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.

 

   

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

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January 15, 2010 Posted by | Real Weddings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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!

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

A Letter To My Brides

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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,

Rene’

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

  A LETTER TO MY BRIDES

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Diet woes of brides is nothing new.   Who doesn’t want to look their best on their wedding day?  But when a bride loses her life because of an inappropriate diet, we should all be questioning the quality of diet information that is being communicated over the airways, in books and over the internet.

Thatsfit.com reports today that Samantha Clowe, a 34 year old woman that was preparing  for her wedding went on a crash diet that may have contributed to her recent death.  She loss more than 40lbs in 11 weeks on the controversial Lighter Side Diet .  This diet provides you with a little over 500 calories a day!  She was literally starving herself.  To get an idea on what the calorie intake should be for women, please click on “Calories”.

To all of my brides out there, DIETS don’t work.  I know this because I have struggled with my weight as well.  What we have to do is exercise and eat properly.  Is this hard to do for some of us, oh yes!  But there is no other way around this.  Do not let the authors of these crash diets tell you otherwise.  You have to move more and limit the fat, processed foods and sugars.  Unfortunately, we want it quickly and quickly will not keep it off or assure you good health.

A spokesperson from the company Lighter Life claims no responsibility and stated:  “We were very sad to hear the news about Samantha Clowe, but Ms. Clowe was still clinically obese and her health may have already been compromised even though her BMI  went from 37 to 32 at the time of her death.

Home Office pathologist Dr Alfredo Walker said a post-mortem examination failed to establish a cause of death, adding that it may be related to her low calorie diet and weight loss. 

Samantha Clowe didn’t want to be a “fat bride”, but now she will not be a bride at all because of a desperate attempt to fit into the “perfect bride” perception.   Ladies when embarking upon this journey, please remember what is important.  Your future life with the one you love, not an outside perception, image of what you think you have to look like on your wedding day. 

For more information on this story click on “Thatsfit”.

Love Yourself!

Rene’

September 10, 2009 Posted by | A Letter To My Brides, Botticelli Brides | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vendor Spotlight

GAIL CIRIELLO

Who’s your cake boss?  My cake boss is Gail Ciriello of Cheesecake Etc. .  I have known Gail for about seven years now and what most impresses me about Gail is her tireless work ethic.  She works very hard at what she does and I have watched her business grow as a result.  Gail cares for her clients and wants them to have the best on their special day.  Her cakes are amazing! And they taste as good as they look!

 

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Peninsula Yacht Club - Charlotte, NC

 

Meet Gail Ciriello and Enjoy Beauty!

 

RJD:  How long have you been making these amazing wedding cakes?

Gail:  I have been making wedding cakes for eleven years.

 

RJD:  Why does cake baking give you so much joy?

Gail:  I grew up in an Italian family where we lived to eat instead of eating to live.  Baking was a daily occurence but the sweet stuff was a special treat.

 

RJD:  Do you have a nightmare story about a wedding cake that you totally turned around in time for the wedding?  How did you handle it?

Gail:  Anyone who has been in business this long has at least one nightmare story to share.  My worst was when I had to make a delivery in downtown Charlotte for a Friday wedding.  The cake was a huge 5-tier with white icing and intricate dark brown scrolls piped all over it.    A city bus pulled out in front of me and when I hit my brakes , the sections of the cake slid into one another.  So much for my  beautiful brown scrolls.  As I often transport my cakes in sections and assemble them onsite, I was prepared with extra icing for such an emergency.  So when I pulled into the parking deck of the venue, I set up my delivery cart right there in the parking deck.  I scraped off all the ruined icing and re-iced the cake.  When I delivered it, it was perfect and the ordeal was invisible to my bride!

 

RJD:  How do you help your brides with the cake design process?

Gail:  I meet with all my brides for an inital consultation that includes both a tasting and design session.  I ask her questions about the venue, the style of the wedding, the food they are serving, the time, and what she wants her “dream” cake to look like.  Many brides already have definite ideas.  For those that don’t, I have tons of pictures for them to look through to get them inspired.  I try to make each cake unique for that bride and her special day.  I am NOT a fan of “cookie cutter” cakes.  Basically – I LISTEN!

 

RJD:  In this economy how do you work with budget conscious brides?

Gail:  There are many ways to work with a budget conscious bride.  We can limit the flavor and filling choices, make the cake a bit less extravagant or the most popular way is to create a smaller cake that is exactly what the bride wants and supplement the extra servings with a sheet cake.

 

RJD:  What do you feel is your best contribution to your couples?

Gail:  I am passionate about what I do!!  I believe that most bakeries can make a cake look good but not all can make them taste good too!  Brides do not have to settle for one or the other.    When a bride books with me, she can be confident that her cake will be made from scratch and that I understand exactly what she wants.  I bake the cake AND decorate it so nothing is lost in communication with other employees.  The buck starts and stops with me! 

 

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August 25, 2009 Posted by | Local Flava, Tastebud Treats, Vendor Spotlight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment