Behind the Design: Designs by TTOC

Designs by TTOC knows glam brides, and they delivered a display with Berkeley Hills Country Club at the August 2017 Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta that was decidedly different from January’s but equally as luxurious. Millennial Pink was everywhere in 2017, and many designers took August’s show as an opportunity to show brides an interpretation of glamour that didn’t focus on a single color family. TTOC and Berkeley Country Club’s answer? Black and gold glam.

Designer Antoinette Smith Jones said that they, like many designers, took their initial cues from a table linen they loved. In this case, it was an ultra-luxurious sequin tablecloth that was black when brushed one way and gold when brushed the other. Various shades of gold in other linens added depth, while a mix of high and low flower arrangements of orchids, roses and hydrangeas gave dimension to the space.

Jones recommends using mixed textures to add visual interest when using a bold color, especially a dark one like the black in TTOC’s design. Satin black napkins popped against the tablecloth because of the texture and sheen.

Jones also says that they are directing brides toward head tables and estate tables as a way to get the biggest bang for their buck. They add a focal point to the space where a designer can focus resources for maximum impact at a lower cost. This strategy allows trends like lush greenery and elaborate tablescapes to be accessible to all brides.

Photos by Janet Howard Studio and Made You Look Photo
Floral Design by Designs by TTOC
Venue Sponsor: Berkeley Hills


Designs By TTOC Floral operates with the fundamental belief that customers’ needs are of the utmost importance. With over 25 years of floral experience and industry certifications, the entire team is committed to meeting those needs.

Behind the Design: Utopian Events

Hundreds of brides come from all over the Southeast for Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta, making it the perfect place for vendors to show off. And while you may be tempted to keep things fairly generic to try to appeal to lots of different styles of bride, we recommend that instead you take a cue from Utopian Events and do the opposite.

At the August 2017 Bridal Extravaganza, brides were blown away by the glamour and magnitude of the Utopian Events gallery. Since the company is known for their extravagant backdrops, we had high expectations for what they would put in their gallery, and they did not disappoint. Brides agreed, gasping as they entered the room and saw what Utopian Events had created.

Angelica Boyd, one of the designers behind the display, filled us in on what had gone into its inception and creation. Wanting to break away from the blush and gold trends of 2017, they took their cues from the ultra-chic, ultra-modern silver and white table linens, embracing the square pattern throughout the rest of the design.

Silver with yellow and green accents combined with mirrors and cascading crystals created a contemporary look that caught the attention of every bride that walked into the room. Angelica Boyd is quick to cite her team as a key to their success. They are all actively involved in the planning, sometimes even arguing over different elements to ensure that only the best designs are created on their watch. They take their inspiration from everyday things and use them as the base for entire wedding concepts, creating cohesive looks that speak to the people who use them.

For Utopian Events, it’s all about the look of awe they get when a bride and groom see their fully designed space for the first time. And not every bride will want a contemporary, geometric design like this, but every bride did know walking through that gallery that Utopian Events would be able to tastefully and beautifully design around a single piece of inspiration.

Utopian Events is one of Atlanta’s premier wedding and event decor and design companies. Their team specializes in florals, centerpiece design, ceremony altars, mandaps, aisle way, backdrops, bouquets and other personal flowers, reception stages, backdrops, table design, specialty linens, charger plates, chiavari chairs and so much more. Utopian Events is headquartered in Atlanta and travels all over the United States.

Behind the Design: Chuck Milne and Club Corp

For brides who love lavish, ornate designs, there was no gallery at BEA quite like that of Chuck Milne Production and Club Corp. Chuck may not have been the only designer to take a deliberate step away from The Year of Blush, but he did it in a way very signature to his style. Bold and tasteful designs are Chuck’s MO, and this year was no exception.

Inspired by a specific bride and her mother, this garden-party-vibe display was the perfect balance of the daughter, whose tastes were more brave and whimsical, and the mother, who wanted to go a more traditional route with the decor. The result was a tablescape that took cues from more time-honored styles while mixing in bold patterns, bright colors, and mixed textures at the same time. Combining contemporary linens and fruity inspiration with vintage elements struck the perfect balance, both visually and between the two women’s styles.

Chuck partnered with Perfect Wedding Cake to ensure the cake sitting on his display table tied in perfectly. Inspired by the linens, the design was hand-painted onto the cake and placed atop a flower-filled urn to give it even more prominence. This sort of exaggerated prominence throughout the design was the perfect mix of traditional grandeur and bold experimentation, speaking to all sorts of brides that walked through the gallery that day.

Chuck says that the first thing he does with any bride is to look through her Pinterest board. Even if she doesn’t have any wedding images pinned, it gives him an idea of the aesthetics that will speak to her and get her excited. He says it’s his job to find the right balance of all their tastes, no matter how diverse they are, to find a design that is perfectly and uniquely them.

Photos by Janet Howard Studio 
Floral Design by Chuck Milne
Cake by Perfect Wedding Cake
Furniture Rental by Collection Event Furnishings

Venue sponsor: Club Corp
Linens by I Do Linens

Chuck Milne Productions is a full-service event decor company with cutting-edge designs in floristry and event decor. Combined, their staff has just under 100 years of design experience. They love nothing more than creating spaces for celebrating and commemorating the milestones of one’s life journey.

ClubCorp has you covered for all your wedding events to fit all styles and budgets. Exchange vows in an exclusive, private club setting followed by a spectacular reception with gorgeous city views and/or golf course views. You can celebrate indoors or outdoors with dinner and dancing for 300 or an intimate gathering for 50. Both members and nonmembers are welcome.

Behind the Design: Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree

We’re thrilled to be back at Southern Exchange Ballrooms for Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on January 28th, 2018. The iconic chandeliers, stained-glass windows and marble columns are a picture-perfect setting for brides to browse stunning wedding galleries.

While the entire venue was on display for the August show, Southern Exchange Ballrooms featured gallery in White Hall allowed brides to mingle with coordinators, preferred vendors and get a feel for the endless design options for the space.

The gallery was inspired by 2017’s Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery. Elements featured, seating by AFR and linens from M&M. According to Tamara Comstock, the gorgeous venue’s marketing coordinator extraordinaire, “We let our wonderful vendors handle all of the little details for the gallery … we really wanted to highlight their work in the space.”

We can’t wait to see more fabulous wedding gallery designs come to life at January’s Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta.

Couples can purchase VIP and General Admission tickets to Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on January 28, 2017 at VIP tickets are $25 in advance and include access to a VIP room, swag bag and an additional entry to the Honeymoon Giveaway from All Travel Company. General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of show (cash only).

Best Practices for Managing Vendor Personalities

By Kim Sayatovic, Belladeux Event Design

In the world of events, you’re sure to come across a number of unique people and, inevitably, their different personalities may clash from time to time. However, while disagreements may occur, it’s important to ensure that these differences do not cause any tension or discord that will affect the success of the event.

With this in mind, here are some strategies for managing personalities before it’s too late.

Vendor conflicts

Despite the fact that we are all working to the same goal, sometimes it doesn’t always feel that way when arguments arise. Of course, it’s always best to avoid the situation instead of having to fix the issue, so stay away from hiring two people that are known to have tension so you can avoid putting out any fires. With that said, sometimes things happen down the line and, if that’s the case, you’ll need to step in and find a solution – even if it’s temporary, you need to get everyone through to the finish line. Start with a phone call with the disagreeing parties and look to solve their differences; if that doesn’t show signs of improvement, it may be time to schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss the situation until they are able to work through the problem.

Family drama

When it comes to weddings, it seems like everybody has an opinion. For the event team, it’s up to us to determine whose opinions hold the most weight. Generally, look to those who are footing the bill – usually the couple and their parents. However, it can get a little trickier with divorced parents who all want to have a say. It’s up to you, as the professional, to draw the line before it starts to affect the enjoyment of the couple – planning a wedding should be fun, not stressful! Be sure that everyone is reminded of the importance of the wedding day and that, while their opinions are appreciated, it is the couple’s day and their preferences are priority.

Client tension

Most event professionals have experienced a client who just doesn’t mesh. Some may cross the boundaries that you set from the beginning whereas others may have entirely unrealistic expectations – regardless of the issue, it’s essential to handle this situation delicately. Explain your side of the story to them respectfully and honestly, and ask for their thoughts as well to see if there is a way to compromise. If they aren’t willing to budget, it might be time to consider walking away. Run through your contract to ensure that there is a clause that nullifies the agreement if the client breaks the rules, so that you can guarantee that you keep the retainer.

No couple wants their wedding to be a tense process, and it’s up to you to ensure that it stays enjoyable and stress-free so that they can have the wedding day of their dreams!

Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Best Wedding Publicity Tips for Small Business Owners

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

Ready to take over the world with your brand extraordinaire? Have accomplishments you’re just dying to share with your audience? Get the word out and gain the attention you seek by investing some time and effort in your business’ public relations campaigns. I’ll even make it a bit easier for you to get started with my top tips for getting the ball rolling and making sure your PR efforts stick.

Be Prepared
Before you can begin your first pitch, you need to have something amazing to share. Create a system for gathering background details from your clients, awesome images from photographers, complete vendor lists and consent from all parties as you will need all three before you are able to submit the most common form of public relations for an event business: real wedding submissions. When you find the time to put your submissions together, you’ll always have everything you need right at your fingertips.

Research Possible Publisher Matches
Consider what type of couples your target audience includes and research which print and online publications they frequent most. Those are the publishers you want to target with your campaigns, so add them to your “Media Wish List”. Put together a strategic list of the important contacts for each one, including specifications they might have for PR submissions, as well as deadlines and other restrictions. This will allow you to effectively target your PR efforts at the times you’re most likely to get attention and to exactly the right staff.

Use Free or Low Cost Tools
Make your efforts more efficient by streamlining your process through the use of various tools. Some of my favorites include Talkwalker Alerts which notifies you via email when your feature has been posted so you can promote it and Wufoo, a platform that lets you create questionnaires that you can use to solicit valuable feedback from your clientele.

My very favorite, though, is HARO, short for Help a Reporter Out. This tool brings alerts you, via email, to reporters looking for expert commentary on a huge variety of topics, including weddings. Press opportunities are delivered directly to your doorstep and all you need to do is reach out when you find a good match.

Be Prepared to Promote
When a submission is successful and you discover you have been published, promote your feature via every channel available to you. Post links on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds and add one to your Pinterest page. Write up a quick blog post too, pointing out the feature and including the link to the full piece. You can maximize each exposure by putting your own outreach to work and spreading the word.

Never Give Up
As difficult as it is to hear, “No” is part of the process. You will get rejected by as many media outlets as will accept your submissions, so don’t let “no” get you down. Consider it an honor to have been considered at all, and think of every “no” as a right of passage.

Follow these five simple tips to jumpstart your PR efforts and start seeing the results of reaching your target audience with news that is relevant to them very soon. Take out that to-do list right now and move public relations efforts to the very top. You will not regret it!


Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. She recently launched wedding PR membership site, the OFD Collective, which combines education with action.