First Annual Pew Decorating Competition at the Gardens

On Wednesday, September 19, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the First Annual Pew Decorating Competition. Floral designers, wedding planners and others of Birmingham’s finest wedding vendors put their skills to work, creating pew designs to accent the pews of . . .  you guessed it – P.E.W.S.! Standing for Purely Elegant Wedding Statements, P.E.W.S. is a new, local vendor offering outdoor pew seating for your wedding day. Get the look and feel of having your ceremony in your local church at any location you desire. Using one style of pews, they can seat up to 150 people, but you can also mix-and-match their various styles to seat up to 500 people. Add the designs seen from the competition and you’ve got one gorgeous outdoor wedding for the books. Take a look at what some of the competitors created using designated seasons as inspiration! Check out the PEWS Facebook page and cast your vote for your favorite design at:

1. Bloom + Rowell Meetings & Events – Autumn

2. Kathy G. & Co. + KG Designs – Autumn

3. Norton’s Florist – Autumn

4. Mr. Burch Formal Wear – Autumn

5. Hot House Design Studio – Autumn

6. M. Elizabeth Events + KG Designs – Summer

7. Lillie’s – Spring

8. Mariee Ami Wedding Planning – Spring (First place in season and overall at event.)

9. Lilie’s – Winter

10. Norton’s Florist – Spring

11. Each competitor got a teacup for visitors to grab a business card. We hope some brides found a perfect vendor for their wedding day!

12. No Birmingham Botanical Gardens event is complete without refreshments from Kathy G. & Co!


Inspiration Board: September

 For September, we were really gravitated to’s {corked hues} palette. This month is the transition from summer to autumn so the bright greens mixed with muted browns captured that perfectly. Once again, as we flipped through the 2012 issue we found particular images that collaborated with this color scheme perfectly and should start getting those noodle’s going out there. College football may rule the fall season in the South, but surely there are a few away games that make room for a wedding or two. If you see something you love, be sure to check our corresponding Pinterest board for this blog!

1. Stationery : Alan’s Invitations + Photography : Arden 

2. Floral Design : Norton’s Events + Linen : BBJ + Photography : Gretchen B

3. Event Design : Lillie’s + Lighting: Design Productions + Photography : Jerrod Brown Studios

4. Photography : Rob Ingram

5. Floral Design : KG Designs + Photography : Arden

6. Cake : Sweet Spot Confections + Event Design : Dana’s Floral Design + Venue : B&A Warehouse + Photography: Frank Carnaggio

7. Photography : Frank Carnaggio


Stay in honeymoon bliss while abroad

You’ve spent months planning the rehearsal dinner, the bridal tea, the wedding and the reception. When it’s time to get away for the honeymoon, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you travel overseas. This is your time to sit back, relax and cherish the time with your newlywed. Your weather app might say it will be sunny and clear the whole week in Greece, but why leave it to chance? And what if husband eats that special dish while in Mexico that just doesn’t sit well later? It’s important to make sure you pack what you need and while staying within your 50 pound check-in limit when it comes time to leave. Here’s a simple list of what to make sure you pack besides the usual suspects or you can Pin your list if you’re a little more visual.

1. Passport + airline ticket – If you have never applied for a passport, make sure you do at least two months in advance since it takes four to six weeks for it to be processed (costs jump steeply if you need expedited processing.) If you do have a passport already, make sure to check the expiration date. Nothing would be more devastating than getting to security check and then being turned away from paradise!

2. Rain jacket + umbrella – Even if the 10-day forecast shows nothing but sunshine, having these two travel essentials makes certain a little rain won’t ruin your plans! Add a trench coat to your packing list to stay chic while it rains.

3. Camera – Don’t solely rely on your phone to capture all your precious moments! Back up is necessary when you don’t want to miss a moment on this once in a lifetime trip.

4. Adaptors – Remember that every country doesn’t use the same outlets that the U.S. does. Save yourself the trouble and buy an adaptor so you can still use all your appliances (hairdryer, laptop, phone chargers, etc.) while traveling.

5. Swim suit – Whether the resort you two are staying at has a pool/hot tub or your husband suggests a quick trip to the beach, packing a yellow polka dot bikini never hurt anyone.

6. Medication & supplements – This includes any over-the-counter medication like Advil, antihistamines and antacids or any medication that you take regularly. Don’t make the mistake of assuming a drug store near you will carry what you need.

7. Guidebook – When you’ve only got a week, you want to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Skim a guidebook to get ideas of daily to-do’s!

8. Credit card and/or currency- It’s actually better to use your credit card because the rates of exchange will be less than if you actual changed currency, not to mention it’s more convenient.

9. X-Large sealable bags – It makes packing more efficient. If your bag is searched at customs, it makes repacking easy as pie and it’s the easiest way to stow a week’s worth of laundry!

10.  Comfortable pair of shoes- This may be last on our list, but in no way is it least important. Most people think you have to sacrifice comfort for style when there are plenty of chic shoes that don’t cause you to wince after a few hours. Personally, we vote Tory Burch!

Be sure to check our Honeymoon Packing List on Pinterest!

Article submitted by: Sheyda Mehrara, Auburn University