Designer’s Blog

Focus on Food

There are endless details to consider when planning a wedding: what type of flowers will decorate the tables? What colors will the girls wear? Tuxedo or suit? Dj or Band? Updo or low pony?

After announcing your engagement, people will ask you, where will the wedding be? What’s the theme? Is the ceremony outdoors? These are all good questions, but one that has become more important to couples getting married is, What’s for dinner?

Your guests are bound to appreciate all of the beautiful fashion, decor and music choices you make and they’ll treasure the pictures from the special day. And they’re guaranteed to remember the food.

The dinner table brings families and friends together to celebrate. It is a place to gather, to connect and to share. At your wedding, the table is the place where old friends will reconnect and new family ties will tighten. Choosing special dishes for guests to enjoy is a gift that they will savor even after the meal is over.

Caterers are realizing that couples are excited to share interesting appetizers, entrées and desserts at their weddings so the market for new choices is expanding. Shopping for the menu can be a fun part of wedding planning since tastings are absolutely necessary to make the right selections!


Angela and Paul entertained their guests at Ember Woodfire Grill where Paul is chef and co-owner. The local and organic selections were a main attraction at their celebration. Photo: Matt Wittmeyer

Last season, food was a main focus for many of our couples. Angela and Paul celebrated their marriage at Ember Woodfire Grill where Paul is chef and co-owner. The menu was packed with carefully prepared local vegetables and organic meats. Wine directors Jessica and Thomas married at Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca Lake where guests- including many sommeliers and restauranteurs- enjoyed a whole suckling pig and an abundant selection of fine wines.

This wedding season, too, is sure to have a focus on food with another wedding at Dano’s (we can’t wait for dinner!) and one at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. We’re looking forward to helping the plans for all of this year’s weddings come to life and to taste the dinner selections our couples have chosen!

Something new…Something Green

St. Patrick’s day and the promise of springtime has us thinking fresh green thoughts. Wedding season is just around the corner so our brides are collecting their something old,  something new, something borrowed and something blue. We love traditions and we also love trying something new so we’ve put together a few green favorites for brides or wedding guests to try out including some from a few of our favorite local shopping spots.

something green

1. Religue Andromeda Bra: Devil May Care 2. Green Organic Earrings: Stacy K 3. Parted Emerald Dress: Anthropologie 4. Seychelles Curiosity Heel in Emerald: Modcloth 5. Spring Love Necklace: Peppermint



Style Shoot: Bella and Co. for Afloral

Thanks to Afloral, we’ve had the opportunity to play with some beautiful silk flowers and wedding decor and to partner with two great local wedding photographers to shoot some gorgeous products.

Styled by Bella and Co. · Photo by Tammy Swales · Products from


As wedding planners, we spend a lot of time dreaming about fresh flowers so we didn’t know what to expect when we took on a project featuring silk and preserved flowers. We were definitely impressed. The flowers were beautiful and it felt like Christmas to open up boxes of vases, mason jars, bird cages, votives and other pretty decor. We styled and shot the first three scenes in two days at High Falls with Hannah Betts behind the camera. See the Shabby Chic, Vintage Glam and Parisian Garden collections in our gallery and as you search through products on

The latest shoot was all about glamour. And gold! It was easy to get in the mood to style gold mercury glass as the holidays approach. The first scene was an elegant table for two. We created an extravagant white floral centerpiece with afloral’s lifelike orchids. They really fool you- even up close. And we still get to admire it every day!



For the second tablescape we created a floral runner which was so easy with faux flowers. We added some lovely china place settings, gold mercury glass vases filled with candles and experimented with some adorable bottle brush trees at each place.

A Floral Feast

For the final shots, we put together a couple of arrangements to show off some of  Afloral’s bright gold containers and votives.


Tammy Swales did a beautiful job capturing these glamourous scenes. Follow us and Afloral @afloral on instagram to see photos from the shoot and check out the galleries on our website.


Bright and Sweet: Victoria & Giancarlo’s Bella Wedding

Bright and Sweet: Victoria & Giancarlo’s Bella Wedding

It was a gorgeous day in August for Victoria to meet her groom in Highland Park’s sunken gardens. The setting was the perfect backdrop for this beautiful couple to see each other in their finery for the first time that day. The sunlit green grass and gray stone walls offset the bright crimson bridesmaid’s dresses perfectly and made for a dreamy meeting of the bridal party.

Victoria & Giancarlo

Victoria & Giancarlo

Stacy K wowed with creative bouquets featuring deep red, pink and orange roses, red berries, dusty green eucalyptus and succulents.

Victoria & Giancarlo



Victoria donned a hand-embellished veil for the ceremony and for portraits at the reception venue. The Memorial Art Gallery is a fantastic location for a party. Guests gathered in the sky-lit atrium for cocktails then dined and danced in the elegant ballroom.

Victoria & Giancarlo

Victoria chose lovely details like the Anthropologie terrariums which she put together with orchids, moss and little creature figurines. She stunned in her BHLDN gown with the gorgeous lace back and then thrilled again when she entered the reception in a gorgeous red embroidered Chinese gown.

Victoria & Giancarlo

Working at Victoria and Giancarlo’s wedding felt more like being a comfortable, welcome guest.  Giancarlo made sure we were enjoying our dinner (yes! Max Rochester always makes an excellent meal) and the lovely Alixann Loosle who came all the way from Utah to take these gorgeous photographs was delightful company throughout the evening.

We wish this kind and joyful couple a lifetime of happiness.

Venue Spotlight: The Ballroom 384 at City Grill

It’s not always easy to find the perfect wedding ceremony location so when a new venue opens in Rochester, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity check it out. Jacqui and Sean gave us the opportunity to hold a ceremony in City Grill’s Ballroom.


Jacqui & Sean


The ballroom can accommodate a large party but can also be arranged for a more intimate event. Located right across the street from the reception location, The Rochester Museum and Science Center, City Grill was the perfect choice for this couple’s ceremony.


Jacqui & Sean


We love to design a space to the nines, but it’s also wonderful to start with a space that looks beautiful as-is. The room is clean and modern with a neutral gray and white palette and customizable color lighting. We added some trees and drape and voilà the space was wedding-ready. We’re excited to see the possibilities for using this new space for rehearsal dinners, showers and corporate events.



Jacqui & Sean

City Grill

Photography by Sue Egan

Wine Country Wedding

Wine Country Wedding

Jessica and Thomas’s romance with each other and with wine started in Ithaca, so it was appropriate that the two current residents of New York City returned to the Finger Lakes wine region for their wedding.

Jessica and Thomas

The two wine directors had a vision for an elegant yet casual event. Both the rehearsal dinner in Ithaca and the wedding on Seneca Lake featured plenty of excellent wine and delicious food. The bride’s mother and a friend of the family provided locally grown floral arrangements in a fresh palette of green and white.

Jessica and Thomas

It was a gorgeous day by the lake. After tasting wine, craft cocktails and beautiful appetizers prepared by Dano’s, guests gathered around the couple for an intimate, informal ceremony overlooking the lake. Dinner (a stuffed suckling pig!), dessert (cupcakes) and dancing (to the amazing Chris Norton Band) followed. It was a pleasure to celebrate this beautiful occasion with Jessica, Thomas and all their wonderful guests. Read more about the wedding in the New York Times Styles Section. See the full gallery on our website.  Photography by Andrew Frasz.

Jessica and Thomas

The wedding featured one of our favorite photobooths ever so the Bella team had to pose!

Bella and Co. is on Instagram!

Every wedding day is such a whirlwind that we sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses. And to take pictures of them. After all the lovely details are in place, we want to savor all the beautiful touches, special moments, perfectly placed table settings and behind-the-scenes excitement and to share all of the wedding eye-candy with you! It may have taken a little convincing, but Jenna is on board and the Bella team is excited to be sharing and exploring on this visual creative platform. Since we’re late to the Instagram party, we’ll be visiting the archives of gorgeous weddings-past and taking full advantage of Throwback Thursday. Connect with us on Instagram and show us what we’ve been missing!



Love is Sweet

On a wedding day we expect to see vows exchanged, a newlywed kiss, toasts and a beautiful dessert: The Wedding Cake. Couples, bakers (and wedding planners!) are finding ways to put a creative spin on this wedding tradition.

Some partners are skipping the cake altogether and choosing an alternative dessert. The cupcake made a big entrance onto the wedding scene in recent years and has been a popular choice ever since. This year, we expect to see breakfast take a stand at wedding receptions. We all know donuts are really just an excuse to eat dessert in the morning and now they’re getting dressed up and receiving the credit they deserve as a delicious after-dinner treat.

Another way for newlyweds to make their wedding dessert special is to create an assorted dessert table. Arranging a creative dessert table is an exciting part of preparing for an event. The dessert table can be a setting to get creative with a backdrop, interesting furniture, props, cake stands and embellishments. And why choose just one type of dessert when you can sample a variety of confections? Cupcakes, macaroons, cookies, candy, pie, cakes and yes, donuts displayed at different levels on pretty stands and in interesting containers will make your dessert presentation look almost as sweet as it tastes!

See below and follow us on pinterest for more inspiration!

Bella & Co. Real Wedding: See more of the beautiful cake display  (bottom right above) from Meredith and Ilya’s wedding and the rest of their lovely details here.

Bella and Co.’s Embellishment of the Year

Bella and Co.’s Embellishment of the Year

Pantone creates buzz every new year with their Color of the Year announcement. We’re excited to see this year’s color, Radiant Orchid, adorn tablescapes, embellish invitations and walk down wedding aisles, but the trend we think will be most radiant at this year’s weddings is sequins! We love a party that’s sparkly and sophisticated and there are endless options for adding shimmer with sequins. A sequined tablecloth makes for a dramatic head table; bridesmaids dazzle in sequined dresses; sequined table runners add just a little bit of sparkle to guest tables; and a sequined backdrop gives guests a fun place to pose for pictures. The little sparkly discs are even being reinterpreted in fabric patterns, paper garlands and wedding cake designs.

Sequins have often been reserved for evening affairs but now we’re letting them shine in the daylight. This spring and summer, they’ll add glamour to garden parties and outdoor ceremonies. Thanks to Pantone’s Color of the Year we’ll be dreaming in shades of purple and now we’d like to declare sequins as the Embellishment of the Year! 2014 is going to sparkle and we can’t wait for all the glitz and glitter to come.