It’s All in the Details! Part 2

Let’s talk about parties!

(Specifically, the best party – your wedding reception.)

Last month, we explored some of the magical design possibilities for a beautiful ceremony. There are so many details to think about, so we’re using this blog series as a way to break down and dive deep into each item. This blog series will culminate in a full detail check list for you to use while planning. But first, let’s look at all the pieces that can make your day spectacular! We’ll start by going over the top three things people notice when they walk into the reception space: seating, cake, and table design.

First thing’s first – how will you communicate to your guests where they sit? In less formal situations, it’s totally fine to skip the seating chart. Most of the time, however, you’ll want something in order to maximize seating with the fewest number of tables. Since this will likely be the first thing people see, you could go with a beautiful and simple seating chart. Here are some amazing examples! Which is your favorite?

Photo Credit from left to right: Photo by – The Bellflower Collective & Calligraphy by – The Lettering Grove |  Anne Buskirk | Caroline Grace Photography

Another option is to provide a table or area with alphabetically arranged “escort cards”. These are not the same as place cards (which we’ll get to later). Escort cards are often simple, containing just the guest’s name and table number, but you can get creative here too!

Photo credit from left to right:  Laura Von Photography |  Wandering Heart Photo |  Emily Wehner |  @probably.sarah

The next thing people usually notice is the wedding cake. A trend in recent years that I’ve noticed most couples going with is something simple and minimalistic:

Photo Credit from left to right: Peter Gubernat Photo |  Laura Von Photography |  Redwood Lane |  Kaylee Creighton  | Wandering Heart Photo

Larger, more traditional cakes, however are making a comeback and can be phenomenal room centerpieces:

Photo credit from left to right: Whitney Moore Photography | Hannah Crabb | Monahan Photography | Anne Buskirk | Ian Borgerhoff

If you’re thinking you want to go all out, take this opportunity to showcase some true pastry art. I love beautiful, artistic cakes!

Photo Credit: Jenny Mundy Photo

Of course, I always encourage thinking a little outside the box. Not everyone loves cake (I know…), and there are tons of cute, unique alternatives: pies, cookies, ice cream, donuts, cupcake, etc.

Photo Credit Left to right: Photo by – Kelsey Virden – Caroline Grace Photography – Laura Von Photography

Whatever you go with, remember that the cake (or other wedding dessert) is often the focal point of the room. It has a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of your reception, as does the next important thing on your list: table layout and design.

Photo credit left to right: Adams Photography | Hannah CrabbPeter Gubernat Photo

Most venues provide tables and therefore can provide a layout specific to what they think best fits the space. But remember – this is your reception. If you have something else in mind, consider bringing in rental tables or moving around what you already have to re-envision the space.

Photo Credit: Laura Von Photography | Jenny Mundy Photo

And while you’re thinking about reception seating, don’t forget about you, your partner, and the bridal party! The most popular option here would be a traditional Head Table where you and your bridal party face everyone (with the happy couple at the center). You can also do a King’s Table with you and your partner on the end (your wedding party on either side), or a Sweetheart Table (just you and your newly minted married partner!).

Photo Credit left to right: Laura Von Photography | Jenifer K Photo | Hannah Crabb

You’ll also want to take into account other structural elements of the room. How big is it? Does it have high ceilings? If your space has high ceilings, consider string lighting to make your space feel cozy.

Here are some beautiful examples:

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb | Anne Buskirk

Once you’ve thought about your layout, you can have fun tackling florals and centerpieces. What have you been imagining for this day? If you were absolutely in love with the floral choices from your ceremony, you can collaborate with your florist and use a variation of that here (or even some complimentary greenery). If you were inspired by the geometric arches in our previous blog, continue that theme with similar, multi-level pieces.

Photo credit from left to right: Adams Photography | Kalli June Photography | Whitney Moore Photography | Monahan Photography | Emily Wehner | Anne Buskirk

If you’re wanting to create a more romantic atmosphere, consider adding candles. Your venue might have some restrictions here, so be sure to have your planner reach out ahead a time to see what you can (or cannot) bring in.

Photo Credit: Monahan Photography 

No matter what direction you go in, you’ll want to leave space to eat! Here’s a breakdown of what a typical place setting might include at a wedding reception (with pictures, of course):

  • Chargers – these are the plates that go under dinner plates to signify a place setting (and add an extra flair).
  • Napkins – sometimes your caterer or venue will provide these, but feel free to explore options from other vendors.

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb | Adams Photography

  • Silverware – just like with the napkins, you can go a very classic route, or take a fun, unexpected turn.
  • Drinkware – since your caterer or bar should be able to provide the glassware, adding this to your table set up can be considered optional. If you think things look incomplete without it, renting is likely your best option!
  • Printables – some couples choose to add printed versions of the menus at each spot, so guests know what to expect (or know what they have to choose from if options are being provided). If meals were chosen through the RSVP process, you’ll want to make sure there’s a place card at each seat. (It’s important to note that this will help any catering or serving staff get the right meals out to the right people).

Photo 1: Peter Gubernat Photo Photo 2 & 3: Calligraphy by – The Lettering Grove

There are a million tiny details that go into a reception, but it doesn’t need to feel overwhelming! Every detail is an opportunity to really dig into your creativity and make your day unique to you and your partner.


Let us know in the comments – did we forget something you love? Or were you inspired by a particular detail above that you hadn’t seen before?

See you in Part 3, where we tackle even more details to consider for your special day.



It’s All in the Details!

Part 1 – The Ceremony

Creation & Calligraphy by: The Lettering Grove

Written by: Megan Adams & Julia Strange

In our last blog (“So You are Engaged – Now What?”), we discussed both the first steps in planning your wedding, as well as the most efficient way to prioritize them. While I personally find checking those items off the list exciting, other people will probably say that the most fun part of the planning process is what comes later – designing the details that make your big day unique to you and your partner.

  There are so many opportunities to have fun with your ceremony, reception, and even all the mail sent out in the months before. No two couples are exactly the same, so no two weddings should be the same either! Creating a day you’ll love doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. In our next few posts, we’ll go over details of both the actual money and the reception after. 

Let’s start with your stationary choices and what all gets mailed out to the guests ahead of time. This often includes Save the Dates, invitations, RSVP cards, and any additional information you might want them to know before the big day (such as hotel bookings, parking, gift registries, etc). Here are some questions to think about as you get started:

Printing by: Minted.com | Photo by: Peter Gubernat Photo
  • Am I interested in supporting and collaborating with a local artist or calligrapher (those invitation are made with handmade paper!)?
  • Do I want something classic, or is there a trend that keeps catching my eye?
  • Do I want the ease of using a one-stop online shop (like Minted)?
  • Should I go digital?

As you answer these questions, remember to look back at your budget breakdown to see how much money you’ve set aside here. Even if you’re looking for something a little more economical, don’t write off the idea of reaching out to a local artist just yet. You might be surprised at the price you can get for something both beautiful and one-of-a-kind. Additionally, most of your guests are likely media-fluent, so in some cases it might make sense for your wedding website to play a more significant role.

Some couples also opt to use a local artist when it comes to day-of signage. If you’re not feeling a calligrapher, there are tons of sites you can look at, such as Etsy or, of course, Minted. Signs can be rented if you don’t need something too specific, or if you do decide to buy, you can repurpose the sign as a piece of home decor! 

One final paper product to think about is your program. If your ceremony is taking place in a church, some will provide them for you. If not, you can check out an online or brick-and-mortar printing shop in your area. If programs aren’t a priority for you on your big day, consider the eco-friendly option of eliminating them altogether.

Another important detail to focus on is your floral style. Flower choice can make a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of your big day. When browsing through different options for floral arrangements, what catches your eye? Something nontraditional like an asymmetrical compote? Not every florist will be able to pull that off, so find one that can really nail it. Here are some of my favorites examples:

Maybe you’d prefer something a little more traditional? Great! Some styles are considered classics for a reason, and you should have no problem finding someone who can create something tasteful and timeless. Here are a few examples of more traditional styles that I absolutely love:

There are some amazing arrangements florists can create. A recent trend that I can definitely get behind is oversized, cascading florals (featured below): 

Because there are so many options, really take your time browsing through ideas before you land on something. What you choose will likely be featured in your reception (we’ll get to that in the next blog), as well as another important (and arguably the most central) part of your wedding ceremony – what you get married in front of!

Some couples choose to rent something simple from their florist, or use what a venue might already have. If neither provides an option you’re crazy about, you can check out a local decor rental place, or even think about a DIY route if you consider yourself handy. Below are some examples of a simple and classic style I’ve noticed at weddings across the Indiana area:

Other beautiful trends include going geometric, or choosing something that really reflects the setting (especially if you’re having an outdoor ceremony). Here are some of my favorite geometric and more organic options:

Like with everything else, make sure the arch or backdrop of your choosing really reflects a style that you and your partner will love. If none of the pictures above really speak to you, Pinterest and Instagram have an endless amount of inspiration to help with your research. Just be sure to save some of that time and energy for creating the reception of your dreamsIf the idea of planning a reception sounds overwhelming, stay tuned – our next post will include tips on centerpieces, dessert, and other details that go into making an unforgettable night.

All About Our Gold Package!

Are you considering our Gold Package, but want more information? We’ve noticed at Arbor and Bloom Events that our day-of coordination service has been our most popular choice among clients, so we decided to break things down for you!

The first thing you should know is that with the Gold Package, the majority of our involvement begins eight weeks out from your wedding day. But don’t worry – we can be a resource to you throughout the whole process. Here are some of the ways we can help:

  • Immediately after booking, you’ll receive a welcome packet full of information. This includes:
    • A list of our favorite local vendors 
    • Some crucial dos and don’ts for planning your wedding
    • A suggested budget breakdown
    • A general timeline and to-do list to help you out along the way
    • And more! 
  • We can assist you with contract review. Send us contracts from the vendors you’re thinking of booking, and we’ll look them over to ensure you’re getting everything you need. It also helps us to know what the venue and other vendors are expecting from you on the day of the wedding, allowing us to be fully prepared. 
  • Once the contracts are signed, A&BE will also help you get your payments to them on time (as well as assist with any possible gratuities, generally distributed at the end of the reception).
  • We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you may have along the way!

So, why do we begin working with you eight weeks out? 

With this being a day-of coordination package, eight weeks out may seem unnecessary. But those weeks are actually vital to the planning process. At the eight week mark, we’ll send you an extensive questionnaire to learn all about the wedding you and your family have worked so hard to create. Immediately upon receiving that information, A&BE will form the first draft of your day-of schedule. This allows us to see if any important information is missing, and will help us ask the right questions about next steps to make sure no box goes unchecked. We’ll also meet with you to make sure we understand every detail you have planned. If we don’t know about it, we can’t execute it properly for you. 

Once we both believe the schedule is good to go, we’ll distribute the final draft to all of your vendors. This helps us confirm times for important things like arrival and set up times, photo schedules, hair & make up and more. Most importantly, it’ll ensure that everyone has the exact same information, leaving little room for error. 

When all that is finished, we’d love to attend a venue visit with you. This way, we can fully understand how you’re envisioning the space – plus, it gives us another opportunity to go through the details of your big day. 

A&BE will also be at your ceremony rehearsal. Whether or not this is your Officiant’s first wedding, we’ll be there to offer assistance. Additionally, we take this opportunity to hand out personalized schedules to all bridal party members and immediate family. These schedules might include things like hair and makeup times, when the party needs to be ready, when they get lunch, etc. 

Finally, on the big day of your wedding, A&BE will arrive at the venue typically as early as the venue will let us. At that point, we begin any setup or decor placement that won’t be done by the venue or another vendor. We provide all day access to you, as well as an event “emergency kit” for you to use if needed. Throughout the day we also make sure your hair and makeup, photo, delivery, and set up times are on schedule. If a vendor is late, even by ten minutes, we reach out to them immediately to ensure everything is going forward as planned. Once we get closer to the main event, we make sure the room is ready for guests and the bridal party is tucked away. 

During the actual ceremony, we’ll be there to open the door and send you (and your bridal party) down the aisle. We can assist whoever is in charge of music, and, after the ceremony is over, we’ll help with any major decor or room changes that need to happen. During the cocktail hour, we’re around to assist the photographer and, of course, help out with any important space changes.

A&BE’s Gold Package services continue into the reception as well! We’ll help with important moments like:

  • Room entrances and welcome speeches
  • Coordination with the catering team to ensure food is ready to go in a timely fashion
  • Wedding toasts
  • Cake cutting
  • Any traditional dances you’d like to include

Once the evening is wrapping up, we can assist you with any type of special send-off you had in mind. We’ll stick around to help pack up any decor you might have, and make sure your gifts and cards are loaded into a specific room or predesignated family vehicle. 

If this sounds like exactly the kind of help you’re looking for, reach out to set up your free 30 minute consultation. During this time we’ll get to know each other and see if A&BE’s services match your needs. While we’re confident we’d be a good fit, it’s always smart to chat with us directly one-on-one. We often book weddings a year out, but anywhere from 6-18 months before is typical as well. Regardless, we recommend getting in contact with us as soon as possible. (In time sensitive situations, we can potentially book as close to one month out if needed.)

Please know that Arbor and Bloom Events will never pressure you to commit to a package during the initial consultation. After we talk, you’ll be sent a full breakdown of the services we’ve decided fit your needs, along with a contract for you to look over. If you do decide to hire us (and we hope you do!), you’ll send us the signed contract and initial deposit, and we’ll get started. 🙂 

There are several different packages to choose from with Arbor and Bloom Events. This is the most popular choice, but something else might be a better fit for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions you may have about our Platinum or Diamond packages.

So, you are Engaged – Now What?

So, you just got engaged! You’re probably thinking, “I’m so excited!”  (or, “I’m so overwhelmed!”). Wedding planning is exciting for some and daunting for others, but one thing we can all agree on is needing to find the best place to start.

Photo by: Kalli June Photography

Written by: Megan Adams & Julia Strange

What is step one? Is it the venue? Is it a Pinterest board? Is it buying every wedding related magazine you can find and scouring them for inspiration? Okay, here’s the real step one – the foundation upon which all of your wedding planning will be based. It is your budget.

Find out where your money is coming from to pay for your special day. Weddings can be expensive (did you know the national average spent is $34k?!). What are some common options? Are you and your fiancée paying for it completely out of your own pocket? Great! Sit down and decide how much money you can commit. Are your parents funding the big day? Fantastic! Find out exactly what they are committing, and decide if you’re planning to chip in as well. Do you have a benefactor who’s not setting a limit? Amazing! Just make sure you know where you want to draw the line.

Photo by: Jenifer K Photo

Once your number is established, plug your budget into a formula that will help you know exactly how much to spend in each area. Here’s one example of a budget breakdown:

Photos by: Eileen Call Photo & Kelsey Virden

Next (and this is important) – be realistic. Make your guest list. If you have a tight budget, it’s likely that you won’t be able to feed 300 people. You’ll either have to make some hard cuts to your guest list, or find more money to ensure everyone can attend. Then, pick what is most important to you. Do you love cake? Are you a flower queen and want to spend more on turning your space into a garden? Prioritize the areas closest to your heart, but make sure you cut elsewhere to make it work!

Once you have a financial plan and have laid down the groundwork, you can finally do some dreaming. Think about what your ideal day would feature. Where do you picture yourself saying “I Do”? Are you feeling traditional, industrial, or rustic? What’s your style? Make sure you gather all of your ideas in one place (I recommend pinning to a board on Pinterest). Just be aware that your ideas are absolutely going to evolve as you move through the process.

This is also a great time to start looking for a wedding planner. Begin to reach out to a few of them and see who you click with on a personal and aesthetic level. Finding the right planner to help you through out the process can take your ideas and eleveate them so something better than you imagined. Not to mention take the stress out of the process.

Photo by: Anne Buskirk

Next step is finding a venue. I recommend visiting at least three at the beginning of your search. In fact, for this, I would apply the Goldielocks philosophy: try one at the high end of your budget (which would probably be all-inclusive), one in your mid-range, and one on the low end (probably more DIY). Doing this will help you (and your planner) get a clearer idea about exactly what type of venue will best fit your needs, even if none of those venues are the one for you. You will now be better prepaired to know what you need. Once you have something booked with a date, you’ll be ready to move on to the remaining vendors on your list!

Photo by: Kelsey Virden

Who should you book first? Personally, I would start looking for the right photographer. Find a photo and editing style you love, and then research photographers with that style in your price range. Keep in mind that your photographer should be an investment. Your photos are likely the only thing you will keep after to remember the big day. We all have a friend who’s a photographer and will do it for less, but you’ll likely regret it if you hate your photos in 10 years.

Photo by: Eileen Call Photo

The next one will probably surprise you, but please book your favorite hair and makeup artists as soon as possible! It might not seem urgent, but the best ones (and probably the ones you like the most) tend to book up quickly.

After that, look back to your venue. Will it have a caterer & bar on site? If not, this is a good point to begin looking. Again, depending on your budget, you should talk to a high, mid, and low-end caterer. Some caterers and bar services are going to be more full-service than others. Your low-end caterers are likely not going to stick around to clear the tables. Make the decision on what level of service you are most interested in, then pick your favorite.

Photo by: Wandering Heart Photo

You can also start the search at this point for a great DJ or band. The biggest thing to pay attention to is whether or not they’ll have all of the equipment needed for both the ceremony and the reception. Also be sure to ask questions about how they would like the music selections given to them.  It’s important to find a DJ with strong communication skills that will reply if you have questions as you move forward. Something additional to note – a good DJ should NEVER use Wi-Fi (only occasionally for requests).

Finally, don’t forget about the flowers! Decide what floral styles you love and meet with a few of your favorite florists. Your planner should be able to give you a few options in each design and price category.

Photo by: Emily Wehner Photo

At this point in the process, it might also be a good time to hone in on other details that make up your overall aesthetic. This means taking care of any additional décor or rental items, cake, officiant, photo booth, as well as paper goods like save the dates and invites.

This is a great start to kick off your wedding planning experience. If you have already checked all of these boxes and hired the vendors, then all you need to do is focus on the details which frankly deserves it’s own blog! Let us know if you would like to see a details breakdown!

Photos by: Eileen Call Photo

Easy ways to Reduce your Wedding & Event Waste

Photo by: Jenifer D Imagery

It seems that at the end of the evening for many of the weddings that I coordinate, I am unfortunately spending a lot of time assisting the catering, bar, or venue staff by throwing away hundreds of plastic/Styrofoam plates and even more single-use plastic cups. Further, at the end of the night, we are throwing away dozens of floral arrangements and single-use candles. This is not uncommon! It happens every weekend at every venue around the Indianapolis area and beyond. These nights, while the happy couple and their friends and family dance the night away, I am left feeling like there HAS to be another way. 

While the climate and reducing waste are a large concern for many, there doesn’t seem to be any room for it in the wedding event industry. At the very least, oftentimes it just seems like no one takes a few moments to try to easily minimize the waste. 

When we think of “zero waste”, we tend to think of ZERO being an impossible goal, and it doesn’t occur to many couples to even consider it during planning. After all, this is your special day! We certainly want the focus to be you and the life you have chosen together, but at A&BE we think you can have it all – planning the wedding of your dreams while also reducing your waste. Here it is useful to break this idea down to see how easy it can be to focus on key items where you can reduce your footprint, then backtrack to show how we can all get closer to zero waste. 

First, let’s start with what I consider to be MOST important opportunity to reduce – taking advantage of renting reusable items from vendors/locations. I understand that the decision to use disposables is normally made for budgetary reasons, and I certainly respect that, BUT it is incredibly simple to cut out single-use cups, plates, silverware, and napkins. If your budget allows for it, the first thing you should do is work with your caterer to have real, reusable dinner wear. If your caterer does not offer the option to rent through them, you can always work directly with a local rental company like A Classic Party Rental to get your items. They can also supply many of your decor items like table cloths, runners, chargers, and more! I do understand that these companies use plastic in the storage and transpiration of these items, so it is not a perfect solution, but it will save 300+ plastic plates and even more cups from the landfill. Remember we are focusing on reducing, and not a perfect zero. 

Photo by: Kelsey Virden

Now, I hear you. I know what your venue is going to say when you come to them with these wonderful ideas. They are going to tell you that at a certain point in the evening, they are going to switch to plastic because they cannot have broken glass on a dance floor. And they are right – if you have ever danced on a sticky wedding dancefloor, you know that cups get dropped often. Then as the evening goes on people tend to forget or lose their drinks, and in an open bar situation, they will just head to the bar for another drink. I can’t tell you how many full drinks I have dumped out. While I have no perfect solution for this, the best option I know of is to turn your wedding favor into a reusable plastic cup. Provide the bar with couple-branded plastic cups in a few colors to hand out to your guests at the end of the night, the colors will help them find their cups again!  This also incentives them to keep the cups and maybe even take them home – which means one less item being thrown away.

Photo By: Sarah Tetlow

Paper is easy! Research your printing vendor and find out if they are using sustainably-sourced paper. When you order, reduce the number of pieces if you can – which does not only reduce waste but is also a big money saver.  Printing costs are not cheap! Wedding websites can help convey any extra information – in this digital age, there is no reason to have entire information packets printed. Then recycle any excess you have after mailing. Some printers even carry seeded paper; this is a textured paper that comes with flower seeds embedded in it. After use, you can plant the paper and at least some of the seeds will sprout! 

Photo by: Kalli June Photography

Food is also an easy area to reduce your waste! In Indianapolis, any unserved food can be taken to Second Helpings. This is a wonderful, local nonprofit with a passionate mission: “Since 1998, Second Helpings has accepted donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry.” Please contact your venue or caterer to see if they are able to assist, otherwise, you or a family member can drop the food off on your own. 

Photo by: Kelsey Virden

There is a similar organization for unwanted florals; Random Acts of Flowers. Here is a statement from their website: “Random Acts of Flowers receives donated flowers from the community and repurposes them into new bouquets for individuals in healthcare facilities. Random Acts of Flowers improves the emotional health and well-being of individuals in health care facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness.” Typically, you can work with your venue or florist to make sure they are scheduled to pick up your flowers after your event. 

Photo by: Jasmine Norris Photography

It is so exciting when you begin planning your wedding to start shopping for all the things you will need! BUT WAIT! You don’t need to own all those items. What will you do with them after your wedding? If you are going to buy some items make sure that they are one of two things: A) Reusable as home décor, or B) Easy to resell online. There are countless Facebook pages dedicated to this in Indianapolis, and not only is this a great way to offload items after the wedding, but it is also a great way to find some low-cost items second hand that you can make use of for your own wedding or event. But I think what is most effective is rentals, as covered above. These are items that are going to be used repeatedly throughout their lifetime and between your venue, A Classic, and other rental & vintage vendors, you can find nearly everything you could possibly need. And you know it will have many lives to come. 

Photo by: DeKam Studios

Finally, there’s the opportunity to make use of personal items. Some individuals who are incredibly passionate about zero waste will buy a second-hand dress online or from a vintage store. Others will breakdown their mother’s dresses and redesign them. These are all great options, and for the groom, there are many rental options as well as investing that money into a suit or tux you will use over and over again. When it comes to jewelry you might choose to purchase vintage jewelry or use a family heirloom. 

Photo by: Jenifer D Imagery

There are definitely more details to be considered as you push towards a “zero-waste” wedding but I think this is a good start. There are many ways to tie the knot with just a little less waste. Your guests would likely never know the differences, and long term everyone will almost certainly appreciate the effort.  

Photo by: Anne Buskirk

Not Your Average Back Yard Wedding

Written by: Megan Adams & Jonah Otto

Well, you’ve asked and we’ve delivered!

In our latest Instagram poll, we asked our followers what you wanted to see out of our next blog, and you resoundingly responded that you want to see more of our exclusive, custom, and affordable work that we take on with our clients. And why are we here if not for you? Just like our clients that collaborate with us for their weddings – we are giving you exactly what you want, another Arbor & Bloom Events wedding spotlight!

We all know that variety is the spice of life, so we’ve decided to mix it up from our last wedding spotlight to show you something completely on the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum. In our first blog we highlighted an urban wedding experience that expertly captured that minimalist and post-industrial look and feel. In this post, we feature a rural and rustic wedding that reflects a simpler aesthetic while also feeling current, comfortable, accessible, and of course, absolutely gorgeous.

The day began with the ladies safely sequestered in the guest house on the property. Here they had their hair and makeup done (makeup by Jenny Riley). This beautiful house decorated by the bride’s father was an amazing backdrop for the early moments of the day. From details to natural lighting, there wasn’t one thing out of place.

For this lovely central Indiana wedding, we were brought on board pretty late to the process (just 4 months before the big day!). With a compressed timeline for this particular wedding, the bride and groom were really feeling the pressure. Luckily, the couple took stock of the situation and made the right call to bring in A&BE in order to tie up all of the loose ends, and make sure that every detail was accounted for. We were able to quickly turn the ship around make sure that their planning burden was minimal. We are always happy to join our clients at any stage of the process so that we can take the load off of their shoulders, allowing the newlyweds-to-be to spend their big day focusing on what’s really important, each other.

Once all the ladies and gentlemen were ready we made our way to the first look. Just look at this beautiful bride.

For our first look moment, the porch provided a wonderful cover and an airy back drop for our photographer, Hannah Crabb, to capture the joy and love these two have for each other.

For this near full planning package, we worked closely with the couple to capture their exact vision for their wedding – paying close attention to every detail in order to nail that rustic chic aesthetic with an element of class and the unexpected. This allowed them to delicately tiptoe the line between formal and fun, keeping a casual feel while still inserting classic elements and keeping true to the importance of the day.  The meadow and countryside made for the perfect outdoor ceremony and the barn perfectly encapsulated the classic wedding feel that the bride was really going for.  I mean, just look at this altar!!!! That wrought iron and greenery combo steals the show!

Some of the elements featured on this special day were furnished by their family business including the arbor, the furniture on the property, and fabulous chandelier featured later in this article. The arbor was beautifully decorated and all flowers were designed and provided by Laurilyn Farms.

While the beauty and elegance were certainly present at this wedding, it was also important that there be a spirit of the fun and unexpected for their day so that their personalities could really shine through.  Nowhere was this more evident than with the inclusion of their adorable pup! If you know of a more perfect addition to a ceremony, name it!  Again, working with the florists, we were able to make sure that this pup was perfectly accessorized for the occasion and looking perfect for all of the pictures.  

Since their dog is an important part of their lives, we were happy to work with them to include their pet in their big day!  Another fun element was the use of Chomp’z Food Truck, a local food truck to cater the reception.  Not only did this give a punch of much needed energy and spunk to the day, but, my goodness, did it deal out some delicious food for all of the impressed guests!

For what was one of most stunning visuals from the day, let’s give some particular attention to this absolutely jaw-dropping flower wall provided by Blue Blossom Rentals!  Providing a magnificently elegant backdrop for countless photos, this flower wall served as the perfect touch for this couple’s wedding and the photographer did not waste the opportunity one bit.  

Their wedding album will no doubt have dozens of captured moments in front of this timeless backdrop.  But would you like to know a secret that only a small handful of people knew that day? The flowers in the flower wall are not real!  Based on our recommendation, the couple saved a fortune by using incredibly realistic-looking fake flowers for this element.  Without sacrificing the slightest bit in beauty and grace, this couple was also able to save their wallet!  Here at A&BE, we are always committed to finding smart ways to save you money without giving up quality!

Now quickly, let’s turn our attention to this amazing barn. Throughout the year the family actually uses this as their gym space, but they cleared it out in anticipation of the big day. From their business they borrowed this beautiful chandelier. They also hung festoon lights and we worked with a rental company to hang drapes over the entrances. In order to accommodate the full guest count we worked with A Classic Party Rentals and tented the other entrance to create a continuous flow for all of our guests. A Classic also provided all of our chairs, table, linens, drapes, and plates. We love working with them!

The overall mood of the wedding was drawn together by strong autumnal colors and themes, giving the entire day a feeling of warmth and love in a rustic chic atmosphere. A big thank you again to Laurilyn Farms and A Classic Party Rentals, they were absolutely instrumental in establishing the tone for this wedding experience.  Making use of their locally grown flowers, this local, Indiana, female-owned and operated florist did excellent job of bringing the couple’s dreams to life. From the altar, to the centerpieces at the reception, to the boutonnieres and bouquets for the wedding party – Laurilyn was just at the top of their game.  

Another stunning visual was this cake. Carmel Classic Cakes provided us with this 4-tiered masterpiece, then we added floral and it became the center of the room.

To top off the evening, dad surprised our bride with an emotional photo montage during their first dance. It was a night to remember. This crew had no problems dancing the night away.

As you can see, there is no wedding or event that is outside of our expertise, even if you’re working with a compressed timeline!  No matter what your style and taste, we’ve got the ability to deliver – bringing you exactly the day that you’ve always dreamed of!  From our experience producing dozens of different wedding aesthetics to our relationships with the hands-down best vendors in the game, we’ve got the tools and know-how to bring incredible value and quality to your wedding day or major event.  Even if you are running short on time, we are devoted to saving you time, money, energy, and stress.  Contact us today to help make your big day exactly what you want with no added fuss!

5 Reasons Wedding Venue Coordinators are not the same as Professional day-of Coordinators.

Written by: Jonah Otto & Megan Adams

If you are reading a blog about wedding planning, you’re probably pretty far into thinking about wedding prep yourself. And if that’s the case, it’s highly likely that you feel like your drowning in a sea of wedding-specific terminology and lingo. So much so that it can be difficult to tell the difference between what you need and what you don’t to execute your perfect day.

Nowhere is this more evident than in understanding the differences between a day-of coordinator (an all-around wedding day specialist, such as A&BE) and a venue coordinator (a staff member from your wedding/reception venue that exclusively works on events held at the venue).

While one or both could play a major role in your wedding day, you can generally expect different attention and services from each of them. Broadly speaking, in most cases a day-of coordinator will provide you with much more hands on service and individualized assistance than a venue coordinator has the capacity to do, resulting in a less stressful experience for you and your partner.

Photo Credit: Adams Photography

To help you out in determining exactly what you need for your big day, we have outlined the top 5 differences between a day-of coordinator and a venue coordinator.

Disclaimer: We would like to note that these differences are not universal for all venue coordinators and day-of coordinators – some provide more assistance and services than others. However, in our experience of working with countless couples, these differencesare crutial to your overall day. Almost no venue coordinator provides all of the services that day-of coordinators, like A&BE, can provide for your wedding experience.

Photo Credit: Jenny Mundy Photo

1. At Arbor and Bloom Events we closely plan & coordinate the deliveries of your vendors, while most venue coordinators simply track the delivery times.

We are meticulous in making sure that the delivery schedule of you vendors actually makes sense! For example, if you’ve chosen to decorate your cake display with carefully chosen elements from your
florist, it’s important that the cake is delivered and ready before the florist arrives with your decorations. Without a day-of coordinator like A&BE, you’d be left to cross your fingers that it all works out!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

2. A day-of coordinator controls all of the audio and visual aspects of the wedding ceremony while many venues don’t provide this service at all.

One of the last things that you could want during the most important ceremony of your life is for the wrong song to come on at the wrong time or for the timing of other multimedia cues to be off. Walking down the aisle is not the time for distractions! A&BE ensures that this does not happen by thoroughly planning before and during the rehearsal, then maintaining calm focus during the ceremony itself. With us, each member or your bridal party will know where to be and when to be there. You don’t have to worry!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

3. Most venues are not responsible for any decor set up at the venue. Unless you want to task your family members to help with your big day you will likely need a day-of coordinator to help set up and arrange your vision.

In fact, some day-of coordinators won’t go to this length either. Here, A&BE is truly unique! We will arrive early during set up and will help with tables, linens, napkins, centerpieces, table settings, signage, and any other specialty tables you may need. No matter what planner you use please be sure to ask if they will help with this!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

4. Not all venue coordinators will manage the reception schedule, but this an essential part of what the day-of coordinator brings to the table.

Many couples think that they can simply count on the venue coordinator or the DJ to be on top of this, but the truth is that you can’t make that assumption! Many venue coordinators won’t even be there when the reception starts and the DJ is often more focused on their playlist than your schedule. There are so many elements that need to go off without a hitch – the introduction of the bridal party, releasing tables for food, the special dances, the bouquet toss, your special send off, and so much more! The day-of coordinator sees to it that everything happens according to plan, and that you don’t have to give it a second thought.

Photo Credit: Jenny Mundy Photo

5. When the reception is over, most venue coordinators will be long gone, but a good day-of coordinator will still be there, making sure that everything is picked up and packed away.

Picture it: you’ve spent the most memorable day of your life marrying your special person, eating a delicious dinner, enjoying beautiful desserts, and laughing and dancing with your closest family and friends. Now the reception is over and it’s time for you to run off to your honeymoon or join your night-owl friends in keeping the party going. But wait!!! Who is going to help clean up and make sure that you leave with everything that you brought? If you decided to work with a day-of coordinator like A&BE, you’ve got nothing to worry about! If not? Grab your dustpan and broom. Kidding, but seriously, you or a family member will have to gather everything you provided and return the rentals.

Photo Credit: Adams Photography

While these are the top differences, there are actually many more! All of them result in a day-of coordinator making your life easier, bringing you tremendous value, and allowing you to keep your focus on simply enjoying your wedding.

In short, a day of coordinator works with you before, during, and after your wedding to make sure that every single ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. You can count on people like those at A&BE to know exactly what is supposed to happen, when it is supposed to happen, who is supposed to do it, and when they are supposed to do it. Most venue coordinators simply can’t offer you that kind of peace of mind.

While it might be easy to get the terminology mixed up, don’t be confused – they are NOT the same thing.

Lauren + Ben’s Perfect Day

Have a taste for the timeless? Let’s talk about how Arbor & Bloom Events helped make this couple’s day both classic and beautiful!

All photos in this blog post were taken and supplied by Peter Gubernat Photography

At Arbor and Bloom Events, we believe that all weddings begin and end with the couple – that every detail should reflect the personalities and preferences of the two people at the center of it all. This couple loved classic lines, simple silhouettes, and clean and elegant colors. In this blogpost you will see how we focused our efforts around their taste for timeless touches throughout the entire process, helping to make their wedding the classic and beautiful day they had always wanted!

As with every couple we work with, it is our strategy to start with their desired location and use that as a foundation for the rest of the arrangements. This couple was very intentional and were clear that they wanted to celebrate their big day in an industrial building in Indianapolis with rustic, exposed brick. By the time they brought us onto their team, the couple had narrowed the choice down to two venues, but ultimately chose Canal 337, the more inclusive of the options, even offering onsite catering. Located in downtown Indianapolis, this building is actually a converted church and rests at the end of the flowing canal that winds its way through the heart of the Circle City, making it a truly breathtaking setting for such a special occasion!

Because there are always details to be aware of with the venue contract, it is crucial to make sure that you know exactly what your venue is responsible for and what you are required to provide.  In this regard, we were able to provide invaluable advice to the couple so that they could understand their contract and negotiate the best terms possible, leaving no doubt about how things would go on their wedding day!

Next the couple reached out to a renowned Chicago photographer they are fans of, Peter Gubernat , who specializes in circular exposure photos. His keen eye and expert touches are featured in this photo from their engagement shoot. They were so in love with his style the booked him immediately – a decision that certainly paid off!  With a growing portfolio of photographers that we’ve worked with, A&B will have no problem connecting you with the artist that will perfectly capture every special moment of your wedding.

Now let’s turn our attention to this dress! It is so structurally magnificent; the word “perfect” really doesn’t feel like a stretch!  In a world of trends, of lace and plunging neck lines, this classic silhouette stands out in the most beautiful way. Coming from one of A&BE’s now preferred dress contacts, Marie Gabriel Couture Bridal, it’s really no surprise that this dress is such a stunner!

While we are talking about this fabulous dress, I also want to take a moment to mention these well-fitted tuxes from The Black Tux. They are so easy to work with, making sure you get the perfect look and fit mailed right to your door. Grooms, as your planner, we can get you and your boys a great discount! Who doesn’t like a discount?

Even their rings are gorgeously simple – just a single solitaire ring that doesn’t need any additional details to turn heads.

Details, Details, Details!

Again, the wedding pair went for elegant classic lines in this full invitation set from Minted. As any good planner should, we can score you a brilliant discount here as well!

We went with these classic black dresses for our bridesmaids from the convenient website Brideside. The flowers are from one of my all-time favorite local, family-owned flower shops, George Thomas Florist. We went with all white and greenery in this classic bouquet shape and size. I love this shop because they have the skill to make exactly what you ask for and the customer-minded focus to offer bulk prices. As one of our preferred vendors, the local florist never fails to please!

If you want a straightforward, easy cake while still offering variety to your guests, a simple cut-cake and individual desserts are the way to go! This brilliant cutting cake came from The Flying Cupcake (fun fact: they also specialize in vegan and gluten free cakes for anyone in search of truly full-service baked goods!). Also, cake flowers are such a special way to dress up the cake and I am personally a huge fan of a delicate ranunculus to make your cake a little extra special. With great relationships with several local bakeries, we are sure to find the right match for your sweet tooth!.

We went with simple neutrals for the table linens, supplying our own gold charges to save money. The florist provided the candles and greenery at each table. The ornate table numbers were arranged by the venue (a nice detail in that venue contract!). Every item on the table worked together to create an elegant, minimalist place-setting for the guests and the bridal party to enjoy their meal!

Wedding Hack Alert: Reuse your greenery from your ceremony for the head table at your reception – it saves you money and there is no reason to have two line items with on florist bill for the same exact thing!

The Flow of the Day!

Getting Ready

We started the day at the Ironworks Hotel to get ready. Due to a large conference in the city that weekend we were left to look further away for the perfect hotel and spot to get everyone ready. These suites were perfect with their vaulted ceilings and bright lighting for hair and makeup prep. Both hair and makeup were provided by the lovely Something Blue Stylists, yet another great vendor relationship.

Getting There!

To get downtown to the venue & for photos we worked with Antique Limousine of Indianapolis to get a trolley to transport our bridal party separately to the venue. Using a trolley for the bridal party was a subtle detail that really contributed to that classic feel that the couple was going for!

Time for Photos

Once we got both group down to the venue, it was time for touch-ups and our first look!

We jumped straight into taking photos near the venue, then hopped back on the trolley for some photo-ops in several marvelous spots around downtown Indianapolis!

Time for the Main Event

Then it was time for everything to come together for our beautiful ceremony on the second floor while the finishing touches were being applied to the reception hall below.

Having the reception just one floor below made for a casual and simple transition between the two biggest components of the day. It couldn’t have been easier!

Dinner was served plated, and each guest was served with generous portions of both beef & chicken – the in-house catering service really came through! Dinner was followed by cutting cake, the laughs and happy tears of the toasts, and, of course, first dances.

After first dances, we moved everyone back upstairs for the party portion of the evening! It was complete with mini-cupcakes and some late-night snacks to keep our guests fueled-up for dancing and also to balance out the beverages, if you know what I mean.

We ended the evening a touch early to beat the rain for our picturesque sparkler exit. Timeless, classic perfection achieved!  Be sure to contact Arbor and Bloom Events to secure your date if you’re feeling inspired – we can work together to make your day perfect, just like this one!

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