Photo Credit: Lexie Williams Photography (top left) | 430 Studios (bottom left) | Durling Photography (right)

Garland centerpieces aren’t going away any time soon. Many of our 2017 clients already have cascading greens worked into their floral budgets to get these textured beauties on their reception tables. We love the look too, but know that it comes at a price! Thanks to one of our favorite florists, Shaya over at Crystal Springs, you can become a garland guru as you plan your wedding florals.

We’ve taken some of Pinterests’ most popular photos for wedding garlands and given you the 411 here!

SEEDED EUCALYPTUS TABLE RUNNER

Perhaps the most requested greenery in the world of weddings, seeded eucalyptus has graced many of our tables.

The pros: It doesn’t have to be hand-tied. Your florist can save some time (and money!) by laying these stems loosely on your tables because they have nice height. Eucalyptus is notorious for hanging in a naturally beautiful way. Some greens just don’t drape like these!

The cons: Eucalyptus doesn’t grow well in wedding season. Most florists can order stems whenever you need them, but the quality suffers June-August because they grow in sub-tropical regions.

Price point: $8.50/foot for garland

CASCADE FLORAL GARLAND

Oh me, oh my this runner is gorgeous! You can assume adding flowers comes at a price with garlands. And having flowers isn’t the only thing making this garland a pricey one to recreate, it is the type of flowers that will alter the price as well. The white orchids are a very expensive tropical flower. There are also a lot of hydrangea in this piece, which need a lot of water to make it through an event. Anytime you have this many flowers, the florist is no longer just wiring the garland together, they have to create a base with a water source.

Tight budget? Try popping in some flowers that don’t require as much care and can be used with floral water tubes. Shaya suggests something from the mum family instead of the orchids or hydrangea.

Garland Price Point: $90/foot

SIMPLE GREENS TABLE RUNNER

This runner is made of a hand-tied lemon leaf foliage. Lemon leaf is a common option for a brighter green to add as a centerpiece. This particular garland is quite thick, but if you thinned it out a bit, you could get the look for around $6 a foot.

Add some color: Shaya suggests using Wax Flower in these greenery runners. It does fairly well out of water and is a great alternative to Baby’s Breath.

Greenery alternatives: Some other affordable greens you can utilize in table garlands are Plumosa, Ruscus, and Spring Rye

RUSTIC ARCH GARLAND

This photo is popping up everywhere! The gorgeous arch is the same base as one of our rental arches, so we have seen a lot of clients recreate their own version of it. We love it for so many reasons, but this concoction might have some pitfalls for outdoor summer weddings.

The Hydrangea Dilemma:  Hydrangeas are a great flower because they are full and typically affordable. (Plus they come in gorgeous colors!) But these are probably the last flower we would advise you to put in the beating sun in the middle of summer. Hydrangeas need A LOT of water to make it through the day and the sun doesn’t help that wilt factor.

Try instead: Dahlias, Football Mums, Wax Flower for filler

Price point for this look: $17/foot for Olive Branch foliage garland (approx. 17 feet in this photo), $650 for floral focal point

Our advice to all couples hoping to incorporate garlands into their wedding design: coordinating is better than matching when it comes to event styling. Not every centerpiece should match perfectly. Try doing a cluster of bud vases on some tables, garland on others, and a large floral piece as a third option. Not only is this visually appealing, but it allows you to splurge on certain tables and save on others!

We are excited to see all the ways our lovely couples incorporate garlands into their designs in 2017!

 

We are lucky to be a part of so many share-worthy wedding moments and have compiled an exclusive list of our ‘Best of 2015!’ Enjoy our look back as we revisit a wonderful year, and fill yourself with wedding inspiration for upcoming I-Do’s – both in design, and exposure to some great wedding vendors!

 

Best Dressed Bridal Party

Bridal Parties

Photo Credit: Stoffer Photography (left two photos), Durling Photography

Katie + Brian’s whole crew

Dress Designer: Bill Levkoff in petal pink

Suits: JoS A. Banks

Blush for the girls and gunmetal for the guys. We love the way all of the girls wore floor-length gowns but with different necklines. This timeless look painted a gorgeous wedding on the shores of Lake Michigan.

 

Bride Allison’s Maids

Why we love it: A design that is different for each girl and shows off their own personality and style is something we love to see! Bride Allison gave her maids just two restrictions- that their dress should be long dress and the base color needed to be black. From there, the girls collaborated to buy dresses that all worked together, even though they were slightly mismatched. Bride Allison’s friend, who owns The Heartshape Hotel in NYC, also made custom floral headpieces for each of the girls. They worked together to choose specific faux flowers that would work with each dress and added a perfect bit of drama to the style.

 

Bride Rachael’s Maids

Designer: Allure Bridal

Why we love it: Bride Rachael wanted to find bridesmaids dresses that were unique and added some color to the otherwise natural outdoors backdrop of their venue. We love how vibrant they are and the amount of color they added to the decor, floral design, and bride’s dress!

 

Most Creative Dessert

Kit + Ryan

Johnson Collage

Photo Credit: Studio Finch Photography

Vendor: Uptown Cakery, Michigan City, IN

Why we love it: It’s a no-brainer. Have you ever seen a wedding cake push up? An old-school treat with a super fun, entertaining twist for guests to enjoy! We overheard guests talking about Kit and Ryan’s cake display from the moment they walked into the reception. That moment is exactly what it’s all about – creating a talking piece that’s memorable AND delicious – a perfect combination.

 

Sharon + Jim

Ice Cream Cart

Photo Credit: Amy Carroll Photography

Vendor: Love’s Ice Cream

Why we love it: Sharon and Jim thought out-of-the-box for their wedding dessert in order to offer guests vegan and organic options. This adorable cart came from Grand Rapids and was a fabulous addition to to their wedding reception with vegan gelato and grass-fed dairy ice cream.

 

 

Most Adorable Cake

Madison + Kevin

 

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Photo Credit: Lexie Williams Photography

Vendor: Collab with Martin’s Supermarkets and one very creative family friend!

Why we love it: Madison and Kevin took the simplicity of a tiered white wedding cake completed with adorned fresh flowers and added in a big punch of sparkle to make that cake shine even brighter! The bottom three layers were ordered from Martin’s and the gold glitter tier (along with flowers) were the additions made by friends! Our team is still chatting about how super fun this cake was.

 

Most Original Tables Numbers

Grace + Dave

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Photo Credit: Camille Lydia Photography

Why we love it: Grace and Dave were so creative in designing their table number displays! They took a soft watercolor scheme and paired it with beautiful sea urchin shells and groovy straws to create a stand for their table numbers!

 

 

Best Wedding Favors

Ashley + Brad

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Why we love it: Ashley and Brad took miniature wine bottles and added in a personalized wine label – complete with their names, wedding date, a sweet little Thank You tag, and location of the I Do’s! The bottles matched the theme so nicely, they looked like part of the decor – a fabulous way to incorporate wedding favors!

 

 

Best Escort Card Display

Kate + Andy

Billman Collage

Why we love it: With groom Andy being a super passionate soccer player himself, it was natural to incorporate a dash of masculinity and such a personal element into their wedding design. This display knocked our socks off – complete with a soccer field, referees, flags, and soccer balls, each guest represented a soccer player on the field. For more ideas on how to infuse a masculine touch into your wedding design, check out this blog post!

 

Honorable Mentions

Escort Card

Photo Credit: Cassandra Eldridge Photography (1), 430 Studios (2)

Jacki + Chris

Why we love it: Jacki and Chris said “I love you” to each other for the first time at a winery in Michigan and have made many dear memories in Michigan ever since. Their escort cards were placed into wine corks and glued to beach stones they had found on the beach the summer of the wedding. It was a super meaningful touch and was perfectly displayed.

 

Jenn + Ben

Why we love it: We always fear about paper escort cards blowing away in the wind at outdoor venues. Both having careers in the events industry, Jenn and Ben took in every last detail – including the weather! They sourced an old mahogany door and strung their escort cards on display. It was easy for guests to grab their seating assignment, and the display was a unique feature to the cocktail space.

 

Erin + Jeff

Why we loved it: Erin and Jeff took a unique approach to using a door for escort cards. We loved how they placed their menu at the bottom with the chalkboard/chickenwire combination. The door was put at the entrance at Mill Creek Barn, where guests knew what they are eating as soon as they arrive!

 

 

Guestbook Display

Melissa + Jed

Boulden Escort Cards

Why we love it: Melissa and Jed displayed vintage postcards from across the world on unique racks for their escort cards. Not only was this an adorable display that gave the table some height, but it was also full of meaning. Melissa and Jed enjoy traveling. And by that we mean they LOVE to travel – they took a two month honeymoon to travel the world, from Italy to Indonesia and everywhere in between!

 

 

Best Floral Design

Colleen + Jeff

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Photo Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography

Vendor: Foraged Floral

Why we love it: The floral design of mixed colors and greenery across the room felt so organic and natural inside Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn. We also love when varying heights are utilized in floral design (not every table should look the same!) It wasn’t your cookie cutter, perfectly placed arrangement – which is what we love! Colleen and Jeff’s floral designer, Tiffany, with Foraged Floral, describes the style as fresh, natural, even a little unruly. She use a generous mix of big, bold blooms, smaller textural elements, and rich, vibrant greens to create a look that is styled, yet effortless. Job well done!

 

Honorable Mentions

Floral Design

Photo Credit: Erica Freeman Photography (1) ,Durling Photography (2) Studio 6.23 (3)

Brian + Amber

Vendor: Rhinestones and Roses

Why we love it: Brian and Amber got married at The Vineyard at 12 Corners and wanted to incorporate the winery piece into their florals. We love the boutonnieres that Rhinestones and Roses created as an incorporation with that theme. The dark succulents in Amber’s bouquet match the gray-blue hues throughout their wedding theme. We love seeing new colors!

 

Rachael + Brian

Vendor: New Creations Flower Co.

Why we love it: With our popular twig ceremony arbor up for rent, many couple choose to doll it up with fabric, florals, or garland. What makes Rachael and Brian’s arch design a stand out piece were the bright colors set against the ceremony backdrop of woods, apple trees and the bright summer sky. 

 

Jennifer + Harold

Vendor: Sugar Field Flowers

Why we love it: Nix the itchy corsage and make it a ring! Need we say more?

 

 

Best Centerpieces

Rachael + Brian

Formas Collage

Photo Credit: Durling Photography

Vendor: New Creations Flower Co.

Why we love it: Their reception venue, the beautiful Vineyard at 12 Corners, is surrounded by vines, apple trees, and a wooded perimeter. So, bride Rachael was inspired to put color into the mix and bring in something that screamed romance. Statement-making dahlias in a mix of dark pink, light pink and pops of red = the epitome of romance. Rachael and Brian outsourced all of their candle holders from over 15 thrift stores in Chicago and collected about 100 candle holders. You can never have enough candles on tables! Accents of gold tones adorned the tables, adding the perfect pop of dimension in the tablescape.

Honorable Mentions

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Photo Credit: Camille Lydia Photography (1 & 3), Cassandra Eldridge Photography (2), 

Erica + David

Vendor: Stella Event Design (floral design)

Why we love it: This wedding was the definition of classic! White linens, white florals, large pillar candles in glass vases, and mahogany chiavari chairs to top it off!

 

Ashley + Brad

Vendor: Tara Florist

Why we love it: Height! We rarely see centerpieces with such height – and was a great change of pace! (Tip: Make sure tall vases are always weighted heavily or risk having wind whisk them off the table!) The arrangements were floral balls filled of lush two-toned hydrangeas, roses and succulents the size of our hands!

 

Jacki + Chris

Vendor: En Gedi Floral (floral design)

Why we love it: We adored seeing the mixture of natural elements and lush flowers on the tablescapes. Jacki and Chris paired their color scheme of blush, gold, and navy with candles and lace runners to complete the look, all atop 1928’s Farmhouse Napa Tables. The flowers were individually selected and grown by a dahlia farm in Hamilton and made an unbelievably gorgeous statement on the tables with their bright color and large size.

 

Best Wedding Dress

Bride Allison

CollagePhoto Credit: Stoffer Photography

Designer: Karen Willis Holmes, called Lina.

Boutique: Soho NYC

Why we love it: Bride Allison looked like perfection in this classic, slim fit gown. The dress was made of two pieces – the main dress plus a detachable train, which added the drama they wanted for the first part of the night yet was comfortable once the dancing began!

Honorable Mentions:

Dress Collage

Photo Credit: Ryan Bakerink Photography (1), Jennifer Mayo Studios (2),Cassandra Eldridge Photography (3),  Durling Photography (4)

 

Bride Meghan

Designer: Theia

Boutique: BHLDN

Why we love it: Meghan looked like a goddess in this exquisitely beaded sheath dress. We loved that the tulle skirt could come off and double as a different dress! (Photo #1)

Bride Mattie

Designer: Waters Toos

Boutique: A Joyful Occasion in Naperville, IL.

Why we love it: Bride Mattie put it best, “this gown is elegant, ethereal, and classy while still having a little va-va-voom!” Not only was the look perfection, but Mattie said the gown was more comfortable than she could have ever imagined. Comfort is key – don’t buy a dress you can’t dance in! (Photo #2)

 

Bride Jacki

Designer: Ines Di Santo

Boutique: Dimitras Bridal Couture in Chicago, IL

Why we love it: This bombshell lace strapless gown had a blush pink underlay that gave the dress so much texture! It took a traditional strapless gown and added in countless layers of detail and design! The back of the dress was just as much beauty as the front! (Photo #3)

 

Bride Rachael

Designer: Enzoani Isla

Boutique: The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL

Why we love it: So outside of the box and a different look than what most brides pick! Bride Rachel looked so elegant in this deep sweetheart, lace illusion neckline and back. So simply perfect.(Photo #4)

 

 

 

Best Bridal Hair/Makeup

Bride Melissa

Zimmerman Hair:Makeup

Photo Credit: Lauren Sherman Photography

Vendor: Shawn Frandsen, owner at Restorations Hair Salon

Why we love it: Melissa looked flawless in her Sottero and Midgley pink ruched and ruffled gown. We loved her low side-swept hairstyle and her makeup to match her elegant yet fun look!

 

 

Best Beach Wedding

It’s a toss-up!

Amy + Erick

Swope Beach

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn James Photography

Location: Tiscornia Park Beach

Why we love it: These two knew how to think outside the box! This was one of the most original wedding days we have ever experienced. Amy and Erick started their wedding celebration with cocktail hour and dinner. Then, they bused everyone to the beach for their sunset wedding ceremony. This was followed by a sparkler entrance back into their reception for dessert and dancing. What a fun night! Guests seemed to love the mix up of things – and they went to a ceremony with a full stomach (not to mention a cocktail or two)!

Brittany + Jesse

Artz Beach

Photo Credit: True Photography

Location: Jean Klock Beach

Why we loved it: Brittany and Jesse had scoped out their wedding location several months before the big day. When they revisited their beach spot the week of their wedding, the beach was much smaller than it was months before. But! – there was a small alcove of sandy beach that was the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony. The day ended up being gorgeous and the couple had awesome props!

 

Most Adorable Kid’s Corner

Melissa + Jed

boulden kids

Why we love it: We just had to create a category for this kid’s corner! Groom Jed made a smaller version of the 1928 Napa Farmhouse tables and cut wood logs for seats. Bride Melissa added all of the little details: every snack a kid could dream of, toys, stickers, and a disposable camera for each little one to play i-Spy. Looking for other unique ways to keep the kids having fun at the reception? Look here!

 

 

Best Use of 1928’s Rental Collection

Jordyn + Rick

Draime Linens + Napa

Item: Specialty Linens and Farmhouse Napa Tables

Why we love it: Bride Jordyn loved the look of our wide Farmhouse Napa Tables, but with reaching near max capacity at her reception venue, had to opt to using narrower tables for the majority of guest seating. To give the banquet tables some jazz, Jordyn and Rick chose a navy blue table linen that really transformed the entire look of the space. They accented it with a handful of our Napa’s to feature the head table. We think it was the perfect pairing and space compromise, but still added a lot of dimension!

Brooke + Nate

Napa tea

Item: Farmhouse Napa Table

Why we loved it: What a great first impression for guests! A refreshing beverage station, complete with lemonade and iced tea for guests to enjoy as they enter into your venue on a hot summer day! Our friends at CK Catering do this setup often and  guests will be thankful for the thought!

 

Katie + Brian

Walsh Beach

Photo Credit: Stoffer Photography

Item: 1928 Ceremony Arch and Chalkboard

Why we loved it: Maybe we just love having a stunning couple stand under our beach ceremony arch 🙂 The day was gorgeous all around! With the mix of white chairs, white arch, and white chalkboard – there was something so pure and classic about this wedding. We loved being a part of it!

 

 

Best Overall Themed Wedding

Allison + Paul – Music-Themed Wedding

Untitled

Photo Credit: Stoffer Photography

Why we love it: Both being music lovers from NYC, Allison and Paul knew they wanted to tie music elements into the design process to make guests feel like they were attending a music festival! They coined the celebration as Demyanowinkelfest – a fusion of both of their families coming together as one in a festival inspired environment. Battered and once-lifeless instruments (banjos, violin bodies, trumpets, brass pieces, gutted piano and a tambourine from the early 1900’s!) were transformed into awe-inspiring tablescapes that appeared to have flowers naturally growing in and around them (phenomenal work of floral designer, Marco Alexzondra). The theme was done right and to a tee – and looked so perfect in the Blue Dress Barn venue!

 

Honorable Mentions

Leslie + Andi – Most Enchanted Wedding

Enchanted Erhard

Photo Credit: Caressa Rogers Photography

Why we love it: June 7th took our breath away when we transformed The Veranda at The Whitcomb into a fairytale wedding. Bride Leslie dreamed up all of the elements: the blush colors from floor to ceiling, the mixed metals with vases and lanterns, and her princess gown with a bodice covered in jewels. And she created her vision for it all while living 10 hours away! Schades of Light did amazing work with all of the fabric draping, making Leslie’s vision come to life!

 

 

Grace + Dave – Beach Themed Wedding

Untitled

Photo Credit: Allie Siarto Photography

Why we love it: With Lake Michigan drawing in large numbers of engaged couples to the area each year, we see our fair share of beach-wedding themes. There was such sophistication with this design. A watercolor scheme, soft florals, accents of unique beach elements everywhere (without going traditional with sand and shells)! The celebration began with an intimate ceremony on Jean Klock Beach. With fear of rain all day, we’re proud that Grace and Dave stayed patient. It turned out to be one of the best summer days we could have had! Check out the rest of their beautiful day on Allie Siarto’s Knot Feature!

 

Brittany + Jesse – Most Romantic Wedding

Artz Romance

Photo Credit: True Photography

Why we love it: We love seeing couples step outside of the trends for the year. Bride Brittany created an incredibly sophisticated wedding with just a hint of gothic when she brought together the vision for her wedding reception at Shadowland Ballroom. Think lush pink blooms, a candlelight reception at (complete with  3ft. candelabras!) and black sequins and blush silks that will take your breath away.

 

 

Such a remarkable year for 1928 Planning and looking so forward with what 2016 holds for our team! Hope you’ve enjoyed a recap of our favorite memories of 2015 and have found some inspiration of your own!

 

Cheers!

 

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DIY wedding ideas are something we love here at 1928 Planning Co. Not only do they add some personalized flair to your wedding, but you can brag about your crafting skills to friends and family. Today we are going to teach you how to make a marquee letter that will be the perfect addition of vintage charm to a gift or dessert table. This DIY would also look adorable in the newlywed’s home post wedding!

DIY7Photo credit: Camille Curtis – 1928 Intern

Things you will need:

Large Cardboard Letter
X-acto Knife
String Globe Lights
Pencil
Paint color of your choice (optional)

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DIY51. Cut along the seam of the letter on one side only. This will allow you to hide the cord from the lights later on.

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2. Twist the globes off of the strand and place them where you want them on the front of the letter.
3. Trace around the smallest part of the globe with your pencil.
4. Using the X-acto knife cut an asterisk into each circle, that way you can fit the globes into place.

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5. Place the globes back into the circles and insert lights from behind. Make sure you are tucking the extra cord in as you go.
6. Apply a coat of paint, if you wish!

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7. Plug in and enjoy!

If you try this for your home or wedding send us a photo, we would love to see! We hope that you love this darling DIY wedding idea just as much as we do.

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We love sharing stories of 1928 Real Weddings with our fans! Travis and Michaja’s August celebration was one we couldn’t skip out on. They were such a fun duo to work alongside in the planning stages and their venue selection was a first for us – actually a first in history! They were host to the first wedding reception held at 12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor, Michigan. More to come on that cool place later! We’ll give you the inside tour of their big day – the venue, food, decorations, and all of the details in between.

The Accessories

With wedding colors of cobalt blue and black, their accessories paired perfectly. The bride easily found her something blue while complementing their wedding colors. We are shoe obsessed over here at 1928 – couldn’t resist sharing a few photos! Completing the groom’s look were stylish shades – working double-duty on the sunny August day.

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The Venue

The Vineyard at 12 Corners is one of Southwest Michigan’s newest tented wedding venues, and from a planner’s perspective, offers SO much for couples looking for a location that is beautifully backdropped, private, and in the heart of wine country. The property sits on 115 acres of land, surrounded by grape vineyards, an apple orchard, corn fields and so much more. What all does this mean for you? You have access to unlimited photo opportunities – not even needing to think about going off-site to capture something beautiful.

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The Ceremony

As guests arrived for the wedding ceremony, they were welcomed with a 12 Corners wine tasting experience. As they sampled wine created by the grapes surrounding them, they strolled through the vineyard. It was the perfect way of setting the scene for a stellar atmosphere and celebration to come.

The ceremony took place in the on-site apple orchard. Seating was arranged in a slight semi-circle formation. Regardless of the size of your wedding, semi-circle setups make for a more intimate setting and have been trending with our couples for the last few years.

1 As the ceremony began, guests were happily surprised with a dancing processional, filled with Travis and Michaja’s closest family and friends.  Such a fun group of people in attendance that we wouldn’t expect anything less!

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The Decor and Details

Boy do we swoon over a unique reception layout! The guest list was set at 200 attendees. The reception layout was mixed with a variety of styled tables, including traditional round table seating, King Arthurs (8ft x 5ft), and rented Napa Farmhouse Tables from 1928. The Napa’s look like they were made for a venue like The Vineyard, and paired with linen tables, softened up the space just right.

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Photo Credit: Josh Nowicki (above)

The centerpieces, miscellaneous beer growlers filled with baby’s breath and hints of white roses, were kept simplistic, knowing that the venue and atmosphere tends to speak for itself.

The additions of wine barrel cocktail tables and lounge furniture from 1928’s Rental Collection completed the look in the lounge space adjacent to the tent. This space is typically used for cocktail hour and as a space for guests to relax after dinner. Decorating and lighting this space is key – guests will spend so much time out there on a beautiful day!

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The Chow and Cocktails

Cocktails:

We mentioned earlier that the wine guests enjoy at the wedding reception is made exclusively at 12 Corners. To round out their bar menu, were local brewery, Bells, (located in Kalamazoo) – featuring Oberon and Two Hearted Ale, and a specialty cocktail named “Love, Love, Love” composed of blueberry lemonade and vodka.

Chow:

Catering service was provided by CK Catering (the exclusive caterer at the venue). We highly encourage couples to work with CK – their menu options are so expansive and the food is always tasty. Dinner was served family-style – a popular option most couple’s select and a super casual way for guests to enjoy their meal without getting out of their seat.

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The desserts were pies from local hot spot, Grandpa’s Cider Mill. As a late night snack surprise, the famous Ice Cream Truck made an appearance, allowing guests to indulge in a summer sweet treat and likely filled with guests reminiscing of the ice cream man from when they were kiddos.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction on 1928’s behalf to The Vineyard at 12 Corners. It was a beautiful day and beautiful couple and we hope sharing a little ounce into their celebration gives you a glimpse of potential ideas for your own!

 

Vendors:

Venue: The Vineyard @ 12 Corners, managed by White Space Events.

Coordination & Rentals: 1928 Planning Co.

Liquor: Liquor Locker and 12 Corners Winery

Lighting Design: Schades of Light

Baker: Grandpa’s Cider Mill

Florist: Stella Event Design

DJ: Kaleidoscope Events

Photographer: Blueline Photography

 

 

 

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One of my favorite things to help a client create as their planner is the layout of their wedding reception. I think this piece dictates so much – the atmosphere you are creating for guests, and the way each meticulous detail planned will be displayed in. In the past, we’ve talked a lot about things to consider at your reception, but barely touch on the important undertaking of the layout!

The perk of layout building:

As overwhelming of a task as it may sound to a couple unfamiliar with the venue or what is “traditional” at a wedding, most venues can pass along a blank template of the space for you to do some sketching on – letting your imagination run wild. Or maybe you’d rather see what’s been done before in the space – and take it from the venue on what seems to work the best overall. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue for sample layouts so you can really understand all layout considerations.

This post is directed more specifically on the wedding head table – where you and your bridal party will be seated during the reception – primarily for toasts, and dinner service. Though we’ve seen a lot in our experiences at multiple venues, we thought we’d hone in on the most popular options. Take a look!

Traditional

trad

Photo Credit: Karrn Frost Photography (top)  |  Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom)

Of the head table options we’ll show you in the post, this is probably the one you’ll see most as you attend weddings yourself. We call this a traditional wedding head table – where you and your beau are centered, with each of your bridal party members flanked off to the left and right. Typically groomsmen will be on the right, and bridesmaids on the left (as pictured), but it’s your wedding right? Do what you want!

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A little sketch goes a long way. The bottom sketch shows a different rendition of the traditional layout, where instead of the bride and groom seated at the same style table as the bridal party, they are seated at what we call a sweetheart table – a small round table. To keep with tradition, your bridal party can still be to either side of you.

 

Double-Sided

8ft

Photo Credit: Woodnote Photography (top left)  |  Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom)

This is a perfect option if looking save space because you’ll be seated on both sides of the table. Of course, it makes for easier conversation as well, being seated closer together.

Double-sided head tables are perfect if you have a larger bridal party and don’t want a long, never-ending table, or if you’d rather not be on a “stage” so-to-speak having all eyes on you as you eat your meal. Don’t be embarrassed if you enjoy that kind of thing!

 

King Arthur

 

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Photo Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom left) | Luna Dulce Photography (middle left)  |  Alison Glovak (right)

This is probably what we see most of at receptions. Set as two-8ft tables pushed together to create the illusion of an ‘almost’ square table.  Another great option if you have a larger bridal party, because you are utilizing all four sides of the table.

Having family-style dinner service? This type of table leaves tons of space for platters and bowls to be set.

A typical king arthur table will seat 12 people. Need to seat 20? Keep adding 8fts together to create the custom size you need. The photo shown above, on the right, sat 30 people (they chose to seat the bridal party with their significant others at the head table).

 

Sweetheart Table

SH Table

Photo Credit: Matt Pratt Photography (top left) | Luna Dulce Photography (top right) | Carolyn Lloyd Photography (bottom left)

Named so perfectly – a table for just you and your sweetie. Perhaps you’d like to have your bridal party sit with whomever they’d like and instead just need a small table for two. We usually see this size table as a 48” round, but ask your venue what size round table they can offer you.

 

Looking for more assistance building your reception layout? Reach out to us – we’re here to help!

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I think I speak for most – between the weddings you and your beau attend each year and all of the ones you’re sure your guests attend, you are looking for something that says wow – something that embodies your signature wedding, something that will entertain your guests and make them remembering your wedding long after the night is over. We’ve seen some great ways to incorporate non-traditional wedding entertainment ideas over the last several seasons. Because of the impact we see that it can bring to a celebration, we felt the need to share! We just might help you get some ideas flowing of your own with just how cool and creative some of these are! Enjoy!

 

Interactive games

We love the reaction on a guests’ face when they see interactive games on display at a reception. This wedding entertainment idea can range so much: mad libs to play while waiting for dinner service to begin, i-Spy games for kids (or hey, adults too!), lawn games like cornhole and giant jenga, word search napkins to grab at the bar, honestly – the list goes on!

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Photo Credit: Chandler Rose Photography (right, top left)

Food

We find ourselves blogging about food a lot – shouldn’t shock you. Bringing food to the forefront and focal point at a reception is what most are looking to do. Considering you will likely spend a good portion of your wedding budget in the food category, I’m sure you’ll want to make an awesome impression!

Try tasting menus to evolve the typical wedding reception meal, where each course is paired with a wine or beer selection. Consider renting a food truck for an added wedding entertainment feature during the reception. Those that we’ve seen typically debut after dinner is over, when the appetite starts to come back once dancing begins. Having a killer late night snack will leave guests with a full-foodie experience and that lasting impression that we mentioned. If going the food truck route – try the famous Ice Cream Truck, Mimi’s Cupcakes on Wheels, or The Hotdog Cart! If looking to stay in-house for food, ask your caterer what options they offer for late night (sliders, pizzas, french fries, sundae bars, s’mores!) – sorry it’s coming up on lunchtime here!

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Photo Credit: Blueline Photography (right) | 430 Studios (bottom left)

Atmosphere

This is what it’s all about. One of my favorite parts of planning is helping build your layout of the venue, where each table and design feature is meticulously placed in order to maximize the guest experience. Wedding entertainment can mean a lot of things – and having the ultimate, inviting atmosphere is one of them. Atmosphere is not only about the venue you select to host the celebration, but about the guest comfort you create for them within the venue. Lighting is key to adding ambiance after dark (especially the work from Schades of Light!) Pair that with a lounge environment with comfy couches and chairs and you’ve got yourself a winner. Think about adding some other entertaining items, like a cigar bar, or the yard games mentioned above.

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Photo Credit: 430 Studios (top) | Blueline Photography (bottom)

After party

Not a whole lot to justify here! After parties have been wedding trending and here’s why. It’s likely that your guests have traveled far to be a part of the festivities. It’s also likely that your reception venue closes shop between 11:00p – midnight. But does that mean your guests have to say nighty-night? Nope! It’ll give you just that much more time to celebrate with guests – who will appreciate the extra effort made too! Looking for the top after party locations in town? Check it out here!

 

We’ve got tons more ideas to share – just reach out to us!

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For 1928 Planning, holiday weekends always bring us an extra level of excitement and when you add in coordinating a wedding for a phenomenal couple, well, you realize just how awesome of a career you have! Jackie & Andy’s Fourth of July wedding celebration at The Veranda @ The Whitcomb in St. Joseph, MI, stars in our latest Real Weddings edition – and we are eager to share!

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Just like you’d hope for in July, it was gorgeous weather for their outdoor wedding celebration. After spending the morning getting ready at The Boulevard Inn, Jackie and Andy shared their intimate first look at easily the most breathtaking view of the city and Lake Michigan from atop the Whitcomb Tower. We are always telling people how much of a hidden gem it is – it never disappoints!

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Being just a quick jaunt away from Tiscornia Beach, the bridal party took a ride in style on the Sunset Coast Trolley and headed towards the beach to take advantage of one of the most noted landmark’s the city has to offer: The North Pier Lighthouse.

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The rooftop ceremony was, believe it or not, a first for The Veranda. It made for quite a special time and one that 1928 was thankful to be a part of! After trouble securing a ceremony location on a holiday weekend, Jackie and Andy were encouraged by their photographer, Ben Pancoast Photography, to check out The Veranda’s blank slate rooftop and have their wedding ceremony propped right above the bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. Remember when I said the views don’t disappoint? This here was no exception.

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Their summer inspired color scheme complemented the rooftop perfectly, with pops of bright coral in their decor, florals, and bridesmaids dresses. They even topped off each ceremony chair with a pair of signature sunglasses both as favors and to keep their guests comfortable during the sunny afternoon ceremony.

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As the ceremony ended, guests made their way downstairs to enjoy an hour of cocktails, music and delicious bites while lounging on the rented patio furniture in the connected garden. The layout of the reception was so unique – filling the space with large King Arthur tables to provide larger seating capacity at each table. It was a great way to add some dimension to the venue and to fit a larger guest count.

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The charcoal gray linens and ruffled runners paired with bundles of free-spirit coral roses made such a statement in the monochromatic atmosphere of The Veranda. Throughout the venue, no detail was forgotten. They designed signage that matched the table number with photos of both Andy and Jackie at the age. Something we are sure the guests enjoyed looking through as they found their seats for dinner service.

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The night was filled with family-style dinner service provided by (the awesome!) CK Catering, and delicious mini pies and cupcake bites from Amanda Marie’s Bakery for dessert hour. As the sun set, guests enjoyed dancing, sparklers, and anxiously awaiting the Fourth of July fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

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As dusk came, the much anticipated firework show began, displaying in ideal view for the wedding guests gathered in the garden and on the walkway of The Veranda. It was literally a picture-perfect ending to their reception and sent guests off on such a high note! Jackie and Andy enjoyed the fireworks from the Tower. It made for some remarkable photos and a few minutes of alone time with each other to take it all in as their reception came to a close.

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For more details on Jackie and Andy’s big day and so much more, contact 1928!

Vendors for Jackie & Andy:

Day of Coordination & Rentals: 1928 Planning Co.

Catering: CK Catering

Baker: Amanda Marie’s Bakery

Florals: Crystal Springs Florist

Photography: Ben Pancoast Photography

Music: DJ – Music Unlimited | Harpist – Meg Rodgers

Transportation: Sunset Coast Trolley

Lighting: Schades of Light

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1928 Planning has seen first-hand the impact that lighting design can have on a reception and believes that the finished product is invaluable. 1928 partners with local wedding lighting design company, Schades of Light to offer front-end communication to clients. We thought what better way for our readers to get to know Schades of Light than to have them guest blog for us and explain in their words the ultimate question: Do I Need Wedding Lighting?

Schades of Light Q & A

With Owner, Stephanie Schadler

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How did Schades of Light come to be?

In 2008, a mother of a bride asked if I would help decorate her daughter’s wedding. They had two bags full of lights and tulle fabric from a friend’s wedding and showed me how they wanted it hung. I thought, sure I can help out, this can’t be too hard and I got to work.  Well, five hours later, a few phone calls to family and friends and a couple of trips to the store, I was done!  After receiving payment I thought there has to be an easier way to do this!  So the following wedding season I bought my own supplies, setup a process of how to work efficiently and we’ve been at it ever since!

 

What local venues has Schades of Light provided services?

The Veranda @ The Whitcomb, The Boulevard Inn, Shadowland Ballroom, Blue Dress Barn, The Vineyard @ 12 Corners, Hidden Vineyard, and Harbor Shores.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Mayo Studios (top) | 430 Studios (bottom)

Why do you love what you do?

Every event is a happy one!  Each one is different and unique in their own way and I love getting to meet the bride and groom and their family.

 

What would you say is your favorite part?

Seeing the finished product! I love going back just before the wedding starts to see how everything came together.

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Photo Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography (top) | 430 Studios (bottom right) | Woodnote Photography (bottom left)

Some couples don’t see a need to have lighting at a reception. Make your case. Why is it important?

In the summer months (our busiest season), couples often think that since the sun sets around 9:30p that they don’t really need any additional lighting.  Although the sun is setting late, only on a perfect sunny day will you have a lot of natural light. What about cloudy, overcast, or rainy days?

We try to avoid turning on any permanent lighting in a venue because although it is functional lighting, it just doesn’t have the ambiance that most couples are looking for.

Some couples will also say they have a lot of candle light planned for their tablescapes. What if it’s a windy day and the candles can’t stay lit?

Local venues that have a separate lounge area are usually dark, and by adding a few stands of café lights it’ll make the space welcoming for guests and add a safety factor too.

 

For someone who knows their venue needs lighting but doesn’t know how to get started choosing what will work best, what would you suggest to them?

Gather pictures – either inspiration photos online or from another source so we have a clear idea of what they are looking for.  We show them pictures of the venue from other events with lighting options to give them a realistic view.  Most of the time the venue is empty when they view it and that makes it hard to visualize the space all decorated. That’s what we are here for – to help you see your ideas!

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Photo Credit: Dan Stewart Photography (bottom) |  430 Studios (top right) | Zachary Photography (top left)

What is your most popular service?

Paper lanterns. We offer a variety of color options to our clients that typically match their color schemes. It’s more of a casual look and complements most venues.

 

Where do you see wedding lighting design going?

A move towards simple elegance, using lights, fabric and chandeliers. We recently added a group of chandeliers to our services! We are super excited to begin offering them for the 2015 wedding season!

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Mayo Studios (bottom) | Bjlr Photography (top right)

Anything else you want to share your expertise on?

What we often hear are brides and grooms wanting to save money and purchase their own lighting decorations, install and tear it down themselves. It usually takes a lot more time than they think – time they could be enjoying their big day.  At the end of the night they really don’t want to worry about tearing everything down, especially after a few drinks! With our pricing, we include not only the inventory but the setup and tear down. You won’t have to lift a finger!

For more on Schades of Light and how they can be a part of your wedding day, contact us!

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We all love catching up on wedding trends for the upcoming year – it’s something we look forward to and gets us excited to think about what our clients might debut for the weddings ahead! It’s that time again – welcome to our post on 2015 wedding trends! Some are new and fun, while others are trends that have been around and just aren’t saying sayonara anytime soon.

In 2013, the #1 word engaged couples used to identify their wedding was FUN! In 2015 they are using the phrase “down to earth ambiance”… seen in their florals, food, color schemes, and guest experience.

Florals

What’s In:

Organic looking tablescapes with free-spirited arrangements are trending for 2015. The move is towards a wild-garden look with more than one color or type of flower.

Utilizing non-floral items – such such as berries, fruit, acorns, etc. We witnessed centerpieces in the fall of 2014 filled with accents of artichokes and pomegranates.

Imperfections are welcomed.

Fresh pickings from a farmer’s market or local grower. It’s not only budget-savvy, but it also lends itself to the trend.

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Photo Credit: 430 Studios (left) | Ben Pancoast Photography (right)

Food

What’s In:

Food pairings with beer or wine. Local wine or craft beer complimented with delicious bites – what could be better than this 2015 wedding trend?

Family-style dining. The guests feel comfortable and at home, passing delicious food around the table. Guest interaction is a big goal for today’s couples and nothing gets a conversation started quite like this style of service. Family style is acceptable for casual and more formal receptions.

Locally sourced and seasonal food.

Late night snack attack. Give the guests an extra element of surprise near the end of the evening with another round of food. The late night snack tends to make it’s debut around 9:30p at receptions. This time of night you’ll be craving snacks and comfort food. Treat guests to a build-your-own coney bar, sliders and fries, pizza, and quesadillas. You’ll want something that can be versatile enough for all of your guests to enjoy.

Fondant wedding cake vs. buttercream wedding cake. The trend is headed away from the fondant extravaganza and instead showing off a more textured cake using buttercream. Your possibilities are endless with buttercream. We’ve seen tiered cakes that offer a different, but complementary, design on each layer. Of course we can’t forget about the ‘naked cake’ that has been trending too!

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Photo Credit: Jordanne + Ryan Photography (bottom left) | 430 Studios (right and upper left)

Color Schemes

What’s In:

Bold colors and non-traditional color combos. Pastels and neutrals aren’t necessarily done for, but the use of a bold or unexpected accent color is something we will see quite a bit as a 2015 wedding trend. We are sure Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala will make its mark, especially in the fall of 2015. Below are the Top 10 Wedding Color Combos for 2015 courtesy Stylish Wedding Ideas.

stylish wedding trends

The Experience

What’s In:

With the average wedding sized around 140 guests (smaller than past years), couples are wanting to create an experience from beginning to end.

Build up the excitement long before the big day with a wedding website or some fun and unique wedding invitations. Since invitations are the first impression for your wedding, make it count with something unexpected that will grab attention and add a wow-factor. The goal is to build the anticipation long before the actual big day.

Give thank you’s as they exit rather than just a favor at a place setting for them to grab. We think this is a great trend for 2015. We’ve seen too many favors get left behind at the dinner tables! If you’re wanting to give guests a takeaway and have the room in your budget, make sure they aren’t left behind!

Offer transportation to accommodate your out of town guests. Buses or trolleys are popular to shuttle guests to and from hotels, allowing them to just enjoy the evening and leave their GPS back at home. 

This is a biggie: keep in mind guest comfort. Recently we wrote a blog on Creating Your Signature Wedding. One of the best things you can do while planning is to think about the experiences and comfort of your guests. Consider all angles: hot or cold weather, hungry or thirsty guests, how to manage a kid-friendly reception and thinking about the flow of your wedding timeline. 

 

For more on what’s trending – contact us!

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Giving tribute to loved ones on your wedding day is filled with such meaning because chances are, those in spirit made an impact on your life. Coming up with creative ways to remember and honor them on the wedding day is what this blog is all about! It’s okay to keep it as simple and subtle or as bold of a statement as you’d like. Check out some of our ideas below to get you started thinking!

Incorporate their memory into accessories

We’ve seen brides get creative on how they display sentimental items as a wedding day accessory! Pin small photos to your bouquet or shoes, wear their jewelry as your “something old” or add other jewelry, hair pins, or special pieces to your dress that remind you of a loved one and make their memory physically present for the big day.

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Photo Credit: 430 Studios (top left) | Ben Pancoast Photography

Memory and photo table

A popular take on commemorating those not present on your wedding day is a memory table, complete with photos of late loved ones on display and a lit candle. This table often becomes a talking piece amongst guests as they arrive and will not be overlooked.

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Photo Credit: Dave Tree Photography

Give a tribute during the ceremony

Dedicating a portion of the wedding ceremony to those not present is something that can be done in a number of ways.

Start off the ceremony with a moment of silence, recognizing those that are not present.

Add a tribute section found inside the ceremony program.

Save them a seat at the ceremony marked with a loose flower or photo.

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Photo Credit: Katherine Martin

Play their favorite song

This can be done during the ceremony, reception or both! We have also had the song selections for the traditional father/daughter and mother/son dances be a tribute to a parent that has passed.

Use a family recipe

Most caterers will be flexible and make something not on their standard menu. Provide the caterer with a famous family recipe that will remind guests of a loved one whose passed. It’ll be the focal point of your menu.

Make a donation

Choose to donate to a charity close to a late loved ones heart in lieu of favors.

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Photo Credit: The Knot 

For more ideas on how to honor loved ones on the wedding day and so much more, contact us!

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