Friday, May 30, 2008

Flower Friday: The Carnation

Some times the simplest things can have the biggest impact. Take for instance the humble carnation. We have all seen the old fashion, boring flower arrangement with a few carnations and a bunch of green filler or even worse the single green carnation in the bud vase tied with paper ribbon. I think we can all agree on Yuck! That is where these easy to use, sturdy and inexpensive flowers got their bad rep.

Look at what happens when you use them in mass! Think pave in a single color on an interesting shaped floral foam base. That humble little flower becomes transformed into something very modern and sculptural.

Lightly scented and wildly ruffled; they add a fresh alternative to the over used rose. So when your floral designer mentions the word carnation, do not run for the hills, hear them out. You might just be surprised.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

$1000 Tigerlilly Jewelry Giveaway

WooHoo! My favorite jewelry designer, Mandy Greenan is giving away $1000 of her fabulous bridal jewelry to one lucky bride.

Tigerlilly is looking for its Bride of the Season for summer. Not only will the winner receive a gift certificate for Mandy’s beautiful bridal and bridesmaid jewelry and hair accessories; she will be featured on the Tigerlilly website complete with pictures and details about her wedding. How great is that.

To enter, brides should visit and tell Tigerlilly a little bit about themselves, what designs they would choose if they won, and why they are Tigerlilly's Bride of the Season. The winner will be announced on Monday, June 2.

If you are not familiar with Tigerlilly, they are a couture jewelry design house that has been featured every where from the Knot to Modern Bride to Lifetime TV to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park. Mandy’s unique designs set her apart in the bridal industry. These are most definitely NOT your mama’s tiaras.

Since I am obviously not eligible, I certainly hope one of you win it. I just know you will love her designs as much as I do.

Read more here and here.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seating Charts and Table Layouts

I work with a variety of different wedding professionals on the back side of weddings. By back side I mean the people that make all the magic happen before you or your guests ever enter the room. I help florists and caterers and planners and rental companies. There is one single tool that all these different types of pros use to keep it all together: a CAD drawing of your event.

A CAD insures everyone is on the same page; it helps keep track of counts on things like linens and chairs. It helps everyone visualize the space in advance so that on the event day set up goes smoothly with out everyone running around asking redundant where, what and how many questions.

From the brides point of view a CAD can greatly simplify the entire ‘who sits where’ ordeal. It is just so much easier to plan your seating when you can see it in scale and in situ.

Perfect Table Plan is one of the sweetest consumer versions I have seen. For the relatively inexpensive price of $34.95 you get a fully functioning CAD to lay out your room; a guest list manager and a great ap for writing your seating chart. Handy!

I love that you can play endlessly with the room layout until you get it just right. Add some tables to the window then just drag them around until you like the layout. Cool.

If you are doing your own planning, you really need the ability to work up a map/layout like this for your vendors. Not only will you be making their life easier, but in the process yours too.

In my never ending quest to help brides get their vision out of their heads and into there vendors, I highly recommend that you print out a copy of your layout and take it to all your vendor meetings. So much easier than trying to explain where you want the tables and which centerpieces you want where.

If a system like this is what the pros depend on why shouldn’t you?

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Living Centerpieces for Flower Friday

If you are looking for a more interesting idea for your centerpieces than the standard cut flower arrangement why not go live. I ran across a press release for The Wedding Greenhouse’s new website. The Wedding Greenhouse specializes in live potted saplings to be used as both favors and decorations.

Their offerings range from miniature palms to coffee plants. I wasn’t really keen on the way they try to dress up the pots with cheesy ribbon. I know my DIY readers could improve on that 100%. What I was really taken with was the idea of using a cluster of these to surround a tall candelabrum at center table.

What’s more it got my little brain going on other options along the same lines.

I love African violets and I have one of the largest growers in the world right under my nose. Holtkamp Greenhouses grows the internationally acclaimed line of Optimara Violets. Their miniature line would look fab clustered as a centerpiece for a more casual wedding. They are available in a wide range of colors, including blue. Tiny potted violets would be so sweet and romantic for not only your centerpiece but also as a favor for your guests.

Unlike the plants from The Wedding Greenhouse you would have to order these through your florist to get specific colors in any quantity since they don’t sell directly to the public. One thing I do know about Holtkamp’s is that they only ship plants currently in bloom. No worries about having them not ready to go for the big day.

You can view the Optimara collection in their catalog. It may inspire some ideas of your own.

If you have used violet in your wedding decor, please drop me an image with some images, send to christine(at)

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rose Petal Monogram

If you follow the Dish then you know I have had my share of stories about rose petals; good, bad and hysterically funny. Whether it’s keeping my head down while the planner and the church lady argued over their very existence or traipsing through the pouring rain and lightning to collect them off the grass, they seem to be ever present. For some reason when I stage with my friend Vicki I always end up on rose petal detail.

The newest trend I have seen emerging is the rose petal monogram. We always place it at the end of the aisle right in front of where the couple stands to take their vows. With so many couples incorporating a monogram in their décor this is the perfect way to carry the theme into the ceremony site. Make sure it is allowed by your church, temple or synagogue first; see aforementioned church lady; then just go for it. Provide your floral décor team with a copy of your monogram and you should be good to go.

If you are going to DIY this, lay out your monogram in sidewalk chalk (concrete or stone), ribbon (carpet) or corsage pins (grass) first then just start adding petals until your design suits you.

The above monogram was done by Branching Out Event Florists at Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

I read an interesting thread on one of my favorite blogs today, Off Beat Bride, about how to keep control of your wedding if the parent’s are paying for it. The topic got me thinking about whose wedding it really is.

I know, I know; it’s yours. You have dreamed of it for years, that magical moment when your own personal Prince Charming meets you at the end of the most important Red-Carpet event of your life. It’s about romance and wonder and committing your life to another. Let me see if I can give you another perspective.

When my sister was in the throws of marrying off her too oldest daughters within months of each other she was a basket case and so were my nieces. She asked me one day how I had managed to pull off not one but two weddings with our mother, a noted diva with more than a few control issues, without fighting once. My answer at the time was simple,”Because I knew whose wedding it was.”

The first wedding was your standard country club affair complete with all of Mother’s friends on the guest list and her checkbook to finance it. I knew the minute she opened her wallet whose wedding it was and I went with that. This wasn’t about me or my groom; it was about my mom’s last send off to a daughter that she had raised. I think that as far as some parent’s view it, it is for them the “Big Reveal” kind of the attitude of “there, I did it and didn’t I do well.” I am not saying I agree with that attitude, I’m just saying what is.

The way I handled it was too let her know what aspects were very important to me and let her have free reign on the rest. Was it the wedding of dreams? Not mine maybe, but without a doubt hers. What was great about it from my point of view was that rather than dealing with every detail; we had a beautiful party thrown in our honor. It made us able to enjoy the sentiment and meaning of the day in a way I never could have if it I had been fretting over every detail. Not everyone’s cup of tea but this time it worked for me.

My second, much lower keyed affair was totally mine; in a park, in a sundress with less than 30 people. It suited us perfectly as a couple. In this instance, Mom knew whose wedding it was. She was the guest and I was the hostess. We did have one tiny spat about my choice of shoes. Many, many years later she picked up the phone to call and tell me that I had made the right choice to wear flats. That is a phone call I will always remember.

My point in all this is to really figure out what this wedding represents to both you and your mom. You may be surprised at how different your points of views are. Knowing the answer to this can tell you what direction to take; and honoring that may save you years of buried resentment.


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Oooooo! Flower School

I want to go back to school. Well at least this school.

While traipsing around looking for something interesting to bring you for Flower Friday I ran across La Belle Ecole. Located in Paris, the school offers a variety of disciplines from cooking to painting but it was the floral design that caught my eye.

Offerings are set up as either 5 day intensive workshops or individual 2-3 hour classes. The workshops, called the Floral Art Week of The French include a field trip to the famed Rungis, the largest open air market in the world.. ~sigh~

I especially covet this one The Parisian Florist: Florist and Decorator, on June 30th. It covers Bouquets, window design and wedding flowers.

Enjoy the pretty slide show on both links. If you suddenly start dreaming in French, don’t blame me.

Vicki, if you are reading this, I can pack really quickly and my passport is in order.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wedded Bits

Laura over at just tipped me off to an online survey they are running about the central question in the Sex and the City movie: Will Carrie and Big tie the knot and is she ready for marriage? It seems that the brides-to-be that were polled think that they will indeed do the deed. If not, they want our favorite sex writer to skip back to that darling little Aidan. (my personal fav, but that is a long story) Vote and check out the rest of the details for yourself at the blog, Wedded Bits.

If you haven’t subscribed to Wedded Bits yet you really need to check it out. It’s a wonderfully newsy site with lots of celeb updates and style. It struck me as sort of People meets InStyle with Brides pulling it all together. Pretty fun concept and a new must read for me. With the power of Conde Nast behind it, they are able to get interviews and other inside dish that is beyond we mere mortals.

Thanks for the heads up Laura.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mad about Green

Maybe it’s the season, but I am suddenly mad about green. A pretty place to start to pick the colors for your wedding is to choose a base of one or two related greens, then add cream and an accent color for pop. You can almost not go wrong. This works especially well if you are planning an outdoor wedding.

For more inspiration, go to COLOURlovers and type green into the search box.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Centerpieces for a Casual Wedding

Last weekend was busy, busy. I wanted to share with you some shots from Friday night’s rehearsal dinner.

The goal was to have a casual country feel to the event. It was held in a beautiful location, the carriage house at Belle Meade Plantation. I know you wouldn’t think that using burlap for the table clothes would work for anything but in this setting it was spot on. Combined with the black chairs and black napkins it looked easy yet elegant. What do you think?

Vicki at Branching Out, along with the mother of the groom gathered a massive assortment of blue glass bottles and rustic lanterns. The vases were filled with simple individual stems to evoke a very ‘wildflower’ look and the lanterns withstood the strong breezes to add a bit of candle light. It was just perfect.

I particularly liked the use of mason jars for water glasses. I completed the look to give everyone a casual vibe to enjoy the late spring evening before the more formal events of the next day.

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