Category Archives: Wedding Planning

12 Best Amazon Prime Day Basic DIY Wedding Floral Tools

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Martha Stewart Living, Photography by Jen Causey, Saipua 

Hey it’s Amazon’s Prime Day!  Since this only last for 24 hours, I am gonna keep this short and sweet! 

Here are my 10 favorite Amazon Prime items that we often use to put together wedding arrangements.  If you are looking for other great ideas and/or items, here is a list of Wedding Accessories that can come in handy.

(Note: The links provided are from my Amazon Associate Links. I might be paid for what is purchased.)

1. The Wedding planning binder from the Knot.  Provides every necessary detail to plan your wedding, along with handy tips and a budget tracker. Click on picture for link!

2. Floral Wire, Tape, Wire Cutter and Pins.  These tools are the basics for making bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. Click on picture for link.

3. Six standard floral wet foam packs.  Unless you are creating a loose stem arrangement this is perfect for centerpieces.  It is wet foam and can only be used one. Click on picture for link.

4. Corsage, Boutonniere and bouquet pins. Self explanatory., but these are necessary to pin boutonnieres and corsages to clothing.  They are also great for holding the ribbon in place on bouquets. Click on picture for link.

5. Bouquet holder. These are a great tool to use for classic bouquets where the bride doesn’t want to hold stems.  They are also popular for cascading bouquets. Click on picture for link.

6. Not prime, but an amazing bargain for 5×5 cube glass vase.  Perfect for centerpieces.  This 5×5 clear glass cube is flexible enough to where you can have loose stems or use an Oasis wet foam. Click on picture for link.

7. Floral Tubes.  These tubes would be used in the case of having blooms, such as hydrangeas, that need to be constantly hydrated. Click on picture for link.

8. Wedding Wristlet. The perfect solution to create a corsage wristlet.  It offers a flexible stretch wrist band that you decorate with ribbon or leave as is. Click Picture for link.

9. Crowning Glory.  There are some blossoms that once cut will begin to quickly wilt.  Crowning Glory helps to seal in the moisture so the flowers can keep their freshness locked in for longer. Click on picture for link

10. Floralife fresh cut flower food. For stems that can remain in water.  This powder mixed with water will keep the flowers fresh for longer. Click on picture for link

11.  Sharp floral Knife. A necessary tools for helping to strip and cut stems.  Click on picture for link

12. Pruning Scissors. Perfect for when a floral stem is to thick to cut with regular scissors or a floral knife. Click on picture for link

Whether you are DIY Bride or a Newbie floral designer these basic tools are just about all you need to get started.  every you will need.  Of course there are other quick tools we use, but for now, this should get you started.  If you have anymore questions, let me know.  I am here to help.



How To Avoid The Wrong Flower Colors At Your Wedding


Your wedding day is suppose to be perfect! After all it’s the day you have dreamed of and have planned for months if not years.

Everything is in place and perfect until you get your flowers. They are gorgeous but, a big UH-OH!! They are the wrong color.  You ordered plum and you received maroon.  What went wrong?

SI Wedding - Wrong Colors
Clearly, I got something wrong with the color! Yuck! Worst and embarrassing mistake EVER!!

Well okay, Uh — You know me, I like to just get to the point and tell it like it is, so let’s cut to the chase shall we?

Soooo the easiest reason why your flowers are the wrong colors?  Well, your plum, the florist plum and the distributors plum and the image sample you sent over to the florist via the computer or text message are four  different colors.

See here is what I mean (Image below).

Different Plum Colors
Truly four different variations of Plum

Now, this mistake doesn’t happen often. when it does, it is an earth shattering!  It is for me, as a floral designer.  High levels of pessimism comes in and sets up residence in my mind.   I go through every level of woe is me and depression to the point of almost wanting to give up.  Let me tell you, it is not a pretty sight seeing a talented and once confident floral designer shrink to almost nothing.

There are ways to avoid this. So getting to the point (or back to it), here are tips for not only the bride planning her perfect wedding, but also the florist or other vendors.

State your color. Start with stating what the color of your dress is.  Yes, I know I just said your color, as the bride is not going to be the same as anyone else’s.  That’s okay.  Keep reading.

Keep it simple.  When stating your color keep it simple.  Do not say, “It’s David Bridals Plum” or just say plum.  Here is why?

Plums may be the same fruit, but created without equal coloring.

Consider this,  take a trip to the grocery store, look at the colors of plums. There are several variations of the color of plum.  And so it is for each vendor and designer.  Telling a very busy florist that your dominant color is David’s Plum is great! (sorry, the explanation point is for seriousness, I am not yelling at you). Unless they have a color swatch of David bridal’s gowns to refer to, they will most likely still get it wrong.  Sure they can look it up online, but remember not each computer screen is configured the same. This leaves room for error.  So this, brings me to the next tip.

Bring and give your florist a color Swatch.  Okay, a very seasoned florist may get thecolor swatch colors right.  However, with all the different variations of color constantly changing in the fashion world do you actually want to take a chance?   My best suggestion is to obtain a fabric color swatch from the store you purchased your bridesmaids dresses from.  In some cases the color swatches may cost you a small fee. Depending on where you purchase your bridesmaid dresses from, you won’t be breaking the bank for the swatches.  They range from $1.00 to $5.00.  David’s bridal has them for a $1.00.  It’s a well worth it investment.  I suggest getting enough swatches for all of your vendors that are providing you with decorations that has the color of your weddings in it.

If you are not able to obtain a color swatch ask your vendor. This is my favorite option.

Vendor Swatches.  Besides being my favorite option, it is practically fail safe. Ask your vendor if they have color swatches for you to refer to.  As a design professional, I absolutely feel every vendor should have at least one  of these fabric samples.

If you are an up and coming wedding design professional, you can get them at my affiliate link for just $2.00 for 3 pieces (click here:  It’s bargain and well worth it.  I recently started work with several different swatches, but for the budget conscience start up, this is a perfect option.  The idea is to get the closest color to the dresses and the flowers (in my case)

For the vendors, take the color swatches with you to your floral or linen distributor match the colors to as close as possible.

NOTE: fabric colors are an imitation of nature.  Nature changes its mind all the time. So the color swatches help to get as close as possible.  Not an exact match.

For the brides: if your vendor doesn’t have a color swatch don’t worry!  You  can order your swatches online.  Simply put the swatch in the mail if you live far away or bring them in personally.

Vendors:  The cost of the swatches can be written off as a business expense on your taxes.  Honestly, the cost is so small that it can be part of the quote.  This works perfectly if they tell you the store and color of the dress.  As I mentioned David’s Bridal has color swatches  for you to order and they only cost $1.00 or $500 for six swatches.

Now that you are ready with how to insure the perfect colors for your flowers or linens, wedding planning can resume. You will avoid being disappointed and your vendor when they receive the pictures will not be crushed into shame, wallow in self-doubt and nearly give up their passion.  Yes that last part was me being overly dramatic! I do that from time to time…it must be the actor in me.  😉


Dream Wedding vs Budget Wedding: 5 Things to Consider

Are you on Pinterest?  Oh my word!! –Yes, I am about to become overly dramatic!   I love, LOve, LOVE!!!  Wasting Moi’s time on that site!



What do I love? EVERYTHING!! I am pretty sure, we can all agree, the best of the best of creative ideas is seen and shared on Pinterest.  Whenever I need some inspiration with family organization, DIY projects, decor inspired ideas, I go to Pinterest.  Yes, even for wedding design ideas.  No not to copy, to be inspired.  SSHHHH! Hush now, there is a difference.

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Source: Pinterest

I get lost in all the gorgeous pictures.  I basically pin just about everything I see.  Do you know what I am talking about?  It’s like a drug, you can’t stop at just one pin.   It’s as if you can see the possibilities in everything.  Suddenly, I am overwhelmed with wanting a gorgeous home, a happy life and knockout wardrobe and I am ready to conquer my dream life.  And then reality sits in.  I look at my bank account and it says….”No honey, not today!”

When this happens, I am crushed and I give up a little. And I do mean a little.  I don’t give up easily.  Well, this happens a lot with the brides I meet who are planning their weddings.  They are taken over by all the gorgeous pictures and ideas that are online and suddenly they want it all.  Until they see the price tag.

Well, you are gonna get use to me!  I am going to shoot from the hip and tell it like it is.  You can’t have everything you see.  I know, I know!  And I understand, but, let’s face it weddings are expensive!  Earlier this week, I talked about how to create a budget.  If you haven’t created a budget, now is the time to do so.  It’s okay go ahead….we’ll wait here for you.

Great now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about your expectations vs your budget. Uh-oh!!  Yes, I am going to push a few buttons here.  I mean no harm.  What is it that they say, “The truth will set you free”?  Free to make sound decisions and enter into a marriage debt free. Well, at least from the wedding anyway.

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So let’s talk about it — Your dream wedding vs your budget.  Here are five things I’d like to share with you to help you stay in line with reality and your budget.

1.  Manage your expectations.  Pinterest is great tool to spur inspiration.  In fact, I love it.  However, often times the pictures that you see are not always what you are going to get.  They, the pictures on Pinterest, have been altered with a filter, staged to help promote the work of the florist, planner, photographer or even the venue. Take in consideration that amount of flowers used in a picture to make it standout and capture the attention of dreamy-doe-eyed bride is usually in the price range of thousands of dollars.  Therefore, it may be outside of your budget to have a garden themed wedding with an alter adorned with nothing but flowers.

2. Focus on what is important. Have you read my recent post, Where to begin with your Budget? I mentioned to begin, you should create a list of your “must haves” in your wedding.  This list is what is going to help you stay focused and within your budget.  This  list of “must haves” is the absolute knock-down and drag-out important elements you are willing to spend money on for your wedding day.  Once you have created your list, stick to it!  This list is the direction you want to stay in.  This is where I advise my brides to stick to the list when you are on Pinterest.  Once you have Pinned a few inspirational ideas for your must haves, get off of and stay off of Pinterest.  There is no need to confuse yourself with more ideas. Remember you created the list to match your budget. I cannot express it enough.  Let me say it again, “Stick to your ideas and stick to your list”.

Think of it this way, it’s like going grocery shopping without a list.  When you don’t bring it with you, you’re going on a tangent buying spree and before you know it you have a cart full of junk and you are way over your grocery budget.   Same principle applies for your wedding.  Junk equals unhealthy lifestyle.  In this case debt.  Heed the warning! I love you too much to see you hurt yourself and your marriage before you even begin.  So, make a list and stick with it!

3. Time of season.  Stick with flowers that are in season.  You will absolutely, all hands down, save money when you purchase flowers that are in the same season as your wedding.  If your wedding is in the fall and you absolutely need to have peonies in your arrangements (which by the way, are only available in late spring), you are going to pay more to have them shipped in from another country.  My advise?  If you are a DIY bride research what flowers are available in your region during the season of your wedding. If you are having a florist create your arrangements, be specific by asking your florist to choose flowers in season.

4. Take advantage of lighting.  Using Pin spot lighting and candles make a great option to add ambiance and change a room’s view.  Bringing in light to your venue most certainly will add to the romantic feel you may be seeking.  It is a great addition when flowers are not an option.  If your venue does not allow for real flame candles, the LED candles work just as well.  You can also rent LED Pin spot lighting.  Make sure you ask the rental company if they provide color gels to match your color scheme. Or you can DIY the lighting project your self by purchasing inexpensive stage showcase. I suggest experimenting prior to your wedding in an area that matches the colors of the walls in your venue.  Here is a link from my affiliate of a staging spot light that has been used for various events.  If you want color like purple or pink you will have to blend two light colors in an area you are attempting to spot light.  Whether you doing it yourself or hiring a company to do it for you, lighting is a valuable tool to use as a decor impression.

5. Work with your vendors.  I can’t express this enough!  Vendors should be able to offer advice on their services that will save you money.  This doesn’t mean they will give away the farm. They do need make money to pay for bills and so on.  Remember this is their job and they can’t give everything away at discount prices.  Still, they should be able to offer solutions that will keep you within your budget and the vision of your design.  Yes there are some snaky vendors that will try to up-sale you.  Before you say yes, always ask, “will it cost extra?” Don’t fall for it hook line and sinker and stick to the list.  Most vendors want to work with you and save you money.  So tell them how much you are willing to spend and from there, work out what options are available to you to take advantage of.

What method do you use to keep yourself in reality with your budget?  Comment below or send me a private message on Facebook or email.

Pictures source from Pinterest.

Wedding Planning: Where to Begin With Your Budget!

Yay you’re engaged!!  Congratulations!!  Did you pick a date yet?  Great!  Oh Fun!! Let the planning begin!!

The number one question and the first thing I ask my clients is what is your budget?  For some they are able to spit out a number quicker than I can blink.

Wedding budget Planning
Source: google images

For others, This is where I either get the deer in the head light looks or quick wince. Or even better? A big blank stair with a strained look from trying not to look confused. Some don’t even know what a budget is.

Guess what?  Yes Hunnnaaaee, you need a budget! If you don’t have one, get one! If you don’t know what one is, well, it’s about time you find out.

A budget for your wedding, is similar to a budget you would create for your home or business. It is a necessary and critically important tool to keep you within your financial means and boundaries. Hopefully, if you stick with it, a budget will keep you debt free. Not just for your wedding, but for life.

Think about it this way.  You wouldn’t have a million dollar home and lifestyle on a $3500 a month budget ($42k a year salary).  You would find yourself in debt within the first month.  It is the same with your wedding budget.  Simply put, a detailed budget will keep you from entering into your marriage with debt.

I am going to cut to the chase and let you in on a little secret. If you do not create a budget this is where sneaky wedding vendors can and will take advantage of you. There are vendors out there that prey on engaged couples who have not set a monetary limit or haven’t done the research.  So do the research and know how much money you are willing to spend for every aspect of your wedding.  Decide what is necessary and what is not.  Do not be oversold or accept something that you do not need or want within your wedding ceremony or reception. And then stick to it.

So now you know you NEED a budget and you know why.  Let’s get to work.   It’s okay, no need to panic.  Take a deep breath.  I am not going to leave you hanging.

The first step in creating a budget is to understand the average wedding cost in your area.  For example weddings in New Jersey average between $41k to $47k. Throughout Pennsylvania the cost of a wedding varies between $27k for the central PA area to $40k in the Philadelphia area.  If it helps, research what the average percentage breakdown will be for each item you will be paying for within your wedding.  From there you will know how much to spend on each line item (category) within your wedding.

Second step,  is to write a list of every thing you are willing to spend money on to create the day of your dreams. Now be realistic.  Remember you can’t have caviar dreams on a canned tuna fish budget.  This list will be your must haves.  Note: if you are a DIY bride, consider not only the basics. For example, flowers.  Include your hard goods (supplies) costs for all your decorations, food, attire and so forth.

Third step, decide how much money you are willing to spend on each category.  This is where knowing the overall amount you are willing to spend on your wedding and then breaking it down by a percentage of the cost will help.

Did I just confuse you?  Okay! NO problem…here let me help.  for example My wedding (not actually my wedding) I decided, I will not go over $25,000.  I created a list of must haves and created a percentage how much I am willing to spend for each category.  Here are some to name a few:

  • Venue (includes food) will be 40% of the cost
  • Decorations (includes flowers) 20%
  • Attire (includes jewelry and shoes) 20%
  • Photography: 10%
  • Music: 10%

Do you get where I am going here?  Once I understand the breakdown of cost, I need to figure out how much is that percentage.  Don’t panic! Breathe!!  Here is how you figure that out.  Trust me, I am not a mathematical genius.  If I can figure out how much the percentage is of an item on sale, then I can figure it out for my weddings.  So here it goes….Breathe!

For a $25,000 wedding: (formula total cost x percentage.  example 25000 x .40 = 10,00)

  • Venue: $10,000
  • Decorations: $5000
  • Attire: $5000
  • Photography: $2500
  • Music: $2500

Still confused:  click here Percentage calculator  This will help you work out those percentages.

Wooo! Wipe the sweat from your brow!  Now you are armed with how to create a budget.  See that wasn’t to bad.  Now you can get right to it…the planning that is.  But suddenly you are feeling overwhelmed.  So here, let me help you out with a little bit more information.

There are two ways you can create a budget now a days.  Actually three.  You can go about creating a spreadsheet on excel or on a notepad.  This is probably the easiest.  But then you may need to print or create a file for yourself so you don’t lose or forget your information.

For those of us who need a little extra help with keeping everything organized, the next two options are available and a huge lifesavers.

If you are technology savvy and don’t  mind working in a cloud based software or App then go for budget tracker online.

One of my favorites online budget trackers is cloud based and offered by  ” WEdding wire Budget tool.jpg’s  Budget Tracker. offers a free account, the ability to create and track your wedding budget online, and plan your entire wedding with not only a budget generator and tracker, but vendor and guest list management.  There is also a check list to keep you on track with your planning timeline.  All of this without cutting down one tree and it’s FREE!  You know what I say about that right!? “If it’s free, it’s for me!”

Then there is, for those like myself, a need to hold something in your hand and see it.  There are tons of  printed binder planners that work just fine.  My favorite, was created by The Knot.  Once upon a time (during my former years a full service wedding planner and designer) I gave these to my clients to help them keep everything in one place.  Like’s online service, the binder helps to keep you organized and everything in one place.  

For just under $20, this binder has everything you need to plan your wedding from tips on how to pick your vendors, awesome tab dividers with pockets to store all your vendor information and contracts.  They even have a few inspirational ideas with color photos.  There is a handy checklist and timeline and budget sheet for you to complete and follow.  And sooooo much more.  Now do you see why its my favorite? Click on the picture it will take you to my affiliate link on

If spending money on a notebook seems to be a bit much for you, then there is an option to print out a wedding organizing binder for free.  Here are are a couple that I found to be helpful.

If you need additional help with planning your wedding, I have created a Wedding Planning Pinterest board to assist you with just about every area of your wedding.  I add to the board often so follow it, so you’re not missing out great tools to help plan your wedding.

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Pinterest Board

I really hope this helps.  Perhaps you still have a few questions?  Not a problem.  I am always available and willing to offer some free advice.  Send me a message on Facebook or comment below.  In the meantime, do you have any budgeting tips that you’d like to share or questions you’d like me to answer?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!  Until next time, have a great week!

For a free consult contact us at: or call us at (717)627-3050