WEDDING DO AND DON'TS BY ASH + OAK

WEDDING DO’S AND DON’TS

BY ASHLEY MUELLER

We are going on our 5th wedding season and we have learned so much over the last few years. When you send an inquiry we include our media kit and our FAQ. Within the FAQ we have a ton of do and don’ts for your day. While we were creating our FAQ we thought that it would be great to share this with everyone.

We picked our top 10 do’s and 10 don’ts to share with you.

D0

  1. FIRST LOOK- This 30 minute window is the prefect time to get a few moments alone with your other half. This day will fly by and trust us you will want a few minutes to soak it up together. Plus you get to ugly cry as much as you like because it’s just the two of you and a photographer. Hint bring your bridal bouquet to hold onto if you’re nervous.

  2. GO ALL IN OR NOTHING- If your going to spend money on your big day then go all in and make the impact on decor, drinks, music and lounge furniture. If you are trying to save money don’t do things half ass. Just do a backyard wedding with DIY flowers and decor. Don’t spend the money on a Napa vineyard and fall flat on decor. It makes you look cheap.

  3. TRUST YOUR VENDORS- Believe me they know what they are doing better than you. They should know about new trends over what’s still trending on Pinterest.

  4. BREAK TRADITION- If you are not traditional than don’t follow the rules. Who needs a first dance if you don’t like dancing. Make your wedding yours!

  5. GET A SECOND DRESS- It’s the one day you can wear whatever you want and wont be judged for it. So why not change into two or three dresses if you like. Have an end of the evening dress for the after party. Don’t ruin that beautiful thing you may want to resell later.

  6. SEARCH ON FB MARKETPLACE- There are so many ways to save money that wont make you look cheap. First is to buy used table number, votives or reserved signs. These items were only used once and for a hot minute. No need to waste money and you can resell them too. You’re also saving the environment.

  7. HIRE A COORDINATOR- This is super important and will make your and your vendors life easier.

  8. USE COLOR- If I have to see another white or white and blush wedding again I may kill myself. I am not saying go for bright and bold school mascot colors but used muted tones or earth tones. Add one color with white and blush.

  9. ONE LONG FARM TABLE- We love the idea of everyone sitting at one table and the bride and groom are in the middle. It looks super classy, plus you have to use farm tables which are our favorites.

  10. ADD BUD VASES TO CENTERPIECES- For farm tables especially add a mix of bud, small and medium arrangements down the rows to add a fun flow.

DON’T

  1. OVER USE PINTEREST- Once you have an idea stick with it and get off wedding Pinterest. It’s very hard for your vendors if you keep changing ideas and colors. Go with your first gut instinct or let your vendors pick for you, again we know what the new trends are.

  2. MICROMANAGE- Let go and let your coordinator do all the work for you. You paid them

  3. DIY- Unless you are an actual creative and artist don’t DIY anything. Your guest can tell you did over hiring a professional. If your other is handy, than making your arch is probably a no brainer but if your making a ton of trips to Home Depot just buy it and resell. The time you have before your wedding should be spent together having fun not stressing about wedding details.

  4. USE GARLAND ON ROUND TABLES- It just doesn’t work. You basically say one side of the table “can’t sit with us”

  5. FORGET IT’S HOT OUTSIDE- If a few flowers are melted don’t get upset with the florist when the tables are outside in 90 degree weather. We only have two hours to set up and need to use our time wisely if we have installations. Sometimes these babies have to sit in 90' degree sunlight for 3-4 hours before your guest sit down. No cut flower likes the heat and the sun.

  6. FORGET TO TIP or WRITE A REVIEW- It’s always a pleasure when we get tipped, though it’s very rare these days and we don’t expect it. However, we would love a thank you card/email, a tag or two on social media, referral or a review in exchange. If you don’t see us the day of you can always mail a thank you card. We work really hard to make your wedding look AMAZING so it’s nice to feel appreciated. I know you don’t see us as much as your photographer or coordinator but we do just as much work but behind the scenes.

  7. TOSS YOUR BRIDAL BOUQUET- If you don’t purchase a tossing bouquet, don’t toss yours $200 investment toss your bridesmaids. At this point of the night they have already abandon theirs bouquets.

  8. EMAIL EVERY VENDOR YOU FIND- Pick your top 3 in each category when your reaching out. It’s unfair and a time waster for these vendor to respond to your inquires when your not truly invested in their work. If all 3 of your top chooses are booked or out of your budget try 3 more.

  9. NICKEL AND DIME- Your vendors. We live in California and the cost of living and running a business is very expensive. Take a few minutes to google what we make and you will see we aren’t nickel and diming you so we can fly around the world. The cost of flowers, cake ingredients, film, prints, calligraphy boards, plates for catering companies are not cheap for us to buy plus bay area studio space are crazy. Just because it’s your wedding we are not exploiting you.

  10. LET YOUR FAMILY PRESSURE YOU TO HAVE A BIG WEDDING IF YOU DON’T WONT ONE-period

CALIFORNIA FIRES

I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t use my blog to for anything but flowers, tips, inspo and real weddings but I feel I need to write about this because it’s weighing on my shoulders.

The California fires are out of control and the devastation is heartbreaking. Last year, I volunteered with a organization to help feed shelters and firefighters during the Napa Valley fire. I put my business on hold and drove back and forth to Napa every day for three weeks. I found numerous businesses in the Bay Area to donate food and goods. I personally went out and bought two families all new clothes, blankets and much more. I touched the lives of individuals that had lost everything and had no idea what to do next. Hearing their stories of how they survived broke my heart into pieces. I feed the National Guard and got to walk around the base and see hundreds of men and women sleeping on cots for days to help get the fires under control.

To see a community come together and support each other was the most amazing thing I have EVER been apart of. A high school basketball coach brought in his team of boys to help us make 340 sandwiches for one shelter. We had a volunteer who lost his house but felt the he need to help others. He drove our delivery van all through the fires from Santa Rosa to Napa to delivery meals to the National Guard, Police officers and firefighters. He was there day and night every day for almost four weeks. One of our volunteers was a twenty something kid from England traveling down the West Coast on holiday. Once he heard about the fires he extended his trip and worked in our kitchen for weeks. He had no place to stay or money but volunteered his time. He slept in his car and cooked meals during the day. There were so many more amazing people and stories to tell from that 3 weeks that I could write a book.

This year when the Redding fires started I was in the middle of wedding season and could not help. I felt awful I could not do my part. Once the camp fire started I also felt the same way. A member of my family is very ill and dying so I needed to be home in Seattle. I all could do when it started was donate a few dollars that I could spare.

The foundation I worked last year was started by a husband and wife who just had a second baby and had their handful. BUT that didn’t stop them from starting our foundation back up. They are a week behind but have pulled it together and are on their way to help. I am thrilled I will be assisting them and doing my part again this year and every year or fire to come.

Now that I have moved to an area at high risk of fires I am extremely scare that this will happen to my family as well. But I know that if it does I will have support because the Napa Valley BBQ Foundation Fund will be there to support another fire. Thank you team and I can’t wait to get out there and help again.

Please help support the victims in any way you can. Visit Napa Valley Foundation Funds on Facebook. EVERY penny you donate goes directly to the cause.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 7.52.07 AM.png
Napa Valley Fire Ash + oak
Napa Valley Fire Ash + Oak
National Guard Ash + Oak

GIFT WRAPPING BY A FLORAL DESIGNER

I could careless about getting gifts but I love buying and wrapping presents. Even as a child, I love gift wrapping.  I would wrap all the gifts for the family besides my own. I was always a little disappointed when I would receive my gifts because they weren't wrapped to my standards.

Every year I pick a different theme. One year in high school, I wrapped everything white kraft paper and collaged over the top. Each person had a different theme. Another year I used vintage maps I found at the thrift store. A few years ago I drew funny cartoons and wrote stories. I am always thinking of something new and fun.

This year I am toying with a few ideas and I thought I would share what I am inspired by.


 

 

WORKSHOP SEASON

Ash + Oak Workshops

I can't believe the holidays are already here but that means it's time for WORKSHOP!!! I truly enjoy teaching and sharing my craft. I love having students in the studio drinking coffee and champagne.

This year we are doing wreath workshops as well as tablescapes with centerpieces. The holiday wreath was one of the first things I learned after flower crowns, which makes sense because it the same technique as flower crowns.

Visit our shop to see the dates and locations of workshops.

Ash + Oak Workshops
Ash + Oak Workshops
Ash + Oak Workshops

RIBBONS WE LOVE

Ash + Oak Ribbon Inspo

At Ash + Oak we use hand dyed silk and chiffon ribbons from a handful of companies. A few of our favorites are Silk and Willow , FrouFrou and Tornado & co. These beautiful ribbons add the prefect touch to our bridal bouquets and boutonnières. We use hand dyed ribbons because they are made with natural dyes and are environmentally friendly. Fabric dyes are horrible on the Earth and for the workers.

Extra long flowing ribbons have been on trend for the past few years. For 2019 we will be leaning towards shorter lengths but with more texture and pops of color that compliment your color palette. 

We are super excited to bring in olive green, tan, terra cotta and more mustard yellow. These earthy tones are a fun play on modern white and blush weddings. 

We are also excited to bring in a few textures next year. We are looking into a few new companies that carry vintage lace, velvets, crinkle silks, gauze and leather. We love trying new ideas and seeking out new trends. 

LISHA + RAYMOND

Ash + Oak Yosemite Wedding

This year I had the honor to design floral for one of my dear friends, who I met on a styled shoot over two years ago. Lisha Wong, who is an amazing wedding photographer hired us to do her wedding in Yosemite. When another vendor ask you to create the florals for their wedding you know your getting good.

Lisha and Raymond, are cutest and got married at the Rush Lodge in Yosemite. This was the perfect venue, I mean perfect venue for these to tie the knot. They are into hiking and rock climbing, for their honeymoon they are hiking Kilimanjaro.

Lisha wanted lush greenery but something wild and different. I knew I could nail that but I wanted to make sure I only used foliage local to their favorite place to hike, Yosemite. We used an abundant amount of manzanita and foraged dried goods along the way from SF to the wedding. Her color palette was on point. She wanted gray, blues, whites, sage green and brown. No one ever wants brown but with dried elements you can achieve the most elegant brown tones.

For their sweetheart table we hung a suspended lush installations made of manzanita and branches. The best part of the installation, is it is now hanging above their bed.

To top it off Katch Silva was their photographer. I have admired this artist since I have been in the business. She is wonderful and capture every moment perfectly!

Ash + Oak
Ash + Oak

Photo: @katchsilva

Video: Josh from @the_arroyos

Floral: @ashandoakfloral 

Hair: @heather_rose_hair_design

Makeup: @mua.samanthak

Cake: @delish.simply

DJ: @djdanniboisf 

Dress: @willowbywatters

Suit: @knotstandard 

Heels: @toms

Boots: @redwingshoes 

TIPS FOR CREATIVES IN BUSINESS

TIPS FOR CREATIVE BY ASH + OAK
  1. Find your brand and stay true to your brand. This wont happen right away but once you know, you will know. It’s like saying “yes to the dress”.

  2. Community over competition. Working together will help you learn more and be inspired. Don’t copy others but talk with other creatives in your field. It feels great to share your experiences, and hear others. Find someone to mentor, this will help you develop your skills and make you feel great about yourself. I wish someone would have taking me in when I was starting.

  3. Try new ideas and don’t hold back. Push yourself, it will only help you find your niche. If you don’t try it you wont know. But don’t try too many things you get are sinking.

  4. Hire professional to do the things you don’t know how to do. At the begin you may not have money, so do it yourself. Once you have a little money outsource as much as you can. This will leave so much extra mental space in your life to focus on what makes you happy, creating.

  5. Take breaks when you feel burned out. If you don’t you will run yourself into the ground. Pick a day, a few hours or a month to do something just for you. I take at least one vacation or a month off in January each year. At the end of the wedding season I live for my time off and turning my email on vacation mode.

  6. Network. Duh, but it’s true. I am not a social person unless I am with my friends but once I went to a few events and pushed myself it slowly became easier and easier. Now I can walk into an event and socialize, maybe meet one client or at least be inspired by the others in the room.

  7. Do not devalue your work. We need to make sure we are getting paid for all of our time. We often are quick to give a discount just to get a client but in reality we aren’t doing ourselves or our business justice. If another client comes your way and you know they can’t afford you (as I can’t afford myself) but you love them and really want to work with them, maybe give them a discount in exchange for total creative freedom or social media content. I suggest creating a budget for the year. Only offer so many discounts or a number of discounts. Once you hit your quota you are done for the year.

  8. Timing. Do not get down on yourself if your plan is not going accord your timeline. Sometimes things happen over night but not always and not for everyone. We get lost and want everything to happen right away because Instagram lives seem so easy. Your business may not be going the way you want it but maybe your personal life is or vice versa. We can’t have it all.

  9. Be good to your body. Most of us creatives we use our hands, our feet, and we stand or sit for long periods of time. We need to take breaks and stretch, replenish our bodies with food and water. Don’t wake up in 20 years, where you can’t lift a paint brush because of carpool tunnel. Stop and focus on what your body needs at all times.

  10. Find something that always gets you in the grove. I listen to Bon Iver every time I am having a block, hungover or another rough day. As soon as I play Bon Iver the juices start flowing. It’s my starter song. Once I am in the mood I switch to electric dance for a wild colorful wedding or 70’s rock for a boho themed wedding, find your thing. If you don’t like music maybe it’s a cup of tea or 10 minutes of meditation. Find a go to, to keep you inspired.

Thanks for letting me share my tips for creatives. I hope this helps a few of you wild and out of the box thinkers.

DIANA + BRAIN

Ash + Oak Flowers

It’s always a honor when another wedding vendor ask you to create the floral for their wedding. Diana and I have worked together for over a year and I just love her. When we first meant I swear it felt like we had been best friends for years.

When she asked me to do her flowers I was so excited. I knew I could do something different. She wanted a Mexican inspired wedding but not over the top. I found these amazing Mexican tile vessels and knew it was meant to be. Her mother grew over 100 succulents to pare with my flowers and potted them is terra cotta pots. She wanted moody but a pop of color. I knew I would use a mix of red tones. We used bright red pom poms to a red burgundy mum and everything in between.

Her second and third color was sage green and a dusty blue. I found these amazing dried (of course) palm that were the perfect sage green. The blue accent was in the macramé runners she bought and the blue ribbon on her bouquet. It may sounds crazy but it all came together, oh so well.


Ash + Oak Wedding Florist

Photography kandace Photography

Floral Ash + Oak

Established 2014 in Oakland, California