We have a special guest all the way Miami today on Polka Dot Bride. Barton G Weiss owns an event company based out of Florida that creates spectacular occasions for all kinds of clients. From fashion shows, to weddings and everything in between! Today Barton joins us to share just some of his insights into the events industry.
Could you tell us a little about your background? How did you become interested in event management and wedding organization?
My career has been a varied one: I’ve been a professional skater, a set designer, a costume designer, a number of creative jobs. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve always been interested in being an innovator on a creative playing field. I “retired” to Miami 20 years ago and someone asked me to do an event. I did it as a lark, and it ballooned from there and turned into the business Barton G. is today, with divisions in events management and production, weddings, off-site catering, destination management, restaurants and a hotel.
You have organized events for Mercedes Benz, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Cartier to name a few. With generally a much smaller budget, is it as fun and satisfying organizing a wedding? What do you enjoy about weddings?
The beauty in weddings is the once-in-a-lifetime aspect of the occasion. You are creating a vision for a couple that they get one shot at. So you want it to be the most beautiful day of their lives. As the wedding planner, I help couples to realize their dream for that day. It’s an awesome responsibility — and incredibly fulfilling.
What inspires you? How do you continue to be fresh and creative?
I find inspiration everywhere — in street art, in design, in the gorgeous surroundings here in Miami and in my travels, in magazines, online, everywhere. Continuing to be fresh and creative is not a choice for me. If I’ve done something once, I want to do the next thing. What I did yesterday is not what I’ll do today. And what I do today isn’t something I’ll do again tomorrow.
What do you see as the latest trends in weddings?
Couples are opting for much smaller gatherings — 100 guests rather than 1,000. Personalization is huge — taking some shared interest and incorporating that into the wedding day. Additionally, the farm-to-table movement is prevalent in menus we are designing as well as specialty wedding day cocktails.
As far as décor is concerned, what (objects/lighting/styling) can couples use to make the most visual impact for the dollars they spend?
I encourage clients to spend on food & beverage, florals and entertainment. All make a major impact on the energy of the day and contribute to the multi-sensory experience.
What colours are popular right now, and how should they be used?
We’re working more and more with non-traditional colors such as celadon and tangelo to introduce pops of color into décor.
We often see colour used (here in Australia at least) in just the bridesmaid’s dresses and flowers. How can that colour be carried in to the reception to create a more cohesive look?
Color also can be utilized in food, cocktails and tabletop. Again, the color should accent rather than overwhelm.
With flowers, for the ceremony, reception and bouquets, what do you suggest, in terms of types of arrangements and the sorts of flowers to use?
Barton G. is doing many more non-conventional pieces. For the groom, no boutonnieres, a piece of jewelry or an accessory instead. For the bride, we’ve taken small elegant bags and re-purposed them as florals.
What is your ‘food philosophy’ for weddings?
The farm to table movement continues to dominate catering menus for winter and spring. Whether it’s a destination event or local, brides and grooms continue to look for artisanal menu items from hors d’oeuvres to mains and desserts.
Specialty cocktails also are figuring into the farm to table trend: Couples are using herb and fruit infused alcohols to come up with their own signature drink for the reception to complement the traditional champagne.
What is your #1 tip for brides and grooms?
Don’t over think it. The last person you talked to is not always right. It’s your wedding day and it’s about you. Let the day reflect your own uniqueness as a couple.
Thank you for joining us today Barton! Check out more of the work of Barton G Weiss on his website.
Photos courtesy of Barton G.