Beyond Roses & Hydrangeas

•April 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Opulent Bouquet created with pink O'Hare roses, orchids, feather flowers and jewels.

Opulent Bouquet created with pink O’Hare roses, orchids, feather flowers and jewels.

 

In the world of weddings, there are some flowers which reign supreme – hydrangeas, roses, calla lilies, orchids, gerbera daisies….Most brides will have at least a passing familiarity with these flower names.  They are beautiful flowers, no doubt about it.  But in the vast world of florals there are so many other spectacular choices. I am about to introduce some of them to you now!

Hot Pink Freesia

Hot Pink Freesia

White Freesia

White Freesia

Bouquet of Freesia

Bouquet of Freesia

Freesia are a beautiful choice for wedding bouquets.  They are available year round, in a vary consistent supply.  The white variety are a pure, clean white, sometimes available as a “double” blossom – very pretty!  Freesia have a heavenly perfume, especially once they warm up.  They work exceptionally well as corsages and boutonnieres, you won’t see them wilt.  Colours available include white, purple, lavender, bright yellow, orange, red and hot pink.

Lavender and purple Stocks

Lavender and purple Stocks

Hand-tied Bouquet

Hand-tied Bouquet

Another fragrant choice are Stocks.  These stems are covered with little ruffled blossoms.  Similar in shape to the Snap Dragons, but with a soft, more gentle appearance, they work well in the romantic-feeling bouquets that are so popular today.  A range of purples are available, as are soft pink, “Apple Blossom”, white, cream, hot pink, and a deep pink almost a burgundy/red.

A mix of Anthirium

A mix of Anthirium

Stunning Anthirium "Sultan"

Stunning Anthirium “Sultan”

Stunning Bouquet by Songs from the Garden

Stunning Bouquet by Songs from the Garden

Looking for something dramatic?  Try Anthirium.  The multitude of colours available is remarkable, it ranges from deep dark chocolate through reds, greens, pinks, oranges to a mix of 2-3 colours all on one, to a pure white.  The waxy, heart-shape flower has a bold presence and requires a deft designer to do it justice.  But you certainly won’t see another bouquet that looks like yours if you choose Anthirium!

Pink Celosia - Brain Coral

Pink Celosia – Brain Coral

Variety of Celosia

Variety of Celosia

Celosia Mixed Bouquet by J Majors.

Celosia Mixed Bouquet by J Majors.

Another great choice for colour, as well as interesting texture, is the Celosia. There are a few varieties available, such as an upright, fluffy style, but my favorite is the Brain Coral style.  It offers a texture unlike anything else – soft, but unusual.  Often used in fall bouquets, the colours available are reds, oranges, yellows, and some peaches.

Pink Nerine Lilies

Pink Nerine Lilies

This is one gorgeous flower!  While named Nerine Lily, this is not an actual lily.  This flower is related to the Amarylis family.  Small bullets sheathed in an onion-like skin, burst open quickly once warmed up, and transform from a simple stem a frilly mass of petals.  The blossoms are quite hardy, so work well in bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres.  This is a “Ballerina” flower – give it some room to show off, don’t mass it into the chorus line to be constrained and overlooked.

Pink Nerine Lilies

Pink Gloriosa Lilies

Mono floral bouquet with red Gloriosa

Mono floral bouquet with red Gloriosa

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Hot Pink Gloriosa

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Burgundy & Yellow Gloriosa

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Yellow Gloriosa

Saving the best for last!  Gloriosa lilies are amazing.  They come in burgundy, burgundy edged in yellow, pink, yellow.  They resemble an inverted spider, or a bird with its wings pulled back.  This is another flowers that shows it’s beauty when given enough room to shine.  The blooms are often received in a dehydrated state, in a bag blown up and seal so they air stays moist and protects the delicate petals.  But once it has been allowed to re-hydrate, an amazing process occurs:  the petals fill up with water, they finish opening and the assume the spectacular display of colour and petals.

Hopefully, some of these pictures will give you a taste for the variety that is available.  Don’t be afraid to ask for something a little out of the ordinary, after all this day will be a little out of the ordinary 🙂 !

Wh

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Organic Love at Belcroft Estates

•March 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment
A Very Organic Bouquet

A Very Organic Bouquet

Last year, about March, I received a call from my favorite Wedding Planner, Christina Spring from A La Carte Event Management, also the in-house Event Planner for Belcroft Estates.  She had some clients she would like me to meet.  Allison and Justin turned out to be the sweetest couple ever!  And they wanted something really organic, natural, earthy and ethereal.

I knew what they were looking for, and I was excited.  I was also a bit apprehensive – I really wanted to make sure it was perfect for them.  We talked about pods and cones, grasses, textural elements, but not much in the way of flowers.

Weddings bring out the love!

Weddings bring out the love!

 

Pinning on the Boutonnieres

Pinning on the Boutonnieres

Wrist Corsages for the Ladies - Cymbidium Orchids

Wrist Corsages for the Ladies – Cymbidium Orchids

The colours of this organic wedding were, of course, white and soft green.  The flowers were minimal – fragrant garden roses and white veronica and just a hint of soft lavender sweet peas.  More prevalent were the foliages – Italian pittosporum, blackberry foliage and berries, asparagus and maiden hair fern.

A Radiant Bride and her very Proud Dad

A Radiant Bride and her very Proud Dad

More Love!

More Love!

The Bride surrounded by her Maids

The Bride surrounded by her Maids

 

In keeping with the “organic” feel, we hand-crafted lavender paper cones trimmed with burlap ribbon.  We filled these with dried lavender, mauve wood curls (small curled pieces of wood shavings which were very light and pretty), tiny pinecones, and fresh lavender rose petals.  These were left on some of the chairs while other chairs had bubbles to shower the happy couple with.

Hand-Crafted Lavender & Burlap paper cones.

Hand-Crafted Lavender & Burlap paper cones.

Bubbles float around the happy couple - I love the feeling coming from both Allison & Justin.

Bubbles float around the happy couple – I love both Allison & Justin’s expressions.

Of course, part of the beauty of Belcroft Estates is the barn where the reception is held.  The headtable was lined with a burlap runner then we placed the long birch logs, LED candles, and lots of ivy, trailing foliages and small branches of curly willow to add a touch of whimsy.  We placed a few flowers in among the greenery.  The guest tables were laid with a burlap runner, then multiple sizes of mason jars wrapped in burlap and twine, were filled with mixed greenery, curly willow, and a few flowers and placed on a “Muskoka” charger along with upright birch log sections holding table numbers.  This beautiful rustic setting was perfectly complimented with mahogany Chivari chairs.

A Beautiful, rustic headtable.

A Beautiful, rustic headtable.

Guest Tables perfectly dressed.

Guest Tables perfectly dressed.

The one apparent element that kept shining through with Justin & Allison’s wedding was Love.  The look on their faces, the images captured of the guests and family, the consideration of their own styles and history and how it was reflected in their wedding, is all very apparent.

A big shout out needs to go to Jamie Dimitry for his fabulous images.  If you check out his site, or his Facebook page, you’ll see even more examples of his great work.

I’ll leave you with a couple more images of Justin & Allison in love, and I will say “Thank You” to them both for choosing me to help them celebrate such a special and important day in their lives.

Justin's look says it all.

Justin’s look says it all.

Cozy Engagment

 

Sweet Summer Wedding

•March 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Bride and Groom Sweet Summer Wedding

Bride and Groom Sweet Summer Wedding

In the bitter chill of this never-ending winter, (even though technically it’s spring!), it’s nice to look back at a sweet summer wedding. This wedding took place at the Ellesmere Chapel at Horseshoe Resort. A perfect summer day – blue skies, sun shining and a very happy Bride and Groom.

 

The flower colours were a soft mix of pink and white.  Tall cylinder vases with floating candles lined the aisle.  And the charming wooden pews were moveable, so we turned them on an angle to make for a bit more aisle width creating the added benefit of a better view for the guests to watch the procession.

Beautiful setting in the Chapel

Beautiful setting in the Chapel

Candles accented in pink and bling.

Candles accented in pink and bling.

The flower composition included roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas, lisianthus and freesia.   We created clusters of Aurora Borealis Austrian Crystals, and placed them among the blossoms.  The bouquet stems were finished in pink satin ribbon.

These fabulous images were created by Marc Van Dam Photography.  I love all the outdoor shots he captured, as well as the multitude of family groupings.  Really nice work!

Swept off her feet.

Swept off her feet.

Brides' Family including her sweet daughter as the Flower Girl

Brides’ Family including her sweet daughter as the Flower Girl

I love seeing the guys carrying the bouquet!

I love seeing the guys carrying the bouquet!

Making it legal!

Making it legal!

It's all about Family!

It’s all about Family!

The Bouquet

The Bouquet

A perfect day for a wedding!  I always enjoy heading out the Horseshoe Resort for a wedding.  Looking forward to more this season.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Wedding at King Valley

•March 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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During the quiet, off-season, I spend a lot of time going through pictures of past weddings, organizing my website, creating new advertising material, cleaning the studio, and all those kinds of things that never get done in chaos of wedding season. It’s always a pleasure to look back and remember the people who have helped make my season such a great experience.

Sometimes, a magical combination materializes between the Bride, the photographer and myself. That is how I feel about this wedding. The Bride and Groom were so photogenic, they chose beautiful florals and décor elements, and the photographer, Sarah Dooley, captured such emotional and honest pictures from the day.

The wedding was held at King Valley in Aurora – a beautiful venue. It was in the early fall, with a bit of chill in the air. Even though it was fall, Ashlyn choose soft pinks and cream flowers and linens. Her floral composition was fairly traditional, using roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, astilbe and ivy. But there was also a rustic, natural element added in with the birch logs, magnolia leaves, and various textural foliages and berries.

Beautiful Bride

Beautiful Bride

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The tables were adorned with silver candelabras, surrounded by small clusters of blush and ivory flowers. An added touch was our pink napkins we shaped into a “bow” and tied with a length of satin ribbon.

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In among all the soft, beautiful, elegance there was a Baseball Theme!  But this was a perfect representation of the couple – they had so much love, but still, as is evidenced in the pictures, a definite sense of humour.

Baseball Theme

Baseball Theme

Baseball theme

Baseball theme

Baseball Theme

 

This is a wonderful example of honest emotion that comes through in Sarah’s pictures of the day – a truly joyful looking groom!

Joyful Groom

Joyful Groom

And to top the evening off, this crazy couple danced Gangnam Style!

GangnamStyle

GangnamStyle

 

Maids in a Row

Maids in a Row

Outdoor Ceremony

Outdoor Ceremony

The Bridal Party

The Bridal Party

 

Congratulations, Ashlyn & Kevin!

 

 

 

What’s on the Horizon

•March 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Opulent Bouquet created with pink O'Hare roses, orchids, feather flowers and jewels.

Opulent Bouquet created with pink O’Hare roses, orchids, feather flowers and jewels.

A beautiful new wedding season is beginning to unfold….as I meet with my Brides for the upcoming season, a strong theme is starting to emerge.  It’s a trend I love….Pink!!

More specifically, soft blush pink accented with creams and golds – think antiqued, sepia-toned, faded, elegant, and yes, that over-used word – Vintage.

Rich, detailed gold and pink invitation found on Etsy

Soft Pink and Grey Cake, beautiful details.

Soft Pink and Grey Cake, beautiful details.

 

There is a sense of romance and old-fashioned “Pretty” that comes from this palette.  Gold is a perfect metal accent – it has a warmth to it that silver doesn’t.

Along with “Pretty” goes ruffles, swirls, soft textures – what could be more romantic than this fabulous wedding dress?

A stunning dress for a beach or church wedding.  Maggie Sottero.

A stunning dress for a beach or church wedding. Maggie Sottero.

If you want some truly opulent inspiration, check out Karen Tran.

Always a beautiful table display.

Always a beautiful table display.

Table top details.

Table top details.

 

I have to say, I am really excited about the beautiful upcoming season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral Anemia?

•February 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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What is going on with these 2 arrangements? Did someone deflate the second arrangement?

No….this is the sad result of a bride trying to achieve floral splendor with an underwhelming budget. While it is possible to adjust the floral composition to create a less expensive design, there are limitations.

It is very important to listen to your designer – their job is to guide you, and create a beautiful design that you will love.  Work with them, they will help you avoid the dreaded “Floral Anemia”!

Don’t Believe Everything You Read!

•January 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Stunning Centrepiece

Stunning Florals Created by Tantawan Blooms

I am AMAZED!   Not only amazed – baffled, bewildered and more importantly, so disappointed.

If I were a bride today, I would be mad as hell and would not want to take it anymore.

What has put a bee in my bonnet?  Why am I on such a rant?

Plain and simple – Lies!

You, the Bride, are being lied to, and it isn’t fair.  It’s not fair to you or to your wedding vendors.

Why are you being told all these lies?  For the sake of your mouse.  Yes, you heard me, your mouse!

What?!

Here’s a quick rundown of how people make money online – either they are selling something or they are being paid to provide leads to other sites.  These paid leads are called PPC’s – Pay Per Click.  What does that have to do with you being lied to?  Everything!

You see a fabulous picture, along with a totally enticing headline and you click on it.  It leads you to an informative (hopefully) article.  But, once you have finished with that article, you will look around that page and see all the other enticing things related to your wedding planning, and will probably click onto another link provided.  The host of the original website will be paid for every click on every link.

Fabulous Tall Centrepiece created by LA Premier

Fabulous Tall Centrepiece created by LA Premier

Why is this bad for you?

Because the original article that caught your attention is probably a lie.  Example, this stunning picture (above) is shown in an article titled Designing Tall Centerpieces on a Budget.  In the article, it also mentions DIY.  Oh Boy – do this yourself?!

Let’s have a reality check, from a professional’s point of view.  The gorgeous arrangement, supported with 3 columns of glass, each hand-wrapped with a French twist ribbon treatment, is created with roses, hydrangeas, and phaleonopsis, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids.  The over-sized arrangement on top is probably worth about $1,300 – yes, $1,300!  Then, let’s factor in the stunning arrangement at the base of that, probably worth another $200- $300, giving you a ballpark figure of $1,500 per arrangement.

“Pardon me?  $1,500?  Did you really just say a flower arrangement is worth $1,500?”  Yes, I did!  But don’t be shocked at what I just said, be shocked at the foolish website that is telling you this is a “Budget” centrepiece.

Now let me address the “DIY” aspect of this design

This arrangement for me – a seasoned professional with more than 15 years of designing experience behind me – would be a major undertaking!  Even if you only have 10 tables (10 centrepieces), this would take many hours to design.  That does not even take into account the processing of the flowers (this is the process by which flowers are hydrated, cleaned and prepared to be used in an arrangement).  There is also the issue of creating the recipe of the design and procuring the flowers at the right time.  And at what point do you get your hair, make-up, and photos done in preparation for your actual wedding?!

So you, as a bride on a budget, whether that budget is $5,000 or $500,000, fall in love with this centrepiece.  You figure, “OK, it’s a budget price, so maybe I’ll spend $75 per centrepiece” and create the rest of your budget.

You show up for your meeting with the florist, give them your floral budget, based on $750 for 10 centrepieces, and show the florist your Pintrest page.  You walk in expecting to pay “budget” price.  Then you are knocked off your chair by the price given to you.  Chances are you look at the florist and think, “They are outrageous!  They are ripping me off!”  You meet with a few more florists, and find out the same thing.

How disappointed are you?  You really want these stunning centrepieces!  So you start to ask, “Well, can I get something like this for $75?”  Short answer – No.  You will never be able to make a $75 arrangement look like a $1,500 arrangement.

Can you do a similar style?  Yes.  You can do an elevated arrangement with white flowers.  But for $75 expect to see just a few hydrangea and maybe a two or three roses.

Here is my professional advice:  do some preliminary research.  Take the pics and simply ask a floral designer before falling in love with a design and before setting your budget.

And definitely, Do Not Believe Everything You Read!

Glorious Crystals and Florals

Glorious Crystals and Florals – Designed by Creations by Gitta, Photo by Mango Studios,

 
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