& I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually the world’s biggest fan of summer. It’s 90 degrees in Central Florida almost year round, so I’m just fine without the 100+ degree weather that comes our way in June, July, and August. The exception? Fourth of July!
Backyard cookouts, boating on the lake, and a good ol’ red white and blue party is right up my alley. That’s where the inspiration for this shoot came from; my desire to inspire a sweet, simple, and yet equally fantastic celebration of our Nation’s birthday! This lovely shoot was just featured on Southern Bride and we hope it is full of inspiration for you, too! Here are 8 tips for throwing a wedding or party that will keep you guests talking all year 😉
An invitation is the first thing your guests see in regards to your event – it should speak volumes about who you are and what the celebration will be all about! Small details like place cards or signature drink signs can make for a special keepsake for you and your guests. My favorite detail here was the custom watercolor envelope liner – how cute is that plaid!?
Or a designer. Or a planner. Anyone who works so you can actually enjoy the celebration!
So this rule may not apply to a very small family gathering, but the more guests you add, the more stress that’s bound to add up. Event coordinators are there to make every aspect of the day run smoothly so you don’t have to lift a finger. Let’s face it; planning large parties – especially weddings – is a full time job. So let someone who does this job full-time do it for you! We will clue you in on things you’d never have thought about, coordinate every minute and design every inch of the day, and be the go-to for vendors who you’ve hired so that if anything goes wrong, you won’t even know about it!
I almost always hear from clients I’ve worked with that hiring a coordinator was the best money they spent, because nothing else matters if you aren’t able to enjoy the party you’ve spent so much time and energy planning. I wanted to work with a talented friend in the industry on this theme, so I asked Katie from Big Day Celebrations to coordinate and collaborate on the design of this styled shoot with me – and I enjoyed it so much more than if I had done it all alone!
When planning a 4th of July celebration, one of the first things that comes to mind is food. Our tip? Keep it simple! Grilling out back with your friends and family keeps the formality at bay but elevates the comfort level of your guests. Everyone feels right at home with a delicious plate of home cooked BBQ! Pair it with a basket of fresh fruit that also doubles as a party favor to lessen the stress on you; it doesn’t hurt that the colors look as delicious as the berries taste!
Don’t forget the dessert – red velvet cupcakes topped with buttercream and fresh blueberries or a donut-topped cake keep the party patriotic and polished. Bake a Wish can make all of those incredible dessert dreams come true!
I can’t be the only one who hates doing the dishes. I used to find myself torn when hosting parties, because I really wanted the look and feel of china or all those pretty dishes I see online, but it’s SO much easier to just throw paper plates away, amiright!? Then Dishie Rentals entered my life, and I’m never looking back! You can rent GORGEOUS flatware, dishes, glassware and more that take your table to the next level. Every time I work with a bride when planning her wedding, the comparison in price for boring old white banquet plates their caterer provides vs. renting from Dishie is minuscule, but the difference in design is unbelievable. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, they will deliver, pick up, and WASH your dishes for you! Yes, please and thank you.
Choose a venue – even if it’s your own backyard – that fits your design style. Ask questions! Can they accommodate your number of guests? Do they provide any additional rentals or services? Paradise Cove Orlando was the perfect venue for us, as we wanted to be near the water surrounded by beautiful Florida cypress trees. I think it fit the bill perfectly!
And while you’re at it, rent your tables, chairs, and linens! No one can deny the difference a pretty table makes vs. those old card tables you’ve been pulling out of your garage for parties since 1990. Over the Top Rental Linens and Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals provided the gorgeous furniture and linens that matched our vision perfectly. It was the most elegant picnic we’ve ever been to!
A small family affair might call for a member of your tribe pulling out their best camera, but please please please, put those cell phones away! They only distract you from enjoying the moments you’ve spent all that time and money planning. I’m all about sharing on social media enjoying the little moments with a quick snap on your smartphone; but for special events I’m all about taking intentional photos to capture true memories instead of taking 8374 photos of your dog being cute at the party. Ya feel me?
For larger events and weddings, it will be more than worth your while to hire a photographer. Find someone who matches your style with their images! Nikki Ogden was a perfect fit for Katie and I, as we drool over light & airy pictures and she is ah-mazing at capturing them! She’s so sweet and genuine too – a perfect fit for clients who want to feel comfortable all day long!
Well, in so many words 😉 Whether you’re throwing a casual neighborhood fireworks celebration or a formal military wedding, guests like to come prepared. Is it a pool party? Don’t forget to pack the swimsuit. A black tie wedding? Don’t forget to include that info on your wedding website or stationery! It’s never fun being the guest who came unprepared, so be sure you communicate it clearly if you have a preference.
This gorgeous knee-length dress was from Bridal Gallery of Orlando and makes the perfect statement for a warm summer wedding in Florida. Our groom wore his own patterned grey suit without a tie to keep the wedding attire a little more relaxed. How beautiful did these two look together!?
I’m all about finding ways to budget for any event, but if you can make it happen – get fresh flowers! Flowers by Lesley is one of our favorite florists, and you can see why! Every arrangement she creates is like a work of art. You don’t have to go overboard – even these sweet and simple bud vases make a huge statement on the tables. Ask your planner or florist what the biggest bang for your buck will be – that’s what we’re here for!
We hope you have fun using some of these tips! No matter what type of party you’re planning, focus first and foremost on surrounding yourselves with people you truly love. Everything else tends to fall into place. Special thanks to the amazing vendors who made this beautiful day a reality!
Design/Calligraphy: Two Peas Designs
Design/Coordination: Big Day Celebrations
Photography: Nikki Ogden Photograph
Tableware: Dishie Rentals
Rentals: Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals
Linens: Over the Top Rental Linens
Floral: Flowers by Lesley
Venue: Paradise Cove Orlando
MUAH: Studio 122 Salon & Abstract One Cosmetics
Cake: Bake a Wish Cake and Sweets
Video: B Tapes
Bridal gown: Bridal Gallery of Orlando
Models: Brad & Sarah