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Kaitlyn & Nina

February 18th, 2021

Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co
Kaitlyn & Nina | Photography: Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co

When did you know you were meant to be together?

It’s kinda the same for both of us, one day it just kinda clicked, we have known each other since high school, and have always been friends. One day (Ninas birthday) we decided to give it a chance, and have been together ever since. I would say though, when we realized that being together felt like home, that no matter what we thought we could always rely on each other, and that no one really understood us the way we understand each other.


Who Proposed To Whom?

We kinda proposed to each other, I asked first and then Nina asked me a week later. 


How / Where Did You Get Engaged?

I came home from work one night with a gift bag, inside was her ring along with a picture of the two of us, with “Willst du mich heiraten?”, which is german for will you marry me. Ninas grandmother (Omi) was german, and she always like embrace her german heritage. Nina came into my work with my best friend, put out her hand and said “Do you like my ring?” LOL


What was your Wedding Date?

February 18th, 2021


Venue?

The Barn at Lone Oak Acres in Parrish, Florida.

Did you have a Coordinator / Planner?

Yes! Catlyn Smith (Chaos Coordinating by Catlyn)


Did you have a Theme / Color Scheme in mind or did you wing it?

Greenery, ivory, gold accents, maroon, and burnt orange.


Catering?

Catering by Michael


Did you have a special cake made?

Sweet Tooth Cakery (@sweettoothtampa)


If Yes, what was your Cake Topper? 

A Taylor Street Favors Acrylic Heart Cake topper.


Photographer?

Sam & Ginger from Garry & Stacy Photography Co


Dj?

Ed Grube (Special Ed) Events Done Right


What was your song?

I Get To Love You by RUELLE


Florist?

Riverview Florist, Riverview, Florida


Hair/Makeup?

Nina was done by Lexus Bombard and mine was done by Julia Williams (my best friend)


Any advice for couples planning weddings today? 

Take your time with planning and picking out everything you want, it’s your day you deserve to have it the way you want and have always envisioned. Enjoy it! the day goes by so quickly! also, make sure to bustle your dress (we forgot, and were tripping on it during our first dance LOL)

Be you! Every single one of your wedding guests are there to support you and love you and your partner. 


What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Dancing with all of our friends and family.


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Interview with Heather Nguyen about Wedding Photography

Heather Nguyen Wedding Photographer in action

Get to know Heather, Central Coast Wedding Photographer.


I first met Heather of Heather Nguyen Photography at a local wedding professionals gathering in northern San Luis Obispo county. Taylor Street Favors was supplying some wedding favors for the event and Heather was shooting the event. Meet and greets are not my thing, but I am so glad I went that night! Not only do I love Heather’s wedding photography and her warm, easy going vibe, but she continues to be a big supporter of everything Taylor Street. Here is our interview with Heather.

TSF: What is your favorite part of a wedding to shoot?

Heather Nguyen | Love My Baby Photography

Wedding Photography is so much fun! If I had to choose one part it would be when I am photographing the couple alone. To me, that is the most exciting part. Some see each other before with a first look and others have waited until their “I DOs”. That is the chance to really see how in love they are. That is the first chance they get to have a candid conversation and complement each other’s outfits.

TSF: Most important question you rarely get asked by couples considering you for wedding photography?

The most important part of the day, photography wise is sunset time. I have a long list of questions to ask but for couples that is usually the last thing they are thinking about. When you think of your wedding, the most important part would be the couple photos when the light is soft and flattering. I usually suggest sunset photos depending on their schedule.

TSF: Tell us about yourself

I have been a photographer for 9 years now. I am a wife of 9 years and a mother to a 6 year old and a 3 year old. They keep me busy during the week, which is why I love my job as a photographer. I am able to enjoy time with them during the week and work on the weekends.

TSF: What is one favorite part of your photography business?

Delivering the images to clients. I always send out the email and wait for their response. Hearing how much they love their images and how well their day was captured is such a pleasure to hear as their photographer.

TSF: Best piece of advice you could give couples planning their wedding

To take moments for themselves and keep dating. When I work with couples, sometimes stress gets the best of them and they forget the wedding is all about their love. After their big day, they will be left with the memories of the guests, their ceremony, and how much fun they had.

TSF: What is your photography specialty?

My specialty is wedding photography. Though I also photograph families, newborns, kids & couples, I spend most of my year on weddings. I love having clients stay with me from their engagement to their family photos years down the road. I really do have an amazing job!

Fox and Plume Photography

TSF: What inspires you professionally?

I was inspired after my own wedding. I had such a amazing time planning our wedding. So when I meet a couple, I love discussing all of the fun plans they have started and the vision they have.

TSF: 3 questions every couple should ask their wedding photographer

  1. Do you shoot in RAW? RAW images hold more information than JPEGS which help with post editing. All professionals shoot in RAW.
  2. How many weddings have you photographed? I shoot about 15-20 weddings a year on average, so 8 years and 15 weddings a year I would say I am around 120 weddings. It’s very important for your photographer to have lots of wedding experience.
  3. Do you edit the images? As for editing, I edit the lighting, bring up colors(especially your wedding colors), edit out anything that takes away from the image. Every image a client receives from me has been touched. I never send unedited images.

TSF: Biggest pet peeve with modern technology in weddings today

Cell phone and tablets. I have been a wedding guest many times and I personally have no problem with people taking photos during the day. When it comes to the ceremony, it makes my job very hard to have to ask guests to move (when they should be seated) or change my position because someone is holding their phone out in the isle. When a couple spends so much on their wedding photography, they don’t want cell phones in the way of their vows or first kiss.

TSF: Weddings are stressful. How do you keep yourself relaxed and energized?

I spend time with my kids during the week and usually get massages after a long wedding. I carry a backpack with all my lenses and gear so once the wedding is over, my back is usually sore.

TSF: What one superpower would you want for your wedding photography work?

That my legs would never get tired. After being on my feet for 12+ hours, I am usually exhausted. Legs that would keep going even into the late night hours would be marvelous!

If you have a question to ask Heather about her wedding photography business, or her opinion on anything wedding photography related, please ask on our Facebook page or send us an email.

Website: Heather Nguyen Photography
Facebook: Like Her Page
Instagram: Follow Heather

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The Best Top 29 First Dance Songs For Your Wedding

Finding that first dance song is never easy. Some songs may fit one personality, but you want something that represents you both. Maybe you have a song that you fell in love to, when you first met or had your first kiss. From classic to contemporary, romantic to sappy, rock and roll to country to rap – it’s your day, it’s your song. Below are our top 29 picks for a first dance – not 30, just 29.  Our first dance song was Love Me Crazy by Moonshine Collective and we were lucky enough to have them at our wedding. What song did you chose for your first dance?

  1. Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake

  2. “At Last,” Etta James – sung by Beyonce 

  3. You & I – John Legend 

  4. All of Me – John Legend

  5. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

  6. Simply the best – Noah Reid

  7. Stand By Me – Tracey Chapman

  8. Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

  9. New York – Alicia Keys

  10. Love me crazy – Moonshine Collective

  11. Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line)

  12. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri –
  13. Amazed – Lonestar

  14. One More Try – George Michael 

  15. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – George Michael

  16. You’re My Best Friend – Queen

  17. Better Together – Jack Johnson

  18. Yours – Ella Henderson

  19. You Are The Best Thing – James TW 

  20. Marry Me – Train

  21. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding 

  22. You Are The Reason – Calum Scott

  23. Home – Michael Bublé 

  24. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra 

  25. The Rest of Our Life – Tim McGraw, Faith Hill 

  26. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Haley Reinhart

  27. Someone Like You – Van Morrison 

  28. No one – Alicia Keys

  29. “Marry Me” – Jason Derulo

Let us know in the comments below what song you chose for your first dance.

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Tolerance – a core strength

Tolerance – A Core Strength

Tolerance — respecting human dignity — seems like a particularly timely topic.  Is it that people are allowing religion to do more of their thinking for them?  Has our educational system failed too?  How can I continue to model tolerance for our son and do my part to help create a more inclusive society?  When confronted with intolerant behavior, how does our family remain strong?

While organizations like pflag.org, hrc.org and itgetsbetter.org are fairly well known, the following are some sites I use as resources that provide outstanding information and/or support and do not come up in discussion as often.  

finimpact.com : This article #LGBTQ: How to Support LGBTQ-Owned Small Businesses & Resources at Finimpact is a great resource for LGBTQ owners who need support, offering some of the best ways to support LGBTQ-owned businesses right now.

matthewshepard.org  :  We L O V E this organization and its outreach efforts, and we donate 1% of our sales to this non-profit so we may be a bit biased. The Matthew Shepard Foundation provides educational resources for schools to encourage greater acceptance of individuals different from ourselves and manages a website for youth to find programs and shelters that are welcoming regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.  Judy and Dennis Shepard also speak about bullying and hate crimes at schools, college campuses and organizations.

tolerance.org  :   Though focused on educators, this creation of the Southern Poverty Law Center has well written articles and an exhaustive list of resources covering a wide variety of topics.  The one that caught my eye this past week:  “Don’t Threaten My Religion” by Sara Wicht, discussing lessons educators can use to help students deal with content that may threaten individual belief systems. 

whatmakesyourfamilystrong.org :  Way to go Michigan!  Created by the Strengthening Families Initiative, a part of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation,  this is a great resource for straightforward and “readily consumable” information to share with friends, parents-to-be, and families with young kids.  It outlines methods for promoting personal resilience and healthy family life behaviors.

When confronted with intolerant and sometimes aggressive behavior,  I want our son to have learned to recognize the insecurity behind the action and have the skills and strength to handle the situation in a healthy way.  We aren’t there yet, but we’re working hard.  Now if we could get him to do his chores without being reminded…

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Interview with Sara Pilchman of Sara Pilchman Ceramics

Tiny Pots by Sara Pilchman Ceramics

TSF: Tell us a little about you. 

Hi!  I’m Sara, from Long Beach, CA.  I’ve been teaching ceramics for the last eight years in Southern California and have been selling pottery through my business Sara Pilchman Ceramics since 2016.

TSF: How did you get started in the creation of pottery? Are you self-taught? 

I’ve been working in clay most of my life!  I started at a summer camp called Idyllwild Arts Academy as a kid and my passion for clay was mostly fueled by my competitive nature, a love of getting messy, and the fact I was allowed to play with fire.  About ten years later I returned to Idyllwild to finish my high school education at a boarding art school, ironically going to study French horn and creative writing but instead rediscovering pottery.  In 2008 I moved to central Pennsylvania to study ceramics and museum work at a little liberal arts school called Juniata College.

TSF: I watched your videos on instagram. That wheel is mesmerizing. Do you find yourself lost in time while you are creating? 

Thank you!  A lot of people call working on the wheel meditative.  For me as an angsty kid (like many young potters!) it was more about getting out frustrations and anger.  Throwing pottery is incredibly physical work, so using your muscles to create can be an amazing stress reliever once you build a relationship with the clay. There’s an integral step to throwing once you start called centering; you almost rock the clay as its spinning into the center of the wheel.  To make a too-cheesy pun, you find yourself centered as well while you work and can leave the rest of the world behind.  Its only been in the last year or two that I’ve been able to recognize throwing on the wheel as a meditative practice.  

TSF: What or who inspires you?  

I’m a big museum nerd and love modern and contemporary art.  I get frustrated by the performative aspects of visiting museums at this point (the next time I go to the Broad and watch someone taking a selfie covering a piece of art I’m going to scream) but absolutely love the idea of museums and art spaces as a whole as a source of equitable art education. Art saves lives and must be accessible to absolutely everyone.  Off of that hill and in an attempt not to ramble further, my inspirations: international travel, greenhouses, abandoned and overgrown human monuments, Rene Magritte, Scott Musgrove, good scary movies, Roberto Lugo, the Huntington Library, and the Rudolfinum. 

TSF: Let’s talk about Ring dishes. Personalization is everything right now. Can Brides (and/or Grooms) customize something that is just for them?  

Absolutely!  That’s the fun thing about TinyPots – every single piece is one of a kind so your piece will be just for you.  I make each piece start to finish so if there’s something my wedding [client] wants or needs we can have a consultation to make that happen.  Pottery takes a good amount of time to process though, so the more personalization/specificity you need from your potter the longer the lead time you should give them. Think six weeks to make is pretty normal, but more time would allow for any misfires, breakage, etc that’s especially common in the making process.  Keep in mind if you’re using a ceramicist like me you’re asking for handmade, not factory made, work.  It will look it, and that’s the fun!

TSF: I saw on your instagram page beautiful pots and bowls for centerpieces and candles. My favorite were the tiny Pots in wine, green and ivory colors. Do you develop your own color palette and how does it change with time? 

The great and sometimes frustrating thing about the type of firing I do (high temp reduction gas firing) is that the final result is always a little bit of a surprise–less like working with paint and more melting a mixture of glasses.  I use about 7 core glazes and clays that I mix and match and I have a basic idea of which combinations looks best, but even the same glaze/clay combo can still surprise me!  It’s a good thing too–everyone’s tastes are different so luckily I don’t have to pick just one palette.

TSF: Do you guide couples on creation of a palate that would work with their wedding?  

Now this is the fun part!  With my couples and customers I will show them combos they might like in planning and I’ll share with them the range that glaze has. For example, my white glaze will always be absolutely white, but my green has a range of almost metallic brown all the way to a near teal depending on the clay and shifting oxygen levels in my kiln.  I always make at least twice the pieces you’ll need in order for you to pick the out the pots you absolutely love!  The part that makes my business fun is the conversations I get to have with my customers.  I love to help make the day just what my couples imagine!

TinyPots by Sara Pilchman
TinyPots by Sara Pilchman

TSF: I love the idea of tiny succulents as wedding favors. And  your tiny pots seem perfect for that. Do You offer large bulk orders?  

I offer bulk orders at wholesale prices!  I like to keep them affordable because honestly I love weddings and people LOVE these favors.  TinyPots are absolutely food safe and multifunctional, so you’ve got your air-plant pot to set as a place marker that doubles as your shot glass in the after party, or a bud vase that also works as a match striker in your home.  How many weddings have a favor everyone can keep and use that’s handmade and absolutely one of a kind?

TinyPots by Sara Pilchman

TSF: Are there any recent projects you would like to tell us about?  

Right now I’m just keeping up with these!  I initially began SPC as a dinnerware company and made entirely dishes, mugs, and planters. One day I may return but for now I’m working to take over the country with TinyPots! You can find them in many major cities around the US and can always reach out for info on your nearest retailer. 

TSF: What attribute do you feel best characterizes an excellent piece of pottery? 

Wow!  That’s a tough question.  I would say intentionality….if that’s a word.  However simple or complex a piece is there is a sense of aesthetic balance in it.  Usually that comes through knowing the material after decades of work and having it be such second nature the balance comes intuitively.  Its hard to describe but its like sincerity-you know it when you see it.  On a much more basic level, the walls of the pot are even, its not too heavy, the base isn’t too thick, the rim doesn’t chip easily!

TSF: What’s the most unusual pottery request?  

In high school I made a drinking fountain for my teacher’s retired celebrity cat!  Since then people have requested nesting bowls, knitting bowls, basic dish-ware, but I rarely take on odd commissions anymore.

TSF: What projects have you most enjoyed making?  

TinyPots are thankfully really fun to make!  I’m looking forward to being able to get back to making some extra large planters, bowls, fountains again though.  Sometimes you have to balance it out!

Thank you Sara!

Derek and I look forward to seeing what you create next. I already have ideas for tiny pots and gift boxes floating around in my head. Check out Sara’s pages below.


Instagram: @sarapilchmanceramics/

ETSY: SaraPilchmanCeramics

FaceBook: @SaraPilchmanCeramics/

SHOP: Sara Pilchman Ceramics

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Geometric Wedding Inspiration

Geometric Favor Boxes in Purple and gold

It is EVERYWHERE and we love it!

Geometric Wedding Inspiration creates Geometric madness and I don’t think it’s going to leave us anytime soon. Geometric Wedding design can be a wonderful, modern and playful look that blends elegantly with many different table-scapes. And you don’t need to go overboard … even adding just some gold geometric candle holders to your centerpieces creates an air of contemporary simplicity. Below are some of the geometric decor items we offer in this chic trend. You can see all of our Geometric offerings by going here »

Shapes are cool and influences so much Geometric Wedding Inspiration. Hexagons can be used in formal, minimalist, and bohemian weddings alike. Geo graphics bring a modern edge to wedding design. From table centerpieces to glassware to back drops each element can stand on its’ own. 

Check out these beautiful Personalized Geo gold rimmed stemless wine glasses. They’ll make a beautiful gift for any couple. Brides and grooms alike can appreciate the classic yet modern elegance of these beauties.

Looking for Geometric Wedding Inspiration in your gifts?

Cosmetic bags and totes make memorable and fun bridesmaids gifts. And we didn’t leave the groom out of the geo trend.  We have some great ideas for groomsmen gifts too, like our Argyle Diamond Monogram Oak Wrapped Hip Flask or these Apex Square Cufflinks.

We’ve got you geometrically covered.

While it all comes down to personal taste, we think our current geometric wedding reception decor items give you the tools you need to create a look that is sophisticated, full of energy,  and uniquely your own.

Take a look at our selection of gifts and wedding decor. Let us know what you think and also, what you’d like to see. Derek and I love new ideas and we’d be happy to see what we can find that would help make your day a time to celebrate.

…and remember these mathematical words of wisdom – Life without geometry is pointless !

[bigcommerce_product search=”S36-TS-G9542-T121-2″ per_page=”1″ order=”ASC” orderby=”date”]
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Wedding Planner: Rachael Johnson of Rachael’s Custom Events

A few years ago Derek and I were attending a WeddingWire conference in Los Angeles. During the lunch break between sessions we were fortunate to sit at the same table with wedding planner Rachael and her husband Tim. Over the last couple of years we’ve been seeing them at conferences, communicating with and social following Rachael Custom Events. I thought they would be an awesome addition to our Wedding Pro’s Interviews.

Rachael and Tim of Rachael Custom Events.

TSF: Tell us about yourself.

My husband and I have been married for almost 36 years and we love weddings. I previously worked in the corporate world and my husband, Tim, has been a professional musician and audio technician.  From the time I was a teenager, my dream was to plan weddings.  Our children are grown, so now after setting them off on their life journeys, I get to live my dream as a wedding planner.

TSF: Tell us about Rachael’s Custom Events.

Rachael’s Custom Events provides full-service wedding and event planning. We are a family business.

TSF: What’s your artistic approach to weddings?

We get our inspiration from our clients. Whether they want “shabby -chic” or “traditional” or whatever, we help them create their look. Our job is keep it clean, crisp, and smart, (we love Gordon Ramsay) – highly efficient and professional. Our motto is “Your Day, Your Way, Our Talent”

TSF: What’s been your favorite part of being a wedding planner?

The best part of our job has been making a difference in someone’s life by being a part of their day and helping create lasting memories.

TSF: What best piece of advice would you give couples planning their wedding?

Hire a wedding planner FIRST. If that is not possible, hire a wedding planner ASAP. Our specialty is “calm under fire”. Most crises can be handled easily when your wedding planner is a calming influence.

TSF: What is the most unique destination wedding you’ve planned?

We had a wedding on a mountaintop (8500 ft.) in Utah that included 7 events over four days.

TSF: What inspires you professionally?

I am inspired by open-minded, cooperative clients. It is so much easier to do a great job for people who want to enjoy the journey, not control it.

TSF: Give us 3 questions all couples should ask before hiring.

  1. “How many meetings can we have?” (correct answer is unlimited)
  2. “Do you mark up services from your preferred vendors?” (correct answer is no)
  3. “Do you stay for my entire event?” (correct answer is yes)

TSF: How about 3 questions every couple should ask their wedding planner after hiring.

  1. “What do you think?”
  2. “Is this possible within our budget?”
  3. “What is plan B?”

TSF: What is your biggest pet peeve as a wedding planner with modern technology?

Pinterest. Couples should understand that Pinterest is great for inspiration but not for duplication. Second biggest pet peeve – bad sound.

TSF: Weddings can be stressful.  As a busy wedding planner how do you keep yourself relaxed and energized?

To stay relaxed and energized – Jack Daniels – no, seriously – The most important thing is being rested and nourished and HYDRATED in front of an event. The relaxed part is easy – it is a part of who we are and how we operate.

TSF: What one wedding planner superpower would you want?

Our most wanted superpower would be CLONING. If we could clone ourselves, we wouldn’t have to say no if we are already contracted.

TSF: Tell us about your core values.

  • i. Be Inclusive
  • ii. Over Deliver
  • iii. Always Be Courteous
  • iv. Think Out Of The Box
  • v. No Cookie-Cutter Anything
  1. We will travel for events. Many of our weddings are outside Nevada (CA, CO, UT, AZ)
  2. We have a lot of decor items available – some we provide at no cost, some we will rent for a reasonable fee – which is another aspect of how we work to save money for our couples.

Rachael and Tim work hard and are committed to excellence. Derek and I believe in showcasing talent, not just for talent sake, but also for the quality of service, professionalism and kindness. If you want to know more about Rachael’s Custom Events we’ve included links to their website, WeddingWire and Knot reviews below. Take a moment to Like and Share them as well.

We always love hearing from you so let us know what you think in the comments below. Thank you Rachael and Tim.

Rachael’s Custom Events Website

www.rachaelscustomevents.com
Full service wedding planner and event designer. Serving the western United States – based in Las Vegas, NV. Licensed and insured. Wedding Wire Rated 2018-19 and The Knot Best Of 2019-19.

Rachael and Tim took the worry out of what is often a hectic day for a Mother of The Bride. They truly are the best at what they do! – Suzi Hummer – 5 Stars! Read The Full Review

Follow, Like and Share

Instagram @rachaelscustomevents
Twitter @rjcustomevents
Facebook. Rachael’s Custom Events
Pinterest pinterest.com/rachael7020

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Why We [still] Love June

June is for celebrating marriage, fathers & PRIDE

We originally posted June is for Celebrating in 2017 – sure feels a life time ago. Not long after the 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, David and I began to wonder if a business like ours — built on a commitment to not just marriage equality, but basic equal rights and inclusiveness — might within a few years become so commonplace as to be inconsequential. Ahem…turns out, we were wrong.

Pride month is a reminder that our actions matter, and that we have a long way to go.  And while we are grateful for the support so many brands show this one month, discrimination continues year round. And importantly, commercialization of Pride doesn’t automatically create support for the LGBTQ community.  What can you do to lend your support?

  1. Donate to organizations like The Trevor Project or HRC.
  2. Shop at gay-owned businesses like ours, or our Lilly & Taylor ETSY shop, not just in June, but all year long. 
  3. Attend your local Pride Event – celebrate with your friends & your community.    

It’s Pride month!   Happy Pride!

And it’s also David’s and my wedding anniversary month (!)

And it’s Father’s Day! Since our family has two dads, two amazing sons and now, one grandson (!!), we have plenty to celebrate.


Since Taylor Street is all about celebrating, we love June!

There is a common thread to these celebrations, and to all celebrations — and that is the sense of community each promotes.   There is a sense of belonging and acceptance — and love — that is created when you and I take time to honor tradition, our families, our respect for one-another.  And while modern families are increasingly diverse, at their core they remain much the same…

chvkeqywyaapyne

David and I will continue to share stories of people and their celebrations — of all types —throughout the year.  We do this to support a sense of community, celebrate its members, and strengthen our collective bond.  Because, as Lin -Manuel Miranda said in his amazing 2016 Tony Awards acceptance speech, “Love is love”, nothing here is promised – not one day.

5x7_magnet

We also will continue to post profiles of wedding industry professionals who support inclusivity and marriage equality.

Thank you for your support & Happy Pride! Please share with us how you are celebrating Pride, celebrating Father’s Day, celebrating your marriage, or – like us – ALL THREE!

#loveislove #NoH8 #lovewins #LGBTPride #Pride

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The “I Do Crew” …for those couples doing things a bit differently… .

At our wedding reception with orange poppies

Men as Bridesmaids, Women as Groomsmen – and what about that Man of Honor!

As more newly engaged couples, gay and straight, involve friends and family members in their weddings in more creative and personal ways, they are redefining traditional gender-based bridesmaids & groomsmen roles. Welcome to the I Do Crew!


[And really, why can’t brides and grooms have their BFF’s stand with them at the alter regardless of gender?]


While it’s increasingly common to have wedding party members of both sexes standing up for brides and grooms, what to call your male bridesmaids (not this for sure) or female groomsmen (possibly an even worse idea) is all over the place.  Here are a few popular gender neutral alternatives to use in your program or when the wedding party is introduced.

I Do Crew and a Few Alternatives for your Wedding Party

Most popular:  “I Do Crew”.   It’s catchy, gender neutral, and – to me – a little bit sentimental, in a good way. You can find it on all kinds of wedding swag…and it makes a great hashtag:  #idocrew . But if that just doesn’t work for you, here are some others…

The safe choices:  “attendants” or “entourage”;

Lighthearted & best for personalized gear:   Team [fill in the name of groom(s) or bride(s)];

These show up fairly often too:  besties, party people, wedding squad, bridal brigade or bride tribe paired with groom squad.  

For the male maid of honor:  man of honor

And for the female best man: best woman

Or…how about best friend! 

3 Other Wedding Traditions Your I Do Crew Will Love

Just as your wedding party may not conform to tradition, increasingly, today’s modern couples — whether two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom — are choosing to co-create their wedding ceremony too. From the ground up, couples are mixing cultural and religious traditions with unique elements.

Here are a few examples of interesting and modern takes on traditional wedding rituals.

Wedding Colors and Wedding Attire

Couples are managing the all-to-familiar bridesmaid matching outfit and coordinating groomsmen tradition with a much lighter touch.  Couples are selecting a color (or two) and inviting a close circle of friends and family to wear the color(s). Sometimes instructions include a particular article of clothing (bow tie / socks / shirt or blouse color) and sometimes the request is simply to include that color in whatever outfit is chosen. Not only are couples able to involve more people than they might if the wedding color was limited to the more traditional gang up front, it looks awesome when it comes time for pictures.  David and I went this route, but in hindsight didn’t take the idea far enough.  We now wish we would have had his mom and my dad wear some “poppy orange” too [really – see picture!].

But make sure your wedding party members look the part, so that there is something in common that helps your wedding pictures to have a coordinated look.  If you’ve left people to interpret your request on their own, you may want to have some things available on your wedding day, just in case – a boutonniere, bow tie, socks – for pops of color that tie your wedding party together.

Non-traditional Processional

Rather than the 2X2, invite your closest friends, and wedding party participants to walk down the aisle at the start of your ceremony with their respective significant others and then sit in reserved rows at the front. This eliminates the need to have everyone pair up nicely…and means you can forget about requiring an equal number of attendants for each “side of the aisle”. Isn’t it more natural and enjoyable if a family with children move as a clump, or if you have a friend who is happily single, stride down your aisle individually?

Combined Bridesmaids-Groomsmen Party

Why not!  Especially if you each already have both men and women as attendants, why not have a co-ed party involving both groups.  Not only do these people then have more of a chance to get to know each other, you can have some fun with your best friends while getting to know your future spouse’s best friends – win/win.

New roles, new rules…or in this case, no rules.  Be creative in the way(s) you choose to honor your friends and your lives together. If you are feeling in need of a “steady-hand”; someone to help you think things through, get a professional wedding planner involved! Your wedding is a time to celebrate. Ultimately, do what feels right rather than what you wish felt right.

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Guide to Finding Your Perfect Wedding Cake Topper

Modern Round Acrylic Wedding Cake Topper

It’s finally here – that time in the wedding planning process when you decide on your wedding cake topper. 

Do wedding cakes need a topper?
How tall should a wedding cake topper be?
What do wedding cake toppers cost?

Short answer, It depends…

Just how do you decide on your perfect wedding cake topper when there are a ba-zillion wedding cake toppers to look through on Pinterest, dozens of ETSY wedding cake topper shops to ‘favorite’, and too many other wedding decisions competing for your attention.  And you can’t leave this decision to the last minute. Your wedding cake baker most definitely needs to know so she/he can make sure your cake can support your cake topper.  

So what do you do?  

Wedding Cake Topper Types: Traditional vs Modern vs Hobbyist

What fits you as a couple? You could be a traditional couple who loves to play golf (hobby) or a modern couple that loves vintage materials  (traditional) or a mountain climbing couple that loves urban design (modern). It’s all in how you mix the match or match the mix. We are all a little bit of all three. Which one works for you? After that we’ll browse materials, colors and price ranges.

Traditional Cake Toppers

Traditional wedding cake toppers usually involve hand-painted porcelain – posed, dressed up and perfect for highly decorated white wedding cakes. These often are or can become family heirlooms and reused from one generation to the next. For same sex couples this may be an impossible find because it’s hard to find figurines that work without going whimsical, stereotypic, or cliche.

Slightly less traditional, yet classic, are figurine pets and children to add to the top of the cake or on the tiers. Porcelain figurines also come in a variety of custom hair colors, skin colors, attire, and poses. If you see mostly toppers that are white and blond, don’t get discouraged. When you don’t see yourself represented – ASK – or let the owner know you are taking your business elsewhere. It’s a great opportunity to push and ask for more inclusivity and cultural diversity in the wedding industry.

African American Pearl Elegance Arch Bride and Groom Cake Topper by WeddingCollectibles

Modern Cake Toppers

Acrylic or wood Laser-cut words and phrases are cake toppers that can be used to display a quote, your names, or just your initials. These toppers take an updated approach to a traditional décor piece. There are some beautiful choices out there with acrylic colors in solids, glitter or with metallic finishes. There’s the option of stained wood cut calligraphy which adds an elegant and whimsical feel to any cake design. These are a great way to personalize your wedding day.

Laser cut toppers are easily customizable to commemorate your special day with names, initials, or the date of your wedding.  Wood toppers and acrylic blocks can be heavy and require advance planning with the baker.  Acrylic cake toppers are often thin (1/8”), somewhat fragile, and will include cake stakes to hold them up.  Stakes can be designed to break off easily so that you can store or display your topper after.  

A little less modern in the traditional sense – see what I did there – are Silhouette Cake Toppers. They are the ‘vintage’ modern and can be whimsical by adding silhouettes of balloons, words, pets or special items that relate to the two of you. Silhouette Cake Toppers are usually acrylic, but can also be found in wood.

Wire Wedding Cake Toppers are also popular, particularly for brides and grooms wanting a casual, modern vibe.  These are not ‘hangers on’ from days-gone-by. These are modern toppers with-a-twist to spell out a variety of different words, monograms or just spell out your name(s) in a fun twisted script.  If you are having a dessert table full of trendy Bundt Cakes, a few of these trendy toppers certainly are a nice finishing touch your guests will notice

A Perfect Wedding Cake Topper in copper wire bent to say Finally
Finally Wire Cake Topper | ETSY – LeRusticChic

Hobbyist Cake Toppers

If you have a passion, or love doing a particular thing together, you can show that off on your cake top. There are custom and ready made topper designs for golfers, motorcyclists, dog lovers, beach lovers, and everyone in between! The more meaningful and personalized to your relationship, the better. Hobbyist cake toppers come in a variety of materials – porcelain, wood, acrylic and plastic.

Creative Wedding Cake Toppers and Unique Cake Topper Ideas

Having a Beach wedding? A pair of Adirondack chairs embraces that sun-kissed vibe and romance.  A woodland wedding? How about some antlers laser cut out of wood. A garden wedding? What about a topiary initial cake topper.  Maybe it’s just simply the BEST DAY EVER! in a custom acrylic color or a beautiful laser cut wreath cake topper for a rustic wedding.  If you have a particular theme, there is a cake topper for it.

  • Round White Acrylic Wedding Cake Topper With Name & Date - Lettering Shown in Rose Gold
    Round White Acrylic Wedding Cake Topper With Name & Date
    $34.50
  • Round Modern Single Initial Etched Cake Topper
    Round Modern Single Initial Etched Cake Topper
    $24.50
  • Round two initial Cake Topper
    Wood Round Two Initial Cake Topper
    $24.50
  • 1st Birthday Acrylic Cake Topper
    1st Birthday Acrylic Cake Topper
    $24.50
  • Rustic Wood Heart Wedding Cake Topper | Personalized
    Rustic Wood Heart Wedding Cake Topper | Personalized
    $22.50
  • Round Trellis Wood Cake Topper
    Wood Round Wedding Cake Topper | Names and Date
    $24.50
  • Oh Baby Wood Cake Topper
    OH Baby Cake Topper – Wood
    $18.50
  • Bride To Be Wood Cake Topper
    Bride To Be Cake Topper – Wood
    $18.50
  • Acrylic Rhinestone Heart Wedding Cake Topper - Personalized
    Acrylic Rhinestone Heart Wedding Cake Topper – Personalized
    $29.50

Same Sex Cake Toppers

When Derek and I were looking for a wedding cake topper we did not have as many choices when it comes to materials and expression. Same sex wedding cake toppers can be as simple as an acrylic Mr. & Mr. to a Bride and Bride Same Sex Wedding Cake Topper Set in Hand Painted Porcelain. Custom acrylic cake toppers with names and dates because they are easy to customize and also in a variety of colors, materials and designs.

Themed Cake Toppers

Cake toppers can also come in a wide range of themes. Disney, Game of Thrones, Vampires, Star Wars, Sports, Harry Potter, super heros, and on and on. Themed weddings with a wedding cake topper to match will take your event from cool to AMAZING. It’s your wedding – go for it. 

Funny Cake Toppers

Who doesn’t love a good laugh. Fun and funny cake toppers can range from Batman Legos, funny figurine wedding cake toppers, cake toppers that look like you with bobble heads, and some over-the-top expressive cake toppers.

Lego Wedding Cake Topper
Lego Minifigure Garden Wedding Cake Topper | ETSY – BareSockCrafts

Floral Cake Toppers

Boho Weddings are famous for amazing floral wedding cake toppers. Dahlias, Tropical leaves, Roses, Eucalyptus, Paper Flowers, Grapevine are all great features on your cake and make a beautiful ode to nature.  Check with your baker about whether your live toppers are edible, or ask for sugar versions instead.

Materials and Size

Wire, stone, acrylic, porcelain, wood, plastic, flowers, and paper are all available materials. It comes down to personal preference, keepsake value, cost and vision. I actually think this is the least difficult part of the decision. Once you have your look and feel of your wedding down you’ll know what material would fit best.

Size is largely determined by the size of the cake.  If your cake is tiered, it is the top tier size you will want to consider. Most stand alone cake toppers are about 6 inches tall. The more custom your wedding cake topper, the more control you will have over the size, but know that a topper can easily look top heavy.  Weight also becomes an issue as size increases.  Get your cake baker or wedding planner involved to help you with your decision.  

And you don’t need a cake topper for your wedding cake. Some cake designs are best left alone. 

Wedding Cake Topper Pricing

Wedding cake topper pricing varies widely.  Ready made cake toppers are generally less expensive than custom designs, but still will vary based on materials and personalization.  You’ll have to decide what makes sense to you on cost. At Taylor Street we have wedding cake toppers that start at under $30 and have custom wedding cake toppers that could cost you upwards of $100. We try to offer a variety of prices and materials. 

Getting married is an incredibly magical and sometimes stressful experience. Wedding cakes are deeply rooted in tradition. Deciding on your cake topper is a little wedding decision with a surprising amount of pressure behind it. Whether you prefer a traditional, modern topper or something with a lot of glitter and flair, we’re sure that Derek and I can help you find that perfect fit here on Taylor Street

Contact us if you need some help finding what you need. We can check our resources to see what is possible.