October 31, 2011

Decorous Decoys

Rehearsal Dinners have all of the anticipation of getting ready for the big day and yet seem to have none of the stress – the stress seems to dissolve and everyone turns their attention to fun, seeing friends and family, and sharing in the excitement of the weekend.

The rehearsal dinner I did a few weeks ago captured this element of fun with a wink and a nod to the groom’s family’s pastime – hunting. The groom and his family love to duck hunt and to suggest the wild grasses and fall season, we created two looks: for one, we arranged sheaves of wheat on each table, each encircled with tiny vases of blue delphinium and orange ranunculus and for the other, we designed natural arrangements of grasses, millet, blue delphinium, and orange ranunculus with long cat tails shooting up from the center.  Each table was a study of controlled and wild.

To finish the look, the mother of the groom named each table for a different species of duck and we used a number of decoys to decorate the placecard table. What fun!

Flowers pictured include: wheat, dark blue delphinium, orange ranunculus, orange dahlias, monkey grass, salal, bear grass, cat tails, millet, bupleurum, red top grass.

October 26, 2011

Starry Night

On one of the warmer Saturdays in October, I had an at-home wedding. I always find at-home weddings charming and old-fashioned – I think we forget that most weddings were at home for years before the rise in popularity of country club or other venue settings.

The palette was all white with a hint of aubergine against a mix of grays, pewters, and silvers all within the most beautiful setting of all – the outdoors.  A clear tent can be so effective, and most of all when one is able to look up and see the trees and stars above.  My photos, taken at the end of the afternoon, don’t convey the incredible impact, but I hope you can get an idea of how breathtaking it was after the sun set.

Two different looks were created for the centerpieces: flowers encircling a cluster of manzanita branches, off of which we hung candles in glass votives and flowers atop silver pedestals, surrounded by pillar candles. The bridal table was stunning – a traditional banquet-style table anchored with five urns of hundreds of roses encircled with vine angel hair, smaller arrangements of hydrangea, and multiple candles and greens to finish it.

After dinner, guests were invited into the barn to dance and continue the celebration – how marvelous!

Flowers pictured include: white hydrangea, aubergine dahlias, Tibet roses, white stock, white hypericum berry, vine angel hair, green moss, white snapdragon, salal, cymbidium orchids, Picasso calla lilies, white calla lilies, Schwarzwalder calla lilies, Italian ruscus, grass, green and purple seeded eucalyptus, gilded leaves.

Indian Summer

It’s technically not been an Indian Summer yet, as we haven’t had a killing frost, but the warmer temperatures have felt as though summer has lengthened – and I welcome it!

Without going completely into the traditional autumnal colors, my bride of a few weeks ago selected colors that seemed to hint at the coming changes: burnt orange mixed with pinks.  The flower choice was inspired by the dress chosen for the bridesmaids – an allover print of these pinks, burnt oranges, and pale fawns.  Very different and pretty.

One of my more favorite things to do for bridesmaids bouquets is to do them in groupings – this is especially striking when there are many bridesmaids. We had 12 bridesmaids for this wedding, so we had three groupings of four: hydrangea, ranunculus, roses. Against the field of the print dresses, it was spectacular.

We did a mix of high and low arrangements (always very effective in larger areas to break up the space), and the high arrangements were placed in my antique crystal pedestals while the low arrangements were designed in burnished gold urns. On a warm early fall night, when we are not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, these colors just really worked and made the room come alive.

Flowers pictured include: white hydrangea, pink snapdragon, orange dahlias, pink astilbe, Donna roses, Orange Unique roses, Vendela roses, pink and orange ranunculus, salal, pittosporum, gilded leaves.