Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! Holidays to avoid when getting married.

It's February and you all know what that means!  Valentine's Day!  I have never been a big fan of Valentine's Day.  Probably too many years spent in retail floral!  Working 24 hours straight,  making bouquets of pink and red roses is enough to make anybody sour on the holiday. 
Speaking of holidays, I thought I'd mention a few holidays to avoid, (from a floral stand point),  when selecting a wedding date.  Really, any big holiday that is typically associated with flowers should be avoided.  Valentine's Day and Mothers Day are the two biggies that jump to my mind. 
Both of these holidays are HUGE for florists and wholesalers.  The whole supply and demand thing makes it difficult and expensive for a bride to get an entire wedding of the flowers she wants at a reasonable price. 
In the weeks leading up to and following these holidays, cost of goods jump about 15% minimum for florists.  Cost of goods on the day prior to the holiday and the day of can double!  Just imagine paying twice as much for your wedding flowers!  YIKES!  Even 15% can wreck havoc on your budget!
If you plan on using a retail florist, (as opposed to someone like myself who specializes in weddings and parties), consider how busy they are during these holidays.  Having your wedding at the same time as all of the hundreds of bouquets and deliveries that need to be made amps up their stress a lot!  Trust me - I've been there! 
Last but not least, consider again supply and demand.  Many wholesalers and growers sell out of flowers: like roses on Valentine's Day.  Florists usually order their flowers a year - yep - 1 YEAR prior to Valentine's Day because of the increased demand.  The same is true for Mother's Day.  Spring time flowers are in high demand and orders to growers and wholesalers are placed WELL in advance of the holiday.  All this means limited availability and higher prices for brides. 
If you are unable to avoid these dates, just be aware of the price increases and meet with your florist as soon as you can to get your order to the wholesaler with plenty of time to ensure you get the flowers you want. 
Other holidays that you may want to be wary of, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Think of all those lovely centerpieces! 

Using Succulents in Your Wedding Flower Design

Almost every time I finish a wedding bouquet I step back and look at it and think, "of all the bridal bouquets I have done THIS is my favorite!"  It happened again a few months ago.
This fall I met with Courtney, her fiancé, mother, and mother-in -law to be.  Courtney chose sage green, navy blue and aubergine for her colors.  The setting for her wedding reception was a barn.  She wanted  casual rustic look for her flowers.  Nothing fussy.  While browsing through photographs of flowers ideas the mother-in-law mentioned how much she liked the use of succulents in weddings.  Courtney had no idea what a succulent was.   As I was searching for photos of succulents, Courtney pulled out her phone showed me a photo of a bouquet she loved.  Guess what?  It had succulents!  I love it when the bride and the mother-in-law, (or mother for that matter), agree on things.  It makes my job so much easier!

Here is what we came up with for the bridal bouquet.

What IS a succulent?
A succulent is a plant that has thick, fleshy leaves/petals that store water.  You can find succulents in many interesting shapes and colors which make them a fun and unique addition to your floral designs.  Succulents are typically found in arid environments and are quite hardy - which makes them perfect for wedding bouquets and centerpieces.  You can even remove the succulents from your bouquet and "plant" them to use them as décor in your home!
The down side to using succulents are:
 1. Because they do store water they are heavy, so they aren't great for boutonnieres or pin on corsages.  Also, they make your bouquet heavy.
2.  Depending on which succulents you use and their size, they can be a little pricey.

Bridesmaids bouquets on top.  Maid of Honor on bottom.

Bridesmaids Bouquets

Flowers for sisters hair.

Fathers Bouts

Grooms Bout

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Candelabra Centerpieces
Once again I must apologize for not posting in a very VERY long time.  Life has gotten extremely busy and I am still trying to figure out how to keep things from falling through the cracks.  Obviously, I have not been terribly successful with that! 
So while the kids are playing Lego's I will make an attempt at a post.  Let's see how far I get!
With wedding season approaching I thought I would do a few posts on what is new, or what I am loving right now. 
Right now, for centerpieces, I am loving candelabras.  For the last two wedding shows I have designed floral pieces on candelabras.  I've had a great response! 
For me these centerpieces represent simple elegance.  They are high enough to see around.  They are big enough to make a statement.  They can be modern or traditional.     
The first time I saw a centerpiece like these I immediately fell in love.  I went to my wholesaler to purchase some candelabras and found the selection somewhat overwhelming.  There were so many options!  As a designer this is good and bad!  I would have loved to take one of each of the dozens of candelabras and designed a unique piece for each.  I had so many ideas, but I needed to choose one style for the booth.   
There are so many types of candelabras ranging from rustic wooden pieces to ornate 3 foot tall multi arm dripping with crystal versions.  I decided to go middle of the road.  Simple and elegant. 
Just take a look at a few I found online:

Here is an idea.  Why not go to the thrift store and see what they have in stock.  A can of spray paint and good will could save you a bundle!  Plus, think of all the fun colors you could paint them! 

 This one reminds me of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast.  It just paint it gold et ALLO!

Here are a few samples of other talented designers work

Notice the use of the cute succulents!  I think I'll write about those next!
 So I know these centerpieces are not on candelabras,  but just imagine if I would have used them in 2012!  Even more stunning!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The End of One Crazy Summer!

Wow time flies!  I can't believe my last post was in May!  I promised to post more, but I have had a wonderfully busy summer working with some fabulous brides!  Over the next few days or weeks I will post about a few of my favorite events I designed this summer.  I will start now with bride Emily! 
Em was married in June.  The location she chose for her wedding was a beautiful outdoor setting with wildflowers a waterfall and pine trees - very rustic and lovely!  
My first planning meeting with Emily was in December of 2011.  From the moment she began to talk about her vision for her wedding I knew she was on the ball and would easy to work with.  For starters, she chose a venue that fit her personality, she had a flower budget worked out, and although she had ideas of what she wanted, she was flexible.  On our first meeting we planned most everything and scheduled a follow up meeting in April at the actual wedding venue.  I strongly recommend letting your designer see your venue if he/she is not familiar with it, even if they are 'only' doing flowers.  This enables your designer to get an idea of scale and it also let's them meet the facility manager or coordinator which is always helpful!
So, lets get to it!  What flowers did Emily choose.  Well, first we went with a wildflower theme.  Her colors were slate blue and raspberry - lovely!  
Emily wanted to have her bouquet mostly white.
The colors were highlighted in the brides maids bouquets. 
Her centerpieces were wildflowers in miscellanious bottles and vases with votive candles for sparkle.
I had such fun working with Emily.  She and her groom Clark were so gracious and lovely - a realy joy!  I am hoping to get more photos from them to post so you can see the overall effect of the planning and design.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Choose your Wedding Theme and Colors

Choosing the theme and colors of your wedding is important.  In fact, I think it is one of the first things most brides do.  Be honest, how many of you have had a wedding board on Pinterest with color combinations, dresses, cakes, etc?  Most girls kind of know the direction they will go with their wedding.  Most of us know what colors we like and don't like -we know we hate carnations but love raunculus etc.  When starting putting ideas together for color and theme, I suggest you take a moment to write down a few things about yourself and your groom. 
If I may, I would like to tell you a little story. 
Back in the 90's sunflowers were THE flower to use for weddings.  For a good year or more I went to weddings with sunflowers.  I made bouquets with sunflowers.  I even remember a couple of friends who were to be married just weeks apart fighting, each accusing the other of copying 'their sunflower idea'.  The only reason I remember these girls actually had sunflowers in their weddings was because they were such brats!  Had they not fought about sunflowers, their weddings would have blended into all the other sunflower weddings I designed or attended. They are all a blurr!

On the flip side, during the same time frame my friend Katie had a beautiful Mexican theme wedding.  She hung dozens of pinatas and bright red crepe paper flowers.  She had a mariachi band and salty margaritas, the whole 9 yards.  Katie had spent time in Mexico and had fallen in love with the culture, the food and the bright beautiful colors of that country.  Her wedding was unique,  it was meaningful and I remember it!  Katie's wedding was Katie, not another sunflower wedding.

It is easy to find all sorts of themes and color combinations on wedding sites and in magazines.  While these resources are helpful,  think about the thousands of other brides perusing these magazines and websites seeing the exact same thing you are seeing. 
I believe your wedding should say something about you. It should show your interests and personality, your likes and passions. Your wedding should be yours, not one you saw in a magazine.
By sitting down with your groom and answering a few questions you can put a personal stamp on your wedding.  Here are a few questions you may want to consider. 
1.  Where is your favorite place? Ireland, Versailles, Italy,  Newport Beach California, New York City?  Places can inspire with colors, traditions, food, music, etc.
2.  What is your favorite restaurant?  Do you love the food there or the ambiance.  Can they be    duplicated for your wedding?
3.  What artist inspires you?  Do you love the soft blurry colors of Monet or do the colors of Matisse match your personality more? 
4.  What is your favorite movie, (please think classics!) ?  To Catch a Thief,  Gone With the Wind, Funny Face...
5.  What is your style of dress?   (Do you like a lot of bling, do you use natural and organic fabrics, are you high fashion?) 
6.  Do you have a favorite time period?  Edwardian,  Victorian, Roaring 20's...
7.  What is your favorite book?  The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyer...
8.  What is your nationality or ethnic background?
9.  What are your hobbies? 
By answering these questions you may be able to find a theme, colors and style that put your personal stamp on your special day. 
Don't be a sunflower wedding!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hey All,
I have neglected my poor blog lately.  Sorry about that - but I do have a GREAT reason!  I have begun writing for the fabulous website  I have been contributing articles in 'Home Etc', 'Health' and 'Have Your Ever'.  This site is eclectic and fun with articles on technology, finances, health, fashion and much much more - including yummy recipes!  I personally love the 'Hot Finds'!
The button to the left will take you to BeBetsy where you can enter a contest to win a $50 VISA gift card.  While you are there could you help me out?  Sign up for BeBetsy and then select my name - with your help I can win the contributing writers contest.  The more people who select my name the better my odds of winning! 
Check back here at Bleu Bird often.  I promise to update more. 
Also, if you have any questions or issues, (regarding gardening, flowers, weddings and event planning), you would like me to address please feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wedding Trends

Wedding season is fast approaching.  I have begun meeting with my Spring and Summer brides to put the final touches on their weddings.  I love my job!  I enjoy, (well actually I am addicted to), finding wedding pins on Pinterest.  I love going to Barnes and Noble flipping through wedding mags while sipping a decaf mocha.  I love hearing different ideas and seeing the personalities of my brides come through in their wedding design.  For brides today there is almost too much information on line and in print - even on television.  Information is so accessible it makes easy for a bride to get caught up in all the trends
 Trend:  A general direction followed; prevailing tendency; drift. 

On my isp home page there is a section called "Trending Now".  Trend.   I am not a big fan of trends when it concerns something as special as a wedding.  Even the definition is a little sketchy for me.  I don't want to be a drifter or follower.  I am all for being fashionable, but 'trendy'...NO.  Recently I read a quote by Grace Ormonde which reflects my thoughts on trends with particular regard to weddings.  She said, "While I understand that trends are always changing, I don't believe that weddings should be 'trendy.'  I believe that everything - the photos, wedding gown, decor, and so forth - should be timeless."  Bravo Ms. Ormonde.  Consider the amount of time and money you put into the planning and execution of your wedding day.  It would make sense that you would want to always love your wedding.  One piece of advice I give my brides is this -  ask yourself the following:   1) Will I still LOVE my wedding in 5 or even 10 years?  2) When looking at my wedding photos what will my children say?  3) Will people be able to date my wedding almost to the year? 

 Trending now: peacock/feathers, burlap, lace, mason jars, billy balls, anemones, the 20's, food trucks, photo booths,  the messy up-do,  colored shoes for the bride, brooch bouquets, cupcakes...

If I am honest with you I must tell you that several of my brides will be using one of more of the above trends in their wedding.  I'm mostly ok with it... in moderation.  If you absolutely LOVE a trend incorporate it in your event sparingly and tastefully.  And again, ask yourself, "Will I love this in the future?"

Looking for classic inspiration?  Think Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton
No, you don't have their funds.  But the simplicity of their style...timeless

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seasonal Wedding Flowers

Last post I wrote about the white Anemone and its popularity.  I also mentioned its natural growing season.  I thought I would take a moment to talk about why it is a good idea to use 'in season' flowers for your wedding.
I've said it before and I will say it again - Mother Nature knows her stuff!  Each season has its own set of colors.  We associate those seasons and colors for a reason.  Seasonal colors are based on what nature is providing during those months.  Think about it.    In February some brave bulbs begin to poke their heads up out of the earth and snow giving us our first taste of color for the year.  As the snow melts in March we begin to get our green back.  April and May brings a riot of bright and beautiful colors - blushing pinks, happy blues, lilac purples.  As Spring turns into Summer our roses begin to bloom along with other heat loving flowers, sunny yellows,  hot pinks, juicy oranges.  Summer turns into Fall and the colors become more muted and richer,  grape purples, cinnamon reds, chocolate browns  Winter here brings silvery blue, cool grey, icy lavender and sparkling white. 
By looking at the colors, plants and flowers mother nature has to offer you can create a beautiful and affordable event.  Straying from what is naturally in season, however, can cause a headache and cost a lot of money.
These days it is possible to find most any flower at most any time of year.  The question is, should you use it?  Back to the white anemone.  It really is a beautiful flower.  But its natural growing season is January through May.  This means if you want to use this flower any other time of year it must be imported.  The problems with importing flower some flowers are as follows.  (I will use shipping to the United States as my example).  Pricing, agricultural concerns, and quality. 
First the price.  You are paying to have a flower,  in this case the white anemone whose price has risen due to demand, shipped from another country- which  adds to the price you will pay for this flower.  Second, flowers by nature are generally fragile.  Consider this - after the flower is cut must be packed, sent across countries, unpacked and inspected, repacked and shipped to the United States.  Upon arrival in the U.S.  the flowers will have to endure agricultural screenings to ensure it is not infested with pests, parasites or harmful bacteria.  It can then go to the wholesaler to be sold.  Quite the process huh?!  Don't get me wrong.  This is a process that is done every single day, and the vast majority of flowers do just fine.  But anemones and other fragile flowers do not fare as well.  Long story short, importing flowers can be costly and your flowers may not survive their journey well - if at all.
Anemones growing season January -May
photo from
So what is a bride to do?  That is obviously up to the individual.  If you really love one particular flower that must be imported I say go for it - as long as you are aware of the pricing and risk of availability. 
Growing season for the peony is mid Spring to early Summer.
photo from

To check out some of my brides and follow their journey to the perfect flowers for their wedding, follow me on pinterest and look at boards, Jenny, Emily and Sarah.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

White Anemones - The "IT" Flower for Bridal Bouquets

The other day I was venting on Facebook about the whole moustache trend that has swept the United States.  I really don't get it!  I am not a big fan of jumping on the latest bandwagon - and while I watch trends, I am not necessarily a trend follower.   
The latest trend in bridal bouquets is one I can support! 

  White Anemones with black centers. I love this flower, in any color, but  these are the new 'IT' factor for weddings for foreseeable future!  Just look at them!  Delicate and ruffly with a beautiful contrast from the black center.  But here is the thing - flowers that are trendy have a nasty habit of becoming expensive.  It has something to do with the whole supply and demand thing.
The natural growing season for Anemones in the U.S. is January through May.  Using these or any other flower when out of season can significantly increase the price of your wedding flowers.  So if you LOVE these pretty little posies as much as the next bride or if you are getting married when these flowers are out of season, here are some other options you may want to consider. 

White Gerbera Daisy

White Peony-Photo

White Ranuculus

White Lisianthus
While these are good replacements, I really LOVE the real thing.  And if you really really love them, they may just be worth the extra it will cost. 
Trends come and trends go.  But this wedding trend is one I don't think you will look back on and wonder, "What was I thinking?!"
Love this cake-Photo

Cute for shower or reception goodies-Photo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flower Girls and Ring 'Bears'...grrrr!

Our darling flower girls.

Years ago my daughters were asked to be flower girls for their cousins wedding.  My youngest daughter was only 3 years old.  The day of the wedding the kids participated in the rehersal, pretending to toss their flower petals as they walked down the asile.  They practiced to perfection!  When it came time for the actual ceremony my husband and I entrusted out girls with the wedding coordinator and went to take our seats.  The music began and one by one the bridal party walked down the asile.  Our oldest daughter performed her flower girl duties perfectly .  We waited for our 3 year old, hoping she would do the same.  We waited and waited...after a minute or two I began to panic!  I snuck out of  ceremony to see what the hold up was.  Stage fright?   Tantrum? What was going on?!  The problem was our daughter was missing!  The cooridnator had no idea where she was!  Meanwhile, the bride, the groom and all of the guests sat waiting while I searched the mansion for our little 3 year old flower girl.  I found her up stairs in the brides room twiriling in front of the mirror.  After a delay of about 8-9 minutes the ceremony continued on.  Fortunately the bride was easy going and had no problem with the 'pause' in the ceremony.
Children can be a great addition to your wedding party.  It is a lot of fun to dress up a little girl or guy in fancy clothes and have them participate in your big day.  But remember - they are kids!  Kids can be moody, silly and very unpredictable!  If you plan on having children in your wedding party you must be willing to roll with what ever happens.  I have seen kids refuse to walk the asile.  I have seen children cry  as they are walking down the asile.   I have seen children steal the show during the ceremony.  During the ceremony I mentiond above, the same daughter, bored to death, decided to lay down on the floor while my older daughter - mortified - tried to get her to stand up.  Long story short - if you are a 'type A' personality having children participate in your ceremony may not be a great idea!

Notice the youngest no longer has her bag of flower petals!

So what are your options?  First, you can, as I said above, let children participate in the entire day and just know that things may not go perfectly.  You can opt to have them in the photographs and reception only, with mom and dad close at hand should there be any meltdowns).  It is also ok to not use cousins, nephews and neices etc.  Most parents will understand.  My daughters have been flower girls on several occasions and it is no small task keeping them looking pristine and happy- not to mention hair, dresses, shoes etc!  While it is an honor and a lot of fun - we would be just as happy watching from the side lines!
You may be wondering about the title of this post.  I'm sure you've all heard the story of the little boy who was asked to be the ring bearer for a wedding.  While walkling down the asile with the rings on the beautiful silk pillow he growl loudly all the way to the bride and groom.  The boy was very proud of the job he did as ring BEAR! 

Beautiful bride and Sarah.