Rene'John Designs

Blogging Beautifully For Today’s Brides

Real Wedding – Steven & Sharon

Steven and Sharon


I got a frantic call about six weeks before the nuptials for this Real Wedding couple Steven and Sharon.  The groom called me while I was directing a wedding rehearsal saying that he needed help quickly for his beloved fiance who was at the end of her sanity and he didn’t know what he was going to do.  I met Sharon the next week.  I assured her that I could take everything off her hands and she could begin to refocus on what was important about her special day.  It was a pleasure to actually watch this lovely young woman exhale right in front of my eyes!   

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Steven Devore and Enjoy Beauty!    


Wedding Photography by Dimagery Photography   

Ceremony Decor by Rene’John Designs  


These ushers taught me a thing or two! The photographer caught them in action.












January 15, 2010 Posted by | Real Weddings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Event Lighting



Most people don’t like a cake without the frosting.   Well I say if you leave out lighting at your event, you have definitely left the frosting off of the cake!

Lighting in an event adds ambience, brings attention to and creates the ultimate WOW factor that we are all looking for.  Lighting is definitely a must have, especially when most receptions are held during the evening.

Event lighting should be added to your floral budget.  Many times lighting can be used in place of flowers, such as loads of candlelight which always adds ambience.  Or add lighting to your floral arrangements to bring attention to the arrangements.  It doesn’t make sense to have a beautiful floral arrangement and you can’t see it in a dimly lit room!

When we refer to lighting we are not speaking of just flooding a room with brightness.  We want to manipulate the colors and intensity of the lighting to highlight what we want seen and to hide what we don’t want to see.

There are several ways to do this.

Colorwashing – When colorwashing a room, we want to add color(s) around the circumrence of the room and/or from the ceiling.  This can be done with uplighting from the floor and lighting from above.  The lighting from above is usually done by attaching lighting to existing fixtures on the ceiling.

Pin-Spotting – To highlight your table centerpieces, have your lighting technician add a pin-spot from the ceiling on each of your reception tables.  Pin-spot the cake table, bars, and buffet arrangements as well.  And let’s not forget the band!

Gobos – Gobos are made with gobo projectors that project light in specific designs.  For example you can get a gobo image in a monogram for the dance floor or a focal wall at your reception.   Many lighting companies have hundreds of gobo designs already in stock that they can offer or you can get your own custom gobo to make your event unique. 

You need to be very careful as to the color of lighting that is directed at people.  Use people friendly colors such as pink, lavender, and amber.  Do not aim colors such as blues, greens or yellows at people.

Here is a beautiful example of event lighting, courtesy of Scott Brown Media Group.


January 12, 2010 Posted by | Lighting, The Science of Wedding Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheryl and Company

Sweets play a major role in any wedding.  No longer are wedding cakes the main dessert.  During cocktail hours and wedding receptions across the country, we are seeing sweet stations with candy buffets, cookie buffets, and cheesecake bars.  I know of one bride that had a small room as her “Dessert Cafe”  that was filled with all kinds of candy, cakes, cookies and fine pastries for her guest to enjoy!

With this being said I would like to introduce you to Cheryl and Company.  This company makes gourmet brownies, cakes, and fancy cookies with a signature buttercream icing that will make you think you have died and gone to heaven!  The cookies with buttercream frosting are so fresh.   It’s as if they have just been baked and frosted.  I wonder how they do it! 

You can order cookie baskets as gifts or get a variety of cookies and brownies for the rehearsal dinner.  Also, their delicious cookies can be ordered as individually wrapped favors for your guest.  This is one favor that won’t be thrown away! 

Disclaimer:  Rene’John Designs is not responsible for the amount of calories ingested or weight gained in said client’s pursuit in the acquisition of Cheryl and Company baked goods.  LOL!!  No, really, I’m very serious!

Check out Cheryl and Company and Enjoy Beauty!


January 9, 2010 Posted by | Favors, Tastebud Treats | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Save On Your Wedding Flowers

When planning a wedding you should make it your business to do your research on the price of flowers.  If you choose flowers to be part of your wedding day, which most people getting married do, you will need flowers for yourself and your partner, your attendants, ceremony and reception sites.  This can be very costly depending on the types and volume of your flowers, and also on the style/design of flowers.  The price can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

Here are some of my recommendations on how to save on your wedding flowers!

1.   Purchase your flowers in season.  Even though many flowers can be found year around because of our global floral market, your choices will still be cheaper in season. 

 Here is a list of flowers and the seasons of their availability:



SPRING – Lilac,  Lily-of-the-valley, Peony, Queen Anne’s Lace, Scabiosa

SUMMER – Cockscomb, Cornflower, Dahlia, Daisy, Hydrangea, Lady’s Mantle, Phlox, Queen Anne’s Lace, Scabiosa, Sunflower, Tuberose, Zinnia

FALL – Camellia, Hydrangea, Lady’s Mantle, Sunflower, Tuberose

WINTER  and SPRING – Amaryllis, Anemone, Camellia, Daffodil, Grape Hyacinth, Hyacinth, Ranunculus, Tulip, Sweet Pea,  Viburnum

YEAR-ROUND – Alstroemeria, Aster, Bouvardia, Calla Lily, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Delphinium, Freesia, Gardenia, Gerbera, Gladiolus, Gloriosa Lily, Iris, Larkspur, Lily, Lisianthus, Orchid, Rose, Stephanotis, Stock, Veronica

2.  Don’t use flowers for everything.  For example, if it’s an evening ceremony or an evening reception, use lots and lots of votives and candles of all sizes.  Candles are the least expensive way I know to add lots of ambience without the price. 

3.  Transfer your ceremony flowers to your reception venue if applicable.  As a florist I must point out that this option has to be one that is feasible with your venue locations.  Many brides today are getting married and having their receptions at the same venue which makes it convenient for everyone.  But if your ceremony venue is an hour from your reception venue, this suggestion may not work well for you or your florist!

4.  Use inexpensive flowers.  My suggestions are carnations and chrysanthemums.  They come in many colors.  And chrysanthemums come in many varietals.  Also use a lot of greenery in combination with the flowers.

5.  Use one to three color palettes.  This will allow your florist to order in bulk which cost less.  And one or two types of flowers.  Simple arrangements often make the biggest impact.

Happy Floral Designing!


January 7, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designer Chameleon Chairs


As an event designer there are some elements that I use to create a WOW factor that everyone will be talking about.  One of my favorite design elements is the chameleon chair from the “Chameleon Chair® Collection”.  I absolutely adore these chairs.   The chairs are made for reception tables as well as bar stools for cocktail tables.

When designing a tablescape for my clients, I often begin with the style and size of table.  Then we recommend linens, floral elements, lighting, china, and chair style with or without chair adornments such as covers, sleeves, chair pads, etc.  It is a total package.  The chair selection can be the icing on the cake.

A very easy way to achieve a designer look is to add these chairs to your event!

Feast your eyes on the following pictures displaying some of the many styles of the “Chameleon Chair® Collection”.  The “Chameleon Chair® Collection” can be found at Classic Party Rentals.

The pictures shown are courtesy of and  Please visit these websites for additional styles, colors, custom fabrics and more!  Also, while visiting , check out their BLOG for pictures of events using their chairs.

Enjoy Beauty!

Olive Taffeta Petals Topper and Cushion on Brown Legs

Olive Taffeta Petals Topper and Cushion on Brown Legs
Olive Taffeta Petals Topper and Cushion on Brown Legs

Chloe White Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt

Chloe White Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt

Chloe Silver Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion with Silver Legs

Chloe Silver Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion with Silver Legs

Chloe Black Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt

Chloe Black Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt
Chloe Black Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt



Gold Fanfare with Lime Satin Cushion

Gold Fanfare with Lime Satin Cushion
Gold Fanfare with Lime Satin Cushion

Bella Fleur Mahogany with Zebra Leatherette Cushion

Bella Fleur Mahogany with Zebra Leatherette Cushion
Bella Fleur Mahogany with Zebra Leatherette Cushion

Gold Lace with Chloe Skirt

Gold Lace with Chloe Skirt
Gold Lace with Chloe Skirt

Champagne Dupioni with Champagne Bengaline Cushion

Champagne Dupioni with Champagne Bengaline Cushion
Champagne Dupioni with Champagne Bengaline Cushion

Silver Fanfare with Cranberry Cushion

Silver Fanfare with Cranberry Cushion
Silver Fanfare with Cranberry Cushion

Chloe Red Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion with Silver Legs

Chloe Red Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion with Silver Legs
Chloe Red Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion with Silver Legs

Chloe Silver Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt

Chloe Silver Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt
Chloe Silver Stretch Knit Topper & Cushion & Skirt

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January 4, 2010 Posted by | Chairs & Tables, The Science of Wedding Design | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Letter To My Brides


A new year is upon us!  Many of you have gotten engaged over the holidays and are anxious to begin your wedding plans!  How exciting, a new year and a new life with a partner that you love so much.

I would just like to take this time to speak to you before it gets really crazy in your life and in mine.  I am requesting of my brides this year to prioritize their lives.  Please put what is most important first.  We are living in a time where many of us have never been affected by such a negative economy.  As a country we are dealing with several wars at a time and many of our loved ones are among the fighting men and women defending our country.

When planning a wedding, it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle.  The many money issues, family politics, time constraints, wedding vendors, etc.  If we make a conscious choice to go into the planning of our weddings with what is most important, we can minimize some of the stress involved.

Melody, when Drew asked you to marry him, did he say that you had to wear a $6,000 dollar designer wedding gown or he would never look at you again as his one true love?  Susan, did Blake tell you that those 250 cupcakes had to be perfect when you both knew you had a very limited budget?  Donna, will you delay your wedding once again because the perfect church in your mind is not available again on that date?  Keisha, why would you put someone in your wedding that causes you so much stress?  Isn’t this your wedding? 

By the way, all of the above brides are fictitious.  I just wanted to give you some examples of scenarios that you all may be experiencing.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, this wedding/marriage is about you and your fiance.  Keep this in mind when beginning the most important time of your life!

Honored to be your wedding planner,


December 31, 2009 Posted by | A Letter To My Brides | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blair Phillips Photography – Vendor Spotlight

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Blair Phillips Photography


I want to feel like a “Rock Star”.  Well Blair of  Blair Phillips Photography will grant you your wish!   Photography on the edge with grit and style is how I would describe this photographer’s style.  Each picture is a work of art that delivers so much emotion.  When viewing his work, you look at the faces of his clients and wonder what their thinking as Blair seems to bring out parts of their psyche that they are not even aware of.   I am a huge fan of this photographer and I know that you will love his work as well !

Meet Blair Phillips and Enjoy Beauty!


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RJD:   Blair do you have a background in fashion photography?  Your pictures are sleek, modern and sophisticated like a New York City fashion shoot.

BPP:  I do not have a formal background/training in any particular style of photography.  I am self- taught and I seem to have a natural talent.  However, my photography style has been described as eclectic elegance.  I feel that there are too many photographers photographing the same things.  Blair Phillips Photography  likes to be different!   Our company has been recognized as an international award-winning photography studio.  I am also a national speaker/educator to other photographers.  And we have been featured on a nationally syndicated Lifetime wedding television show.  We are very excited!  

RJD:   How long have you been photographing brides? 

BPP:  We have been in the business for 4 years now and photograph between 40-60 weddings per year and 200+ studio sessions per year.  It’s a lot but we love it!

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RJD:   What would you say is your work ethic?

BPP:  Work hard and play hard!  Giving brides something different and edgy.  Our new studio is a couture studio and we like to give a posh, high-end, unforgettable experience to each client.


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RJD:   Tell us about your favorite wedding experience?

BPP:  Well, we had a bridal couple that planned something pretty spectacular!  The groom was raised by his stepfather, but still had his biological last name from his father.  The bridal couple had their last name legally changed to the stepfather’s last name on their marriage certificate.  So, at the altar after the preacher announced them as bride and groom, he said “I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs.  and the new last name (of the step father).   None of the parents had any idea.  They were blown away…still gives me chill bumps!

RJD:  Wow, that’s amazing!  What a beautiful story!!

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RJD:  Where do you see Blair Phillips Photography  in 5 years?

BPP:  HUGE!!  I expect us to still be in the area, but traveling to major cities as our destination wedding division expands. We hopefully will still be educating other photographers on a national circuit (as I am doing now).   And still giving our bridal couples the experience of a lifetime!

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Local Flava, Vendor Spotlight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Roses and Candlelight Inspiration Video

With the Fall season upon us and Winter around the corner, the thought of romantic candlelight throughout your reception is definitely within reach!  Check out this inspirational video to warm your heart!

Enjoy Beauty!

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Inspiration Videos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Purple Passion Inspiration Video

Purple can be very beautiful as a design element in your wedding!

Enjoy Beauty!


September 28, 2009 Posted by | Inspiration Videos | 2 Comments

REAL WEDDING – Lindsay & Ryan

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Lindsay & Ryan


Real Wedding couple Lindsay & Ryan are beautiful inside and out.  I met Lindsay and her mother at a bridal show and her mother loss my business card.  They went on a hunt for me for about a month before we reconnected.  What an honor it was to participate in this wedding.

Blair Phillips Photography who I absolutely love, took these wonderful shots of the wedding. 

Floral Design by Rene’John Designs.

Enjoy Beauty!


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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Real Weddings | , , , , | 1 Comment