The Black Tux

Often times a bride's dress can be one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process, as it should be! You want to look your best and definitely stand out! So it doesn't seem fair to not give the groom a little attention too. The combination of the wedding dress and groom's attire should both add to the whole feel of the wedding. That's why we love The Black Tux. They offer high quality stylish suits and tuxedos to rent that have a custom look at an affordable price. You can choose complete outfits or you can customize your look with everything from the suit to the shirt, shoes and accessories. They have a few locations but if there isn't one near you you can easily rent what you're looking for on their website. 

For 2017's most popular color trends we have put together 3 different wedding looks and have linked The Black Tux suits that we like best with each trend. Read about each look below.

Metallics are huge this year! Sequin table clothes and bridesmaid dresses have become so popular. We love the idea of bringing some modern glitz into an urban/industrial venue and adding a modern twist by mixing the metallic tones of silver, gold and bronze. Let the sparkle take center stage and keep the colors neutral. If your looking for darker shades of metallic we prefer a charcoal suit, The Hemmingway, The Wrigley, The Huxley Charcoal Suit. However we like a tan suit if your look is overall lighter, Tan Suit The Redding Outfit.


Everyone knows greenery is the pantone color of the year. So why not take advantage of an outdoor space to get all the greenery you can? Instead of focusing on flowers, look into all the foliage options your florist has and have your arrangements be made up of primarily greenery with soft hints of blush petals - so natural and romantic at the same time! A light tan suit is our favorite for an outdoor wedding and really works with a natural look, The Redding Outfit & Tan Suit. For something more unique that also fits with the color scheme is this rose colored tux, Rose Shawl Collar Tuxedo.


A classic wedding never goes out of style! However we think navy is a fresh update to traditional black. Instead of putting bridesmaids and groomsmen in black choose a darker shade of blue. To lighten up the look add softer shades of blush and pink. Any shade of blue or navy tux would look great, The Tyson Outfit, The Belmont Outfit, The Steinbeck Outfit, Midnight Blue TuxedoNavy Suit & Midnight Pin Dot Tuxedo.

Amelia and Cory's December 31st Wedding

One would think to have a New Years Wedding would be a lot of pressure, but Amelia and Cory seamed to pull it off effortlessly. From the glitzy bridesmaid dresses to the fun New Year's props and stunning outfit change this wedding was one for the books! The American Restaurant offered some of the best views of downtown Kansas City in all it's holiday best. The flowers had a simple color palette that was full and lush helping to create a cozy and festive ambiance with an abundance of candlelight that just like that guests, danced into the new year!

Ceremony
Notre Dame di Sion

Reception
The American

Photographer
Wirken Photography

Photo Location
Westin Crown Center

Wedding Coordination
Quintessential Events

Get to Know Us: Addi Leitch

How long have you worked at Craig Sole Designs?     1 year! I am the newest employee here at Craig Sole Designs.

What is your job here?     Designer/ assistant/ secretary/ cleaning service/ etc. At Craig Sole Designs we are a team and everyone does a little bit of everything.

Do you have a favorite flower?     My favorite flower is a ranunculus. It's meaning is radiant charm- how stinkin' cute is that?! But who am I kidding? I'm obsessed with all flowers! 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?     I am currently in college pursuing a degree in communication studies. When I'm not in the shop or in class I love to spend time with my friends exploring Kansas City and watching a ridiculous amount of Netflix.  

What is your favorite season?     Winter! We get to do a little bit of everything. Although it's crazy, that also means it's Christmas and snow! Who doesn't love Christmas?!

What is that best thing about working in this industry?     Consistently being surrounded by gorgeous flowers and the best people! I am always thrown into a creative environment that always puts a smile on my face. 

R5 Certified

We love designing with flowers everyday! However, with that love comes a responsibility to our environment. 

Going green has become a main focus for many businesses as it is a concern for many consumers. While we have been environmentally conscious for years,  this year we achieved the Johnson County, KS Government's “R5 Certification”. The R5 Certified Program works to educate and provide assistance on many different environmental issues to businesses, schools, and places of worship in Johnson County. The program's main goal is to increase recycling, improve energy efficiency and decrease waste.

Below are the five R’s and how each one applies to us:

  1. REinvest in your company, community, economy and future.     Any extra flowers or left over arrangements we have in the shop never go to waste! Our neighbors and local business love receiving a surprise floral delivery. Supporting our local growers is very important to us and we look forward to seeing what they have to offer every week!
  2. REthink your business process, how you manage resources and your purchasing power.     While we still have to order flowers and supplies from other vendors we also take advantage of the gardens here at our shop and home. Anytime we can use foliage or blooms that we have growing right here in our gardens we do.
  3. REduce consumption, waste and your environmental impact.     All of our floral waste becomes mulch rather than trash in the landfill. Before throwing anything in our trash cans we make sure it can't be composted or recycled first. We also use a lot of water around here, flowers and plants rely on it! But instead of pouring leftover water from our buckets down the drain, we haul them outside to the garden. 
  4. REuse products and consciously buy reusables.     All of our containers, jugs, and buckets are reused. Either for deliveries and transportation to designing arrangements to floral storage in our cooler. We also keep any plastic bags or tissue paper for filler.
  5. REcycle as a last resort and buy recycled products to support a closed-loop system.     Instead of using the plastic card holders in our arrangements we use dried rose stems. We also have an abundance of scrap ribbon at awkward lengths that is perfect for tying at the top of these stems. Instead of ordering brand new things we love being able to buy vintage pieces that we can put a whole new life into at our shop. Some of our favorite things are vintage mason jars that can become vases and silver trays that we use to deliver and display boutonnieres.

 

You can learn more about the R5 program here.

Get to Know Us: Dani Tabor

How long have you worked for Craig Sole Designs?     5 years.

What is your job here?     I do all the social media posts as well as being the substitute bookkeeper.

What do you do outside of Craig Sole Designs?     I love going on short road trips with my husband and our 3 boys. When at home I stay busy with the schedule of a 10 year old and two 5 year olds, a lot of sports and at home refereeing. I also really enjoy working on our yard and am always updating and designing our little 1950's ranch.

What is your favorite event season?     High school dance season! October and May are two of our busiest months for weddings and it just so happens homecoming and prom fill up these weekends too. So while the designers are usually super busy with wedding flowers I get to help out with making our floral bracelets for high school.

What is your favorite part about working in this industry?     The best part about working in this industry is being surrounded by beautiful flowers! I could be having the worst morning but when I get to the shop, I literally have a fresh start to my day. 

What is your favorite memory of Craig?     When I was little, around 9 or 10, Craig would pick me up in the big van and take me out to "help" set up weddings. While I mostly was schlepping things, I also got to see many brides, stunning wedding flowers, and locations around town I had never been before. Craig taught me a lot about hard work back then and still does today!

 

 

Get to Know Us: Anne-Marie Gehring

How long have you worked for Craig Sole Designs?     A little over 2 years.

What is your job here?     I do a little of everything from cleaning and organizing, floral arranging and event setup to helping people with their phone issues ;)

What is your favorite flower?     My favorites are blue hydrangea, tuberose, and green trick. 

When not at work, what do enjoy doing?     Anything nerdy you can imagine. Reading comic books and manga, novels, keeping up on pop culture, and CosPlay. If anyone starts speaking Harry Potter or anime, I'm there!

What is your favorite season?     October/fall because of the beautiful weather and colors. It's a popular time for many other people so there is constantly something to do!

How did you get into the floral business?     I got into the floral business because my mother is a wedding planner, so I have been around it my whole life. I always wanted to be an artist since childhood so working in a fun and creative environment designing arrangements worked perfectly.

What is your favorite memory of Craig?     When I was 10 I was dragged to an appointment with my mother to Craig's shop. My first memory of him was when he gave me a fake butterfly (one of my favorite things at the time) and telling me to call him Craig, not Mr. Sole. As a 10 year old that was so shocking, I didn't have to address an adult as a Mr. or Ms!

What makes working in this industry worth it?     I love making beautiful arrangements that make people happy! When someone comes in to pick up an arrangement I designed myself, and they exclaim how much they like and appreciate it, it's gratifying and humbling and definitley makes it worthwhile.

Get to Know Us: Seth Strick

How long have you worked at Craig Sole Designs:     Almost 15 years.

What is your job here:     Delivery guy, Landscaper, and assistant.

Do you have a favorite flower:     Free Spirit Roses.

When your not at work how do you keep busy:     I like to draw, sculpt with clay, read, go on hikes, swim, watch movies, and travel with my girlfriend. We have 2 cats and a dog who keep me pretty busy too.

What is your favorite event season:     Christmas. I like decorating all the homes and businesses for the holidays.

What makes working in this industry worth it:     People are always happy when they see flowers. Customers at other places aren't always happy campers.   

Wedding Wire's Vendor Booking Timeline

Many times during the wedding planning process you come across different timelines and checklists that are supposed to help make the wedding planning  process easy. That's why we like Wedding Wire's Vendor Booking Timeline. It is basic, to the point and doesn't cause you to overthink everything. Below is their timeline and our breakdown with extra tips and pointers.

The first thing WeddingWire recommends for you to book is your wedding planner, ceremony venue and reception venue. At 12 months out, we agree. We would also advise couples to book their band/DJ at this time too. Especially if the music and entertainment is important to you. One more thing to consider is the time of year you are getting married. The months of May, June, September and October are very popular in the Kansas City area. As a florist, we already have some weekends filled for next year.

Booking your photographer, videographer, florist, and caterer at 10 months sounds about right. One thing we want couples to bring with them to our floral consultations are pictures. The more the better! We want to have a clear vision of what you want your day to be so we can make sure we're all on the same page from the get go. However, if you don't have a clear vision we are here to help you figure that out!

If you haven't booked your band or DJ definitely don't wait any longer than 9 months.

At 8 months they have listed ceremony music, guest accommodations, officiant, wedding dress, and stationer save the dates. Now, most brides we meet already have their wedding dress picked before this time. Remember that once you pick the dress it usually has to ship to the bridal salon. Once it arrives you will be fitted again for alterations. All of this takes time. So 8 months is probably a safe time to go dress shopping, however to play it safe you might want to have this finalized a little earlier in the planning process. 

When 7 months rolls around the main things have already (hopefully!) been booked. At this time WeddingWire has cake baker, bridesmaid dresses, and honeymoon travel consultant listed. At 6 months you will want to have your invites and start looking into makeup, hair and any rentals. At 5 months men's attire, accessories and transportation should be booked. Then at 3 months WeddingWire has listed favors and wedding rings. 

One last thing we want to mention is that it is better to play it safe and book something earlier rather than later. If there is one specific band you have to have or a certain vintage car you want to drive off in after the ceremony, don't wait! Do your research and book it.

Be sure to visit WeddingWire to research our local Kansas City vendors, or click here for vendors in other locations.

Get to Know Us: Philip Hickman

How long have you worked for Craig Sole Designs?     Over 30 years!

What is your job here?     Designer and prop creator.

What is your favorite flower?     Blue hydrangeas.

What are your outside activities and hobbies?     I do a lot of faux painting in homes around town and enjoy painting on canvas and working with foam core. I also have a Boston Terrier, Sadie Mae. She comes to work with me and loves meeting anyone who stops by. 

What is your favorite season?     Late summer and fall. 

How did you get into the floral business?     At a young age I started making hand held bouquets from supplies I bought at the craft store. Then at 13 years old I decided to apply at the local flower shop. They were impressed by my self taught skills and offered me a job in their green house. 

What is your favorite thing about Craig?     He is a very good friend and easy to work with. 

What makes working in this industry worth it?     The people you meet. 

Get to Know Us: Nancy Becker

How long have you worked for Craig Sole Designs?     I started working "on call" in 2000 and started working full time in 2010.

What is your job here?     Designer. However, we all do whatever needs to be done whether it's organizing for an event, cleaning the cooler or sweeping the floor. It's a team effort!

What is your favorite flower?     I don't think I can pick-  so many I love! Zinnias are one of my favorites.

When not at work, what do enjoy doing?     Decorating projects, working in my yard, art and antiques, and my family! My husband is an Art Director and artist. I have 3 grown boys, 2 daughter-in-laws, and a darling 20 month old grandson! Also a part of the family is Stewie, my very entertaining Cairn Terrier.

What is your favorite season?     Wedding season is my favorite! I love to help make bride's visions come to life!

How did you get into the floral business?     I have always loved flowers and gardening but starting in 2000 helping Craig sealed the deal... I was hooked! Since then I have learned from Craig and other experienced designers through the years. 

What is your favorite thing about Craig?     My favorite thing about Craig is his wicked humor and witnessing his kindness and generosity over and over again!

What makes working in this industry worth it?     It is amazing to have the opportunity to be doing something creative everyday! No day is ever the same!

Get to Know Us: Kim Grantham

How long have you worked for Craig Sole Designs?     20 years

What is your job here?     Bookkeeper

What is your favorite flower?     Tulips - because that means it's spring!

What are some of you favorite things to do  outside of work?     Traveling, kayaking, walking, knitting/sewing, reading and spending time with my 4 kids and 3 grandsons.

What is your favorite season?     I love May because it is the beginning of wedding season and it's my birthday month and Mother's Day!

How did you get into the floral business?     Craig is my brother and he needed help with the business end of his design business. (need I say more?)

What is your favorite memory of Craig?     Growing up with Craig as my older brother I witnessed his creativity in a variety of ways. One particular memory that comes to mind was his idea for putting our family pets into food color dye baths creating green and blue poodles and black and pink cats. You the idea right? Craig has always loved color!

 

 

 

Katie and Philip's May 21st Wedding

Working in the wedding industry we work with a plethora of vendors everyday. Some of these vendors end up being more than just work buddies; they become real lifelong friends. So when Katie told me who we would work with on her wedding day I knew it would be more than amazing!

The Neslon-Atkins Museum of Art was the perfect location for Katie and Philip's wedding. They had originally considered her parent's backyard but that would require putting a dance floor over the pool, a maze of attached tents, motor coaches to transport guests from distant parking locations, caterers working from the house next door and mega prayers for gorgeous Kansas spring weather. So once they toured the floor plan at the Nelson, it became quickly apparent that this was the only way to go.

When guests entered they walked through the galleries to arrive at Rozelle Court for the cocktail hour. We placed arrangements on the cocktail tables and the fountain in the center of the room that also held light up floating orbs. For a grand reveal, Grand Kirkwood Hall had been draped. So when the bells chimed the curtains were pulled back for the 300 plus guests to enter Kirkwood Hall.