Planning a wedding and not sure where to start? Today on the blog, we interview our very own Custom Studio manager, Caolinn, and two of our other favorite wedding vendors, Joelle of Barefoot Bride and Kristin of Everbloom Design, about what to expect from the wedding planning process, how to make the most of the planning process and event, and what to remember on the big day. Whoop-whipee, brides-to-be!
Hello! Thank you so much for answering questions for our blog! Can you each tell me a bit about your businesses?
Joelle, Barefoot Bride: When I went shopping for my own wedding dress, what I thought was supposed to be fun and enjoyable was absolutely not, and I figured there had to be a better way. We started as a wedding and formal gown consignment shop in March of 2010 but quickly learned that we could sell gowns for designers, manufacturers and bridal salons that had brand new overstock and discontinued gowns at a 30-80% savings for our brides.
Caolinn, Muddy’s Bake Shop Custom Studio: Muddy’s Custom Studio is a super-niche department of Muddy’s where you can chat one-on-one with your baker to create a customized, designed cake for all sorts of events. The Custom Studio has been in operation since early 2016 (when we started as a 2-person team), and has since expanded to include four cake artists.
Kristin, Everbloom Design: I’m a Studio Wedding and Event floral designer. I’ve always loved art and interior design, and this led to a love of weddings and floral design. I was one of those crazy brides that did their own wedding flowers and design. (No one should ever attempt that, by the way.) I’ve been doing it for a little over 15 years.
What makes you different from other vendors in the same industry?
Joelle: Traditional bridal salons stock sample gowns in limited sizes that can be tried on and ordered to be delivered about 3-6 months later. The Barefoot Bride carries over 2000 gowns in sizes 00-32 that you can take home that day. And all of our gowns are brand new and priced at 30-80% off retail! We also work by appointment only, which means that you get the shop to yourself and are paired with a gown whisperer whose sole purpose is to make you feel and look beautiful while staying on budget.
Caolinn: I think our Custom Studio stands out in that it’s a “couture” take on a rustic, homemade bakery experience. We also use buttercream (and sometimes hand-piped white chocolate accents) in our work so cakes are as delicious as they look! We want all of our pieces to convey the care that went into making them – they’re each one of a kind.
Kristin: Everbloom is different for several reasons -- this is not a hobby or just a job, this is my craft. I approach every design as a piece of art, and every bride gets a unique piece of my art to hold in her hands on such a special day!
When should brides come talk to you to get the most out of their experience and have everything ready in time for the big day?
Joelle: In an ideal situation, we suggest that you come to see us within 1 year of your wedding after you’ve set your date and secured your venue. We generally book about 2-3 weeks out for weekend appointments.
Caolinn: I recommend reaching out to our Custom Studio no later than the 5-6 month mark so we can relax and have fun while working on a design together (and have a tasting, if you’d like!)
Kristin: I’m only a studio florist and don’t have a huge staff. I take a limited number of weekend weddings, so if I am already booked you won’t get your date! It’s best to book at least 6 months in advance.
How should brides prepare before coming to talk to you?
Joelle: The vibe of our shop is more bridechilla than bridezilla, but you may want to think about your likes and dislikes in a dress before your appointment (and bring example photos), set a budget before you arrive, and limit your entourage. During the appointment, be open to styles your whisperer suggests, but be honest with her and don’t dwell in a gown if you don’t love it.
Caolinn: I love working from research pictures – it definitely gives us a great feel for what you’re envisioning! However, if you’re not totally sure, that’s also fine – it gives us the opportunity to show off a few examples of our latest work and narrow down a vision from there. Some additional information that’s helpful to prepare are the approximated guest count, the date, any key descriptors about the wedding “style” (i.e. will it be rustic, simple, modern, elegant, etc.), and any color swatches necessary.
Kristin: Brides should have an idea of the style and look they are going for. (Pinterest and Instagram images give me a good idea!) I also like to know what your sense of style is not wedding-related; I want to know what kind of life you live, fashion you like, music, etc. Also really consider a reasonable budget.
What is the price range for your industry?
Joelle: The Barefoot Bride gowns are all brand new and priced 30-80% off retail, which generally means you’re in the $775 to $1300 range. We do have custom gowns that are priced between $1100 - $2000 and a small selection of gowns under $500.
Caolinn: Our price range varies a bit depending on size of the cake and the design elements, but a rough estimate for our tiered cakes would be $150-$190 for a simpler design, and between $200-$250 for more elaborate designs. For single-tier cakes, this varies between $55-$100+ for wedding styles. For sizing, we currently offer up to 6”/8” and 6”/9” 2 tiered cakes – these serve around 36 and 44 wedding-sized slices respectively. For larger parties, we recommend a centerpiece cake and cupcakes, matching single-tier round cakes, one of our quarter sheet cakes to serve plated, or a “dessert bar” that incorporates a few Muddy’s non-cake favorites, too.
Kristin: Pricing for floral design depends on a lot of factors, but my weddings typically start at $3500.
How should a bride plan if she wants her cake to look like her dress, flowers on her cake, or some other collaboration between vendors?
Joelle: Usually the wedding gown and venue set the tone, so we suggest booking your venue, shopping for your gown, and then hiring vendors to coordinate the look you’re trying to achieve.We’re happy to suggest some amazing vendors if you’re in need!
Caolinn: Color-swatches and pictures are always really helpful – whether that’s a fabric swatch of the bridesmaids’ dresses, or photo-close-up of a particular lace on a dress – the more visuals we have to pull from, the closer we can match the exact shades/textures.
Kristin: I love adding flowers to cake! Just let both the cake person and the florist know what you want, and the florist will add them.
What final advice do you have for brides to-be?
Joelle: Breathe. Enjoy the process, but in the end remember that this amazing day is about the marriage more than just the wedding. Be yourself; make decisions that are good for you and your fiancé. In the end, you two are the most important people on this day.
Caolinn: Don’t stress about the small things, and let your vendors guide you through the process and take care of the components. And obviously don’t forget to enjoy your cake! Have a caterer, member of your bridal party, or designated friend or family member save you a slice to enjoy in the morning, because cake for breakfast is never a bad idea!
Kristin: Enjoy every moment! And do it together. I really wish grooms and significant others got more involved in the planning. The day should reflect both of you, even in the flowers.
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