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A Reflection on Brides of Fashion and their Bouquets… from Victorian to Today

June and the Summer Months have our minds turning toward wedding season and all the joy and beauty  and traditions that surround it.

Who as a child hasnt sat looking at old photographs of relatives long gone, celebrating weddings?  That old black & white 8×10 of Grandma and Grandpa, looking so young and hopeful.Aunts and Uncles and cousins in starched collars and lace veils.

I thought it would be fun to feature a little bit of Floral wedding history for my readers this month and scoured my photo albums and historic notes to find wedding photos that would reflect the decades from Victorian to 2011. with a bit of commentary on the floral bridal bouquets.  You may be surprised to see a renewal of these styles in our current selections. so lets explore the years!

1890-1900’s– Oh those Naughty Victorians! They loved the most ornate of fashions, laces, layers, and FLOWERS. Our Great great Granny’s did not have the luxury of the modern floral storage or even the gorgeous flowers we take for granted today. The Victorian Bride placed “Meaning” in her bouquet with selections from the seasonal garden. Orange Blossom, Lily Of the Valley, Myrtle, Honeysuckle, Garden roses, Gardenia and Massive displays of Botanical specimens.  a Tiny nosegay tucked at the waist or neckline of a gown was considered proper, and as the turn of the century progressed the signs of wealth and opulence were displayed at weddings with massive gardens and hanging arrangements as well as “Feasting ” tables.

 

   1920-1930’s as wealth and fortunes are bound to do there was an era that saw great progress and industrial growth only to have the Stock Market crash, the dust bowl and depression rear its ugly head and major changes to our moral standards.

Yet weddings were still part of the main stream that remained important in every culture. The 1920’s saw  Prohibition and the rise of the “roaring 20’s ” ladies of fashion went from the high button tight collared show no leg fashions to daring scandalous women in short fringed and beaded “Flapper: dresses and “Bobbed ” hair dos. 

 The Bridal Bouquets became massive cascades with yards of silk satin”Love” knotted ribbons for good luck. Gardenia, Lily of the valley, Easter Lily and Calla Lilly  and Bushes of Greenery that nearly dwarfed the brides were fashionable.

1920’s

 

                                                                                                                                        1930’s   The 30’s was an era of sophisticated art, clean sweeping and curving lines of the Art Nuevo and Art Deco The use of Trumpet and easter Lily and anything Fragrant was a Must. armfuls of calla lily with a dramatic length were all the rage.  Amazingly long veils of tulle. The rise of the  Hollywood movie era would influence many of the wedding fashions and flowers of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1940’s   Saw a transition as the world was plunged into war. Modest classic lines of  a more somber and subtle nature were used by the Brides lucky enough to have Church ceremony’s, flowers were simple tributes for the most part. Gardenia or Orchids perched on a prayerbook.  Many a War bride wore their best suit with a pretty Cattleya orchid and ribbon to the courthouse. Followed by dancing to a Big Band and a quick honeymoon before the groom shipped out, and in some cases the bride too!

As war ended and the troops returned, it was a time to rebuild and renew. Large family weddings with Luncheons were the prefered style . Bouquets of roses and gardenia in more generous cascades for everyone.

The 2nd photo to the right – My Mom and Dad who were married on July 3, 1946.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1950′ s  saw the Next generation of teens  listening to a new fangled Music called Rock & Roll. It was all about the fast car, the poodle skirt and sock hops. Movies still set the scene for Many wedding fashions with stars like Elizabeth Taylor playing the part of brides.  The dresses were Boufant . The Short petticoat gown would gain favor, with yards of tulle and strapless bodices, with modesty capes or bolero. French Influence and the rise of the Bridal Fashion houses. Fanciful hats and crisp full veils with “blushers” would be a must.  The sophistication of high fashion would come to the fore front. The Bullet Bra fitted bodice and nipped in waist were the silhouette and the gloved hand was a must for formals.

 

  1950’s flowers saw the Popularity of carnations and daisies with frills of Tulle and crazy Chenille “pipe cleaner” leaves  arrive on the scene . The Large Hawaiian Cattleya orchids were still all the rage for Bridal Bouquets  Wired and taped into pouf and cascades .  The traditional white flower girl basket would plant its fame in the 50’s and  stay as tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960’s  If ever the times were a changing it was the 60’s. from the Rat pack smoothness of shark skin suits and tailored gowns to the towering Beehive hairdo of the early 60’s it was sexy, chic and daring.  Jackie Kennedy set the scene with her Mohair suits and classic pillbox hats, clutch bags and form-fitting styling.  The Beatles hit our shores and the British Invasion was here. Twiggy and her Minis stirred things up, and everything was Groovy. But with the rumble of a new war starting in Viet Nam and the rise of the Make Love Not War hippie era changed weddings more than any decade.

From smooth sophistication and Vegas style weddings  to the Flowers in your hair vows on mountain tops, it was a time for anything goes.Cascades for the Mad Men era Brides  and the start of the Gebera and Shasta daisy era for the free thinkers.

 

The Hippie movement was all about Peace and Love, But Marriage survived the free love movement. The Hippie wedding could be as simple as grabbing some friends a couple of bottles of sangria and a handful of wildflowers for the brides hair. as the decade progressed the influences of the counter-culture would be seen in the Fashions from designer houses.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1970’s  Okay I will be showing my age here, but I was a Bride of the Mid 70’s, There were so many changes in a 5 year span in the 70’s with weddings that it was hard to keep up with the trend.  BIG hats and Parasols were all the rage, that Southern belle influence was seen in the flowers. Rainbow weddings, Gathering baskets of  Mixed spring flowers with an emphasis on the daisy were popular. Hybrid Roses in vibrant colors, Phalo Butterfly orchids would gain in popularity. The Halo of flowers was a Huge item of interest. Designers experimented with the Bohemian look ( not always with stunning results, LOL) and God forbid the Leisure suite with white shoes reared its ugly head.  Theme weddings were beginning with the Hippie ideal of anything goes! Renn faire and Love In, Picnics and simple vows said in a meadow or park. The Gunne Sax wedding dress was the go to for Hippie chic. My families Bridal Salon in Los Angeles was one of the few that carried them along with the traditional Eve of Milady, Alfred Angelo and Bridal Lure gowns. We rented and sold  so many hoopskirts each week it was the best-selling item in the inventory!

  

   That’s me  in the white hat  in 1974  & My Bridesmaids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The Powder Blue Disco Tux! 

With ruffled shirt and matching tie, yes they weren’t just in Dumb & Dumber!

 

 

1980’s    The Disco age and as I like to refer to them the BIG hair 80’s saw a return to the extremes in wedding fashion. If clean lines and romantic looks were the 60’s and 70’s the 80’s were Over the TOP . Designers said make it puffy and then went Atomic on the size of sleeves.  Rock stars weddings were like circus shows and the Bouquets were massive  as the brides hair.  Probably the most famous 80’s bride was Princess Diana with her silk gown and 25ft train.  Disco styling brought in the Polyester wrap dress and the handkerchief hem, Platform shoes and the emergence of the single stem rose bouquet for the attendants ( probably because the bride used enough for all the others combined!

  

 

 Biggest sleeves in decades!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1990′ s 

 The Girls Just want to have fun Decade.  The crazy bouquets and skirt styles remained, But the sleeves were now replaced with  and more fitted cap and long sleeve, Cleavage was everywhere.  Choker necklaces and fluffy up-dos. The Bouquet of choice for the brides in the early 90’s was a cascade of Casablanca lily, I designed so many of these in that  decade I think I could do them in my sleep, LOL , But the Tight round Clutch Bouquet was now become the trend with the start of Martha Stewart’s influence. BIG weddings with tented venues soon became what is known as the Platinum wedding.

    The New Turn Of the century  Early 2000’s  The Y2K Brides  and the start of the New millennium, saw Hopeful couples celebrating in style. with the tragedy of 9/11 couples faced a dilemma of whether to celebrate the same and Many saw it as their patriotic duty to not let anything change their families traditions. 

                                                                                                   

As the 2000’s Progress we are seeing a return to  many of the influences that past decades of Brides created. The Retro looks of the 20’s , 30’s and 40’s are hot, the twist on Victorian can be seen in the Steampunk Industrial stylings complete with parasols and mini riding hats. 

 Victorian Steampunk   , 30’s Retro, Even the mixed influences of the 40’s and the meaning of flowers as seen in the recent Royal wedding.

Whatever your Floral or fashion style, Let it express your personality. Yes The Flowers may fade, But the Memories of their beauty and fragrance will live on, just as the images above have. After all your wedding Photos will be the stuff of someone elses dreams in years to come.  Make it Memorable!

Thank you to those of you who allowed me to use your fashion images for this Blog, you are Awesome!

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Inside Weddings magazine!!

Fall 2010 cover

ECO FRIENDLY Weddings ?

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we are so pleased to be featured in the Fall 2010 seasons beautiful Inside Weddings magazine

Our wonderful Organic Bride and Groom , Amy & Nick asked us to create an Eco friendly wedding using sustainably grown veggies and flowers, materials and elements for a simply stunning vineyard wedding. Our 8 page feature shows just a hint of the wonderful touches that we created for them.

We hope that you will be inspired by this fun couple and allow us the Joy of bringing YOUR

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Wedding day vision to life.

Brides Organic Bouquet
Ceremony Dove release

Grooms Picasso calla

The use of rich colors and textures added to the organic elegance of the setting

Organic vegie decor and Lime seating cards By Suzanne
Organic table designs with a theme
The Guys
Ladies in Waiting

The Ladies

Amazing cake with a touch of our organic flowers and votives
Apple Table
In the orchard
Amy the Beautiful Organic Bride

Prefered Vendors Lists, Quality & Talent or Paid Ads, Brides Beware!

Planning a wedding or special event can be a daunting task.  Great vendors can make that experience a dream instead of a nightmare.

 Especially in our current economy.

So What’s wrong with just going with the Prefered Vendors on your Venues List?  Shouldnt that be the easiest option?

In all the craziness of the wedding biz there are some Venues that are holding the Couples over a barrel as well as vendors who wish to work at their locations, This is known as “Pay To Play” and is the dirty little secret that is creeping into the mix. 

Basically the situation rears its ugly head as you sit down to sign contracts on your dream venue and find that you MUST pick from a selection of Planners & Prefered vendors from a list. They may not fit your vision and price range, but you MUST use only these folks!  They do not tell you that the vendors have been asked to PAY a fee to be on the list and that some pay a percentage back to the venue. And who gets the fee tacked on to their bill? The bride of course!

Even worse is the “Outside” vendor fees some will demand if you wish to bring in your own Favorite baker, Florist, Photographer and Dj. I have heard outrageous fees of $500-$1000. to bring them in!  If you trust your selected vendors and they have proof of Business license and insurance and  references and a portfolio, why should they charge you to have them walk on the premises?

So how can this trend be stopped? Brides have More Power than they think. Voting with your Pocket book and selecting venues that allow you to be selective is a start.  After all you have worked hard to pay for your wedding and should be able to get the best fit for your personality and budget.

1. Ask the venue if they allow you to bring in your professional of choice. Most Quality venues will allow you to select florist, and photographers and Dj as long as they are licensed and insured. I stress the PRO aspect of this, as most wont allow DIY other than a favor or gift for the guests. DIY disasters of the past may have something to do with some of the reasoning they demand you to use their list, but most in the industry think it is  a $$$ Grab by venues feeling the economic pinch!

2.Ask if their “prefered ” vendors are PAID advertisers or PROVEN TALENT. If they are upfront they will disclose this.  Many wonderful venues and caterers have favorite folks they have worked with and who are respectful of the venue and meet the credentials and insurance demands of the property.These are the Proven talent and will be “Suggested” . You should be able to meet them and get a feel for their style and then decide. But NOT have to be forced to pick only these suggestions.

You may be into an alternative style of Music or Want RAW food or all organic floral designs. Will you have to Settle for a traditional meal , cookie cutter flowers and the 70-year-old house DJ?LOL  

3. Ask if you need to have an Insurance rider? Yes they do demand these at times and this is again an additional fee that may have to be added to your budget. Most professionals have basic liability, But when venues force  the harpist to show proof of $ million dollar insurance for her 30 minute performance. they can cause last-minute hassles. Day of event coverage can be purchased for your vendors , but some venues try to force out your selections the last week or so with this disclosure. ALWAYS check the contracts!

4. If  couples start opting for venues that allow some wiggle room and Individuality in the planning of their big days and avoid the Venues that demand “their way or the highway” it will  protect future couples from going over budget and not getting their dream wedding .

Above all NEVER go blindly into a contract , ask questions, and get written answers .

 Be pro active and aware that MANY fine independent vendors are being pushed out by this practice, and it is tainting the industry’s reputation.  YOU Have the Right to choose!

California Color!!!!! 2011 Trends are Popping!

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.

The Art of Selecting Wedding Flowers, What will my budget buy Part 2

5 Star beach resort

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 

Sunny Summer Bridal

Unique and interesting Mini designs

  

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. 

Laguna garden wedding

So Romantic!

Just Married!

Romantic Garden

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. 

Passionate Red at Estate
Lavish fall ceremony area
Lavish fall reset for reception
Winter Wonderland for 700!

  

Let It Snow!

Just remember… 

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!

Another happy Couple who chose wisely!

Earth Day an Organic wedding

Our Friends at Elysium Productions provided us with a Gorgeous HD video of our All Organic wedding with Amy & Nick at the Ponte family Estate winery in Temecula, Ca.

The Spring day was a delight as were the wonderful couple. I hope that you will enjoy this short video featuring our all Organic flowers and Veggies.

 Go to the Blog roll on the bottom right and Click on the Spring Organic wedding link.  Enjoy!

The Earth laughs in flowers…Plant some giggles for Earth day!

The Summer – A Creative Season

Welcome to my latest Blog!

We have had a fun and creative summer season at the studio.

Wonderful and creative clients allowing us to create the perfect events. From a Beautiful early summer Italian wedding at the Lake Of  Dreams in Temecula Wine Country,  a Pacific Garden wedding in Laguna at the Aliso Creek Inn, A crisp modern wedding in lime and sunny yellow set at the Summit House in Fullerton and one of the Most Romantic weddings and receptions with a Vintage feel at Rancho Los Lomas.

In between the weddings we have created theme events from a Newport Coast Japanese Samurai Party to a pretty in shocking pink Baby shower with our fun “Diaper cake” centerpiece.

I love meeting with my clients to get inside their head for the best of their visions on each life event.

I also have the pleasure of being the Special Event Expert at www.ubloom.com  , and with that in mind I have been meeting many interesting fellow creative artists, floral designers to hear the latest cutting edge ideas in technology and special event products and design concepts, which I will be sharing with all of you.

A special Thank You to www.StephanieWilliamsPhotography.com  for the beautiful Photos of Ashley & Jeff’s vintage wedding .

Stay tuned for a fabulous fall of amazing  events and weddings for more inspirations.