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The studio space caters to a group of hand-selected wedding vendors. Photo courtesy Blush on Berry
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Armstrong, Maida and Robinson met at a wedding they were working last summer. Photo courtesy Blush on Berry
If only an engagement ring came with an equally faceted guide on how to start planning a wedding, there would be fewer deer-in-headlights fiancées roaming the earth. If you've never planned a wedding (and have no intention of hiring a wedding planner), then where does a good bride start?
Blush on Berry, a boutique wedding collective that opened last fall in the Fan, recently launched a new service, the Blushing Bride Guide, to answer that very question because it seemed no one else was. "A [wedding] planner is for day-of planning," explains Jessica Maida, who owns Blush on Berry with fellow wedding professionals Amanda Robinson and Honey Armstrong. "We're like first-day-you've-been-engaged planning."
Their guides, which are personalized kits created after a one-hour client consult, have everything a bride in the process could need. Each one comes as a well-dressed box filled with a mood board, planning aids, magazines, freebies, gift certificates from local businesses and, most important, vendor referrals. These referrals make up the bulk of the guide, and like everything else in the kit, they're based on the bride's
style and budget.
About a week after the initial information exchange, the customized Blushing Bride Guide is ready for pickup. The basic guide costs $200. The premium guide, with more vendor recommendations and more goodies, is $250.
"We gather as much information as possible about [the client's] vision, budget and personalities, and between the three of us, I think we would know 85 percent-plus of the wedding vendors here in Richmond," Armstrong says.
It's a great place to start, and then the bride can go off on her own with stable footing, according to Robinson. Plus, the consult bypasses stressful hours researching online and shot-in-the-dark emails requesting quotes.
Because this is just the tip of the planning process, brides don't need to show up with much information. In fact, Armstrong, Maida and Robinson prefer more of a blank slate. A time frame and a budget are helpful simply to be able to find vendors that will be available on their wedding day, as is an overall vision, like "Fall 2014/Vineyard." Of course, Pinterest boards are more than welcome, and the owners believe the kind of bride who will benefit most from their service is a DIY-er who doesn't want a cookie-cutter wedding. "Give us a vintage-circus-themed wedding," Armstrong says.
Blush on Berry
425 Strawberry St., 278-5999 or blushonberry.com
Hours: Sunday through Friday, by appointment; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Meet Blush on Berry at the Richmond Bridal Showcase on Aug. 25