The West Coast Is always fashion forward and a bit above the curve when it comes to colors and trends. This is a plus when planning weddings and events a year or more in advance.
What will be a WOW color combo after a year of waiting for the big day? Here are some of the latest fashion forcast for 2011
Royal Purple will still be on the forfront with shimmering shades from Vibrant plums through muted smokey lavenders. Flowers to compliment this regal color pallete – Amnesia Roses, Iris, Matsumoto asters Vanda Orchids.
Industrial Greys– Although sometimes looked on as a somber color range this can be a sophisticated look with the addition of interesting textures and hints of color such as Pirite, Pewter , tuxedo , gesso. Flowers to compliment- Amnesia Rose, Gardenia, Crystal Blush Calla Lily, Dendrobium blush orchids, phalo orchids, sherbet green cymbidium, petite pink mini roses.
Afterglow is a hot trend that combines the lustre of fine burnished metals , gold leaf, Golden Bronze, Champagne, sable, Venetian red for a warm and elegant atmosphere. Flowers to compliment- Coffee break rose, Estelle Rose, Black Baccara, Gloriosa Lily, Gingers and Antheriums, Protea Pin Cushion, Oxblood Peonies.
Exotic hues will continue with pure emerald, Leaf Green, Deep Pink, Klein Blue, Cerulean, Saffron and the Plum Purples. Flowers to compliment, Vanda and Mokara orchids, Voodoo roses, Bombay Orchids, vibrant Gebera daisies.
Midnight sky seemes to be the request from many 2011 brides, and this can be complimented with the addition of cremes and white with Silver or afterglow gold for a classic feel. Or for a fun Midnight mix, add in the complimentary color wheel shades of Saffron or Canorina yellow. Flowers to compliment- Vendula roses, Island yellow roses , stock Blossom, calla, tulip, Mums, true blue iris, delphiniums.
Sexy Reds and subtle blush tints will be found all through the seasons. Natural true red, Cinnamon, Venetian rich reds, Ripe Blush, pink pearl, gesso nude, Lotus, tea rose. Flowers to compliment- Hearts a ruffle , cherry love, Konfetti roses, Ferrari red Gebera,Gloriosa lily,Red Ginger, Red Flame tulips, Hypericum berries.
Sepia with its antique Tea Stained feel will continue to make itself known. The funky fun of Steampunk Victorian and old newsprint will appear in fun hatbox designs, and subtle tintype photo imagery. Accents of stripes, birdcage veiling and Large Millinery inspired Floral looks. Very romantic with yet a hint of mystery
Above all when thinking ahead to your special event. Work with your floral designer to create a personal statement. Pick colors that compliment your season and location. Blending and weaving colors like a tapestry through the decor and space will be exciting and pleasing to the senses and a truly memorable event for everyone.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you saw something so awe-inspiring that it made you truly stop and ponder the universe?
I know you will say ” Oh You old Hippie!!”, LOL! But I have to say that my trip to Maui this summer had me reflecting on nature and the lessons we can learn from a simple flower.
I have been to the top of Maui’s dormant Volcano Haleakala on a few occasions and I always make it a point to find and admire the Silver Sword plants. These luminous silver plants are endangered and protected.
The Silver Sword also known as the Ahinahina grow only on the slopes of this otherworldly location. Although they look like a mercury dipped cactus to some, they are more closely related to the Sunflower.
The fine silver hairs that cover the plant are extremely sensitive, as are the roots. Stepping too close to the plant or touching the plant can kill it, so admire from a distance or use a good zoom lens. These fine hairs work as a shield from the sun’s radiation and as protection from dehydration as well as insulation from the winter storms and snows at that elevation.
The Silversword lives approximately 50 years. It blooms in a spectacular manner and then gives up its seeds and life. I had never witnessed a full bloom until this year.
The plant produces a tall center stalk with rows of purple seeded flowers. The specimen I was drawn to was at least 5 foot tall.
The area smelled of warm sweet honey. At over 10,000 feet the cool clean air allowed the senses to absorb the essence of this lovely sight.
Sad to think the plant would fade and soon die after this gorgeous display. But it reminded me that creative people are like these flowers.
You struggle through all sorts of storms, heat and adversity at times. You also bask in the warmth of the sun, the glow of the moon and the admiration of those around you. Finally you produce beauty, and hope that all who have been touched by it will remember it and scatter the seeds of your efforts for others to grow and admire.
This is an example of truly stopping to smell the flowers.
Over the years I have met with hundreds of couples to plan the floral decor for their big day. And many times the first comment made is ” I have No Idea what flowers cost or which to choose!” This is why Hiring the experienced Floral Pro to work with is a VIP list item. The time, stress and hassles are removed and laid in the hands of someone with a passion and knowledge of flowers who will take on a HUGE responsibility of setting the scene for your vows and the reception to follow.
Does it have to cost a fortune? No! BUT you must be realistic in your expectations to the budget factor. Being upfront with your available budget for flowers is a must. Any great designer will be happy to discuss options to fit your needs.
If on a tight budget, many may think OH!! I will DIY my flowers!” From experience I can say that the average Bride will spend MORE on her DIY attempt and be stressed out to the point of tears trying to get it all done and placed in the limited time frame of a hectic wedding day, than if she would have selected a designer with vision who could create something beautiful in the same price point.
BUT ITS JUST FLOWERS!
It’s More than just flowers. It’s about SERVICE. From the first meeting with a Bride until the day of the wedding, a designer is gathering items, ordering flowers, prepping , designing, storing in a controlled temperature and fussing over every detail with delivery and setup and all the fine touches . A pro designer is looking out for your best interest and making sure that as you walk down the aisle the only tears you have are Tears of happiness. That is Priceless.
BUT I WANT IT ALL!
LOL, I hear this so often, and like any expense in weddings, you must reel in your desire to “Overdo” and allow the designers to guide you to the perfect blend of your style , personality & Budget. If you are a dreamy bride and want lavish roses and dripping orchids, but your pocket says daisies and snapdragon. The look can still be achieved, using spray roses and your color palette to “paint the picture” of a romantic garden or Parisian spring. This is where the Pro can do their MAGIC!!
I would like to show you some fabulous looks in the BUDGET, MID & TOP Range to show you that using a creative touch and the best wedding professionals will give you great results and not break the bank.
The Fantastic Frugal wedding
Floral pricing on an event for 50 with a small wedding party using a selection of sunny flowers in season and pretty accents and flourishes could be under $900. Plus delivery for a version of this delightful wedding. You dont have to use a Bud vase only approach to your tables. Creative , simple designs in recycled , shabby chic or vintage vases can be an option. Or forget the vase all together and go for origami folded paper with a single blossom, Wow and artistry are unlimited, and sometimes less is more! Allow your local floral designer to show you the latest hot budget ideas and save you the hassles while impressing your guests.
The Romantic mid range wedding
Using a mix of the brides favorites and selections of colors to compliment the setting a Couple on a mid range floral budget of $2000. to $4500. could achieve a delightful romantic look with many details and designer flourishes.
In this price range a touch of “Focal flowers” such as seasonal peonies and Cymbidium orchids can be used to add that upscale feel , yet stay in a moderate range. This is the most desired look for my romantic brides, and the look is lush yet refined. Price factors that can move the range up or down is the choice of vases and additional Bling or accessories such as multiple votives, silver and mirrors.
The attention to detail is sure to delight guests and make lasting memories for everyone. Allowing your floral designer to treat you to various pricing options and flourishes can keep you on track and focussed. The service they provide is amazing and detailed to create the endless memories of a romantic wedding day.
The Tip Top Platinum wedding
Weddings in this category can be from the cutting edge theme to the Extreme. But in general are located at 5 star resorts, Country Clubs and Estates and require a Designer and crew for creation. Many start to run into the high figures due to high guest counts of 300 or more. Floral Price range can start in the $6500. range for a lavish small event and go over the moon. Events that hit the Platinum status often require sound and lighting, draping, staging in several ares of the locations , specialty transportation, props and custom linens and extravagant use of flowers, trees, plants and fabrics which is coordinated by the floral event designer with constant contact with your wedding planner and her team.
It’s common to have the floral designer create several different looks for different rooms. From the brides room to the ceremony to the cocktail areas and onto the reception and after parties. This is one style of wedding that MUST be organized with Professional Planner, floral designer and creative team.
This is YOUR day, and whatever your budget and personality, allowing a professional designer to create your flowers and decor at any price point will be something you will never forget and it will allow you to truly enjoy one of the most important days in your life!
I have won many awards for my organic wedding designs and I get requests for everything from Platinum level bouquets filled with rare orchids and roses to simple Nosegays for tiny budget brides. I design each bouquet with the same passion and attention to detail for my clients, the results are as special as each bride who will carry it.
I’m sure many brides have browsed beautiful websites , watched TV & Movie weddings and wondered, WOW what does that bouquet cost!?! Suprisingly some simple hand tied designs may run more than a full cascade due to the rarity or delicate nature of the content. I have seen the shock on brides faces when they hand me a page torn from a magazine with Lily of the valley, Massive Peonies and rare blue Himalayan Poppies! BUT dont fret, as a Professional designer, I know how to “Rethink” that dream bunch of blossoms into a reality budget possibility.
Here are some ideas of deceptively simple designs with BIG price tags.
The Lily Of the Valley bouquet.
Carried by celebrities and sophisticated Spring brides. this fragrant beauty can tip the scales at $400. and up on the tiny side. One recent celebrity Lily of the Valley large bridal bouquet was in the $2000. range.
Why? the delicate nature of these beautiful flowers and the per stem wholesale costs are at the very top range of the wedding faves. Its all about fragrance and old school tradition with this delicate bloom.
East coast brides may fair better when in season, but west coast brides will always find these in the high end.
Other high end blooms are Gardenias and specimen Orchids ( not to be confussed with commercial orchids)
In comparison to this delicate hand tied bouquet, You could have a Top of the line Butterfly Orchid cascade and grooms Lei for less. or a romantic lush in season Spring round with peonies and roses for about half the current price of this tiny beauty.
What about the budget bride?
Does this look like a low budget bride to you?
Smart use of color and seasonal flowers can give you a Million dollar look on a realistic budget. Medium sized Bridal Bouquet of single color rose with in season dutch mini calla and interesting berries looked elegant with simple matching mini calla attendants bouquets. No DIY for this smart bride, she had us design 10 simple clean centerpieces in the same flowers and a beautiful wedding arbor with rental silk draping and fresh garlands which then was used as a wedding pavilion for their garden reception. Double use of the exisiting space and flowers for an affordable WOW factor.This reasonably priced wedding was featured in a national magazine. And was a wedding setting winner! She stayed on her realistic budget under $1650. for a beautiful full day of simply elegant flowers and service for 100 .
The Average Wedding?
No Bride wants to think of her wedding as average, and in this case we are speaking only of the most popular price range for a wedding for 100 guests with a selection of the brides favorite flowers.
Most Brides Bouquets that are in demand are in the $200.-$300. range in current pricing. This is not the standard hand tied at my studio, but rather a FULLY DESIGNED custom Bouquet, it may have added Bling with Crystals, feathers and beads, It may be a cascading style or High Style Asian influenced beauty. Lavish ribbon wraps or silver handled Vintage tussies. Matchng Bridesmaid designs can average from $75. to $100. each , But again a great floral designer may have several options to compliment from simple to over the top to meet the brides desired look and budget.
This brides Eco themed organic wedding had many special order requested flowers from large White Peonies and purple artichokes, rare tea green and Amnesia roses with Picasso calla lilies and organic Kale and lavender, Lush, use of flowers and veggies made this a winner, yet kept the costs in the brides desired budget.
communicating your floral vision is key to acheiving award winning results and the life long memories and photos to share with your grandkids someday! Thats Priceless!
Before you catch me donning my Green floral super hero cape, LOL , I have to say that I love my work and clients and always go the extra mile for them. But there are some weddings that just touch me , and I truly have a bond with the bride after many weeks or months of designing and meetings. The hopes and visions of what will be their big day is a big task, but so enjoyable for me. It’s a very big responsibility, that I always take seriously.
But sometimes I am called upon to perform above and beyond, and pull fellow talented vendors out of the proverbial fire when things go wrong behind the scenes. Things that the wedding planner doesn’t want the bride to see or know until every alternative is exhausted. Such was a recent wedding in California.
Arriving in Temecula Wine country on a beautiful Spring morning we set about delivering and setting up an all organic wedding for a wonderful couple who are very Eco Friendly. All through the design process we had added fine touches and whimsical elements to thrill the senses and delight the eye. It was a task my crew and I were looking forward to for weeks. This wedding would be truly creative.
We put the finishing touches on the Reception room and ceremony garden, with its unique mix of Veggies and flowers and checked bows and posies on all chairs and I told my crew to take five.
I was just opening a bottle of water for a sip when my Blackberry goes off with a 911 from the wedding planner.
I answered and asked “Yes?” and she says “Suzanne we have a problem!!!” I asked “What do you need?” her response was ” The cake arrived”, ( I had been waiting to see this gorgeous Fondant and Gum paste creation for over a month) So I said ” Okay, I’ll be right there”, then she paused and said. “They had an accident! “
WHAT? ??? How BAD?” She said its “Not Good! Get over to the reception room and Bring flowers!!! ” So I turned to my assistant Terry and we each grabbed a bucket and I called over my shoulder to the crew, “Meet me with snips and scissors ASAP! ”
I had no idea what to expect. I have seen some minor dings and even a missing in action cake in the past. But these two young pastry chefs looked like they were in a panic.
They had been on the way to the winery when they were cut off and slammed on the brakes only to have this 4 tier cake slide and crash into the dash . Although they were fine, The entire back of the cake was now a mass of gouged, chunked, split and dinged Fondant. The lovely hand painted Artichoke petals made of fragile gum paste had been crushed and shattered in several spots. Their panic grew when they realized that the cake was the focal point of the center of the reception room!! Could it be any worse? Yes they had to call their boss and the designer of this masterpiece to explain!
I could see they were actually shaking as they tried everything to attach the loose petals and try to stop the fondant from slipping. Being the Seasoned Pro, I knew that panicking wasnt in anyones best interest, so I told them both to “Take a deep breath” Lets access the damage and address the possibilities. As they pointed out the major base and teir damage, I made mental notes on the sizes and directed my team to start cutting as many green mums, purple asters and lavender roses as we had left. I went to the bridal table and removed 4 large green Spider Mums from table garland and replaced them with Calla lilies. It was a Good exchange for a better cause.
And We started to work on the repair.
As they carefully tried to replace the Gum paste Artichoke leaves with what was salvagable , I set the largest flowers in place to cover the huge dent on the base tier. I then worked up the cake adding and camouflaging with blossoms and greenery until it started to look like it was meant to have these spilling flowers and greenery details. It is an artistic process. It took us some time to get it looking presentable. I asked the pastry gals to walk around it and see if it was to thier expectations, and between us we added a bit of vine here and a little blossom there, and as we finished one of the winery staff came in and said “WOW what a gorgeous cake”, and walked around it to see the entire design.SO, If this person who did not know we had just had a near catastrophy was wowed, I think the guests would be thrilled too. That was nice.
One of the pastry gals said “Can I hug you?” I laughed and said “sure, It was a team effort” But I will bet they have a few restless nightmares over that cake in the future.
My point to this isnt to pat myself and my team on the back, but to say that hiring a professional floral designer who can deliver more than just the bouquet when a crisis arises is a plus. The Professional event florist is a unique individual who is trained to step up when needed, access the situation and come up with a creative solution in a timely manner to make you look good.
Quick thinking by the wedding planner, good communication with me and My Mother Earth attempt at Nurturing the creative ones in a panic came together to make our Brides day less bumpy.
Did I charge for my “emergency” work at the last minute? No!
But my crew is expecting a box of cupcakes if the bakery is reading this!! LOL
All The Gorgeous gowns, the well fitting Tuxedos, the jewels and Bling
What was this designer spotting in the star studded throng?
The Flower of the evening was the Gardenia.
Fashion designer and producer of the Single Man ,Tom Ford posed on the red carpet sporting a beautiful spiral gardenia on his Black Tuxedo. A return to the elegance of early Hollywood.
As the stars arrived there were floral touches in fabrics and ribbons and gorgeous evening bags. But the class floral act of the evening was Monique whose hair was styled with a handfull of fragrant White Gardenia with waxed leaves.Reminiscent of Billy Holiday and just as elegant today.
Shades of Blue danced across the carpet from festive Bow ties to flowing ballgowns. Colors found in nature in flowers like Delphinium, Iris and Tweedia.
Translating this look for weddings, Proms and special events will be a trend that we welcome. The Artistry of a well placed flower the “tiny touch that says so much” Can kick any event up an elegant notch.
Another trend we are seeing is the mixing of ribbon flowers with Live Roses for Brides. The detailing is a surprise element that can bring coordinated and unusual Gown fabrics into play. Not your Moms matchy matchy flowers, But creative fashion inspired textures and subtle elegance that demands a second look.
Just as the sculpted Gowns of the Red Carpet with petaled fabrics , spiraled layers and details invoke the opening of a lavish garden rose. Its a perfect chance to mirror the glamour in bouquets and room decor for home and special events. Inspirations such as the elegant Peony, the Delicate Garden rose or the exotic flare of the Orchid.
I hope that you will be inspired to add a touch of Nature to your world
As a Floral Artist I design everything from the simple Bouitneeer and corsage presented nervously for a young mans first dance to lavish weddings and parties. Some of my favorite designs are for Galleries and Book signings.
Our first week of February was filled with excitment and star sightings. And I was able to present a couple very personal floral tributes to two very different personalities .
If you would like to read the entire article you can go to my article at www.ubloom.com titled “A Novel Approach”
I love to read almost as much as I love flowers!
My favorite author is Anne Rice. She has written over 30 books
some of her titles include The Interview With A Vampire, Queen of the Damned ( both made into major movies) , the Witching Hour, Cry to Heaven, Pandora and recently her books on the Life of Christ and her latest Angel Time, Songs of the Seraphim. This latest novel is a great story of an unlikely hero, a Hitman named Toby O’Dare and His Angel Malachai who offers him redemption, with a twist! I’m sure that it will become another classic.
Getting to meet my favorite Author and bring her a personal design was a dream come true and I will cherish this memory forever.
On the fun and rock & roll side of life, I had the experience of attending the Biggest book signing of the year at B&N in Huntington Beach and met the Prince of Darkness himself! Yes!! OZZY Osbourne.
To say the crowd was enthusiatic would be an understatement. 2000 people waiting in a space meant for a couple hundred. BUT in their favor everyone was pretty well behaved.( read the article for all the fun details)
Ozzy was gracious and even answered my question as he signed my book.
What did I ask?? Whats your favorite flower? His answer was a bit unexpected. It was Gardenias! Quite elegant!!
It makes you wonder who you may meet in your daily travels.
Remember to greet each day with anticipation and stop and smell the flowers.