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Event Planning

Modern Industrial Photo Shoot

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Blushing Pear had fun collaborating with some amazing Kelowna vendors this past fall for a really cool photo shoot. Tara Peach Photography, Pandore Event Group (styling), Passionate Blooms (centerpiece), Amana Beauty (makeup), model Victoria Fischer, Lavender & Lace (ring garlands), Wolf & Wander Calligraphy and Blushing Pear (vintage furniture and props) worked together to create a modern industrial vibe within the historic Laurel Packinghouse in downtown Kelowna.

kim@blushingpear.com

Time for Wedding Expos!

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Summer is fading fast! I can smell and feel the change in the air, and I can see it in the changing colors of the sky and leaves. What a summer it has been! Blushing Pear has been busy, renting out props and furniture, collaborating on photo shoots, adding to our inventory, and planning for the year ahead. The end of summer also means the end of a busy wedding season, though events continue on through the fall and winter! We are also steadily booking up for the summer of 2017- so if you’re thinking of renting vintage décor, you may want to plan ahead sooner rather than later.

Speaking of fall and winter, are you planning on attending the upcoming Wedding Expos? As a member of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Blushing Pear is excited about meeting new faces and connecting with familiar faces at the Okanagan Wedding Expo happening on September 27, 2016 at Okanagan College in the Atrium. Stop by and say hello! Visit my display and pick up a brochure and a free gift!

http://www.kelownachamber.org/events/Wedding-Expo-1744/details

Of course, another major wedding event will be taking over the city of Kelowna, on January 15, 2017! This will be our first time as a vendor at the Okanagan Bridal Expo and we can’t wait! Bridal fashion show, wedding vendors, everything about the wedding industry showcased under one roof! Join Blushing Pear and several other vendors at The Delta Grand Hotel this coming January!

http://okanaganbridalexpo.com/

kim@blushingpear.com

Things to Remember When Planning Your Wedding

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You’re engaged – congratulations! Now what? Time to book the venue, flowers, music, caterer, wedding planner, decorator, and find the dress of your dreams! This is a big task to undertake and typically brides  overlook the budget and time required in effective planning. Below is a list of some important factors to keep in mind when you begin researching and planning your wedding:

Create lists and timelines. Lists help you visualize your tasks and they work to keep your priorities straight. Attaching your To-Do items with clear timelines helps smooth the process. If you know each month what needs to be done, it lessens stress and helps you to plan ahead.

Research your vendors. Many wedding vendors come recommended in your community. Check their websites and social media accounts and talk to other wedding professionals and married couples in your community. Hiring preferred vendors ensures you’ll get what you pay for, but you might also consider up and coming vendors who might have competitive prices. Either way, word of mouth and testimonials will give you a clear idea of what to expect. You’ll also want to ensure you and your vendor are on the same page. Are you picturing rustic, organic florals or more showy, traditional bouquets and arrangements? Do you like country music, rock, contemporary, etc. ? Make sure your DJ is aware of your preferences. Knowing that your vendor can deliver what you want is the most important aspect – it’s your big day and your tastes should be reflected.

Traditions can be changed. Weddings are heavily rehearsed and planned and sometimes people expect the day to unfold in a certain way. Don’t shy away from incorporating new approaches or ideas to your ceremony or reception to illustrate your lifestyle or values. Before, weddings were always held inside churches. Nowadays the ceremony can be anywhere – a backyard, a park, golf course, beach, barn, etc. Some brides are foregoing a fancy cake for doughnuts or popsicles or even bags of fresh fruit. From the wedding program to the table seating, to the ceremony location and even attire, weddings should reflect you and your partner. Be open-minded in your approach and your wedding planner can also help guide you and make suggestions that you may not have thought of.

Delegate. A wedding planner remains your best option, but even if you’re employing a wedding professional to manage your wedding and rehearsal, make sure to select a close friend or family member to act as a go-between. There will be plenty of emails and phone calls to deal with, not to mention last-minute decisions and things that need to be managed the day of your wedding. Make sure whoever you choose, they’re up to the task and willing.

Pick useful items for your gift registry (if you’re including one). Some couples opt for no gifts and ask for donations to charities, but many couples still need things as they start out. Do you really need that gold-trimmed serving platter? Maybe you need a  new BBQ grill or a lawnmower, or perhaps a new set of luggage suits your needs better. Don’t be afraid to include things you will use, rather than traditional gifts such as tableware and kitchen appliances. Your gift registry should always include a range of prices, from expensive to inexpensive.

Plan for the unexpected. If it rains, is your ceremony space covered if it’s outside? Will your guests have access to umbrellas? Provide a bucket of chilled ice water if the weather is scorching. Your wedding planner will ensure a wedding emergency kit is on hand, but if you’re not employing one, make sure you have essentials like Benadryl and Band-Aids available. Do any of your guests have allergies? Make sure this is noted before your wedding day and that your caterer is made aware. Realize that unexpected things always occur but they can usually be easily fixed.

Accept that your wedding will seem ridiculously expensive no matter what your budget is. When you consider that the average wedding in Canada costs around $30,000.00, it pays to begin researching, planning and saving well ahead. There will be ways you can reduce costs and you’ll figure out as you go along, however, most couples underestimate the total cost of a wedding. Working with a wedding planner will help you keep within your budget and they can often refer you to vendors they know and trust and they can often procure rentals at a cheaper cost.

You’re throwing a PARTY! Along with good food and music, consider incorporating a photo booth or lawn games for guests. A nice lounge area adjacent to a cocktail bar is always a great idea, providing guests with a relaxing place to sip their drinks away from the business of the reception tables. Include a slide show of you and the groom as children all the way up through your relationship. You want your guests to have fun while they celebrate your nuptials and these are great ways to show you’re thinking of their enjoyment and comfort. Having a candy bar will amuse all of your guests, especially children.

Create a wedding website. A great resource is http://www.knot.com or you can use a free theme on WordPress. Wedding websites serve as a great resource for guests and a website allows you to share your story with guests through photos and anecdotes.

Don’t worry too much what everyone will think. The centerpieces are your vision, and whether Aunt Martha hates the color pink or your sister hates country music, choosing elements is a personal preference. Most brides obsess over every detail and while you want your wedding to be beautiful, it rarely goes off without a hitch, or some unforeseen events (like weather). Remember that you’ve spent the money and time planning and it will be wonderful, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Details matter, yes, but you’re not going to please everyone.

Planning a wedding is stressful but if you plan well ahead and your guests are fed, happy and comfortable,  you’ll succeed at throwing a lively, memorable wedding. It’s your wedding day, don’t forget to enjoy it!

kim@blushingpear.com

Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot

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Photo shoots are exciting for many reasons, especially because they are collaborative and creative projects. Yet they also represent hours of labour (and can present unexpected challenges). Weather can turn, lighting changes rapidly and don’t get started on mosquitoes, uneven terrain and stray dogs rampaging through! The greatest joy though is joining with others at the end of a shoot, marveling at the beauty of images that are produced. And when you find your work featured on the cover of a bridal magazine, that’s not so bad either!

Earlier this month, I had the honor of joining a group of vendors in Kelowna, staging and designing a bridal themed shoot. ‘Beauty and the Bed’ was a spectacular success. Our shoot took place atop Knox Mountain on one of those glorious Okanagan evenings. The moment the lovely Kelsey Wise, from DVM – Deja Vu Model Management, strode up the path in a lace confection gown from Lillian Wild Bridal, with upswept hair and makeup to die for, I held my breath. Ethereal, heavenly, gorgeous.  Her delicate, lace headpiece, handcrafted by Snazzy Designs, framed Kelsey’s porcelain features. Her eyes, accented in smoky liner,  and lips painted in bold lipstick, were expertly applied by Amana Beauty.

Alisha Khan, from Alisha Khan Photography brought out her magic, leaning on a step stool, bustling around the props, and framing images that turned out to be astounding. With the golden light of the fading sun slipping behind the mountain, Alisha took shots of the ‘bride’, setting up the shots, moving about, ever energetic and gracious. Her warmth certainly put me at ease, and her ability to navigate difficult terrain, all with a smile on her face, showed her professionalism.

So much goes into preparation, for everyone. Kelsey first had to be fitted in the dress before spending hours in a chair under the expertise of Amana Beauty, and later had to brace the chill of the evening wind. Alisha ensured we had a theme, location, gown, model and props well ahead of time. Alisha ensured the backdrop, model, lighting and props all worked together in harmony. The end result was breathtaking, but hours of work went toward the final presentation.

For myself, along with helpers, I lugged a wrought-iron bed, steamer trunk, chair and mantel, down a sandy trail, traipsing over tumbleweeds, sage brush and sloping terrain, searching for the perfect spot to set up my furniture and props. My husband came along, uncomplainingly moving the bed another 10 feet this way, then that way, nope, over here . . . Trying to find a level spot to place an iron bed on the side of a mountain is . . . groan inducing and kind of comical. We managed in the end to locate a fairly flat spot in a clearing of pine trees and sage brush, with the water of Okanagan lake glimmering in the distance. The iron bed served as the main prop for our ‘bride’ along with our white, shabby chic mantel surround. Nestled amongst the tall grass were Blushing Pear’s white bird cage and large, vintage steamer trunk. Nearby, I hung our iron chandelier from a pine tree branch. Our chandelier was filled with a topiary green ball and adorned with roses. Beneath the chandelier, I placed an  antique chair and vintage pedestal ‘pie’ table.

Now came the task of arranging props and furniture into something resembling a Victorian bedroom in the outdoors. I wanted the bigger props to be the foundation upon which the smaller props would serve as the accents. Too much or too little can be ineffective. Angles, terrain and bushes had to be confronted but eventually the creative process kicked in and I slid, lifted, and rearranged everything until I achieved a scene exactly as I had envisioned.

Working diligently, we ignored the bear warning, curious onlookers and the possibility of ticks hiding in trees, and thought only of the shoot. Ah, the joys of working in public places. We carried on, with brilliant rays of the sun changing from yellow to gold, then slipping away, leaving a pale, soft evening light. The model, reclining on the bed, looked like a sleeping beauty and we high-fived and smiled at the results of a hard day’s work.

It was a magnificent day, from beginning to end, but now the task of packing up bed linens, birdcages, beds and chairs awaited. My helpers and I began lifting, carrying, and transporting everything back to the parking lot, piece by piece, step by step. The mosquitoes were by now out in full force, and the chill in the air increased.

As we loaded the vehicles, fitting and organizing props into every available space, we drove away, leaving the site as it was when we arrived.

Planning, preparation, delivery and shooting was a momentous task, requiring several professionals who did a stellar job bringing our bridal vision to life. Thanks go to: Alisha Khan Photography, Amana Beauty, Lillian Wild Bridal, Kelsey Wise/Deja Vu Model Management, Snazzy Designs, and Blushing Pear Vintage Rentals. And finally, thank you to Bellissima Bride Magazine, for not only featuring our photo shoot on the cover, but for including a wonderful feature of our work inside your magazine.

kim@blushingpear.com

Event Planning Tips

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Everyone wants an event that is seamless, leaving guests satisfied and impressed. A lot of that can be accomplished in the planning stages. The more effort you put into an event before it happens, the smoother it’ll be.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your event.

Create a Checklist

Even the most organized people can become overwhelmed and something is bound to be overlooked. Having a handy checklist is a visual reminder of what needs to be done, by whom, and when.

Communication

Someone needs to be the ‘go to’ person, responsible for receiving calls, arranging meetings between vendors, etc. Whether it’s a wedding or event planner, a spouse, parent, or manager or customer service representative, it should be someone you trust who is capable of managing other people and is dependable.

Promote Event

Using social media platforms and apps, get the word out and build anticipation for your event. Use twitter hashtags and  create a Facebook page for your event. Give highlights of what’s to come and activities guests can expect.

Consider Special Considerations

Ensuring accessibility, dietary restrictions and whether your event coincides with a local industry event or holiday are all important things to keep in mind when planning the date for your event.

Informative Invitations

Create an invitation that is not only visually appealing but one that informs (who, what, where, when, why and how). Invitations should include parking info, suggested attire and gift preferences.

Visit Venue

Once you’ve narrowed the list for venues, make sure to visit each one personally. Have a meal in the facilities, walk the grounds before meeting with the event management. Speak with other guests and ask how they find the facilities and general level of service and atmosphere.

Back-up Plan

Things like weather and budget can change. For weather, plan ahead, and if there is a possibility of rain ensure you have some umbrellas or a tent for guests. If it’s going to be scorching hot, spray bottles or water bottles would be welcome touches. Budgets can increase as you begin to visualize your event and want to add things in. Having an emergency fund set aside will give you peace of mind and the ability to deal with unexpected additions.

First Aid Kit

Guests will come to you in emergencies. If it’s something that can be handled without emergency personnel, simple things like Advil and Band-Aids can ease everyone’s peace of mind. Supplies like scissors and tape can also be used to adjust and fix props.

Tech Needs

Will the facility have microphones, speakers, audio visual equipment or will you need to rent these? Knowing ahead of time what you’ll need and whether you need to add on expenses for renting equipment will save you headaches further down the road.

 

The Passionate Writer