Surprise Gatsby 40th Birthday

It’s every girls dream to have a FABULOUS over the top birthday party, right? What about a FABULOUS Great Gatsby themed 40th? Well, we did just that for one of our most FAVORITE clients.

I remember Mrs. Toni (the birthday gals Mom) calling like it was yesterday… She said, “Let the Planning Begin”. I called my sweet friend Meghan at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa downtown Montgomery and immediately sat up a meeting. 2015-11-10_0016 The entry to the ballroom was draped with sheer white voile and flanked with geometric pedestals and lush florals. As guest entered they were greeted by our “Gatsby Girls” and a glass of champagne. SIDE NOTE: Isn’t that sequin table linen AMAZING?  2015-11-10_0017 Gatsby Girls on slits? I KNOW, we thought of EVERYTHING. I love thinking of special unique touches that take an event to the next level. Not to mention, people are still talking about the “Gatsby stilt walkers from Julie’s Party”. 2015-11-10_0026 2015-11-10_0022 As you entered the ballroom, we spared no detail. From lounge area seating, gorgeous table centerpieces to a 60 foot balloon wall complete with over 1,000 gold balloons. Don’t tell anyone but we weren’t allowed to have balloons. We had to call in a few favors.  2015-11-10_0018 Those GORGEOUS table linens are from Nuage Designs. They have an entire “art deco” collection that was a match made in linen heaven for our event.  2015-11-10_0023 2015-11-10_0029 2015-11-10_0020 One of my personal FAVORITE details was the “Sweets Bar”. Cake Pops, Petite Fours, Sugar Cookies and French Macaroons were a HUGE hit with party guest. I might have been seen her most of the night. 2015-11-10_0019 Speaking of sweets… Ligers Bakery knocked it out of the park with Julie’s cake. Feathers and Strawberry for the win.  2015-11-10_0028 Now that all the details are set & ready to go and guests were in place….. it was time to reveal the surprise. (Do I get an award for “Best Photobomb”? I laugh every time I look at this picture. What kind of face am I making?) 2015-11-10_0024 The only requirement for the party: Super T. The band played at Julie’s wedding and I now know why they had to booked them again. They were FANTASTIC and certainly now how to get the party started.  2015-11-13_0001 2015-11-10_0027 Of course the Birthday Girl needed an official photo with the Gatsby Girls.  2015-11-13_0003 Julie is beyond blessed to have such amazing family and friends that celebrated with her.  2015-11-10_0025 2015-11-10_0030 It was the party of the year.. Well besides the #BigTopBirthdayBash. (which is coming soon, BTW) Thanks Sanders Family for allowing Evan and Company to be a part of so many special events in your life. WE LOVE Y’ALL!  2015-11-10_0031 Event Planning/ Floral Design: Evan G. Cooper, Evan and Company | Lighting: Encore Productions | Venue: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Catering: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Cake: Ligers Bakery | Sugar Cookies: Simply Sugared | Entertainment: Super T & DJ at Large | Photo Booth: Face Time Photo Booth | Gatsby Girls: Glitterbug the Clown | Linens: Nuage Designs | Drapery: American Rental and Tent | Balloons: The Balloon Lady | Sofa Towers: Brendle Rentals  Photography: Steve Wells Photography 

50

Saturday, June 6th marked a HUGE millstone for Evan and Company. We celebrated our 50th Wedding. It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago I decided to leave my full time job and take a leap of faith. View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough. Really tough. Running a business is hard. Being a boss is hard. Hustling to make ends meet it hard but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being able to live out my dream is feeling like no other. If you would’ve asked be 3 years ago if I thought I would be were I am today, I would’ve told you No. Maybe even a HECK NO. I was content shooting weddings (as a photographer) and being a full time studio manager at KBP.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 I had always dream of running  by own business. Mom worked briefly in a flower shop when I was younger, so I grew up tagging along some afternoons. My sister is an incredible artist. She can draw and paint like nobodies business and my Dad is a handy carpenter/builder/Mr. Fix-It, so I always imagined that my career path would in someway be creative, but no necessarily a floral and event designer.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 In honor of our 50th Wedding we pulled together a super fun shoot to celebrate. Complete with champagne, glittery hats, party horns a TONS of balloons. View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 We have some pretty exciting things in the works for Evan and Company and can’t wait to share them with you guys. If all goes at planned our NEW (teeny tiny) retail space should be opened (Fingers Crossed) by July.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 Thanks to everyone from the bottom of my heart who has shared in my journey, cheered me on and continued to support and believe in me. I know it sounds cliche, but it means more than you know. I couldn’t do what I do without the FANTASTIC clients that put their trust in us. Happy 50th Evan and Co.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50

Why Do Wedding Flowers Cost So Much?

The most common question I get is: “Why Do Weddings cost so much?”. There are certainly a lot of factors that play into the cost of a wedding. Though I’ve never been married, I remember my parents asking the exact question when my sister got married. There are lots of things that are needed to make a wedding happen. Linens, catering, rentals and flowers, just to name a few.

As a floral designer first, wedding planner second, we work with budgets of all types.  Most know, some don’t, but I worked with Kim Box Photography for 4 years before I ventured out into the wedding world on my own. I saw low budget weddings and over the top, extravagant weddings too. Shooting different types of weddings made me realize that yes, having a fantastic photographer was great, but have pretty details, flowers and design plan was even better. It gives the photographer a cohesive story to tell.

Flowers are one my favorite design elements of a wedding. They add so much life, color and texture to a bride and grooms special day. Though they are beautiful, they can also come with a pretty price tag. After meeting with a potential client last week(who asked many of questions regarding floral costs), I felt it was very important to educate brides to be on why wedding florals cost what they do.

This past weekend we were able to be a part of a very special wedding for Taylor and Adam. While prepping flowers, I told my team to stop what they were doing. I went and grabbed my camera. I wanted to document the process it takes to get to the end result.

Though a wedding is only one day for 12 hours, our works starts days in advance. Thursday, we started prepping flowers. First, clean buckets. TONS of them. Every wedding and/ or event that involves flowers starts with a full day of processing. 2015-03-30_0004 Every flower that comes through our studio is wrapped and packaged individually. We spend more time undoing rubber bands and cutting off plastic wrap than we do prepping.  2015-03-30_0002 2015-03-30_0006 Don’t those ranunculus make you happy? They’re one of my all-time FAVORITE flowers. 2015-03-30_0008 You probably thought I was joking, but every hydrangea comes individually wrapped, and tubed. It takes hours to process and unpack each box of blooms.  2015-03-30_0003 Rubbermaid’s aren’t just for Christmas garlands and baby clothes.  2015-03-30_0012 We stripped, de-thorn and process every bloom. Wether it’s thousands of roses, hundreds of hydrangeas or bundles of greenery nothing goes untouched.  2015-03-30_0005 2015-03-30_0007 Oh and somewhere in the midst of processing flowers, we manage to find time to prep our containers too.  2015-03-30_0013 Once all the flowers have been processed and the containers have been prepped, let the designing begin. We start every arrangement with greening. Sharon is the greening queen. After it’s been greened it’s past off to receive the pretties.  2015-03-30_0011 Table arrangements, bouquets and hard work. After we finish a full day of flowering, it’s time to load the van and head out. There is only one rule when packing the van: pack until you can’t pack any more.  2015-03-30_0009 My intentions behind this post were to give you a more behind the scenes look at what exactly goes into prepping flowers for a wedding. Most people think a wedding planner snaps their fingers and POOF, everything is in place. That’s certainly not the case. We spend between and 8 and 12 hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday prepping flowers and most Saturdays come in around 16 hour days. It’s not just the day of. It’s the months of planning, days before and even the Monday and Tuesdays after the event spent unpacking vans, cleaning out buckets and returning table linens. It’s not the cost of the flowers, it’s the labor and time invested into each bouquet and arrangement you are untimely paying for.

We can’t wait to see the beautiful images Kim Box Photography captured from Taylor and Adam’s special day. Stay tuned to see what all these gorgeous blooms were turned into.

 

Leftovers

Spring has sprung my friends. It’s 80 degrees outside, my allergies are going crazy and wedding season has officially kicked into high gear.

We often get asked, “What do you do with flowers after a wedding?” and if you want the honest truth, they go in the trash. Well unless the family ask to take them home. After all they did spend thousands of dollars on them. It’s not very often I’m inspired to create something for the heck of it with leftovers, but after last weeks editorial shoot, I was.

We recently picked up these new  black glass containers from Old Time Pottery. They were a whopping $12.99. HEY YO! #stealofadeal They’ve been sitting on the shelf just waiting to be broken in.

I started by placing chicken wire in the container and molding it to the shape of the vase. After you have your chicken wire shaped to your liking, secure it with wet oasis tape just to make sure it doesn’t move. Oh and don’t forget to add water. I use a little dollar store watering can. It fits perfectly in through the chicken wire. 2015-03-17_0001 Once you have your mechanics in place, the fun begin. I always start with my greenery. For this particular arrangement I used, bay leaf, seeded and regular eucalyptus, leather leaf, and jasmine. The greenery is your base and helps create the shape of your arrangement. Be creative. There is no right or wrong way. It’s a style preference. If you hate, pull it out and start over.  2015-03-17_0002 Now that you have created your base, you can start adding in your blooms. I placed the ice protea in first because it is acting as my dominate flower. Then I added standard white blizzard roses and anemones. I topped the arrangement off with a touch of whimsy-ness by using those deep red ranunculus.  2015-03-17_0003

I like mentioned above, there really isn’t a right or wrong way. It’s about finding your style and what works best for you. I hope this simple DIY was helpful. We’ve had TONS of inquiries about hosting a weekend floral workshop. Would you be interested? Fingers crossed we can pull one together this fall. I’d LOVE to see you there. If interested shoot me an email, evan@evanandcompany.com.