Archive for the ‘Details’ Category

White Beach-chic Wedding

October 12, 2010

Allison and Ryan are just too cute together.  On the day of the floral mockup, Ryan arrived first.  He took one look at the centerpiece on my kitchen table,  and kept saying, “I can’t WAIT for Ali to see this! She’s going to love it!”  When Allison arrived, she squealed with delight and couldn’t stop raving.  At that moment it hit them- all the details of their big day were coming together.  Their excitement was contagious.

For their wedding at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, Allison wanted a soothing white palette with some drape and movement to the arrangements.  Lots of lush, petally flowers mixed in with more tropical orchids.  She wanted to incorporate some beachy motifs, such as clam shells, coral and starfish.

I finally had a chance to work with Drew B. Photography, and not only was she sweet as pie, but the images turned out gorgeous. See her blog post for the full slideshow!

Carina from Flawless Faces brought out Allison’s sunkissed California beauty.  Carina’s work is perfection.  Sidenote: my friend Trista Lerit took a private makeup lesson from Carina, and now every time I see Trista, I notice how flawless her face really looks.  I’m thinking about taking a lesson…

Such gorgeous shimmery shoes, like fish scales.

The bouquets, round but not too perfect. Full of variety and texture.  My style in a nutshell, I suppose.

I’m dying over these ballet slippers!

Definitely my favorite detail- a flower stuffed clamshell for the ring bearer to hold.

One of the first times I’ve actually ever seen this- real rings actually tied to the pillow!  They really trusted this little guy.

I love the bridesmaids’ Vera Wang dresses (Proof: my dear bridesmaids actually wore the very same ones 🙂

Men look so handsome and spiffy in uniform. 

Such a special moment!

We kept the ceremony decor simple and serene.  The plexiglass columns looked clean and allowed the natural beauty of the ocean view to shine through.  I’ve now used those columns for at least 6 or 7 weddings.  An expensive prop to purchase initially, but one that has definitely proven useful over the years!

We also hung champagne paper cones along the aisle, filled with petals.

Although from the looks of this picture I don’t think some of the guests got the memo to throw them… oh well, they are still pretty, right?

Some stunning beachside portraits…

I LOVE California!!!

We did three different centerpieces in the reception.  One short glass cube filled with white flowers and seashells, one glass tray filled with flowers and candles, and these fluffy white tall centerpieces with submerged starfish.

A million thank you’s to Allison and Ryan for letting me share in the energy and excitement of your big day!



A Quiet Seaside Ceremony

September 18, 2010

It’s been a little while since I blogged, and I thought I’d ease back into it by posting just a few pics of a recent ceremony.  It took place in Pines Park overlooking the ocean.  The beautiful bride and groom, Dawn and Joe, had gone through so many trials during their engagement.   I got to know the character of their love as I watched them surpass each trial with grace and joy.

Our first consultation was almost 2 years ago (!) and I’ll never forget how Dawn described her style.  “I’m a T-shirt, jeans and flip flops with diamond earrings kind of gal”.  It’s totally true!  Both having grown up as beach bums, their style is casual and beachy, but with a touch of refined elegance.

Their ceremony was peaceful, organic and soothing. Contentment was in the breeze!  Best way I can describe it.

Thank you to JAC photography for these insanely beautiful pictures.  Dawn, a photographer herself, chose very, very well.

Dawn’s bouquet was a lush blend of dahlias, succulents and orchids, including my favorites, Cattleyas.

The groom, Joe, created that beautiful cross from driftwood he found at the beach.

Precious enough for a J. Crew catalog!  Such beautiful wispy haired girls.

I really love the aisle treatment for this ceremony.  Beautiful chunks of driftwood, coral and ocean rocks lined the aisle.  Bamboo bowls filled with orchids sat atop huge monstera leaves, waiting to be tossed at the bride and groom as they made their way back down the aisle.

Another look at Dawn’s bouquet…

We hung simple orchid leis accented with starfish from the trees.


Congratulations, Dawn and Joe!  May the same peace and contentment of your beautiful ceremony live on every day in your marriage.  It was an honor working with you 🙂

Hand-Pressed Petals

August 13, 2010

One crafty afternoon, my assistant Montita came over with her flower-making supplies to teach me the art of pressed millinery flower making.  Montita was a silk flower maker in Thailand, and she is a fount of wisdom on the subject.   Let me just say it’s  a difficult and time-consuming process.  Here’s what we went through to make one fluffy flower:

1.  Boiled clear gelatin with water to make a liquid, and spread it onto sheets of fabric.  Hung them outside to dry.

2.  Tested out the irons to make sure they weren’t so hot that they would melt or burn the fabric.

3.  Hand cut petals from our stiffened fabric. We used silk dupioni and a thinner poly silk.

4.  Used over 4 different iron tips on each petal to achieve the exact curve, curl, and wrinkle we were going for.

5.  Stacked each layer of petals, and sewed them together using pearls as “stamens”.

Here is the result!  I made this super simple ivory flower with freshwater pearl center especially for my friend Kim to wear on her wedding day.  I’m so honored that she wore one of my first hand-pressed creations on her big day!

Image courtesy of Orange Turtle Photography.

Here is a more complex peony flower that I made for one of my dearest clients to wear next weekend on her wedding day.  The lace bits compliment the rustic Spanish feel of her wedding perfectly.

These flowers are so much effort, but they are infinitely more beautiful than some silk flower you’d buy from a craft store, chop off the stem, and glue to a hair clip.  I’ve been experimenting with different fabrics, fabric dyes, and iron tips to see what comes of it.

My FIRST Destination Wedding!

August 8, 2010

At 3:00 am, Joe and I load buckets of flowers into my van and head up the California coast to San Jose.  Deliriously tired, but also filled with adrenaline. Thinking morbid thoughts of the van breaking down in the middle of the cow fields of central California, or the air conditioner stopping, killing all the precious flowers.  Don’t get me wrong, my van is in excellent condition (I even had enough foresight to get it tuned up beforehand) but when you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of perishables across the state, your imagination can run wild.

Destination weddings are really difficult for florists, hence I rarely do them.  Here’s why:

  1. There’s the issue of flower transport.  I had three options- buy them from the San Fran mart, have them shipped from LA to the Bay Area, or bring them up myself.  I chose the latter, mostly because I love and trust my LA vendors and  I’ve only been to the San Fran mart once.  I figured I could pull off the drive as long as the flowers were carefully cleaned and processed, had plenty of fresh water for the trip, and we left under the cover of darkness before it got too hot.
  2. You need a place to assemble the flowers, which can be a wild and messy process.  Luckily, the bride Kim is one of my good friends, and her parents offered up their garage as a workshop.  Otherwise, I would have needed to rent out space from another flower shop so I would have access to buckets, a sink, dumpsters, work tables, and ideally, a cooler.
  3. What about assistants?  We flew two of my assistants up just for the occasion.
  4. Vases and supplies?  We brought them all up with us in the van.  Had we chosen to fly up instead of drive, we would have needed to ship them ahead of time, or purchase them there.

As you can see, it’s a complicated process that requires a lot of planning.  I’m in awe of florists who regularly do destination weddings.  More power to you!  What is your secret?

Without further adieu, I present to you Mike and Kim’s gorgeous wedding!  All images by the fabulous Cindy and Daniel of  Orange Turtle Photography!

Meet Kim, one of my favorite people in the world.  A gentle, generous, vivacious, artistic, architect.   Quite a catch!

As roommates in college, I told Kim that big, fluffy peonies were my favorite flower.  She told me she thought they were a bit “overkill,”  and preferred graceful orchids.  I’m glad she finally came around!  Now she LOVES peonies and specially requested that they be in her bouquet.  I also added some delphinium, grape hyacinth, and vibrant derby garden roses.  Yum!Mike is a wonderful man, and I’m so glad to he and Kim found one another!

Swags of many colored ribbons draped along the aisle.

Sheer bliss!The Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton is such a serene place to be married.

These little fabric rosettes served as favors, escort cards, and a creative way to identify how we know the couple. 

I used sleek cobalt blue square vases overflowing with garden flowers in berry blues and magentas. 

The neato hanging contraption on the below is crafted from Kim’s architecture tubes, stuffed with fabric, corks, and flowers.   I told you Kim was a genius!Kim’s the kind of girl who will gladly bake cookies, cakes and treats for others but never eat them herself.  She does not indulge in sweets very often, preferring fruits and veggies.  Mike on the other hand names chocolate and caramel among his favorite foods.

The chandelier below is also made from used architecture tubes.  The gorgeous banner was handmade by Kim!  She even sketched out that tree to match the one she drew on her invites. 

Kim, I love you so much!  Your wedding day was totally a reflection of you- detailed, artistic, warm, elegant, and playful.  Thank you for your continued friendship and love over the years.  May God’s grace shine through in all aspects of your marriage!

Some Action Shots

June 22, 2010

Saturday’s wedding was a DREAM!  The most gorgeous purple palette, a lovely venue (Villa Del Sol D’Oro in Sierra Madre), a super  inspiring couple, and my best friend Angel Swanson planning the wedding. To top it all off, it’s peony season!

Joe was there to help us lift heavy stuff and capture  a little behind the scenes action with my busted up point and shoot (he did his best!):

Flower filled van (just 1/2 filled at that point. We utilize every square inch.)

Primping the centerpieces.  Like my headband? I beaded it myself!

The always adorable Angel.

Montita looks tough here, but she’s really a softie!

And this is Shana, one of the best designers I know.

Angel and her a’sis’tant, Anna!  Not sure about Angel’s pose.

A striking entry arrangement, and just a few of the travel-inspired details showcased throughout the wedding.

Montita can make a plain white cake simply magical.

And of course, a T Petal signature, the bride and groom chair bouquets!

I can’t wait to see and share the pro pics captured by Kim Fox Photography.  I’m not kidding, this was THE most detail filled wedding I’ve ever been a part of.  The bride scored tons of vintage travel treasures, including postage stamps, postcards, old globes and luggage, travel books, and then some.  You will be so inspired!

A Sweet Southern Wedding!

May 29, 2010

Last week I happened to see  Meg’s beautiful blue eyes staring back at me from the e-pages of  Southern Weddings Magazine! What a surprise!  Although SWM usually features real Southern weddings, they have happily featured quite a few of my California weddings that have a certain Southern something 🙂

{BTW,  I’m actually typing this from my hotel room in Oxford, Mississippi right now. It is GORGEOUS here and the magnolias are starting to bloom. Tomorrow I’ll be a guest at my nephew Aaron’s  wedding.  I will not be doing their florals, in case you were wondering!}

I posted some teasers of Meg and Shawn’s wedding captured by Joe a while ago here, but I recently received a slew of detail shots from Meg and Shawn’s sweet photographer, Brittany Keene.  Here are some of my favorite details!

A single gardenia graced her hair.  I always suggest purchasing two wired gardenias, one for the ceremony and one for the reception.  They are so fragile and can brown easily, but their creamy gorgeousness cannot be denied.  And the fragrance!

A classic white bouquet, filled with dahlias, callas, gardenias, roses, and then some.

The bridesmaids carried equally lush and textured blooms in shades of white, beige and yellow.

The Newland Barn and Museum is a cool little spot in Huntington Beach. It definitely has a country feel to it.

Brittany caught some great shots of the couple wandering around the barn.

One of my favorite planners- scratch that- one of my favorite PEOPLE Courtney Toney of Joyful Weddings and Events created all the sweet little touches that made this wedding so special:

The reception florals were so sweet!  Paisley wrapped vases and jars overflowing with fresh blooms.

We hung wired mason jars from the magnolia trees.   How Southern is that ? 🙂

I firmly believe the bride and groom’s chairs should be a little bit special.  

Here is one of my assistants hard at work on the cake.  She is my cake decorating expert!

The reception was chock full of southern bbq, dancing, and merriment under the stars.

I can’t wait to share pics from our Mississippi adventure!  I’m in love with their accents, catfish, wild growing hydrangea, and Southern hospitality.  I’m NOT in love with the humidity, fried foods, and mosquitos though, but it’s a small price to pay.

A Homespun Wedding: Part 2

May 3, 2010

Ok, so it took me a few days to get my stuff together, but we’re finally continuing with this cozy bird inspired wedding…

Some of the raddest bridal party portraits ever, courtesy of Sarah K. Chen!

As guests made their way to the reception, they were greeted by these sweet details.

Yay for repurposing!  The escort card table was decorated simply with the same mason jars that lined the aisle, and some loose china mums and scattered guinea feathers.  Don’t the huge mums look like tissue paper poms?

Adored Ashlee’s burlap runners along the tables, and how the vibrant greens and butter yellows popped against them.  I’m also digging how the lines of the runners mimic the deep wooden beams of the ballroom at Talega.

The round tables had various groupings of monobotanical arrangements in square glass vases.  Each table had a slightly different combo, but the ribbon and fiddle fern accents helped tie them all together.

(I’d like to add that Ashlee has incredible taste in flowers!  She fancies a huge range of blooms, from old fashioned favorites like oriental lilies and snapdragons, to funky spider mums and bells of Ireland.  I loved being able to incorporate  flowers that I don’t often get to use for weddings.)

We used oblong glass vases stuffed with a gorgeous variety of mixed flowers.  Ashlee told me the guests were just RAVING about the china mums! I also couldn’t resist adding a little fiddle fern “heart” in each arrangement.

I love a lavishly decorated cake table, don’t you?  I remember the viburnum balls (bottom-center) being particularly poofy that week.

The fabulous Kerrie Underhill and her staff transferred some of the arch flowers to the sweetheart table.  She did an amazing job at placing them just so!

I worked with hundreds of  craspedia (billy balls) for last week’s wedding, and I still gush whenever I see them!  I will never get sick of that flower.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I LOVE working with yellow flowers.  To be surrounded by them gives me such a rush of energy (kind of like the Peet’s coffee I’m drinking right this moment 🙂

One of my brides is having a cheery yellow wedding in a few weeks.  She was starting to doubt her choice in colors, but then stumbled upon a poem she had written as a kid about how much she loved the color yellow.  Her fate was sealed long ago- a yellow wedding it must be!  I can’t wait to share that one!  My 2010 weddings seriously rock.

A Homespun Wedding: Ceremony Details

April 29, 2010

Glorious Spring is finally upon us, which means that the flower mart is filled with sweet peas, lilac, viburnum, and some of the most ginormous tulips I’ve ever seen. 

It seems festive and appropriate to and dig up this wedding from last Spring and delve into all the lovely details, as promised so long ago.  Thank you so much to Sarah K. Chen for these gorgeous images!  And coordinator extraordinaire,  Kerrie Underhill, you are my girl!  I always love working with you!

Meet Ashlee.  Isn’t she  elegant?

She was so serene on the wedding day.

I love to see a bride admiring her bouquet 🙂

I admit, it was pretty luscious! Gorgeous viburnum, freesia, roses, double tulips,  scabiosa and scabiosa pods, with wispy feathers.

Her bridesmaids carried cheerful yellow and cream blooms, including craspedia, majolika roses, big fluffy china mums, and lisianthus, wrapped in chocolate ribbon.

I cannot resist inserting this little canine cutie who greeted me at the door when I came to deliver the personals. He markings are quite Basil-esque!

Brenton made a handsome groom in his pinstripe suit.

The feathers in Ashlee’s bouquet were carried through in all the bouts. 

Are you starting to see a theme?  Feathers, nests, twigs…

Gorgeous chickpea and coffee bean filled hurricanes were scattered about.

We lined the aisle with hanging mason jars filled with country flowers- snapdragons, lilies, roses and hydrangea. 

The courtyard at Talega Golf Club is so intimate and full of Spanish flair. 

This arch was quite special, between the tangled branches, puffs of white feathers, hanging jelly jar vases, and fluffy florals climbing along it. 

Check back soon for the delightful reception details in Part 2 of A Homespun Wedding!  Now it’s back to work for my fabulous Friday wedding 🙂

Alice in Whimsyland

April 2, 2010

My good friend Christina from Simply Modern Weddings asked me to take part in a fun Alice in Wonderland inspired photoshoot a few weeks ago.

Here’s the thing– my role in  the shoot didn’t involve a single real live flower.  Instead, she asked me to provide some accessories to adorn our gorgeous model Lauren.  Seriously though, isn’t she stunning?  She could rock a burlap sack and still look luminous.

Imagine my joy at waking up this morning, running down my google reader as usual, and seeing these images by Kim Le Photography on Style Me Pretty! I guess today is “Alice” day, because they are featuring THREE different and totally unique “Alice in Wonderland”  shoots.

To check out the SMP post, click here.

Here are some of the accessories I created for the shoot:

We tucked 4 of my white cymbidium clips into Lauren’s tresses.  Each petal is hand-cut, singed with a flame to add texture, and beaded with glass pearls.

Double White Cymbidiums

I formed each of these dahlias from different sari fabrics, added a cluster of pearls, and long frayed strands of fabric dangling down.

The sash is quite special, with hand beaded silver leaves and a vintage brooch.

Braided Dahlia Crown and Glitz and Glam Sash

Below, a funky take on Alice’s standard black bow, with a huge rosette center and “veil” of feathers.  The belt features two sparkly snakes joined by a jewel encrusted heart.  A little quirky, but sure to look rad on an offbeat bride out there!

Black Bow Comb and  Shimmer Snakes in Love Belt (both coming soon to etsy)

And here are some of the adorable details from the shoot, all of which I had nothing to do with!  It was honestly kind of fun coming in with just my tiny part of the puzzle, and watching on the sidelines as other professionals put something amazing together.  And you can imagine how much I loved the color scheme based on my website colors, right?

Thank you to all the stellar vendors who let me tag along that day!

Event Coordination and Design: Simply Modern Weddings / Photography: Kim Le Photography / Floral Design: Flowers by Helen / Invitations and Paper Goods: Darla Marie Designs / Floral Belts and Hair Accessories: The Treasured Petal Boutique / Hair and Makeup: All Made Up / French Macrons: Layer Cake Bakery / Cupcakes: Sugar | Tart Desserterie / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Linens: Wildflower Linens and Fusion Linens / Fashion: Jinny’s Bridal and Forever 21/ Model: Lauren

Pastel and Pearls in Pasadena

March 29, 2010

It’s mild and Springy here in the OC , and I think it’s appropriate to kick off Easter week with  Helen and Eddie’s scrumptious pastel wedding, captured by the incredible Aaron Delesie.   To all you girly-girls out there, feel free to ooo and ahhh over the frills, ruffles, petals, and pearls.

Helen’s pure white bouquet is one of my favorites.  Simple,and full of delightful scents (garden roses, gardenias, and freesia!)

Don’t you just love this pleated and layered bridesmaid dress? We carried that rich dusty rose color through in their bouquets.

Helen, you are STUNNING and your dress rocks my world!

How incredible is this picture?

The ceremony took place at First Methodist Church in Pasadena.  Too bad we don’t have many historic, grand churches like this in the O.C.

A nice way to get around, thanks to Bluewater Pedicabs!

The reception took place at The Westin Hotel in Pasadena. Khaki linens, ivory lace, muted florals, and cardboard details made for sweet, laid back tables.

I busted out my collection of recycled Spanish glass containers in all shapes and sizes, and filled them with luscious florals in pinks and mauves. Dahlias, faith, sahara, esperance, and peppermint roses, lisianthus, brunia and dusty miller, to name a few.

There’s something so soothing about these seafoam green tinted vases.This hobnail one is my favorite.

One thing I LOVED about this wedding was that each and every table had a unique collection of arrangements.

Here are some details that I can’t take any credit for, since it was the creativity and handiwork of Helen and Eddie’s magnificent planner, Catherine Cindy Leo.

Carnation pomanders with pearl handles hung from the bride and groom chairs:

I hope that was a good helping of “pretty” for you all!

Helen and Eddie, I hope married life has been splendid!  Thank you for letting me florify your big day!