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: All The Rave, Foil & Metallic Design Details

It’s that time of year: glitzy and metallic details are unfailingly “all the rave” for New Year’s Eve party attire. We must admit, we’re huge fans of this annual trend in style. We’re also huge fans of how this trend has translated in wedding design, inspiring our brides to choose stationery and invitation suites, decor accents, and bridal accessories that dazzle. In the spirit of this sparkly season, we’re sharing some of our favorite elements from past AYW weddings that incorporate foil and metallic design details beautifully. Pour a glass of bubbly and take a look!

 

 

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)

Trending: Pantone Color of the Year 2016

For the first time ever, Pantone has released TWO colors of the year for 2016! Lead designer, Rachel Burt, created a cinderella-esque wedding design inspiration page- showcasing “Rose Quartz” and “Serenity.” We can’t wait to see how these colors are translated throughout the wedding industry in the upcoming months!

 

Life of a Bride: Must-Have Items On Your Registry

We could blame it on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, our ever-growing Christmas wish lists… whatever it may be, we’re itching to get to the nearest mall and exchange the contents of our wallets for pretty (and practical) new additions to our homes. In place of a shopping trip, we’ve got our eyes all over the “What’s New” pages of our favorite online retailers. We spotted five unique, “can’t live without” items we’re suggesting to our brides-to-be for their gift registries. Scroll on + add these items to your registry (or your wish list for Santa- either way!)

1. Rattan Picnic Basket for Two

Source: Pottery Barn

2. Waterford Colleen Encore Crystal Glassware

Source: Neiman Marcus 

3. Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker

Source: Willams-Sonoma

4. Libations Bar Cart

Source: Crate and Barrel 

5. Doma Flatware

Source: Anthropologie 

As You Wish Exclusive: Giving Thanks

In the spirit of the fast-approaching holiday season, we’ve been reflecting on our recent months… packed full of beautifully unique weddings, incredible partners within the industry who have helped to bring our wedding-design dreams to fruition, supportive family members and friends, and clients who have trusted us with their most special day- making it possible for us to do what we love. Our hearts swell with gratitude! We so adore this time of year!

We put together a little inspiration page of colors, decor elements, blooms, and the like that we’re crushing on right now. Grab yourself a piping hot cup of your beverage of choice and enjoy…

Wishing you a very happy holiday season of fully bellies + full hearts! XOXO, the As You Wish team

Trending: Hanging Centerpieces

Clearly, as wedding designers, we have a love affair with reception decor elements: mixing and matching colors and textures, patterned linens, surprising floral arrangements; an eclectic mix of stacked chargers, dinner plates, cloth napkins, and place cards; intermingling dining chairs with lounge-style furniture… all of the above set our little event-designing hearts ablaze! So naturally, bringing any of these elements to new heights (literally), excites us.

Today, we’re talking a wedding design look we love: hanging centerpieces. Yep, an ascension of standard tabletop floral arrangements, suspended above tables to create a whole new level of gorgeous event decor. The aesthetic that hanging centerpieces create is magical, ethereal, and awe-inspiring. We’ve found it to be a way of bringing the dreamy romance of an outdoor garden into a luxurious reception space. Take a look at some of our recent favorite photos of hanging centerpieces from our brides’ real weddings…

Photo by Perez Weddings

Photo by Edmonson Weddings

Photo by Sarah Kate Photography

Photos by Edmonson Weddings

All of the above floral installations were created by our friends at Bella Flora of Dallas!

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.

 

Trending: Photo Booth Backdrops

 Something we love about the process of designing an event: there is always an opportunity to add beauty to a space in creative and innovative ways. In fact, one of our As You Wish ‘mantras’ is to leave no detail of a wedding “untouched.” The images that are currently inspiring us depict above-ordinary photo booth backdrops. Providing a stunning backdrop for guests to have their own photo snapped at an event is another way to play up the awe-factor of a wedding’s design scheme. Scroll through some of these backdrop ideas that have our design-wheels turning:

 

1. Frame it in floral:

Bright blooms aligned with the event’s floral design always translate beautifully on camera. Be it an entire wall of arranged flowers, or an asymmetrical installation of garland suspended over draped fabric- a bounty of floral does no wrong.

Image via modwedding.com

Image via WedLuxe

Image via OhMyWeddingPlanners

 2. Pretty paper: These installations of oversized paper flowers, pinwheels, and pennant flags are statement-makers.

 

3. Say it in lights: The ambiance and romance that comes with strands of twinkle lights and lit candles is undeniable. Just make sure your photographer is prepared to adjust the settings on their camera to accurately capture the beauty!

Images via praisewedding.com

4. Lounge. Furniture: Our obsession with luxurious lounge furniture is unmatched. Hung chandeliers and trendy, tufted sofas add instant elegance to a photograph.

Image by Jose Villa Photography

5. Spell it out: Oversized lettering- be it in the form of bold helium balloons or sparkly cut out alphabetical characters- is on trend; especially for the bride who’s taste is on the rustic side.

Image via Wedding Chicks

Trending: This One’s For The Boys

We’ve worked with our fair share of beautiful, blushing brides and their maids during our years as wedding professionals. As a result, we love talking bridal style: gowns and necklines, veils and bouquets, jewels and trains (oh my!). However, we need not neglect an equally important asset to any successful wedding: the groom and his men. Like all other wedding details, design and personal style is enormously important in considering what a groom and his guys will walk down the aisle wearing. So today, to offer up some men’s style inspiration, we’re featuring some of our dapper As You Wish grooms and their teams of groomsmen. Be it a suit and tie or a tuxedo, classic black and white or coordinating accent colors, or men in uniform- these guys were certainly dressed for their occasions.

To bring in coordinating shades of peach present in the wedding’s design scheme, these groomsmen wore colored vests and ties, while the groom remained unique in classic black.

At an elegant affair that paid homage to the couple’s love for sports in the form of subtle personal details, this group of men donned their favorite baseball team’s logo.

Photos by: Sara + Rocky Photography, Jenny Martell, Bradford Martens, Edmonson Weddings, Mary Beth Tyson, Christographer, Andrew Chan Weddings, f8 Studio, Perez Weddings, A Guy and A Girl Weddings, Geoff Duncan, & Joseph Mark Photography.