 

Photos by: Sarah Kate Photography, Jonathan Ivy Photography, Havi Frost, F8 Studio & Edmonson Weddings

Real Wedding: Trujillo-Strode

There’s something especially personal that comes with hosting a wedding on family property … and, it becomes incredibly Texan (and fabulous) when the property is a spacious ranch. Madison and James’ Fall celebration was classic and glamorous, with a touch of rustic, Texas flair. The duo said “I do” beneath a fabulous floral archway created by the Garden Gate. Regal blue and white china vases, oversized lanterns, and stylish lounge furniture pieces were spread thick throughout the outdoor ceremony and reception. Take a look at the gorgeous details captured by Sengbush Photography, and check back on our Facebook page later this week for the full photo album from this event!

AYW Exclusive: Halloween-Inspired Wedding Design

October’s notorious holiday weekend sure snuck up on us this year, nonetheless, we’re excited to slip into our costumes and celebrate Halloween in a few short days! To help spread some of our ‘spooky’ spiritedness, we thought it’d be fun to share photos from a few As You Wish weddings that took place on or near all Hallow’s eve in years passed.

Yes, there certainly are ways to incorporate a nod to Halloween in the designing of weddings- tastefully and creatively, of course. Scroll on for some edgy-elegance event design inspiration!

 

Photo by: Leslie Spurlock Photography

Think black chandeliers, moody lighting, deep-hued bouquets, themed dessert items, and of course, for outdoor weddings especially, pumpkins

Photo by: Kim Skyles of f8 Studio 

Dimly lit, nighttime receptions provide the perfect setting for a Halloween-weekend wedding. Subtle changes made to the lighting of the space can add drama instantaneously.

Photo by: Kim Skyles of f8 Studio

Black chandeliers, like those pictured above, have an edgy and gothic sort of essence while still remaining elegant in shape and style.

Photos by: f8 Studio

Color combinations like black and deep, scarlet red are understated compared to an explicitly “Halloween” black, purple, and orange scheme. 

Photo by: Gary Donihoo of f8 Studio

Photos by: f8 Studio

Perhaps the simplest way to incorporate Halloween details in the planning of an event: desserts and favors. Think sugar skull cake toppers and cookies, caramel apples, and pumpkin-flavored sweets.

Trending: Mix and Match Tablescapes

We love sharing new and exciting trends in wedding design that we’ve seen come to life in the planning of our clients’ weddings. As of late, one of those trends has been mismatched decor elements. From mixing colors, patterns and textures in unexpected ways on tabletops, to utilizing varying styles of chairs in ceremony and reception spaces- daring to step outside the traditional ‘matchy-matchy’ lines of event design has brought about stunning and unique wedding ceremonies and receptions. Today on the blog, we’re featuring some of the recent ways we’ve included differing styles and textures in event spaces to bring about unexpectedly cohesive and beautiful As You Wish design schemes. Take a look and be inspired!

Photos by Jennifer Yarbro

This garden reception showcased fun (and bold in color and pattern) linen accompanied by blooms in soft, muted shades of blue and orange. The wooden branches of each floral arrangement added an element of free-form, organic texture to the tablescape.

Photo by Carter Rose of f8 Studio

We loved the turnout of this recent rooftop ceremony, featuring cross back and linen chairs of mismatched colors. The varying chairs brought unique depth to the design of an otherwise clean, industrial space.

Photos by Britney Tarno

The mixed silver, gold, mirrored, and metallic metals of this editorial evoked a really unique sense of glamour. Glossy, painted leaves splashed otherwise elegant arrays of flowers with style.

Photos by Amy Karp

Black and white does not have to mean boring! We decided on varying, busy linen patterns in minimalistic colors for this artistic, creative, and modern design scheme. Fuchsia napkins at each place setting tied together the tropical vessels of flowers and the color-neutral table tops perfectly.

Photos by Jennifer Yarbro

These bud vases, of differing colors, shapes, and sizes, oozed romance.

Photos by Nine Photography

Vintage, embroidered table cloths, each strewn with a different pattern, were perfect for this eclectic, bohemian reception.

 

Real Wedding: Nikaidoh-White

We were feeling all the sweet, romance-inspired, lovey-dovey, walking-on-a-cloud feels when we opened the photo gallery of images from our recent As You Wish wedding at the Dallas Museum of Art. (The rooftop first look photos…swoon!) Amy Karp expertly captured this precious couple’s love for one another and the artistic, sophisticated details that served as a backdrop to their unfolding love story on the day of their wedding.

Our bride, Kimi, is a renowned ballerina and dance professional, so clearly, she has an aptitude for creative expression. The DMA was the perfect setting for this modern, artsy-elegant event. Dr. Delphinium created clean, tropical-inspired floral installations that stood boldly upon mismatched, patterned black and white table linens. To offset the varying black and white patterns of the table tops, color splashed napkins added a lively touch to each place setting. Add in stellar food, a room full of guests who aren’t afraid of the dance floor, and one handsome bride and groom duo to this wedding design mix… we had a magical evening! Check back on our Facebook page later this week for more awe-inspiring pictures!

 

Real Wedding: Spring Hindu-Catholic Wedding

Last week, we shared the first round of photos from one of our all-time favorite wedding weekends to date, kicked off by a fabulous Sangeet party. The multicultural + multiple-day long celebration that took place last Spring, beautifully designed and planned by As You Wish lead planner, Rachel Burt, was memorable in more ways than one.  Unforgettable moments include: a Lamborghini driven INTO the Fairmont hotel by the Groom; the Bride and Groom’s first dance complete with a fireworks display; and the crowd of guests viewing a same-day edit film (created by none other than Hakim Sons Films) of the festivities at the conclusion of the reception. An expert team of vendors brought their A-game to pull off a soiree that was jaw-droppingly gorgeous in terms of design, meticulously executed, and… so. fun.

We’re endlessly thankful to: Bella Flora for bringing our design vision to life with whimsical, elegant, and garden-esque florals that transformed The Fairmont ballroom into a thing of ethereal beauty; Southern Fried Paper and Nicole Black calligraphy for stunning paper products and hand lettering; the JenXFaces team for enhancing the beauty of an already-gorgeous Bride and her bridal party; Jordan Kahn Band and DJ Riz for top-notch entertainment throughout the entirety of the weekend; Pyrotecnico for wow-worthy fireworks displays; Fancy Cakes by Lauren for her handcrafted and beautiful cakes; Hakim Sons Films for their cinematography magic; and finally, Edmonson Weddings for capturing these moments on camera so beautifully! Enjoy this sneak preview of stunning images and stay tuned for the full photo album to go live on our Facebook page later this week!

Real Wedding: A Spring Sangeet

One of the most exciting thrills the As You Wish team experiences in being involved in our couples’ wedding celebrations is the opportunity to bring unique and diversified family backgrounds, religious traditions, and personality-specific details to life. This As You Wish exclusive real event features an extravagant wedding weekend that lead planner, Rachel Burt, craftily designed; the weekend’s festivities paid homage to the bride’s Hindu heritage and the groom’s Catholic background. The Sangeet, a party specific to Indian tradition, took place prior to the couple’s wedding ceremonies and reception. The evening was full of singing, dancing, laughing and mingling among wedding guests! Today, we’re sharing photos from this festive evening, beautifully captured by Edmonson Photography. Be sure to check back next week, too, as we’ll be sharing the details and images from the rest of this As You Wish couple’s fabulous wedding weekend. (Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!)

As You Wish Exclusive: Emergency Kit Must-Haves

While we’re certain we could spend all day, every day, talking about gorgeous weddings, looking at photos from gorgeous weddings, and designing gorgeous weddings… the job that lies in the hands of the As You Wish team as event designers, planners and executers has a lot to do with the not-as-pretty (but equally as vital to the success of an event) details that ensure the day of our clients’ celebration goes off without a hitch. We’ve shared a few of our tips and tricks to running a smooth event previously, see blog post- As You Wish Exclusive: Behind the Scenes at Events; and today, we’re elaborating on one indispensable provision that we never leave behind on a wedding day: the “emergency” kit. Our mindfully stocked kit holds a multitude of little “must-haves” that often come to our client’s rescue in the moments leading up to and after they say “I do.”

For the bridal suite: Bobby Pins, Clear Nail Polish, Cotton Balls, Hair Spray, Ponytail Holders, Q-tips, Nail File + Static Cling Spray

For fresh breath and photo-ready smiles ( & to fight the woes of a potent reception meal): Breath Mints, Cinnamon Gum + Dental Floss

For the wardrobe mishaps: Mini Sewing Kit, Fashion Tape, Safety Pins + a Lint Roller

For overwhelming emotion: Tissues + Tums

For unlit candles in the Ceremony space: Matchless Flame Stick + Tea Lights

For boutonnières and bridesmaid bouquets: Push Pins + Floral Tape

For spilled drinks and pesky stains: Tide To-Go Pen + Shout Wipes

Believe it or not, the list even goes on! With “emergency” kit in hand, all of the unplanned, dreaded mini-crises (that can seem like the sky in falling on a wedding day)  are foreseen and recovered by the AYW team.