As business owners, finding tools that can help you save time and grow your business is always helpful! That’s why we’ve created this list of the best free resources for wedding pros.

25 FREE RESOURCES FOR WEDDING PROS

There are all kinds of tools and resources, but we’re focusing on tools that will help you grow your business, learn more about marketing your business, and help you off-load or automate tasks so that you can focus on what you do best!

Free Design Tools

1. Canva

If you think you already know everything about Canva — think again! They are always improving their product. You can have graphic designers create templates for you, and if you’re interested in going to a pro plan (Just $12 per month, you can have all your branded elements right where you need them.)

Check out Rebel Nutrition’s Instagram Series – Things You Didn’t Know About Canva. You won’t be sorry that you did!

2. BeFunky

If you’re not a whiz with technology, but you know the size photo you need, then BeFunky is the photo editing tool you have been dreaming of! It’s beneficial if you need to create a balanced image in an odd size. Try it out, and we know you’ll love it!

3. Bulk Photo Resize

Maybe you have many photos you need to resize for your blog or similar; this free tool will save you some major time!

Free Photo Sources

You can never have enough photos, and sometimes it’s just not possible to get original images. These three websites have some of the best free photos in the industry! And everyone from big-name corporations to mom-and-pop shops is using them on everything from products to Instagram.

4. Unsplash

5. Pexels

6. Pixabay

Free Social Media Tools

7. Later

Later is one of the best free resources out there — and their paid services are incredibly cost-effective. Be sure to sign up for their email newsletter and/or follow them on Instagram so you’ll get access to all their helpful resources.

(There are many more, but this one is so great, it’s the only social scheduling app our team uses!)

Free Internal Communication Tools

8. Skype

From its desktop app to Skype for Business on your phone — Skype is a free and convenient tool to help you stay in contact with your team without overloading your inbox.

9. Slack

While some love Skype, others prefer a more collaborative option. Those people tend to enjoy Slack as an alternative.

10. Zoom

11. Google Meet

If you’re a G Suite fan and use all of Google’s other tools, you might as well look into Google Meet. It blends seamlessly with their other tools, and it’s free.

Free Email Tools

13. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is constantly improving its product and staying up with the times. As a result, it has a very robust free program, and it works seamlessly with most other software plugin-ins because it is such a well-established company.

14. ActiveCampaign

Okay, ActiveCampaign isn’t quite free, but it’s the next closest thing because it’s incredibly cheap for what it offers. And you can test it out for free.

15. Hubspot Email Marketing

This is a relatively recent development since last year, but it allows you to use email marketing and a CRM from the same company – always nice!

FREE STORAGE

We could all use a little more storage, and here are some helpful options for digital storage. Of course, depending on what you’re are storing, some may be more helpful than others.

16. Dropbox

17. Google Cloud

18. Amazon Cloud Storage

FREE CRM HELP

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and this is an area that can help eliminate redundant work for a lone entrepreneur. It helps track where a customer is in their purchase journey and makes generating more sales easier.

19. Hubspot

These guys lead the industry as far as being widely used and easy to navigate.

These are just some of the many great resources out there for wedding pros that will help you successfully navigate the wedding boom of 2022-23. (Read more about How to Prepare for the Wedding Boom.)

20. Zoho

FREE TECHNICAL HELP

This is essentially a catch-all for free resources that make life so much better for a business owner.

21. Calendly

Most wedding pros know all about Calendly, but if you’re not using it, maybe you should be! It allows potential customers to schedule appointments without you having to lift a finger or check your schedule.

22. Zapier

Do you have some different software that doesn’t work together, but you need them to? Then, Zapier is the wonder tool that you’ve been waiting for! It connects all your apps and helps automate all your workflows.

23. Loom

Show it, say it, send it. Loom allows you to record quick videos of your screen and your cam at the same time. It’s super helpful!

24. Typeform

Want to try surveys, but not sure where to start? Typeform is an intuitive, free resource to help you get more information from your customers and learn how to serve them even better.

It is also great as a lead-generating tool.

25. Grammarly

This may be one of the biggest timesavers on this list! If you hate simple grammar mistakes or, worse, spend too long proofreading an email, you need this app today! It’s free — though their paid version is totally worth it too! — and it plugs into everything you do, from email to social media, on your phone and your desktop.

BONUS: Answer The Public

This is a fun tool to understand better what people are searching for related to any one topic. You only get two free searches every month, so make them count. Be sure to use only one to two words if possible and click for the United States search topics.

Are you a baker? Search wedding cakes or dessert bars and see what questions people have. Then, use that to create helpful content for your target audience.

We’ve covered many great technical, free resources for wedding pros to help you achieve your business goals, but if you’re looking for even more in-depth guidance, we can help with that too! For example, our sister company, Brandlink Media, can help you build an effective and beautiful website or start advertising on social media, create a marketing campaign, and so much more. (Contact their team today for a free consultation.)

Use these tools to get prepared for the Wedding Boom. Get all the details in our blog on How to Prepare for the Wedding Boom.

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Written by Corrie McGee

You’re an amazing wedding vendor that can make wedding dreams come true. Now, do couples know that about you? It’s a legitimate question you need to be asking yourself in order to attract more couples as a wedding pro!

It’s easy to overlook content when you are focused on the work that you do best (making dream weddings a reality), but the content is what helps connect couples with that amazing work that you are doing. For that reason, we have a simple list of three tips to help you attract more couples — so they know how great you are!

THREE TIPS TO ATTRACT MORE COUPLES

Don’t let the curse of knowledge prevent you from attracting and helping more couples create their dream wedding! The curse of knowledge is what happens when you are such an expert on something that you don’t realize how little someone else knows about the topic. For example, you’re an expert in your field, so it may seem silly to you to cover the basic details like saying you’re a wedding planner or talking about flower packages as a florist.

Here are three tips to help you overcome the curse of knowledge and attract those couples you want to work with!

1. Tell them how you help them solve a problem or help them achieve a goal.

This may seem basic, but it’s actually foundational – which means it’s essential! Look at your website, your social media, etc. Do you explain to potential customers how you can help them? Consider having a friend or family member look at the website with this in mind and see what they say.

From the very moment a visitor lands on your website, they need to know how you can help them solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Instead of using filler words with a script you think is required, write down an answer to the following question — What problem do you solve for your client/customer?

Now take that answer and use it to refresh what your website and social media say. Make the messaging from your company be benefits-focused.

2. Use clear and simple language to explain your service to attract more couples as a wedding pro.

The next step in this process is to review your website and social content to make sure your services are explained in simple and easy-to-digest language.

Remember, people came to you for solutions. While flowery or clever language can be fun, it’s important to be clear, concise, and eliminate guesswork.

Someone should be able to understand what you do and what you offer within a few seconds of being on your website. And even on pages where you go into more depth, be sure to use bullet points and lists that make it more readable.

3. Give them action steps to take.

The last tip is the most important one when it comes to getting potential clients to convert into paying customers. You need to give people an action step to take. And “Learn More” doesn’t count. You may feel like it’s salesy or pushy, but if you believe in your product, there’s no shame in being clear about what someone should do if they want to book your services.

Think about what specific action you want people to take and then ask them to take that action. Give them a button that talks about that action.

Do you want them to schedule an appointment? Do you want them to sign-up or visit the store? Whatever it is, make sure they know what it is and they have the ability to do it easily.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

These three tips are focused on your website and social media because that is the primary place where you can attract more couples — and convert them into sales.

Looking for more help to attract more couples as a wedding pro? Check out Five Common Reasons You’re Losing Business to Other Wedding Vendors.

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Written by Corrie McGee

Did you know that you could be losing business to other wedding vendors for no other reason than people couldn’t find you? It’s true. And that’s not all. There are five common reasons you may be losing business to other vendors. The good news is that when you know what those reasons are, you can get back on track quickly.

We’ve got you covered with tips on how to stop losing business — and start getting clients to find you!

FIVE COMMON REASONS WEDDING VENDORS LOSE BUSINESS

Before you start thinking it’s bad to find out that you may be losing business, think about this. You’re doing good work that your ideal clients will love. All this means is that there may be a few tweaks to help you find those ideal clients even better.

Keep that perspective as we jump into these five common reasons and see what might be stopping you from even more growth in your wedding business.

1. You’re Difficult to Find

It may seem obvious, but if you’re not in front of your ideal audience, it may be hard for them to find you. Not every couple is searching for your business name specifically, and if they are searching for local wedding pros you may not be coming up easily.

Here are a few tips for being more findable —

Our YouTube Channel has an easy-to-understand guide on how to claim and optimize your Google My Business account.

2. Your website or process is confusing or slow.

Have you recently accessed your website as a potential customer? As business owners, sometimes it’s easy to set and forget the technical process that doesn’t relate to your “work” — but it’s important to make sure you regularly test your website.

Why? Did you know that nearly 50% of web visitors expect a website or its pages to load within 2 seconds? And if it doesn’t an even higher percentage of people abandon it. That means you could be losing business even though you have a beautiful website with amazing content that Google loves sharing with people and no one is seeing it.

Another reason it’s important to improve page loading time is that if Google notices that people aren’t sticking around, eventually Google won’t pull your website up as often.

Here are few things you need to test regularly —

Do all this on the desktop and mobile view. It’s also helpful to Google yourself (using an Incognito window so the results aren’t skewed) to make sure your meta description and other items show up correctly.

3. You’re unclear about what you do — and what makes you unique.

There is a chance you’ve fallen pretty to what’s known as the curse of knowledge.

Go back over your website with this guide in mind —

Vendors that can be clear in their communication avoid losing business.

4. Your response is too slow.

Did you know that 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to poor customer service according to Glance.

People expect a response to inquiries nearly immediately and that can feel daunting for a small business owner who is already stretched for time. But there are ways to help increase your response time without working non-stop.

Ways to avoid losing business from slow responses —

5. You don’t have any/enough reviews.

You’ve heard that word-of-mouth advertising is worth its weight in gold. Well, online reviews are 21st-century word-of-mouth advertising.

According to a  study by Qualtrics, 97% of people read reviews of local businesses before making a purchasing decision, and 90% of those people said positive reviews directly influenced their purchase or hiring decisions.

Steps to take to get more reviews —

That’s a great place to start. Here are more ideas to get you more glowing reviews.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Now that you know the most common reasons you may be losing business to other wedding vendors, we’ve got some helpful resources to help you take the next step.

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Written by Corrie McGee

Wedding pros need to be prepared for the wedding boom of 2022. Couples canceled or postponed weddings in droves during 2020, but now they are almost back up to pre-pandemic numbers. As a result, industry experts are anticipating 2022 will see the biggest wedding boom since 1984, and as wedding pros, you want to prepare for how you’ll navigate the wedding boom of 2022.

THE WEDDING BOOM OF 2022

The industry research firm Wedding Report projects 1.9 million weddings that will take place this year and estimate a record-setting 2.5 million weddings in 2022. According to a report by Fast Company, that far surpasses anything in recent history. (For context, there haven’t been this many weddings since 1984.)

For anyone keeping totals, that means —

The Good News For Wedding Vendors

Let’s acknowledge the reality of the situation first. While weddings have been up this year, many of those are rescheduled and not new income opportunities. That means wedding vendors are often recouping, not necessarily growing even though the numbers are larger than before.

The good news is that spontaneous proposals are up 41% as of December 2020, according to The Knot, which means people are ready to get married. Additionally, they are also ready to spend more money than before. Not by a lot, but it’s enough to be encouraged by.

On average, wedding budgets are up $3,000 to $22K, and the average should increase to $25K in the next two years.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE WEDDING BOOM

What does this wedding boom mean for wedding vendors?

In short, it means that there are a lot of opportunities, but it will be more important than ever to get organized and know what your goals are. With that in mind, let’s dive into the ways wedding vendors/pros can prepare for the wedding boom.

Let’s dive into the ways you can prepare for success ahead of time!

1. Review all your processes and procedures.

It’s more important than ever to get your administrative and creative processes organized. Of course, this will look different for each vendor, but the goal is to review every process and procedure, from how you attract clients to contracts or agreements that get signed and even how you coordinate with other vendors.

Start by reviewing these three areas —

Find out what is working, what is producing results, and what areas are not producing. Are there any policies that need to be updated or changed living in a post-COVID wedding planning world? This will likely be around and potentially causing some new habits and trends to be born. Make sure that your contracts, website, and general practices are up-to-date.

Understanding the time and value of each major task allows you to have some context for the next time you get multiple people wanting to book simultaneously. Then, instead of overbooking or underbooking, you’ll be well aware of what tasks you can handle. (This won’t go to plan at first, but it will be so much better and will get more efficient each time. Trust us; it’s worth doing now.)

As any coach or general will tell you, people rise to the level of their preparation — not expectation.

2. Determine if anything can be offloaded, reduced, or removed altogether.

Once you’ve reviewed all your processes, determine what can be given to someone else, whether a team member or outsourced to a freelancer or contract worker.

With small businesses, it may not seem like it’s possible to get anything offloaded at the moment with the cost, etc., but it’s still good to do right now, so you will be prepared for when the time is right. This means you will know exactly what the next step is even in the thick of the wedding boom.

Even if you can’t pay someone to help at the moment, you can make like much easier with free to inexpensive options like getting a free proofreader with a Grammarly plug-in or similar.

3. Automate anything that can be automated.

Automation isn’t difficult to do, and it doesn’t have to be impersonal. On the contrary, automating processes allows you to touch base with potential customers immediately, making a genuine connection and a potential sale without closing the deal in person.

Great tasks to automate —

Those are just some basic sales automation, but there are also tasks taking up precious time — and they could be automated too!

One last automation recommendation is to invest in CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) software. There are solutions for every budget, and they can help eliminate wasted time on tasks that can be done easily with some easy-tech. (If you aren’t sure about CRM software or need an update, the team at Brandlink Media can help make recommendations based on your needs and budget. Click here to request a free consultation.)

4. Look for new income opportunities — and keep looking.

Once you’ve reviewed, offloaded, and automated everything, it’s important to keep your eyes open for new income opportunities. Yes, there have been many changes in the wedding industry since the spring of 2020, but the wedding boom we’re headed into is going to be rife with opportunities to capitalize on.

A change in the culture and traditional way of doing things is a great time to solve new problems and get rid of services that aren’t producing for you. It’s a time to look at everything with fresh eyes. Don’t worry about forcing things or trying to reinvent the wheel, just be ready and keep an open mind.

It may be as simple as noting a common problem your clients have and creating a service that is a natural outflow of what you do now, but maybe don’t charge for it yet.

The wedding industry is in for a big boom, and that means wedding pros could be in for a great boom in business too! So prepare for the wedding boom with help from these four tips, and you’ll reduce your stress all while increasing your opportunity for growth when it arrives!

Speaking of getting prepared for changes, did you hear about Instagram’s new announcement? Be sure to check out our news on What Instagram’s Announcement Means for Wedding Vendors.

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Written by Corrie McGee

The wedding cake is the unspoken centerpiece of the big day, and we’re seeing more people and vendors get creative about how they highlight that centerpiece. That’s why we’re highlighting the top 10 wedding cake stands and displays for 2022!

During 2020, we saw a few interesting trends emerge. So how did 2020 affect wedding cake trends for 2022? First, it brought back the small wedding cake as the en vogue choice for a wedding centerpiece. Second, restrictions on gathering and wedding sizes meant fewer guests, which meant less cake was needed.

Expect 2022 Wedding Cakes to be Creative, But Small

Couples still had a good wedding cake budget, so smaller cakes became more elaborate and creative, and that trend has continued to evolve through to 2022.

Now couples have a small two-tiered cake that’s highlight stylized while forgoing larger, plainer cakes.

More Couples Will Opt for Multiple Cakes in 2022

For many couples, multiple cakes are the answer! Their bakers are creating elaborate collections of various flavors and styles that make one cohesive design palette.

Not Everyone Wants a Smaller Cake

There’s another trend to come out of the downsizing from 2020. That trend is couples going big with seven or eight tiered cakes. So while some couples are jumped on the trend for smaller wedding cakes in 2022, some couples have decided to take things to the next level – literally – on their wedding day.

From cake hoops and frames to mesh and acrylic cake stands, we’ve got all the stunning inspiration for the hottest 2022 wedding cake trends.

1. Cake Hoop

We see wedding cake hoops in various shapes and sizes, from rectangular and oval to floating options. These are perfect for couples looking for a minimalist option and couples looking to create an over-the-top floral accent.

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In addition to floral accents, we’re seeing more wedding stylists use draped fabrics to add drama to the centerpiece.

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Couples with a penchant for a more modern, geometric vibe make the hexagon and pentagon shape hoops a very popular selection for 2022.

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2. Crescent Cake Stands

Crescent cake stands are one of the more whimsical trends we see for 2022 weddings — and we love how versatile they are. You can style them bountiful baby’s breath or leave them looking — modern minimalist.

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Some vendors even carry a small crescent accent that can go straight into the cake itself.

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3. Cake Arches

Cakes arches are a great way to frame a wedding while mirroring the other arches throughout the wedding design that are trending with current couples.

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4. Mesh Cake Stands

Mesh cake stands come in all heights and colors. They are being paired with items like the cake arches as seen above or can stand alone. Bakers and couples are having them customized to fit the unique palette of the specific wedding design.

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Mesh backdrops are also part of the trending wedding cake displays for 2022.

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5. Cake Box Stand

The cake box stand is one of the most striking designs for wedding cake displays. It truly makes it a work of art!

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6. Cage Cake Stand

This is a great selection for the more adventurous or whimsical couples!

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7. Cake Spiral Stand

Floral accents have made a resurgence after 2020, and one way that couples are leveling up their game is with cake spirals or spiral cake displays. This works particularly well with a simple cake with texture but not a variety of colors or details.

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8. Duo Cake Stands

What’s better than one beautiful cake? Two cakes!

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9. Minimalist Cake Stands

For couples who prefer to let the cake steal the show in a more subtle way, we’re seeing a trend towards a minimalist cake stand or multiple minimalist wedding cakes stands paired together.

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10. Plinth or Pedestal Cake Table

Keep a lookout for plinth and pedestal cake stands for weddings in 2022. Especially, the modern, white plinth or pedestal creates the perfect canvas to allow the cake to stand out. We also see couples and designers using multiple plinths and pedestals to create a visual texture.

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BONUS: Wedding Cake Swing

This trend isn’t completely new, but we see a resurgence in popularity for the cake swing from the table-top designs to the more elaborate display! These are especially popular for outdoor weddings, which have become more common post-2020.

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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: BRAMBLE SKY

Many of the trending wedding ideas in this feature come from a small business out of Derbyshire, England, called Bramble Sky. They create these handmade stands from reclaimed timber planks and steel.

You can visit their Etsy shop or check them out on Instagram for more information on their handmade wedding cake stands. (Be sure to keep an eye on these guys as we anticipate their popularity to grow exponentially over the next few years!)

If you’re in the mood for more great 2022 wedding trends, check out our roundup piece on Regencycore! Bridgerton’s popularity caused a ripple effect in the design world that has made its way to wedding fashion. So expect to see empire waists, puff sleeves, and more in the near future!

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Written by Corrie McGee
Photo Courtesy of Bramble Sky

The Netflix show Bridgerton has inspired the hottest trend in wedding fashion — Bridgerton Brides and Regencycore wedding style. As a result, designers have loaded their 2022 collections with reimagined Regency-era fashion. And with over one million people following the hashtag #regencycore on TikTok according to trend forecasters, we will be seeing this fashion influence for a while.

HOW BRIDGERTON INSPIRED 2022’s TOP WEDDING DRESS TREND

Netflix’s Bridgerton series first debuted in December 2020 with a viewership of 82 million homes and has become the most-watched series on Netflix. The show received high praise and became a cultural phenomenon that has now been renewed all the way through four seasons.

Experts call 2020 the great accelerator. Part of that is because trend cycles were, for lack of a better word, accelerated (along with many other things) due to the exponential increase in online content thanks to lockdowns.

This brings us to Viral Internet Fashion Aesthetics. If you haven’t heard of that term, you’ve definitely heard of the things that fall into this category. Y2K, Egirl, Dark Acamedmia, Cottagecore. All of these are what’s known as viral internet fashion aesthetics that are driven by “viral” / trending content on TikTok, Instagram, and finally Youtube. Instead of fashion trends having a slower cycle, the pace has increased as it is mirroring the ebb and flow of viral content.

While these viral aesthetics don’t die out as quickly as a trending song on TikTok, they are driven by viral content that becomes inexorably part of the culture of the moment — such as Bridgerton.

Bridgerton Bridal Gowns - Regencycore - wedding dress trends

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

The name for this Bridgerton-inspired viral fashion aesthetic? Regencycore.

What makes this fashion aesthetic so popular is that it also blends perfectly with the resurgence of slow living habits, outdoor enjoyment, and an appreciation for romantic literature – think Jane Austen and such. Notice the increase of films around this time such as Emma and an upcoming release of Persuasion among many other period pieces set for release in the next 1-2 years (including more Bridgerton seasons). We don’t expect this viral trend to stop anytime soon.

WHAT IS REGENCYCORE?

Regencycore — as it pertains to wedding style, is filled with dramatic silhouettes, empire waists, puff-sleeves, intricate embroidery, and sometimes feathering. Accessories include embellished headbands or tiaras, lace gloves, and ballerina shoes, as well as chokers. 

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

According to Vogue UK, since the show’s release —

It’s important to note that the Bridgerton costumes that have inspired this aesthetic are not historically accurate. They are a blend of Regency, Georgian, and modern aesthetics. It’s inspiration more than an exact representation. For this reason, we think this trend (at least in part) will stay around for a while.

Many local wedding vendors create Bridgerton-inspired wedding designs like this one —

(For more trending wedding design inspiration, click here to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.)

Romance and feminine aesthetics have been trending upward for a few years and fashion designers are enjoying playing up these details. With that in mind, let’s dive into our hand-picked Bridgerton-inspired lookbook from some of the top wedding gown designers.

TOP BRIDGERTON-INSPIRED WEDDING GOWNS FOR 2022

While this style has many different looks, we’ve gathered the top trending looks from some Spring/Summer 2022 wedding collections. 

(Consider this your 2022 Regencycore wedding gown lookbook by top wedding gown designers in the industry.)

1. Dramatic Sihlouettes

Whether it’s billowy fabric floating behind the bride or a silky drape, expect to see plenty of dramatic silhouettes in 2022 wedding gowns including Bridgerton-inspired designs.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

This gown from Monique Lhuillier hits all the marks for the Regencycore-inspired fashion. Dramatic silhouette, puffed sleeves, floral motifs, and a cheerful yellow base.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Markarian’s Spring/Summer 2022 is full of romance and low-key drama with soft billowing fabrics and those stunning sleeves.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Viktor & Rolfe have reimagined all manner of Regencycore-style designs with dramatic sleeves paired with a sleek silhouette. (Do yourself a favor and check out their Spring/Summer 2022 collection which is full of all the inspiration you need!)

2. Empire Waist

A telltale sign of Regencycore is the classic empire waist.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Odylyne the Ceremony is a visionary of romantic proportions in the wedding gown industry. They had the must-have wedding mini-dress that Instagram couldn’t have loved more this year. And it looks like they are poised to have another fan-favorite!

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

This silk wedding gown by Savannah Miller could have walked right off the Bridgerton set — and we love how she has modernized elements while still keeping the historic nod.

3. Floral Motifs

Floral motifs in Regencycore or Bridgerton-inspired designs are often seen in the embroidery, brocading, or veil accents.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

4. Feathering

Feather details were already trending upward before Bridgerton sent them skyrocketing! From accessories to gown details, feathers are one of the hottest details in wedding gown design for 2022.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Anne Barge’s Collection is full of Regencycore details, but it’s the feathers that make a big splash. Our next favorite detail from her Spring/Summer 2022 collection has to be her statement veils.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

This look from Eisen-Stein’s Spring 2022 collection is definitely a Bridgerton-inspired showstopper.

5. Soft Pastel or Neutral Colors

Anyone who has seen Bridgerton knows they love a good pastel on that show — and since that has inspired the Regencycore trend, expect to see pastels especially in blues, pinks, and yellows — as well as neutrals.

Photo Courtesy of Markarian

While we love the blush pinks we’re seeing in this gown from Markarian, the sunny yellow Jimmy Choo gown below is a signature shade to come out of the Regencycore trend.

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

6. Corsets

We’d be remiss if we didn’t add corsets to the list of Regencycore-inspired design elements for 2022 wedding gown trends.

For some designers, like Oscar De La Renta, the corset is merely an inspiration piece from Regencycore as in the gown below.

Photo Courtesy of Oscar De La Renta

For other designers like Wiederhoeft, their Spring/Summer 2022 collection is a blend of fairy tale meets Regencycore. In fact, the collection is called “unapologetically romantic.”

Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

And speaking of amazing wedding trends for 2022, we love the craze for wedding jumpsuits! They’re perfect for everything from rehearsal dinners to receptions — and even the big event itself. Click here to see how brides use this fun trend to bring a fashion-forward touch to their big day!

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Written by Corrie McGee
Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Discover five ways to support your fellow wedding pros with these easy ways to prioritize community over competition.

The wedding industry is known for being a tight-knit community, and it’s more important than ever that wedding pros support one another. If COVID taught us anything, it would be that we’re better together, and there’s more value in prioritizing community over competition. (There’s room for all of us to win!)

Let’s keep building a strong community by supporting one another. Sometimes it’s as simple as liking a post and there’s something we can all do!

5 WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WEDDING PROS

Here are a few simple ways you can prioritize community over competition and support your fellow wedding pros!

1. Hype Them On Social

As wedding pros, we’re all inspired by each other’s work, so it’s important to show that by following wedding pros we enjoy and liking their work. It’s easy to just be an on-looker, but think of how valuable it is when your followers like or save your posts.

Here are a few quick and valuable ways to hype fellow wedding pros on social media —

2. Encourage Them + Check In On Them

Running a business can be a very lonely experience. Running a wedding business during a pandemic can be a very stressful experience. This is where that human to human interaction is so important. This is the step that really communicates community over competition. And it is so simple. Check on your fellow wedding pros. A text, an email, a letter — reach out to a fellow vendor this week with an encouraging word or simply ask them how they are.

You never know how valuable a simple message can be, so don’t overlook the little things. Those words or just knowing someone is thinking about you can be just the boost that vendor needed to keep going!

3. Write A Review

We think about reviews as primarily being from clients, but how many of us have added reviews for the wedding vendors we’ve worked with that were awesome partners in the wedding process?

Next time you work with a fellow wedding vendor and you are impressed with their work, don’t be afraid to say so in a review on Google, Facebook, etc.

4. Collaborate

Keep other vendors in mind when it comes time to collaborate and don’t be afraid to invite them to collaborate. Especially for new vendors that are just getting established in the industry, this can be a great help!

It could be inviting someone to do a styled photoshoot, or interview them on your Instagram Live, do a guest blog, etc.

5. Share the Wealth (Resources, Insights, Tips, etc.)

Our final tip is a simple one. When you find a great resource (like Wed Society or some tips on growing your business or getting better at social media, etc.) share that knowledge!

There’s plenty of space in this industry for all of us to win. Don’t be afraid to share the tips, tricks, and business hacks you discover.

WEDDING PRO SUCCESS STORIES

We’re all about supporting wedding vendors here at Wed Society! And one way we do that is to share success stories. Here’s a great story about how one wedding pro turned getting let go from her wedding job into a completely new business — that thrived in the pandemic! (Plus, it’s one of the hottest new wedding trends, so you don’t want to miss it!)

Blossom & Rhyme Designs - Resin Flower Preservation

We hope you’ll be encouraged by her success story and be inspired in your own endeavors!

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Written by Corrie McGee

Rachel Croxall went from losing her job at a wedding venue to launching a successful business during a pandemic. Tired of seeing people in pain, she decided to start bringing joy with her art, and that’s when she launched Blossom & Rhyme Designs — a resin floral preservation business — in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One year later, Rachel will be moving into her first commercial space and is launching a new website to accommodate the demand for her services.

At Wed Society, we love bringing you stories of real wedding vendors who have faced challenges and come out the other side! Keep reading to discover what brought Rachel to the crossroads of starting her business and how she became a social media darling by just doing what she does.

MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND BLOSSOM & RHYME DESIGNS

Meet the talented wedding pro and artist behind Blossom & Rhyme Designs — Rachel Croxall. She first fell in love with resin art in a college art class, and she bravely launched her own successful resin flower preservation business during the pandemic. From traditional resin blocks to ring holders, coasters, jewelry, and more, there’s no limit to the creativity when it comes to her services.

Rachel’s videos on Instagram and TikTok have been viewed millions of times. You read that right — MILLIONS of times. This one TikTok has been viewed over 2 million times. (Did we mention that Kevin Jonas is just one of her celebrity admirers?!) People just love to see that satisfying resin pour and the dreamy final product.

@blossomandrhymedesigns

Dream when you’re feeling blue.🤍 ##fyp ##flowerart ##preservedflowers##resinvideo ##demolding

♬ Dream – The Pied Pipers

AN INSIDE LOOK AT HOW RACHEL CROXALL LAUNCHED A NEW BUSINESS IN THE PANDEMIC — AND FOUND SUCCESS

As any entrepreneur or business owner knows, it’s daunting under the best circumstances to start your own business, but even more so during a pandemic. While Rachel faced doubts, she was ready to fight back against all the darkness and pain she saw around her — to bring some joy during uncertain times.

Keep reading to find out what gave her the confidence to start a new venture in difficult times and what advice she has for other folks facing the same decision.

1. What gave you the confidence or inspiration to start a new business during a pandemic?

I lost my job working at a wedding venue in July of 2020. I was at the crossroads of going back to school in the fall or pursuing my passion as a resin artist full time. I saw so many people in pain and in a really dark spot in 2020. Myself being one of those people. Not only had I lost my job, but I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called “Gastroparesis.” 

I realized that the darkness had had enough. It was time to bring some happiness and love back into the world. I wanted to share my art with as many people as possible! However, I didn’t know if it was realistic, and I had doubts. I prayed for a clear, confident answer for several weeks. Meanwhile, I was still posting content on all social media platforms. 

One day I woke up to one of my videos going viral on TikTok. Literally, millions of people resonated with my business and wanted to place orders immediately. This lit a fire under me because I realized that I had found my answer. It was time to become a full-time resin artist and preserve memories!

2. Where did you come up with the name of your business – Blossom & Rhyme Designs?

After a very hard year in 2020, I wanted something that represented new growth while also incorporating something that is close to my heart.

I felt that Blossom was the perfect representation of new growth, and Rhyme captured my love of words and poetry.

3. How did you get started with resin?

My love for resin developed in an art class in college. I constructed a “river resin table” for my final project in the class.

This was a large-scale project where I learned many things about resin—one of those being that it is a very complex science.

4. What drew you to wedding flower preservation?

I worked in the wedding industry for a few years and realized that so many brides were worried about such a memorable day going by too fast. I was a bride a few years back and remembered thinking the same thing. You have photos, you have videos sometimes, but I wanted something more tangible. I wanted to do something about this.

I began encasing small amounts of flowers in necklaces. I started with my own wedding flowers that had been drying in an attic for years. I loved the concept of holding your wedding flowers so close to your heart.

From there, I experimented with coasters and larger resin blocks. I had the experience of working with resin in large amounts from the tables I had made, so it felt natural to begin making larger items and preserving full wedding bouquets.

5. Can you walk us through your process when a couple wants to preserve their flowers?

We have been working with an amazing website company that is constructing a very user-friendly site for couples to experience. It will be as simple as reserving your date, placing your order, and waiting for us to send you the next steps, such as shipping instructions!

We also offer flower-drying instructions if their date happens to be taken so they can send us the flowers at our next available opening.

The website is scheduled to be launched at the beginning of September 2021.

In the meantime, couples can email us at contact@blossomandrhyme.com, and we can help them get started on reserving their date and placing their order.

We want to reach & work with as many couples as possible to help them preserve such special memories.

6. What are clients most surprised about when they learn about your process?

They are usually surprised at how heavy the resin blocks are. It’s one thing to see photos online, but they realize it’s a whole other 3-D, tangible experience to see it in person.

7 . You have many different preservation options — what are couples loving the most right now?

As far as preserving a full bouquet, I am currently seeing a trend in square resin block shapes and geometric shapes (such as our new hexagon mold)!

For a more functional option, our coasters and ring holders are very popular!

8. What are your favorite resin projects? (Do you have a particular project that you can tell us about?)

I love to hear the stories behind the flowers! 

One aspect that I believe sets Blossom and Rhyme apart is that we really think about the people and the love stories behind the flowers and match an original poem written by myself with every order.

I have received flowers from every walk of life. Prom flowers, wedding bouquets & funeral flowers have all readily been preserved at our shop.

It’s hard to say that I have a favorite, but sometimes I’ll sit in our workshop and genuinely tear up looking at all of the different flowers that are preserved from all walks of life.

It’s overwhelming, the love spilling from these stories, but in the best way.

In more general terms, I love large-scale projects. I love maximizing the flowers that are sent to us.

I believe resin flower preservation is beginning to trend because of social media. I believe when people are able to see the process behind the craft, they feel more connected to it. They know what goes into it and that it’s not something you can simply pick up from a store. It’s a very special, detailed process and art form. I think people are attracted to this because they trust a process like that to preserve something so close to their hearts.

Also, they look really cool. 🙂

10. You expertly dry the flower too, so is there a better timeline for couples to have the bouquet or blooms to you? What should they be saving in particular?

We recommend 24-48 hours after the wedding for us to receive the flowers in order for us to work with the freshest blooms & greenery.

If the flowers are wilting, the drying process won’t work as well.

We send you careful instructions on how to ship us the flowers, and we also give some tips on how to keep them as fresh as possible before shipping.

11. Are already dried flowers beyond help? What options do you have for people who have a generically dried bouquet or arrangement sitting in storage?

We absolutely work with pre-dried flowers! I’ve worked with bouquets that are 10+ years old, so there are rarely flowers we can’t accept.

Before shipping us the flowers, you may want to email us a few photos just to make sure they are workable, but as long as there is no moisture/mold on the flowers, we can preserve them!

12. How do most of your clients hear about you?

Most of my clients come from social media! I would say most of them come from Instagram and TikTok specifically.

However, I do have quite a bit who are word-of-mouth from my experience in the wedding industry in Chattanooga, TN.

13. Your Instagram channel has just exploded over the last year. Has it been a slow, steady growth or major events that drove your engagement levels?

Most of my growth at first was me just being consistent with posting on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. 

We experienced a high influx of growth within a few days in November of 2020 after posting a video to TikTok that got millions of views. I had my Instagram account linked to TikTok, where the viewers had access to follow us on Instagram.

I realized that videos were so important because, just like myself, people were falling in love with the process.

I began posting Instagram Reels, and one video collected over two million views and was liked by Kevin Jonas (my childhood was made.)

Shortly after that, Blossom and Rhyme was featured on the Tameron Hall Show.

I am still overwhelmed and so thankful for the number of blessings I’ve seen in the past year.

It just shows that even though you’re surrounded by a seemingly helpless and dark situation, that there is always hope for new beginnings.

14. What advice would you give to other wedding vendors trying to find an authentic outlet on Instagram?

Push content as much as possible within the constructs of the algorithm. People love to watch the process. They love to watch you grow. Don’t obsess about every post and video being perfect. People don’t like perfect; they like authentic, relatable, and empathetic human beings!

15. What advice do you have for someone who is nervous about starting a new venture in “uncertain” times?

If I had any advice to give to someone just starting out, I would say: “work hard, don’t be afraid to show off your skills, and have the absolute best in mind for others.

16. What do you enjoy most about working in the wedding industry?

I love knowing that my job is quite literally preserving a piece of someone’s favorite memories for them to keep for years and years to come.

It’s an honor to be a part of something that you know is much bigger than yourself.

17. What’s next for Blossom & Rhyme Designs?

We will be moving into our first-ever commercial workshop space in the next few months to continue expanding and reaching as many couples as possible while also launching our new website! A lot of exciting growth is coming, and we can’t wait to work with many more love stories.

For more information on Rachel Croxall and Blossom & Rhyme Designs — head over to her TikTok or Instagram channels.

Are you as in love with this trend as we are? Then, check out why resin wedding flower preservation is the hottest new trend in the industry!

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Written by Corrie McGee

Photo Courtesy of Blossom & Rhyme Designs and Indie Photo Co.

Last week, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that “we are no longer a photo-sharing app.” This may not seem like news at first, but wedding vendors need to take note because this means changes are coming. The wedding industry is a highly visual medium, and many vendors use Instagram to attract their ideal clients. For this reason, wedding vendors have to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to social. We’ve got your back. We’re walking you through what Instagram’s announcement from July 2021 means and how you can be prepared to take advantage of any changes!

WHAT INSTAGRAM’S ANNOUNCEMENT MEANS FOR WEDDING VENDORS

Most people think of Instagram as a photo-sharing app, but Instagram leaders want to change that perception and signal that other changes are coming.

After Mosseri made the statement about no longer being a photo-sharing app, he added, “The number one reason people say they use Instagram, in research, is to be entertained.”

The year 2020 was the great accelerator of all things digital, and consumer patterns online changed even for big social platforms like Instagram.

Areas that Instagram is Focusing on —

Here’s what the head of Instagram has to say on those four priorities —

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)

What does all this mean for you as a wedding vendor or small business owner?

If you want to stay in the know, follow people like —

Next, do your research and find fellow wedding vendors that inspire you with their creativity. (Hint: Actually, you can get inspiration from any accounts — they don’t have to be wedding vendors.) But we recommend making a separate Saved list on your Instagram just for Content Inspiration to keep your ideas in one area.

Best Practices Tips from the Head of Instagram

According to Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today —

“In terms of best practices, Mosseri says that leaning into video is good, with the first two seconds being crucial to hook viewers in. Mosseri also notes that hashtags are still valuable for discovery while posting consistently (Mosseri notes two feed posts per week, two stories per day) will help to build your following. In another Creator Week session on working with the platform’s algorithms, Instagram also noted that while posting to newer surfaces like Reels won’t boost your reach, as such, utilizing all of the available surfaces will mean that you’re increasing your chances of getting your content discovered in the app.”

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A post shared by Instagram’s @Creators (@creators)

5 WAYS VENDORS CAN USE VIDEO TO ATTRACT NEW CLIENTS ON INSTAGRAM

Even if you don’t have a lot of experience creating videos, it’s never been easier to create content using nothing but your iPhone. So we’re highlighting a few examples to get your creative juices flowing!

While Mosseri mentions an entertainment focus that can include many styles of information from educational (i.e., teaching people how to use your product) to pure wow-factor entertainment. And before you say that this isn’t for you because you don’t like being on camera or don’t have anything interesting to show, let us remind you that tens of thousands of people follow box-folding hashtags with videos like this —

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A post shared by Custom Vinyl Banners (@milweb1)

With the right attitude and the creativity that makes you a wonderful wedding vendor, you can create your own unique videos and content that works for you — and entertains people!

1. Create Educational Content (Help them Solve a Problem)

Show people how to use your product or share your expertise to help them solve a problem like this wedding vendor showing bridesmaids how to fluff a train. (Their core audience is technically brides and grooms, but by bringing bridesmaids in on this process, they have expanded their market.) This video has nearly as many likes as they have followers, which means it got a lot of shares, and it wasn’t even a trending concept.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Natalie Ann Brides (@natalie_ann_brides)

Another version of this could look like a tutorial series —

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Unraveled Academy (@unraveledacademy)

2. Take People Behind the Scenes

People love exclusive content, and what’s more exclusive than getting a behind-the-scenes look?! Whether you’re making stationery, creating dried floral artwork, shooting photos, or selling gowns — there’s something in your work that people would find fascinating.

The talented baker and social media darling Maison Olivia has created an entire niche for herself, showing videos of herself decorating cakes set to calming music — and that music isn’t even trending — but her videos are! Now, she has become more of an educator than only a baker, but there is still a lot to glean from her approach to video content.

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A post shared by Maison Olivia 메종올리비아 (@maison_olivia)

3. Show Your Personality

Even if it’s not directly business-related, videos that showcase your personality and your personal journey can be lots of fun — and be a way to authentically connect with your followers. For example, the owner of OK Graze jumped on a trending song to showcase her personality, and it worked well for her!

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A post shared by Ok Graze | Alison (@ok_graze)

4. Show Your Product/Service in Action

It sounds simple, but it’s effective. Create content that showcases your product or service in action.

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A post shared by The White Closet (@thewhitecloset)

Think you have to have high-production videos to look professional? Think again!

Wedding powerhouse Monique Lhullier is known for excellence in this industry, and they are also known to showcase a simple gown walk without fancy music or graphics. Many times, the more organic feeling works better!

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A post shared by Monique Lhuillier Bride (@moniquelhuillierbride)

5. Find a Trend — and Run With It

This is a category where you can have a LOT of fun! It’s a straightforward concept. Keep an eye on the songs and video trends you’re seeing and create your own. Time is of the essence when it comes to trending content.

If you’re really into it, you can do remixes and loops of other people’s videos— and all kinds of fun ideas! (And it’s not as complicated as it sounds.)

Here are just a few examples of Brides of Oklahoma making trending concepts their own —

Note: You will have seen videos like this before — and that’s part of the appeal. Viewers like new content, but they also find comfort and entertainment in seeing how each person does their own version of trending content.

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A post shared by The Brides of Oklahoma (@bridesofok)

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A post shared by The Brides of Oklahoma (@bridesofok)

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A post shared by The Brides of Oklahoma (@bridesofok)

HOW TO GET STARTED AFTER INSTAGRAM’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Now you know everything you need to about Instagram’s announcement and what that could mean for you as a wedding vendor. Here are a few things to help you get started with your own video content —

Do you love wedding trends? Then, let’s the inspiration coming with a look at one of the hottest floral preservation trends of 2021-2022!

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Written by Corrie McGee

If you haven’t seen this trend on Instagram and TikTok, you will very soon! Resin wedding flower preservation has been growing in popularity over the last one to two years in particular. And now, it’s a full-blown craze partly due to the novelty but also because of the versatility and eco-friendly vibe.

Let’s take a quick look at this hot new trend and the many wedding vendors getting into the resin art game.

WHAT IS RESIN FLOWER PRESERVATION?

According to resin experts, it’s the perfect method to preserve something for ages because it lasts forever, and it’s clear, so the item you preserve looks like it’s floating.

Here’s a quick look at what some resin artists are doing for couples —

4 WAYS VENDORS ARE USING RESIN ART TO DELIGHT COUPLES

Wedding flower preservation has been on the rise, and this resin art is just one iteration, but it’s so versatile that it is appealing to many styles of couples.

Here are just a few ways we’re seeing vendors use resin wedding flower preservation to delight couples —

1. Traditional Bouquet Preservation

Brides opt to have their favorite blooms pulled out of their bouquets to preserve resin vs. having the full bouquet dried. These are often done as resin blocks and used as statement pieces on side tables or mantles.

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A post shared by Blossom & Rhyme Designs (@blossomandrhymedesigns)

2. Resin Flower Jewelry

Some couples are looking for something more whimsical than a resin block. That’s where we see a surge in popularity for resin flower jewelry. These talented vendors can take specific blooms from bouquets or centerpieces and create wearable trinkets that bridal parties can keep with them always!

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A post shared by Cast & Clover (@castandclover)

Another lovely feature about this trend is that it really plays into the unique factor that today’s couples love. No two pieces of resin flower jewelry are alike, from the blooms to the placement and everything in between.

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A post shared by YEG's Floral Jewellery Shop🌼 (@everpressed)

3. Ring Holders

What better way to preserve wedding flowers than with a ring holder for your wedding ring? Unfortunately, the public is split on this one. Some think it’s gauche, while many others love the mix of charm and practical function.

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A post shared by Marina Nara (@marinamakesart)

4. Wedding Flower Coasters

The most versatile of all the resin gift trends is the wedding flower coaster. There’s something so lovely yet practical in a way that most everyone can agree on — not like the ring holder. Another feature people enjoy how unique each coaster can be in highlighting a specific bloom from the wedding.

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A post shared by Blossom & Rhyme Designs (@blossomandrhymedesigns)

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A post shared by Blossom & Rhyme Designs (@blossomandrhymedesigns)

People are so into this new trend that there’s a hashtag — #resinpour — because people love watching the process too!

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A post shared by Mohanima – Art By Rakhi (@mohanima_art)

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A post shared by JJ's Resin Heaven (@jjsresinheaven)

And the creativity is endless! These are just five ways vendors are using resin art to preserve wedding flowers, but the options are limited by creativity.

Other Popular Resin Art Options for Flower Preservation include —

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by inspired by earth (@centralozarts)

HOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RESIN WEDDING FLOWER TREND

There are many ways to learn more about this trend, including —

Check out another hot wedding trend we love — Luxury Picnics!

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Written by Corrie McGee

Photo Courtesy of Leman Floral Shop