When selecting a florist, David Mattingly of David’s Flowers in Leonardtown (301-475-3704) advises that you choose a local one. Although he encourages couples to bring in images they’ve found on the Internet, he warns against ordering your flowers online, which can result in wilted flowers or arrangements that just don’t meet your expectations.
Event florist Alycia Goddard (www. alyciagoddardevents.com) agrees that flexibility is key. She also advises that a good florist will be able to get you the look you want within your budget. They might suggest using expensive blooms where they will most be noticed, such as in the bouquets or centerpieces. In larger pieces, like in pergolas or on the altar, she says you could “use flowers that mimic the look but give you much more impact for your money.”
Regarding trends in floral design, Lorrie Anderson of Country Florist in Waldorf (www.countryflorist.com) says Martha Stewart and websites like Pinterest.com have had an influence. She finds that the younger generation prefers a more compact, simple look with few greens and filler flowers.
“Interestingly enough, they like green flowers, such as hydrangeas, roses and mums. … They like mixing the green flowers with other colors, such as yellow, pink or peach, [or with] deep blues, lavenders and purples, which make a stunning combination,” Anderson says. Other popular flowers are calla lilies and reasonably priced carnations. In reception arrangements, she sometimes uses a single orchid, gladiola or the gerbera daisy.
Anderson’s also seen an interest in using non-floral elements, such as beads, pearls and feathers. “In fact, we’re doing a wedding this fall and will be using ostrich feathers in the bouquets and table arrangements,” she says.
Selecting a photographer may be one of the most important decisions a couple can make about their wedding – it’s the images they create that will last a lifetime. For that reason, Jacqueline Malonson of Jax Photography (www.jaxphotography .com) advises that you “make sure you absolutely love, love, love their images.” She also says you should enjoy your photographer as a person “because they will be sharing your day, and the relationship goes on long after the wedding ends.”
A photographer’s experience is crucial. Malonson says she’s heard plenty of horror stories about couples trying to save money by hiring someone who’s just starting out or using a family member. She says that an experienced photographer “knows that weddings are fast-paced, that you’ve got emotions you’re dealing with.” They’ll also be sure to get a mixture of photos, from more traditional shots to candid ones, in color and black and white.
When choosing how to have their photos presented, Malonson says “couples have more options than ever before.” Photographers generally offer different packages of photos or allow you to choose “a la carte.” Darrin Farrell of Images Photography in California, Md. (www. imagesbydarrin.com), says couples can have their photos presented in a traditional album or a “montage” album, which is more like a coffee table book. Malonson has even done albums printed on bamboo.
And don’t forget about a good videographer. Videos capture the sounds and action at an event that photos alone cannot. As Dave Williams of Dave’s Video-graphy Services in La Plata (www.daves videography.com) explains, “if ‘American Idol’ were just in pictures, it wouldn’t be on the air for 12 years.” He uses multiple cameras and wires participants for sound at the event to ensure he captures every detail. He also does photo montages, before-wedding interviews, and video clips for the bride and groom to post on their Facebook pages.
When it comes to wedding fashion, Kristie Wood, owner of Today’s Bride and Formalwear in California, Md. (301-862-5688), sells everything to outfit the wedding party, including children and mothers of the bride and groom. Her advice for brides: “Keep an open mind. Your dream dress might not be what you picked out in a magazine.”
Besides dresses, Serendipity Bridal and Events in White Plains (www.seren dipitybridalandevents.com) also offers accessories, event planning, invitations and save-the-date notices, and even makeup. But their selection of dresses is a big draw. They have a variety of sizes and a wide price range.
Elin Jeschelnik is the owner of ej bridals in Solomons (www.ejbridals.com). Jeschelnik believes some of the current trends in bridal fashion are mermaid or “fit and flare” gowns, as well as old-fashioned ballgowns. While black and white continue to be popular color choices for bridal parties, she’s also seeing some tropical colors. “I had one bride doing a dark turquoise and bright orange.” Another recent trend is brides choosing a designer and color, then allowing their bridesmaids to select a dress that’s appropriate for their body type.
According to Wood, today’s grooms are opting for the classic black bow-tie look, though she does see some suits in grays and browns.
Bridal hair and makeup can be the finishing touch. Many brides feel most comfortable using a salon they know and love. But it might be worth checking out one that specializes in weddings, or a make-up artist that will come to you.
Owner Jackie Martin of Jacqueline Morgan Day Spa in Prince Frederick (www.jacquelinemorganskincare.com) provides brides with a wedding checklist, starting with things to consider as early as six months before the wedding date. She recommends facial treatments and good hydration as a first step, then a “body polish” for your skin. About a month before the wedding, you should arrange a trial run for hair and makeup. One or two days before the wedding is the time for a manicure, pedicure, spray tan and waxing. On the big day, she says you should “let everyone fuss over you.”
At the Charles Street Boutique in La Plata (www.charlesstreetboutique.com), owner Stacy Scott says they will make it special for your bridal party, with two stylists assigned to the group, and pastries and orange juice or champagne to enjoy.
Illusions Hair & Nail Salon, also in La Plata (301-392-1080), recommends doing what makes you most comfortable and the least stressed on your wedding day. You can go to the salon, or their stylists will come to you – whatever you find more relaxing.
Monique Melton of Favia’s Artistry in St. Mary’s County (www.faviasartistry .com) travels all over Southern Maryland. She offers special services, such as airbrush makeup, eyelash extensions and custom-made sashes and veils. She says makeup should look natural and timeless, so that “20 years from now you can look at your pictures and be happy with how you look.”
Victoria Ronan of Natural Looks by Victoria in Calvert County (410-474-7620) agrees. “I believe in enhancing one’s features, not painting their face. We want the groom to recognize the bride walking down the aisle!” ✦