Tag Archives: wedding

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!

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

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!

Christmas in July!!

You may be thinking of a cool drink on the beach, But Florists Review is  treating flower lovers to the hottest Holiday designs!

We are lucky enough to have 2 of our top sellers featured !!

Its never too early to think about booking your parties and winter weddings!

Let us show you how amazing and cutting edge your event can be.

Call us today

Asian Influenced Table decor for a Zen holiday feel.

amazing  glass keepsake topper designs

available in other styles to fit your theme and holiday decor

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!

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

 

 

Trend Watch 2010

As unique as each of us are. We look to fashion and color forcasts for what will be Hot & Hip in the coming year.

The Trends that will be available for the coming season for special event items and themes. A Pop of color or a splash of exotic textures used in unexpected ways will set your decor apart.

Eco & Green is still at the forefront, with fabulous  decor fabrics of Bamboo and even recycled Soda Bottles with the feel of fine silk!

Colors are being drawn from earthy elements. The refreshing tones of true rich Turquoise and muted pewter and sterling will be big.

 Dusty tones in amethyst, Plum and vintage pinks will be strong.

Complimentary color wheel tones of Coral and Lilac.

Red in vintage shades and romantic Tea stained Ivories are returning to the forefront.

Steampunk with its Jules Verne edge will surface. Tim Burtonesque “Alice” Inspired colors and textures for reception themes.

Garden roses, Calla and Dahlias will be hot summer favorites.Organic garden veggies and herbal touches will be surprise additions to wedding bouquets and decor.

More textures and layers of design will be seen.

A return to Edwardian Elegance with lace and pleated edges.Lower multi piece centerpieces with a tablescape approach of found items and mini antique ribbons and lace. fruit & floral bowls.

Of course you can always start your own tasteful trends.Inspirations are all around you. from a scene in a great Novel to your favorite bistro.

If it moves you and intrigues the senses, you are on the right track.

Here is to a very creative 2010!

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!!