Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Bridal Show Schedule - See NY Engagements / Engaging Floral Designs for yourself!

Recently engaged and looking for ideas or is your wedding fast approaching and you're in search of a floral designer or day of coordination company to tend to the details of your day? Come visit our two companies, Engaging Floral Designs and NY Engagements, LLC. in person and see for yourself why we're a top 5 star rated, award winning team at your service! Don't forget to pre-register to get discounts off your tickets or call (914-393-2295) or email us for a complimentary ticket (while supplies last)!

Bosco Bridal Show: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Villa Barone Hilltop Manor
466 Route 6
Mahopac, NY
Tickets: $5 if you pre-register, $10 at the door
Register Online and Save $5
We have one complimentary admission ticket to the show - be the first to contact us via email and we'll send it to you and see you at the show!


11th Annual Westchester County Bridal Expo: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Westchester County Center
198 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY
Tickets: $8
Visit us at booth #:65 near the food area
Register Online to Receive $1 off your entry fee
We have 6 complimentary admission tickets to the show - be the first six brides to contact us via email and we'll send it to you and hope to see you at the show!

Come for the fun, get inspired, feel like a pampered bride to be, and start booking your wedding professionals! It's a great feeling to check items off your wedding to do list - the shows make it easy for one stop shopping for the busy girl on the go!

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A Chilly December wedding - Personal flowers for the ceremony at Our Lady of the Rosary in Poughkeepsie, NY and Reception at The Grandview

Flowers by
Engaging Floral Designs

The boutonnieres were wintery sprigs with spray roses and the groom's boutonniere contained a ranunculus flower. Sarah helped the guys pin on their boutonnieres. The church was beautiful and set back - such a beautiful gem of a place for a religous ceremony.

The bridal bouquet was stunning - a wintery purple and silver look using purple hydrangea, juniper berries, purple peonies, white ranunculus, and purple roses and spray roses.

Here are a few words sent in an email from the bride to Engaging Floral Designs after the wedding:


Hi Sarah,

Sorry I'm just getting back to you now. We just got back recently from our honeymoon. Chuck and I both would like to say thank you SO much for doing such a wonderful job with the flowers. I loved my bouquet and some of my favorite pictures are the ones that highlight my bouquet. The bridesmaids bouquets were wonderful. The white hydrangeas really popped against their purple dresses. All the flowers lasted really well throughout the day too! I loved that there were peonies in my bouquet and the silver berries were perfect. You do beautiful work! My mom also wanted me to tell you that she loved her corsage. It was the perfect size.

I attached a preview picture. My aunt took this picture after we came out of the Church and after the rice throwing. I love how it shows off the bouquet :)

Thank you again and Merry Christmas!



Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A Natural November Wedding of Purples and Reds at the Bear Mountain Overlook Lodge
Flowers by Engaging Floral Designs

The perfect setting for a natural woodsy favored wedding is at the Overlook Lodge at Bear Mountain in Orange County, New York. The ceremony took place at the Cliff House on the premises.

The bouquets were red and purple tones of flowers.

At the reception, the centerpieces were displayed on birch rounds to give it a more natural look:

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A Sleepy Hollow Country Club Wedding on a Cold and Windy Day in October
Day of Coordination by NY Engagements, LLC

The day started with the girls getting pampered by their hair stylist Nicole from Beauty by Nicole and their makeup artist was none other than Meredith Hayman.

The grounds of Sleepy Hollow Country Club are spectacular. The perfect setting for an outdoor wedding is on the terrace of the main "Estate" where it overlooks the rolling golf course and beyond.
It was so cold, the coordinators kept the guests indoors to stay warm until the very last minute when they were asked to find a seat and were greeted by Suzanne Chapman and the other ladies in the string trio from Maura and Co. I gave them a lot of credit to withstand the cold and play for an hour in frigid temperatures! It was a very touching ceremony as the bride's father officiated the wedding.

At the end of the ceremony, guests waved these adorable muslin fabric flags with "Yay" and "Yippee!" signs on them. You can also see the wedding programs. Since it was so windy outside, the flags and programs were passed out by the ushers indoors as guests waited to be seated.

At the reception, the room was decorated beautifully with large centerpieces provided by Diana Gould.
The cocktail spread included a seafood station, sushi station, and antipasto station along with many passed hors d'ouevres.

At the end of the event, guests were shuttled off in buses back to the hotel but didn't leave empty handed. They received a tote bag with the Sleepy Hollow logo on the front and when they returned to the hotel, a pizza cart awaited them. During the couple of weeks before the wedding when we started working on the day of plans, we learned that the site doesn't allow outside food vendors to serve food outdoors so we had to relocate the pizza to the hotel for as soon as they got off the buses. It worked out perfectly and we saved the bride and groom from the stress of handling the change of plans on their own!

If you want to see more photos of this wedding, visit their photographer's website (Jeff Tisman Photography) to glance at his blog.

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A Chic October Wedding at St. John the Baptist in Yonkers and Reception at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac, NY
Flowers by
Engaging Floral Designs

You can view a video of this wedding courtesy of Moving Pictures LLC HERE

At the ceremony site, the Engaging Floral Design team pinned on the boutonnieres for the groom's bridal party:

The bridesmaid bouquets looks terrific against their bright red dresses. And the flower girl looked adorable with the crown of flowers adorning her curly hair.

The aisle markers were very simple baby's breath clusters with brown sheer ribbons to coordinate the fall theme the bride requested. At the altar, two colorful fall arrangements were placed on rental white pedestals brought in by Engaging Floral Designs. The pieces were transferred to the reception site after the ceremony to be re-used at the sweetheart table.

At the reception, the centerpieces were a trio of brown toned square contemporary vases to line the length of the long oval tables.
Originally the bride wanted a more pink fall toned centerpiece, so we had adjusted the piece slightly from the first sample piece we did:

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

An October wedding at Round Hill (F.E.A.S.T. Caterers) in Washingtonville, New York
Flowers by Engaging Floral Designs

After a great photo shoot for Well Wed Magazine earlier in the summer, we return to Round Hill for a beautiful fall themed wedding.

The ceremony took place outdoors and it was just the right temperature for a fall ceremony. The bride decided on 2 large potted mum plants for the ceremony arrangements on pedestals and the aisle accented with colorful fall aisle markers and fall leaves lining the sides of the aisle. This was a photo we took while setting up onsite:

See some of the beautiful photos taken below by Susan Baker Photography.

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

An October Wedding Ceremony at St. Patrick's Church in Bedford, NY and Reception at Waccabuc Country Club in Waccabuc, NY
Day of Coordinators: NY Engagements, LLC

This was a very smooth flowing wedding from start to finish. The day started with the bride getting ready at her parents house with makeup artist Sue Berkoff from Makeup Artistry by Susan

The photographer Suzie O'Rourke from Pamela Benepe Erin Kiernan & Co took some getting ready shots of the bride while our coordinator from NY Engagements checked in on the guys at the hotel to ensure they got into their transportation to head to the church. The guests were also greeted by the NY Engagements coordinator to ensure they were boarding the correct bus and set a non-stressful mood for the guests.

At the ceremony site, the NY Engagements coordinators checked on the flower setup and reviewed the music selections with the string quartet and then helped pin on boutonnieres, hand out corsages and line up the bridal party.

During the wedding when the coordinators are usually just looking out for late arriving guests or interruptions, Sarah Lusardi, the couple's coordinator noticed that part way through the ceremony there was clapping and she knew that would throw off the string quartet as usually they are programmed to start recessional music when they hear clapping. Sure enough, she snuck down a side aisle just as the musicians started to play the upbeat recessional song and got there at a great point to conduct the musicians to an quick ending point to make it like it was an intentional background song to the event that was happening. She knew they realized that they mistook the clapping for the end of the ceremony and by default began playing so they knew to play it for real at the actual end of the ceremony. A guest sitting next to the group found Sarah during the cocktail hour and said that was brilliant!

Sarah Lusardi checked on the setup at Waccabuc Country Club earlier in the morning and everything was coming together. The florist, Larry Greene, was a family friend of the bride's mother. At each chair, a personalized goodie box was hung for guests to fill up at the cookie bar at the dessert hour to take back with them.

The couple also had a smores fire and sparkler setup outside the reception tent:

After a long time of photos, the NY Engagements team had some sample plates of hors'douevres waiting for the bride and groom so they could enjoy their cocktail hour:
The spread of food during the cocktail hour kept the guests satisfied.

The entertainment for the reception was absolutely wonderful! Barbara LaValle, the band leader and singer along with the other musicians of Heartbeat Danceband did a great job of keeping the flow moving and worked well with the kitchen and coordinators to ensure they knew when to keep guests moving or sitting down for the next event. The whole crowd was up on the dance floor and it was a very lively evening!

At the end of the night, a manned pretzel stand awaited the guests as they boarded the shuttle buses back to the hotel.

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A Challenging September wedding at West Park Winery
Day of Coordination by NY Engagements, LLC.

With all the weeks of planning and care that goes into each event as a day of coordinator, there's always one that a planner picks up that comes pre-packaged with a whirlwind of potential challenges that we will be walking into - from working with vendors who are brand new to the wedding industry, potential weather related issues at mainly outdoor venues/tented weddings, high traffic holiday weekends that can leave vendors traveling long distances stranded... yes this all affected us. In addition, there are the challenges that you'll least expect - like a ceremony participant knocking over and breaking a ceremonial teapot for a Korean tea ceremony, a dj having a corrupt music file for the bride's ceremony entrance music that we had to remedy quickly for him, a rickety chuppah that falls down with an intense gush of tornado wind just as the ceremony ends, a dj that didn't know he was to play for the cocktail hour and had to remind him, and a dj that had power failures for part of the evening with his equipment and playing loud dance music even at times they were told to turn to dinner music... this is just part of it. Thankfully, with constant adjustments to scheduling, working closely with the great staff at West Park Winery, having coordinators everywhere helping, and working around vendor issues to help everyone continue working, we all teamed together and had the wedding moving forward with minor blemishes that could have turned into some major issues. A wedding is never perfect...the imperfections are just disguised through working with a good planning team to keep on a positive face and make the best of the resources we have to work with at the time.

Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind as you plan your wedding to reduce risk of potential mishaps:

1) Work with reputable, seasoned wedding professionals that know the ropes. For example, djs should be responsive in communications throughout the planning process, understand what they are providing onsite, know what equipment they need to bring for the type of venue, have backup copies of important music, understand timing of a reception with the kitchen schedule to know when to turn to dinner music, and when it's great to have a full out dance set on the floor to finish out the evening. The dj from this wedding really gave us challenges on all fronts and we couldn't leave the room without worrying if everything would be ok for a minute.

2) Work with wedding professionals that are not too far from your ceremony or reception venue if your wedding falls on a high-traffic holiday weekend such as memorial day, labor day, etc... Many clients from the city having Hudson Valley destination weddings hire city vendors without thinking ahead of the possibility of high traffic on a holiday weekend. For example, the florist at this wedding, had they been local, would have been able to set up everything with time to spare so that the photographer wouldn't be behind in her formal photos, we would have been able to have the bride do a look through to see if her flowers were satisfactory in the room, and maybe the chuppah wouldn't have fallen if there was more time for a quality check over before they left.

3) Too many unfinished diy projects onsite leaves little time to take care of other issues that could potentially arise. Try to get as much prep work done prior to arriving onsite for your vendors to set up. Our client gave us boxes of items that we thought were pre-assembled and ready to just set out. However, onsite we realized that we had to divert our resources to helping assemble lantern pieces, finding votive holders for candles provided that had no holders for them, and taking stickers off of containers. It was great this bride had coordinators working onsite. However, for brides that don't have coordinators, don't assume the wait staff will have time to take care of diy projects as they have challenges of their own in the kitchen and with their setup. The more vendors can focus on their main roles, the smoother the event will run and be on schedule, and the less things will be overlooked.

4) Prepare for inclement weather (you never know even high winds are good cause to have an event indoors if you don't want to risk fly away programs, veils, arrangements, etc). The bride had umbrellas that she wanted the guests to use to block the sun and for a cute photo...but there was no sun and guests would have taken off like Mary Poppins with the gusts of wind that day. Backup plan - nix the umbrella photo idea.

5) Hire a day of coordinator because you just never know... this bride was very well organized and knew what she wanted but when it came time to re-structuring onsite while she was busy enjoying her day and taking photos, we had the know how to keep things moving along as smoothly as possible and keeping other vendors moving with the flow as well.

Here are some photos of what we had time to capture of the decor for that day.

The bride really put a lot of personalized details into their day that really did make it special. They also did a great dance routine to Dirty Dancing "Time of My Life" and the groom performed on his acoustic guitar for the bride which was sweet.

Looking Back - 2010's Weddings and Event Highlights....

A September Wedding at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY
Flowers by Engaging Floral Designs
Many photos in this blog post are courtesy of Nick Carter Photography

The day started with a 10am delivery of all the personal flowers to the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel where the bridal party was getting ready.

The bridesmaid bouquets were a combination of orange and peachy/pink roses with green hypericum berry accents and pittosporum leaves to complement their sage colored dresses. Photo by Nick Carter Photography

The bridal bouquet was a combination of hydrangeas, cream roses and spray roses with crystals accenting the handle.

At the ceremony site, the wind was really picking up due to a tornado watch in the area albeit a beautiful September day. The ceremony backdrop was a gorgeous view of the Hudson River and two pale pink and cream arrangements adorned each side of the area where the bride and groom would stand for the ceremony. Hand tied aisle markers lined the way for the bridal party to make their entrance and used flowers that were found in the ceremony pieces. Photos by Nick Carter Photography

Inside in the reception room, a manzanita tree rental greeted guests as they picked up their escort cards. When lit, the hanging votives set a beautiful ambiance for the evening.

This tree has white dendrobium orchids strewn among the branches with hanging votives. The base was covered with pink toned roses. A very romantic look. This photo of the manzanita tree was taken using my camera phone (not a professional photo by Nick Carter).

The cake topper used fresh flowers and was a simple look to complete a sleek design (Photo by Nick Carter Photography):

On the long oval reception tables, a trio of arrangements accented the length. The best part about using these kinds of centerpieces is that there are 3 per table so every couple could take one home at the end of the night. The large center arrangement contains white hydrangea, green hydrangea, orange and pale pink roses, and greenery. The two smaller arrangements contain all roses with snow on the mountain greenery. The last photo here of the centerpieces was taken by Engaging Floral Designs and is not a professional photo.