by: Lauren

This colorful wedding I have for you all today is one of my favorites ever! David and Alina wanted to make sure that their friends and family had fun at their wedding, and my goodness, they most certainly did! Ashton Events worked alongside David and Alina to design a wedding filled with personal, Cuban-inspired details, handmade paper flowers (created by the bride!), and colorful florals (by FH Weddings & Events)… all playing a beautiful part in creating the fun event they dreamed of. Lucky for us, the fabulous ladies of Papered Heart Photography were there to capture the day- pretty amazingly I might add! In fact, they captured everything SO perfectly that you will feel like you’re there… so sit back and experience this fun, colorful wedding with me while Alina and her planner Laura describe the details for us!

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From the bride, Alina:

What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Laura Helm of Ashton Events. If it hadn’t been for Laura I would have been a ball of stress come the day of the wedding and my vision would not have been executed so precisely.

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From Laura of Ashton Events: Alina and David did their first look on the Ybor trolley. Liz of Papered Heart Photography took the time to go out and time the trolley stops so they could execute it perfectly. Those pictures of some of my personal favorites, and I know Alina is so grateful for them! They even brought over Tobias, their dog, for some of the family portraits. How fitting!

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

Working with individuals that really care and have a passion for what they do was integral. I feel that that transfers over to the customization of the event.

From Laura of Ashton Events: We used chalkboards cohesively throughout the day to guide guests. I loved incorporating some of the elements of the invitations into the chalkboards, to keep everything consistent! I loved the mix of cigar boxes, some older and some more contemporary. Alina & I treasure hunted for so many items throughout the planning process, and it was so much fun to watch it all come together!

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

My theme was cheerful and colorful. The wedding was in Ybor City, Tampa and Laura had the brilliant idea to use old cigar boxes as part of the centerpieces. I also liked that it was an homage to my Cuban heritage. I’d had this thing with Mexico for years and had dreamt of marring there one day but alas it wasn’t in the cards. What I was able to do was integrate many of the handmade details I’d wanted such as crepe paper flowers. We wanted a rad party for our family, friends, and us.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

How happy and relaxed we were. We truly were able to enjoy ourselves.

From Laura of Ashton Events: Did you see those two balls sitting in front of the cake table? They were actually fringed pinatas! Abe & Zeke (David’s sons) each got to break into them just after Alina & David cut into the cake. It was a fun way to get them involved in the day- and they loved it! David was so kind to send over artwork for custom tattoos. Customizing the back was a fun surprise for me to be able add for them! Who can resist a #hashtag opportunity. :) 

One of my favorite little details was the herringbone garland we strung across the reception area. It added another fun pop of color & personality, without detracting from the space. 

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From Laura of Ashton Events: The family dance! What a sweet moment. Alina & David wanted the boys to join them for their own family dance following the couple’s first dance. Everyone beamed around the group of four, as they laughed and twirled around the floor. 

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Hire a wedding planner! No joke! Not only for your sanity but for an objective opinion. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you what is best.

Best advice ever Alina!! :) Oh, and I didn’t mention the parade exit? Yep- quite possibly the coolest reception exit I’ve ever seen! Everything about this wedding is loads of fun… and it helps that the couple just overflowing with love! I love the way they incorporated their personalities and backgrounds into their details- especially with the Cuban cigar boxes as a nod to Alina’s family’s culture, and custom temporary tattoos to celebrate David’s tattoo artist profession!

Alina and David’s wedding shows that you really can infuse your personalities and lives into your wedding however your heart desires. Tell me- how are you going to be making your wedding unique to YOU?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Papered Heart Photography / Wedding Planner, Design & Decor:: Ashton Events / Florals: FH Weddings & Events / Reception Venue: Ybor City Museum / Catering: Bell's Catering / Cake Baker: Hands On Sweets / Hairstylist: Signature Salon / Makeup Artist: L.A.C. Makeup Art / Linens: Connie Duglin Linens / Lighting: Tampa Lights / Cake Table Linen: Kate Ryan Linens

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below:




by: Lauren

The bridal shower is one of the events surrounding your wedding that you may be anticipating but not know too much about- which is why I am so excited to share this post about how to plan a bridal shower from my friend Carly of Carly is Inspired! She designed some beautiful vintage bridal shower inspiration that Amanda Young captured, and on top of all that, she’s sharing great tips and steps that will help you, your friends, and your family know what to do when it comes time to plan your bridal shower. 

How To Plan A Bridal Shower

 Although you are completely invested in your wedding planning with the help of your fantastic vendor team, your bridal shower is one of the moments when you’re likely going to take a step back and let your mom, maid of honor, or bridesmaids step in. While you might like a quick planning break, your shower may be the first larger scale event that your closest ladies have planned, and they might feel a little overwhelmed. So to keep the panic at a minimum, here are eight of our best tips so your shower is one you and your guests will all enjoy and remember:

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1. Don’t be afraid to offer a few suggestions.

Both you and your groom have already built up a rapport with a team of vendors you can’t wait to work with on your wedding day, so don’t be afraid to share their names. Although your best ladies might have ideas of their own, offering the contact information of the pros you love will cut their research time down to a minimum. Also, if you’ve been dreaming of a specific shower theme, make it known and share your Pinterest board. Lastly, make sure to share the names and contact information of the ladies that must be included on the guest list. Then step back and let the others do the planning.

2. Decide if the shower is a surprise.

Traditionally, bridal showers were always a surprise; however, there are times when a surprise just isn’t in the cards. If the bride does not like surprises, fill her in on the bare minimum specifics – date, time, location, and a hint about what to wear. Nixing a complete surprise is also a great idea if the bride is arriving from out of town. If none of these points sound like your situation then surprise away! Whatever you opt to do, make sure to decide early on.

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3. Contact a photographer.

Although the number of pros you opt to work with for a shower may be far less than a wedding, a professional photographer is simply a must. And their calendars fill up quickly! Personal recommendations, chatting with the bride, and taking a peek at the V List are all great places to start in order to find a photographer. Let the hosts and guests enjoy the shower rather than worrying about capturing every moment from behind a lens.

4. Choose your venues, theme, menus, and time.

One point influences the other, which is why they are often a package deal. Some of the most popular venues are country clubs, wineries, restaurants, and private homes (backyards are a wonderful option!). If you are thinking about hosting the shower at a country club or restaurant, know that you’ll be working off of their menu options. A home allows you to completely customize everything from the colors and décor to the menu and length of the event. In terms of menus and times, plan your shower for brunch or lunch and have a length of at least four hours in mind.

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5. Know your DIY limits.

Taking on a few projects as a group, such as décor design, menu planning and preparing, creating escort or place cards, or creating an event timeline (writing down the key moments that must happen during the shower and when will help you immensely) is completely fine. But, don’t feel as though you have to tackle every project without a professional. Know your limits whether that’s in regards to time, comfort, or creativity, and consult with a pro if you no longer feel comfortable or confident.

6. Games or no games.

Showers are known for their games, but sometimes they might not feel completely organic to the event you have in mind. Playing your own version of the newlywed game complete with the bride or groom answering fun questions about their relationship on video and guests voicing their guesses tends to be a great option. Another plan – create a ribbon bouquet for the bride to use at her rehearsal as a group. Leaving the games to a minimum will allow all of the guests, including the bride, to relax and mingle instead. Plus, it leaves more room in the event timeline in case lunch or opening gifts takes more time than you had initially intended.

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7. Invitations!

Similar to a wedding, plan to mail your invitations at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the shower. If many guests are traveling in from out of town, mail them even earlier to allow everyone time to make arrangements. Make sure to include all of the basics on your invitations – time, date, location, and what to wear – and don’t forget to include the registry information (enclosing this on a separate card makes shopping even easier because it erases the fear of losing the invitation while you’re out and about).

8. Event lead up & day of…

If you hired professionals, make sure to confirm all of your plans and provide any additional details at least two weeks in advance. Attempt to complete DIY projects several days, if not a week, in advance (obviously, this excludes food and flowers). Know your rainy day plan – whether that’s pitching a tent or moving indoors, make your decision at least two days prior to the shower. Finally, allow more time than you initially thought necessary to set up (hint: 2+ hours works wonders if you’re hosting your shower at home). In terms of events, there’s no such thing as too much set up time. Finishing early just means you have time for a mimosa! ;)

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Note: Almost every one of these tips is also perfect to keep in mind if you’re planning to host a brunch in honor of your bridesmaids! This is a wonderful event to host to thank each for cheering you on and standing beside you on your wedding day. It’s also a fun idea to incorporate in order to ask your best friends to be your bridesmaids in person. Eat something sweet, catch up, and present a meaningful gift before they depart.

Have you already attended (or helped to plan) your shower? What tips would you add to our list?

 

 Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Amanda Young // Event Styling & Design: Carly is Inspired // Floral Design, Stationery, & Cupcake Toppers:Carly is Inspired // Wholesale Flowers: Fifty Flowers // Cupcakes: Cramer’s Bakery // Venue: Private Residence // Garlands : Carly is Inspired // China: Heirloom // Chairs: American Trading Company // Linens: Target // Floral Tablecloth: Jo-Ann Fabrics



by: Lauren

After five years of a long distance romance and traveling thousands of miles to see each other, it was absolutely fitting for Staci and Mat to celebrate their love with a travel themed wedding. A vintage style paired with a cheerful pink and orange color palette made their Virginia wedding fun, memorable, and absolutely gorgeous, and V.A. Photography captured it all perfectly! Staci is here with us today to share more about her wedding planning:

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

I did a lot of the planning on my own as my fiancé was living in Colorado and on a very time consuming schedule being in the military and all of my bridesmaids were out of state. Using the internet to find vendors and read reviews was a lifesaver when planning. I had a day of wedding planner but the three people who really helped us on the day of the wedding were the on site event coordinator for Tredegar, Tracy Hynes; our DJ, Amanda with Fat Cat Productions; and our photographer, Ashley Link. Those three kept us on track with events but were so great in the process.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding whom to work with for your wedding?

Of course reviews meant a lot to me but I really based my final decisions on the vendors attitudes when I met/talked with them. I talked to three different florists and ultimately went with the highest quote because she was the nicest of the three and seemed genuinely interested in what I wanted. I wanted to make sure all of my vendors were nice to avoid any unnecessary stress during planning.

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

We had a travel theme for our wedding. My fiancé and I dealt with 5 years of long distance due to his military career and spent most of our time traveling to see each other so it just seemed fitting. We used a lot of vintage luggage, maps and planes as décor. I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

I would have to say the favorite part about our wedding was walking back down the aisle together after exchanging vows. The nerves were gone and it was time to celebrate!

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Have fun on your wedding day. Don’t let the stress get the best of you. My vendors kept commenting on how relaxed I was the day of the wedding and I believe having that attitude allowed me to fully enjoy our day. Things went wrong but we rolled with the punches and everything ended up perfectly. I would also suggest not being too strict on your bridesmaids. If your bridesmaids are stress free, they will help you be stress free.

That is some excellent advice! I always love hearing what works for other brides, and it sounds like Staci really enjoyed her wedding day!

I don’t know about you, but wedding themes are my favorite! I always encourage couples to choose some kind of theme to design their wedding around that will tell the story of their relationship, and Staci and Mat’s travel themed wedding certainly did just that!

If you were to choose a theme for your wedding that would tell your story, what would it be?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: V.A. Photography / Flowers & Decor: Flowers by Zoie / Reception Venue: Tredegar Iron Works / DJ: Fat Cat Productions / Bride’s Dress: Alfred Angelo / Hairstylist: Avenue 42 Style Studio / Makeup Artist: BRIDEface Richmond


by: Michelle

I am totally in love with this gorgeous blush and gold Seattle wedding captured by Meredith McKee Photography. Gold brings in a touch of sparkle, while white and blush pink keep things clean, simple, and most of all, romantic. Catherine and Julian chose to incorporate details that were inspired by the city of Seattle, and these images captured everything perfectly. Take a look- you will fall in love with this wedding… and the couple too!

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

My little sister was my rock throughout the wedding planning process. I’m very indecisive and tend to over-plan things but she’s the exact opposite. Whenever I’d start to go a little overboard, she’d pull me right back to the ground and help me refocus and prioritize. She also made sure all bases were covered on the wedding day. Forgot deodorant? Chap Stick? Even the Garter Belt? She had it all and had it under control!

 In addition to my sister, my bridesmaids were so supportive and amazing. I’d heard from many other brides that planning a wedding and making a lot of the décor yourself could get really stressful. I kept bracing myself for some sudden burst of stress to hit me but it never came. Planning the wedding brought me so much closer to my girlfriends with all our late-night wedding planning, decoration-making assembly-line parties, and silly girl talk of what our weddings would look like if only we had an endless budget.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

When I first started meeting with vendors for the wedding cake, catering, music, photographer and floral arrangements, I became a bit overwhelmed. There are so many options and I’m sure any one of the people I met with would have done an amazing job. With that in mind, I decided to go with vendors that had warm and inviting personalities and seemed very down to earth. This was a very happy and exciting time for me, and I wanted to make sure I surrounded myself with people who had similar energy and enthusiasm. I absolutely love my florist and photographer, not just because they did an amazing job, but because they’re just awesome people!

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

My husband and I had a lot of guests flying in from all across the country and most of them had never been to Seattle. We wanted to make sure they got the entire Seattle experience so we chose a down-to-earth yet very Seattle-esque venue in Capital Hill and had organic coffee beans as our wedding favors. I also created a mini sight-seeing checklist for everyone on our wedding website,catherinelovesjulian.com. We wanted to make sure that even after our wedding celebration ended, the party would continue out onto the streets of Capital Hill! We wanted everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Our wedding day was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had. Actually, the entire week surrounding the wedding was amazing. Not only was I about to marry my best friend and the kindest man I’ve ever met, but I was surrounded by all the people I love and cherish most. To know that everyone had taken time from their busy schedules and spent money to fly in for my husband and I was just heartwarming. My cheeks hurt so much that week from all the smiling and laughing that took place! It was like a fairy tale. The highlight of the night for me was later in the reception, when all my friends got together on the dance floor and we sang and danced the night away to all our favorite 90s songs. So much N’Sync and Coolio…

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

My best piece of advice for all the lovely brides out there is to not lose sight of what the wedding is really all about. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the details and decorations, but at the end of the day, it’s about your relationship and union with your partner. When I look back on my wedding, I won’t be thinking about my place-card holders or choice of tablecloth. I’ll be thinking about my husband reading his vows to me and how much fun we had side-by-side with our family and friends.

I’m loving the sparkler exit! Hands down my favorite way for newlyweds to end the night! And how awesome is it that Catherine and Julian used the city of Seattle as the inspiration for their wedding details?!

So tell me- would you use YOUR hometown as the inspiration for your wedding? What would you do?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Meredith Mckee Photography / Catering: Gourmondo Catering / Reception Venue: Melrose Market Studio / Invitations & Stationery: Minted / Bride’s Dress: White by Vera Wang