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
Wedding day vision to life.
The use of rich colors and textures added to the organic elegance of the setting
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!
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!
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
I love the fall season with its lush color and textures.
Some of the most amazing weddings and events I have designed have been in Autumn. Many have won awards and have been featured in Magazines.
Brides who love color will love the many combinations of seasonal details. From firey oranges and reds, to rich tawny gold and antique rose shades. There are early harvest shades with the beauty of green leaves turning to soft yellow to vibrant burgundy. Fruit and seeds, wheat and fall berries and of course pumpkins and branches.
Although the feel of fall in So. California is not the same as our east coast friends. I love to recreate the experience for my west coast clients.
This can be achieved by “setting” the area with eye catching details and scents that bring memories of home, family and season. Bowls of cinnamon infused leaves and pods set amid amber glass candle holders that emit an inviting warmth. A large rustic urn filled with Fall football mums, pepper berries and chines lantern plant.
Then the Gothic touches that come with the Month of October. Deep purples and reds with calla, Black sweet Potato vine and amaranthus add drama.
Whimsy can be had in the colors of candy corn and lime with black & white.
Anything goes for the Halloween bride, from a masquerade formal reception right out of Phantom to an all out Vampire and Monster mash .
As with any fall event, send out your save the dates early, as this is the start of party season and who doesnt love a good party!!