Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Art of Making Pretty - The Proposal

Every year I try to set new goals for myself - whether it be for professional, health or personal gain. This year I am determined to help educate others, and provide real information about floral design.  The posts will be a series called " The Art of Making Pretty". Some of these "lessons" may include my own personal experiences and challenges, my opinions, expectations or suggestions that I think will be helpful when searching for and working with a floral designer for a wedding or event.

Floral designers are a different breed of people. I am convinced there is something in our DNA that sets us apart. It may look and sound glamorous, but it is actually very hard work. We do not just play with flowers. In the past I have described what I have as a passion. I am not so sure that quite describes it, but I suppose it sounds better than what it really is - a possession.

Exhibit A: Here I really am "playing with flowers"

I will start by telling you we are not one size fits all. Floral designers are imaginative, inspired, driven, and yes, our own brand of crazy. Our number one asset is our mind. When you choose to hire a floral designer, you are making an investment in our creativity, our essence. That process for us starts with the very first email or phone call. Maybe it moves along to a consultation, and then a proposal.

The proposal, and why it is valuable

Okay, here it goes!

When you receive a proposal from a floral designer it is more than line items and inspiration pictures. It is a piece of their intellectual property. Intellectual property can be tricky. It is never fun to get an email or phone call from another designer to tell you that one of your proposals has been handed to them. Using a proposal from another designer as a bargaining chip does not go over well with us. That single action devalues who we are as individual artists.

It take hours to create a proposal. Time as we all know is precious. Time has value. Creativity has value. Ideas have value. Intellectual property is real. It is defined as a work, idea, or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design to which one has rights to.

 If you choose not to work with someone for whatever reason, please be mindful of the time and energy it took to create that proposal. Thank them, and then rip it up or delete it. Rejection is okay. Just do it with respect.

I absolutely love what I do and the people I get to meet and work with, truly. Floral design is hard work that I am addicted to. I will always want more, and more. If nothing else, I hope this information will help to create awareness both for the clients and my fellow designer brothers and sisters.

Exhibit B - I made this 1/4 mile trek across a field, then up a hill to reach a clearing in the woods
10 times on a warm humid day. I did not mind because the bride and family were wonderful! 
However this is definitely an example of "working with flowers," definitely not "playing."

Every designer works really hard. They do not just make things pretty and play with flowers...well maybe sometimes :-)  We want you to come to us for what we do best. Floral design is a very niche market. If you love someones signature style then you should work with them. Make it a priority. Only that designer can create that design. Only they know the process it took to take those splendid stems from inspiration to reality.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Kelly & Rob - Inn at Saratoga Wedding

I am finally catching up on some long overdue blogging. This wedding was a very special one for me. Kelly, the bride, grew up right next door to me. Funny thing, we lived on a small cul-de-sac in the lower Hudson Valley named Floral Road. When Kelly and I sat down to plan her wedding flowers, she told me that she was happy to see me at work as a floral designer. She said it made more sense to her than my past teaching career.

We grew up running around the woods, covering ourselves in mud, trying to build forts, putting on neighborhood plays, trying to save little creatures and playing with stray animals. She and I have always been a couple of old souls. We spoke with British accents whenever possible; discussed china patterns and pewter; we carried parasols, not umbrellas...all by age 7. We had little supervision, but that was the norm for the time and place. We were explorers, scientists, royalty, wild animals. We made up games and secret languages. My childhood adventures with her have played a major role in who I am today. Reconnecting with her and meeting her now husband, Rob, was such a joy! I am so very honored to have been a part of their wedding day. I am thrilled that they found each other - partners in the adventure of life, sharing their own secret language.

Kelly and Rob were married in Saratoga Springs, NY. They held their intimate and classic wedding at The Inn at Saratoga. The couples aesthetic was one of understated luxury. Lush, yet clean, classic, and romantic.

Thank you to Rob Spring Photography for sharing these lovely images!

Congratulations Kelly and Rob!!!!!

 Inn at Saratoga Summer Wedding Bouquet Flowers

Inn at Saratoga Summer Bridal Bouquet FlowersInn at Saratoga Summer Bride's Bouquet Flowers

Inn at Saratoga Summer Brides and Bridesmaid's Bouquet Peony Flowers

Peony Bridal Bouquet

Peony Boutineer

Peony Boutineer

Inn at Saratoga Wedding flowers

Inn at Saratoga Wedding flowers

Inn at Saratoga Wedding flowers

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Featured in WellWed New York Issue No. 13

I really have been lucky recently. I get to work with fantastic brides, grooms and professionals that just so happen to be great people!...and then to have our work showcased on industry blogs and in print is icing on the cake!

A few months ago one of our shoots was featured in WellWed New York Issue No. 13. I guess it is now safe to post some jpgs from the article. It was great working with Stacie Shea Events, Brooke Allison Photography, Stefanie Kapra Photo, Lovely Cakes, Borrowed & Blue, Simply Gorgeous by Erin, Ten Four Paper, The Plumed Serpent Bridal & The Roundhouse At Beacon Falls.

WellWed New York Issue No 13 Page 159 - Wedding Florist

WellWed New York Issue No 13 Page 160 - Wedding Florist

WellWed New York Issue No 13 Page 161 - Wedding Florist

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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Plaza Hotel NYC Photoshoot

In the spirit of striving towards the impossible task of 'being caught up' here are the images from this beautiful photoshoot at The Plaza in NYC that was featured on Style Me Pretty in September. It dawned on me that I never got around to posting the pictures on my own blog! These photos are from the oh so talented Carmen Santorelli and the shoot was organized by Stacie Shea Events. All the vendors involved in this shoot are located at the end of this post.

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Bouquet

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding BouquetThe Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Bouquet

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Bouquet

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Bouquet

The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Centerpiece Arrangement


The Plaza Hotel NYC Wedding Centerpiece Arrangement

Photography: Carmen Santorelli Photography / Photography Assistant: Helga Schaefer / Photo Shoot Venue: The Plaza in New York, New York / Event Planning: Stacie Shea Events / Floral Design: Splendid Stems / Wedding Cakes + Desserts: Sugar Flower Cake Shop / Paper Goods: Ten Four Paper / Calligraphy: Jessica Haley Ink / Linens: La Tavola / Dishes + Glassware: The Plaza Hotel + Rent Vintage China / Wedding Dresses: Ines DiSanto via Bridal Reflections / Hair Accessories: Bridal Reflections / Hair + Makeup: Erica Ogawa / Tuxedo: Calvin Klein via Men’s Wearhouse (Stamford, Connecticut) / Models: Randall Harris + Molly Randall

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Monday, March 17, 2014

The Work of the Weavers..Feature on SMP

I woke up to a nice surprise!  Splendid Stems is featured on Style Me Pretty today! When I receive the photos from the lovely Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography, I will share some more images and details of the flowers!

I loved working with Stacie Shea Events, The White Dress by the Shore, Lovely Cakes, Meant To Be Sent, Jennie Fresa and Posh Salon.

It really takes a village to turn inspiration into a dreamy reality! Feeling lucky indeed on this St. Paddy's Day! Now it is time to crank up The Clancy Brothers and do a wee jig!

You can check out the whole SMP entry by clicking here...

Here is one picture from the entry:

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