Art Deco Calla Lilies

Here is the third table set-up we did for the Tablescape Challenge. This was ultra chic and so simple. There is no vase for the flowers and while it might not seem to be the most practical thing there are some flowers that can withstand being out of water for a certain length of time. This is not something that could be set-up hours before an event but for an intimate gathering or dinner party at home this would be perfect. Take a chance and try something a little bit different, you may be really surprised with the results. We definitely were!

Again, Sara of Sara Wasilausky Studio did an amazing job of capturing the look although it posed some challenges since it was such a low and flat design.


Beakers and Bubbles

This is one of the designs we created for the Tablescape Challenge. Something about the beakers brought me back to high school chemistry class and the paper we used as a table covering made me think of bubbles after too long on a Bunsen burner...or better yet maybe a nice glass of champagne...either way I love it.

You can see how some of the same flowers can take on a completely different when paired with different accents.

I love using decorative paper as a table runner, it adds another texture and the mood can be totally transformed based on the style and design of the paper. Ironically the same idea was recently mentioned on Martha Stewart as the craft of the week.

I love this look...I can't even pinpoint what it is but it just reminds me of a fun, bright sunny day, a perfect brunch with a few good friends.

It could also be the way that Sara Wasilausky shot the table that makes it look so inviting.


Behind the scenes: Shopping for flowers

Back in April we took part in the Modern Tablescape Challenge over at Brooklyn Bride. While this end up being the final submission we did have a few designs that we played around with before choosing. I'll post those over the next few days but today I thought I would give you a little peek into the behind the scenes process of shopping for the flowers.
Sara Wasilausky was my teammate on the challenge and took some beautiful images of everything.

A view of the flower market early Saturday morning.

Vibrant pin cushion protea - we ended up choosing the yellow variety.

Thought about using this amazing palm leaf as a vessel but decided to go in another direction. Pretty common to start with one idea in mind and then be swayed in another direction by all the amazing options to choose from.

Rows and rows of tulips, hyacinth, ranunculus and other seasonal beauties.

Here I am choosing the final bunch of pin cushions.

These amazing open cut white calla lilies are not always available so I couldn't resist grabbing some for at least one of the table set-ups. My hands are also full with craspedia and waxflower as I make the final choices.

Nicky from Associated Cut Flowers and I catch up on the happenings in the market and new flower arrivals as he writes up our invoice.

Just another day for Fat Cat at Gpage.

A visit to the flower market can really give you a new perspective on your original design and help you better define the direction it will take. It's a great experience and I always welcome couples to take a trip with me to explore all the options available for their wedding flowers.

Stay tuned for our other table set-up options that we didn't end up using for the challenge.


Weekly Design: Orinthogalum Aribicum

This week's design is pretty simple and concentrates on striking elements and texture. The tall arrangement is designed using Orinthogalum and accented with aspidistra leaves. I love the delicate white petals of the Orinthogalum in contrast to their black center.

This low arrangement is designed using a variety of different textures along with a softer accent of hydrangea. I have to be honest the minute I saw these flowers I loved them...different kinds of brunia and berzelia. I'm not sure of the exact names but generally they are from South Africa and New Zealand. I love all the varieties and the subtle tones of color in them.


Dealing with vendors and knowing what you want

I think most would agree that choosing the vendors for your wedding is so critical and can make or break the experience of planning your wedding. I've said before that choosing a designer is so important and you will be so happy when you've made the right choice. But once you have made the decision about who to work with will it be smooth sailing through the entire process? I would like to think so.

Something occurred to me recently while meeting with a bride & groom. While I'm considered the "expert" when it comes to the design and decor, it is still their wedding. I think it's so important to keep that in mind and for us, as vendors, to be reminded of it once in awhile.

I think its worth bringing up the subject to remind couples that while planning your wedding you will be told over and over again what you should do, what will look best etc but in the end you should feel that you have control over the final decisions.

Your vendors should definitely offer you their opinion and guidance based on their experience (it's the reason you hired them in the first place!) but you should never feel strong armed into doing or not doing something because they said so. Let them know what you like, why you like it and why it's important for you to include in the wedding...then allow them to use their skill to make it work.

If they are the "expert" then they should be able to include most of your requests and ideas seamlessly. And of course I say all of this with the assumption that we are talking about requests that are within the realm of reasonable possibility.

So in the end, know what you want and make sure you love what you are getting while at the same time trusting in your vendors and knowing that they always have your best interest in mind.


Wedding Wednesday: Escort Card Table Ideas

The escort card table can be a main decor element for a wedding. Depending on the exact set-up of the venue (and whether or not the ceremony and reception are in the same place) it can be the first thing guests see as the enter. It's a place to start to tell the story, if you plan on having a cohesive "theme" throughout the details of the wedding. And even if you don't plan on having any particular theme it's a nice place to make an impression. Most importantly it needs to be functional, visible and in my opinion beautiful and welcoming. This can mean different things to different people and I've gathered up some that I've done. There are so many different ideas to try and I encourage you to be creative!

Flower Market Finds: Total Beauty

I hadn't planned on writing a Flower Market Finds post today but I just have to because I saw so many beautiful things this morning. Waking up at 4:45am isn't always easy but when I walked into GPage I was taken aback by all the great flowers today. So many shipments come in on Wednesday (especially from Holland) but it doesn't always strike me the same way. I guess that's why I still love what I do...I'm amazed when I see all the choices even when I'm still rubbing the sleep from my eyes on a rainy, dreary Wednesday morning.
Here are just a few of the things I loved...

Peony Bartzella - has to be one of my all time favorites, even the foliage is beautiful.

Buckets and buckets of "Early Scout" peonies.

One the left, believe it or not these are roses...can't remember name right now but oh so fabulous! (I'll post the name asap)
And that wall of about 10 different varieties of hydrangea? Beyond gorgeous!

It may be a rainy and dreary day but a quick trip to the market certainly started my day off right!

Enjoy yours!!

*Wedding Wednesday will be posted a little later today.


Weekly Designs: Tropical Greens

the design for this is week is a more tropical look including philadendron leaves, both green lily and steel grass and a few stems of green cymbidium orchids. i love the way the leaves and grass have their own natural movement creating their own shape for the arrangement.


Wedding Wednesday: Low vs. High Centerpieces

The age old question that comes with a lot of opinions and strong feelings from both sides, "Should I have low or high centerpieces for my wedding?". As I said in my post about bouquets, it's completely up to you what you choose but I will offer some pros and cons to both ideas.

Let's start with the first argument against tall centerpieces. "I can't talk to someone across the table if there is a tall centerpiece." Well the truth is you can't really have an intimate conversation with someone who is sitting 5 sometimes 6 feet away from you, especially over the sound of a band or dj nearby. Now, while my first statement is true you don't want to completely block the view of any of your guests. So if you choose to use a tall (or "tallish") centerpiece keep in mind that you want the bulk of the design to at least be above the sight line of your guests while sitting at the tables (about 18" or above). And make sure that whatever is in their sight line is not too obtrusive, ie., a narrow footprint or at the very least transparent container or vase.

Now with the argument for tall centerpieces. "The ceilings are so high I want to fill up the space." Okay, this is a true statement (sort of). Unless you are considering hanging things from the ceiling or having massive centerpieces (refer to first argument against tall centerpieces) you will most likely not fill up the space of many of the vaulted ceilings in ballrooms/lofts and other types of venues by using a tall tabletop centerpiece.

The key thing to keep in mind is that you want to create a look that will allow the eye to wander throughout the space without it feeling too stagnant one way or the other. With all tall centerpieces you have a great impact as guests first enter but then it may feel a bit uninteresting if there is nothing left to discover as they take their seats.

This leads to the argument for low centerpieces. By using low centerpieces you can create a more intimate feeling for your guests. I often have couples wanting to recreate the feeling of an intimate dinner party in their home - even if it happens to be for 300 of their closest friends and family. With the design of a low centerpiece you can still incorporate varied heights of candlelight etc. without blocking any views.

In the end I think a combination of both low and high centerpieces can create the best look. It gives a more interesting look for the entire space, allowing for the initial impact as your guests first enter the space and continuing as they sit and enjoy dinner.

Most couples don't need to be talked into using low centerpieces, in general that's what they have in mind when the come to meet with me. Tall centerpieces seem to have a bad rap as being too traditional or "contrived" looking. Above all else I think you need to go with your gut reaction to something but keep in mind that there are some great, innovative designs that can be considered "tall" and you might missing out if you dismiss the idea too quickly.


Happy Birthday My Sweet Boy

It's here and I can hardly believe it. While I don't usually get too personal here on my blog I just can't let today pass without saying an official Happy Birthday to my sweet boy who turns ONE today. Everyone says it but you can never truly know how much you can love another little person until the day you are blessed with a child.
I'm smitten and have been since the day he arrived a year ago (and even before that, through my entire pregnancy). I can't believe how fast time flies.

You've changed my life and I look forward to watching you continue to change and grow, my sweet little boy, Max.



Weekly Designs: Bright Yellows

i want to share some of the designs i create for my corporate accounts. the challenge from week to week is to keep it looking new and fresh, using seasonal flowers and making sure you choose elements that will last for the entire week.

this particular week i used bright yellow iris, green steel grass, skyline roses and japonica leaves.


Mother's Day: Then and Now

mother's day has been celebrated in different ways for centuries. as time passed it became a more and more commercialized holiday filled with gifts, candy and of course flowers. while ideally we would show this type of appreciation for mothers everywhere any day of the year, it is nice that we dedicate one special Sunday in May for our moms.

for me, mother's day has changed in it's significance over the years. having lost my mother when i was 11 i spent many years thinking of mother's day as a sad day. but as the years passed it became more of a happy day to remember the times i shared with my mother.

when i started in the flower business mother's day took on a whole new significance as being a busy day filling orders and brought with it a welcome change of perspective.

this year mother's day has changed it's significance yet again...since now i'm one of those mother's that will be celebrated. and as i spend the day with my son (who will turn 1 just two days later) i will think of my own mother and smile.

THEN - me and my mother circa 1977ish

NOW - me and my son

Happy Mother's Day!


My toolbox: Tools for creating a flower arrangement, part 2

a couple of weeks ago i talked about the basic tools i keep in my toolbox and today i wanted to show you a few more. they are not necessarily tools but they are great in helping you arrange your flowers. it doesn't matter if you are buying your flowers from a high end floral shop or your local grocery store these things will help you do things a little better.

of everything pictured here I would say that the covered wire is the most versatile and useful. it can be functional, decorative or both. you may be able to find some in color as well. the stem wrap to the right of the covered wire is perfect for strengthening delicate stems that might otherwise break or bend in your arrangement. continuing clockwise, the clear Oasis tape is one thing that a beginner floral designer should definitely consider using. It allows you to create a grid on any vase or container that helps so much in creating the base foundation for your arrangement. the green Oasis tape is typically used for larger arrangements that may have branches or heavier flowers to create the same type of grid but most often it is used to secure floral foam to a container. you can find most of these at Michaels or here at one of my go to sources for supplies here in nyc.


Wedding Wednesday: Candlelight options

candles, candles and more candles. if you are looking to create a romantic and warm atmosphere for your wedding then you'll want candles and lots of them! there are so many different options and we'll just scratch the surface here but i wanted to share some of my favorites. be creative and use them in all areas, ceremony, cocktail hour & reception.
and the best part is...everyone looks good in candlelight so even your guests will thank you.

Floating candles

Votive candles

Pillar candles

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