Archive for the ‘Stuff I Like’ Category

She came bearing flowers!

August 4, 2010

Two dear old friends were in town, and came over for some homemade pizzas and lots of girl talk.  When I opened the door, Jules was holding a vase of freshly cut flowers from her parents garden (this garden!) in one hand, and a fist full of heirloom tomatoes and onions straight from the ground in her other hand.  Her homegrown tidings completely made my day.

I love that the roses are at all stages of life- some tight buds, some crisp and open, some soft and shedding their petals.  This life cycle isn’t something I can usually capture in my wedding arrangements, as most brides aren’t too hip on “dying”  roses!  I think they are beautiful though 🙂

I have never, I mean NEVER, seen zinnias this large and vibrant at the flower mart.  If I did, I would buy zinnias much more often!  ‘Tis the season for them!

I love receiving flowers even though I’m around them constantly.  I wonder if bakers still like receiving cupcakes, or if they’re totally sick of them?


A Sleek Magenta Wedding

July 20, 2010

I first met Jenny over coffee at Nordstrom E-Bar.  I have to admit, I was immediately struck by her all-American beauty and bright blue eyes.  She’s a total  stunner, inside and out!  And definitely one of the most kind, mello, go-with-the-flow brides I’ve ever worked with.

As the rain poured relentlessly on her  wedding day, Jenny didn’t seem to mind one bit.  She and Bryon were ready for joy and merriment.  Check out the love in these photos, captured by the talented Amanda Doublin!

The dreamy ensemble:

Jenny wanted a classic white bouquet with a touch of fluttery feathers, wrapped up in magenta satin.

Mariner’s church in Newport Beach fit the sleek, modern aesthetic of Jenny and Bryon’s wedding perfectly.

34 raspberry colored pomanders provided a vivid streak of color down the aisle.  It took thousands of mums and orchid buds to complete the task.

A note to pomander lovers:  if you’re using hearty flowers like mums, buttons, orchids, or carnations, skip the wet floral foam and use regular styrofoam balls instead.  Simply pinning the flower heads into the styrofoam is loads faster than attempting to stick millions of stems into fragile wet foam.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about breaking stems as you insert them, or worse, the entire ball falling apart under the weight of too many stems.  I had to learn this the hard way…

Guests pinned well wishes and prayers to a wooden cross.

Second chances!  The stormy weather made it impossible to take outdoor  portraits on the day of their wedding.   However, several months later, I recreated Jenny’s bouquet,  she put on her creamy gown,  and Amanda took some beautiful couple portraits on the beach, this time with the sun shining softly above them.

Then it was onto the candlelit reception at Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point.

Dozens of hurricane candles lit the way to the dining area.

Lush, tightly packed arrangements in shades of fuchsia, magenta and raspberry lined the long banquet tables. 

Gotta love the smooth black ceramic vases. 

The tent was actually quite pretty, and provided a cozy refuge from the downpour.

Sometimes, monochromatic floral arrangements are hard to pull off, simply because there aren’t enough flowers in the palette (blue and red can be difficult, especially in certain seasons!)   Luckily, there are so many delicious flower varieties that come in the magenta spectrum, I almost had trouble picking!

From top to bottom, dahlia, peony tulips, and phalaenopsis orchid nestled amongst sweet william.

My *second* favorite flower, the Cattleya, atop the cake.  Can anyone guess my FIRST favorite flower?  Hint, I carried it on my wedding day.

These are seriously tempting me right now.  Don’t you love how each cupcake is unique? 

Such wonderful toss form!  Look at that arch!

Luscious Lilac Bouquet

May 4, 2010

I absolutely love creating bouquets for Jasmine Star.  She lets me do whatever the heck I want!  Plus, whenever I deliver it, I get a loud squeal of delight and a big hug from Jasmine.  Priceless!

My  Jasmine Star “collection” includes a red white and black beauty, a Sex in the City bouquet, a peach and periwinkle bouquet, and for her  most recent workshop, this luscious lilac number!

I incorporated some amazing Spring flowers in shades of magenta, lilac, fuchsia and eggplant purple, and wrapped it with purple kimono ribbon.

Can you spot the peonies, lilac, hydrangea, boronia, tulips and anenomes?  In case you haven’t noticed, I do love highly textural, mixed bouquets.  I’m not usually one to go the monobotanical route when I have free reign!

Jasmine has been so supportive of my new etsy adventure, The Treasured Petal Boutique, and asked me to create a special head piece for her gorgeous model to wear. I brought in a few cocktail hats and headbands to choose from, but this little champagne hat with alencon lace detailing was just MADE for that gown!  

Tell me, how drop-dead-gorgeous yet still girl-next-store-adorable is Michelle?  She and her husband Colton are newlyweds themselves.

This champagne cocktail hat has a built in birdcage veil.  It’s topped with a ruffly fabric camellia and a single ostrich feather.  It’s available here!

Love love love this pic!

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.

Red at the Ritz!

April 5, 2010

Ok, so my last few posts have been unabashedly frou frou.  Here’s a little something different!

I love everything about this wedding, especially the bride.  Audrey is warm, hilarious, and easygoing.   Best of all, she trusted my taste, giving me freedom to be creative and take her ideas to the next level of floral fabulosity.  I really do think that’s when the most magic is made 🙂

Michael Norwood was the genius behind the lens on this one.  His pics are so consistently gorgeous.

About the decor:  There was this kind of creepy gray fog sitting on the coastline.  It wouldn’t budge.  Audrey and Alireza”s wedding took place on the Sunset Terrace at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, overlooking the ocean.   Except there was no ocean to be seen, only a heavy blanket of gray. I however LOVED this look- the effect was so moody, and the deep red and wine decor totally popped against the environment.

One recurring element that Audrey wanted to see in the decor was paper– we brought this in with paper parasols and  red paper cones.  Her only other requirement- lots of textural, interesting flowers. Nothing too conventional.  Which brings me to her bouquet:

Her bouquet- a ruby red nosegay of amaryllis.  JUST amaryllis. The bridesmaids held graceful callas wrapped in black satin.

Here’s Audrey surrounded by her gang of five flower girls.  Their wreaths are truly a work of art crafted by my assistant Montita.  Each and every rose hip and spray rose is hand wired and woven together.

I created little baskets of silk for the flowers girls to hold, and added a little glitz to them.  I know little girls appreciate the bling!

This is a dashing picture of Ali!

Here the bridesmaids wore simple white cotton dresses.  Anyone else dressing their bridesmaids in white?  Any opinions on the matter?

This birch chuppah was handbuilt by my talented nephews from Oregon, who were in town assisting me during set ups and rental pickups.  I miss them dearly- it was fabulous having some strong men around (besides my husband).    We swagged some fabric panels, cinched them with lush floral clusters, and there you have it, a striking yet simple ceremony structure.

Probably my favorite detail, and so easy to do!

We hung miniature parasols accented with sprays of james storei orchids from the beautiful tree that sits in the middle of the ceremony space. We used clear fishing line so they would look like they were floating in mid-air.  Putting the orchids in is easy- we didn’t even need to secure them.  We simply poked them through the strings in the center of the parasol and they stayed put.

Our paper cones were crafted from gorgeous filagree  Paper Source paper and filled with black baccara petals.

A different take on the unity candle tradition.  Unity wine!

Each table had a slightly different assortment of flowers divided into small square vases.  Some of our flower choices  included tulips, cockscomb, gerberas, mokara orchids, dahlias, and more.  I say this again and again, but small clustered vases are a great way to fill up a table without having to do ginormous centerpieces.

And of course, my traditional bride and groom chair flowers…

Thank you to Audrey and Ali for letting me add to the beauty of the day!  Hope you’re having a wonderful married life!

Photography: Michael Norwood Photography
Videography:  ProView Video Productions
Floral Design:  The Treasured Petal
Music:  MG Music Events, Inc.
Rentals:  Fusion Linens
Makeup and hair:  Let’s Get Beautified
Officiant:  Rev. Michael
Venue:  The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Firebird Ballet Wedding: A Closer Look

March 18, 2010

After a few internet-less days in Berkeley (part business/ part hanging out with college pals) I returned to see Kirsten and Jonas’ Firebird Ballet wedding featured on Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book Blog.  Check out the lovely feature here for all the nitty gritty!

I’ve been dying to show you pictures from this wedding ever since I posted a teeny tiny sneak peek months back.

Here are some of my favorite images from the day, captured by Rebecca of Docuvitae.  Thank you Rebecca for sending over these mesmerizing images!

Kirsten definitely has style! The shoes, pearls, dress, butterfly clips were perfection…

Courtney from Flush Designs blew me away with her gorgeous art deco inspired invitations.

Jonas and the crew…

The joyful bride and her posse!

Some of my favorite bouquets ever-loose and wild orange dahlias, roses, sandersonia and asclepias with velvety geranium leaves.

The pashminas and knit ties are the artistry of Suss Cousins of Suss Design, a dear friend of Kirsten’s.

The emotional ceremony took place at Cafe Pinot under a big tree.

The floral decor was elegant and approachable, in all shades of rust, copper, burgundy, and eggplant.

Long banquet tables were dressed simply with vellum-wrapped candles, and bud vases filled with single “stand-alone” flowers, such as sandersonia, dahlias, lilies, and peonies.

Gotta love downtown L.A.!

It all ended on a sweet note!

Many thanks to the spectacular vendor team:

Photography: Rebecca Rotenberg for Docuvitae Photography

Coordinator – Kelly Demaray

Florist –The Treasured Petal

Invitations –  Flush Designs

Venue – Café Pinot

Wedding party ties and shawls – Suss Design

A Snowy Southern Wedding… in California?

February 19, 2010

I think about Jennifer and Mike’s wedding, and my heart just swells with joy.  First of all,  the bride couldn’t have been sweeter, calmer, or more happy to be getting hitched!  Jennifer knew her style, expressed it to me well, and then gave me the freedom to bring it to life.

I also got to work alongside my two dear friends, Trista and Angel.  I’ve done plenty of weddings with each of them separately, but never at the same time (unless you count MY wedding when Angel was a bridesmaid and Trista photographed!)

I was also super stoked on the theme of this wedding.  It was three-fold:

Southern charm: Because the groom hails from the South, magnolia branches, mint julep cups, and mason jars were in abundance.  How perfect that Southern Weddings Magazine featured Jennifer and Mike’s wedding here!  Thanks so much for the feature, gals!!!

-Cozy Winter:  We Californians have fantasies about frolicking in the snow, even though much of the country is sick of shoveling it!  Branches, cinnamon sticks, fresh mint and rosemary, icicle crystals, crisp white florals, and snow.  Yep, snow at the beach!

-A Hint of Nautical: the wedding took place at Ritz Carlton in Monarch Bay, right smack on the Pacific ocean.  The navy blue and white palette was so perfect and crisp.

My  task was to create florals that would bring all three themes together effortlessly.  Mission accomplished!

Jennifer is graceful, and so elegant.

Each bridesmaid carried a special bouquet of their own. From top to bottom,  anenomes, hyacinth and hellebora.  When choosing florals for each bridesmaid, choose sturdy flowers that will hold up on their own, and remember to make each bouquet roughly the same size, even if it takes only one bunch of hydrangeas but 4 bunches of anenomes.

Mariner’s Chapel in Irvine is so gorgeous it needs very little adornment.  Some chair clusters and two branchy arrangements in the front did the trick.

We reserved red for the Jennifer’s wild, lavish bouquet.  The bride should always stand out!

My assistants literally had to stop me from adding anymore flowers.  There were just so many gorgeous red blooms I couldn’t resist!  But alas, the bouquet must be portable…

Genuine, uncontainable joy!

Angel’s hubby created this amazing birch display for the escort table, and draped icicles from it that glimmered in the sun.  Angel used instant snow, which looks and feels like the real thing, but doesn’t melt.  This stuff is amazing!  I had to get in there and play with it for a little while.

I just love the contrast of the bundled up love birds against the California coast.

The mint julep cups actually had mint sprigs tucked into them. This made me happy 😉

A single sprig of rosemary graced each napkin.  The whole reception smelled like it!

Herbs and greenery in loose bunches adorned the bride and groom chairs.

The Tall Centerpieces:  The cottony pussy willow buds mimic the look of snow on branches. These ginormous arrangements took four of us gals to place onto the table!  Floristry is NOT for wussies.

A huge burst of fluffy, romantic flowers- china mums, hydrangea, stock, roses, queen anne’s lace, lisianthus, and anenomes.

Something special for the sweethearts.  Love the snow on the table!

On half the tables, a trio of wooden boxes overflowed with a unique combination of white florals, with cinnamon sticks and pinecones for good measure.  I love how the cinnamon sticks match the rusty brown undersides of the magnolia leaves.

Arabicum and mint…



A simple way to dress up a mason jar- cinnamon and ribbon (twine would also work beautifully!)

A simple cake by the Ritz Carlton pastry chef, made spectacular with sugar magnolias.

Congratulations to the parents for raising such wonderful children!  Jenn and her mom look like twins!

That’s the way every couple should look at each other! ( Runs off to gaze lovingly at Joe…)

Thank you again to Southern Weddings for featuring this Southern-inspired wedding!

Thank you to Angel Swanson and her amazing a-sis-tant Anna for all the help on the big day.  Your passion for the details always inspires me.

Thank you Trista for sending over these STUNNING images!  Jennifer couldn’t have chosen a more perfect photographer to capture their day in a modern, crisp and colorful way.

And of course, thank you to Jennifer and Mike for the honor of beautifying your already beautiful love-fest of a wedding.  May the Lord bless and guide you in your marriage!!!

The amazing vendor team:

Florals:  The Treasured Petal

Wedding Planner and Designer: Events of Love and Splendor

Photography: Trista Lerit

Ceremony Site: Mariners Church, Irvine, CA

Reception Venue: Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

DJ: Ian of Red Shoe LA

Hair and Makeup:  Joyce Luck

Photobooth: Cheesy Photobooth

Lighting: De-Lighted!

Linens: Elegant Designs Specialty Linens

Peach and Periwinkle Bouquet

February 17, 2010

When Jasmine Star asked me to create a bouquet  for The Workshop, she gave me free reign over it, like she always does.  No set color palette, no set theme, just make it hot!

Here’s my thought process when creating a bouquet where there are no parameters, which is totally fun but a little intimidating.

I look at what I DO know. I knew the dress by Joan Shum would be short, beaded, corset style- very Audrey Hepburn.  I knew the couple beforehand (they are great friends of my sister, and I’m proud to say I suggested them to Jasmine for the shoot!)  Jodi is tall, blonde, and beautiful, but by no means ordinary.  There is a striking edginess to her facial structure (her doppleganger is Sandra Bullock- do you see it???)  Plus, she’s quite quirky and hilarious, too. Not exactly a delicate little flower 🙂

-This leads me to the “feel” or “vibe” of the bouquet. Beautiful,  vintage-inspired, feminine, but by no means girly, with a bit of glam.

I decide on a color palette. How?  Sometimes totally randomly.  In this case, I started with peach (because it’s soft but not too girly), added a little tangerine to keep it happy, and brought in contrasting periwinkle blue.  Why?  Because  I’ve never seen a wedding in these colors and wanted to give it a whirl.

I choose the flowers. Usually I preorder, but in this case, I winged it and went to the flower mart to pick from what was available.   The Monday after Valentine’s Day is a little bit slim pickin’s, but I did manage to find some amazing treasures there

My catches of the day?   Beautiful peach shampoo ginger (they really do smell like shampoo!), blue muscari/grape hyacinth, orange stars of Bethlehem, and peach nerine lilies.

-I create and add finishing touches.  I wanted a tightly packed, textural bouquet with groupings of blue muscari.  I also tucked in silver hand-beaded leaves (my athena clips in silver!) to coordinate with the intricate beading on the dress.  I love the way silver looks with peach.

And there you go!  A peach and periwinkle bouquet!

Jodi and Matt are the cutest!

Way to “smeyes”, Jodi!  Gorgeous hair and makeup by Vivian Tran and the All Made Up team.  She’s the sweetest!

An athena clip tucked into the bout adds a bit of sparkle.  Yep, each and every bead is hand-sewn, because that’s how I roll!

A million thanks to Jasmine for allowing me to take part in The Workshop!

Through the Microscope

February 17, 2010

Let’s take a closer look at the many details from the Style Lab, shall we?


Hanging orbs (from CB2) and lightbulbs (made by TPetal)

II. IN THE GLASS (rare and wonderful botanicals)

Underneath that cloche you’ll find the most delicate, sweet smelling oncidium orchids, still wet from the rain.

White amaryllis, dancing lady orchids, craspedia, and narcissus.

Cute leaning craspedia.

Zinnia-gerbs, narcissus, gloriosa lilies

A grouping of neon orange zinnia-gerbs pop in this arrangement.

Potted succulents and cacti.  Don’t you love those hairy creatures?

Raindrops, not sweat!


Specimen jars at each place setting.  Each guest had a unique botanical element.

Shadowboxes of pinned butterflies  that Angel dreamed up.

Test tubes to wear as bouts and corsages, filled with submerged petals, berries, and other plant parts. The water magnified them beautifully.

This wrought ion test tube rack was one of my favorite finds!


Thank you to Angel Swanson for choosing me as the florist for this project.  She always inspires me, nurtures my wild ideas, and stokes the fires of creativity.

A huge thank you to Boutwell Studio for capturing each and every detail, in like 20 minutes flat.  Amazing!

For detailed vendor info, check out the Love and Splendor blog!

Ugly-Pretty Flowers?

January 30, 2010

While racing around the mart choosing flowers for the Style Lab, I started to think about “ugly-pretty” flowers.  I am generally drawn to things that are ugly-pretty (or “ugly-cute” as in the case of my boston terrier 😉 My favorite models and actresses straddle the line between ugly and beautiful.  Their buck teeth/ bug eyes/huge foreheads make them even more intriguing.  The scraggly desert landscape on the way to Vegas is ugly-pretty. I’m also obsessed with vultures (ask my husband!)  which are mostly ugly and creepy, but beautiful in flight.

(photo by Joe- Basil was extra ugly-cute as a puppy)

In a time where pretty, feminine, and vintage-inspired weddings abound, most of my clients are asking for soft, fluffy, petally flowers such as roses, ranuncula, and peonies.  There is NOTHING ugly about those flowers, and I adore them for their beauty!

(photo by Jerry Yoon)

But I also adore the spiky. The waxy.  The scary but beautiful looking flowers.  It’s refreshing to be able to use them from time to time, and I do believe tropicals and other unusual specimens will be returning to wedding decor soon enough.   I also like the idea of mixing in some ugly-pretty flowers with pretty-pretty flowers to bring more texture and surprise to the arrangements.

Without further ado:


(This list is totally subjective, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

1.  Leucodendrons–  my favorite variety has light yellow petals and an ombre-like ball in the center.

2. King Protea– Looks like a fuzzy pink monster.  Literally the size of a honeydew melon.  Frightening!

(photo from wikimedia)

3.  Bromeliads– typically used as a house plant, but I also see cut bromeliads at the mart in bright fuchsia, red, yellow and orange.

(photo by The Image Is Found)

4.  Sunflowers– admit it, these are kind of ugly… the huge brown center looks like a giant bumble bee’s eyeball.  But I will never forget the beauty of the sunflower fields in Tuscany.  I’m still dying to do a 100% sunflower wedding.  Any takers?

(photo by docuvitae)

5.  Arabicum Ornithogalum– One of my favorite flowers because of the tiny star-like blossoms with  black centers.  When in full bloom, these are definitely more pretty than ugly.  But when the blossoms are still tight, the green center of this flower sticks out and is pretty funky looking.

(photo by Trista Lerit)

(photo from flickr)

6.  Nigella- The most mesmerizing shade of blue, but the pods look like hairy tumors of some sort.

(photo by Joe)

7.  Gloriosa Lilies– I carried these on my wedding day.  They are a climbing vine with the most graceful stems and gorgeous fuchsia petals.  They look like daddy long leg spiders!

(photo by Trista Lerit)

8.  Pincushions– such a perfect name!  See picture at the bottom of the collage.

(photo by Boutwell Studio)

9. Sexy Pink Heliconia– That’s really what this is called! Heliconias scare me a little, but this pink variety is amazing to look at.

(photo from here)

10.  Lady Slippers- God is such an artist.

(photo from here)

Do you have any favorite ugly-pretty flowers that didn’t make my list?