Friday, November 11, 2011

Lucky Me

Wow! I have been having a great week! I am working on a beautiful wedding for 11-11-11, and I met my flower hero - Ariella Chezar (I felt like a little kid meeting Cinderella in Disney) !!! I felt tongue tied, awestruck. Her work is a constant source of inspiration for me, and her book Flowers for the Table is in my Top 3 of my flower library. If you haven't seen her work, you just have to take a peek http://www.ariellaflowers.com/ . She was very nice and gracious while I sputtered my words. Okay, I have to stop gushing - still flabbergasted : ) .

Things are slowing down, well sort of now that wedding season 2011 is over. This winter, I will be busy planning away and sourcing material for the 2012 season. For those of you who have worked with me before, you know how crazy I get to make sure the whole design is seamless - I love the entire creative process, and bringing a clients vision to life (or their mothers : )). Really, I don't just cut up flowers and plunk them in a vase the day before and that's all she wrote. I plan each event thoughtfully and carefully - the #1 reason I only take one full service event per week. I just can't justify short changing a couple to make more $$$. Maybe not smart business wise, but floral design it is a lot of work physically.


These nut jobs keep my pretty busy too. To say that life is a balancing act is an understatement. But for all the things you are passionate about in life, time is simply created. For me - family (dog included), flowers, and running just work together. I feel very fortunate.


These were taken at the Mass Audubon in Wellfleet. Makes me really miss my garden. Hopefully this winter in upstate New York will not be cruel.... I know, I'm laughing too, but I can dream.


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Monday, November 7, 2011

Bridal Bouquets - Just My Two Cents

Sorry for my long absence, I have been caught up in the back to school, trick-or-treat Mommy rat race for the past month. Yes, it is fun to be part of that race - feels like I am finally in the lead for once : )!!! Okay, I am not going to talk about my wonderful family or hectic schedule anymore - but the topic does come up often.

Back in flower mode, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on bridal bouquets. For me, it is the single most important floral aspect of a wedding. The bouquet is a MAJOR accessory, and it should compliment your gown (yes I must see a picture of your gown before giving my two cents on what type of bouquet would work best) and reflect your personality. Some things to consider are: season, color, and size (it should be scaled to your proportions). However, I do love large lush bouquets - it is your only time to have one right? Right????

You are probably thinking, what about the budget? When asked, I will always tell a future bride that this is the area not to skimp - if possible. The bouquet will be featured in almost all of your wedding pictures and will most likely be in the wedding portrait that will hang on a wall in your home FOREVER. No doubt the other florals will be memorable, but it is unlikely you will hang a picture of your centerpiece or bridesmaid bouquets in your living room. My mother always looks at hers (42 years later) and is still upset that she settled on carnations to cut costs. I am not saying that you should go ahead and drop $500 - but to simply go ahead and treat yourself. What is reasonable? I would say anywhere from $150 and up. Just my opinion and I am sure other florists will tell you differently - but remember the quality of the blooms and the experience of the designer is highly important. The old adage "you get what you pay for" could also be translated here to "You get WHO you pay for."

When designing a wedding, I save the bridal bouquet for the very last (I love saving the best of everything in life for the last). The blooms have been carefully hand selected and brought to their peak. Everyone knows when I am ready to design a bouquet, because they are not allowed to step foot near me or utter a word until its completion. I can be a bit of a diva like that. I really do put my all into these beauties and never settle until it is absolutely perfect for the bride. I am pretty hard on myself in general, so my character "flaw" pays off in this department.

I will leave you with some lovelies.

White Peony Bridal Bouqet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

White Peony Bridal Bouqet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

White rose, hydrangea & lily of the valley bridal bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Phalaenopsis orchid, calla lily bridal bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Colorful peony and rose bridal bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Wedding Something Blue Bridal Bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs



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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mary & Joe's Marathon Wedding

I had the honor this past weekend of designing for one of my most unique and fun events thus far. Mary and Joe decided to renew their vows after 20 wonderful years of marriage. When I talked to Mary over the phone I could just tell how happy she was to be getting married to her husband, best friend and training partner all over again.

Mary and Joe enjoy exercising. She supported Joe during his recent half-ironman and he supports Mary during her long distance runs. What made their story special and fun is that they were to renew their vows after Mary crossed the finish line of the Hudson Mohawk River Marathon in Albany, NY this past weekend.


Mary's bouquet was composed of rich fall hued roses, antique hydrangea and clematis vine from my garden, eggplant mini callas, hypericum berry, and seeded eucalyptus.





Mary's daughters carried smaller posies of roses and seeded eucalyptus.


I added a pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon to each of the bouquets. Mary is a survivor and a great example of just how strong the cancer community is.



I couldn't leave Joe out! He donned a simple boutonniere of mini calla and hypericum berry



I trained for this marathon, but due to injury, I was forced to watch, cheer and take pictures of all the amazing runners. This photo was taken at approximately the 1 mile point in Niskayuna, NY. My Splendid Stems facebook page has a Marathon Album with many more pictures. Feel free to see if you or one of your friends are in my pictures.

Mary giving a finishing kick in Albany's Corning Preserve.

Mary wore a special running shirt that said "Here Comes the Bride." Mary is Chief Running Officer and owner of Running High Tees, specializing in everyday tees and running shirts with various sayings...some that are just plain fun and some great sayings that support the cancer survivor community. Mary is also a regular on the Times Union Runners Blog and her Because Mary Says So facebook page is a place where runners of all levels can go and interact, get support and to have some fun.


Mary with Joe and their two daughters. Note Joe's runner's tuxedo attire.


What's not to celebrate?


Congratulations Mary on your 26.2 and on your and Joe's first 20 years of happily ever after.

Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

btw - Mary will be putting her mantra "Stronger than Cancer, Faster than Fear" to the test as she does her 2nd marathon in 8 days this weekend in Syracuse...crazy! Good Luck!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Gabriella & Justin's Wedding

Vendela rose, spray rose, white freesia, ranuculas bridal bouquet  - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to design the personal flowers for Gabriella and Justin's wedding.  She wanted something classic, elegant, and very traditional. Her bouquet was composed of ivory Vendela roses, white spray roses, white freesia, and one of my favorites, ranuculas.

     Vendela rose, spray rose, white freesia, ranuculas bridal bouquet  - Splendid Stems Floral DesignsVendela rose, spray rose, white freesia, ranuculas bridal bouquet  - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Vendela rose, spray rose, white freesia, ranuculas bridal bouquet  - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

  


Bridesmaids bouquets fuchsia stock, lavender freesia, pink Esperanza roses, and mauve spray roses - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

The bridesmaids carried romantic hand tied bouquets of fuchsia stock, lavender freesia, pink Esperanza roses, and mauve spray roses.  The handles were wrapped with a lavender organza ribbon.

Bridesmaids bouquets fuchsia stock, lavender freesia, pink Esperanza roses, and mauve spray roses - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Bridesmaids bouquets fuchsia stock, lavender freesia, pink Esperanza roses, and mauve spray roses - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

When Gabriella and I met, it was 10 days before her wedding! That night I went home and got right to work on my " recipes". The next morning, all of the flowers were ordered, and to my relief - I was able to get all  of my requests met. Typically, for a wedding, I make all of my orders at least 3 weeks in advance to ensure that most of my floral needs will be met.



Hydrangea and rose pew markers - Splendid Stems Floral DesignsHydrangea and rose pew markers - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Sprays of white hydrangea and roses to mark the pews at All Saints Catholic Church in Albany.


Gabriella and Justin went on to celebrate their large wedding at The Italian American Club. She had mentioned that if all of her family from Italy were able to attend, the head count would have been up to 400 !!!! Gabriella, you were a such a beautiful and radiant bride, I wish you both many, many years of happiness!!!!

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Elizabeth & Brian's Albany Country Club Wedding

hydrangea, white garden roses, spray roses,white ranuculas, delphinium, fresh lavender, blue tweedia, and dusty miller Bridal Bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Brian! They celebrated their wedding at The Albany Country Club. I loved working with them. Elizabeth has quite the green thumb herself, and was inspired by the beautiful gardens of her childhood home. It must be noted that she is a third generation Albany Country Club bride as her grandmother and mother were also married there!!!


Her bouquet was composed of hydrangea, white garden roses, spray roses,white ranuculas, delphinium, fresh lavender, blue tweedia, and dusty miller. I love this one, and the fact that it served as her something blue.

hydrangea, white garden roses, spray roses,white ranuculas, delphinium, fresh lavender, blue tweedia, and dusty miller Bridal Bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs


Antique hydrangea, Faith roses, purple spray roses, scabiosa pods, and silvery dusty miller Bridesmaid Bouquet - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

The bridesmaids carried hand tied bouquets of antique hydrangea, Faith roses, purple spray roses, scabiosa pods, and silvery dusty miller.



I added streaming ribbon to the toss bouquet to make the "event" more dramatic. 


Boutonnieres of fresh lavender, scabiosa pods, dusty miller and a touch of tweedia - Splendid Stems Floral Designs
Boutonniere's made with fresh lavender, scabiosa pods, dusty miller and a touch of tweedia for the groom.


The large lantern held the cards, a great idea. I added some roses, petals, and trailing euonymus. I love my job, but truth be told I am a little camera shy, John snuck this one by me : ).



This guy comes in handy, I think I'll keep him around.


Hydrangea and rose pew buckets - Albany Country Club Wedding - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Detail of the pew buckets. They were later re-purposed on the cocktail tables.



Great view!!! They chose to hold the ceremony in The Albany room as opposed to the patio outside. Elizabeth and Brian made that choice a long time ago to avoid the "in" or "out" dilemma couples are often faced with. It did not rain that day, but it sure was Hot!!!

               

Sweet bride and groom chairs - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

                    Sweet bride and groom chairs. It's the little details like this that make me smile.



The centerpieces were designed in classic urns displaying a bounty of gardenesque blooms. I love the romantic composition, it suits the ball room perfectly.


Table Centerpieces - Albany Country Club Wedding - Splendid Stems Floral Designs

Thank you Elizabeth and Brian for choosing Splendid Stems to create your wedding flowers! Have a wonderful time in Hawaii !



One of the many, many beautiful gardens on the grounds of Albany Country Club.

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