Today we are taking a trip down memory lane and reflecting back on one of our favorite events from 2010. Lauren & Erwan’s beautiful lakeside Michigan wedding was interwoven with a french influence. Sprigs of Lavender, succulents and lush greenery were incorporated throughout the design of the event resulting in a lovely, intimate celebration for this special couple. (Fun fact: The bride Lauren and Alicia played golf together in high school! Needless to say, this wedding is near and dear to our hearts!)
Floral Design by Field of Flowers Farm; Image by The Weber Photographers
We hope you all had a lovely weekend. We were busy celebrating the birthday of a very special 4 year old! There were race cars and superheroes galore! Now that we are back in the office and moving full speed ahead into wedding season, we thought what better way to kick off a new week than with some bright blooms? Lately we have been loving vibrant floral pieces to add playfulness and pops of color to our event design. While some couples love muted neutrals and pastels, it can be fun to mix things up with happy floral!
You may have noticed we uploaded a new gallery on our website titled “Happiness on Lake Michigan” and surely the vibrant color palette and cheery blooms added to the abundance of joy that day.
Wishing you a bright and happy week ahead!
Floral by Scarlett and Grace; Image by Milou Olin Photography
The venue you select for your wedding immediately sets the tone for your event (more tips on choosing the perfect venue here!). As one of the first (and most important!) decisions you make in the planning process, you want to be certain that you are choosing a space that is beautiful, unique and functional for your celebration. From a breathtaking farm to an old sugar mill, here are some of the venues that currently have us swooning!
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards; Image via Eric Kelley Photography
The southern charm and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range make Pippin Hill Farm a lovely choice for your nuptials. This winery and culinary vineyard was founded by the Easton Porter Group. Lynn Easton, event planner extraordinaire put her magical touch on this space and it is truly stunning!
Durham Ranch; Image via The Wedding Spot
We love the chic, fresh setting at Durham Ranch in Napa Valley. Guests can move from the garden side ceremony, to poolside cocktails, to a spectacular reception in the barn. You can’t go wrong with a wedding in wine country! Additionally, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering is the exclusive catering team at this venue, which means your guests will be in for a magical culinary experience.
Blackberry Farm; Image via Town & Country
Situated on an idyllic estate in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Blackberry Farm is celebrated as one of the nation’s finest intimate, luxury hotels. One may host up to 138 guests at an estate wedding at this breathtaking property. With the finest accommodations, stunning views, an assortment of activities, this venue would create a romantic wedding weekend for you and your loved ones.
Haiku Mill; Image via Ian Russell Photography
A sought after private event space in Maui, the Haiku Mill is a historic sugar processing factory. Talk about a unique setting to exchange your “I Do’s!” It. Is. Gorgeous. A quick Google search and you will see the magnificent beauty of this venue!
Image via Philip Dean
In the heart of Charleston sits the dreamy Lowndes Grove Plantation built in 1786. Surrounded by oak trees and riverside views, this property has been the backdrop for one of a kind celebrations for more than four centuries. Rich in both history and beauty, this space will surely capture the hearts of your guests.
We’re here today today to bust some myths and put the great debate of banquet versus round tables to rest. Ok, ok, so maybe we won’t put this hot topic completely to rest, but our hope is after you’re done reading this, you’ll take away some insightful information that will help you to make informed decisions when creating your wedding reception layout.
Image by Jen Kroll Photography
First things first, while it may appear just the opposite, you are physically further away from more people at a round table than you are at a banquet. For this “calculation” we had to delve deep into the memory banks of geometry and reacquaint ourselves with our old friend Pi, as well as, the Pythagorean Theorem. We created the below illustrations to physically outline the space that each person is technically allocated at the two different types of tables and as you can see, the banquet table is the clear “winner”! If you think about it, if you were to sit down at a round table that’s five feet/sixty inches in diameter while being a guest at a wedding, would you really attempt to talk to the person directly across from you? Chances are, that the answer to that question would be probably not. With ambient music in the background, as well as, the conversations of 100 plus other guests in order to have a casual chat with that person, you would have to raise your voice significantly causing disruption to the other guests around you. Even just to chat with the lovely folks two seats away from you, you would either have to stretch your neck out in front of or behind the person sitting directly next to you in order to talk to them. In the instance of banquet tables, it’s clear from the illustration that you can easily talk to five other guests without having to stretch or yell to converse.
Now that we’ve busted myth number one, let’s move on to another common concern. The statement that round tables are much more “formal and elegant” while banquets appear to be more “casual”. While we’re sure that we cannot sway your perception, it must be mentioned that there are very few things that make us more giddy at ADIM than a perfectly set, perfectly aligned banquet table. Think of each chair, charger, glass, etc. lined up straight like little tin soldiers. These are the detail photos that your photographer will capture and you’ll look back on and think to yourself “Wow, that room sure looked great!”. Another note to mention is that if you have selected a formal place setting (charger plate, bread and butter plate, water goblet, champagne flute, white wine glass, red wine glass and all the necessary flatware) and your’re placing your guests at round tables, your caterer may end up having to stack your glassware versus the more traditional glassware arch. While this is not the end of the world, it’s something to take note of due to the fact that at a round, each guest’s spatial allocation is a pie shape with square footage decreasing as you approach the center of the table.
Image via Jen Kroll Photography
So by now, you’re probably thinking that ADIM is pro-banquets and completely against rounds, right? Well that is certainly not the case. In truth, one of our favorite things to do is mix the different types of tables together creating visual interest and promoting conversation, while also making the best use of the space that we are allotted. There is a time and a place for each type of table and on that rare occasion that we decide to “get a little crazy” we’ll even throw in squares (just kidding, they too have their place and we love using square tables when space allows and the client is up for it). When creating layouts, we typically start by placing the piece of most importance or what will be the central focus (oftentimes this is the stage/dance floor [if it’s located in the same area] or the head table) and then place all the guest tables around that point. By mixing rounds and banquet tables in varying lengths, we can maximize the seating for the space while being able to work around objects in a more efficient way. We typically allocate 100 square feet of space (10’x10′) for each sixty inch round table which allows for service and guest flow in between tables. For an eight foot by forty-two inch banquet, we would allocate 93.5 square feet of space (8.5’x11′). Banquet tables can also be joined end to end creating varying lengths of tables.
Image via Blaine Seisser Photography
While I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be appearing on the Discovery Chanel with Jamie and Adam anytime soon, we hope that our great debate of banquets versus rounds will help you to create a wedding reception layout that is both functional and beautiful. When meeting with an event planner or venue for the first time, it’s important that you share with them your overall vision for the day including what types of tables you are drawn to. As professionals, they will attempt to make all your dreams, hopes and visions come true, however, if you’re set on rounds and the space just won’t accommodate all your guests, we hope that you’ll be open to banquet tables and the opportunities that they present.
When your guests enter their hotel or lodging accommodations for your wedding weekend, there is nothing that will delight them more than a lovely welcome gift waiting for them in their room. Whether you choose to put together a branded welcome basket filled with goodies for the festivities ahead, or simply offer a tasty treat with a hand written note, your guests will certainly appreciate the thoughtful touch. Here are a few of our favorite companies that specialize in gifting and inspire us when we are developing gifting components for our clients.
We are always blown away by the creativity and thoughtful touch points included in the branding by Gifts for the Good Life. Each piece is unique and tells a story within the design of the gifting experience. The layers of detail, personality and consistency in the design shines through in every gifting experience. We always look forward to seeing what they put together for the Engage Summits!
Teak & Twine is another fantastic resource for gifting inspiration. We love how they source the most beautiful products (many of which are made in the USA!) to create their wow-worthy gift boxes. When developing gift boxes for your event, we love including local products that are unique to the geographic region where you are hosting the celebration. Your guests can discover pieces that are special to you and your wedding location. Another great element to include with your gift boxes are a customized map and itinerary with dining and activity recommendations along with a list of bride and groom favorites.
Cherry Republic is a local favorite in Northern Michigan. They are known for their gourmet cherry products and gifts. They put together beautiful gift boxes filled with delicious cherry jams, mustards, nut mixes, chocolate covered cherries & more! Your guests will love these tasty treats…and as they say, you can always find the way to someone’s heart through their stomach!
Packed Party has a gift box for nearly every occasion. They send fabulously themed packages to allow the recipient to “have a party for one!” The items inside the gift box are all focused on that theme along with a note on why it was sent. When developing gifting pieces for your event, you can think beyond the welcome gift. Perhaps you give your bridesmaids a gift to help them pamper themselves while getting ready for your nuptials. Or instead of a welcome gift, maybe you send a small thank you gift to your guests to show your appreciation for them participating in your wedding weekend. A client last summer sent a custom mug with their wedding logo and a gourmet s’mores kit to ensure their guests would would remember the event long after they exchanged “I Do’s.”