Starting From Scratch : Behind the Scenes of Wedding Planning

Step-by-Step Wedding Design

It's pretty common to be overwhelmed with wedding planning.  Even the most low-key brides get asked about napkin color preferences or the hues of pink they'd like their roses to be.  There are SO many little details to consider, but one of the best parts about being event designers is that we can help you tackle a lot of these different aspects all under one roof, cutting out some of the confusion and stress.  With over a decade in wedding design, we've got a well-oiled machine of a system to make sure your day goes off without a hitch.

Today, we're providing an example of a former bride's wedding planning process, from Day One to Day I Do.  Keep reading for some information on what to expect when you book with A Garden Party, making wedding planning a little less overwhelming and a lot more fun!

1. Pinterest is your friend

Pinterest is arguably the greatest tool for modern day wedding planning.  We encourage our clients to add to their Pinterest boards even before our first meeting - it is the easiest way to get an idea on size, scale, colors and themes AND to make sure we are all on the same page.  Visuals are what our entire career is based on, so it's incredibly important to use this tool to your advantage! 

 Former bride's Pinterest board

Former bride's Pinterest board

2. First Meeting

After contacting us to schedule a meeting, you'll receive a consultation form to ask about the technicalities of your wedding.  When/where is it, how many bridesmaids' bouquets will you need, boutonnieres, church flowers, etc.  We'll ask for the Pinterest link to your board (so make sure it isn't private!) and your budget and other starter points to see if we're a good fit. 

Our first meeting more or less dives into the specifics of the consultation form and gives us a feel for which elements are the most important to you and what you wouldn't mind skipping over.  We definitely encourage bringing pictures for what speaks to you.  Sometimes there are really dramatic elements that may be out of your budget, but we can work with you to achieve similar looks and key factors on a smaller scale.

 Our bride's inspiration picture

Our bride's inspiration picture

 The final product!

The final product!

All of the information we discuss is plugged into our event-design specific website, Ularas.  This site allows us to add our notes, links, pictures and contracts.  We send you a direct link to your personalized Ularas file for updated approvals, signatures and even payments, so that both parties are looking at the exact same plans and details. 

 Sample Ularas form

Sample Ularas form

3. Venue Walk-Through 

If we've never been to your venue before, 90% of the time we will schedule a venue walk through.  We'll go through different areas and discuss what you're visualizing, and make suggestions as we go along.  For elements such as floral chandeliers and ceremony alters, this gives us a great idea as to what we're tackling the day of an event.  It's also important to us to meet the staff that works at your venue and figure out loading/unloading to make sure that your big day runs as smoothly as possible.

If we HAVE been to your venue before, we'll virtually "walk" through with you during our first and second meeting or phone consult.  We'll start with the ceremony and go through the timeline of your day, mentally picturing the space and adding notes to your file to make sure every corner is covered. 

Below are the pictures we took during a walk-through for our bride, Ashley, at Bonnet Island Estate.  The right column are her wedding photos from Ting Yi Studio.

 Picture of windows during walk-through

Picture of windows during walk-through

 Flowers added to the window sills really made the room pop.

Flowers added to the window sills really made the room pop.

 Before...

Before...

 ...and After!

...and After!

 Before...

Before...

 ...and After!

...and After!

4. Finalizing Details 

Your second and final meeting with us takes place about 6 weeks before your event date, so after this, most of the big decisions have already been made.  This is the time to tie up any loose ends and smaller details - for example, we may have already decided what linens and centerpieces you have, but now you should know your final table count to know exactly how much of each item you'll need.  Once these numbers are all squared away, you'll be able to make your final payment. 

We understand that at this point, you probably have multiple vendors scheduling meetings and requests, so we always ask for a virtual signature on updated contracts to make sure that you can be completely clear on what we're delivering and to rid ourselves of any miscommunication or confusion.  

 Here's a map of our bride's cocktail hour that we had during planning.

Here's a map of our bride's cocktail hour that we had during planning.

 Here's the cocktail hour in action! 

Here's the cocktail hour in action! 

5. The Week Of

Our shop is closed on Mondays, so on Tuesday our first flower orders of the week come in.  We order from a variety of different growers to make sure we always have the best!  We have a checklist of the "recipes" we have for each client, and as we unload and prep the flowers (snipping ends, fresh water) we make sure that all of your flowers have arrived.

Usually this prep works takes most of Tuesday and Wednesday, along with pulling all the other supplies for your wedding - the candles, vases, linens, and other decor items are separated by event.  On Thursday we start the fun part, designing!  If we're going to be working late on a Friday night, there's no better way to work than knee deep in beautiful flowers alongside the rest of the team.  

 Typical Friday night.

Typical Friday night.

6. The Big Day

There is something so satisfying in watching our trucks get loaded up with flowers and rentals and head off to an event.  It's like sending our children off to prom every weekend!  Each truck is checked, double checked and then triple checked to make sure all of your supplies are in order.  Each team member also has a copy of your wedding order and after delivering your bouquet and personals, will go to the ceremony and reception sites to start with the transformation! We take a million pictures and if boss ladies Dawn and Mary aren't physically at an event, they're always in touch with the employees out on delivery to answer any questions that make come up.  

wedding day flowers
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Ready to get planning?!

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