Matt and Cindy Wong share their Romantic Stylish Elegant Flower filled Berkeley Church Wedding with insights from Vah flora.
What about the location and aesthetic of Berkeley church made it a fit for you?
Our major priority was to stay in the downtown area. It is a plus that Berkeley church is also so beautifully designed. We love how unique Berkeley church is. It’s so different from your typical banquet hall or golf course club where people usually have their weddings. We liked how the venue was big enough to accomodate our guests and the openness of the area, as guests are able to go upstairs to the balcony to have cocktail hour while overlooking the main ceremony area. I also appreciated how there was a bridal suite to change in and keep any valuables.
How did you communicate your vision with your planner and floral designer to arrive at such a beautifully designed day?
I shared inspo photos with my florist and she was very accurate in capturing my vision. To be honest, I don’t take much credit in how beautiful everything came to be as my florist was the one who did it all. I didn’t give much direction with how the flowers would be used in the reception time, and she did a wonderful job distributing the florals around the room. A big compliment I got from many of my guests was about the flowers. Everyone enjoyed the flower bar we had at the end of the day, many guests enjoyed making their own bouquets with the flowers and bringing them home to enjoy themselves.
What customs and traditions did you want to incorporate into your celebration and what were some of the steps to ensure it was the experience you wanted?
We had a tea ceremony with our family members during our cocktail hour. It was a convenient time as guests were occupied upstairs with refreshments. Our coordinator at Berkeley church made sure we had an open space to have the ceremony and the required hot water ready for the event. It was convenient that we had the tea ceremony in the basement as it was closely located to the bridal suite and I was able to change into my different outfits quickly.
What were your top priorities for your wedding day and what were some of the choices you made to ensure they were enacted?
Our top priority for the day was to make the day enjoyable and accessible for our guests. Berkeley church was a great venue for us as it was located in the downtown core which is where most of our guests are from. We also enjoyed how the venue included many different levels and rooms that we could use for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and tea ceremony. There was plenty of room for everyone to walk around and enjoy the day. We also wanted to make sure our family members who did not speak English were able to feel included in the day so another priority was being able to have the equipment needed for translations. We greatly appreciated being able to have an A/V system and projector to aid in that.
Your wedding day was so fill of beauty, joy and fun. What advice would you give a newly engaged couple for their planning process ?
My advice would be to prioritize what you definitely require to see or happen that day and to plan well for those things. Communicate thoroughly with your vendors and helpers. For the things that don’t matter as much, be open with them possibly being changed. The day goes by really fast, just enjoy the time you have with your guests and don’t stress if some things end up not going as planned.
Floral Designer Vah Flora
What were some of the references you shared with your couple to communicate the vision for the floral designs?
I initially connected with the couple, Cindy and Matt, via Instagram, where they communicated the vision for their floral designs in the DMs. They shared two reference photos regarding the style they hoped to have for their florals. They additionally shared photos of the venue for my reference. Since their photos had two different colour tones, where one was warm and the other was bright, I asked a series of question to ensure that I understood what they were looking for so that I could execute their vision for the bouquets and ceremony decor. My questions included preferred flowers, size of bouquets and arrangements, and colour tones.
What were some of your thoughts when you stood back and saw the complete designs in place the day of?
When I stood back and saw the completed aisle décor for the ceremony, I said to myself, “Dang, that’s nice!”. I was honestly shook and felt like I surprised myself (in a good way)! As I was completing the designs the night before, I was definitely excited with how things were coming together, but there was still some curiosity as to how it would look at the venue. But once we finished placing the aisle décor, I loved how lush it looked. The variety of flowers and greenery gave it the natural look I was hoping to accomplish, and I was very happy with everything. More importantly, the couple and guests were equally satisfied with the designs, which made my florist heart full. Once the room flip was completed for the reception, I loved how the aisle décor was repurposed around the room and as a backdrop for the head table. The bud vases on the guest tables were also a sweet little touch!
How do you ensure your couple and guests are going to be able to experience the beauty of the florals throughout the day, from getting ready to the portraits to the end of the night?
I ensure that the couple and guests are going to experience the beauty of the florals throughout the day by maintaining proper storage of the flowers once I receive them, which is usually 2-3 days before the event. This includes processing the flowers, making sure they are placed in clean water, and storing them in a cool space or a fridge. Once the designs are completed, I do a final check of each item on the day of the event and remove any florals that I think will not make it throughout the day or are wilting. I also use products such as Quick Dip by Floral Life that aid preventing droopy stems for most flowers.
Lastly, I communicate with the couple and provide instructions on how to maintain bouquets and other personal florals throughout the day. This includes placing bouquets in their water vases when they are not being used. If the couple chooses to have wedding coordinators or friends handle ceremony/reception flowers, I also provide verbal and/or written instructions to those parties.
What remains with you as a great decision your couple made for their day?
I appreciated how the couple purchased 54-cylinder glass vases of different sizes and used them as their aisle décor – it was a bold decision and a great one! I know there was some hesitation as to whether it was enough, but I am glad they went through with it. I am thankful that Cindy and Matt trusted me with their wedding florals and gave me some creative freedom to execute the vision for their special day!