Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Windows on the Water, Millstone Township NJ

An English garden themed wedding....I can't wait to see the professionals pictures, especially since I wasn't able to get a picture of the bridal bouquet...I usually make a point to do it before I leave the house, but I figured since the ceremony and the reception were at the same location I'd have time on site to do it.  The cafe latte dahlias in the bouquet were amazing, but of course I was caught up in all the things that needed to be done on site...so no bouquet picture...or picture of the pretty dahlia that the flower girl held.  When I get the professional pictures I will most definitely post them.  There was a bunch to do on site, but thanks to the help from my wonderful and willing assistant Leslie everything was done in plenty of time.

The bride covered every little detail.  She wanted her wedding to be fit for style me pretty and from the wine bottle table markers, to the individualized mason glass jars and swirly pink straws (with a message to take them to the bar for a special drink....which was an warm apple pie drink...with whiskey I think...oh it sounded perfect for the chilly cool that set into the air once the sun set.)

I have a new favorite tool....zip ties.  I helped a friend do a wedding down in Philadelpia.  It was at the Penn Museum in the Chinese Antiquities section.  There were 600 paper cranes that needed lights inserted into them...I can say I luckily only did about 15 of these (I was on flower arranging duty)..but while we were all working one of my friends other assistants was using zip ties to attach bamboo to a plant stand (there were wooden lanterns on top...it was beautiful).  And he said they were his favorite thing so I bought some figuring I could use them instead of wire to attach branches to the Chuppah...It was sooooo much easier than using wire and I feel kind of silly for not thinking about using them before.  I had to move the arrangements from the Chuppah to the entrance way to the reception room...it only took me about 10 minutes all thanks to the zip ties.  I heart zip ties.

 Branches, passion vine, patience and Juliette garden roses, chamomile, white winter berries, ivory spray roses, peach and pink dahlias.

As the guests took their seats they could enjoy a cup of warm apple cider, to be had in apples that had the centers scooped out and cinnamon stick stirrers...as I was dismantling the Chuppah one of the staff told me to help myself...I was freezing and I must have had 8 apple fulls in a row.  It was that good.  During the day it was nice a warm in the sun, but I felt bad for the bride.  The ceremony began as the sun was setting and her dress had a cut out back and beautiful lace...I spoke to her later and she confessed that she was so cold she couldn't even cry!

The reception card table had two cake stands with flowers to compliment the centerpieces.  Here they are after I assembled them.   There was also a large rectangular planter for the gift card table, but boo..I didn't get a picture of that either.

The front and back of the sweetheart table...the bride contributed the LOVE cups.  From left to right...chamomile, Juliette garden roses, ivory spray roses, light pink dahlias...all with a few leaves of lambs ear.

Centerpieces were arranged so they were long rather than round.  Patience and Juliette garden roses, spray roses, succulents, winter berries, lambs ear, chamomile, cafe latte dahlias, pink and peach dahlias.

Peach and light pink Dahlia boutonnieres...

 The bridesmaids carried bouquets of the same mix of flowers as the centerpieces, arranged so they looked freshly picked out of the field.

The bridal bouquet pictures are coming!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Macaluso's Hawthorne, NJ

I am obsessed with succulents after doing this wedding.  I use 45 of them to complete all these looks and one of the best things about them is that all you need to do is give them a bed of soil afterwards and they will grow...sometimes they'll even be around for years.  So you'll see in the base of the vase I provided a rock covering, with soil and bark so the guests could simply take out the little vase of flowers and let their succulents continue to grow.  

The bride also had one large succulent and 6 small succulents in her bouquet, along with garden roses, spray roses, brunia, cafe latte dahlia's, seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller.  

The bridesmaids had a smaller succulent with sedum, dahlias, and spray roses.  

This wedding had the whole family involved....I made 21 boutonnieres and 14 corsages!  That's a record for me!

Pew bows for the church...

When first discussing ideas with the bride I came across an image online, that I maybe looked at for 2 seconds....then I couldn't find it again, but that was enough...I was inspired.  I love how the driftwood looks across the top with the succulent and cymbidium orchid.  For half I put the driftwood across the top, for the other half I had a dish with a floating candle and the driftwood was placed on the table next to the vase.  

I created my test run for this idea for a wedding show a few weeks earlier and I was able to get little trios of potted succulents to use inside the vase.  I ordered 22 more for this wedding only to have the supplier call me the day before the wedding to tell me he couldn't get them...really!  Ugh, this is why I pick up all my flowers myself.  In the flower district there are always alternatives.  I was able to get more large succulents when I picked up the rest of my order.  

These cylinder vases drove me crazy.....when I first unpacked them at home they were filthly...so I had to wash them with soap and water....and they smelled like fish inside!?   So weird....then when I took them out for the wedding they still didn't look clean so I cleaned them again with windex...so much work.  I won't be buying vases from there anymore!  

My next event is October 13th....and it's going to be a beauty!  I'm going to get the flower order together today and place it at the end of next week.  It's going to be so beautiful and I am using the chuppah again...but this time it's not a chuppah....just an arbor for the ceremony.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Stone House, Sterling Ridge NJ

I know I am getting better using my camera when I take a look at these pictures.   I am finally learning how to adjust the iso setting according to the lighting in the room, and even though it's not something difficult to do I am still happy I am getting the hang of it!

This wedding was fun all around.  The Bride was fun to talk to and work with and so was her mom!  I knew we would get along well when we first met and her mom was wearing a leopard print scarf...and really that became the inspiration for the decor of the wedding.  So how do you take the idea of red orange and leopard print and make it classy....take note and view this most dramatic bouquet....

Now if I told someone I was using black magic roses, brownie cymbidium orchids, leopard ribbon, peacock feathers, and peasant feathers they might think....whoa, this is going to be way over the top.  But wow, this just came out beautifully.

One slight problem....I bought the peasant feathers from one of my suppliers in the city.  The bottom of the stem was wrapped in a black tape.  I had no idea that when black ribbon got wet it would turn into purple stains on the hands of any one who held the bouquet.   I can't even imagine how I would have prepared for this...it didn't even cross my mind to check it.  The black tape was exactly the same material as my green tape I use on boutonnieres and that doesn't bleed.  The photographer noticed it before any major damage was done, and had black tape to tape around the already present black tape.  I really felt terrible though....

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of mokara orchids...

This wedding was also the debut of my Chuppah.  After much online research my dad helped me build this.    I'm already using it for two other events.  One in which the birch branches will also be visible and one where the entire thing will be draped in white fabric.  

The original idea was to just have white dendrobium orchids dripping from the Chuppah...to keep it simple for the ceremony and bring in the natural look of the venue, but the consensus was it looked a little boring, so I used the extra orange mokara orchids to bring a little more life to it.  

The kiddish (the table in the center), was covered by a blanket knitted by the grooms late grandmother...very sweet.  

The brides something old was a punch recipe her mom carries around with her...the first ingredient is southern comfort...I need to make this for my next party!

As I set up the centerpieces one of the wait staff pointed out that the mokara orchids looked like fall leaves.   The Stone House is one of my favorite venues and the color scheme for this wedding fit in so nicely.  There were three centerpieces, trees with candles and mokara orchids, trumpet vases with mokara orchid arrangements on top, and table level arrangements with roses, chocolate thai leaves, and brownie cymbidium orchids.

How cute is this....I really wanted to get a picture of this...and right after I heard the click my battery died...nice!      

Monday, September 3, 2012

Terrace in the Park, Flushing NY

The wedding was on Saturday, but it was a big production and I don't mean this in a bad way at all, I loved how everything turned out and more importantly so did the bride,...there was just alot that couldn't be done until we were on site.

For the ceremony there were going to be chicken wire cones to hold the flowers for the 20 pew bows.  And trees and columns....I had this beautiful vision and the bride was on board.  Because I used my manzanita branch trees I had to rent a van, I made the reservation probably about 1 month before the wedding.   I made the cones, one night the week before, after going to home depot to buy the chicken wire (I have a guy in there who honestly laughs at me when I tell him what I am trying to build and asking him where to find things...the last one was the components to build project chuppah...that will be in the next post!)  After cutting all the wire I used a traffic cone to shape them, then I twisted the ends together so they would keep their shape.  The next day my 4 year old son helped me filled them with moss as I attached the pew bow holders.  From start to finish it probably took me 3 hrs to build these.

Some of the pictures came out a little blurry and I hate that they just don't do the setting justice....this was so beautiful!

The bride also supplied me with the table numbers she wanted to use, sans the numbers though, since she is a friend ;) I printed, cut out, and put all the table numbers in, this probably took about 1 hr.

Here is her bouquet of spray roses, garden roses, and phalaenopsis orchids and the bridesmaids made of the same just in a different color scheme.

In the winter I'll usually pick up my flowers 2 days before the event so they have time to open, in the summer I usually go one day before, but it also depends on the type of flowers.

This event had lots of phalaenopsis orchids and garden roses, so I picked up the order Friday.  I drove into NYC at 6am and after shopping for the odds and ends for this wedding and the other two events I was working on I was home at 11am.  Then the next two hours were spent putting all the flowers in water.  So I was 'finished' with this part of the day at 1pm.  8 hrs later I was back to work building the 20 pew bows, and 10 of the centerpieces.  The other 10 used birdcages...so cool...and we were recycling the flowers from the pew bows to save money.

5am Saturday, the day of the wedding I was up making boutonnieres, bouquets, and corsages.  By 10:30 the van was packed and we were off to the church in NYC.  11:30am we arrived at the church, I walked a few blocks away to bring the bride her bouquet for pictures, then I was back to the church to set up.  Here is what we did.
2 sets of pillars to be set up.  2 pillars would hold centerpieces that would later be used at the reception and the two other pillars had the manzanita branch trees on them.  The trees needed to be dresses with orchids and hanging vases with garden roses.  At the base of these are two birdcages with small arrangements of roses and garden roses, with a white lantern.
At the church the pew bows needed to be hung and the orchids and ivy added since this wouldn't travel well attached.  At 1:30 we were finished.  The ceremony was at 2, so just in time.

The cocktail hr at The Terrace in the Park began at 6pm.  It was about a 20 min drive. This is the trio of vases for the tables at the cocktail hr.  The green 'vase' is actually an olive oil bottle...I love this olive oil and it doesn't hurt that I get to use the bottle again!   The funky looking flower is a blushing bride brunia.

 The ceremony ended at 3, but then there were the family photos....we didn't leave the church until about 3:45, and by the time we got to the reception site...ugh...their freight elevator was the slowest elevator on the face of the planet....soooooo sloooowww...and unless you wanted to walk up the 5 flights of stairs it was the only way up with all our stuff.  By the time we had everything up it was 4:45.  And then the big shock...the reception and the cocktail hr were in the same room!  I knew the reception started at 7pm and that setting up the cocktail hr for 6pm wouldn't take too long...I'm thinking on the way there we will still have plenty of time to assemble the birdcages, which were being made from the pew bow flowers.   Not only did we only have until 6 to set up, the maitre d informed us that no, we only had until 5:30 because that's when they let the guests up.   So 45 min to make 10 centerpieces (the birdcages), set up the cocktail hr, and put all the finishing touches that I had planned in my head, like petals on the table and such.  She asked me if I would be done by then and in my frantic state with the info I had just learned, I plainly said 'No' and went back to work.

Of course we did finish, I always do...and this whole time when I say we, I mean me and my assistant (cough, husband).  I didn't hire an assistant for the day because since this was a friends wedding and we were also invited I figured he'd be there to help....and the icing on the cake...it was also his birthday.  I have a very, very, very supportive husband...I am a lucky gal....what guy would do all the grunt work, be ordered around by his wife, about how to deal with flowers non the less...again, I am a lucky gal.  Normally for an event like this I would have hired at least 1 assistant, maybe two.

I can't wait for the professionals pictures.  These are all pictures I took, some the day of and some the day after the wedding, since the birdcages are now in my arsenal of cool things to rent to brides.  I'm already planning on using them for an October wedding.

 These fans are from the bridal shower.  We played a cute game where the maid of honor made a statement and we had to decide if Helen or Larry would have said it.  We voted by holding up the fan.

After the wedding was over my husband and I broke everything down and packed up.  He enjoyed his birthday after all....and was so funny on the way home.  He had brought a seltzer with him, but we didn't stop all day so it sat in the van.  He tried drinking it on the way home...warm seltzer.  He took a sip and started ranting about...aggghhhh warm seltzer...it's burning my throat....ugggh it's so warm...(he takes another sip)...uggghhh warm seltzer is terrible..it's burning...aggghhh...and so on for about 10 minutes.  Then I had quiet the rest of the ride home.  We got home at 1:30am.....The next day was clean up.  Clean out the van, return the van, put my supplies away, clean up my mess in my studio (aka the basement), this all took about 4 hrs, then I could finally rest....ahhhhh.  And get ready for the next weekends wedding!