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Lighting Design 101

For many brides, the first time “lighting design” has ever entered their vocabulary is upon beginning planning of their special day.  It’s important to get an idea of some of the lighting basics that can truly make a statement on your wedding day. Lighting is something that creates a mood and an ambiance.  Lighting makes everything look better- your floral, your cake, your venue and even your guests!

Here are a few basic terms to help you when considering different lighting options:

Pinspots- A pinspot is a focused beam of light that shines directly on your centerpieces, your cake, etc.  Pinspotting is very important when choosing darker colored linens.  Since darker colors recede in most ballrooms, it’s important to highlight the floral or linens with pinspotting.  Pinspotting is also helpful if your venue has soaring high ceilings.

Gobos- A gobo is a circular stencil that is put over a light to project a design or pattern.  A neat way to personalize your wedding is to project your monogram and wedding date onto the dance floor with a gobo.

Uplighting- Uplighting is a blanket of color that is washed up the walls to change the tone of the room.  Choose your colors wisely!  Green might be too much, whereas amber warms the room and looks great on all skin tones.

LED- Short for light-emitting diodes.  This type of lighting is currently popular for weddings because it uses much less electricity and do not get hot, unlike regular, incandescent lights.  This type of lighting is great for color changes and vibrant colors.

Again, these are just some of the basics in lighting design.  We would love to consult with you and offer more specific suggestions for your event!

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Floral Consultation 101 – Be prepared!

You are a busy bride and you need to make the most of each wedding appointment!  Here are some tips from AGD to make the most of your wedding floral consultation:

1.  Bring examples- Find photos from magazines or websites that showcase different elements that you love- color, style, texture.  This part of your wedding planning is so visual, so it is important that you bring visual aids to help get on the same page with your designer. Pinterest is a great place to gather your inspirations!

2.  Compromise- It’s best to be somewhat flexible with flower types.  Some flowers are limited to specific seasons, while others tend to be on the pricey side.  There are types of flowers that are very delicate and aren’t the best options for bouquets.  Your designer can offer the best suggestions that match your budget and your style.

3.  Don’t be budget shy- Come to the appointment with some kind of budget range.  We can guide you to designs that fit in your budget if you share this information with us.  We will work hard to come up with the style you are looking for at a price that makes you feel comfortable.

We are available Monday – Saturday for consultations.  Contact us to set up an appointment- 312.563.1306.

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Bouquet Toss Meaning and Alternatives

As special event florists, we ask our brides during the consultation whether or not they will need a petite bouquet to toss during their reception.  The custom is that all the single women gather on the dance floor and the one who catches the boquet, as the tradition goes, will be the next one to be married.

This tradition grew out of the 14th century European idea that brides and all that they touched were lucky.  Wedding guests would actually chase after the bride, tearing at her dress, hoping to take home a small good luck charm.  The bride finally decided to stop the madness and prevent the guests from bothering her on her special day- and the bouquet toss was born!

Some brides are opting out of this tradition and incorporating their own alternative version into their own weddings.  One idea is to give this bouquet to a special friend or relative as a symbol of your gratitude their support over the years.   We had another bride who was going to present this bouquet to her sister who was recently engaged and who was going to be the next in the family to be married.

My favorite idea is the Anniversary Dance.  All the married couples come onto the dance floor and begin dancing to a song.  The DJ or band leader will eliminate the couples depending on the amount of time they have been married.  The last couple on the dance floor is the couple that has been married the longest and the bouquet would then be presented to them as an acknowledgement to the longevity of their vows.

It’s okay to put your own twist on bridal traditions.  Make them your own!

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Focal Pieces and Your Cocktail hour

While most of your budget and attention should be spent on your guest table centerpieces, a stunning focal piece will make a dramatic and breathtaking first impression for your guests.  A wonderful place to do this is on your escort card table during the cocktail hour.  Since this area will mainly consist of a bar and some cocktail tables, a lush and creative piece will really make an impact.

Why not have your cocktail hour decor different from your reception decor?  This is a fun way to kind of throw your guests off and keep them guessing all evening.  One of my favorite weddings had a hot pink and lime green cocktail hour, only to move to a “preppy” navy and yellow reception.  Don’t be afraid to get creative!  Give us a call and we can help!

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