Tuscan Dinner

Rehearsal dinners are often a really fun part of what we do at Salt Harbor.  Many times, the couples are more willing to be creative with the rehearsal dinner, since it is typically a less formal event.  For this rehearsal dinner, the clients wanted to incorporate a Tuscan feel reminiscent of their travels through Italy.  We incorporated lots of rosemary, sunflowers, and textured grasses and greenery, and used artichokes to prop up the table names.  The escort cards were placed into corks and tucked between sprigs of rosemary.  Thanks to Kevin Millard for the photographs!


"What should I bring to a consultation?"

I posted this on the old blog a while ago, and for the first time yesterday, I had a client come in for a meeting having followed the suggestions exactly.  I was SO excited.  I thought it was worth reposting!

"What should I bring to a consultation?"  I love being asked this question because it means the client wants to be actively involved in designing her event. The following list of things are great props to bring to a meeting or interview with an event designer.  They allow that designer to get a great indication of your style and personality!

1. Color Swatches: While wanting to match exactly to a swatch is never a good idea, it is very helpful to have a swatch of the dress color or the colors you would like to incorporate. It certainly helps in the overall design and allows the designer to make suggestions on complimentary colors and materials. 

2. A Sample Invitation/Save the Date ( if they are already picked out): Because much of what an event designer does involves paper, it is great to incorporate the colors, fonts, and images that the invitation has established. If invitations or save the dates are already chosen, make sure to bring them to the consultation. 3. Non-floral materials that might be incorporated: Think outside flowers. Maybe on your first hike together your groom-to-be found a feather that you have kept ever since. Perhaps you have saved all of the wine corks from dinners for years. Or there is a book the two of you are completely inspired by. Event designers love these kinds of details and love even more to incorporate them into an event!! Bring things that have significance to you as a couple. 4. Magazine Clippings: Although wedding magazines can be helpful, it often becomes tempting to mimic ideas, rather than develop a style that is inspired by the clipping. When a client brings a clipping and says "I want this exactly," there is little room for a designer to create something custom for the client. I recommend that clients look outside bridal magazines for inspiration-- home decor, gardening, and architecture magazines are great sources of inspiration and give the designer a great sense of your style and tastes. Plus, it allows the designer plenty of room to make an event that is custom tailored to you. 5. A Sense of Your Own Style: While a designer can help you to define your style and choose the right items to create an event that represents you, it works best when you have a sense of your own style. If you don't really know what your style is, consider the following questions and even consider bringing your answers to the consultation.

  • Which decor/furniture stores do you or would you like to purchase your furnishings from? (i.e. Pottery Barn, Ethan Allen, an antique store, Ikea, flea market, etc.)
  • Have you been in a restaurant or club lately that you thought had a great visual atmosphere?
  • What colors are most prominent in your closet? How about in your fiance's closet?
  • Which season is your favorite and why?
  • In what environment do you feel most comfortable(at the beach house, in the garden, out to dinner with friends, at home, in the woods, etc)?
  • Do you envision an event that is laid-back, casual, rustic, formal, elegant, chic, modern?  (These words can be overwhelming to someone who is not sure of her style.  Architecture and Interior Design magazines are great for this!  Cut out what appeals to you!)
  • What objects or heirlooms have significance to you?
  • What activities/interests do you and your fiance share? Are you interested in including those in some way in your wedding?
  • Other than your house and work, where do you spend the majority of your time?
  • What are some of your best memories/ moments with your fiance?
  • Are there any quirks or interesting things about you as a couple?


Kevin Millard send over these photos from a wedding last fall.  The bride wanted something whimsical and earthy, with lots of texture and color.  Her bouquet was a mixture of anemones, fiddle heads, scabiosa, calla lilies, veronica and privet berry.  The groom's boutonniere was an anemone and fiddle head.  I love the whimsical nature of anemones! 

The bride added her own fun ideas to the wedding, like placing the cake on a large tree stump (which she so graciously gave us afterward).  We used it recently with similiar flowers for a cake by Nicki MacRae.  This photograph by Millie Holloman



KATY & RYAN 4.4.09

This was one of my favorite weddings ever! When people ask me how my creative writing background influences my current career, I tell them it is all about stories. This wedding was a perfect example. Katy wanted an event that was more than a series of pretty things-- she wanted details that told their story. She and I worked closely to create details that would have significance and meaning beyond simple beauty. My favorite clients are the ones who not only have great style, but who recognize that an event is all the more powerful when it tells a story. Katy understood that perfectly! White Box, as always, was phenomenal! I will post more of Katy and Ryan's details when they come in! See White Box's full post here.




 Katy wanted a vintage design, one that felt old-fashioned, and this translated not only into the venues, but also into the flowers. We incorporated garden roses, lilac, sweet peas, tulips, and scented geranium into the bouquets. The smell was amazing!



 The reception took place at The Balcony on Dock, a historic building in downtown Wilmington. Katy wanted an palette of soft creme, yellow, and blue. The tables were named after some of Katy and Ryan's favorite places, like Elm Street Park.






 The cake was fashioned after an antique box that had been in Katy's family forever. Allison from Allison's cakery did an amazing job!


Picnics are a staple part of Ryan and Katy's relationship (Ryan proposed on a picnic),and while they wanted a really formal reception, they were thrilled to incorporate a picnic idea into the cocktail hour that took place in the Balcony's courtyard. We brought in a brighter yellow palette,utalized picnic drinks, chalkboards (chalk messages are another important piece of Katy and Ryan's history) and the balconyprovided mini picnic snacks.




This was Katy's great idea! We loaded up a table with Katy and Ryan's favorite cookies and Izzy drinks!





Salt Harbor has grown faster than I could have ever imagined. In March we celebrated our two year anniversary.  In those first years, we have continued to grow, adapt, learn, and change.  We continue to have so many wonderful clients who place their confidence in us and allow us to be a part of one of the biggest events of their lives. In the past year, we moved into a great new studio, we designed a new website, hired two new employees, and executed over 65 events. We continue to add to the Salt Harbor team, and I have been lucky enough to find some amazing and enthusiastic people who love this job as much as I do! I never realized when I started this business how perfect a match it was for me. I wake up every single day excited to do my job.  In the two years I have had Salt Harbor, I have been exhausted a lot, frazzled plenty, and even frustrated now and then. But there has never been a day when I have not been absolutely thrilled to do what I do.

This coming year will bring a lot more change and exciting growth that I can't wait to share!  To assist in this, we have moved our blog so that we may provide larger and better quality photos from our recent events.  We will make an attempt to repost some of the content from the old blog, but more than anything, we want to keep adding fresh and new work!  We hope you enjoy and look forward to your feedback!

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