A Hurricane and a Wedding

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              What are your thoughts when you hear that there is going to be terrible weather on your wedding day? Maybe you want to change the date or you rush to find a venue that has an indoor facility. I am sure that there are many things that go through the couple’s heads and the families involved. At this point you are planning your whole wedding again in a very short period of time. This seems impossible, who could plan another wedding that is pretty close to perfect in the middle of a terrible storm.

              This nightmare became reality for one Virginia couple because of hurricane Florence. Tiffany and Dustin had the perfect wedding planned out in the Outer Banks. They were staying at a resort and were getting married on the beach. They arrived to the Outer Banks the Sunday before the wedding, that was scheduled for that next Saturday. Tiffany and Dustin, with their families, were ready for a week of relaxation before the wedding. This relaxing time came to an end when hurricane Florence was making its way to the Carolinas. They arrived on Sunday and there was a mandatory evacuation on Tuesday. They suddenly switched gears and made their way back to Virginia along with trying to find a place to have their wedding.

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              Let’s back up to the Monday before Tiffany and Dustin’s wedding at the venue they chose for their wedding the second time, Bandit’s Ridge. I am the manager and on sight coordinator at Bandit’s Ridge and I can tell you first hand that, us at Bandit’s Ridge, are very giving and just want every couple to have the perfect wedding. All of us were keeping track of the hurricane as well and noticed that all the wedding Facebook pages were full of couples looking for indoor facilities. Donna, the owner of Bandit’s Ridge, was ready to let people know that her place was open. We had an event planned for that Saturday, that got canceled so we were available. Donna put a post on her Facebook page and on other wedding Facebook pages announcing that her facility was available for an indoor wedding. There was a lot of responses and many phone calls within two days. The couple that was the first to make a move was Tiffany and Dustin, so they booked the venue for that Saturday.


              There was a lot of planning that had to be done in less than a week. We had to find all new vendors for the couple and plan the layout for the ceremony and the reception.  We wanted to do something special for them, so we decided to do all the flower arrangements for them and also since they couldn’t get married at the beach, we decided to bring the beach to Bandit’s Ridge. Donna and I went and got flowers, greenery, birch wood, sand, and some tropical trees along with some other things to make the wedding perfect. Decorating was easy because the couple had already bought all the décor for their wedding in the outer banks and it was all beach themed.


              For the indoor ceremony we built a birch wood arbor and put down sand where they stood, this was a huge surprise for the two of them. We used lanterns and shells that were provided by the couple on either side of the arbor making a half circle. We were able to rent some tropical trees and bushes from Strange’s to have the feeling of the beach in the building. The aisle was lined with white lanterns on either side with candles to set the mood for the evening. The most difficult part was the building of the arbor, with all the weight from the flower arrangements that we made and the white sheers, made the arbor top heavy, making it fall over. We had to tie the arbor to the doors to help it stand. We had a lot to do in short period of time but had it all done, with time to spare, before the ceremony.


              I was told before the ceremony that Tiffany and Dustin had planned on walking barefoot down the aisle when the wedding was at the beach. Before Tiffany walked down the aisle I asked her if she wanted to take her shoes off before she entered the building, I also let her know that we had a surprise in the building for her. So she kicked her shoes off and entered. As soon as she got up to where the love of her life was standing, she started crying and we knew that we had pulled of a beautiful wedding that Tiffany and Dustin would remember forever.

2018 Wedding Trends


There are different décor trends and styles every year for weddings. The trends for 2018 include the natural look, with a mixture of the bohemian style added. This wedding season you will see geometric shapes, neon lights, natural stones, hanging flower arrangement and a little splash of black to add a different color combination. These are definitely unique styles that come together beautifully and show the style of the new generation. 

Wedding trends have come a long way, from your typical pastel colors and simple décor choices, to a wide range of colors and extravagant décor. The very popular rustic style will probably always be in style, but there is always a way to make each wedding unique. 

I had the opportunity to bring some of the 2018 wedding trends to life this past week. The beautiful Bandit's Ridge let me take charge and decorate their new barn to show off some of the trends. I brought the outside indoors and added some bold colors to show a woodsy elegant look. The tables started with an ivory table cloth with a striped navy blue overlay. I then added gold chargers with some fine china and wine glasses for the place settings. The table arrangements is where I showed a new trend; I added moss flowing over a wood disc with different sized candles arranged in the middle. This was super simple and cheap, because the moss came from my property. The sweetheart table is where I brought the elegant look into the design; I used fake flowers from Hobby Lobby with bold colors such as, purple, off white and shades of red with greenery added for fullness. The sweetheart table should always be different then the rest of the tables, so that it stands out. I always like to put the most color and biggest arrangements on this table to show that this table is the focal point!

I then got really creative with what I had left over, I added a pathway of moss leading up to the sweetheart table lines with candles. I also added a smaller table to the side full of different sized candles just to give more light; this table could be used for the guest book or a memory table.

The woodsy elegant design was so much fun to bring to life, and like I said, I brought the outside indoors. This style can be extravagant or simplified and still look great for any wedding!! I can not wait too see all of the trends come to life for this upcoming wedding season. Check out the pictures below to see the design I created and maybe this will give you some inspiration for your wedding!!

Apple Blossom Plantation Open House

Pretty and Simple

Pretty and Simple

Fairy/rice lights will make anything shine!

Fairy/rice lights will make anything shine!

Succulents are a great replacement for flowers and give an elegant look to any table.

Succulents are a great replacement for flowers and give an elegant look to any table.

An open house is a great way to find the vendors that you need. A open house is typically at a venue, which is great because the vendors that are there have probably worked with the venue before and the venue owner typically only invites the vendors that they think are the good ones. I had the pleasure of being part of Apple Blossom Plantation's Open House this past weekend and had a blast. Although not many brides came, I met a lot of vendors that were so helpful and excited for me and my new business venture. 


Vendors are there to help you, so don't be overwhelmed by them coming up to you, to let you know what they offer. You may already have the vendor that fills that spot, but its always good to talk to new ones, and see what they have to offer for any other events that you may have in the future.  A great thing to remember is that some vendors work with other vendors and may cut you a deal if you book both of them for your wedding or special event. Venues are always looking for the best of the best to come, so an open house is the place to go to get what you are looking for.

For those brides looking for a venue that provides everything, Apple Blossom Plantation is the place to book your wedding. The owner is so fun to work with and the venue is gorgeous. They provide overnight stay and will accommodate everyone. Many of the vendors at the open house have worked at Apple Blossom Plantation several times, so they know how things work. I have listed the vendors that attended below in random order and will answer any questions that you may have. 

DJ's: Music Makes You Happy Entertainment, KD Productions, DJ YNOT

Florist: Flowers by Zoie

Marriage Officiate: Wedding by Susan, James Richardson

Photographers: Relish Photography, Kyra Bailey

Cake: Brittany's Cakes

Caterers: Butlers Unique Catering, Roma's



Be Creative

Weddings are a great way to get creative and personalize for the bride and groom. I know there are traditions when it comes to weddings, such as, the bride and groom are not supposed to see each other before the ceremony or the bride should wear white. But, traditions have changed and are broadening to what is done at a wedding. 

I always encourage brides to be creative and not to be afraid to think outside the box. Have a themed wedding, or add things that you wouldn't expect at a wedding. When I had my internship in Ohio, I did a Halloween themed wedding, it was so much fun and it is a wedding that I will never forget. Another wedding that I did recently had a dance class at their wedding, it definitely set the mood for the wedding. I do know that some of these things cost extra money, and it can be hard to make a wedding unique. Use your resources when planning your wedding, such as Pinterest, a wedding coordinator, friends and family or just a simple Google search.

It can be stressful to decide on what you want your wedding to look like, but it can also be a lot of fun. Enjoy the process, get help (trust me, you'll need it) and don't stress over little things, it will eventually all come together. 



Say Yes to the Dress

Dress shopping is one of the exciting parts of getting married. Every girl has a vision of what they want to look like on their wedding day, even if they aren’t in a relationship. But what most brides don’t know is that most of the time, they pick a dress that they never thought that they would wear on their big day, they didn’t even think they would try it on. I have had firsthand experience with this when I worked at a bridal salon.

We would have brides that came in and would describe their perfect dress and explain what she wanted to look like on her wedding day. I would pick dresses that she described to me and I would pick some that were the opposite of what she thought she wanted. Most of the time, not all the time, but most of the time the bride would pick the opposite one or at least like the style more than what she originally wanted. So, don’t be afraid to try on something different, you might actually love it and say yes to the dress.

Dress shopping also comes with different budgets, this can be difficult when finding the perfect dress. Wedding dresses are expensive and the popular looks are the most expensive ones. If you have a budget, then go to the “second hand” dress stores, some of these dresses have never even been worn. If you are going to go to name brand bridal salons, then call ahead of time to see if they have dresses in your price range. Don’t be afraid to do this, there were so many brides that called to ask me if we had dresses at certain prices, it helps the bridal salon and the dress search for you. A great place to go for budget brides is YWCA Central Virginia, this store has dresses that have been donated that may be gently used or brand new and the prices are great! Having a budget should not keep you from finding your dream dress.

One thing that bothers me the most when brides that go dress shopping is the people they bring with them. If you know you have some very opinionated people that you want to invite, don’t invite them, this can ruin the whole experience. What I noticed when I worked at a bridal salon is that when these opinionated people in the group opened their mouth, they changed the whole mood at the appointment. This can also make it really hard to find the perfect dress. If you decide to bring these people along, then please remember that this is your day, no body else’s, you should pick the dress that makes you feel like a bride, stand your ground about the dress you love!

There are some brides that have no idea what they want and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are like most people, then you have never put on a wedding dress before, so how would you know what you want. Try everything on, and don’t judge the dress by what it looks like in the bag or by what it looks like hung up! Try on different silhouettes first then go for style, this will help narrow down a lot. Make sure you add accessories as well, this can help a lot because you can see the whole look.

These are some of my tips and tricks to wedding dress shopping! I hope this helps, if you need some more suggestions, then don’t hesitate to contact me!