As the days begin to shorten and the season turn to winter, it’s the perfect time to capitalize on one of our favorite wedding trends: Candle Treatments. A perfect way to add ambiance to any space, candles add warmth, light, and a touch of romanticism to any wedding ceremony or reception.Read More
Shannon Gail Weddings & Events
How did Shannon Gail Weddings & Events get it's start?
I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I come from a family of business owners and went to school for Finance, so it was always a matter of what type of company I would start, not who I would go to work for. I originally thought it would be some sort of financial advisory, but when I noticed that couples were often spending $100,000+ for their weddings in Chicago without any formal financial advice, I quickly realized there was a niche for me in the market. My family manages a golf course and event venue, and I worked in various wedding- related jobs when I was younger, so the blend of background and opportunity helped me make the decision to start SG when I was still just a senior in college.
What has been your favorite wedding you've planned so far?
It would be incredibly hard for me to select one specific favorite wedding. For me, what makes an amazing planning experience is the couple, and the people that I've really connected with have left a lasting impression on me. It's not about my favorite aesthetic or venue, but the relationships I build. I have one client who lost her Mom during the planning, and another who got pregnant and we planned the entire wedding in just months. These experiences and times when people have really opened up their lives to me are what make them most memorable.
When discussing floral and decor with clients, how do you approach the conversation?
We love to know where floral and decor falls on the client's spectrum of priorities along with their budget first and foremost. From there, we discuss the client's overall vision for the day and even touch on things like their home decor aesthetic and fashion taste. Some clients have a well-developed picture in their mind of their wedding decor whereas others can only describe a general feel, so we like to start off with that foundation and facilitate questions to continue the development.
What has been your favorite floral or decor trend this year?
This year, we are finally seeing less distinguishable color palettes, and more of a focus on building layers and depth for a more unique aesthetic. Gone are the days of being able to rattle off your wedding colors quickly. You may easily see 10-15 various tones and colors in a wedding's floral to achieve a classic, romantic look, and we are loving every bit of it!
What trends do you see fading? What trends do you see emerging?
For years, the more traditional tall, domed centerpieces have been showing up less and less and we've been seeing low, lush arrangements, asymmetric pieces, and elongated vessels as the kings table, or rectangular table trend emerged. Now, we see that being taken even further with the use of different vessels to house plants and floral, whether it be geometric steel pieces, wooden platforms, or terrariums.
What is your biggest floral and decor faux pas?
I would say that, though it's not our personal biggest miss, the most widespread faux pas we see is clients trying to do too much in terms of decor on their own. It is absolutely paramount to hire a decor professional for your wedding day. Those clients who we see try to "save" by doing things on their own almost always end up running into issues of spending too much, not having the right pieces, poor product quality, etc.
What is the biggest tip you could give a client when beginning the planning process for their event or wedding?
It's extremely important to take the time to really comprise a solid plan before diving in to finding vendors and making decisions. Whether it be a wedding or other type of event, jot down your top few priorities as you see them in the moment. This could be anything from food to music to your outfit for the day! Whatever comes to mind, write it down. As you move through the stages of the planning process, always make sure to reference that list and give more weight (time, finances, etc.) to those elements. Don't be afraid to give less resources to items not on your list.
Gaga for Garland
It was a few years back that we started to notice brides (and grooms) were exploring beyond round tables with a mix of tall and short centerpieces, and while there will always be a place for the more traditional approach, the advent of "feasting tables" has caused couples to ditch the linen, embrace the rustic, and experiment with a variety of different centerpieces.
Now a few years into the trend, there has been an evolution of the centerpiece to include a dramatic and eye catching design: the table garland. Now before your mind jumps immediately to the holiday season with pine trees, pine cones, and red and gold ribbon, that's not what we are talking about.
What is Garland
Garland can be created from most anything and tends to be a completely natural woven display of greens and floral. From lush ivy and seeded eucalyptus, to more ornate floral garlands, there is no limit to the what can be included.
How Garland is used
The reason the trend has been gaining popularity, is because garlands work best on long feasting tables, or a sweetheart table (a head table that consists of only the bride and groom). Think of a long 8 foot by 4 foot table. A typical setting (flatware, china, stemware) takes up 1 foot, so if you have two people sitting across from each other, there is still 2 feet in the center of the table to fill with decor. That's a lot of space! Garland is a great way to add lush and low textures that can spill over the table an help draw guest's eyes from the floor upwards to the table.
Depending on the amount of tables you have, and what the garland is going to consist of, it is easy for garland to get pricy quickly. But there is a great middle ground of incorporating garland on the head table, sweetheart table, or as one of two feasting table looks to save a bit on cost. Choosing greens over flowers will also help, but it may not be the look you are going for.
Go for Garland
Garlands work well with tables dressed with linen or raw and rustic tables, and can be designed to be any length. From traditional to contemporary, big budget or small, garland is an impressive way to create a trendy statement that enhances your reception setting, and leaves your guests with a lasting impression.