Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Planning Your Wedding Part 3: Food & Drink

Whew! So far, you’ve chosen your soulmate, the venue for your impending nuptials, your guests and wedding party, your photographer - what’s next? Why, it’s one of our very favorite aspects of a reception - the food, y’all. 
Whether you chose to have a buffet for or a seated dinner, food is a big part of the fun, adding flavor to the party and helping to determine the tone and formality of the reception - a sit down dinner with servers will probably be a more solemn event than a buffet style setup or finger foods being passed around.  Don’t be afraid to get creative or a little silly with your catering choice - recently we did a wedding for a couple who had their first date at Tacodeli - guess who they chose to provide the food? 
Another trend we’ve noticed is couples choosing a local food trailer to provide the food - Austin certainly has a plethora of options to choose from, and some of our favorites are Peached Tortilla and the Odd Duck.

Launched in 2010, immensely popular and “flavor-smitten” Peached Tortilla is a “Texas fusion taco truck” that was voted Food Truck of the Year 2011 by Eater Austin and count Neiman Marcus, West Elm and C3 Productions among their high profile catering fans. 
image via Austin360

Though it’s currently closed for the winter season (in the meantime, check out sister restaurant Barley Swine), Odd Duck is our go-to spot for a “Farm to Table” food truck experience. Go forth my friends, eat artisan pork belly sliders and feel good about it while you do so.
If you’d like to go a more traditional route and choose a company that focuses primarily on catering, we’ve got you covered there too.  Some of our recent favorites include Kurant Events, Pink Avocado, and  Royal Fig. 

This catering company celebrated their 10th year in Austin in 2011, and caters events ranging from 10 guests to 1,000 of your closest friends. Their philosophy is to “prepare fresh, exciting and flavorful cuisine while providing focused personal care and professional service throughout the entire event.”

Pink Avocado has been all over the radar lately - they’ve catered multiple weddings we’ve worked on, and their events always turn out to be a big hit. Clients include Google, High Beam Events and SXSW. 

Royal Fig has a cheese wheel wedding cake on their website, which is genius and awe-inspiring and will be a source of obsession here for several days to come.  Cheese cakes aside,  this full service catering company’s menu ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced - there’s a list of farms available in case you want to check up on them, Portlandia-style. There’s also the option of just going with the flow and letting their event coordinator take care of all the details for you. Either way, they have you covered.

Is there a caterer or similar company you've had a particularly good experience with here in Austin? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flowers in Season: January 30 - February 5



Honeysuckle, named for its strong and sweet scent, is a hardy climbing vine-like plant with blooms that range from yellow to pink to fuchsia in color. Its resilient nature has led to its association with lasting bonds of love and friendship, generosity, devoted affection, fidelity, sweetness, happiness and spiritual vision. 

In Scottish tradition, honeysuckle is used in garlands and decorations for wedding ceremonies to represent the love that holds on through both good and bad times. In France, the custom of giving honeysuckle to a partner is a demonstration of everlasting love. Another common European tradition is the planting of honeysuckle to foretell of an upcoming wedding. 

If you have a love of honeysuckle, your kindness to others is steadfast.  Like honeysuckle itself, a person who fascinated by honeysuckle would demonstrate the characteristics of resilience and steadfastness in your relationships.  No one would doubt that you can be trusted and relied on, always.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Planning Your Wedding Part 2: Photographers

So. Last week we discussed our favorite spots in Austin for getting hitched - if you’re lucky enough to have decided on a location, it’s time to move on to choosing the team that will be documenting the big event: your wedding photographer(s). 

When it comes to weddings, the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" could not be more important or true.  With that, we believe that each couple should spend as much time as they can allot to looking at wedding photographers - photographers each have their own style of shooting and editing, so finding the right one - one that fits your wedding style, budget and personal vision -  is important to make sure your memories are preserved in the best possible way.

We at La Fleur Vintage know many of the photographers around town and are always happy to recommend those we've worked with and those who have a reputation for being the best of the best.  Austin is a haven for talent and while it would be impossible to name every photographer that we know, the following is a list of some of our favorites.  All of these people are gifted artists, and they each have their own distinct style, price points and wedding packages. Take a gander*, and get inspired!

  The Nichols

Yeah, I want to be them, too.

This husband and wife team has been featured on the Knot and well-known wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty multiple times. Their photos are gorgeously soft and romantic, with a gauzy fairy-tale feel.

 Christina Carroll

Clean and stylish, Christina's photos capture those little quiet particularly well. She is based in Austin and has been featured in the Knot, Junebug Weddings and Austin Style Unveiled.

 Kristi Wright

Secret Garden?
Also based in Austin, Kristi's photos have a beautifully subtle and intimate feel to them. Make sure you check out the rockin' reception photos at Wild Onion Ranch now up on her blog - looks like she really captured the spirit of that party!

Paige Newton

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what a real mustache looks like.
Paige's photo skills will bring out the cool kid in you, and will capture every ounce of romance and fun to be had on your big day. She's been featured in Tribeza and just about every blog under the sun, so don't skip checking out her online gallery. 

Bill McCullough

Bill McCullough's work was quite a surprise the first time we saw it, and a very, very good surprise at that. His style is fairly unusual for wedding photography, and it makes an amazing statement, one described on his site as "mysterious, creative" and "film noir." 

Eric Hegwer

Eric's photos are clean and classic - if you're going for traditionally pretty, this is your man.

She and He.

Based out of Austin and New York, She and He were featured in the Knot's Best of Weddings 2010, for good reason! We couldn't resist adding in this shot of a cute couple in front of Austin's cutest wall as a bonus peek at She and He's work!

We love you too, Austin. 
Here's hoping this post helped out some of our newly engaged couples trying to figure it all out!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Southern Wedding Traditions: the First Dance


One of the most anticipated (in our minds, anyway) traditions at most Southern weddings comes after the ceremony, after the vows and the big first kiss: your first dance as a married couple. There are hundreds of thousands of love songs out there waiting to be added to your DJ’s playlist, which makes choosing the right one quite a task. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites, including some classics, some covers, and a few your guests might not see coming (click any of the song titles to listen).

Looking for something all out romantic that will have your entire wedding party weeping? May we suggest:

And I believe in love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you

You touched me, and I hear the sound of mandolins
You kissed me, and with your kiss my life begins.

There are angels in your angles,
There’s a low moon caught in your tangles

Shooting for slow and sultry? These may be more up your alley:

Will you be true till life is done?
Be the one I adore
You're the one that I adore

You said, “Ain’t this just like the present
to be showing up like this?
As the moon waned to crescent
We started to kiss

If your wedding is a little less formal and a little more footloose, try these slightly more upbeat tunes: 

I believe you should run with me until this Texas sun falls into the sea
if I shed this skin of iron and this breath of kerosene
Darling, would you take a chance on me?

We’ve come a long way, and baby
You know I hope and pray
That you’ll believe me when I say
This love will never fade away

Sweet darling, come hold me
Just a little bit longer now

If there’s a mustache on your groom and your bridesmaids are in mismatched florals with Zooey D. bangs, one of these might be the right fit:

I'm not the tiger you never had
I'm not the first hit when you got it bad
I'm not your second, I'm not your third
But I'll be your bird

The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know, but
I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings

The most remarkable thing about you standing in the doorway
Is that it’s you, and that you’re standing in the doorway
and you smile as you ease the gun from my hand 
And I’m frozen with joy right where I stand. 

Do you have a song chosen? Already married and have a great memory of your first dance? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Expert Advice from Elizabeth: Planning Your Wedding, Part 1: Venues

So. You're engaged.  Oh, what excitement!  You get to plan the most dreamed-about day of your life (maybe). Where to start?  Well, now that you've chosen the partner of your dreams, it's time to start choosing the wheres, whens and hows. La Fleur is going to help you do that with a little series of posts on our favorite places, people, and pastries around our fair city. 

First up in our series of posts on Austin wedding vendors is the all-important venue.
Choosing a venue is probably the most important step in the preparation of your wedding - with this decision, you will have to know how many invitations will be mailed and who you chose to be in your wedding party. At the same time, you'll need to come up with an overall theme for your big fete - having an idea in mind will help you choose the type of venue you need, as well as providing a time frame (Spring wedding with light, lush florals? A glittering, glamourous winter wonderland?) for the big day and a guideline for your colors and wardrobe.

For those who want to think outside the traditional church wedding, Austin is a great city for beautiful, unconventional venues. Here are a few of our favorites:

image from amoa.org

 Part of the Austin Museum of Art, Laguna Gloria consists of 12 acres of parkland, a mediterranean-style villa built in 1916, an amphitheater, a "Four Seasons" Garden featuring Venetian statues, and a Sunken Garden - the possibilities for an event here are truly endless.

image from allanhouse.com
We mention the Allan House fairly often here and on our Twitter, but that's only because it's absolutely beautiful and charming, and popular with Austin brides (with good reason). This Victorian mansion in downtown Austin dates back to 1883 and has been a girls' boarding school, a family home and has now been restored and reopened as an event center. The indoor space is perfect for intimate weddings, breakfasts and bridal showers, while the outdoor space can be transformed into a fairy-lit wonderland for larger weddings.

image from mercuryhall.com

Built in 1904 as a church in Mercury, TX and moved to its current location in 1997, Mercury Hall is a wonderful option for cool couples looking for a simple, rustic space in which to host their wedding. The Hall and its four acres of grounds evoke "casual Hill Country elegance and romance." We love the simplicity and minimalism of this venue - it's stunning on its own without a need for elaborate decor.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Image by the Nichols; decor by La Fleur Vintage

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center is a wonderful venue for romantic and bohemian brides to incorporate nature into their respective wedding themes - the spacious courtyard is adorable on its own but can be adapted to any number of reception themes, and the beauty of the natural surroundings provides a stunning backdrop for ceremonies and photo sessions.

Star Hill Ranch

This place is precious. Star Hill Ranch is a collection of historic buildings that have been relocated to their current location to create an idyllic early 1900s-era village and - thanks to meticulous restoration - makes an amazing wedding location for couples who want to add some classic Hill Country gorgeousness to their event. In addition to two chapels and an outdoor space for ceremonies, Star Hill also offers seriously adorable bride and groom accomodations for the day of the event, bar and catering services and can seat up to 500 guests. Make sure you check out our post on Tazia and Sway's summer wedding at this location for more eye candy and ideas.

Red Corral Ranch

Image from redcorralranch.com

Last but most certainly not least: Red Corral Ranch is comprised of over 1100 acres of  Hill Country, a winding Labyrinth, Butterfly Gardens, a Celebration Hall and a Big Red 'Party Barn' (Party. Barn. Ohhh yes.),  leaving your options for a perfect wedding as wide open as Texas skies. We hear from a lot of New England and NYC brides looking for the perfect spot for a Southern barn wedding - take note, because this is it, you guys.

Hope this gives you all some great ideas to mull over - check back soon for an upcoming list of our favorite wedding photographers, and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Flowers in Season: January 16-22

 Oleaceae Forsythia

image via wikipedia

Forsythia, native to East Asia and Southeastern Europe is named in honor of Scottish botanist Robert Forsyth. Forsyth was a royal head gardener and founding member of the Royal Horticulture Society.

Forsythia is a popular early spring shrub in gardens and parks.  It is a lovely branch that can be used in floral design, either alone or in arrangements.  They are prized for being tough, reliable garden plants.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Expert Advice from Elizabeth: My First Ladies by Nancy Clarke

I recently had a little time away from my store and was able to read a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is called My First Ladies by Nancy Clarke.
image via google

Nancy Clarke recently retired after working as the chief floral designer at the White House for six administrations! She designed everything from flowers in the president's living quarters to state dinners and had the honor of doing two weddings for two presidents daughters.  She writes in her book of her ideas and how she presented each to the first ladies for special events that would be seen by official heads of state.  She reveals in her book about what it was like to find each first ladies personal style.  This is a funny and telling story of the "behind the scenes" at the White House. She has created thousands of floral arrangements for every type of event from state dinners to holiday festivities. One of the most interesting stories is how Nancy composed the flowers for the state dinner with Queen Elizabeth and how she was able to meet her, which was a highlight of her career.

This is a must read for anyone that loves flowers and is interested in fine etiquette!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Flowers in Season January 9-15


image via here

Carnations are one of the world's oldest cultivated flowers and thought to have originated in East Asia. The botanical name can be translated as "flower of the gods" as the Greek word "dios" means "divine" and "anthos" means flower. Some scholars believe that the name comes from the word "coronation," because the flowers were used in Greek ceremonial crowns.*

Different colors have different meanings:
Pink - Mother's love
Light Red - Admiration
Dark Red - Deep Love
White - Pure love & Good luck

*Excerpt from The Secret Language of Flowers by Samantha Gray

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature in Style Me Pretty!

It was with great honor that this was published in Style Me Pretty and I hope that you will enjoy viewing these photos as much as we have!

Shannon and Wes were such a delight to work with. Check out more images here!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Flowers in Season January 1- 8

Galanthus Nivalus

image via Flickr

Snowdrops, which originated in Switzerland and Austria, begin flowering in January and are a symbol of hopefulness and new beginnings, which makes them a perfect flower for the start of a new year. 

In German folklore, a snowdrop myth tells the tale of how God created all the things on Earth, but the snow was sad to find itself icily transparent and invisible. God told the snow to ask the flowers if they would give it some of their color. The snow asked each flower in turn and every one of them refused, leaving the snow sadder than ever. Finally, the snow asked a little white flowers, which agreed sweetly to let the snow have some of its pure whiteness. In perpetual gratitude, the snow allows its friend the snowdrop to be the first of the flowers to bloom each year.*

*excerpt from The Secret Language of Flowers by Samantha Gray
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