Anthomanic Bride Series: Alicia & Rob

Over the next….forever… I’m going to be sharing my past weddings with you! I’ll be including commentary from the bride about her flower planning experience! I think this is a great way for new brides to get some advice or feedback from those that have been there and have planned their wedding flowers.

First, we are starting with Alicia and her purple infused vineyard wedding with the best weather you could ask for when getting married outdoors!! Alicia & Rob’s wedding was one of my first weddings – probably #30 or so… and I’m so thankful she trusted me to be her florist!! We still keep in touch via social media (she was even the model for one of our Katelyn James Workshop Styled Shoots) – I love when a bride and I keep in touch long after a wedding day!

Alicia loved soft, lush florals in bold purples – because her wedding was in May, she got to have the ever elusive peonies! Her bouquet was made of purple lisianthus, purple hydrangeas, amnesia roses and some sparkly crystal jewels to coordinate with her gown (the pics don’t do those jewels justice – they sparkled like diamonds!). Her bridesmaids bouquets were made of white hydrangeas, vendella ivory roses and white peonies — so soft and fluffy!! When choosing your wedding flowers, it’s best to choose flowers that individually fit the look you want – here we went with anything soft, rounded and fluffy!! Alicia hired us for her bridal bouquets and boutonnieres, as she planned to do some DIY non-floral centerpieces.

2014-04-15_0001“Our wedding was held at Potomac Point Winery in Stafford Virginia. We were blessed with the most beautiful sunny day and were lucky enough to hold the ceremony outdoors near the vineyard. I met with one florist before finding Amanda, and the experience was a huge turnoff! She didn’t understand my vision and definitely did not even try to stay within my budget. I immediately knew I would be looking elsewhere and found Amanda through the magic of Facebook! Her shop was fairly new at the time, early 2011, but I was drawn to her as a fellow JMU graduate around my age. After our first chat on the phone, I knew I was headed in the right direction – she was so kind, understood my language, and only worked to enhance my ideas while respecting my budget boundaries.”2014-04-15_0002I didn’t have any specific flowers in mind when I first met with Amanda, but she guided me in the right direction based on the color scheme I envisioned, as well as what flowers were in season. Pinterest also didn’t exist at the time (the horror!!) so I had to bring in images printed offline from a Google search. She combined my pictures, color scheme, and venue, and turned out some of the most beautiful bouquets I had ever seen! My bouquet was full of a variety of purples, ranging from roses to hydrangeas and topped of with a tasteful diamond cuff (her idea!). The bridesmaids had all white to offset my colorful bouquet and their lavender gowns.”2014-04-15_0003“I have one major regret about the whole process, and that is not setting aside more funds for flowers. At the time I thought it would be more financially savvy to have non-floral centerpieces, even though that isn’t necessarily what I wanted. I realized, shortly after working with Amanda, that she is so great about providing different options to stay within budget, that it could have worked if we just scaled back a bit in other areas.”2014-04-15_0004

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Wasn’t her wedding so beautiful?!

Venue: Potomac Point Winery

Photographer: Carly Arnwine

Florals: Anthomanic

relaxing and enjoying THE BIG DAY!

That sounds like a silly suggestion, right?! Well, too often on wedding day I see stressed and anxious brides. But, their concerns are only about vendors, details and PLANS. This shouldn’t be happening!

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my upcoming May brides, Elaine, about the final details of her flower collection! To me, this time is so exciting! It takes me back to the time when my wedding was ALMOST HERE! I remember how it felt the weeks leading up to the wedding day – full of excitement to finally marry the love of my life, to wear my fabulous gown, to be together with my closest friends and family and to meet Robby at the end of the aisle on the most planned and organized day of my entire life! But, I also remember being sooooo annoooyed by all the teeny tiny DETAILS! Not that I don’t like details (obviously I do since I plan wedding florals down to the tiniest pieces!) – it just gets a little silly!

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When I was the bride because I felt like I was being asked about things that I’d rather be surprised about or let unfold on their own by the amazing team of vendors I’d selected. Like, napkin folds! I really don’t care, just make it look good! I also felt like, if I over-planned it, I would nit pick all those details on the day of the wedding! If I chose a certain napkin fold, and something completely different was done – I’d say to myself “omigosh, they did a pocket fold instead of a fan fold like I asked!” So, at some point I had to say ‘I would rather be surprised’ to any of my vendors that asked me those little teeny tiny nitpicky details that I just didn’t care for! If you hire a team of vendors that you love and trust, and that truly understand your wedding day vision/aesthetic and style, you are in great hands! I knew that no matter what, my day would be gorgeous, fun and full of LOVE!

During our phone conversation, I could sense that Elaine was getting a little tense and over all the tiny details – she had thought about and planned this day for a year and a half, and was ready for the day to just be here already!! I get it!! I was dating Robby for eight years, and engaged for two and a half before we FINALLY got married!! HOWEVER, after our wedding, I experienced a phenomenon I hadn’t been warned about – ‘Post-Wedding Blues’. I compare it to post-partum depression (jokingly of course). There’s so much excitement, so many vendors to talk to, so many things to plan, then BOOM – the day goes by in the blink of an eye (and my ceremony to the finale dessert party was nine hours!) and it’s over!

Just remember to relax and enjoy the day – soak it in!!

…moments like this, where it really set in when we were alone (with our photographer) on the way to the reception, and it hit me that WE’RE FINALLY HUSBAND AND WIFE! It hadn’t really set in when we were doing portraits right after the ceremony.

2014-04-03_0012….and other un-planned, unexpected moments – like your parents dancing together! And moments that require no planning at all, that need to just happen, like your daddy’s GOOD LUCK kiss :D haha! … and your adorable nephew during portraits! Just remember to let it all unfold (hopefully to your general schedule and to your aesthetic liking) and stop to enjoy everything around you instead of paying attention to the time or what you are ‘supposed to be doing’ – it’s your day and the show doesn’t go on with you! If a hiccup happens – it’s all going come out in the wash, and the day will still be forever a huge memory!

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Also published on Disney’s Ever After Blog

Vendors

Photographer: Melissa Arlena

Videographer: Starfruit Productions

Wedding Planner: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings (Jamie Betz & Jessica Rawlings)

Cake, Reception Floral, Catering, Linen Rentals, Actors, Pianist, Guitarist: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings

Getting Ready Location: Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Ceremony: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort

Reception: Living Seas Salon at Disney’s Epcot

Dessert Party: UK Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot

Gown: Rivini – Rouge  (Jeanette’s Bridal)

MUA/Hair: Rosie with Beaute Speciale

Invitations & Programs, Table Numbers with Bottles: DIY

Guest Book: NFL.com

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaid Gowns: Red/David’s Bridal, Black & Champagne/BCBG

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: mixture of black suits from their very own closets – with coordinated ties from Men’s Warehouse

Heather Walter - Thank you for this blog post! As another one of your May brides, the details are so overwhelming. I’m so excited for the actual day I just want to be done with all the little things. I have loved the planning but there are also times that I just want somebody else to plan some of the pieces also. I know things will come together however they are supposed to and I just want to relax and enjoy the day!

p.s. glad you are back to blogging! I always love your posts!!!April 10, 2014 – 11:45 am

A Disney Destination Wedding

It’s been over two years since my wedding, and I’ve never blogged it! Isn’t that crazy?! I am planning an upcoming blog series where I’ll be sharing each of our past weddings, some to be narrated by the actual bride! This will be a fun way for current brides to get advice on planning their wedding floral & decor, or give them new ideas – so I’m looking forward to our readers getting to know each wedding and why we made the flower and color selections that we did!

Melissa Arlena traveled all the way to Florida to shoot our big day, here it is!!

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Our wedding was at Disney World on October 25th, 2011, on a TUESDAY of all days! Tuesday, you say?! Yes, we figured since it was going to be a destination wedding for everyone, that the day of the week didn’t entirely matter . Plus, weekdays were less expensive and the only date left near Halloween that our venues were available. I luuuuhrve Halloween at Disney World, partly because it feels a little more Tim Burton-esque to me – the spooky sounds and music at Magic Kingdom at night. But also because it’s a less crowded time of year and the weather is usually about 75′-80′, sunny and relatively low humidity. The bonus was that it would be at the end of wedding season, and wouldn’t interfere with my new, growing wedding business!

To really TAKE YOU there to the wedding day, you must start by watching our wedding video (by the AMAZING Starfruit Productions – and yes they travel all over!)

Amanda and Robby from StarFruit Productions on Vimeo.

Robby and I had been engaged for two and a half years (after dating for seven and a half!!), but for some reason I couldn’t decide on the colors and theme of the wedding! I actually changed the wedding colors a few times, so it was hard to decide on flower types. Originally we had planned a wedding in the Bahamas and were going to do something very simple, casual and tropical in color scheme. So, when we changed our theme it was hard to decide what new colors to do! When we switched to being at Disney World, we chose water based locations – I guess because we were missing the Bahamas ideas so much…?! We chose an outdoor ceremony location in an open-air covered pavilion, Sea Breeze Point, at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort because it was right by the water and the sounds of the boats passing was just so beautiful! The reception location was the Living Seas Salon at Disney’s Epcot, which is basically a private lounge with surrounding tanks at the aquarium. Then, we had what Disney calls an ‘Illuminations Dessert Party’ in the United Kingdom pavilion where our guests could eat desserts and have a private front row show of the fireworks!

We went for our first big Planning Session earlier that year, but pretty much all the decor we chose ended up changing later because of my indecisiveness! The floral planner actually mentioned to me that we could have actors at our reception. As soon as I heard this, it helped me to narrow down the theme! We decided that we’d had a pirate themed wedding, and have the pirates be the entertainment for our 30 guest wedding (since a DJ would have been a bit of an overkill for 30 people!) … you’re laughing, aren’t you?! HAH! :D It does sound pretty tacky, I know. But, in my head, it was super fun, but still wedding appropriate!

Because of this pirate feast feel that I was trying to give to our guests, I themed the decor items around this. I hand made the invitations and programs with cotton paper (to feel like someone hand made the paper) with a cool colonial-ish font. We had funky spanish details like lanterns and a spanish guitarist. We were aiming for a flamenca-ish type sound – or something that sounded like the Pirates of the Carribbean soundtrack! haha! Because we were in the Entertainment capitol of the world (IMO), I thought it would be fun to give our guests a feel of what we love so much about Disney, and the comedians definitely gave our guests that experience! The flowers were simply dark, rich reds and purples and the centerpieces had drippy bits of hanging amaranthus. The bouquets I personally designed (the day before our wedding in our hotel room!) in gold holders I wanted it to feel like a pirate ship royal feast! We chose rich textures in the linens and napkins to fit the vibe – mainly velvet in dark purple and red and lots of gold accents!2014-04-03_0001Can you believe my makeup artists name was Rosie?! How fitting! … and I had no idea she would be my MUA!2014-04-03_0030This view relaxed me when I was so nervous that morning!2014-04-03_00022014-04-03_0004We stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – a GORGEOUS, tropical themed backdrop for getting ready! (Sage & Grady of Starfruit Productions helped with this veil shot! :D )2014-04-03_0007The most painful shoes everrrrr – I didn’t even bring a backup pair – who does that?!

2014-04-03_00102014-04-03_00222014-04-03_0008Don’t they look like the wedding mafia? haha! (a mix of groomsmen and other guests-friends that traveled to our wedding!)2014-04-03_0009I love all sorts of flowers, but I always default to phalaenopsis orchids, garden roses and soft fluffy things. I chose to do a somewhat cascaded bouquet because I’d been so used to designing round bouquets, that I wanted something different!

my hand made invites, complete with wax seal HAH!!2014-04-03_0019So, SOMEBODY got their tears and nervousness out the morning of the wedding, and I was sobbing walking down the aisle — and I’m not a happy crier at ALL! So, my aisle pics are pretty ….awkward HAH! But, Robby is cute :D (yes, mohawks were totally welcome in our bridal party!)2014-04-03_00032014-04-03_0028getting some water so I don’t pass out reading my vows! :D2014-04-03_0023totally busted, dad! (I was the fourth and final daughter to get married – so tears were in order!!)

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Can’t take a serious picture… haha! :D2014-04-03_00112014-04-03_0024

2014-04-03_0006The “WE ARE FINALLY MARRIED” moment…. TEN YEARS, YOU GUYS!2014-04-03_0012

The reception location, Living Seas Salon at Epcot2014-04-03_0017

2014-04-03_0013Melissa shot this photo of Rebecca’s escort card, then a year later – she got married in Disney World – how exciting!2014-04-03_0014FULL DISCLOSURE: I wanted to show you the centerpiece setup I created the concept for, but need to explain and properly credit that the centerpieces were provided and crafted by Disney Floral. Anthomanic/I did not provide or design the reception centerpieces. I didn’t dare attempt DIY – I wanted to enjoy my wedding day, not work! I simply chose the flowers, colors and design scheme for the table and told Disney Floral what to order for me! I however, DID design the bridal bouquets – because it was a small task …. and because… well, I’m particular! Roses, lisianthus, dahlias, stock flowers, hydrangea, red ti leaves and lots of tropical foliage! I provided Disney with the ‘pirate’-rum  bottles that had names of the different ports that we named our tables!2014-04-03_0015We wanted entertainment everywhere – even in the food!2014-04-03_0016This is ‘Tentacles’, he took requests and had a ‘piano bar’ type feel to the music we played – sing alongs, etc.! He got in character and also dressed up like a pirate. You can imagine the suggestive jokes the comedian/pirate-actors had for his name.

The pirate actors were named  Rosetta Stone and honestly, the other guy, they kept calling him all sorts of names, so I really don’t remember… but he claimed he was Captain Morgan’s brother or something.. :D They were HILARIOUS! Most of the time we all sat around and had belly laughs and made jokes about each other back and forth — very piano bar/comedy club-esque. If you’d ever been to Adventurer’s Club in Downtown Disney (now closed) you know what type of vibe we had!2014-04-03_00252014-04-03_0027My mommy & daddy having a moment!2014-04-03_0029I had my three sisters do the ‘MOH’ speech – since they are are my MOH’s :D

We had a whole dessert spread with other cakes, cookies and treats and only thirty guests, so we only did a textured butter cream one tier to cut. I still get tiered cake envy at the weddings we do! One of my anniversaries, you better believe I’ll have a tiered cake! haha!2014-04-03_0018We were a little too kind to each other with the cake!

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Also published on Disney’s Ever After Blog

Vendors

Photographer: Melissa Arlena

Videographer: Starfruit Productions

Wedding Planner: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings (Jamie Betz & Jessica Rawlings)

Cake, Reception Floral, Catering, Linen Rentals, Actors, Pianist, Guitarist: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings

Getting Ready Location: Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Ceremony: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort

Reception: Living Seas Salon at Disney’s Epcot

Dessert Party: UK Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot

Gown: Rivini – Rouge  (Jeanette’s Bridal)

MUA/Hair: Rosie with Beaute Speciale

Invitations & Programs, Table Numbers with Bottles: DIY

Guest Book: NFL.com

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaid Gowns: Red/David’s Bridal, Black & Champagne/BCBG

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: mixture of black suits from their very own closets – with coordinated ties from Men’s Warehouse

Lelia Marie - A pirate themed, beautiful, Disney wedding?!!! That is awesome :-) It looks like it was wonderful and it sounds like everything had a wonderful time!April 3, 2014 – 8:51 am

Amanda Deibel - This is amazing!! Celebrating a wedding in Epcot is basically my idea of a perfect day. So sweet your sisters were your MOHs, the only thing missing is Jack and Sally, too bad they didn’t start appearing at WDW until last year. (Not-So-Scary Vow Renewal?? lol)April 3, 2014 – 10:50 am

Katelyn James Business Coaching Recap!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/coaching-amanda

Friday I met with Katelyn James (of Katelyn James Photography) for my business coaching session! She has been hosting these for photographers, but has now started doing general business coaching for other types! (More info, here) I’ve struggled finding business advice from peers, because the floral and event design industry isn’t really a connected community like the photography industry. So, when I saw the opportunity to learn from a business & marketing pro, I thought it was a great opportunity to get some insight!  I just wanted to share my take on the experience and be a little transparent about things we talked about for those that are thinking about a KJ Coaching session!

But, Amanda, you’re not a wedding photographer?!
Because I am a part of the same industry (weddings!) with a similar client type (brides 20-30 years old), I thought it would be great to get advice from her!

What did I learn from the coaching session?
Honestly, I went to meet with Katelyn not knowing what to expect. I didn’t even make a list of things I wanted to talk about, because I was so clueless where to start. When you do the same processes day in and day out of client interaction, blog posting, etc. you start to not really realize what is and isn’t working for your business. Generally, I knew I wanted to show her my new branding inspirations, talk about offering my own workshops to floral designers, and chat about anything she thought I needed to improve upon! I had been stuck in a funk, not really knowing what to work on or improve – and what to leave behind.
I’m currently in the process of a re-brand of my business (essentially from the ground up – not just a new website!), so I figured we’d just talk about those sorts of things – because I had no idea what else she would try to advise on. I think the coaching came at the right time for me because I have been worrying about some things with my upcoming rebrand. Silly things like 1. will people understand that ‘Anthomanic’ is the old name of what my new business name will be (the new business name is undecided, but essentially it will mainly be my full name – like how photographers and designers do it!). 2. Will potential clients like the new branding? I feel like my current branding is cute and pretty, but really isn’t me. It worked when we were a retail business, but now since we are strictly designing weddings, it really doesn’t work. The new branding is very different. So different that viewers probably won’t understand that it used to be the business called ‘Anthomanic’.
So that I don’t entirely bore you with the details, some topics I got advice on:

Rebranding: The look of my new brand, the website, and including the launch plan (creating the buzz/spreading the word and how to do it). After chatting with Katelyn, she helped me understand how to properly roll out my new branding, and also gave me advice on the renaming of my business. Yes, she may not run her business as mainly a ‘branding expert’, but I think for someone that has tens of thousands of fans, obviously she understands how to foster a community & a following. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do coaching to find out a step by step process on how to get 20,000 fans on Facebook!

Marketing: not old-fashioned marketing/sales stuff you find books on at the library, but current 2014 social media/networking, etc. to a specific client type that I cater to (brides, 20-30 years old). When I say ‘marketing’, I mean things like blogging … she helped me come up with a blog plan and tips of some fun things to blog about that are both personal and business related! For someone that has tons of followers and readers like she does, her blogging advice is like gold! :D *LOOK KATELYN, I BLOGGED ON SCHEDULE!*

Clients:
What I’m doing right/what I’m doing wrong. Having someone tell you from an outsider perspective that runs a successful small business, what you should be doing more of is so enlightening and like new information to hear! For example: “Brides love it when you do ______, so do more of it!”. I’ve been doing things the same way for years, and after a while, let’s be honest, when you don’t know what makes your clients happy (or unhappy!), how can you change or improve your behavior?! Having someone cheer me on an say ‘Your brides have told me they love it when you ­­­­­_____’, is super super super helpful and encouraging! Then it’s not only rewarding for my bride to get that from me, but knowing my bride is happy makes me work even harder to do the things they love! This could be anything from the way you interact with them in email to the way you talk to them on the day of their wedding! I used to try to stay in the shadows on wedding deliveries, but it turns out brides LOVE when I come to their room to hand deliver their bouquet!

Leading, Teaching & Learning:
Katelyn understands how to be a leader, how to help others, and how to create a ‘group’ that of course follow her, but that she engages with as well and gives back to. She’s someone that others look up to for advice and help when needed. Because my long term goal is to help others and be a part of something bigger than me, I am hoping to create this network. She has great advice and inspiration for how you can get that ball rolling for your own business!

I hope this helps you understand what a coaching session could be like for you – although it will be custom to your business, so your focus of your coaching could vary! Remember, I went into the meeting with no plan! Some pics below from my (very pregnant!) coaching session!

XOXO Amanda

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/coaching-amanda

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/coaching-amanda

Melissa Arlena - You are such a gorgeous pregnant lady! I love the tip for you to hand deliver your bride’s bouquets, the brides we’ve had together always gush about you and their gorgeous flowers! I know they would love to see you on their day :). I’m so excited to see where your biz keeps taking you and I KNOW that you can totally create a community among new young florists and inspire them!April 1, 2014 – 7:09 pm

katelyn james - Ohhh my gosh I love this!! Girl you’re a GREAT blogger/writer and I’m not just saying that!! … I’m so glad you’re making this happen! LOVED our time together!! You make me want to be a Wedding and Floral Stylist!!! :):):)April 2, 2014 – 12:18 am

Lelia Marie - So glad the coaching helped! Katelyn is awesome at teaching and giving people the way forward :-) I can’t wait to see your new branding. The pretty is pretty, but it isn’t really who you are, or the fabulous work that you do. I can’t wait to see something gorgeous and quirky and all you!April 2, 2014 – 7:04 am

Kat - I love this! I’m truly so honored to learn from you on Sunday-Monday and can’t WAIT to watch Anthomanic transition & grow!!!! xo!April 2, 2014 – 7:28 am

Megan K. Marcus - You are so talented and gifted at what you do and I’m so glad I came across your business through Katelyn! I can’t wait to write you about my wedding day!April 2, 2014 – 10:37 am

ashley - you are the cutest! i love this post and your honesty! and katelyn really is the best! i love your take aways from your session. i cannot wait to see your new brand! p.s. you are gonna be a hot mama! haha. :)April 3, 2014 – 1:39 pm

Lance Gilason - You got married!!! Congratulations!!

Lance
(addie’s dad)April 8, 2014 – 12:11 pm

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