Alan and Adrian: Wedding Flowers

Alan and Adrian: Wedding Flowers

Roses, peonies, ranunculus, freesia. There are so many flowers to consider for your wedding that something so exciting can be so overwhelming.  Add to this the fact that two guys, with no floral experience, are the grooms will take the definition of overwhelmed to a new level.  Here’s how Alan and Adrian found their perfect wedding flowers.

Wedding Floral:  Our Process

Q:  You are two guys planning a wedding.  Honestly, how important were flowers to you?

A:  Adrian and I wanted flowers but we wanted a masculine fee so we took a conservative approach to floral design.

Choosing a Vendor

Q:  You’ve said in previous meetings that most of your vendors were included in your Aldea package. Did your florist provide the options you needed?  Were you able to adjust your package based on your desire for a more masculine approach?

A:  Aldea had only 1 floral vendor to choose from when we first started looking at florists. That florist didn’t want to customize the floral package (we obviously don’t need a bridal bouquet or toss bouquet) and we felt the communication was delayed.  We struggled with how to move forward until Andy Castano joined the Aldea vendor list.  What a blessing.

Q:  How was Andy different than the vendor you had previously considered?

A:  His style is primarily boho-chic but he was very open to our ideas.  Andy also had no concerns about tweaking the venue’s pre-set package to better fit our needs.  He added boutonnieres and the other touches that we needed without flinching.  Even better, he stayed within our budget by suggesting alternative options!

Choosing Your Flowers

Q:  Alan, we love that you and Adrian like to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding.  Did this remain true for floral?  Will you share with us what florals you chose?

A:  Seeing that we are far from traditional we wanted to stay away from using a lot of roses.  We just didn’t want that stereotypical wedding.  Andy’s suggestions were amazing; he suggested that we use two different flowers – one to represent me and one to represent Adrian.  The men in my bridal party (including myself) will be wearing cymbidium orchids and Adrian’s side will be wearing peach freesias.  We asked Andy why he suggested those choices and his response was that the flowers were like our personalities – cymbidiums are loud and dramatic while freesias are more refined and sophisticated!

The Groomsmaid Bouquets

Q:  What about the girls?  What will they be carrying?

A:  My groomsmaids will carry bouquets featuring cymbidium orchids, stock, Asiatic lilies, blush gerbera daisies and alstromeria.  Adrian’s girls will have peach freesias, stock, Asiatic lilies, blush gerbera daisies, and alstroemeria. As a special treat, Andy wanted to get a photo of all our girls’ dresses because he wants to tailor each bouquet according to the style of each of their dresses Personal touches like this really made us feel that Andy wanted to make our wedding special.

wedding floral peach freesia

The Reception

Q:  Knowing that you wanted a more masculine approach to your wedding, did you choose floral for your centerpieces?

A:  We’ve chosen a minimalistic look for the cocktail hour and reception.  We added a few small peach flower arrangements to the lobby to help maintain the color scheme.  Our centerpieces are black candelabras with rose petals sprinkled around the base.  And, we’ve decided to repurpose the groomsmaid bouquets to dress up the head table.

Flexibility is Key

Q:  You have gotten engaged, found a venue, selected save-the-dates, invitations and attire for both of you and your parties, and chosen a photographer, videographer, caterer, baker, hair and makeup artist, florist and planned a honeymoon.  What was the most challenging step in the planning process?

A:  By far, picking flowers!  Adrian and I aren’t familiar with flower types and I’m colorblind so I had to learn what the shades of peach looked like.  Andy was able to simply things for us to easily understand. I’m glad we remained open minded because the end result is far different than we initially imagined but will be incredible!

Alan & Adrian: Eat, Drink and Party!

Ready, Set, Eat, Drink, Party!  This week Alan J. Tomasetti and Adrian Juarez sit down with us to dish about their reception so put your dancing shoes on because we are talking catering, cake and tunes.

Eat, Drink Party: Planning the Reception

Q:  Let’s talk food.  You are Italian and Adrian is Mexican.  Was it easy to select a menu for your reception?

A: Food is the centerfold of any Italian or Mexican household and we knew that we wanted high quality food, and lots of it.  Aldea has several catering options in their packages and the caterers come to the venue as part of Aldea’s open house at the end of each month.  This allowed us the opportunity to taste a variety of options.

We chose a buffet over sit-down because we wanted to provide more options to guests.  We narrowed our choices between Babbo Italian Eatery, and Mi Catering.  Mi Catering had a lovely variety of different cruise options and the flavor was amazing. We didn’t like the fact that they have a staff member serving food from behind the buffet.  We felt that would slow down the line.

Choosing the Menu

Q: What made Babbo a slam dunk option?

A:  Guests are given the choice of one appetizer, two salads, two pastas, two main courses and focaccia bread.  We were pleasantly surprised by the options and quickly scheduled a private tasting.

My mom flew in for a visit so Adrian and I each brought our moms to the tasting.  We sampled six appetizers, five salads, seven pastas, and eight main courses and, as you can imagine, took food home!  In the end, we chose mini meatballs in marinara and the pesto bruschetta for appetizers which are served during the cocktail hour, the roasted brussel sprout beet salad, Napa Valley salad, pasta primavera, three cheese mac and cheese, Tuscan chicken and asparagus fra diavolo.


The Bar

Q: That is a lot of food!  How about the bar?

A: We opted for the beer and wine open bar option, mostly because it was more cost effective.  Aldea offers several options and we chose chardonnay, pinot grigio, merlot and two domestic beers (Bud and Coors Light). We also added two specialty cocktails– the Mai Tai and peach margarita – both drinks we have enjoyed during our travels.  Adding a specialty ‘welcome’ drink, to kick off the cocktail hour, allows us to thank our guests for coming in a unique way.


Something Sweet

Q: We love wedding cake!  So, let’s talk dessert… Tell us about your cake.

A: Let’s face it…we are two guys getting married and we want our cake to be more masculine than traditional but we also wanted something impressive.  As a result, we opted for the four-tier option.  We designed two tiers in a navy quilt pattern accented with silver beads and the alternating two are solid with a dark grey ribbon at the base.  Peach orchids will accent in four strategic spots.

Q: What does your cake topper look like?

A: We decided to have our cake topper in script, but we wanted to have our first names instead of our last names. We custom ordered our cake topper from Chicago Factory on Etsy. Since the top of our cake is 6”, we wanted topper to be flush with the size and chose the silver paint on birch. We also got the option to have the removable pegs so we can display it on our mantle in the stand the company provided us.


Kicking it into High Gear:  Choosing your Entertainment

Q:  Let’s get our groove on!  Did you decide on a DJ or live music for your reception?

A: Adrian and I came to the conclusion that we needed someone that could bring people on the dance floor, keep everyone engaged, and make the evening a huge hit. Aldea has 2 DJ options, Push Play Entertainment, and Tony the Entertainer.

Push Play Entertainment has a lot of bells and whistles to make a reception look like a borderline nightclub but we didn’t feel like the DJ had the personality we were looking for.  After speaking with Tony for a few minutes, his outgoing personality really got us excited. He’s very flexibly with modifying the reception schedule since we’re not doing a garter/bouquet toss and tweaking various other games to suit us more. He’s been extremely responsive and amazing to work with.

Alan & Adrian: Save the Date!

In this issue of Alan & Adrian Get Married, we find out about their creative design for the Save the Date and Wedding Invitation.  Are you struggling with the overwhelming amount of choices?  Here is how Alan and Adrian navigated the numerous options and found the perfect design!

Save the Date

Q:  You mentioned earlier that you selected a wedding date over a holiday weekend so that your out of town guests would have more time to travel.  Did you send Save-the-Dates to give them advance opportunities to make their travel arrangements?

A:  We did.  We felt that our out of town guests would appreciate receiving a Save-the-Date well in advance of the invitation.

Q:  Did you go with a local designer/printer or did you use an online resource?

A:  We found so many websites and ultimately picked a travel theme card from Minted to match the theme of our wedding.  Minted was having a promotion during the time we purchased so we were able to come in a bit under budget as well.


Q:  Did you add any special touches to your Save-the-Date?

A:  We were sure to include our wedding website on The Knot so that the relevant information needed for travel arrangements was contained in one place.  We also ordered a custom wax seal from Nostalgic Impressions.  Adding that special touch to our envelopes made our announcement much more special.


Inviting Your Guests

Q:  Tell us about your invitation.

A:  We found the perfect invitation on Emdotzee.  Sticking with our travel theme, we designed an airline ticket syle invite.  The design included a folder that held directions to the venue, an abbreviated schedule, and information on guest attire, directions from the airport and RSVP info. The folder also included the ticket (invite) which included our details – date, time, location, and weeding website.  We placed these in silver envelopes and sealed them with our wax seal.


Regardless of whether you purchase your invitations from an online stationery store or have a custom design created from a local designer, make sure that your invites reflect the feel of your wedding and the love you have for each other.

Alan & Adrian: Wedding Attire | Balancing Tastes

In this issue of Alan & Adrian Get Married, we are getting the low down on wedding attire and hair and makeup services for the wedding day. How did two grooms navigate the overwhelming world of fashion?  Read on! 


Photo Credit: Mi Amore Photography

Shopping for Wedding Attire

Q: What was the first thing that came to your mind when you started thinking about attire? 

A:  Thank God we don’t have to go through the dress buying process that traditional brides do!  We simply needed to find a suit that complimented our wedding colors and that was not difficult at all!

Q:  Where did you buy/ rent your suits?

A:  We decided to rent all our men’s suits from Celebrity Tuxes & Tails. We saw them at one of Aldea’s open houses and they offered a variety of options and affordable pricing.  The rental packages even include shoes, which is an additional cost at many of their competitors.

Q:  Can you tell us any details about the suits you selected or is that a secret until the wedding?

A:  I decided on a navy suit and Adrian decided on dark grey; both suits will be accented with peach ties. Our groomsmen will be wearing a lighter grey suit accented with a black tie with the exception of my best man, Andrew, who will also be wearing a dark grey vest.  For a fun twist, we added Star Wars socks – my groomsmen will be the rebel alliance and Adrian’s will be the empire!


Shopping for Attendant Dresses and Jewelry

Q:  What did you find to be some of the biggest challenges when selecting groomsmaid dresses?

A:  Understanding the terminology alone for dress styles, necklines and fabric was daunting in itself!  Thankfully the girls were able to help make the decision easy.  We wanted to let them select certain design elements of their dress (like the neckline) while setting certain parameters for continuity. Ultimately, we decided that they will wear a navy, A-line style, knee length dress with silver/grey heels and each girl can select her own dress as long as it fits that criteria.


Q:  Are the girls wearing the same jewelry or can they express their personal style with accessories?

A:  My girls will wear the navy earrings that were part of their “will you be my groomsmaid” gift (see earlier post) and Aidan’s girls will wear Star Wars themed earrings!

Q:   Do you have any junior groomsmaids or flower girls?

A:  We have two jr. groomsmaids and flower girl and we wanted them to feel beautiful in their dresses.  Rather than going with the typical tulle style dress, we chose a navy foral lace dress.

Hair and Makeup

Q:  What was the most challenging part of choosing everyone’s attire?

A:  {Alan laughing} Hands down hair and makeup! We are two guys!  Trying to plan a wedding is tricky enough – I mean, we haven’t been dreaming about it since we were five – but let’s face it, our knowledge on hair and makeup is really limited. That’s when Aldea stepped in and recommended Babydoll Weddings.  We met them at an open house and the stylists were great about answering our questions about complexions, skin tones, hair types, etc.


Q:   What were Babydoll Wedding’s main selling points that led you to book them?

A:  One main factor is that they travel to the venue (or other location) where your party is getting ready.  That takes away so much stress in figuring out how to get everyone to and from the Salon while budgeting the right amount of time.  The package pricing is also very competitive and since we are gifting this service to our attendants, price and value was a huge factor.

Q:  Do you have one uniform look for the girls or are they selecting their own color palette and style?

A:  We are going with a natural look emphasizing the eyes not the lips.  Hair will be in a modified up-do, at the base of the skull, with wispy, romantic curls.  A few of our girls have shorter hair which will be styled with big curls.

Our girls suggested a trial so we booked one for four of the girls to make sure that our vision looks good on each girl.

Booking a Trial

Q:  How was the trial?

A:  It was beyond successful!  We arrived at the Salon and were surprised with glasses of champagne for everyone.  We shared our vision with the stylists the best we could – we are guys, after all – and showed a couple of pictures and they started styling.  The entire process didn’t take as long as we expected. Each stylist was so knowledgeable and they even offered styling tips to each girl. By the end of the trial, each girl was sporting the look we envisioned!

Q:  Was there anything about the trial that stood out?

A:  The stylists took photos of their finished work and also wrote various notes that they can refer back to on our wedding day.  That was hugely comforting knowing that they will have photos and notes to remember what they did at the trial.  I can only imagine how many brides and weddings they work with!


Q:  Babydoll Weddings offers services for men – specifically a face prep and hair services. Are you and Adrian getting any pampering done the day of?

A:  We are!  We are getting the face treatment which includes a no-shine service to ensure that we are matte and smooth for photos. 

Words of Wisdom

Q:  Do you have any advice you can offer our Babydoll Bride Tribe?

A:  Include your attendants in your decision process regarding attire.  They feel vested in knowing that they will be comfortable and look amazing.  Take advantage of the hair and makeup trial.  Babydoll Weddings has been nothing but exceptional to work with and they offer an array of services.  They take care of scheduling the staff and creating your hair and makeup timeline so you don’t need to stress.  Call them and thank us later!


Alan & Adrian: Hiring a Photographer and Videographer

Babydoll Weddings is excited to introduce Alan and Adrian.  Our team is delighted to provide hair and makeup services for their entire wedding party this coming January, 2018. We fell in love with them instantly and were beyond thrilled when they agreed to let us share their love story with you.  For the past several weeks we have been sharing their wedding planning experiences as a newly engaged couple planning a same-sex wedding.  We hope you love them as much as we do!

Hiring a Photographer and Videographer

We love weddings – and by weddings, we mean everything about weddings, especially talking with our couples about THEIR big day.  With fall wedding season in full swing, we hadn’t had the chance to catch up with Alan and Adrian.  The wedding date is approaching – in one month to be exact – so we seized the perfect opportunity this past weekend and crashed their hair and makeup trials for their groom’s maids to pop bubbly and ask some pertinent questions that bride’s to be may want to know about booking a photographer and videographer .

Say Cheese

Q:  Alan, you are one month out from your wedding.  This is the first large party that you and Adrian will throw as husband and husband.  How has the planning process been so far?

A: There is one piece of advice we have been given that is true – no wedding is perfect.  There are hiccups but we are flexible in changing direction if needed.  This advice came in handy when we had to change photographers unexpectedly.

Q:  Finding one vendor that you love can sometimes prove challenging.  How did you find two?

A:  Actually, we found THREE!  When we starting to look at photographers, we originally selected Ily Grantham. Our venue, Aldea, made it very easy for us because they have a selection of photographers included in their packages. After asking Ily all the pertinent questions about her style, we loved the quality of her work and the amount of detail she puts into every picture she takes.  We discovered that we shared the same vision and we loved her high energy and enthusiasm to make sure our day went perfectly. She even effortlessly crafted our timeline that day.  But, due to forces outside anyone’s control, we terminated the contract.

Choosing Between Two Favorites

Q:  You mentioned that you found three photographers that you loved.  What factors helped you decide between the next two?

A:  With the help of Aldea (which we’re thankful for going with an all-inclusive venue with multiple vendor options to choose from), they introduced us to Mandy Reed from Mi Amore Photography.

Mandy’s photography was slightly different than Ily’s, but still exceptional quality. She likes to use her surroundings to help frame what she’s focusing on, she’s not afraid to play with movement and action shots to give the photo a sense of of life, and likes to use multiple cameras and lenses for a variety of shots. We decided to use her for our engagement shots in that took place in Payson, Arizona. Mandy was very clear in directing how we were to pose (which is great for people who had no idea how to pose in photos beyond selfies). We tried several different outfits in several different areas of the Mogollon Rim and when we received the final photos, we had lots of great options to choose from.


Photo Credit: Mi Amore Photography


Photo Credit: Mi Amore Photography

Changing Mid-Stream

After reviewing the photos, Adrian and I discovered that we wanted our photographs to be a darker style than what we saw in our engagement photos. In order to accomplish that, we researched photographers that aren’t included in our venue’s packages. After a long search, we decided to go with Jonathan Allison Photography. We love his ability to capture vivid colors, the artistic eye he conveys, and the ability to view each of his photographs as works of art. Because we decided on a vendor that’s not part of our wedding package, we were able to negotiate a reduced rate with Aldea.


Photo Credit: Jonathan Allison Photography

Hiring a Photographer and Videographer

Photo Credit: Jonathan Allison Photography

Lights, Camera, Action

Q:  Let’s talk about videography.  It still seems to be a “nice-to-have” for some couples.  Did you decide to add this element?

A:  We honestly feel that being able to watch and listen to our vows years from now is priceless.

Our search for a videographer wasn’t as easy. When we originally booked with Ily Grantham, we wanted to keep the photographer and the videographer within the same company because they know how each other works and understand each other’s styles. After we changed services to Mi Amore Photography, we decided to do the same thing with them, until recently our photographer dropped her videography services due to personal reasons (she’s still keeping her photography business). We finally decided to go back to the original plan of hiring a company that specializes in videography services and not attached to a specific photographer.

And the Emmy Goes To….

Q:  Which company did you end up selecting?  What do you feel set them apart from other companies?

A:   Legacy Videography ( has been noting but exceptional. Legacy is very responsive and will help you pick the right package for your needs.   They are also same-sex wedding friendly, very customizable, and work with our venue often so they are familiar with the layout. His cameras are 1080P HD cameras and have microphones they use have the ability to filter out unwanted sounds (kids crying, unwanted background noise, etc.). Bonus!

As part of the final product, they will give us a 1 to 2-hour long video that covers pre-ceremony, all of the ceremony, and the reception (dance clips, and complete coverage of all the major milestones of the night).  This is by far a great company that is well worth the money.

Once in a Lifetime

Q:  What advice can you give other couples about finding the right photographer and videographer?

A:  You can’t retake your wedding photos so you need to be sure to select the right photographer.  Choose someone that you know cares enough about your day to capture those special.  We feel that this is the MOST important piece of your wedding day because other than your rings, they’ll be the only thing you have to remember and look back on the day.

For videography, find one that will fit in your budget. They will not only capture the entire ceremony including your vows, but all those special moments that might be too quick for a photographer to capture, like a gesture, or a kiss. Being able to watch your day over and over again in the future will help you remember all those special moments that that made your wedding day special.

Alan & Adrian | Hiring a Wedding Planner

Babydoll Weddings is excited to introduce Alan and Adrian.  We are delighted to provide hair and makeup services for their entire wedding party this coming January, 2018. We fell in love with them instantly and were beyond thrilled when they agreed to let us share their love story with you.  Alan will be taking over our blog for a special series “Alan & Adrian Get Married” sharing their wedding planning experiences as a newly engaged couple planning a same-sex wedding.  We hope you love them as much as we do!

Hiring a Wedding Planner?

Alan J. Tomasetti

Weddings can be an overwhelming experience with a lot of details being thrown at you from left and right. So what do you do? Some couples decide to hire a wedding planner to help wrangle all the numerous details and vendors for the day of, while others decide to plan their wedding themselves.


Wedding Planner Pros

If you decide to go with a wedding venue that isn’t all-inclusive then I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner. The wedding planner becomes the main point of contact for all your vendors.  She/he will manage every detail for you which frees you up to simply enjoy being engaged.  We learned early on that planning a wedding and coordinating with the many vendors is time consuming. For these reasons and more, hiring a wedding coordinator is worth the money.

All-Inclusive Venues

Because Adrian and I chose an all-inclusive wedding venue, we decided to forego a wedding planner. We chose a travel themed wedding and we’re so thankful that our venue has a lot of decorations already on hand (and very tasteful too) so we don’t need to worry about setting up or taking down any of the decorations, which gives us one less detail to worry about. We do still need to work with the vendors in terms of selecting the meal options, cake details, and other customized requests, but the venue will handle the same details a wedding planner would (arrival times, liaising with vendors, etc).

One of the things we love about Aldea is that they will schedule various meetings to keep us on track including a decor meeting to review decor options for the ceremony, cocktail hour, the reception, and a final meeting before the wedding to go over what you need to bring the day before so they can set it up ahead of time. What’s also nice about Aldea is that you can go into your decoration meetings knowing exactly what decorations you want where, or you can completely leave it up to their discretion. They let the couple be in control which certainly alleviates a lot of stress.

Planning Websites

There are many websites out there that are helping plan the other details of our wedding, but the two main ones that I’ve focused on are and While we all know Pinterest can store visual details, but I took it one step further. I use Pinterest to pin all my ideas that I need to narrow down, and then I unpin the ideas that I don’t want there anymore and keep that one idea that I’m going to go with. For example, if I’m trying to decide on dresses for my girls, I’ll pick all the different styles I like and then I’ll start to remove all the dresses I’m not a fan of until I finally find a style that I like and then I leave it there in it’s own Pinterest board so it’s sectioned off and kept away from my other ideas.

The Knot has been the other great asset when planning. Not only does it create your wedding website, but it keeps track of the budget, the guest list and the RSVPs, and also has it’s own set of design ideas. Need a countdown calendar and checklist to help you keep track of your to-do list?   It’s here! I can honestly say we’d be all over the place and very confused if it wasn’t for this website.

The Decision is Yours

No matter if you decide to leave everything in the hands of a wedding planner, or decide to take the bull by the horns and plan it all yourself, do what you think will cause you the least amount of stress because it’s your special day and the only thing you need to worry about is proclaiming your love to your spouse to be.