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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 ?

YOU BET!!!!

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

arbor details

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

A Blooming Magical Day

So what do flower folks do on a day off?

We go to DISNEYLAND!!

I had the pleasure of organizing the first Blooming Magical Day @Disneyland for Ubloom.com On 8/29/10

I had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with one of the Rock Stars of the floral world- J Schwanke.

J is the founder of Ubloom and the fabulous host  of JTV. His Monday fun with flowers webisodes are seen by fans around the world!

J and his film crew were visiting California on their California Grown Experience tour. Filming some of the most awe inspiring flower feilds and meeting the growers who make our state so colorful. 

J and his Partner Graphic artist Kelly Blank joined UBloom Friends and family on a day of fun at the Mouse House.

Arriving at Disneyland as the gates opened we knew it would be a fun day.

A meet & greet at the castle was Blooming magical with a surprise visit from Aurora

and Tinkerbell.

The day was filled with rides, and laughs, good food and fun.

& we topped the day off with the Celebration Parade and a ride on the CA. Adventure Roller coaster “California Screamin'”( hilarious video viewing available on Facebook at Ubloom )

and the beautiful World Of Color Water show.

I invite you to tune in to JTV at http://www.Ubloom.com for the Ca.flower segments and our silly out takes and flower fun with some very talented flower folks!

After all, when we can  get together and have fun Our creative work can only be more inspired!

have a wonderful Fall season and contact me ASAP for your fabulous fall and Winter creations!

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.

Floral Designer to the Rescue!

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

 

 

Celebs, Books & Blooms

You just never know what awaits you each week!

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.

The Essence of Autumn

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!!

Maui Magic

Aloha Flower Folks!antheriums

So what does a floral designer do on her vacation? 

She searches for a paradise of flowers and other artists to visit.

I usually spend at least 2 weeks on Kauai, But Alan, my Hubby wanted to return to Maui for some diving and visits with friends.fish 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turtle & friend

We arrived on Maui to wonderful late summer weather with cooling trade winds.  Staying In the Kahana area in a beach front Condo was a plus, close enough to walk to many sites with shopping and galleries nearby.

The condo was decorated in beautiful Japanese Shoji screens and a bamboo canopy bed, that was lovely to see, but hellishly hard, LOL. Making napping on the sand with a good book a delight.

I met some wonderful artists and designers as I visited the towns around the island. look for an article or two soon at UBloom with photo gallery images.

In the mean time, here are some of my faves from the trip.Rissi at Lahaina Luau

Rissi, Our Hostess with the mostest at the Old Lahiana Luau,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jack the Dog & Big Blue the Cat from Anuheua Flowers in Makawao,(farm owners Judy & Bill Merten were a deligBig Blue in Judy Mertens Studioh

 t) ,Official Farm greeter at the Anuhea Protea farm

 

the carved art and antiques,at the Maui Swap meet,

sumo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And spotting the fact that due to economic factors,  even Buddha was for sale in Lahaina! Karma for sale                                                                                                      

Lots of fond memories, and new friendships  to cherish.

And now back to work in my studio with wonderful fall weddings and parties to plan. I look forward to the winter holidays ahead, and welcome your calls for party and holiday house decor .

As they say in Hawaii- Mahalo ( Thank You!) for a fun season!dreadlock surfer

Suzanne