High Impact Entrances

When guests arrive to an event, you want them to be wowed! Creating an impactful event entrance can set the theme and the tone for the rest of the night. There are many ways to create a grand entrance for an event, and we want to show you a few of our favorites.

This rose covered tunnel definitely makes a “wow” statement. This entire structure was covered in red roses and lead the guests into the ballroom where the rest of the event was held. Paired with a red carpet, guests feel like they are getting the royal treatment. Another way to create impact is to drape the doors or entryway for your event with a bold print fabric. We love this simple black and white stripe, but a bright red or pink would also have a great effect.

Rose entryway inspired by: When Geeks Wed Striped entryway inspired by: Style Me Pretty

Rose entryway inspired by: When Geeks Wed
Striped entryway inspired by: Style Me Pretty

If you are having a themed event, dressing up your entrance is a great way to carry the feeling of the event from start to finish. For example, Keith Watson Events used blue and white draping along with fishermans netting, seashells, and starfish to bring the feel of the ocean to the entrance of this room. For a 75th anniversary dinner, we chose blue and white striped draping for the entrance. Coordinating the rest of the linens with the entryway gave a cohesive feel to the space.

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If you are wanting something with a more neutral pallet, white draping accented with flowers is always a great idea. We love this stunning flower arrangement paired with white draping at the entrance to this tent. The flower detail on the drape ties the two pieces together. Covering a boring hotel hallway with white fabric completely changes the feel your guests get when they arrive at your event. The crystal chandeliers add sparkle and glamor.

White floral draping inspired by: My Wedding Concierge Chandelier and draping inspired by: Colonial Event

White floral draping inspired by: My Wedding Concierge
Chandelier and draping inspired by: Colonial Event

These next designs are great for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. This balloon tunnel was created for a circus-themed Bar Mitzvah. The red drapes create drama and make you feel like you are walking into a big-top tent. For a nautical themed event, try hanging blue and white paper streamers just inside the door where guests walk in. If you are having a winter event, rows of white drapes accented with blue lighting make you feel cold just looking at them. The white snowflake light designs on the ceiling add a subtle winter detail.

Balloon entrance inspired by: Caplan Miller Streamer entryway inspired by: Kojo Designs Ice blue entryway inspired by: Power Station Events

Balloon entrance inspired by: Caplan Miller
Streamer entryway inspired by: Kojo Designs
Ice blue entryway inspired by: Power Station Events

If there are multiple entryways for an event, dressing them all the same unifies the look of the event. For these entrances, Keith Watson Events decided that ceiling-high draping would make the entrance feel grand and have high visual impact. The topiaries to each side add interest and draw the eye up, accentuating the height of the drapes.  Using props at the entrance is a great way to announce the theme for your party. For one of our events, we stacked vintage suitcases on each side of the entryway for a travel theme. If you are having a party with a more rustic style, consider using burlap at your entryway. For our event, we combined burlap, red draping, and wagon wheels to set the feeling for the room.

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For an all white event, these two entrances are sure to please. Combining white roses and white draping creates an entryway that is far from boring. The candelabras lining the walls adds impact and glamor for the guests.  Using white striped drapes and mirrored columns create a gorgeous modern entrance. The white flower arrangements in crystal vases soften the look. This entryway is clean and elegant but definitely high impact.

White and mirror entryway inspired by: SpecialEvents.com White and rose entryway inspired by: TheKnot.com

White and mirror entryway inspired by: SpecialEvents.com
White and rose entryway inspired by: TheKnot.com

What do you think of these designs? Do you know of other high-impact entryways?

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Ceremony Aisle Decor

Every bride dreams of the day when she will walk down the aisle.  But many are looking for something other than the traditional tulle and flowers. We have pulled together some of the most beautiful and uniquely decorated aisles to help inspire your walk on your big day!

We love the drama that this swirl design adds to the aisle. This lovely pattern is created using rose petals, and can be done in either one solid color, or multicolored. If you are looking for something a little more casual, these paper hearts lining the aisle add a unique charm. This aisle sets a fun and casual tone for the rest of the day.

Swirl aisle design inspired by: Elisabeth Hanne Designs Hearts aisle design inspired by:100 Layer Cake

Swirl aisle design inspired by: Elisabeth Hanne Designs
Hearts aisle design inspired by: 100 Layer Cake

We love the touch of blue used in these aisles. These lovely bouquets of hydrangeas and roses hung  from shepherds hooks and lined the aisle of our very own bride, Susan Browning Steiglitz, at her Santa Fe River Ranch wedding.   The colors of these arrangements were stunning, and created an elegant feel to this outdoor wedding.

Not every aisle runner has to be white. The soft white rose petals are the perfect finishing touch to this simple yet beautiful aisle.

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Colorful aisles are so much fun! The swirl patterns around the edge of the aisle and the bright orange runner look great against the clean white in the rest of the room. The pink columns with flower arrangements add detail to the design of the aisle and match the columns on the altar. If you are looking for a more non-traditional aisle concept, try this unique spiral arrangement for your chairs. This design allows all of your guests to get a great view of you as you make your way to your I-do’s.  Accenting the entrance with bright floral arrangements and scattering rose petals along the edge adds just enough color while keeping the aisle clean and contemporary.

Colorful aisle design inspired by: Your Edmonton Wedding Swirl aisle design inspired by: Art of Weddings

Colorful aisle design inspired by: Your Edmonton Wedding
Swirl aisle design inspired by: Art of Weddings

If your ceremony will be held in a church, don’t worry, there are many ways to beautify your walk down the aisle too, as seen in these photos of past couple’s ceremonies.  Consider white flower arrangements placed on tall pedestals lining the aisle. The crystals hanging from the flowers added sparkle to this aisle at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. Another option is to add simple bows to the end of each pew at St. Augustine Catholic Church.  The red petals and the pink ribbon created a beautiful romantic feel. If you are looking for something more causal, you can line your aisle with flower pomanders hanging from shepherds hooks. These can be done in many colors, accented with colored pearl heard pins.

aisle6Arranging your ceremony chairs in a circle around your chuppah or altar allows a 360 degree view for you and your guests. This arrangement works great for large square or irregularly shaped areas, and creates a beautiful symmetry for the space. If you are looking for something elegant for your aisle, this arrangement of stone columns and soft pink flowers would look lovely. The sheer fabric draped between columns softens the stone and gives a lovely airy feel to the aisle.

Flowered column aisle décor inspired by: I do I do I do I do Circle ceremony design inspired by: Art of Weddings

Flowered column aisle décor inspired by: I do I do I do I do
Circle ceremony design inspired by: Art of Weddings

For a more rustic outdoor wedding, there are still plenty of unique ways to dress up your aisle. We love this burlap runner for an outdoor wedding. The small flower arrangements on the edges of the chairs lining the aisle visually softens the rough fabric.  If you are having your ceremony under the open sky, consider a mirrored aisle. This design is created using individual plexi-glass mirrors and then lining the aisle with bright red ribbon or fabric. The reflection of the sky above looks amazing in photographs.

Mirrored aisle inspired by: Kands Photography Burlap aisle inspired by: Georgeous.com.au

Mirrored aisle inspired by: Kands Photography
Burlap aisle inspired by: Georgeous.com.au

Finally, these last two aisles will forever be classic and elegant. This first aisle is covered completely with multi colored rose petals. Accented by floating candles and rose petals in large hurricane vases, this aisle winds its way to the ceremony, allowing the bride and her father to share a sweet and intimate walk together. The long flowing ribbons on this next aisle create a romantic feel as they flutter in the breeze. The small arrangements on the corner of the chairs add a bit of simple elegance to this lovely aisle.

Petal aisle inspired by: Martha Stewart Weddings Ribbon aisle décor inspired by: Style Unveiled

Petal aisle inspired by: Martha Stewart Weddings
Ribbon aisle décor inspired by: Style Unveiled

What do you think about these unique designs? Do you plan on having a non-traditional aisle on your big day?

Unique Photo Booth Ideas

Are you planning on using a photo booth at your wedding? There are so many creative ways to incorporate your wedding theme into your guests’ pictures. We have pulled together some of our favorite wedding photo backdrops for you to look at.

Balloons are a super fun and easy way to incorporate your wedding colors into the photos.  If you want to customize them a little more, you can order balloons with your wedding date or other sweet sayings printed on them. Paper chain walls are another inexpensive option for your photo booth. You and your bridesmaids can spend an evening putting them together during a movie marathon. Add props like mustaches, kissing lips, and glasses and you have a cute photo opportunity for guests.

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Balloon wall inspired by: Wedding Wire
Paper chain wall inspired by: Wedding Chicks

You can also hang a panel of damask or other printed fabric and provide your guests with an ornate or brightly colored frame so they can take individual or group pictures in a fun, unique way. If you are having an outdoor wedding, hanging a rustic frame from a tree branch and allowing the surrounding scenery to be the background makes a lovely photo.

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Fabric photo wall inspired by: Andy Gaines
Metallic backdrop: Oh Happy Day
Floating rustic frame inspired by: Style Me Pretty

These light up initials are so unique! We love this idea for a Hollywood or modern themed wedding. Another fun idea incorporates colorful streamers and paper flowers as a backdrop which creates a beautiful picture, especially for an outdoor wedding. The best thing about this particular backdrop is that it is really easy to customize the streamers to fit your colors.

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Light up initials inspired by: The Woman’s Lounge
Flowers and streamer backdrop inspired by: Wed Over Heels

Great props can make the difference for a photo booth. Chalk board speech bubbles allow your guests to send you a personalized message, making the pictures double as your guest book! Photo frame walls are also another popular idea. Gluing framed pictures of your and your groom’s family onto a foam core wall and adding empty frames for guests to put themselves in creates an adorable look.

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Chalk board speech bubbles inspired by: Wedding Chicks
iPad photo booth inspired by: Pad Gadget
Framed family photos inspired by: Crafterholic

If you would like to create one of these booths, but don’t want to hire a photographer to man it, there are now apps for the iPad that allow guests to take the photos themselves. All you need is the app and an iPad tripod which can be found online. What fun!

Are you planning on having a unique photo booth at your wedding? Have you seen other unique photo booth ideas?

Sparkler Send Off- Do’s and Dont’s

Here at Keith Watson Events, more and more brides are requesting that the grand exit at their wedding be a sparkler send off with all of their guests. We love the amazing photos that come from it and embrace the unique idea, but here are a few tips on how to make this wedding trend go off without a hitch!

It is important for guests to know what time they should begin gathering for the sparkler send off and where. The DJ or emcee can definitely help by making an announcement when the time comes, but it’s a great idea to have a few signs displayed around the reception area so guests are made aware of the time this is occurring and to get them excited for it!

Packaging the sparklers in a personalized presentation is an easy way to store and display them for guests. Fill a galvanized tub or a wooden crate with these sparkler sets and have them set out in the area the sparkler send off will take place. It is a much more organized and hassle-free way to make sure every guest has a sparkler rather than just passing them out.

sparkler instructional inspiration

Another VERY important thing to remember if you are interested in having a sparkler send off is the size of the sparkler. Some brides make the mistake of purchasing sparklers that are too short in length. You want the sparkler to be as long as possible. The shorter the sparkler, the less time all of your guests have to get all of them lit at the same time.  This means the bride and groom have a shorter window to make their grand exit as well as a smaller amount of time to capture that amazing photo of the send off.

This process is very choreographed, so it also helps if you have several people in charge of directing all of your guests to begin lighting their sparklers. We recommend having multiple lighters stationed in different areas throughout the area where your guests are gathered. We also find that sparklers light better off of each other, so once one is lit, begin having guests light their sparklers off of the flames of already lit ones.

longer sparklers

Brides – don’t forget to stop and kiss the groom for an amazing photo and memory! How cute are these couples? And what an incredible photo with the sparklers lighting the bride and groom!

sparkler photo opp inspiration

Would you be interested in a sparkler send off at your wedding?

Personalizing Your Wedding

Recently, more and more couples have been asking our wedding team at Keith Watson Events for ideas on how to personalize their wedding. We always suggest that the bride and groom really allow their personalities to shine through in the little details of their wedding. For instance, interacting with guests and incorporating details that encompasses who the bride and groom are as a couple can make a wedding unique and memorable! Here are some ideas we were inspired by from Bridal Guide’s- 150+ Ways to Make Your Wedding Unforgettable.

When guests make their way to the restroom, give them something to chat about with fellow guests, like these cute his/hers sign featuring the couple’s baby photos posted on the doors. Add a personal flare to your decor by sharing fun facts about your relationship throughout the venue. Giving guests unique personalized favors such as this adorable “Do Not Disturb” sign for guests’ doors after attending your wedding, or this clever personalized fan shown below are all great ways to add those personal touches at your wedding!

personalized wedding idea inspiration board

Many brides also ask about recommendations for unique guest books, that are interactive as well as personalized. Below are some of our favorite guestbook ideas that will not only entertain guests, but will also give yet another personal touch to your wedding.

personalized guest book inspiration board

As a nod to a groom’s love of baseball, have guests  “autograph” balls and then display them in your home.  A few more creative ideas we loved include having  guests choose a word that describes the bride and groom in a dictionary, and then sign their name next to it, or have guests sign a Jenga piece, and later, you and your hubby can read the heart-felt messages while playing the game! Such cute and clever ideas!

What are some other ways you’ve seen couples personalize their weddings?

Butterfield-Voss Wedding at Sweetwater Branch Inn

Keith Watson Events has had the amazing opportunity to work with so many incredible brides and vendors this past spring and summer! We enjoyed designing decor this wedding season for brides that really captured their vision and personality for their big day. This past May, we were honored to be a part of Ali Butterfield and Kyle Voss’ wedding in Gainesville, Florida at Sweetwater Branch Inn. We absolutely love working with great venues like Sweetwater and highly recommend it for brides who love the quaint feel of downtown Gainesville where they can have their ceremony and reception all in one beautiful location.

We designed the décor for Ali and Kyle with a modern approach using vibrant, tropical colors such as royal blue, turquoise, and orange. The floral design for her bouquets, alter arrangements, and cocktail and dining table centerpieces still kept that modern flair with a nod toward a tropical, beach feel.

One centerpiece design shown below was a large bubble bowl with an arrangement of calla lilies and bear grass wrapped inside submerged in water. The shape of the bowl with the floral and greenery wrapped inside definitely gives the arrangement a modern feel. We even had LIVE beta fish swimming around inside!!  No worries, all beta fish went home as favors to the children of the guests attending.

Butterfield Wedding Blog Post-6

The second centerpiece we designed for Ali and Kyle’s special day was a tall wrought iron vase filled with blue orbs and white and blue dendrobium orchids. It was a great addition to the lower arrangements, bringing some height to the room, and it complimented the tropical theme of the wedding. We also added drapery from the ceilings and lighting around the room illuminting the walls as well as the ceiling.

Butterfield Wedding Blog Post-4

Ali and Kyle wanted lots of personalized touches at their wedding. We designed a chalk board placed in the reception area that listed all of Ali and Kyle’s significant dates during their relationship. Also, their ceremony site was outside on the colonnade located in Sweetwater’s gardens. We created an orange pipe and drape backdrop and two large floral arrangements made with a variety of tropical flowers and greenery. We fell in love with this look!

Butterfield Wedding Blog Post-5

Of course we would be remiss without recommending our other favorite ceremony/reception combo venues in the Gainesville area.  They are in no particular order . . . Gainesville Golf and Country Club, Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club, Plantation Hall at Haile, Santa Fe River Ranch, Herlong Mansion, UF Hilton Hotel & Conference Center, Best Western Gateway Grand, FL Museum of Natural History, and Harn Museum of Art.

What do you think about these designs for your wedding? Are you a modern or more traditional bride when it comes to decor?

Decor & Floral Design by: Keith Watson Events

Venue & Caterer: Sweetwater Branch Inn

Photographer: Footstone Photography

Wood Inspired Wedding Decor

A rustic, natural theme is continuing to grow in popularity for events and is something brides are coming to Keith Watson Events looking to achieve at their wedding. Many brides have chosen to have some portion of their wedding outside whether that be their ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, or the entire event! Either way, incorporating rustic decor is a beautiful idea that we have seen accomplished in so many unique ways.

Willow branches are a gorgeous way to add another natural element into any floral arrangement. For centerpieces at dining tables, they are absolutely lovely placed with tall arrangements to create height and really wow guests. We love this display designed in a clear vase to allow guests to see the branches submerged in the water. Adding votive candle light surrounding this display really makes this entire arrangement stunning as evening approaches.

willow branch inspiration

Continuing with the wood decor accents,  wooden disks are an easy way to enhance a rustic theme at a wedding as well. Here at Keith Watson Events, we use this decor element often when designing rustic centerpieces. Whether using a few small wooden disks and placing mason jars, wine bottles, etc. on them or using one large wooden disk and placing a larger vase or bowl filled with flowers on it. Either arrangement can really play up that country feel brides are envisioning. We even love the idea of using a wooden disk as a cake stand! How creative!

Wooden Disk Decor

Finally, here are a few more creative ways to use wood decor accents that we just love! One idea we found was to use a log and cut out openings to hold guest’s place card holders. Another fun idea was to make table numbers out of wood. Even having wine barrels as decor is a great rustic addition to your decor.

rustic decor

What do you think of these rustic, country decor ideas? What are some other ways you’ve seen brides pull off this trending theme?

Bouquet Charms

Keith Watson Events has recently seen an increase in brides incorporating their own personal mementos in their weddings. For many of our weddings this season, we have noticed a reoccurring trend with our brides personalizing their bouquets by requesting to have a charm, locket, or some other personal item placed in their bouquet.

bouquet charm- 1

We think it is such a memorable way to recognize family members who aren’t present on this special day! Some brides put pictures of these loved ones in lockets to be placed in the bouquet. Others actually have something that belonged to this family member, such as a trinket or bracelet, worked into the bouquet. We think all of these personalized ideas are such unique ways to include someone who means so much to you.

bouquet charm- 2

Other ideas for brides to consider include incorporating your “something blue” item by having a trinket or personal good-luck charm placed into your bouquet. So far, we have been able to work in whatever brides give us to be placed on the handle of their bouquet. Whatever you can think up works for us!

What do you think of this special way to recognize a loved one or just dress up the handle of your bouquet?